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Utilize These LinkedIn Tips To Rock Your Profile

LinkedIn can be a powerful platform for professionals and entrepreneurs alike. When used properly, you can attract the attention of job seekers, recruiters or potential customers who want to utilize your services. In order to do that, you need to take the right approach to setting up your profile. Utilize LinkedIn’s platform and features to highlight your strengths and stand out.

Don't treat LinkedIn simply as an online resume. Set up your profile to help accomplish your goals.Click To Tweet

Here are  some tips to do just that:

Customize Your URL

It’s much easier to publicize your profile with a customized URL. Ditch the assigned numbers that you get upson sign up and make it personal, (ideally with your name, such as:www.linkedin.com/in/saranickleberry

On the Edit Profile screen, at the bottom of the gray window that shows your basic information, you’ll see a Public Profile URL. Click “Edit” next to the URL, and specify what you’d like your address to be. When you’re finished, click Set Custom URL.

Make Your Headline Sizzle

Skip the standard job title and company. Instead, use that space to succinctly showcase your specialty or value proposition. The more specific you can be about what sets you apart from the competition, the better.

Own Your Summary

Own your summary by writing in the first person.  Writing in the third person appears odd. Everyone assumes you wrote your summary anyway. No need to separate your accomplishments with your identity. Writing about what you did shows confidence and just makes sense.

Highlight Your Experience

Not unlike like your resume, your LinkedIn profile is a place to highlight your best accomplishments. Use your profile experience section to describe what you did, how well you did it, and who it impacted.

Show and Tell

Do you know you can add video, publications, documents and presentations to your LinkedIn profile? You can and you should! This is a site where people ARE interested in what you can do. On LinkedIn you can tell them AND show them!

Be Strategic About Endorsements

Endorsements on LinkedIn are great. But make sure you manage them. You can edit the recommendations listed on your profile. Keep your skills updated and don’t over list them. Be sure they reflect relevant skills.

Connect With Intent

How connected are you? On LinkedIn, you should connect with at least 501 people. This is because LinkedIn will show how many connections you have until you hit 500. People like to connect with “connected” people. Just make sure you connect with intent and purpose.

Don’t Default

LinkedIn has a default connection message that states“I’d like to connect with you on LinkedIn.” Don’t settle for that. Use this opportunity to stand out. Tell them why you want to connect and use this as an opportunity to show how much you value making this connection.

Use LinkedIn’s Publishing Feature

The Pulse publishing platform is a valuable way to share original content that is relevant to your business, increase your exposure and establish yourself as a thought leader. It’s also a great place to repurpose older content from your blog that is still relevant. You’ll get new life from your “evergreen” content and expose it to possibly a whole new audience.

Take advantage of these great ways that LinkedIn has made it easier to network and spotlight your skills in a digital way. You’ll stand out and maximize your chances of gaining opportunities for new business.

 

social media etiquette

Social Media For Athletes

I have trained and presented on various aspects of Social Media but recently I had a first. Yesterday I had the opportunity to be a part of the 2014 Scarlet Communications Etiquette Training team for the Rookies of the Detroit Lions. It was truly a privilege. Jacqueline Northrop Baker of Scarlet Communications hosts an Etiquette Training each year for the Detroit Lions Rookies where they learn etiquette in a number of different areas ranging from communications to golf to grooming. I presented on the topic of social media etiquette for athletes.

In preparing for the event, I did some research and found that there were a number of atheletes who were doing some really great things on social media. It was intriguing to see how many have taken such a powerful tool and really used it to benefit them. The biggest benefit to public figures like athletes and celebrities is personal branding. Personal Branding is essentially the continuous process of establishing a prescribed image or impression in the mind of others. Essentially, it’s what people think about when they think about you.  Athletes, public figures and business owners alike must always consider their brand in their online interactions.

While there are certain things to consider for the professional athlete, much of it is true for those of us looking to use social media for our business or careers. Here are some of the things we discussed:

  1. With social media, athletes, public figures, entrepreneurs have access to social networks that allow them to leverage powerful tools to build their personal brands. It is important to be purposeful and strategic when using social media.
  2. Social Media gives you the opportunity to shape and guide your brand image
  3. It is always wise to be cautious and strategic about what you share and how you share things on social media. We are living in what some call a “post privacy” era. So almost nothing happens outside of camera range.

BIGGEST DON’TS:

  • Being reactionary
  • Being emotional
  • Lashing out

BIGGEST DO’s

  • Providing a forum where your fans can connect, interact and engage with you and other fans
  • Promoting causes that are important to you
  • Being relatable, personable
  • Sharing your story

People like to connect with PEOPLE not entities, not logos. Just like in sports, fans like to connect beyond the organization, beyond the team. They want to connect online with their favorite players. Just like in business, people like to do business with people they like. As business owners we all need to step out from behind the logo and connect with people on a personal level.

