What is LinkedIn Learning and How Can It Benefit Small Businesses? (Guide for 2023)

LinkedIn Learning is an e-learning platform that offers over 16,000 expert-led courses covering everything from leadership soft skills to technical programs like Photoshop and Web Development.

With flexible, self-paced courses taught by real-world working professionals, LinkedIn Learning makes it simple and affordable for small businesses to equip their teams with in-demand skills.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover:

  • Key Features of LinkedIn Learning
  • Benefits for Small Business Owners and Solopreneurs
  • Costs and Subscription Options
  • How to Get Started With LinkedIn Learning
  • Tips for Using LinkedIn Learning to Grow Your Small Biz

Key Features of LinkedIn Learning

Some standout features include:

16,000+ Courses in Business, Technology, and Creative Skills

With over 16,000 courses and growing, LinkedIn Learning offers an incredibly wide range of subjects to promote continuous skills development. From graphic design to SEO marketing to Excel dashboards for analytics, small businesses can access expert guidance on nearly any topic.

Popular courses such as Become a Content Marketing Pro and Lead with Emotional Intelligence provide game-changing professional development opportunities.

Real-World Working Professionals as Instructors

While some online learning platforms rely on trainers to develop courses, LinkedIn Learning leverages working professionals with years of industry experience.

For small business owners, this means learning best practices directly from those leading organizations in the real-world. Their battle-tested perspectives provide unique value.

Customizable Team Portals

With LinkedIn Learning, you can organize, assign, track and report on employee progress from an intuitive admin dashboard. Monitor team engagement, skills gaps, and training initiatives in one centralized portal purpose-built for businesses.

Offline Viewing and Mobile Access

With mobile apps for iOS and Android, learners can view courses online or offline, allowing for learning during commutes, flights, or other internet-restrictive situations. This flexibility and portability is key for time-constrained business owners and remote teams.

Course Certificates to Share Achievements

Finishing a course earns you a shareable certificate of completion. This allows small businesses to exhibit new credentials, achievements and subject matter expertise learned through the courses.

How Can LinkedIn Learning Benefit Small Businesses?

While individual learners can certainly benefit from LinkedIn Learning for self-improvement, the platform provides tremendous strategic advantages to solopreneurs, entrepreneurs, startups and small business teams who invest in professional development.

Develop In-Demand Business Skills

The most successful small business owners commit to continuously advancing their knowledge. With courses on financial analysis, strategic planning, project management and other critical business leadership competencies, LinkedIn Learning makes this achievable for companies with even the leanest of budgets.

Say you need to quickly get up to speed on digital advertising tactics, competitive analysis, content marketing fundamentals, graphic design tools, or modern HR practices…LinkedIn Learning has you covered.

Strengthen your business skill sets through LinkedIn Learning paths such as:

  • Business Leadership and Management
  • Entrepreneurship Foundations
  • Marketing Essentials
  • Effective Communications

Cater your learning to your unique situation with personalized course recommendations based on current business goals.

Close Skills Gaps in Your Team

Does your team need to improve skills in areas like customer service, presentation delivery, email marketing, SEO, social media strategy? Or maybe you have new employees needing to quickly get up to speed?

LinkedIn Learning makes it possible to address skill set gaps and empower employees to reach their full potential. Assign relevant courses based on strengths & development areas to promote a culture of learning.

With small teams, it’s difficult to offer internal training programs or send employees away to external workshops. Providing on-demand, online courses is affordable way to expand your people’s capabilities.

Boost Employee Productivity and Engagement

Research shows that 50% of employees would be more loyal to a company that invests in their career development. Yet, 58% of leaders state lack of learning opportunities will cause them to leave their jobs.

LinkedIn Learning helps small businesses improve retention, increase job satisfaction, and nurture talent by demonstrating an investment in personnel growth.

Developing skills also naturally boosts employee productivity, ensuring your team operates at their highest capacity to drive business results.

Recruit Top Talent More Easily

A company’s employer brand heavily impacts ability to recruit specialized employees and standout talent.

While pay and benefits play a role, today’s top candidates also highly value personal and professional development opportunities.

