While LinkedIn is well known as the largest social media network for professionals, it’s not just for creating personal pages. Currently, more than 2 million companies have a company page on LinkedIn. A company page on LinkedIn can be a great way for an independent consultant to promote their services and network with clients and industry peers.
Add Your Company
To begin the process, login to LinkedIn and click “Companies” on the top menu bar of the home page. This takes you to a general LinkedIn Companies area. Then click “ Add a Company”, located in the upper right corner of the page. Here you are asked to add the name of your company and your company email address. You will receive a confirmation email to this address that will allow you to continue.
Note that the email address must use your company’s domain name (that is, firstname.lastname@example.org). Generic email domains, such as Gmail.com and Hotmail.com, won’t work. If you have your own website, obtaining a personalized email address through your web hosting service should be simple. If you are not able to get a company specific email address you will not be able to set up a company page, but may want to consider creating a LinkedIn group to promote your company instead.
Set Up Your Company
Once confirmed, you can begin filling out your company’s information. You can designate the company type - “Self Owned” and “Self Employed” are two of the available options independent consultants may want to use – as well as the number of employees, your website’s URL, and the company’s operating status. Adding a logo at this point is optional, though recommended.
During this stage of set up you can designate who has administrative rights to the company’s LinkedIn page. You can choose to give access to all employees who have a company email address, or designate specific users. While this step may not apply to many independent consultants who work alone, keep this setting in mind if you hire employees in the future.
Company page set up also requires filling out “Company Description” and gives you the opportunity to add your specialties. Keep in mind that the company description is the first thing that people will see when they visit your company’s page, so keep it short, but interesting.
Add Products and Services
Now that you’ve set up a basic company page, you can add the services that you offer as an independent consultant. To do this, log in to LinkedIn as an administrator, click on the Products & Services tab on your company’s page, and click “Add Product or Service”.
Then, designate whether you’re adding a product or a service. If you are an independent consultant, you will likely only have services to add. You can name the service, upload an image to represent it, choose the category the service falls into, and enter a description of the service. You can also add a URL that links back to the service’s page on your website, and even link to YouTube videos you’ve posted relating to the service. Click “Publish” to add the service to your company page.
Once you’ve added all of the services you provide as an independent consultant, you have the ability to add a portfolio of these services to your company page. Click on the “Admin Tools” drop down menu and switch to “Edit” mode. Here, you can add a description of the services portfolio and up to three banner images to represent it.
After finalizing the page by clicking “Publish”, you can create different versions of this page that are customized for various audiences. For example, you could create a Spanish language version that shows up to visitors from Latin American countries, or versions that highlight different services depending on the industry a visitor works in. To do this, click the “Admin Tools” dropdown on your Products & Services page and click “Edit” and then “Create New Audience” to select the parameters you wish to use.
Promote Your Page
LinkedIn company pages can help you connect with your clients, but only if they know about it. Once your page is set up, promote it. This can be done through posting links on your other social media profiles, announcing your page through social media posts, and adding a “Follow” button to your website that will direct visitors to your LinkedIn company page. You can even add a link to the page in your email signature.
Posting Company Status Updates for your company on LinkedIn by typing a note in the “Status” box on the company’s Overview tab will keep followers informed with the latest news and developments you have to share. These updates will show up on your followers’ home page. Followers can “like”, comment on, or share these updates. These interactions help promote conversations and keep followers engaged with your company, and are also seen by members of your followers’ networks, increasing your exposure.