Category Social Media Marketing

Six Ways to Grow Your Brand on LinkedIn

Six Ways to Grow Your Brand on LinkedIn

Unlike other social media platforms, LinkedIn is just for business—nothing else! So, it would make sense that LinkedIn should be your “go to” platform for personal and business branding. In this article, I’d like to show you a few things you can do to harness LinkedIn’s amazing power to brand either yourself or your business, or even a client’s business!

LinkedIn Pulse

LinkedIn has a blogging feature called Pulse. If you’re not using Pulse, you’re missing out big time! Creating and posting blog posts on LinkedIn will not only get you a lot of eyeballs on your profile, but it will help people really learn who you are, what you know, and what you can do for them. Blogging on LinkedIn is tops!

Advertise Intelligently

LinkedIn advertising is somewhat expensive, but that doesn’t mean that using paid ads in conjunction with LinkedIn isn’t a good idea. Ads on Microsoft’s Bing network are still fairly cheap. And, YouTube’s video ads are cheaper still! Learn about paid advertising and send that traffic to your LinkedIn posts and profile!

Leverage Your Employees

If you have employees, you don’t need to be the only one working LinkedIn! Get them to carry part of the load and make regular posting part of their job descriptions. This doesn’t have to take a lot of time, and it doesn’t have to be a big distraction, either. You can multiply not only your efforts, but also your reach because you’ll be posting content on other people’s accounts.

Use SEO

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. In our case, we’re talking about how people search for other people on LinkedIn. Figure out how people are going to find you and then make sure those keywords are included in your headline and in your profile summary.

Use Video

If you’re not hip to video as a marketing powerhouse, you’re missing the boat! You, or your employees, should be creating videos, which you can post on YouTube and then sharing those on LinkedIn. Sharing is easy! Just a few clicks and now this content is available for all your connections to see.

Use SlideShare

LinkedIn owns SlideShare, which is a PowerPoint and Keynote sharing platform. Another great idea is to take your presentations, share them on SlideShare and then post them on LinkedIn. The more content you can post on LinkedIn the better!

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How to Turn Your Connections into a Tribe on LinkedIn

How to Turn Your Connections into a Tribe on LinkedIn

According to Google’s online dictionary, a tribe is “a social division in a traditional society consisting of families or communities linked by social, economic, religious, or blood ties, with a common culture and dialect, typically having a recognized leader.” Seth Godin popularized the idea of tribes in his book, aptly named Tribes. The idea being that people tend to find each other through the Internet, and also that businesses and thought leaders can take advantage of this phenomenon to sell more of their products and services. So, having said all of that, wouldn’t it be great if you…yes you…could build a tribe for yourself? Fortunately for you, LinkedIn is a great place to do this, and in the rest of this article, I’m going to show you a few things you can do to start to “tribalize” your connections. Do that, and you’ll never lack for business again!

One of the first things you have to do is to build community. You don’t want to just be connecting with people. You want to reach out to them and bring them into your world! You actually do want to build a relationship with them! One of the most important things you can do is to message your connections on a regular basis. And, when they respond, you want to deepen that relationship by actually having a conversation with them! You can easily manage this through messaging. No one’s saying you have to meet a few thousand people at Starbucks over the course of the year. You can be intelligent with this. But, if you want a tribe, you do have to go that extra mile!

The other thing you can do is to provide your tribe with pertinent information. Reports, videos, podcasts, audios of other types, all these things will serve to make people more familiar with you. You really should be considering the video component. And, those videos should show your face! Talking! Acting like a caring pro! To have a tribe means you’re the leader. So, you have to start acting like a leader. Do that and you’ll start getting paid like a leader, too!

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Everything Starts with Your LinkedIn Headline

Everything Starts with Your LinkedIn Headline

Besides your picture, your headline is the first thing people actually see when they run across you on LinkedIn. It’s the first thing they’ll read on your profile, and even if they’re searching and find you, they’ll see your headline below your picture in the search and suggested connection results. Your headline is what entices the reader to read more. If you have a boring headline, you’ve really shot yourself in the foot. If, however, your headline emotionally connects with your target audience, well, you’ve already won half the battle. Here’s some things not to do, and some things to do with your LinkedIn headline.

