Why yes, that would be my name on the same page as the Wall Street Journal. Thanks so much to Marla Tabaka, a fantastic success coach for women entrepreneurs who writes The Successful Soloist column for inc.com, I got assigned to write How to Launch a LinkedIn Company Page. On Marla's blog, this quick how-to guide has over 380 tweets to date.
In addition to inc.com, wsj.com, firebellymarketing.com and forbes.com, How to Launch a Stellar LinkedIn Page in 30 Minutes also appeared on BusinessInsider.com where it has 92 shares on LinkedIn and 81 tweets. While this guide is written for solopreneurs, many of the basic principles apply to companies and organizations of all sizes. Is your company's page on LinkedIn?
How to Launch a LinkedIn Company Page
Your LinkedIn profile is at 100%. You know how to make connections. You belong to groups. But, if you don’t have a company page on LinkedIn, you’re not taking full advantage of all that LinkedIn can do for you and your business. With over 100 million members, LinkedIn is the top business social networking site. Your LinkedIn company page gets listed in Google’s and LinkedIn’s search engines, allows others to follow your company’s updates, gives you a place to promote services and products and even reports analytics.
Here’s a quick guide to help you get started.
How to Set Up a LinkedIn Company Profile for Successful Solopreneurs
Before we dig in, you must meet one very important requirement: you need to have an email address with your company domain. And, this email address must also be listed on your profile. Addresses tied to free email services like yahoo, gmail and hotmail don’t count.
To add your company, click on “Companies” in the navigation bar near the top of the home page. At the Companies page, click the “Add a Company” link in the upper right. If you’ve never been to LinkedIn’s Companies site before, here’s a quick introduction to how this site works.
Did you know LinkedIn allows people to follow company updates? When you to go the Companies page, updates for all of the companies you follow will be here. This is also a good place to search for new clients and connections. A link to follow each company appears when you mouse over the space in the upper right corner of each search result.
How to Complete Your LinkedIn Company Listing
As a successful solopreneur, you already have everything it takes to set up your company profile in 30 minutes or less. Read through this checklist to save time and make sure you’re ready to complete all the information when you log in. In addition to the company overview page, you’ll see tabs for career, products and services, and analytics. Here’s the information you’ll need to complete your company overview page.
Make sure the company name listing matches the name you use in your profile. For example if you use LLC or Inc. on your personal profile, your company site must be the same.
LinkedIn wants to know who will administer your company profile. You have two choices: either all employees with a valid email address registered to your domain or designated users only.
Logos can be uploaded as a standard logo as well as a square logo that will be used for network updates.
In the company description section, you have the opportunity to describe who you are and what you do. Think big[ger] picture. You may be a successful soloist now, but if you’re planning on growing your business or going after big companies, present your company as an entity.
Include keywords that describe what you do in this section. You have 256 total characters to describe specialties. Two or three word descriptions are okay.
Twitter and Company Blog RSS Feed
Bringing in your twitter updates and blog feed keeps your company page active, relevant and current.
Adding in the news module displays search results that share news about your company. But, be prepared to see stories that don’t relate to your company, except in search terms. If your company is not making news, it’s best to select “don’t show news about my company.”
Company Type, Size, URL
Under company type and company size, you’ll select from the options that describe your status. Your company website URL link can go to your home page or to a services or gallery page.
Industry, Operating Status, Year Founded
Main company industry allows you to choose from any within the LinkedIn categories. Then, you will select company operating status and the year founded, which is an optional entry.
The last step is locations. You can add up to five different location addresses, then click publish and your LinkedIn company profile is active.
If you ever want to add employees, you can post a job on your company’s careers page.
Promoting Your Products and Services on LinkedIn
The next tab, products and services, gives you the opportunity to promote who you are and what you do in the course of 11 steps. Only the product/service option, category, name and description are required.
First, you’ll choose between a product or service. Next, you’ll select a category. Then, you’ll name your product or service, add a logo, write a description, list key features, post a disclaimer, add a URL, list a company contact, add a promotional link and link to a YouTube video.
While you don’t have to complete every step, you can see how much opportunity LinkedIn gives you to promote your business from within a company page. The best part is you don’t have to pay someone to design it or write it, unless you want to.
Monitoring Traffic and Audience Analytics on LinkedIn
The last tab, analytics, is a rich resource and adds insights and value. Here, you can track page views and unique visitors for your overview, careers and products and services pages. You can even compare how your company is doing with similar companies.
Inviting Connections to Follow Your Company on LinkedIn
Now that your page is all set up, you’re ready to invite followers. You can add a follow button to your website or blog. LinkedIn makes it easy with a line of code. If that seems too complicated, you can always add a “follow our company on LinkedIn” call to action with the company page URL to your email address and in other promotional materials.
Congratulations! You and your business are on your way to being found and followed in a network with over 100 million members. How’s that for being a Successful Soloist?
How about you? Do you play LinkedIn the company way?