LinkedIn is more than just a social network – it’s a tool that can help you grow your business. If you are not using it to its full potential, you are missing opportunities to connect with new people, expand your network, and learn from other professionals who share similar interests or goals as yourself.
Why should you take advantage of what LinkedIn has to offer? Here are five reasons why you should use LinkedIn to promote your business:
Now let’s look at some steps you can take to promote your business on LinkedIn.
If you have not already created a business page for your brand, this is the first step to start building an audience on LinkedIn. Once your company has its own independent presence on the site, encourage others within your field or industry to visit it and “follow” the content you share there. You can do this using any number of promotional tools, including email marketing campaigns or even posters in local office buildings where potential clients might pass by them every day (and therefore see them multiple times).
Every business needs a community, and LinkedIn can help you build one. You can connect with people you know, people interested in your business, people who have a connection to your business, or people who have a connection to other businesses relevant to yours. For example, you can connect with:
LinkedIn is all about connections and building relationships with others with similar interests and goals. Use this to your advantage by creating groups based on topics relevant to your industry and encourage people to join them. These groups will help you build a community around your brand, which could lead to new partnerships or opportunities for growth down the line.
One of the most important things you can do as a business leader is build relationships with your employees and customers. Linkedin allows you to connect with people from all over the world with similar interests. This can help you find new customers for your business, or even find new employees for your company. How can you do this?
Get active in groups. Groups are one of the best ways to meet new people and engage with them. Join groups relevant to your industry and share content from other members in your feed or comment on other people’s posts.
Follow people who are influential in their field and you’ll have access to their updates and news, as well as their insights on topics related to your industry. If they follow back, you can send them direct messages with questions or comments about what they posted.
Network with people who work in different departments at your company. You might not have much in common with someone from finance or human resources, but there may be some overlap between what they do and what you do, which makes it easier for both of you to understand what each of you does for a living.
Documenting your company’s history is an important part of presenting your business as a reliable partner to customers and suppliers. You can do this with a timeline, which you should include on your website, or with short stories about the milestones in your company’s history. For example, if you were to write about how product X came to be, who was involved in its creation, what challenges they overcome during development, etc. Such content gives people an idea of what it took to get to where you are today (and also helps them see that you’re not just another fly-by-nighter).
LinkedIn is a professional network, so it’s not a good idea to post content that isn’t work-related. You can post content related to your business, but it should be professional. It’s also okay to share content related to your personal life or hobbies, as long as it doesn’t compromise your professionalism in any way.
You can even use LinkedIn to highlight what you have accomplished in the past and how it has helped shape who you are today. Post content that solves problems, too. If you create quality posts relevant to your followers (and their followers), they’re more likely to share them with their networks than if they were just being posted onto their profiles alone. This means more people will see it and engage with it
Posting a job opening on LinkedIn is a great way to reach more people who may not follow you on other social media platforms. You can also use it to find the right candidates for your open positions. LinkedIn offers free tools for posting and reposting jobs, including a “jobs” tab that allows you to customize how your ad looks and where it appears (e.g. career sites, company pages). As a bonus, LinkedIn sometimes offers discounts when hiring through their platform. Just be sure the position is eligible before signing up!
Tracking down people on LinkedIn is not as easy as on Facebook, but the people on it are typically more engaged and have more professional success, so the payoff can be worth it.
LinkedIn is a powerful tool that allows business owners to connect more personally with their staff and customers. It’s also an opportunity for companies to share what they do and how they do it, giving insight into their culture.
As every small-business owner knows, taxes can quickly gobble up a huge chunk of revenue. As such, it’s a good idea to take advantage of deductions and credits to reduce the tax burden. Here are some not-so-obvious tips to help you reduce your tax bill this year.
Unbeknownst to most small-business owners, knowing the difference between deductions and credits may save you a lot of money on taxes. Simply put, deductions reduce your taxable income, while credits reduce your tax liability directly.
Let’s say your business raked in $50,000 last year, and you had $5,000 in deductible expenses. In this case, your taxable income would be reduced to $45,000. In other words, you will owe less tax on your income. On the flip side, if you owe Uncle Sam $5,000 in taxes but are eligible for a $1,000 tax credit, you would only owe $4,000 in taxes.
Understanding deductions and credits is important because it can help you save money on your taxes. However, it’s also important to make sure you’re eligible for the deductions and credits you’re claiming and to keep accurate records of your expenses.
