Should start-ups opt for a LinkedIn profile or a company page?

Does it make more sense to stick to a LinkedIn profile or create a company page for your start-up?

With more than 645 million members in 200+ countries and territories, LinkedIn is by far the world’s largest social media platform for professionals across the globe. So, if your organization’s goal is to reach out to high-potential employees or to showcase your brand and reach out to potential clients, LinkedIn is the place to be. Especially, if you’re looking for B2B opportunities, LinkedIn is probably the best bet around.

The type of engagement and results you can get through connecting and engaging with other like-minded professionals through your personal LinkedIn profile will be quite different from the engagement you can get through a company page. I’ve covered the various advantages of creating a company page in a separate blog post. Do check it out. But first, let’s get done with whether it makes more sense to make do with a LinkedIn profile or to create a company page, especially for start-ups.

A lot of start-ups/small-sized organizations create a LinkedIn profile instead of a company page to represent their brand on LinkedIn. It must be remembered that LinkedIn profiles are for individual members, and company pages are for organizations, institutions, or brands. In fact, it is against LinkedIn’s terms and conditions to create a LinkedIn profile to represent a company or an institution. In other words, a LinkedIn profile should always represent a person and NOT a company or institution. But do also note that you can create a company page only if you have a personal LinkedIn profile.

Start off with networking using a personal profile

If you’re just starting off on LinkedIn, it is always advisable to create a personal profile and begin networking with like-minded professionals or your target audience. An easy way to begin is to connect with your family, friends, colleagues, and classmates. Always remember to include an introductory note if you’re sending a connection request to someone who might not know you. That said, building your network of connections on LinkedIn is much easier than creating a base of followers for your company page on LinkedIn.

Once you have a good number of connections and understand LinkedIn well, you can explore creating a company page, especially if you’re looking to do paid promotions to enhance the reach of your brand on LinkedIn.

Creating a company page on LinkedIn

So, how do you create a company page on LinkedIn? It’s simple! Click on the “Work” icon on the top right corner of your LinkedIn homepage and then click on “Create a company page” to create your company page. More guidelines on creating a company page on LinkedIn can be found here on LinkedIn’s Help Center.

Do read this blog post to understand the benefits of creating a company page on LinkedIn that cannot be availed using a personal profile.

How to improve your Social Selling Index on LinkedIn – Part 1

In a previous post, I’d written about what social selling entails and how to find out your social selling score (SSI) on LinkedIn. In this series of posts, we’ll explain how you can improve your SSI score based on parameters defined by LinkedIn.

LinkedIn’s SSI score is calculated on the basis of four parameters, namely, establishing your professional brand, finding the right people, engaging with insights, and building relationships. It is important that you focus on improving each of these parameters to improve your SSI score. We’ll elaborate on “establishing your professional brand” in this post.

Professional brand

What can you do to establish your professional brand on LinkedIn? Read on for details.

  • Complete your profile: First and foremost, ensure that you complete your profile with the customer in mind. Remember to emphasize instances that illustrate how you’ve provided value to a client. Take care to complete every detail on your LinkedIn profile, including your profile picture, headline, summary, and experience. Pay special attention to your headline because that is what makes your profile stand apart from millions of others in your domain. To understand the importance of your profile headline, just search for people using any keyword on LinkedIn, and notice how you’ll tend to click on profiles that have self-explanatory headlines.
  • Add rich content to your summary: This aspect is one of the most underutilized items among LinkedIn’s profile page functionalities. Add content that can make you stand out as a thought leader. You can add an image, video, or a presentation to showcase examples of your work or your company’s specialties. You can also upload a deck outlining your company’s products and services on Slideshare and host it on your LinkedIn summary. 
  • Post and interact with content: Always keep in mind that the basic foundation of a strong content marketing strategy is nothing other than relevant and useful content. The key is to post relevant updates on a regular basis so that you’re perceived as a thought leader in your domain. Make it a point to spend some time to curate high-quality content that can be helpful for your target audience, and then, post updates summarizing that content and explaining the importance of why should someone read what you’ve posted. Merely sharing links might not get the kind of engagement you’re looking for. If you post high-quality and relevant content, the likelihood of your content being shared and liked increases several notches. 

