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station description The Self Employed
Small Business with Steve Strauss
Duration: 29:40
This week's Greatland Small Business Success Podcast is all about LinkedIn.  LinkedIn has quickly become one of the best tools available for small businesses.  Lana Khavinson,  Senior Product Marketing Manager of LinkedIn also gives you some great tips and tricks to get the most out of their service
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This week's Greatland Small Business Success Podcast is all about LinkedIn.  LinkedIn has quickly become one of the best tools available for small businesses.  Lana Khavinson,  Senior Product Marketing Manager of LinkedIn also gives you some great tips and tricks to get the most out of their service for your business.
Plus, this weeks Startup Story features a business you know and have used, with an incredibly successful tale.
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there you have it, the Amazon start up story, and that brings us to another fantastic Internet business, another one that is not so easily duplicated offline. And that is linked in right because we all have our network. But how easy can you access to your network? And how can you easily access your networks network offline? Not so easy online via LinkedIn. Pretty darn easy. So let's figure out how to do it and speak with Lana Kevin, son of Lincoln. Today's show is brought to you by a great friend to small business Grapeland W. Two and 10 99 Specialist, but a great Lynn dot com to learn more. Welcome back in. As I have been mentioning, we have a great guest with us. Lana Cabin Seuin is a senior product marketing manager, LinkedIn, where she is responsible for driving growth and engagement for LinkedIn company pages. And as I've mentioned in the show already, I really do love Lincoln. I think it's a great resource for small businesses, and I think it's often and under used resource for small businesses. You know, my, uh, new assistant who is a generation or two younger than me, says, uh, that she really wanted to do this show because, ah, lot of people her age don't know how to use linked ineffectively. And I know that when it's used right, this is a long intro. Gone. I'll be there a second when it's used. Right is used. Great. You know, I've got a buddy in the Bay area who started the business, and, uh, he gets all of his business, Um, from LinkedIn. You know, when he wants to do a new deal and, uh, he wants he needs to find the right person to do the deal with He goes linked in. He finds out who he knows. He knows the person. He gets an introduction. Hey, just did a big deal with the San Francisco Chronicle that way. So I know Lincoln works and works well. So, uh, Lana, we're really pleased to have you and pleased to be talking about Lincoln today. Welcome to the show. Thank you. Thank you so much for having me. How long have you been with LinkedIn? I've been with Clinton for about 2.5 years. But an avid user before that since the beginning of time and So it says in your job title that you're responsible for driving growth engagement for LinkedIn company pages. I think even some small businesses don't even know that they can have a company page, right? Yeah, And that's actually a great way to start a company page. So first, you should start with your brand identity. So your personal profile, but a company page should be the very next thing that you developed for your business. It allows you to build your presence on LinkedIn and allows, uh, individuals, perspective customers or clients to find you. Um, let me also say to people, Don't underestimate how important your linked in profile and bio is. So for a lot of small business people who don't have a big online presence and that turns out to be a lot of small business people, when someone googles your name, they're gonna find your linked in page probably first thing of all. And they're gonna that first paragraph that you have written on you tell me if I'm wrong is ah lot of times what people will first see and read about you online. So it has to be great. I think that's exactly right. So having a linked in presence in this day and age is critical for you as an individual. And as any small business person knows, they and their business are completely intertwined. So you need to have that presence have a really incredible robust presidents on your profile, talk about yourself, your expertise, what you do, what your business does. Because that's the starting point for anyone who's going to engage with you on a personal and professional level. So and then what is? Ah, tell me how a company page might differ than a personal page. Sure think so with the personal page, you're presenting yourself, so you as an individual, what air you about what air your areas of expertise and your specialties. And also it is an opportunity to showcase your business and what unique elements your business has to offer, and you build out your individual network from there. Now your company page has really to great additional components. One is, ah, company Page allows you to showcase your business as a whole as an entity, and so you want to make sure it have that, because what we find is ah, such a common use case now is two people will go and they'll meet at some networking event, and then Goto linked in and they'll look each other up. And so they start with that profile. But then the very next step they'll take is they'll click on where it says you work so ABC company and they'll go to that company page