Updated: Sep 16, 2019
Even though it's been around for quite a few years, there's still a bit of confusion when it comes to using LinkedIn. Do all businesses need one? If you are a freelancer, does your freelancing business need its own page?
I'd say the answer to both of the above questions is yes! Now, LinkedIn is a very cool website that comes with tons of resources. There's too much to pack into one post (but maybe this will be a blog post series in the future....), but I can give you the short and sweet of what LinkedIn does and why you probably need it:
LinkedIn is a professional social media platform. Basically, if someone took Facebook, dressed it in a suit and tie and gave it a briefcase, you'd get LinkedIn.
LinkedIn lets you post your work history, education, skills and a short little biography. You can write about who you are, what your work and/or major is, and what your best assets are. If you're particularly passionate about a cause or organization, you can add that, too.
As is the case with any social media site, you can connect with people. Whether those people are co-workers, bosses, clients, friends or just businesses that you like is up to you.
Now, here are some of the biggest highlights as to why you probably need a LinkedIn for you and your business:
There's tons of people on there
LinkedIn is a social platform. It's meant to connect people, which means that there's a huge pool of potential clients, employees, bosses and business influencers to meet and connect with! Just as you would on Facebook, you can start building up your connection list by typing in the names of people you know and sending them invites to connect.
Big names in business, such as the six Sharks from Shark Tank and CEOs for companies can also be found on LinkedIn. While you might not be able to connect directly with a lot of these influencers, you can still follow them and catch their nuggets of wisdom on your feed.
If you're looking for a new job, connecting with many people on LinkedIn is a great way of expanding your online footprint and increasing your chances of finding employment. If you're a business looking for client, simply connecting with a lot of people can help you find more clientele.
Meeting new people is the name of the game, and as LinkedIn accurately points out: it's not what you know, it's who you know.
You have a perma-resume up for everyone to see
Unlike a regular resume that needs to be condensed to one page, a LinkedIn profile can be as long or as short as you want. It's a great feature, because it shows the evolution of your career, from your work as a cashier to a full-time accountant.
Another great feature that comes with having a LinkedIn profile is having endorsements. Endorsements is when someone goes to your profile and clicks a button under your skills to basically say "yes, this person really is good at this skill". It's an awesome way to show potential employers or clients that you aren't bluffing and really do know your stuff.
It adds another form of communication
People like it when a person or business is easy to reach. No one likes waiting days to get a response to their email, and there's not much to be done when a phone call goes to voicemail.
LinkedIn has a messaging feature that allows people to send you a direct message, just like on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. This means that job recruiters, clients, superiors and co-workers have an extra method of communication to reach you.
This is especially beneficial to businesses. Customers and clients like to have as many modes of communication to give comments, concerns, testimonials, complaints or praise. You want that, if you want to give customers a sense of security; let them know that you won't take their money and ghost them.
You can learn stuff
Yep! LinkedIn Learning has plenty of online courses and lectures for professionals and employees. These lectures range from improving business culture to fixing your resume to creating marketing campaigns.
Almost all the lectures charge fees, but even a trial version of LinkedIn's premium membership would give you some time to explore course content. These lectures will help not only anyone trying to climb the corporate ladder, but anyone who owns or is planning to start their own business.
And there you have it! LinkedIn has plenty to offer for businesses and individuals alike! If you haven't already, sign up now for an account. And don't be afraid to give your business it's own page!