Marketing Your Firm Using LinkedIn

September 1, 2012

Most subcontractors are doing next to nothing with
. This leaves a
big opportunity for those who see the potential and are already acting on it.
The fact is, for subcontractors in particular, LinkedIn offers a tremendous
opportunity to stand out.

Demonstrating your company’s qualifications and
professionalism, highlighting your team, establishing yourself as the authority
and expert in your space, and gaining a direct line of communication with the
contractors you want to do business with can all be achieved within LinkedIn
and can have a big impact on sales. There are a number of ways to position your
firm as the authority for your trade and generate leads within LinkedIn.

Starting and
Contributing to Groups

you can stay in front of your prospects on a regular basis, you’ll be the one
they think of first when they are ready to make their buying decisions. The
method with the greatest impact for staying in front of prospective customers
is to start and facilitate a LinkedIn group that targets and attracts your
ideal clients. As members of your group, these prospects will receive group
communications on a regular basis, all of which have your company name on it,
including group announcements, the daily digest of activity delivered to their
inbox, and “manager’s choice” features, to name a few. After seeing your
company name every day over a number of months and associating your firm with a
valuable LinkedIn community, group members will look to your company as a true
expert and authority. If you are serious about generating leads within
LinkedIn, invest in growing your own group.

LinkedIn also provides the opportunity
to contribute to other groups and reach prospects who participate in those
groups. You’ll find geographically focused groups, trade-based groups, general
contracting groups, and more. Find and join the groups that matter most to your
business; that is, groups that contain the most relevant prospects as members.
Then, engage with group members and comment on discussions in which you can add
value. Sharing content such as news stories and how-to articles is also a
positive move, because it helps establish your firm as a group member that’s in
the group for the “right” reasons.

Content Development
and Distribution

content you develop and post should be valuable to your prospects. “Value” for
your prospects can be anything that may help them improve their businesses.
This content may take the form of a tangible insight into your trade or
business practices. Articles about how great your company is, or news releases
about new projects, are generally not going to get you the kind of attention
that will catapult you to expert status in the eyes of your prospects. Rather,
what helps achieve expert status are articles, reports, webinars, case studies,
and videos that give tangible knowledge about your business that can help group
members improve their businesses. Remember, clients are interested in
developing a strong supply chain.

LinkedIn offers a variety of ways to consistently keep your
message in front of your top prospects and clients. Within groups, you can post
your content as discussions. These discussions are also delivered to group
members’ inboxes via the daily digest e-mail. If it is truly resourceful and
not overly promotional, your content will stand out and be seen by influencers
in your market.

Encourage employees to create personal LinkedIn accounts and
include your company name as their current employer. LinkedIn users who visit
your company profile page will be able to view each of your employees’
profiles, along with their skills and expertise, further highlighting your
company’s qualifications. The more employees you have on LinkedIn, the more
exposure your business will have to prospective customers.

Employees should post their own content, as well as the
content your company shares, using the “Share an Update” field on their
LinkedIn pages. This field allows them to “Attach a Link” and cross-post the
update to their Twitter accounts by selecting the box next to the Twitter icon.
Employees should also post content in your company group and in other industry
groups. Sharing your company’s content and creating their own content positions
your people as experts with the clients they serve and the potential clients
they are connected to.


content via groups and status updates will yield many positive results but will
not guarantee that 100% of your prospects will see it. Messaging campaigns are
another powerful way to keep your message in front of prospects and clients,
providing them with tangible resources to help their business.

Identify a subset of your prospects that you consider to be
high-value targets for business development. Directly message these contacts
with a quick note and link to your new content. Send these kinds of messages
only every month or two. You don’t want to come off as too pushy. Your
prospects will be glad that you passed these messages to them, provided that
your content is truly resourceful and helpful to their businesses. Executing
this strategy consistently will position your firm as a true expert and open
the door to new business opportunities with prospects.

Building New

a quarter, re-evaluate your LinkedIn connections to be sure that your content
is reaching the right prospects. Consider whether you are active in the right
groups and connected to the right people.

You’ll increase the marketing value of LinkedIn if you
consistently connect with new prospects. By providing your new connections with
the same valuable resources that have already established your firm as the
expert with your original connections, you’ll find that LinkedIn can truly be a
powerful, personal marketing system. Using LinkedIn can be an effective way to
make your firm’s expertise and qualifications known to potential clients in
your area.

If you want to learn
how to use social media, including LinkedIn, to expand your online professional
network, the American Subcontractors Association (ASA) on-demand video
Expanding Your Professional Network ? and Your Profits ? in the Digital Age can

This 90-minute on-demand video explains why social media
tools like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter are a valuable investment and how
your company can expand its online professional network to include prospective
customers and industry leaders.

Your Professional Network ? and Your Profits ? in the Digital Age is $80 for
NIA members and $95 for nonmembers. Your purchase includes a hyperlink to view
the on-demand video whenever, and as many times as, you’d like. Order the video through the NIA bookstore at
or by contacting NIA at 703-464-6422 or