As a rule of thumb, always keep track of all business expenses, including receipts, invoices, and bank statements. The accurate records will help you identify deductible expenses at tax time and make it easier to file your taxes.
For example, if you purchase a new piece of equipment for your business, you can claim a depreciation deduction for the equipment’s cost over several years. However, you need to keep a record of the equipment’s purchase price, date of purchase, and other relevant information to claim this deduction.
Similarly, if you use your vehicle for business purposes, you can claim a deduction for the business use of the vehicle. To claim this deduction, you need to keep a log of the mileage driven for business purposes, including the date, purpose of the trip, and the starting and ending odometer readings.
Without accurate records, you may miss out on eligible deductions and credits, which can increase your tax liability.
One of the most commonly overlooked deductions by small business owners is the home office deduction. If you use a portion of your home exclusively for business purposes, you may be eligible to claim a home office deduction on your tax returns.
However, it’s essential to meet the IRS requirements for claiming a home office deduction. For starters, the space must be used exclusively and regularly for business purposes, and it must be your principal place of business or where you meet clients or customers. Additionally, the space must be used solely for business purposes and cannot be used for personal purposes.
To claim a home office deduction, you need to calculate the percentage of your home used for business purposes and multiply it by your total home expenses. For example, if your home office takes up 10% of your home’s square footage, you can deduct 10% of your rent, utilities, and other home expenses.
Navigating the tax code and filing taxes can be a laborious and time-consuming process, especially for small business owners who may not have experience with tax preparation. The solution is to hire a professional tax preparer. A tax preparer does more than just file your returns. They can also provide valuable guidance on tax planning and strategies for reducing your tax liability.
When choosing a tax preparer, you must do your homework and choose a reputable and experienced one. Look for credentials such as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or Enrolled Agent (EA) and ask for referrals from other small business owners.
Working with a professional tax preparer can also give you peace of mind and reduce the stress associated with tax season. They can even handle communication with the IRS on your behalf and help you avoid audits or other tax-related issues.
As a small-business owner, it’s important to understand the deadlines for filing your tax returns and any applicable extensions. The tax-filing deadline for most businesses is March 15 for S Corporations and April 15 for partnerships and sole proprietorships. However, if you need more time to file your returns, you can request an extension by filing Form 7004.
Failing to file your tax returns on time can result in penalties and interest charges, which can quickly add up and increase your tax liability. Additionally, filing your returns late can delay any refunds or credits that you may be eligible for, which can impact your cash flow.
To ensure that you file your returns on time, it’s essential to keep accurate records throughout the year and stay organized during tax season. Consider using accounting software or working with a professional tax preparer to streamline the process and ensure you meet all IRS requirements.
Running a small business is hard enough. As such, it’s best to get a professional tax preparer to help file your taxes. They will help you take advantage of provisions in the tax code that will give you some reprieve. More importantly, a professional tax preparer will ensure you are not at loggerheads with the IRS.
Positive workplace relationships can help employees be happier and more engaged in their work. According to a study by Gallup, people who have a best friend at work are seven times more likely to be engaged in their jobs. In addition, people who have a good friend in the workplace are more likely to be satisfied with their jobs.
This article provides tips on building positive relationships in the workplace and the benefits that can be achieved as a result.
Below are the benefits of positive relationships in the workplace:
By following the tips mentioned in this article, you can start building healthier workplace relationships and enjoy your job more.
Are you feeling undervalued and underpaid at work? Are you ready to make a case for a salary increase but unsure of how to go about it? Asking for a raise can be a nerve-wracking prospect, but by following a few key steps, you can increase your chances of getting the salary you deserve. In this article, we’ll provide insight on when to ask for a raise, the best way to plan for it, and how to present your case.
Knowing when to ask for a raise is an important factor in the success of your request. Generally speaking, these scenarios are ideal:
If one of these applies to you and you’re ready to move forward, make sure you step back and take a pulse on things first. Is your boss especially stressed right now? Is the company in the middle of a new business deal? Is it the holiday season? There will be times when delaying your request is in your best interest.
In order to make a compelling pitch for a raise you’ll need to arm yourself with information that demonstrates the value you have added to the company. This could include performance reviews, letters of recommendation, customer compliments, before-and-after metrics such as sales figures, and other quantifiable statistics on the success of your work. Gather evidence of your achievements and successes, and be prepared to show how they benefited the company.
