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    Why Entrepreneurs Need A Linkedin Premium Profile to Succeed

    Have you thought about joining LinkedIn Premium? While the basic LinkedIn account has many beneficial features like community access, profile search, and insights of who’s viewing your profile, and of course the ability to build a network. The basic is perfect for those just looking to build their network and connect with colleagues , but LinkedIn offers so much more. Depending on your needs LinkedIn can be a valuable tool for job search, recruiting and building a personal brand. But what about for entrepreneurs? Can an entrepreneur get significant value from LinkedIn a and if so , then how?

    As an entrepreneur I can tell you that you can get a lot of value out of LinkedIn if you select the right package. The right package can help you explore potential investors and advisors, track down potential partnerships and even help you make all important first hires. So whats the right package if you’re an entrepreneur? LinkedIn Premium.

    LinkedIn Premium: What’s Included

    One of the great things about LinkedIn Premium is that there are a lot of different tiers available to help you fine tune exactly what you need to do.  I’ll provide a full list at the bottom of the post so you can see the various pricing and whats included but lets focus on the right package for the entrepreneur looking to get ahead quickly.

    In my opinion the most valuable package for a startup to invest in is the Sales Navigator Professional package. This package in conjunction with other available tools like Crunchbase, Angle list and Gust can help an entrepreneur find and connect with the right people for their startup whether it be potential investors, board members, competitors and partnerships.

    Here’s what’s included in the Sales Navigator

    Sales Navigator Professional

    The ‘Sales Navigator Professional’ plan is intended for sales.

    • Price: $64.99/mo
    • 20 In Mail credits
    • Who’s viewed up to 90 days
    • Lead insights & custom lists
    • Unlimited browsing (up to 3rd degree)
    • Saved leads

    While it was originally supposed to be used to find B2B leads for businesses, I find that with the right tweaks you can make it work as fantastic tool to find, connect and engage with people that can make your startup grow. The Sales Navigator Professional plan provides tools & resources to discover and mature leads. The plan includes flexibility for building business connections. This becomes the leverage you need to reach business maturity.

    LinkedIn Premium for Entrepreneurs: The Inherent Benefits

    LinkedIn has more than 546 million users . This tantalizing stat would excite any entrepreneur with thoughts of growth. Though, Linkedin Premium is simply a better experience… it creates better opportunities too. So why is LinkedIn Premium a better choice for entrepreneurs?  Here’s why:

    1. Better Contact Options

    With InMail credits, you can directly contact prospects even if they’re not in your connections. This could create opportunities to:

    • Find investors
    • Request feedback
    • Get partnerships
    • Find advisors
    • Discover competitors

    Being able to make direct contact with people you find via Crunchbase or Angel list is incredibly valuable but even more importantly is finding out to whom they are connected to see if you have the opportunity for a warm introduction. While a direct approach can sometimes work. The truth is serious investors will be more interested in a warm introduction from someone they know rather than a cold reach out. By seeing who they are connected to you can find out if you have a joint connection willing to introduce you and if not you have a target group of people to try and connect with. I know that this sounds a little Machiavellian but your network is the key to your success  and you need to cultivate your network. Remember it does take time to build your network and ern their trust so its better to get started sooner than later.

    2. Stronger Outreach

    If you do decide to use the premium service as a sales tool directly, there are certain benefits here as well. While mostly focused on B2B sales you could use the product to find individuals that would be uniquely interested in any product that you might be selling. However, for simplicity sake we can focus on the fact that premium helps B2B companies identify the right person to connect with to introduce their product or services.  the fact that you have a premium service also make the connection a bit more trusted rather than the Free version . hence, you can use the extension of “Who’s Viewed Your Profile” to 90 days to improve your outreach efforts. After all if they are looking for you or your service then they a re a ripe prospect already.

    A premium plan also lists “top 100 most viewed’ among your connections. You could use reverse engineering to monitor competition. Then, swoop in to outbid them on a project or partnership

    3. Robust Search

    Of course the real value is in the robust search function that lets you hone in on the people or roles you are most interested in connecting with. the premium search function goes way beyond the free search and lets you dig down to find exactly what you need. This can be invaluable for an entrepreneur if nothing else because it saves time trying to find the right people. Once you’ve done your prospecting on other platforms its time to dig down and strategize on the best way to connect with the right people for your startup. While we already talked about the inefficiency for cold outreach you can still find the people that you need and then determine the best way to approach them. As an entrepreneur, your task is hard and most people will understand that its your job to make connections that can benefit the company. Just realize that you are offering something in return. you’re not taking anything from them but simply offering an opportunity to learn more about you and your company so that they can make an informed decision. After all, if thinks work out they could be investing in the next unicorn or joining the board of a up and coming startup.

    How could you use this for a startup? You could filter results for:

    • Roles – Great for getting through to decision makers
    • Size – Discover real competitors and potential partnerships
    • Experience – Tap into their knowledge or bring them on board
    • A saved search feature
    • A weekly report of profiles defined by your search criteria

    These 3 features of LinkedIn Premium make it all worthwhile to the savvy entrepreneur looking to build their network and their own personal brand.

