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Expand Your Business Using LinkedIN

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By Debbie Gregory.

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The mission of LinkedIn is to connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful.  Over the last few years LinkedIn has grown to be one of the most widely used social platforms for business. It is currently the third most popular social site, right behind Facebook and Twitter. If you are not yet on LinkedIn, you are missing out on a huge audience for your recruiting efforts, business networking, and potential new customers.Below is some information on ways to use LinkedIn to expand your Small Veteran Owned Business:

1.) Craft your Profile and Pages with SEO in Mind:

LinkedIn is a valuable source for business to business (B2B) marketing and other business-related connections. As with your website or blog, your LinkedIn profile and pages should be optimized for SEO purposes.

Areas of Focus:

  • Include a title along with your last name in the name field. For example, instead of listing just Jill Brown, make changes to it reads: Jill Brown, Sales Professional. In this manner, Jill Brown’s profile will pop up when someone performs a search for a salesperson.
  • Add keywords to your headline too and not simply your title. For example, instead of Sales Professional list something such as “No. 1 sales professional in the city of Portland for the last 3 years.”
  • Make sure to include other keywords in your summary in a more natural fashion. Yes, LinkedIn has a specific place in your profile to list up to 50 skills (make sure to ask for recommendations on your skills too) but you should also try to pepper them into your summary text.

2.) Make Sure to Create and Optimize a Page Dedicated to Your Company:

A business page on LinkedIn is a powerful marketing tool. Make sure that your business is easy to find on LinkedIn and that all visuals on your page match the look and feel of your other online presences (website or other social channels).  Additionally, keep it up to date with regular posts!

Basics for your page:

  • A concise, yet engaging, company description and overview.
  • Your company logo.
  • An attractive banner image.
  • A call to action.

3.) Put Together Showcase Pages for Products or Services:

Once you have your business page ready to go, you should consider adding showcase pages for specific products, services, or separate arms of your core business to help users better find you and engage with the parts of your business that most interest them.

4.) Promote Your Page:

Your page will not help your business grow if no one is looking at it! Once your page, and showcase pages are setup to be robust, and compelling, your next step is to promote it and gain followers. Of course, you can simply run paid ads on the platform to boost your visibility, however, there are other ways to promote your page that will not cost you anything.

Free Ways to Promote Your Page:

  • Add the page to your own LinkedIn profile.
  • Add a “follow” button to your main website to drive traffic from there to your LinkedIn page.
  • Promote the new page(s) in your company newsletter, blog posts, and other social media pages.
  • Add a link to your LinkedIn page in your company email signature.
  • Ask current employees to promote the page on their own LinkedIn profiles.

5.) Join LinkedIn Groups or Create Your Own Group:

LinkedIn groups are intended to connect like-minded individuals and similar businesses with one another to foster camaraderie and to expand knowledge. You can join existing groups and actively engage in conversations.  You may also create your own group to help establish yourself as an expert in your industry. We strongly recommend that you consider both options to make sure that you are active in the group and provide valuable tips and add robust posts.

As you can see from the information in this blog post, LinkedIn offers a variety of ways for businesses to network, market themselves, and connect with new customers. These are just a few of the ways to join in and start reaping the benefits of LinkedIn for your business.   One last kernel of information, a regular account on LinkedIn is free.  They also offer premium accounts at a reasonable cost.   Start your engines and join LinkedIn today or enhance the profile you have already set up to promote your Veteran Owned Small Business.

VAMBOA, the Veterans and Military Business Owners Association invites you to join as a member.  There are not any fees or dues.   You may also proudly display the VAMBOA seal on your website and collateral.   We provide several articles on our blog weekly with all types of valuable information.


More Things You May Not Know About LinkedIN : Part 2 of 2

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By Debbie Gregory.

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In Part 1 of this article we share some interesting information including some statistics about who is on LinkedIn and why, This article will provide you even more information including why marketers and sales professionals use this site and why advertising with the platform is makes a great deal of sense.

11.) LinkedIn for Lead Generation for Business Marketing Professionals:

Approximately 89% of all business-2-business (B2B) marketeers on LinkedIn use it exclusively for lead generation. About 62% of them also say that they successfully generate new leads from LinkedIn. That is over twice as much as on any other social platform.

12.)  LinkedIn for Content Marketing for Business Marketing Professionals:

Currently, 94% of B2B marketers use LinkedIn for content marketing because this platform is viewed as more trustworthy for delivering accurate and worthwhile business-related content than any other social platform. With LinkedIn, your company is not forced to fight with parties, opinions, vacation photos, or personal updates to be seen. LinkedIn is free of most of that since it is widely viewed as a place where people expect and seek out work-related content.

13.) LinkedIn for Sales Generation: 

Over 59% of sales professionals surveyed count on social platforms to sell their products and services. Sales professionals know how important networking and networking platforms are to their success.  Most of them, 70 percent use LinkedIn more than any other platform.  This is quite a testimonial for sales generation.