Providing LinkedIn Learning access communicates commitments to talent growth that job seekers crave.

Increase Leadership Abilities of Owners/Managers

For current or aspiring entrepreneur/executives, LinkedIn Learning has specific leadership courses to help manage growing companies.

Subjects range from Developing People, Fostering Innovation, Cultivating Culture to Managing Team Performance.

Strengthening your strategic thinking muscles, emotional intelligence and visionary direction-setting ultimately helps the entire business maximize potential.

LinkedIn Learning Pricing and Plans

One huge benefit of LinkedIn Learning is flexibility of subscription options to fit different needs.

Free Version

LinkedIn members on the Free version can access over 15,000 courses. However, limited to 5 course videos per month.

Best for dipping your toes in or accessing a few courses that pique interest.

Premium Career Package

  • $29.99/month billed annually
  • Unlimited course access
  • 62% of Fortune 500 companies offer to employees

Best for solopreneurs, freelancers, and very small teams of 1-3 employees.

Premium Business Package

  • $49.99/user / year
  • Custom admin dashboard to manage and track learning
  • API integration
  • Unlimited course access
  • Learning paths
  • 65% of Fortune 100 offer this to employees

Ideal for small/medium businesses looking to train up staff. Cost per user declines as more added.

Many small companies access LinkedIn Learning through forming consortiums where groups collectively purchase access at reduced rates.

Getting Started With LinkedIn Learning

Ready to get you or your team learning? Here’s how to begin:

1. Activate Your LinkedIn Account

Visit LinkedIn.com to signup for a free account or login to existing profile.

Ensure your profile accurately represents latest experience.

2. Select LinkedIn Learning Within LinkedIn

Click on Learning icon next to Notifications. Choose browsing courses or viewing recommended based on your profile and interests.

3. Launch a Course & Begin Learning

Search for relevant courses, topics, tools or skills. Tap title you’re interested in and press “Start course” to begin!

4. Access Certificates & Reflections on Course Completions

Finishing a course lets you add Certificates to your profile and post public reflections showcasing your latest skills.

5. Download Mobile App

Take LinkedIn Learning on-the-go! Download to keep advancing skills during pockets of downtime from app stores.

Tips for Using LinkedIn Learning to Grow Your Small Business

Here are some best practices for solopreneurs, entrepreneurs and small business owners looking to maximize value of LinkedIn Learning:

Kickstart Daily Learning Habit. Set a cadence for consistent learning by blocking off set times each week to take courses. Consistency is key!

Tie Courses to Business Objectives. Identify 2-3 top-level company goals for the quarter. Find LinkedIn Learning courses to expand knowledge on how to specifically achieve them.

Learn In Phases. Don’t feel you need to tackle everything at once. Take courses related to immediate priorities first before expanding into others. Think sprints over marathons.

Put Into Practice. As you take courses, find ways to directly apply the skills and knowledge to your business. Learning for learning sake alone won’t grow your company. Execute and implement!

Share Successes. Did a marketing course help you achieve 20%+ growth for a campaign? Share across your LinkedIn feed and company blog to motivate peers while demonstrating your expertise.

Issue Small Challenges. Challenge managers and employees to each complete X hours per month or X courses per quarter. Friendly competition fuels engagement!

Highlight Upon Hiring. During onboarding processes with new hires, showcase available LinkedIn Learning access as a company benefit to get them excited about growth opportunities from day one.

Consider Rewards. Some companies tie LinkedIn Learning utilization and course completion rates to performance reviews, bonuses or other incentive programs. However, be cautious not to lose intrinsic motivation.

Socialize & Collaborate. Encourage peer discussions on courses being taken. Arrange occasional Virtual Learnathons where employees block off larger chunks of time to take courses together.

Continue Your Learning Journey

As a small business owner and entrepreneur, the journey of growth never ends. There are always ways to expand knowledge, skills and abilities to improve yourself as a leader along with bettering your business operations.

Now more than ever, investing in yourself and your team is vital.

With LinkedIn Learning, stay ahead of change, keep developing as a manager, close skills gaps in your company, retain top talent and boost innovation.

The time is now. Your future starts today.