Archive August 25, 2018

What To Do With Your LinkedIn Profile If You’re Starting a Business?

What To Do With Your LinkedIn Profile If You’re Starting a Business?

I get this question all the time, and it basically goes something like this. “I’m working, but I’ve also started a business. How do I use LinkedIn for my new business without tipping off my current boss?” I really, really wish I had an answer to that, but I don’t! At least I don’t have the answer I think everyone wants to hear, that you can do this neatly and efficiently in the same profile, or that you should actually start a new profile and run two accounts at the same time. Neither of these will work. Let me explain why.

Having a profile serve a dual purpose just isn’t going to work. You’re either employed or you’re not at a given business. The only real way I know to approach this problem is as follows, and just so you know, this is less than perfect, but it’s doable! You broaden out and generalize your profile.

Let’s have a quick example. Suppose you’re an IT manager for a given business, and suppose you want to start a social media marketing business on your own. What ties those two together? Well, using technology for business is more of an “umbrella” concept that each of these can fall under. So, instead of being the IT manager for XYZ company, you become an expert at marketing technology. That way your profile will make sense to your boss as well as to prospective customers of your new venture. This actually works quite well, and I’ve seen many people do this with great effect.

The only other option is to create a new account for a second person, who just happens to be you. Unlike some social media platforms, Twitter for instance, LinkedIn discourages this type of thing. If they catch you, and they will in short order, they shut down both your accounts. You might think you can get away with this, but think of all the things that would have to be different on the second profile, work dates, for instance. Do you want to lie about all of that? Having a second profile is the least viable of both these options. Stick with what I call the umbrella method.

Three Important Things Everyone Notices First On Your LinkedIn Profile

Three Important Things Everyone Notices First On Your LinkedIn Profile

The most important part of LinkedIn for an individual user is the profile. Your profile tells everyone who you are, and from there they can decide if they want to connect with you, answer your messages, and potentially do business with you. If you screw up your profile, you’re dead in the water before you even have a chance to get going. So, with that in mind, let’s talk about what people are actually looking at when they land on your profile so you can make that look as positive as possible and maximize your results from LinkedIn.

Number one is your picture. It’s trite, but a picture really does say a thousand words. LinkedIn is a person-to-person networking platform, after all. So, it makes sense that people want to see what you look like, and rightly or wrongly, will judge you by your picture. Get a good picture, preferably one where you’re dressed like a business professional.

Two is the headline just under the picture. We all want to pigeon hole people so we can understand them and figure out where they fit in our world. Your headline needs to succinctly say who you are and what you do. And, if you’re smart, it needs to say so in a language your target audience understands. If you’re in IT, then having a technically oriented headline is fine, as long as you’re trying to communicate only with people who are capable of understanding the jargon.

Three is your profile summary. Here are a couple of tips for that. First off, please user first person. Third person just sounds weird. It’s YOUR profile summary. You wrote it. Talking about yourself in third person sounds like something weird you’d see in a science fiction or horror movie. Next, don’t be cliche! Don’t use overworked phrases like “self-starter”. That’s been done so much that it just screams nothing at all! Just talk honestly about yourself. Pretend you’re explaining who you are and what you do to an intelligent and thoughtful person who’s not in your industry.

Before you do anything else, get these three things right on your profile. You’ll be glad you did!

Small Businesses Don’t Need Social Media Managers

Small Businesses Don’t Need Social Media Managers

If you run a small business, you’ve no doubt wondered if you need to hire someone to keep up with all the social media. After all, there’s Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, SnapChat, and many, many more. It’s a daunting task to think about socially selling your business’s products on all those channels and more. So, what do you do?

One idea is to hire an employee dedicated to branding and selling your company’s products and services socially. That’s the expensive way to go, though. It’s very difficult to quantify how much the efforts of that person are affecting your bottom line. And, if he or she isn’t pulling their weight, their salary, health care costs, and the taxes you pay to hire the are money flushed down the nearest Porta-Potty. A better idea might be to empower your current employees to be your stealth social media army, instead of hiring a dedicated person.

You’re going to have to incentivize this. By that I mean, if you want your employees to be spending time online talking about your business, you’re going to have to a: give them time to do it, and b: monitor what they said. And, honestly, you’re going to have to bribe them to do it. Who would want to spend time during the day talking about their place of work on Facebook when they could be liking and sharing their friends’ new cute puppy pictures?

If you can figure out how to do this, however, and if your employees are game to the idea, then you can start to get a handle on social media marketing for your business that won’t break the bank. You’ll need to have some metrics that you measure. Don’t make this too difficult. Hits on your website before and after the campaign might be a good idea. I’d average your monthly traffic for several months before the campaign starts, and then average the traffic for the same number of months after. If you actually sell through your website, then you’d want to do the same with your website sales.

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Three Steps to Landing a Great Job Using LinkedIn

Three Steps to Landing a Great Job Using LinkedIn

Normally, I write about how entrepreneurs and businesses can use LinkedIn, but I also know there are a lot of folks (as in millions) who want new jobs, and since I’m a very proficient LinkedIn user, I thought I’d take a moment and help the rest of you guys out!

So, you want a new job, and hopefully you have an idea of what type of job it is that you want. Now’s the time to harness the world’s largest and most powerful virtual network to find that job! So, here’s what you need to do in a nutshell.

Step 1: Make sure your profile is “up to snuff”. Make sure it’s completely filled out. LinkedIn actually assigns you “All Star” level proficiency on your profile when you’ve completed the whole thing. While you’re doing this, make sure the dates, etc, jive with what’s on your resume. And, especially make sure you have a great head shot. Look like the winner you are! Remember the old question…would you hire you?

Step 2: Identify the companies you want to work for, and see if you can find the hiring manager or at least the VP of whatever division you want to work in. Actually track down that person on LinkedIn and send them a connect request. Don’t use LinkedIn’s stock request, either. Make it a wee bit more personal, although don’t spam them with how great you are from the get go!

Step 3: Once you’re connected with them, message them and tell them briefly that you’re interested in working for their company. Don’t send them a long message! That’s the kiss of death! Just a few sentences are fine here. Ask if you can send over your CV or resume. Make double sure you get their permission before you forward that to them!

LinkedIn is an incredibly powerful network and can connect you with more people and businesses than you can get to in a life time of doing this. Make sure you do this plan consistently and also make sure you follow up! You’ll have that new job before you know it!

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