14.) LinkedIn For A Cost-Effective Way to Place Ads:  

Did you know that LinkedIn also has ads? Not only is their audience primed for your messages, the cost per click or lead on LinkedIn is, on average, 28% lower than other popular pay-per-click (PPC) ad platforms inlcuding Google AdWords.

15.) LinkedIn Offers More Bang for Your Buck:

An ad on LinkedIn has the potential to reach approximately 12% of the world’s population over the age of thirteen years of age and costs 28 percent less than other ad platforms.

16.) Linked In has Better Performing Email Campaigns:

LinkedIn offers a wide variety of different ad placements and formats.  Their InMail offering is one that is quite interesting. On average, their sponsored InMail campaigns have a 52% open rate, which is more than double the average for a traditional email campaign on any other platform (MailChimp, Constant Contact, etc.).

17.) More People Will View Your Content on LinkedIn:

LinkedIn is not simply a recruitment platform anymore. It is also a place where professionals go to connect, educate, and inform themselves. Content posted to LinkedIn typically has 15 times more content impressions than any other posts. This means LinkedIn is very valuable to content marketers, especially those in B2B content marketing.

18.) LinkedIn Allows You to Specifically Target Decision Makers:

Part of the appeal of LinkedIn for professional marketers is that LinkedIn gives them the ability to target people by their job or title instead of simply their basic demographics. Currently, four out of every five users on LinkedIn are the people in their respective companies that are the decision makers who drive business and purchasing decisions.

19.) Majority of LinkedIn is From Mobile Users:

Currently, there are approximately 57% of all LinkedIn users access this platform via mobile devices. Even though this number is lower than other social platforms, such as Facebook with approximately 98% mobile users, it is an excellent idea to optimize all of your posts for mobile and not just desktop.

20.) LinkedIn Continues to Grow and Gain Steam:

Engagement and use of the LinkedIn platform has increased 50%, year after year, over the last several years. It has evolved from a simple recruiting site into a full-featured business connection site. This platform continues to add more and features every year and is a great tool for businesses to share their content on.

As you can see, LinkedIn is a great tool for businesses, and it is still growing by leaps and bounds. If you are not yet on LinkedIn, stop what you are doing and join now.  Remember that a regular profile is free, and the premium membership is very inexpensive. –  Do it NOW!

VAMBOA, the Veterans and Military Business Owners Association invites you to join as a member.  There are not any fees or dues.   You may also proudly display the VAMBOA seal on your website and collateral.   We provide several articles on our blog weekly with all types of valuable information.



Things You May Not Know About LinkedIN : Part 1 of 2

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By Debbie Gregory.

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VAMBOA, the Veterans and Military Business Owners Association is bringing you a series of articles on our blog on Linked In.   There are some interesting things about LinkedIn that you may want to learn.

LinkedIn has been slowly growing into a popular social platform for companies to connect with their employees, potential hires, and other businesses. Below are some interesting facts and statistics about the platform’s usage that you may or may not know.  Knowledge is power and we hope to provide you information that will enable you to better use LinkedIn and expand your reach.

1.) Sell & Recruit for Your Company on LinkedIn:

Currently, there are over 30 million companies on LinkedIn with dedicated company pages. The platform may have been added to your company’s social platform presence as a tool for your recruiting department to find talent.  Over the last few years LinkedIn has been gaining traction as a great tool for sales and marketing people to connect and sell as well.

 2.) Employees Like to Engage with their Company on LinkedIn:

Approximately 30% of a company’s engagement (likes, comments, shares, etc) on LinkedIn comes directly from their employees. Your employees care the most about the success of your company and they will be the ones boosting your reputation and sharing your brand on LinkedIn.

3.) Employees Will Share Your Company Content on LinkedIn:

Employees are 14 times more likely to share content from their own employers than other types of content. They work hard for the company to help it grow and they should be proud of the achievements of their company. It is a good idea to encourage your employees to help share your company posts and engage with your company’s social media accounts. Content shared by an employee is also viewed by others and deemed over 53% more trustworthy than the same content shared by the CEO or simply by your business’s page.

4.) LinkedIn Users Engage More with Coworkers Than Other Connections:   

A recent study shows that users are 60% more likely to engage with a coworker than anyone else on the platform. They will comment, share, or message with colleagues more than anyone else; This is exactly what LinkedIn was originally designed to do.

5.) LinkedIn Has Become a Social Media Powerhouse:  

LinkedIn has slowly grown to join the other popular social platforms as an excellent place to position your company. Currently, LinkedIn has over 675 million monthly users! That is an increase of 14% increase from the prior year. Instagram typically has about a billion monthly users, Facebook has about 2.5 billion, and Twitter about 330 million users a month.  LinkedIn is growing to be one of the most popular platforms. If your company is not yet on LinkedIn, you are missing a lot of potential talent and customers.

6.) Majority of LinkedIn Users are Outside the US:

It is enlightening and amazing the most of LinkedIn users are not in the United States.  Currently more than 70% of LinkedIn’s users are outside the USA and the platform operates in 24 different languages.