toe. Learn more about your business so that that validation that element where you showcase Yes, I'm really I'm here. Here's what my business is all about. It's so critical to opening up opportunities. But beyond that, a company page allows you to build up a follower community and to post updates and engage with that community and then with sponsored updates, are new advertising self serve solution. You can then take those updates, and you can target them to your exact audience that you're trying to reach so it lets you showcase your business. But then it also lets you engage in a really rich dialogue with your existing followers. So your community, as well as the target audience that you are hoping to reach, can you tell me a little bit more about sponsored updates? I had not heard of that before. I think that might be a great tool for people. Sure thing. So what sponsored updates let you do is they let you take those updates? Those company updates that you are already posting. So you're posting thought leadership pieces. You're posting tips and trends and news about your business is well, is your products and services and then it lets you target them with some, in my opinion, incredibly precise targeting facets that we have so that you can reach the exact audience that you're trying to hit. And what makes it so special is unlinked in. Everyone is developing their personal profile and actually self selecting, saying, I work for ABC Industry and there are this many people in my company and I have this title and I have this level of seniority, and so we take all of that really great information, and we allow you to communicate with just those right individuals that you're trying to reach. I'm gonna ask you a question that you're not expecting, but I think it's a softball, but I think it's you'll see why I wanna ask it. So my wife is starting a business right Now she's starting an interior design business. She does not. She's not really social media savvy. She doesn't really love social media. She does not have a Facebook page. Um, and so she was asking me, Well, what what do you think is I have I do a lot of social media, I said, Well, I would, I think, the one the one if you're you should choose one to start with. And I would say the one you should choose is linked in. So my question to you is the softball question is, do you agree? And if you agree, why would that be? I absolutely dio because I believe that she can build out her presence and her company's presence. She can tap into her network. But more important than tapping into your network, it lets you tap in beyond your network, so extending that reach and so she can get a really rich dialogue going with the people that she is trying to bring on his clients and through what I would say, which maybe isn't as well known through these new features we have, which we call rich media. What that really means is she can then on her profile or on her company page, she can post the work that she's been doing. So a portfolio of all of the projects that she's done in the past, so that as people are engaging with her, they can also see her work. They can see the recommendations she's been receiving and because of Lincoln's really powerful brand. There's a lot of, um, there's a lot of strength to that because people are receptive to getting that information they believe and trust the information they're getting on Lincoln. And so you wind up having really valuable conversations that I think are more difficult to have on other sites. I think that's so true. And I think also just intuitively for small business people. We get networking right? We all network we know how to network. We know we're supposed to network. And so other social media platforms, Um, maybe you're is intuitive. But boy, understanding that we need a network and you can you can create a geometric network via LinkedIn is to me a great tool and one that small businesses know to use and know how to use once they really get into it. So I know you did some research on social media recently on how small businesses air using or not using social media. What are the top takeaways from the study? Any surprises at all? Sure, we had a couple of really interesting ah ha moments. So just to kind of rattle this off for a minute, one of them waas um, one that stated that 94% of small business social media users are using social for marketing purposes and what's really great is three and five are saying that it's helping them gain customers, while two and five are saying it's helping them retain customers. And so where that's really important is we all know for small business, the number one challenge the number one top of my concern is how do I get customers? How do I keep them? And so we're hearing from small businesses that are using social that yes, it's working for them. But what we found even more exciting was we've delved further into these hypergrowth small businesses, so hyper growth we defined as those that reported a significant increase in their revenue compared to the prior year. And when we looked at those What we found was those hypergrowth. Small businesses said 90 90% of them said that they felt the social media was effective for increasing brand awareness and 82% for generating new leads. So there was this really fantastic correlation about these companies that are just growing. It's such a rapid pace and how useful they're finding social media in terms of brand awareness and leads. So that's really significant what you said, because one thing I know about social media is it can condemn