First off, never use your job title as your headline! That’s not only boring, but there’s no emotional connection with your target audience. Something like “IT Professional” says virtually nothing about you. Not only that, but there are probably a few million people on LinkedIn worldwide who’s title says the same thing. So, not only will you not stand out in the search results, but you’re not branding yourself as different from those other few million!

Instead of a job title, try saying something on a more human level that captures the essence of who you are and what you do. Using our example, what are you actually doing as an IT professional? Maybe you work for a school system, and you’re in charge of maintaining the school’s network. So, you could say something like… “Connecting Children Safely to The Internet.” That may or may not capture the real essence, so please don’t just copy and paste that, but it’s moving in the right direction! You can explain how you’re connecting children safely to the Internet in your paragraph summary where you can elaborate on being an IT professional.

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How to Have Your Next Job (or Client) Find You on LinkedIn

How to Have Your Next Job (or Client) Find You on LinkedIn

One of the great beauties of LinkedIn is that it’s a search engine. Millions of people are using LinkedIn search every day to find other professionals both for jobs and to provide products and services. If you structure your profile right so that you show up in the right searches, you’ll find that the right job (or client) just might come to you easily, instead of you having to go out and find them. In this article, I want to talk about how to do just that. Make your profile very search engine friendly.

The first thing you need to do is to figure out how someone would search for you. You can get some small amount of help from LinkedIn’s analytics, especially if you have a paid account. What might be more useful, though, would be to go to Google and start typing in phrases you think someone might use. Look at the suggested searches that Google suggests. These are searches that have already been done by someone else on Google. And, it’s just as likely that someone’s doing these same searches on LinkedIn. Find a few that make sense for you, and then note down the actual phrase used. These phrases, by the way, are called keywords.

Once you’ve narrowed down to two or three keywords, you’ll want to optimize your profile for them. That starts with the headline. You’ll want to squeeze what you think should be the primary keyword into your headline, all without making it sound weird. The next thing you’ll need to do is to use your main keyword, and perhaps a couple related keywords, in your profile summary. Make sure it reads well, though! You don’t want to sacrifice readability for optimization.

Now that you’ve got your keywords sorted and your profile optimized, you want to make sure that it “sells” to an interested visitor who lands on the page. Start with a good, professional head shot for your picture. Next, you’ll want to beef up your recommendations and skills. The only thing you might want to do after this is to experiment with different keywords to see if you’re showing up in more or fewer searches.

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LinkedIn’s Answer to Your Quarter-Life Crisis

LinkedIn’s Answer to Your Quarter-Life Crisis

If you’re 50 or older, I’m sorry. You’re now past the point of even having a quarter-life crisis, or statistically even a mid-life crisis. A quarter-life crisis is something that happens around age 25 or so. And, if you think about it, that all makes sense.

When you’re in your early to mid-twenties, you’ve probably graduated from college and have some sort of a career. And, you’ve probably settled down, at least a wee bit, on the dating scene. Maybe you’re married. Maybe you’ve at least got a steady “main squeeze”. One thing you probably have a lot of is debt, both college debt and credit card debt. Career, relationships, and finances are the three pillars, if you will, of someone’s life in their twenties and thirties. And, managing all of these can, and quite frankly does, cause a lot of stress in a lot of people!

You might have thought of LinkedIn as a platform that’s more geared to older folks. And, in a way, that’s true. Only about fifteen percent of LinkedIn users are under 30. That’s not stopping LinkedIn from catering to that age group. This is a move that makes total sense. If you get hooked on LinkedIn early in your career lifetime, you’re more likely to stay involved with the platform, which leaves little room for competing business platforms to move in on LinkedIn’s market share.

One of the ways that LinkedIn has decided to cater to younger professionals is through their new feature Career Advice. According to LinkedIn themselves, Career Advice is “a new feature that helps connect members across the LinkedIn network with one another for lightweight mentorship opportunities.” You basically sign up for Career Advice right from your LinkedIn profile. When you do you can specify what type of advice you’re looking for.

This is a brilliant move on LinkedIn’s part! There are over half a billion professionals on LinkedIn. It’s as if the entire group of business professionals on planet Earth are available to you. With Career Advice, you can seek guidance from people who’ve been there and done that. If you haven’t taken advantage of this valuable resource, you might want to give it a go! (Note: It’s not just for youngsters, either!)