Power Tip: Like I’ve mentioned in a separate post, LinkedIn’s algorithm tends to promote content with links to content on LinkedIn rather than that with links to content off LinkedIn. That apart, write long form articles on LinkedIn to share your personal experiences and industry insights. This can go a long way in establishing your brand value as a thought leader. The bottom-line here is that if you do things that please LinkedIn’s algorithm, you’ll see your score zoom up! 🙂

  • List skills & get endorsements: The “Skills” feature of LinkedIn is among the lesser used features, especially by industry leaders who don’t have time for these nitty-gritties. I’m not a great fan of this feature, but like I mentioned in the paragraph above, LinkedIn likes it if you engage with their platform the way they want you to!

    So, if you’re really serious about networking on LinkedIn, make it a point to add relevant skills to your profile. You can do this by clicking on “Add a new skill” in the “Skills & Endorsements” section. Once you add skills, your connections will view requests to endorse your skills from time to time. Make it a point to endorse the skills of your colleagues, friends, and acquaintances to expect favors in return. Now, this is a separate argument altogether as to how reliable these endorsements are. This situation has arisen from random endorsements by random people who haven’t even worked with you once. LinkedIn doesn’t seem to have figured out a way yet to address these concerns. That said, skills and endorsements remain a factor that can influence the aspect of “establishing your professional brand” on LinkedIn.

Now, all these pointers just constitute one of the factors, i.e., establishing your professional brand, that can influence your SSI score on LinkedIn. Keep watching this space for more details on how you can ace social selling on LinkedIn.

Also, don’t forget to share your thoughts through the comments section below.

Looking for inspiration to start your own blog?

Feeling stuck with launching with your own blog? Looking for inspiration to showcase your talent to the world? Following some notable blogs can serve as a great inspiration. You also get to know some very useful tips and tricks to get off the block in great fashion.

What's stopping you

Seth Godin’s Blog: This is a personal favorite. Although the blog is largely focused on marketing and allied areas, Seth ensures that you don’t regret subscribing to his blog. He has a very refined approach and can more than help you build the vision for your product or service. You get to read one fresh blog post each day of the year, yet the quality of posts is simply amazing and gives marketeers and entrepreneurs a lot of food for thought.

Guy Kawasaki: If you have a vision but are still short of ideas on how to go about things, Guy is your go-to guy! He is a great social media influencer and thought leader. Once you subscribe to his blog, you just get hooked on to it. Just select any topic from about 20 topics under the “Categories” drop-down to read his blog posts on that topic. Just the sheer variety in his content will get you thinking about a whole new world of ideas. Also, not to forget – you can get some really practical and powerful social media tips from Guy.

Copyblogger: Now, to get down to something more hardcore and execution focused, Copyblogger fills in that space perfectly! Content marketing is the buzz word on the Internet in this day and age. If you’re looking for some rocking advice on content marketing, Copyblogger is the place to go. They also have a content marketing certification apart from the free content marketing training that they offer. As you will discover on the free course page, it’s not the usual dismal freebie to attract you to a more complete paid offering. You’ll simply appreciate what all you get just for registering with them. They have you covered on everything right from how to craft effective headlines to how to keep your audience engaged.

HubSpot’s Blog Ideas Generator: So, you have a vision, have been inspired, have learned a lot about the art and craft of blogging, and now just need to get going with your content. Also, occasionally, even the best of writers encounter what is popularly known as “the writer’s block.” This is when despite having the best talent, you just don’t seem to know where to start. Whatever be the case, HubSpot’s Blog Ideas Generator will help you craft your first headline and just get you going! You just enter five nouns and you get a week’s supply of blog ideas instantly for free!

Do you have any other excuse to stop you from getting started? Go full-speed ahead right now! Remember to share your views, ideas or suggestions using the comments box below.