An Introduction to LinkedIn which has around 28,000,000 users in the UK and over 650,000,000 globally.
Many people think of it as an online CV service and tool for headhunters and recruiters, but it’s far more when used correctly. For anyone operating a business LinkedIn is a great platform for networking and B2B marketing.
Whatever sector of the drone industry you work in there will be thousands of people and companies you can connect with on LinkedIn. Examples include construction companies, surveyors, insurance Loss Adjusters, architects and video production companies. There are also Groups you can join to find industry news and articles and people to network with.
The following steps and tips will guide you to build a presence on LinkedIn as a drone operator.
- Sign up to LinkedIn with a Company Page.
In addition to a personal profile on LinkedIn, start a Company Page. This is a simple process and there are help pages on LinkedIn to guide you through it. Select ‘Small business’ and enter the basic profile details. A Company Page connects to your personal one and you can share your posts from it to your personal network.
- Write an overview and description of your business.
Use the space available on your Company Page wisely. Include keywords such as ‘CAA approved drone operators’ and any relevant to your business specifically such as ‘drone roof surveys.’ This is an opportunity to sell your services, so mention anything that’s unique about you or what you do.
- Add a profile picture and banner image.
Your LinkedIn profile picture should be more ‘professional’ than one you might use for Facebook and other social media. That doesn’t mean you have to wear a shirt and tie! A good example would be a shot of you holding a drone or controller. A shot of you wearing a polo shirt with your company logo would also work well. The banner image is another opportunity to make your business stand out from the crowd and showcase what you do. If you specifically work within a certain industry sector, such as construction, use a relevant banner image.
- Reach out and connect.
Making connections is key to success on LinkedIn. Start by looking up people you already know. These could be other drone operators, business contacts or people you’ve worked with in the past. Rather than just hitting ‘Connect’ on a list of people from a search go to each person’s LinkedIn Profile and personalise the connection request with a note. For example, ‘I’m a fellow drone operator working in Hampshire and it would be great to connect and keep in touch.’ Entering ‘drone’ in the LinkedIn search bar will bring up a number of suggestions to get you started.
You can also use this approach to connect with potential customers. This can take time, but it’s a proven way to build a network and generate business. Search for local businesses you can offer your services to and look them and key personnel up on LinkedIn.
- Join LinkedIn Groups.
Just as with Facebook and other platforms, likeminded people and professionals in different industries create Groups to share news and discuss ideas. A quick search on ‘drone’ or ‘UAV’ brings up several you can join. As well as being a way to interact with other drone operators and experts being a member of these Groups can give you extra credibility if someone searches your profile.
- Make posts and be active.
Prospects are unlikely to coming knocking at your door on LinkedIn unless you take part and contribute. Don’t make every post a blatant advert for your business or you’ll turn people off. As well as sharing images and commenting about the type of work you do and services you can offer post about drone related news. Build your brand as a professional drone operator by offering informative content. Interesting images increase engagement massively, so post pictures to illustrate comments and updates.
- Set a goal and make LinkedIn an ongoing project.
Growing a business via LinkedIn marketing is an ongoing process and a long-term project. Setting goals such as making two posts every week or building a network of 200 connections can help to maintain focus and interest. Be creative in different ways to grow your connections. For example, post on Facebook that you have a LinkedIn page or mention it in emails to existing customers.
Marketing on LinkedIn is a great way to open doors, build relationships and stay in touch with what’s going on in the drone industry.