One of the best but often most forgotten online marketing social media tools that my contractor clients use is LinkedIn. Why we’re such a fan of this tool, especially when it comes to marketing for contractors, is that it connects like-minded and similar businesses with one another. As a contractor, you know just how important word of mouth marketing is when it comes to getting jobs. Well, LinkedIn is your online marketing “word of mouth” tool where you can hook up with a number of different employers, contractors, and manufacturers to enhance your business.
One thing that I can’t stress enough when you’re signing up for LinkedIn is to fully fill out your profile. As we discuss in our free Ebook “How to Dominate your Competition using LinkedIn”, you will want to include things like:
- Your profile picture: It makes you appear more personable and trustworthy
- Your web address: This should be a no brainer. Always direct people to your website when appropriate.
- Your employment history: Your employment and training history gives people the idea of how much experience and expertise you have in your field.
- Recommendations: If you have a past or current client who’s willing to give you a great review, by all means post it!
You’ll also want to go ahead and do things like upload your logo (if you have one) and add your “mission statement” if appropriate. If you have any subcontractors or employees, encourage them to join LinkedIn too.
Once you have your profile all set up, then it’s time to start connecting with people. How do you do that? One of the easiest ways is through LinkedIn “Groups”. No matter what industry you’re in, you’ll definitely be able to find groups that are similar if not directly related to your niche market.
Groups are a great way for you to both:
- Ask questions, and
- Provide answers
When you do both of these things, you can also sneak in links back to your blog or website, or even do a bit of self promoting – but make sure that when you do that you aren’t being blatantly obvious about it. People join groups to help one another and share an opinion, and not necessarily to sell themselves (though being a participant in a group will help you with your online marketing endeavors).
Once you get started in groups, start taking notes about what certain people like and dislike. Spend some time reading other peoples’ profiles so that you can get an idea of who they are and if they’re someone that you want to do business with. When you respond to these people directly, include mention of their personal hobbies and interests when appropriate (i.e. “Rob, I know you’ll appreciate this since you have a new puppy in your house too! So when my 10 week old puppy decided to chew through our wall, here’s how I fixed the hole…”).
Further Business Tips
When it comes to selling your own services, one of the most powerful tools that you have are your status updates. Be sure to update your status fairly regularly, and share things that are relevant to your industry. Whenever possible, provide a link back to your site or a blog entry that you’ve posted. You want to meet people on LinkedIn, and also encourage them to check out your site for more information (and your site should be loaded with great content like blog entries, pictures of your past work, “vlogs”, your safety standards, etc.).
TIP: Whenever you update your status on LinkedIn, use the “Share” button. This will then share your status update with all of the different groups you’re a member in, and it can even sent out an email to people who aren’t currently on LinkedIn and who may be part of your online marketing email list.
As a contractor, you should also be using LinkedIn as a way to seek out clients who you want to do business with. For example, you can use LinkedIn to hunt down a manufacturer that you may want to strike some sort of a deal with. Or you can use LinkedIn to find an employer who you know frequently needs someone to do power washing, or who needs the use of a bobcat, or whatever industry that you may be in.
LinkedIn is your best asset when it comes to connecting with other employers, contractors and clients on the web. Make sure that you fill out your profile, join groups, and participate regularly so that your name becomes recognized amongst those in your industry, and so that you can start to network with people who can provide potential jobs in the future.
If you’re a contractor interested in maximizing your LinkedIn presence, contact us today to schedule your free marketing analysis.