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How to Write a Very Powerful LinkedIn Recommendation

How to Write a Very Powerful LinkedIn Recommendation

Recommendations are critical on LinkedIn. Other than your headline, photo, and profile summary, recommendations are probably the next most important thing. Look at them like testimonials (real ones) for a service, business, or product. It’s called social proof in the online marketing world, it getting that social proof is often the key to success or failure. So, with all of that said, what makes the difference between a good, and a not so great recommendation?

The “ho hum” recommendation is generic. It lacks details as to what the person being recommended did or provided in a certain situation that made the difference. The reader is left with thinking, “So what?” Here’s a not so great recommendation.

George provided IT support to our company for a period of six months while we were changing locations. He was proficient, and we’ll definitely reach out to George again if the need arises.

Although not horrible, do you see how unspecific that recommendation is. Sure, it’s positive…sort of! But it really doesn’t tell you too much about what George did and why he was so great. As a matter of fact, it doesn’t tell you George was great at all! This isn’t “cringeworthy”, but it is a little lack luster.

Compare that with this…

George was the third freelance IT technician we hired in a two-month period. The first two were horrible, even leaving us offline for a period of over 24 hours. George was recommended by a friend. I was impressed with him from the beginning. When he arrived at our office, he had already done his homework on our system. He told us exactly what our main problem was and what would be required to fix it. Of course, we hired him on the spot. He even worked over the weekend to get us up and running as fast as possible. Not only did George fix our main problem, but he found a few other mistakes from our first two freelance IT guys. He fixed those too without even charging us extra. I’ve already recommended George to two other CTO’s that I know, and I’ll happily recommend him again!

Do you see the huge difference between these two? One’s like a limp, used dishrag. The other’s full of details and praise! That right there is how to write a killer recommendation for LinkedIn!

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LinkedIn Networking Essentials

LinkedIn Networking Essentials

LinkedIn IS a networking platform! Repeat this at least twenty times a day when you get up in the morning! I’m always amazed at how many people have LinkedIn profiles, but yet do nothing to actually network there. Okay, I get it. Maybe not everyone is a sales person, but surely everyone can benefit from knowing more people in their career field. What if you walk in on Monday and get the dreaded pink slip? What are you going to do then? When it comes to personal networks size (and quality) actually does matter. So, let’s talk about how even the most wall flower of all the wall flowers can network efficiently on LinkedIn.

Connections

Don’t be too picky about your connections, and at the same time, be very picky. This sounds contradictory, and it is. Here’s the deal, though. LinkedIn works like that old game, six degrees of separation. I’m connected to you. You’re connected to someone else. And, I’m only indirectly connected to you. But there’s massive power in that indirect connection! The more connections you have, the more your network expands. But…you need to be directly connected to someone in order to message them. (Inmails are so expensive!) You need both! A large number of connections and also targeted connections.

Networking

Reach out to people in your network regularly. Doesn’t have to be every month. Just at least once a year for those people who’ve fallen by the wayside. You’ll be surprised at how much business will just bubble to the surface just by doing this.

Status Updates

Keep your profile and your status updates up to date! Tell your audience what you’re up to, as far as work is concerned. What projects are you working on? How might that benefit them? What types of employees are you looking for? You’d be amazed at who’s reading your updates and who you can get to reach out to you this way.

Communicate

And, while you’re actually networking, how about really communicating with people? Ask them how the new job is going. How’s that move to Colorado Springs? Again, your goal is to stir up the proverbial mud and see what rises to the top!

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Here’s Some Novel Things to Do on LinkedIn to Really Stand Out

Here’s Some Novel Things to Do on LinkedIn to Really Stand Out

I’ve spent a lot of time on LinkedIn, both helping others master the platform and building out my own account. I’ve seen a lot of things done wrong and a few things done right. Standing out, branding yourself, positioning yourself (whatever you want to call it) on LinkedIn doesn’t have to be difficult. It’s really just a matter of common sense, and a slight bit of old fashioned sales skill. In this article I want to give you a few good ideas that will make your presence on LinkedIn shine!

Don’t Use the Generic Connect Request!

When you send someone a connect request on LinkedIn, you’re offered the opportunity to write your own message or use LinkedIn’s generic message. It’s so tempting to use the generic message because it’s so much faster! Don’t do that, because if you do, you’ll a: look like everyone else, and quite frankly b: look like you don’t care about the person you want to connect with. And, in point of fact, you don’t do you? Because if you did, you might want to go over to their profile, find some commonality, and mention that so that people know you care about them.