7.) Americans are Using LinkedIn More:

Americans are slowly migrating towards LinkedIn and currently about 27% of Americans use the platform regularly. LinkedIn is the fifth most popular social media platform for the USA today, beating out both Snapchat, and Whatsapp.

8.) More Men Use LinkedIn Than Women: 

According to a recent study conducted by We Are Social, the average LinkedIn user identifies as male. The stats state that 57% of LinkedIn users are men, and 43% are women.

9.) LinkedIn Users Range from 25 to 34 Years of Age:

It should not be surprising because LinkedIn was designed as a business networking and recruiting portal.   It seems that LinkedIn would be less attractive to the younger crowd, though it could be beneficial for the older crowd to keep in touch with ex-colleagues or students to start networking prior to graduation. Right now the majority, 61%, of LinkedIn’s users are 25-34 years of age.

10.) Over 50% of LinkedIn Users Have a Degree:

Currently, about 51% of all Americans on LinkedIn are college educated and have at least an undergraduate college degree. Among college-educated Americans, LinkedIn is even more popular than Instagram or Pinterest. Americans who make over $75,000 per year are also more likely to use LinkedIn than any other platform.

We encourage you to stay tuned for our next blog article with more things you might not know about LinkedIn.

VAMBOA, the Veterans and Military Business Owners Association invites you to join as a member.  There are not any fees or dues.   You may also proudly display the VAMBOA seal on your website and collateral.   We provide several articles on our blog weekly with all types of valuable information.



Incubators for Small Business Owners

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Incubators for Small Business Owners

By Debbie Gregory.

Business incubators are organizations geared toward speeding up the growth and success of startups and companies in their early stages.

Incubators have been around for quite a while, but the concept really began to gain traction in the 1980s when institutions of higher learning decided to launch school-affiliated business incubators in order to offer students better employment prospects.

Many for-profit or “private” incubation programs were launched in the late 1990s by investors and other for-profit operators seeking to hatch businesses quickly and bring in big payoffs

The vast majority of startups lack the experience and networks that are required for growth, business incubators seek to offer entrepreneurs a range of essential resources and skills development programs. They are often a good way to attract capital from angel investors, state governments, economic-development coalitions and other investors. Other benefits include mentorship, expertise and networking.

Business incubators sometimes have an actual physical space, while others operate on a virtual basis. Both are meant to foster networking among entrepreneurs and their coaches.

Why doesn’t every new business take advantage of an incubator? The answer is that there can be a downside and the very benefits that can make incubators so useful can impact focus during the crucial early stages of your business development.   Additionally, an incubator is a place your company will generally live and grow for years.  If you are looking for quicker results, an incubator might not be the right option for you. For the most part, the benefits far outweigh the downside.

There are some important requisites before you seek out an incubator. To have a successful relationship, you need to be coachable and allow the experts to provide you guidance. You also must be prepared to roll up your sleeves and work and some of it might not be what you think is important.

If you’re considering an incubator for your business, it’s important to find one that is the best fit.   The National Business Incubation Association has a search engine and a directory of state business incubation associations.  Other good sources for finding an incubator include state and local economic development departments, as well as local Small Business Association (SBA) offices.

Veteran and Military Business Owners Association, VAMBOA,




Conferences and Networking

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By Debbie Gregory.

Conferences offer you to connect your veteran small business with a variety of connections.  Some of the connections may include potential joint venture partner, potential clients, collaborators and supporters. Attending conferences can be an excellent way to learn new skills and support your professional development, but it’s not as easy as just showing up! There’s preparation and strategy involved in obtaining the most out from these events.

The main reason to attend a conference is to build meaningful relationships with key contacts. Attending a conference can provide you the time to have multiple meaningful interactions with each of those contacts. Time is at a premium, so use it wisely.

Our next tip is for you to map out your meetings. Try to schedule meetings in a logical geographical sequence so that you don’t waste time zig-zagging around the conference venue. Whenever possible, try to arrange a smaller, more intimate get-together over coffee or a meal with a few key contacts.

It is also important to define your goals in advance. What do you hope to get out of the conference? Are you looking for new relationships? Re-connecting with other contacts? Securing customers? A clear vision will serve you well.

Plan to attend the speeches or breakout sessions that are most likely to attract your target audience. Develop questions you have for this target audience or for experts who may be speaking, and practice asking them.  Also be prepared and have your collateral and business cards available to provide your important contacts.

We also advise that you make social media work for you. Search out conference attendees, speakers and sponsors using event hashtags beforehand.  Perhaps connect with them on Linked In too.

It is important to think in terms of the long game. You want to begin building a relationship. If you have not already connected in advance with key contacts, then try to connect with them on LinkedIn within 24-hours of meeting them. It is also a good idea to follow up with an email if you have their business card and contact information

Be friendly! Smile! Ask questions and learn.

Don’t just be a taker. Although most booths give out treats out to attendees, attendees can also bring some small treats/gifts placing your business identity front and center.

And no matter what, bring plenty of business cards!

Veteran and Military Business Owners Association, VAMBOA,