This post was first published by The Croydon Citizen on 12/02/2018.
How Croydon businesses can get LinkedIn in 2018
The last time I wrote about LinkedIn it centred on the topic of death – today I want to talk about LinkedIn from a less morbid perspective: how Croydon’s professionals, entrepreneurs and freelancers can use it to find leads, nurture prospects and win more deals.
What is LinkedIn?
LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional social network – home to over 500 million executives. More importantly, 45% are senior decision makers (y’know, the people that actually have buying power) which means that LinkedIn is a goldmine if you are someone trying to sell high-value products or services to other businesses (B2B).
As with other social media platforms, you create a profile, grow your network, message your contacts and publish pictures, posts and updates. The difference is that since LinkedIn is a professional network it’s less a repository for hip Croydon locals (Instagram) or moans about Croydon politicians (Twitter), and instead geared towards business owners and professionals that are looking to make their next sale.
Croydon businesses are missing out on LinkedIn
Here in Croydon, 99% of the business community are small- to medium-sized businesses. These businesses are consistently described as the backbone of the UK economy as they drive growth, open new markets and create jobs, and their contribution is therefore vital to unlock Croydon’s full growth potential. Yet when you listen to Croydon SMEs it’s clear that an inability to repeatedly and scalably generate new business is a problem that prevents them from unlocking that potential.
Many of these SMEs are B2B: they sell high-value products or services to other businesses (not individual consumers). However, as I discovered recently when I did a Croydon Tech City workshop on “How to build a £1m ARR business using LinkedIn” – these same businesses are curiously ignorant of the online goldmine of potential buyers that is LinkedIn.
Despite the fact that LinkedIn provides a captive audience of future clients and referral partners, Croydon business owners continue to using other laborious, unfruitful ways to find leads: networking events (no guarantee that anyone useful is in the room), SEO (takes ages to see results), blogging (there’s too much content to compete against), Facebook (you have to pay to get reach now), Twitter (no ability to target professionals), email marketing (GDPR is going to nuke your database), etc. all of which are now harder (and more expensive) than ever to generate leads and sales meetings. Meanwhile, LinkedIn is by far the easiest way to win new business online FOR FREE.
How to get LinkedIn in 2018
There are lots of ways for Croydon businesses to make the leap from no knowledge of LinkedIn to becoming a deal closing machine:
- Add me on LinkedIn: I’m very active on the platform – so if you want to dip your toes in the water, sign up to LinkedIn, ‘connect’ with me and then send me a message. I’ll help you get started.
- Get LinkedIn coaching: LinkedIn coaching is a helpful first step for those that appreciate not being left to learn LinkedIn themselves but would appreciate 1-2-1 tutoring after work.
- Attend a free workshop: Croydon Tech City runs free workshops throughout the year to train Croydon’s tech startups; these include sessions on how to use LinkedIn to grow your sales pipeline repeatedly and scalably. Sign up here for regular updates.
LinkedIn is slowly turning from a ’nice to have’ to a ‘need to have’. Croydon businesses need to be on LinkedIn in 2018.