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Leveraging LinkedIn for SMB Success

Social media networks are powerful tools for executives to use to build brand and revenues, as Gene Marks explains in a recent post at Deluxe for Business.

LinkedIn for CPAsTake LinkedIn, for example – an entrepreneur could launch a brand profile as a part of his or her small business strategy and use it to garner fans and followers, which could later be tapped as potential buyers. This is similar to how a business would use Facebook – amass fans, then market new goods and services to them. is one of the few social sites that reach out specifically to professionals, and since there is no need to add any personal life information, you don’t have to worry about keeping one separated from the other.

Gene Marks: “Entrepreneurs can leverage LinkedIn in other ways. For business-to-business firms that have relatively small client bases, LinkedIn can enhance relationship-building. When it comes to making sales, establishing a relationship can go a long way – the more a business owner knows about his or her targets, the easier he or she can connect with them.”

Deluxe for Business

LinkedIn is a great tool because it gives small business owners a snapshot picture of their targets – it tells them where they went to school, interests, hobbies, past ventures and mutual connections. If entrepreneurs are lucky, their LinkedIn profile will be tied to other key accounts, such Twitter profiles, blogs, small business websites, etc.

For example, if both entrepreneurs have a mutual connection, the salesperson could ask how the target knows that individual. If they have similar hobbies, the salesperson could ask to discuss a business matter while they take part in this common activity. There are any number of possibilities, but they all stem from researching the individual on LinkedIn.

Al Chase, an entrepreneur that helps other companies find CEOs and top-level executives to fill open positions, noted the success he has using LinkedIn to secure new deals. One individual messaged him because they had mutual contacts – he was in touch with multiple talent firms in an effort fill a position at a theme park.

“My reading of the client’s LinkedIn Profile led me to his web page, where I learned that he had a background in choreography and dance. I used my knowledge of the world of dance to offer an analogy that prompted the client to consider engaging me for this search, despite my lack of prior industry experience,” he wrote for LinkedIntelligence.

It only takes one of these information nuggets to create a relationship. Small business owners need every advantage when trying to secure a sale, and LinkedIn can provide that edge they need – it is the ultimate site of potential business gossip.

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