WOMbeat! – Tapping Into the Power of LinkedIn for Small Business

Are you one of those business owners who continue to resist “the pressure” from well-meaning friends and peers to join LinkedIn? Maybe you actually signed up once, but are you having a hard time find any value in it? If this sounds like you, you are not alone…but you may be missing out on a very powerful tool. WOMbeat! owes much of its early growth to LinkedIn , so let me share a few of the pearls I found in Linkedin.

Never need to lookup a phone number again
LinkedIn is much more than a website where people can post their resume or contact list online like a public ‘name dropping’ service. Instead, think of LinkedIn as a way of building permanent connection points between you and your professional contacts of all levels and types. By establishing these connections on LinkedIn, you will never need to “lookup” someone’s email address again…ever. You could change jobs, moved cross-country, and those connection points with your contacts remain intact.

Even better perhaps, by posting enough information in your profile (such as former employers, college degrees earned, etc.), former colleagues and classmates can find you on LinkedIn.

Find Gold In Your Contacts List
As you build your network on LinkedIn, you should begin to realize the real potential of your professional contacts lies within “their” network. According to various studies, the vast majority of LinkedIn users have at least 23 connections. Doing the math, if you just have 23 contacts, and each of your contacts have just 23 contacts, then by definition you are indirectly connected to 529 contacts (potential customers, business partners, etc.). For my personal LinkedIn profile, I have 373 connections who average 177 connections each. In other words, I am indirectly connected with over 66,000 other LinkedIn users. Talk about GOLD!

Using this logic, you can see that the bigger your personal list of connections, the bigger your potential overall audience that you can tap into. In other words, if you want to grow your business, there is no downside to constantly expanding your personal list of connections on LinkedIn by sending or accepting invites with your professional network…especially when the website allows you to do this for FREE. On the other hand, there is a downside to limiting your list of personal connections on LinkedIn to just close friends and colleagues.

Connect With the Influential with Potential
According to Social Media Statistics, LinkedIn just might have the users you want to be connected to!

  • The majority (66%) of LinkedIn users are decision makers or have influence in the purchase decisions at their companies (decision makers also tend to be more active on LinkedIn)
  • Users tend to be more senior (56% are “individual contributors”, 16% are management level, and 28% are director/VP level or above)
  • And perhaps most interestingly, the greater the number of connections the greater the likelihood of higher personal income - those with personal incomes between $200K-$350K were seven times more likely than others to have over 150 connections!

So whether you are a CPA, an attorney, an IT manager, a teacher, plumber or anyone with a small business or a personal reputation to grow, LinkedIn can be a great tool for finding and connecting with people who can be of great value to you.

Expand Your Reach
Beyond your personal network and their connections, LinkedIn also allows you to join various circles of professionals (called LinkedIn Groups) and become part of their conversation. Why? Because this is a great way to find people who might be looking for someone with your experience or knowledge. Within these groups of alumni or like-minded individuals, you can post discussion topics or reply to questions. Reveal insider tips or provide useful answers, and these other LinkedIn users will come to you. (I always recommend adding a link to your business website when relevant to add credibility, build awareness and possibly even attract a new LinkedIn connection – or better yet, a new customer!!)

Don’t Be Shy
Once you have a strong personal network of connections, LinkedIn starts to become a powerful tool for spreading the word about your business.

  • Launching a new product or service for your business? Post an update to your profile that all your connections will see on their home page as well as in their weekly emails from LinkedIn.
  • Have a major announcement? Add a new discussion or news item in one of your LinkedIn groups that all other group members will see in their weekly group digest emails from LinkedIn.
  • Do you have a blog? There are easy-to-use plug-ins with LinkedIn so that anyone viewing your profile can see all your latest blog entries. (I use the Wordpress plug-in – very simple!)
  • Are you hiring? Post the position in one or more LinkedIn groups or on the LinkedIn job board for even more exposure on the site or in emails (for a great selection of candidates...and you can even see online if you know anyone in their connection list as a trustworthy reference)
  • Trust me – these techniques really work! And you can bet your bottom dollar that we posted several entries about WOMbeat! winning the Idea Café’s “Innovation and Originality Grant” on LinkedIn to share with all our connections, groups, etc.

    If you are new and just getting started, feel free to check out my LinkedIn profile .


This is a fantastic article.

This is a fantastic article. Thanks for sharing. I do seminars on how people who are less savvy with technology can use technology to improve their careers, and I always mention LinkedIn prominently, but this article has even taught me quite a bit. Thanks!

Linda, Thank you for sharing


Thank you for sharing such timely insight into the ever expanding professional/social networking scene and how it's helping leading the way for open-minded thinkers, regardless of how "tech savvy" they are.

Very good article and you can

Very good article and you can bet that I will put much of your advise to use!

Do you have any insight into

Do you have any insight into how to move quickly on building business owner contacts on Manta.com

We linked our Facebook Fan Page & Twitter account to our company profile and are now starting to see some traction on our business owner member profile. Your thoughts?

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