Expert advice on the business of running a garment decoration company

With over 450 million users, LinkedIn is the largest online professional social media platform – can your business afford to not be using it?

What separates LinkedIn from the likes of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram is the fact it is a B2B social media platform, dedicated to professionals, business owners and businesses alike.

The platform provides several sales and networking opportunities for your business, and the chance to engage with key decision markers. It enables you to chat and engage in a professional manner, sell your business, its brand and your values, and build up a trusted network of contacts you can continuously grow.

It is not just about winning new business

Do not forget existing customers: LinkedIn gives you the opportunity to connect with them and improve the chance of winning a repeat order. Existing customers also have the power to ‘endorse’ you to friends, colleagues and other connections. This referral is as close to online word of mouth as possible; it is a big tick in the box and a seal of approval.

LinkedIn is predominantly used on an individual basis where professionals network with other professionals, but it also provides you with the opportunity to create a business page where you can create content, connect with customers and your target audience, and enhance your business‘s brand. To achieve LinkedIn success, here are a few quick pointers:

  • Optimise your profile Complete every aspect of your profile including images, background, skills and experience. Provide visitors with information on your core skills, services and how you help businesses; make them want to reach out and engage with you.
  • Find your target audience LinkedIn’s search facility allows users to search by company, job title, location and much more. Use this to target individuals who may be interested in your products and services.
  • Join LinkedIn groups Joining a group of like-minded people presents your business with the chance to network with your target audience. Build up a rapport and earn referrals for your products and services.
  • Earn referrals Earn some LinkedIn kudos with referrals and endorsements. This is where an existing connection endorses your skills and leaves reviews of you, your products and your services. Engage with your existing customer base, ask for referrals and endorsements, and boost your LinkedIn profile.

Andrew Langridge is from eTrader, one of the industry’s leading suppliers of websites to garment decorators across the UK.