Employers typically have their own ideas about how much their employees should earn, so you’ll also want to conduct research on salary trends in your industry. Utilize published salary data and reports from resources such as salary.com, payscale.com, and LinkedIn. When comparing industry data, make sure you consider factors that may influence the numbers — such as location, education level, and experience. (For example, salaries for a similar job may be higher in a city with a higher cost of living than yours.) Taking the time to research salary trends will give you a better understanding of the current market rate so you can make a more convincing argument when asking for a raise.
Now that you have all the data and information, it’s time to practice. Develop a practice guide using these tips:
You’ve done all the prep work and now it’s time to make your case. A few quick pointers for your delivery:
Making your case in this manner will demonstrate your professionalism, show that you’re confident in what you’re saying, and give you the best chance of success.
If, after you’ve made your case, your employer still says no, the best thing you can do is stay positive and remain professional. Even if you don’t get the raise you were asking for, it doesn’t have to be seen as a failure. It’s important to understand that it takes time and effort to gain the trust of your employer and that a successful negotiation requires both parties to come away feeling satisfied.
As such, it’s important to graciously thank your employer for their time and for listening to your proposal. This shows that you understand their perspective and that you’re willing to continue the conversation in the future. It’s a good idea to ask if there is any specific feedback you can use to improve your case next time. If they’re willing to discuss, take notes and ask specific questions to ensure you have a clear understanding of their feedback. In the end, it’s all part of the process. Your employer wants to ensure that the salary increase you are asking for is fair and equitable, and that it’s in the best interests of the company.
The holidays are a time of celebration and togetherness with friends and family members coming together to share gratitude, goodwill, and cheer. It’s also when many people take some time out from their hectic schedules to reconnect with loved ones. And while it’s tempting to retreat into our own private cocoons for the duration of the season, we should also make sure that we’re not isolating ourselves so much that we miss out on opportunities to build new relationships or strengthen old ones. To help you embrace the holiday season and walk away with more than just happy memories, here are five tips on how you can better your networking skills during the holidays:
We’re so busy in the hustle and bustle of day-to-day life that we often forget that it’s our efforts that make networking opportunities happen. We may be a bit protective of our time, but if you want to get more out of your social interactions you have to put yourself out there. Starting off with an informal greeting will help break the ice and establish rapport with others. Asking someone how they are doing or if they have any special plans during the holidays will show you have a genuine interest in them before you get into any conversations related to business.
People tend to focus on their families during the holidays so it’s important to remember that not everyone may respond positively when you try to connect with them on business matters. Taking note of a person’s body language may help you get a feel for how open they are to conversation. Sometimes people will just not be interested in chatting, but if they do happen to be open for conversation, embrace the opportunity. And don’t forget to be mindful of your own body language. People gravitate towards confidence, not nervousness or uncertainty.
Holiday parties tend to be more dressy than a dinner with friends on a Tuesday night. Put away your jeans and sneakers and opt for a festive dress or tie. Looking your best will also help you feel more confident in social settings and give off the impression that you are there to socialize.
One of the best ways to stay connected with your network is by regularly checking in over email or with phone calls. Consider sending your connections a “happy holidays” email this year so that you’ll be on their minds. By keeping communication channels open, there’s always a chance a connection could reach out to you with a business opportunity or question during the holidays or beyond.
Networking comes down to believing in yourself and your abilities. You have to be willing to put yourself out there, knowing that while it may not always be easy, it could pay off in the future. Networking isn’t easy but it is worth it. The holidays are a great time to grow your business and expand your social circle, so take advantage of the opportunities available to you.
When it comes to marketing your business, email marketing is one of the most cost-effective ways to connect and build trust with your target audience. Regardless of industry or niche market, it’s imperative that you have a solid strategy in place before you start sending out emails.
With that in mind, here are some tips on how to get started with email marketing:
Your branding strategy should include the colors, fonts, tone of voice, and overall aesthetic that will make your emails cohesive and professional. The best way to do this is to create a style guide for your company that includes all of these details.
On average less than 35% of marketing emails are opened, and even then, only an estimated 1.38% are clicked on.
