Networking is an essential part of growing your small business audience and earning new clients. With nearly 31.2 million UK users, LinkedIn is a leading professional social media platform and a great place to network effectively. But if you’re wondering how to network on LinkedIn, we can help. 

This guide will cover how to network on LinkedIn for your small business, including: 

  • Developing a LinkedIn profile and page
  • Understanding your target audience
  • Forming strong connections 

You can also learn how to find freelance clients on LinkedIn here.

Developing a LinkedIn business profile and page

LinkedIn profile

To network on LinkedIn, you’ll first need to create and build a profile. Your profile will represent you as a professional. 

Be sure to include: 

  • Your name 
  • A professional photo of yourself 
  • Your business name and professional title
  • Relevant work experience
  • Education
  • Achievements and awards  

Then, list your business and services in your headline and title. 

For example:  John Smith

Experienced Graphic designer, owner of Smith Designs

These credentials will help you appear skilled and professional. Plus, you can expand upon your role and business services and products in the ‘About’ section. This summarises your profile in one paragraph, and it’s essential to selling yourself and growing credibility. 

You can also add links to your website, other social media pages, and your Linkedin business page (learn more below!). The more information you include on your LinkedIn profile, the more people can get to know you. 

With your LinkedIn profile, you can:

  • Get to know other users on a personal and professional level
  • Join relevant professional groups
  • Start conversations to network yourself 
  • Share your business adventures, other professional experiences. 

Also, include information about your career from before your small business to grow your story. Overall, forming connections with your profile can help you beyond marketing your business. 

LinkedIn business page

Aside from your Linkedin profile, you can create a business page. This page represents your business rather than you as a professional. It will specifically focus on your business’s services and purpose. 

In other words, your LinkedIn page creates a home for your business on the platform. By adding your business logo, you can brand the page.

This page can outline:

  • Where your business is.
  • Who it helps and what it does (including services and products.)
  • Specific updates and deals. 
  • Where to find it. 
  • It’s operating hours. 

Your LinkedIn business page earns followers rather than connections, so using both can help you promote and network your business. 

Building a following will help you market your business and grow engagement. Posting on this page will directly impact and support your small business. Meanwhile, your profile is a great place to network yourself as a business owner and direct people to your business’s LinkedIn page. 

Understanding your target audience

Once you create a detailed and professional profile, knowing how to network on LinkedIn requires a strong understanding of your target audience. Your small business’s target audience is the group of people that would most benefit from your products or services. 

To form a clear understanding of who your target audience is, perform market research. 

Research will help you understand:

  • The current demand for your services. 
  • Who needs these services. 
  • Market news and trends (which you can post about!).

Then, you can research these groups on LinkedIn to understand their behaviour. 

With this knowledge, you’ll know who to reach out to and network with. For example, if you offer social media management services, reach out to small businesses that could use your expertise. 

Forming strong networking connections

With your target audience in mind, you can begin to build connections. We’ll cover a few key elements of how to network on LinkedIn successfully. 

Connecting with people 

The first step to growing your network on LinkedIn is by connecting with other profiles. Consider your target audience and how each contact will be useful to your business. 

For example, if you work as a contractor, you may want to connect with potential vendors or suppliers, other contractors, and potential clients. 

To request a connection, simply click on a profile then click ‘connect.’ With each request you send, add a personal message with a line or two about who you are and why you want to connect. By showing your intentions, you’ll appear more professional and personable. 

LinkedIn will suggest potential connections for you based on your profile, but look into each suggestion to ensure they are good choices. 

Connecting with just anyone could lead to scams or relationships that misrepresent your company. When building your network, be sure to look at each profile to ensure that relationship could be beneficial. 

Interact with your connections

Once you form these connections, that’s just the beginning. Make an effort to interact with your network to build valuable relationships. 

Take time to consider: 

  • What is it they could help you with? 
  • What could you help them with? 

Try messaging a few people a week with a particular goal or purpose to strengthen your business.  

For example, you may reach someone more experienced in your field and ask them questions about how they got there and what advice they might have to offer. Or you may seek a business with a complimentary market to pursue a collaboration. 

Joining groups 

Joining LinkedIn groups is another way to network. Search for groups that are relevant to your business and industry. By joining these groups, you can build relationships within the industry and learn about trends and news. Groups also allow you to find networking events. 

Posting content 

Aside from connecting with users and joining relevant groups, try posting content to your LinkedIn profile regularly. 

To your LinkedIn profile, you might post: 

  • Tips and insights
  • Personal stories 
  • Professional experiences 
  • Networking events you attend

To your Linkedin profile, you might post: 

  • Business updates 
  • Deals and competitions 
  • Events your holding and attending 

Engaging with your growing audience will help you form stronger connections. 

When posting content, try to make it as interactive as possible by asking questions or encouraging feedback. This will invite your connections to comment on your posts and provide input. As a result, you can make the most of your networking.

Discover how Countingup can simplify your business finances

As you grow your business through LinkedIn networking, you’ll have to stay on top of your finances. 

Countingup is the business current account and accounting software in one app. It automates time-consuming bookkeeping admin for thousands of self-employed people across the UK. 

Save yourself hours of accounting admin so you can focus on growing your business. 

Start your three-month free trial today. 

Find out more here.