Four Corners Economic Development
“Are you thinking of starting or relocating a business in the southwest? Or maybe you need to grow or sustain your locally owned business? Four Corners Economic Development can help you do just that! Servicing San Juan County, New Mexico (Farmington MSA) in the beautiful Four Corners region, we here at Four Corners Economic Development (4CED) are working hard to create an ecosystem where people and businesses flourish. Centrally located and rich in culture, sunshine, natural resources and outdoor adventure we are focused on expanding the agriculture, energy, manufacturing, and tourism industries in our area.” For more information contact Four Corners Economic Development at 4cornersed.com or 800-854-5053.
Small Business Development Center
Established companies, as well as businesses just starting, call the Small Business Development Center a partner and friend. As the state's only nationally accredited small business support provider, counselors assist in pre-and post-venture planning with no-charge confidential one-on-one consulting, low cost training in a variety of subjects, and are able to assist your company in networking with other local companies to achieve your goals. Contact Carmen Martinez, 505-566-3528.
San Juan College Enterprise Center
The SJC-Enterprise Center is a business incubator designed to assist start-up and emerging businesses. We serve our clients by providing office and/or light manufacturing space, shared business services, and coaching and training. SJC-Enterprise Center is a member of the National Business Incubator Association and is one of only five-certified business incubators in New Mexico. Contact Judy Castleberry, 505-566-3699.
Center for Workforce Training
Center for Workforce Training (CWT) offers a wide range of nationally and internationally recognized soft skills and computer technology classes. The trainings offered by CWT are not cookiecutter. We develop classes that are fast track and directly tailored to meet the needs of our local organizations and businesses. Contact Nancy Sisson, 505-566-3501
WESST is a non-profit organization staffed in Famington by Chris Hunter, MBA and serving NW NM and the Navajo Nation. WESST assists small businesses with all aspects of technical assistance including business plans, financial models, marketing and business development advisory services. Group and one-on-one training including software like MS Excel and QuickBooks. WESST is an SBA microlender offering start-up capital and access to funding through WESST loan fund and other sources including conventional and other lenders. Contact Chris Hunter, 505-566-3715.
New Mexico Manufacturing Extension Partnership
New Mexico Manufacturing Extension Partnership (New Mexico MEP) is part of the a national network which provides technical and business resources to manufacturers who are prepared to expand their capabilities and increase profitability. New Mexico MEP also provides a unique set of workforce development offerings that prepare employees to be competitive in the global market. Contact Denise Williams, 505-860-9961.
7 Ways to Use LinkedIn to Grow Your Small Business
Grow your small business with LinkedIn by using these seven proven tactics.
There are nearly 30 million small businesses in the United States, but only half of them will make it past five years. To ensure your small business is in the successful half, we encourage you to capitalize on the various ways LinkedIn can evolve your business.
With LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network, you can generate leads, produce sales, and hire top professionals to fuel your growth. Here are seven ways to grow your business using LinkedIn:
1. Create a LinkedIn Company Page
We’ve found that LinkedIn members are 50% more likely to buy once they’ve engaged with your business on LinkedIn. But they can’t connect with you if you don’t have a LinkedIn Company Page. According to Forbes, only 57% of companies have pages. The remaining 43% are missing out on a free opportunity to generate leads, talent, and, ultimately, revenue.
If you don’t already have one, create a LinkedIn Company Page. Personal profiles don’t have the same marketing, advertising, and recruiting features as Company Pages, making them less effective at promoting your business. As you create your page, think about the kind of impression you want to create among potential customers and employees. This will help you select the right photos and messages to use on your page.
For a step-by-step guide on how to create an above and beyond Company Page, view our LinkedIn Company Page Best Practices.
2. Promote Your Company Page
Once you have a Company Page, announce it to your clients, employees, and personal network. This will help you gain your first followers, who in turn will help to promote your Company Page on the content you post to it.
