If you’re a professional auto detailer, no doubt you already know about the benefits of joining LinkedIn, the professional networking site with its 150 million-plus members in 200 different countries. And if you’re shaking your head right now, saying you’re not a big fan of social networking, it’s really time for you to crawl out of your garage and start participating in this most-effective means of growing your business and distributing news and information about your auto detailing business.
The benefits of using LinkedIn range from giving you a public professional image that can be easily accessed online, to improving your search engine optimization (SEO). In the case of SEO, LinkedIn is a well-respected social networking utility featuring professional and company profiles that are positively and highly indexed by Google —and thus featured prominently on that search engine’s results pages. Joining executives and companies of that ilk only pushes your own auto detailing business up the SEO chart.
LinkedIn is also an excellent referral service, offering you the perfect platform from which to post accolades and recommendations from your best customers. In the days before computers, LinkedIn would be a guy with a megaphone atop his car, driving around your town, shouting the benefits of your business to everyone within hearing distance. Today, a lot of that is done online. And if you’re worried about the cost of setting up and actively maintaining such a popular site, fuggetaboutit! It’s free. You don’t even have to pay the guy with the megaphone.
So, once you’ve visited www.linkedin.com and signed up, come back here for some advice from us — the auto detailing training pros at Detail King — about how you can utilize LinkedIn to improve your auto detailing business.
Remember: Sign up first, then come back here and read the following:
- New to the auto detailing business? You can use LinkedIn to find mentors or potential investors for your startup auto detailing business. With more than three million startup professionals and 12 million small businesses represented on LinkedIn, you have an enormous audience from which to cull tips, industry advice and potential investors.
- Get specific answers to your questions. Need some advice on hiring or health laws? Have a question about business-related tax deductions? Owners of small auto detailing businesses can visit LinkedIn 24/7 to touch base with hundreds of entrepreneurs who have the experience — and the best answers to your queries.
- LinkedIn enables you to acquire new customers through online recommendations. The folks who drive away happy from your detailing shop or mobile auto detailing session are the best source of new customers. Increase your word of mouth referrals by asking these clients to write you a recommendation on LinkedIn.
- Out of sight, out of mind. A well-maintained position on LinkedIn keeps you and your business in front of your clients. Each time a potential customer, prospect or even an interested investor sees your status update or most recent recommendation, it puts your company in mind. And that’s a subliminal hint that works wonders — especially when people are considering sprucing up their vehicles.
- This is your opportunity to show off your own experience and wisdom. There are several forums available on LinkedIn that enable you to strut your stuff. By sharing the knowledge that you’ve acquired in auto detailing, you gain the confidence of your target audience. And by offering answers to potential customers’ questions, you’re broadcasting your own attributes — but in a subtle, dare we say humble, manner?
- Keeping close tabs on the competition. With hundreds of thousands of companies with profiles on LinkedIn, it’s important that you know where your competition stands in the world of social networking. This most popular of the professional networking sites is a treasure trove of potential experienced employees, just waiting for the opportunity to be plucked away from their current employer and join your operation. But again, if you’re not in the game, you can’t participate in the rewards.
- Networking is an overused term — but there’s a reason for that. By visiting the Groups area of LinkedIn, you can discover where your industry peers hang out online. You can share referrals should one of your customers move out of the area, and you can garner businesses in somewhat related fields that can use your services. New and used car dealerships come to mind. Maybe municipal safety departments that need their vehicles detailed on occasion. Or businesses with a fleet of company cars.
- Bypassing those pesky gatekeepers. LinkedIn is an excellent tool when it comes to stealthily slipping past those company reps that keep you from the real decision makers — the man (or woman) who is really in charge. Maybe it’s the owner of a fleet of vehicles that need to be cosmetically maintained on a regular basis or are in need of refurbishing before they are turned back in to the leasing company.
If yours is the typical mobile auto detailing business, yours is a one- or two-person operation, run by you — a person who doesn’t have time to prospect during the day because you’re busy detailing cars. But when you get home at night, you can log in and do some prospecting. Maybe you spotted some business you’d like to procure during your travels that day, but the timing wasn’t right to stop by and introduce your services. By using LinkedIn, you can make contact online with the fleet manager or VP of sales or whoever may handle the maintenance or marketing of the leased fleet vehicles.
In an era where everybody is actively conducting business online, it only makes sense to take full advantage of all forms of social networking, including a Facebook Page, Twitter account and LinkedIn. To continue to ignore these free or inexpensive means of promoting your business and engaging with your prospective customers isn’t a noble enterprise on your part. It’s just bad business.Tags: LinkedIn, Social Media, Social Networking