Your subject line has one job—to get people to open your email. Once they do, you have a whole screen’s worth of content to convince them to click through to a landing page of your choice. Best practices suggest that you have 60 characters or less (approximately 9 words) to pique a person’s interest enough to open the email. Without that open, your awesome email content will never see the light of day.
However, there are some words (and even symbols) that could trigger a spam filter and send your email to a dreaded “junk” folder—ensuring that it will never be read. In order to avoid this utilize one of the many web-based subject line checkers that will help identify spam words, tab words, and other things to stay away from.
Your CTA (call-to-action) is the most important part of every email. It should be something that’s clear and easy for your customers to understand. The best way to do this is by making sure you include a clear CTA in the beginning of your email so that people know what they are clicking on. This will help increase your conversions, as well as allow you to track the effectiveness of your campaign.
In addition to being clear, your CTAs should also be concise. Make sure they give your customers all the information they need without unnecessary bloat or clutter.
Split testing your email marketing campaigns is a great way to find out which elements are likely to drive the most engagement. Depending on your email marketing platform’s capabilities, you may be able to test different combinations of content, design, offers, and CTAs to ensure that they are all performing well. Then you can use the test results to tweak your approach and increase the effectiveness of your campaign.
Building your subscriber list takes time. But while you’re waiting, avoid buying lists and sending to people who haven’t opted in to receive your emails. This can result in a massive uptick in abuse reports, which can get you in trouble with your email service provider, and land future campaigns in spam folders. Buying lists can also be a scam if it turns out the lists are full of outdated email addresses that no longer exist. If you try to upload an outdated list, this could also send a red flag to your email service provider and prompt them to freeze your account.
As hard as you try to provide relevant and engaging content to your audience, not everyone will want to stay subscribed to your emails, and that’s okay. In order to make things easy on everyone (and avoid getting reported as spam), be sure to include an easy unsubscribe option in your email. Most email template builders come with this feature already equipped, but if yours doesn’t, it’s important that you add one.
Before you start sending out email campaigns, you’ll want to think about which days and times work best for your list. Most industry experts tend to agree that marketing emails perform best when sent on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, or Thursdays between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Using these parameters can give you a good place to start testing to your list.
Email marketing is an excellent way to connect with your audience and build trust, but it won’t work without the right strategy. With these best practices in mind, you can ensure that your email marketing campaign is successful.
The customer is always right. Or so they say. In order to grow your business, you need to be able to deal with difficult customers. However, dealing with them isn’t always easy. Especially if you have a type A personality and don’t like people questioning your decisions or dictating how you run your business. Most small businesses can’t handle difficult customers well enough for it not to affect their bottom line and growth rate negatively in the long term.
Below are a few things that every business owner should know about dealing with difficult customers so that they become easier to handle in the future.
First and foremost, show your customers that you have their best interest at heart. If they feel like you only care about the bottom line, you’ll never get anywhere and your business will never be able to grow. Show them that you really do care about them and that you are willing to work with them in order to make a mutually beneficial relationship happen.
Always be transparent and honest with your customers. This gives them peace of mind in knowing that they can trust you while also feeling like they can reciprocate and trust you as well. This also helps endear them to your company which helps build long-term relationships rather than short-term ones where they may not feel connected enough to continue working with your company in the future.
It can be difficult to know when a customer is being unreasonable and asking too much of your time which will put an unnecessary strain on your business, or is asking for something that you just cannot do. You might also decide that it would be better for them to find a different vendor rather than have you work with them in the long term because you aren’t able to give them what they want. However, it is important to know when there is a point where you need to say no, because if you continue to take on more projects and choose customers that ask too much of your time, it will become harder and harder for your company as a whole to grow and sustain itself in the long term.
Communication is key when it comes to dealing with difficult customers. Take the time to explain your thinking and why you made the choices that you did. If they don’t agree with what you did, let them know that you can work something out. On the other hand, if they continue to be a problem for your business, then things might get more complicated for both of you.
One of the most important things you can do for difficult customers is to offer a little more than what you are currently paying for. If you have a feeling that your customer might be demanding more in the future, offering them something extra now will make it easier for them to be willing to work with you again when the time comes.
You need customers to make a living, but you also need to remember that not all customers are made the same. Dealing with difficult customers can be frustrating, but it can also be rewarding. By staying open to new challenges, and knowing when to say no, you will eventually develop the customer service skills and empathy necessary for handling all kinds of customers.