Promoting your page on other platforms or via email is also a great way to grow your audience. Here are some simple ways to get the word out:
- Announce the launch of the Company Page on your personal LinkedIn profile
- Encourage employees to follow the Company Page by making it a part of your onboarding process—Social Media Today reports that content shared by employees receives eight times the engagement as brand shared content
- Link to your Company Page in the footer of your marketing emails or newsletters
- Embed a Company Follow button onto your website so visitors can easily follow your LinkedIn Company Page
3. Share Content Regularly
The more you post, the more people you can potentially reach and convert. Best-in-class LinkedIn Company Pages are consistently updated to ensure that visitors have plenty of new content to consume and share.
To get started, try posting at least once per week. It’s not uncommon for companies to post three or more times per day. Post whenever you have something worth saying. Posting consistently shows Company Page visitors that your company is active on LinkedIn. Use LinkedIn’s Company Page analytics to see your top performing updates, your best times to post, and which members of your audience are the most engaged. With this information, it’s easy to make data-driven decisions to optimize your Company Page content.
In addition to posting often, here are a few more stats to help you boost engagement:
- Posts with links receive up to 45% more engagement
- Images see an incredible 98% increase in engagement
- Posts that have relevant “best-of” lists get almost 40% more amplification
When a post gets good engagement, consider promoting it to a wider audience with LinkedIn Sponsored Content. Take the Sponsored Content Tour and discover how Sponsored Content amplifies your best content.
4. Showcase Thought Leadership
Seventy nine percent of buyers say thought leadership is critical for determining which companies they want to learn more about. To get started with thought leadership content, try to provide a unique perspective on your industry, product, or organization. Sharing your opinion on the future of your industry or creating a definitive guide on your product are just two ways to demonstrate your expertise and position your company as a credible partner.
For more ideas and advice on expanding your brand’s authority, download our Sophisticated Marketer’s Guide to Thought Leadership to learn more.
5. Target Sales Prospects
LinkedIn has over 500 million users to date. That may seem like a lot to sort through, but LinkedIn also provides you with tools to identify and target your ideal audience.
LinkedIn members are more likely than other social media users to keep their profiles up-to-date, making it easier for you to find the right people. Use LinkedIn profile data to search for LinkedIn members based on geographic location, education, experience, and even connections. Once you’ve found prospects using the search feature, visit their profiles. Their endorsements or recent profile views might surface additional qualified prospects, too.
For more ways to reach your ideal audience, learn how to advertise on LinkedIn.
6. Build an All-Star Team
LinkedIn has helped 75% of job switchers make informed career decisions, making LinkedIn a top recruiting network. What are candidates looking for when making those decisions? Our research shows that 66% of candidates want to see company culture over everything else. To take advantage of this preference, consider enhancing your Company Page with a LinkedIn Career Page.
Career Pages allow you to target audiences with a personalized look into your company, culture, and jobs. They give you dedicated Life and Jobs Tabs on your Company Page that attract and engage relevant professionals.
In addition to creating Career Pages, encourage employees to share job postings and “day in the life” content as well. This gives visitors a genuine idea of what it’s like to work for you and adds to your authenticity. If you have a few employees who lead the pack in sharing content, consider linking them to your Company Page’s Life Tab. Their shared articles and recent updates will automatically populate, providing visitors with up-to-date information. Watch our video below on how to use the Life Tab to attract the right talent for your company.
7. Hire Freelancers
You’ve probably had an employee who took on a task outside of their domain. You might have even done it yourself a few times. While the effort is commendable, learning on the fly can also be detrimental.
Fortunately, finding the right talent for the task at hand isn’t as tricky as it once was, even if you can’t afford the salary of a full time employee.
LinkedIn ProFinder enables you to post your projects, receive free proposals, and hire trustworthy professionals all in one place. ProFinder will even pair you with local professionals to ensure you have the best freelance experience possible. With 172 professional services available on ProFinder, it’s easy to find the perfect professional for any task.
LinkedIn vets all of the professionals on the platform to ensure they are qualified and leverages your network to find freelancers your connections have used, so you’re never in the dark about who you’re hiring.
By using freelancers, you’ll get access to outside perspectives & broad experience of professionals of all kinds, from creating websites and designing logos to managing your books or crafting your marketing strategy. Plus, with none of the management overhead of a full-time employee, you can focus solely on the job at hand.