    Quick Tips & Tricks: Getting the Most from LinkedIn Premium

    Making the switch from free to a premium takes little more than financial info. You’ll gain access to tutorials helping with your on-boarding. Remember that it takes time and experimentation to get the most out of it. Here are some tip s to get you jump started.

    1. Use tools

    LinkedIn Premium has a strong set of built-in tools, but  there are 3rd party tools that can help you get even more. with your LinkedIn premium access these 3rd party tools can drill down and find the very information that you need.Please be aware that LinkedIn, which is owned by Microsoft, has been trying to squash some of these tools because of the way they access the platform. so use at your own risk. Overall we’ve found them to be very helpful when used properly especially Linked Helper ( EDITORS NOTE: Linked Helper is NOT sponsoring this post)

    Our Popular tools include:

    • LeadFuze – A CRM-like service for collecting and managing leads
    • Discoverly – Find LinkedIn connections other social profiles
    • Crystal – Generate personality reports of your leads & connections
    • LinkedHelper-  a tool to automate building your network (linkedhelper.com)

    2. Content first

    LinkedIn is a social platform but its value shines with content. One of the goal’s of content marketing is developing authority. With authority comes influence, later leading to a slick sales funnel.

    Make LinkedIn work for you by using it to publish your great content. Google no longer penalizes you  for duplicate content. Hence every relevant article you create should be broadcast on every platform, including LinkedIn. Heck, you can even post a video of you literally reading your own blog post , white papers etc for even more juice.

    1. Tell interesting stories about your business and its industry
    2. Highlight your best customers and share their experiences
    3. Provide helpful tutorials and insight about what you offer
    4. Do interviews with influencers or share a case/user study

    Content generates almost 3x the leads as traditional marketing. Leverage your expertise by creating regular posts for your connections. This gets you in front of them, and shows up in search results which generates authority for your personal brand and even more links for your network

    3. Be authentic

    Initially, LinkedIn’s success created a flood of spam, scams, and inappropriate behavior. One of the most important aspects to all of this is for you and your company to have a full and complete LinkedIn profile. These days your online profile IS your first impression you make on most people as opposed to meeting in person. Nothing builds authority and generates trust than a complete profile than people can see and read. As an entrepreneur, you are going to want exposure not only to vital contacts but o the public at large. Scary fact, people judge you on your online profile photos. They ask themselves, do you look “put together” professional, smart, articulate etc etc. It’s just something that everyone is built intrinsically to do ( …you know you do it too) so you want to make the right first impression with a well crafted online profile photo that gets peoples attention and sends the right message. Think of this when you’re finishing your LinkedIn profile and for God’s sake never use a selfie if you’re going to be a serious entrepreneur.

    You want to be authentic and make a good first impression by:

    • Grow your business organically by building real connections
    • Filter and send messages to qualified candidates vs mass mailings
    • Spruce up your profile to reflect changes and success

    The goal, whether it’s creating sales or landing gigs, or helping to create your personal brand; is best done through personalized contacts. This requires extra time when crafting your message. But, you’ll greatly increase your response rate. Also… avoid gossip and conflict.

    What you say and share is public. This can affect your online presence positively or negatively. Stay positive and you’ll attract positive connections and you’ll make the right first impressions.

    Struggling to Grow with LinkedIn? Let Us Help!

    Like it or not, your profile has a huge impact on your networking and your business potential.

    With that in mind… What’s first noticed when browsing LinkedIn profiles? The profile photo, of course!

    Your entrepreneurial journey is like dating. Your first impression matters most and the best way to make the right first impression is with a well crafted profile.  An unattractive profile screams unprofessional. Ask, yourself, “Is this a LinkedIn Profile that sends the right message and I can be proud of?” when comparing your profile to the competition. If it’s not what you want then let us help . we can create the perfect package for you that will help you make the right first impression. Go now, and find a photographer near you!

    As promised, here are the LinkedIn Premium packages available to you.

    LinkedIn Premium Packages

    Career

    The ‘Career’ plan improves job seeking features.

    • Price: $29.99/mo
    • 3 InMail credits
    • Who’s viewed up to 90 days
    • Salary insights

    Business

    The ‘Business’ plan improves job seeking features with extra insights.

    • Price: $47.99/mo
    • 15 InMail credits
    • Who’s viewed up to 90 days
    • Company insights
    • Unlimited browsing (up to 3rd degree)

    Recruiter Lite

    • $99.95/mo
    • 30 InMail credits
    • Who’s viewed up to 90 days
    • Advanced search filters
    • Integrated platform for hiring
    • Unlimited browsing (up to 3rd degree)
    • Candidate tracking
Claire Bahn

Author

Claire Bahn is the CEO and Co-Founder of Online Profile Pros (OPP). She founded OPP to help individuals build, maintain and protect their personal brand to help them get the jobs, promotions and dates they desire. She has 15 years experience in branding, public relations and event marketing at start-ups as well as large Fortune 500 companies like Rueters and SAP. Claire has been featured in Forbes, Entrepreneur magazines among others. Online Profile Pros helps executives, entrepreneurs & influencers strategize and create their best personal brand.

https://onlineprofilepros.com/

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