Don’t Use Messaging to Spam!

Well, actually, don’t spam at all! Get someone’s permission before you send them information about yourself, what you do, your business, what you sell, etc. If you don’t get people’s permission, you’re going to come off as a spammer of sorts. Remember the old Zig Ziglar mantra, “People don’t care what you know until they know that you care”? Well, you’re not going to be coming off as caring, are you?

Really Follow Up!

I can’t tell you the number of times someone has contacted me and I’ve messaged them back only to have the conversation drop at the point. It might take some work to keep up with all of this, but you want to follow up with your connections. I follow up with everyone a couple times a year. And, I definitely follow up with conversations that I’m started.

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Big Mistakes Managers Are Making on LinkedIn

Big Mistakes Managers Are Making on LinkedIn

LinkedIn connects virtually every serious business person on the planet. There are slightly over seven billion people on planet Earth right now. Over half a billion of them are on LinkedIn. Given the fact that LinkedIn rigorously polices their accounts looking for duplicates and bots, you can bet that virtually all of those half a billion people are real! Think about it. One out of fourteen people on this entire planet are on LinkedIn!

Not only does this give you an amazing reach as a job seeker, recruiter, freelancer, sales person, or corporate executive, but it also poses a little problem for you. If all your peers, colleagues, and competitors are on LinkedIn, then just BEING on LinkedIn isn’t going to make you stand out. No, you now have to do more than just have an account.

Here’s what a lot of business professionals do. Or rather, what they fail to do. They fail to create and maintain a vibrant LinkedIn presence. But, since everyone else is on the platform, it stands to reason that many of their peers and competitors are indeed creating a vibrant presence. So, look at it this way. Check out your own LinkedIn profile and then check out some of the profiles of your competitors, and what do you see? Unless you’ve spent some time updating your profile and posting content to it, you’re going to look like a, well for lack of a better word, slacker! Your peers have upped the bar, which means you have to up your game too!

So, how do you do this without killing yourself? LinkedIn isn’t your occupation. It’s just necessary to it.

One way is to use automation. I use Hootsuite for instance to auto post status updates and articles I write to the platform. Speaking of articles, another way is to post articles you’ve written on LinkedIn Pulse. This is LinkedIn’s blogging feature. If you want to go a step further, uploading slides you use in presentations to SlideShare and sharing them on LinkedIn is a perfect way for you to look like a thought leading pro. There are other ways, sure, but these three ideas will get you going in the right direction.

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Five Ways to Make Your LinkedIn Profile Snap, Crackle, and Pop!

Five Ways to Make Your LinkedIn Profile Snap, Crackle, and Pop!

Dull and boring just isn’t going to cut it in today’s oversaturated Internet world. Same old same old isn’t going to get you that new job or attract the right clients to your business. You absolutely must stand out from the crowd. And you have to do this in a way that appeals to your market! In this article, I’d like to turn you on to a few things you can do to your profile to stand out from the crowd and make people take notice of you! Ready?

Headline

Let’s start with your headline. DO NOT just put your job title or your main skill. “IT Professional.” “Freelance Writer.” Both of these are generic and don’t do any selling! Think about how you could restructure those to appeal to your market, whether that’s potential employers or clients.

Photo

This one’s a little tricky. You want to have a good, maybe even professional photo, and you want it to stand out a little. For the photo, I’d go towards making sure you look friendly and likable. As long as, that is, you’re in a job where being friendly and likable is a good thing. If you’re an international security expert, then you might want to tone down on the smile.

Profile Summary

Here’s where most folks just fall flat on their face! You get two thousand characters for your profile summary. Use them! And, don’t be generic. Write in first person. That’s much more approachable then writing in third person. Make sure you include a little (not too much) personal history. How did you get where you are? Here’s where you can really distinguish yourself from the rest of the field!

Recommendations

Yes, you want them! You don’t have to have a ton. Three or four great ones will do. But these especially serve to position you as an expert in your field. Most serious visitors to your profile (the ones thinking about possibly hiring you for something) will check out your recommendations and really read them!

Skills

Your list of skills and your endorsements help define more about who you are and what you do. Just like with recommendations, you can bet that anyone serious takes a long look at them.

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