The New LinkedIn Feature That Has Small Businesses Buzzing

New Linkedin feature

Breaking news: LinkedIn has a new feature that makes it easier than ever to hang out your virtual “Open” sign, allowing potential customers and clients to find you and learn more about your products and services.

Long considered “just” a professional networking platform, LinkedIn doesn’t get the same sort of marketing love that Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and even Snapchat enjoy.

The truth is, small business owners who don’t leverage the site are making a big mistake. Used correctly, LinkedIn is a fantastic tool to add to your arsenal, and the platform’s newest feature just makes it even more valuable for online marketing.

How LinkedIn’s New Feature Works

This new ability allows you to showcase your services directly on your LinkedIn profile, making it easy for people who are searching for your offerings to find you. Although the rollout is currently only offered to members with a Premium Business subscription, it’s expected to be available for everyone beginning this fall.

If you’re one of the lucky few who already have access to the new feature, enabling it is simple. Just visit your profile page. If it’s available to you, you’ll see a dialogue box with more information. From there, click “Add Services,” fill out the form, hit “Continue” and voila — you’re up, running and officially “open for business” on LinkedIn.

Why It’s Awesome

According to LinkedIn, 10 million small businesses just like yours utilize the platform to connect and network with prospects. This means the site is incredibly incentivized to cater to the small business sector and continue to develop ways to help business owners be amazing.

With the new rollout, your offerings are right there for all to see and search for. LinkedIn is effectively making the introductions for you, putting you in touch with the people who are actively seeking your services. If someone in Akron, Ohio, is looking for an accountant, for instance, you’ll appear in their search results (provided you’re in the area and offer accounting services, of course!), and LinkedIn will encourage them to reach out to you.

New Linkedin feature

Photo courtesy of LinkedIn

The connections are made automatically. From there, your only task is to prove that you’re the best small business for the job!

A Few Pointers to Achieve Best Results

While the feature is new, we do have a few best practices to make it work in your favor.

  • Be Specific About Your Services. The more services you (legitimately) offer, the easier it is for the right people to find you. For instance, a marketing firm wouldn’t just want to settle for the umbrella term of “marketing” — they would also want to break down the services they offer individually, such as website development, content writing, design and editing. Don’t be afraid to cast a wide net!
  • Make Sure the Rest of Your Profile Is Up to Date. Once a potential customer clicks on you in the search results, they’ll be directed to your LinkedIn profile, so make sure you’re putting your best foot forward. You only get one chance at a first impression. If you haven’t been doing regular maintenance on your page, you may want to spruce things up a bit before you throw your hat into the ring.
  • Be Ready to Respond Quickly. LinkedIn may make the introductions for you, but that’s only the beginning. When a prospect reaches out to you with questions or requests more information, it’s important that you respond quickly. You are far from the only marketer, accountant, consultant, photographer, software designer, etc., on the site. So if you leave your prospective customers hanging, they’re sure to jump to the next person on the list.

It’s Time to Stop Playing Hide and Seek!

The newest LinkedIn feature helps connect small businesses with the people who are looking for their products and services. But it can’t do that if you don’t showcase what you have to offer. If you already have access to the feature, now is the time to use it. If not, be ready to jump on board as soon as it’s available by signing up for the waiting list (available near the bottom of this LinkedIn blog post). This could be a game changer for small businesses everywhere!

At Mischa Communications, we’re committed to keeping you updated and educated on new trends as they come along. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and (of course!) LinkedIn, and feel free to contact us at any time with all of your small business marketing needs!