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Plugged in - LinkedIn

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Often overlooked when it comes to social networking, LinkedIn is a powerful tool that can help you find prospective clients, build a thriving network and enhance brand visibility.

Kerryn Ramsey

Content Writer

Liz Barrett

Senior Content Producer

Promote your business

The number-one search engine is Google. When potential clients google you, your company, your LinkedIn profile or page comes up in either the first result or second after your website – dependent on your SEO ranking. This means that prospective customers will always see your LinkedIn site when googling for a builder or tradesperson in the area.

‘Having a business page on LinkedIn not only builds confidence in your brand and does wonders for your SEO optimisation. Having another mention of your address and contact details will help you rank higher,’ says Lachlan Wells, who runs the SEO agency, Optimising.

Another benefit of the platform is that when you consistently create, curate and share quality content on your LinkedIn profile, you drive traffic to your website. ‘Connections who engage with you regularly can’t help but find out more about what you do so they will head to your website. You will start to see your traffic increase,’ explains Lucy Bingle, a business expert who runs a LinkedIn marketing agency.

Build your network

LinkedIn was built initially as a recruitment tool, so the search function is robust. This means it’s easy to search and connect with people directly or search for potential clients in any industry, in any location globally. There’s one caveat – think quality over quantity. ‘You see many people connect just for the sake of getting their numbers up, but you have to be selective to keep it to people in your industry,’ says Lachlan. 

Connecting with other builders, industry leaders, architects, engineers, designers, apprentices and product and tool managers can actually boost your visibility and credibility. You can connect with organisational leaders who have projects out for tender and past colleagues and clients.

‘The benefit is that you can grow a community of customers or industry advocates who will endorse you and potential prospects who will consistently see your work and hear your news,’ Lucy says.

Stand out

Finding your voice on the platform and sharing your industry knowledge can help you stand out from your competition. Lucy advises, ‘By consistently being in front of a growing audience and sharing your projects, insights and opinions, you will be seen as an industry leader and set you apart from the rest. This can generate real leads for your business.’ 

Marketing strategist Tracy Raiteri of Townsville Social Media Marketing agrees. ‘For builders, LinkedIn is all about reputation management, and it’s easy to leverage that reputation and maximise opportunities when you have a well-optimised company page and professional profile on the platform.’ 

Take it to the next level

To expand your business, try LinkedIn Groups. This can generate an impressive number of connections with businesspeople and even customers, but it’s important to start a group that has a broader appeal than just building information. This could range from events in your community or a charity you support. 

By sharing professional ideas, you can provide new information, research and opinions. It’s also an opportunity to post discussions and comment on other members’ groups. It’s important to stay active — make sure you have time to commit before diving in. 

Most importantly, these business and interest groups provide a connection with colleagues and prospective clients who live in the nearby vicinity. Tracy notes that when you join a group, be careful of spamming group members with promotional or salesy content; this just turns people off. If people ask for your details, connect directly and send them your business’s website or blog. 

Encourage recommendations

Another way to expand your business through LinkedIn is with recommendations – it’s a way to acknowledge colleagues you trust. It’s a way to make your building services more attractive for both customers and industry referrals. Lucy advises, ‘Don’t be shy in asking for recommendations. It’s a great way for others to promote your expertise. They make great testimonials for your business page too.’ 

Overall, there’s plenty of opportunity on LinkedIn if you are looking to expand your professional connections, stay up to date with industry-relevant news and participate in professional groups. After all, having a healthy number of contacts is always a good thing for expanding your business.

Quick tips from the experts

• ‘Allocate 10 to 15 minutes a couple of times a week to LinkedIn. Spend your time browsing the activities, mostly connecting or accepting other people’s invites and engaging with relevant posts – the key is to stay active and visible.’ Tracy Raiteri of Townsville Social Media Marketing, www.townsvillesocialmedia marketing.com 
• ‘Share your work or knowledge regularly. When creating content, short posts with descriptions and images can get people interested. Long wordy posts encourage people to scroll past.’ Lucy Bingle, www.lucybingle.com
• ‘Don’t forget to tag relevant people. If you collaborated on a project, tag the other organisations or people involved. Share the love, and the engagement and reach will follow.’ Lachlan Wells, www.optimising.com.au