How to Start Using LinkedIn to Market Your Small Business Locally
October 8, 2019
Last year, during our #SMBWeek, we hosted a panel featuring four distinguished small business marketers from around the globe. The panel delivered a smorgasbord of insightful takeaways, however one quote stood out in how it captured the exciting modern-day possibilities that lie before SMB marketers.
The thing is the smaller the team the more agile you can be. What I’ve seen is we’ve got some very small teams that are producing amazing content. With paid social media, it’s in an ad format where it doesn’t matter whether you’re IBM or a two-person company that just opened yesterday, you have the same ability to reach people. — A.J. Wilcox, Founder of B2Linked
The thing is, you don’t even need to advertise to enjoy the level playing field Wilcox speaks of. In this post, we’ll help you get started with marketing your small business on LinkedIn. We’ll also point you to our most helpful resources on the topic.
Getting Started with Local Small Business Marketing on LinkedIn
First, What Exactly Does “Local” Mean for Small Businesses These Days? In trying to define this, I can’t help but think of a quip from comedian Steven Wright: “Everywhere is within walking distance if you have the time.”
For one small business, local means Pittsburgh. For another it means western Pennsylvania. And then there’s the small business whose global customers are part a localized community by way of technology’s ability to bring interest-sharers together.
Everywhere is local if you have the inclination.
Some small businesses just want to stay local local, and that’s admirable in its own right. Technology levels the marketing field for these companies as well.
I’m Just Getting Started. What Do You Recommend I Do First?
Assuming you’re a LinkedIn member, we recommend that you first make sure that your own LinkedIn profile properly showcases your expertise. Next, we recommend that you create a LinkedIn Page for your business. People who check out your LinkedIn Page are likely to check out your personal LinkedIn profile and vice versa, so it’s important for both to send the right signals. If you’re concerned about too hastily posting a public-facing page to the web, that’s natural. You’ll experience a simple, straightforward process for completing both your profile and your LinkedIn Page. Complete as little or as much as you please in the present and then add and edit as you wish. (Note: Your LinkedIn Page must initially include a company website URL and a company description, which you can edit later.)
We like to think of the LinkedIn Page as being your brand’s place in the world’s professional community. From here, you can connect your business with more than 590 million people and 30 million other Pages.
As for how best to go about that, and how to create a Page you’re proud to promote, you’ll find plenty of helpful advice, ideas, and examples in our LinkedIn Pages Playbook.
I’ve Completed My LinkedIn Page. Now What?
All right, here you are. A Page: yours. A follower: you. And clearly, no content.
Haven’t the foggiest what to say? Let’s take a step back.
What do you want to accomplish with your LinkedIn Page? Here are four common marketing goals for SMBs on LinkedIn:
- Build brand awareness
- Generate sales leads
- Establish thought leadership
- Drive event attendance
Determining your goals will help you decide what to say, what to share, and who to share it with. Knowing your goals also helps you pinpoint and join the conversations that matter most.
No matter which small business marketing goal(s) you have on LinkedIn, to make them a reality, you’ll ultimately want to:
- Understand and reach your audience
- Engage your audience
- Measure your impact and track what’s working
The links above lead to our Sophisticated Marketer’s Sessions. I think you’ll find that combining these sessions with aforementioned LinkedIn Pages Playbook will provide the insight needed to start pursuing your small business marketing strategy with confidence.
How Do I Reach My Local Audience on LinkedIn?
As we’ve discussed, local means different things to different companies. Regardless of what local means to you, rich targeting capabilities make it easy for small businesses to find the right people on LinkedIn. Choose from any combination of the following filters:
The location-based filter is popular among small businesses that serve geographical areas. For example, you could combine the location filter with industry and company size filters to reach small manufacturing firms in Pittsburgh. Or you could combine location- and experience-based filters to reach COOs and other similar titles in Pittsburgh. If you’re trying to reach a community, you might filter using Groups, skills, job title, or fields of study. Just remember not to be overly narrow with your scope, because you want a reasonably sized audience.
Targeting filters are for more than reaching the right people with ads. As you gain followers, consider posting targeted updates on your LinkedIn Page. Not every update will apply to all followers. By targeting your updates, you can provide a better experience because your followers only see what’s relevant to them.
Are There Any Other Opportunities to Market My Local Small Business on LinkedIn?
Absolutely. I recommend checking out our LinkedIn Content Marketing Tactical Plan. This guide offers up proven approaches for pursuing the vast marketing possibilities on LinkedIn, and also includes a printable tactical blueprint.
Is There a Class for Local Small Business Marketing on LinkedIn?
Yep, I encourage you to check out the free LinkedIn Learning course, Growing Your Small Business on LinkedIn. Designed for beginners, the course will take you from novice to knowledgeable in 50 minutes and 11 seconds.
Grow Your Small Business on LinkedIn
With the resources above, you should have all you need to get started with local small business marketing on LinkedIn. Optimize your profile, build out your Page, and begin sharing content that matters to your customers.
Oh, you can also make sure you’re continually up-to-date on the latest trends and recommendations by subscribing to the LinkedIn Marketing Blog, where we’re committed to creating more guidance specific to SMBs.