The Internet’s impact on business over the years has been, and continues to be, profound and ubiquitous. It has enabled once local and small business owners to reach people around the world. Businesses no longer have to define their competition by geographical boundaries or use the same rules. 

Major market disruptors like Airbnb, Uber, Netflix, and Alibaba are turning old A-grade business models into relics of the past. The impact of the internet is set to continue and grow even more rapidly over the next several years. For many companies, it will mean a tougher business environment, with more disruptors emerging and businesses dominating the markets. There will be more and more start-ups with savvy entrepreneurial backing that will become overnight successes. 

LinkedIn has emerged as one of the main powerhouses for business leads and sales, gaining more than 690+ million users around the world. The business networking platform started in 2002 by the founder of PayPal, Reid Hoffman, and has seen steady growth since its official launch in 2003. LinkedIn has earned a reputation as the professional social media platform that entrepreneurs can use to find the right buyers, quality leads,  and the right workforce.

LinkedIn stands out from the other social media platforms, because the majority of its members come to the platform with the intention of networking with other like-minded individuals. One of LinkedIn’s greatest benefits is its ability to enable entrepreneurs to connect with small business owners, CEOs, VPs, key decision-makers, entrepreneurs, and potential customers. The platform gives entrepreneurs an effective digital site for finding, engaging, and building a relationship with their ideal customers. 

Unlike past decades, LinkedIn lets you research companies and locate decision-makers without having to spend your days cold calling. Through its platform, you can engage with your ideal prospect through groups and recommendations from your first-degree contacts.

This new strategy, known as social selling, hasn’t been fully embraced by the business world yet. However, businesses that have embraced social selling and integrated these strategies into their sales process have yielded great benefits. 

Understanding how to utilize LinkedIn can increase the number of highly targeted leads that you can generate. If you aren’t already using LinkedIn marketing in your online marketing strategy, the following chapters will show you how to optimize your LinkedIn profile and the unique features to generate targeted leads and increase sales for your business. 

Considering that 44% of LinkedIn users take home more than $75,000 per year, which is above the national median in the US, these are your potential customers with attractive buying power. Furthermore, the networking and marketing opportunities afforded by being a member of LinkedIn are invaluable.