Why Your Business Isn't Getting Leads From LinkedIn

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on March 4, 2011

I am amazed at how many small businesses do not take full advantage of social media, which—as the Internet did two decades ago—allows any business to compete with larger, more established entities. What further amazes me is how few small businesses maximize their presence on LinkedIn and instead just follow the trend at Facebook and Twitter. Why would a niche business-to-business (B2B) company establish a Facebook fan page when their potential customers may not be social on Facebook but are already used to networking on LinkedIn? I’m confused.

If you’re not getting inbound leads from your presence on LinkedIn, here are a few potential reasons:

1. You’re not on LinkedIn. How can you, as a small business owner, not be on the biggest social networking site for professionals? Even if you are a business-to-consumer (B2C) company, don’t you have partner and vendor relationships with other companies? Don’t you want to be creating alliances with other businesses? Every B2C company also has a B2B side to it, so there is no excuse for not being on LinkedIn. You are simply missing out on the potential.

2. You’re missing a head shot. If you don’t have a photo on your profile, you are invisible. Who wants to do business with the Invisible Man? Not me. And not many of your potential customers.

3. You’ve posted the wrong location. Let me give an example: I live in Orange County, Calif. I look for service providers close to my zip code. I only contact those that display "Orange County, Calif." on their profiles. Let’s say you live in Los Angeles County but actually have your office in Orange County. Which zip code are you using for your LinkedIn profile? If you are not using your business zip code, you are misrepresenting yourself and missing out on potential business. Fix it. Now.

4. You’re lacking recommendations. You’ve been in business for several years. You have happy clients that you refer potential customers to. Yet you don’t have any LinkedIn recommendations? You do have clients who would be happy to write them for you, right? I hope so. By the way, unless you have three recommendations your profile does not show up as being "100 percent complete," so this is another reason why every business owner should have at least three.

5. Your company doesn’t have a website. When I was looking for a service provider, I was shocked by how many did not include a link to their company website on LinkedIn. Why make your potential customers dig for information about your company? I wouldn’t waste the time doing so … and neither would other potential clients.

Neal Schaffer
President
Windmills Marketing
Newport Beach, Calif.

Reader Comments

jack

March 4, 2011 11:20 AM

No professional businessman has the time nor inclination to futz with any of these juvenile 'social networks' - they are for juveniles and pedophiles

Cliffton Mandola

March 4, 2011 1:11 PM

Ok, these are pretty basic. Your profile will not even display that it is 100% complete with out some of these. Take us a little deeper with some more tips beyond complete your profile, participate in conversation threads, or link to content you have created.

What's your advice on posting links, other than to content you or your company has created within the Status area?

- Cliffton

Marc LeVine

March 4, 2011 1:56 PM

Good post and I could add a few items to it.

6. You haven't joined and participated in any LinkedIn Groups.

7. You haven't engaged anyone on LinkedIn and established a relationship.

8. When the time has been right you haven't asked for business or referrals.

These are three items that I think are worthwhile considering.

Marc LeVine
ICA Social Media
www.icanewfriend.com
Follow on Twitter @icanewfriend

Keith Gormezano, Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor in Seattle

March 4, 2011 8:53 PM

Another thing that business owners should do is fill out the summary section about what they do or can do for others.

People have problems. They want to solve them. If you tell me how you have solved someone else's issues, I might decide to hire you.

And of course, fill out the rest of your profile. I got a job once because I mentioned that I was a graduate of the University of Iowa.

Chris Herbert

March 5, 2011 6:51 AM

This is great advice because it is common sense, simple and actionable. I see the same happening with larger companies as well. It may be that they think Linkedin is an online resume and job seeking site.

Professional networking is not new, in fact, today since many of us are in front of computer screens more then in front of people using Linkedin to create professional connections and build relationships is a necessity.

Chris Herbert,
Founder and CMO, Mi6

IP PBX phone systems, network services

March 5, 2011 4:38 PM

LinkedIn and social media in general is still very new for many business owners. Many don’t have the time to try and figure it out. And only some are willing to consider exploring it with the help of an expert. It’s information like this article that hopefully is helping shed some light on the importance of LinkedIn and social media as part of a marketing strategy.

Thanks,
Miguel Ribeiro
www.vertigoal.com

Doreen Pendgracs

March 6, 2011 12:20 PM

I agree. Linked In is a great business tool, as well as an excellent platform for members of non-profits to share insights and ideas.

I also agree that geographical connections make online relationships stronger and more meaningful. The 2 LI groups I enjoy most are the ones for my province (I am in Manitoba, Canada) and the one for my Toastmasters District (Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario.)

Brecht

March 7, 2011 11:14 AM

LinkedIn is definitely underutilized by most. I wanted to speak to paid ads for just a moment and efficacy. I recently ran a campaign on LinkedIn and a concurrent one on FB, each highly targeted insofar as each platform allows. I kept each within a small budget but one that makes sense for the pricepoint for my service. The FB traffic was instant and I reached my quota in about a day. LinkedIn took 3 days to hit the same. The big difference? 35% of linkedin traffic converted to a demo while less than 1% converted from FB. LinkedIn can be HUGE if used properly.

Kevin Maxwell

March 8, 2011 4:59 AM

Excellent points Neal - I'm amazed at how many professionals are still not using LinkedIn - not only for their own network of business contacts but for their company's as well. One other area that I find useful is the Groups - joining relevant groups opens you up to meet and exchange information with a much larger circle of influencers. Just don't be one of those people who spam the discussions pages with blatant plugs for your business. Save that for somewhere else. Tell me something I need to know and then let me decide if I want to do business with you - that's what networking is all about - isn't it?!

Post a comment

 

About

Want to improve the way you run your business? Entrepreneurs, academics, and consultants from diverse industries offer practical advice on a variety of topics each business day.

To submit a tip for consideration, first check our archive of previous tips to make sure you're not repeating a tip someone has already contributed. Then send the tip to Small Business channel contributor Michelle Dammon Loyalka. Because of the volume of material she receives, she may not respond to each individual.

BW Mall - Sponsored Links

Buy a link now!