vow er a lot of time, and, uh, you can get branding out of that. You put time into social media and you're gonna get your brand out there more. But ah, lot of small businesses want to figure out and are trying to figure out how to use it to actually make more money. And so what I love is that what you're telling me is that these hypergrowth companies have figured it out and they're using it to generate leads. And I in fact, wrote an article not well, maybe within the last year, calling using linked in to generate leads. Ironically, ironically enough, now that I think about it, Um because you do have a great search tool on the on the platform and you can search industries and people and job titles, and all of a sudden you can find the right people who might end up being leads for your business. I'm not sure if that's how other people are doing it, but that's one way I've learned how to do it. And if I could add to that for a second, I think that's something that I would really love to share with small businesses out there that maybe isn't quite understood. LinkedIn is such a powerful platform and has so many amazing tools, and they're not all paid solutions. So there's so much you can do on LinkedIn just free. So start with that personal profile and, as you said, leverage our search tool. Our search is our advanced search in particular so incredibly powerful. It really opens up this vast network, and I'm just so proud of what we've built because in my opinion, it's almost democratizing business. It's allowing you to tap into networks and people that you otherwise may not have been able to, but now you can, and so there's so much that you can do by just starting with the free tools and then moving on to, obviously the more advanced solutions when you're ready. And what are some of the tools that you think small businesses, whether they're advanced or or not advanced, paid or not paid, uh, that small businesses can and should be using and thinking about using that they could use thio, generate leads, generate business and build a brand? Sure. Okay, so this is where I go into a monologue. So come on. But you definitely have to start with that personal profile that we've talked about. It's about putting your identity out there, making it as Robustas. It can be building out your network because that network and extended network are really the secret sauce. And then beyond that, it's creating that company page so that your business has a profile on a presence on LinkedIn, as well as posting those updates to really begin that relationship with your customers and prospective customers. Following that, I would really encourage small businesses to tap into all of the rich content that linked and provides, and so going back to the study for a second one of The other things that we found which was so fascinating was 49% of small businesses air using social toe, learn from Pearson experts and thought leaders. And that's where Lincoln is just fantastically poised. We've been working to become the definitive publishing platform, and we've been able to do that through, um, industry experts. So are influencers through channels. So we have a small business channel. We have over two million groups. So taking advantage of that content and engaging in the dialogue around that content really not Onley helps you become an expert in your industry but also allows you to present the expertise that you have. So you're learning as well as sharing your expertise in you become a thought leader in turn and become top of mind for those that you're trying to reach. You have fantastic. And, you know, even what about just posting a pole right there? So, you know, if you wanna get feedback from people if you wanna one of things I love that Lincoln is that it's a great tool for some free or almost free market research. Uh, you know, posting a poll, asking your network what they think about something and finding out what they think is an easy way to get a lot of people, too, share their, ah, their intelligence with you. Absolutely. And what better way? Um, as you go about your business than getting feedback directly from the people that you're trying to connect with. Solana. We're running out of time. But before we go, I do want to ask you, I know that Lincoln is launching a new small business. I could you tell us a little bit more about that? Absolutely. So, as mentioned, we're really passionate and committed thio encouraging the small business segment toe leverage LinkedIn and to help them learn how best to do that. So one of the things that we've done is we've created a small business site that is specifically dedicated to educating those smaller businesses on how they can leverage linked in both from a personal perspective as well as from their business side for hiring, marketing and selling needs. So I would love for all small businesses that are listening to this to go and check out our new site and hopefully learn a lot of really great tips and tricks and get going on Lincoln. Is there a u R L that they should go to? There is, it's small business dot Lincoln dot com small business dot Lincoln dot com Fantastic. Thank you. Mm, A za Always. This show is brought to you by our friends at Grapeland W to 10 99 and tax specialists go to great land dot com for your own small business success. And that is this week's show. Thanks for stopping by and stop by again next week for some or small business success. I'm Steve Strauss. You can always visit me at this self employed dot com.
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