Do you follow athletes on social media? What do you look for and like to see from them on social media? Please share in the comments below.

 

 

social media

The Worst Mistake You Might Be Making On Social Media

One of the biggest misconceptions about social media marketing is that it’s about promoting your business. While it is your business that has that Facebook page, Twitter profile, Google Plus page or Instragram account, and those are all social networks, social media marketing is not about your business. It’s about your audience.

What exactly do I mean?

The idea is to build relationships with your audience members, or target market. In order to build relationships, you need to have conversations. In order to have conversations, you need to provide something to talk about that is of interest to those you are targeting, your audience.

What does your audience want to talk about?

Well, not your business! Not exactly anyway. The biggest mistake businesses make is to constantly promote their business rather than provide value to your audience. If you are only posting about your latest product, your latest sale, your latest promotion, you’re missing the point. Just like no one wants to watch commercial after commercial or constantly see ads online, people don’t want to be sold to from your social accounts.  If you’re constantly bombarding your audience with selling, they are no doubt tuning you out. This strategy is all about you. With social media, your focus needs to be on “them”.

Your audience wants to know what kind of value you can bring. What’s in it for them?

Consider your area of expertise. What value can you provide? What tips can you offer? How can you solve problems your audience has? Are you an interior designer? What design tips can you offer? Are you a travel agent? What tips can you offer travelers to make traveling easier for families? For the business traveler? Providing value to your social media audience through your knowledge builds trust and helps to brand you as an expert in your field.

Use social media to educate your audience. Offering value in a way that helps your followers is a great start to building relationships. To help you do this better, you can ask your audience questions.  Ask questios to determine what problems you can help solve. Ask questions to help you get to know your audience better.  You can do brief surveys with your audience to help you learn more about them as well.

The most important thing to keep in mind is that while you want to find people to do business with you, you want to go about it by building relationships. Doing this takes time. It’s a long term commitment. Think less “SALE” and think more VALUE.

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/manel/138471225/”>Manel</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/”>cc</a>

Effective Google Plus Branding Features

One of the much talked about benefits of Google Plus is the SEO benefits. From Google searches, to the effects of searches from those in your circles, to Live Hangouts which link to Youtube, to linking your website with your Google Plus Page, there are MANY benefits of search optimization for you and your business.

But what about Branding? Social media marketing in general is great for branding you and your business. Your online real estate, your content, your voice, all give you the opportunity to establish brand identity and awareness. Google Plus is no exception.

Google Plus boasts many features that will allow you the opportunity to present your brand and tell your story.

HANGOUTS

Hangouts are a fantastic way to add a personal touch to your marketing efforts. You can host a hangout for a small group of people or host a live hangout for an unlimited audience. There are a long list of possibilities and creativity that you can apply: Q&A’s, product launches, How-To demonstrations, interviews, trainings, announcements. Hangouts on Air are linked to YouTube so they can be shared over and over again. You can combine typed conversations, images and video conferencing into a single experience. Hangouts can brand you as an expert in your field.

LOWER THIRDS

One of the cool things you can do on Hangouts for branding is create a “lower third” to display your name and logo at the bottom of the screen for when you’re “hanging out”. Here’s how: Start a Hangout.
Click on Hangout Toolbox in the sidebar to reveal lower third options. Follow the steps!(enter your name, business name, logo, background color, then save.)

AUTHORSHIP

Google Authorship is how Google authenticates and will increasingly begin to “trust” you as a quality source of content.
Setting up Google Authorship is simple. Identify yourself to Google through your Google+ profile and then link back to it from your content and vice versa. Google Authorship is the easiest way to take advantage of the SEO benefits of Google+,. But it’s also good for branding as doing so will allow the author’s picture to show up next to his or her blog posts in Google search results.

COMMUNITIES

Communities are great for building relationships with your audience. In communities you can address more specific needs in a safe environment while building trust, and establishing yourself as an expert in your niche.

Incorporating Google Plus as part of your strategy will not only help you grow your online network, it will further establish your brand image.

5 Ways To Use Social Media To Brand Yourself And Create Buzz In Your Business

Social media marketing is about having conversations, building relationships and educating your audience. It’s less focused on selling and more focused on value. It is also the perfect place to brand yourself, build brand awareness and generate buzz in your business.

Social Media is the perfect place to tell your story. It’s a place where you can build brand awareness and showcase your business without screaming I’M TRYING TO SELL YOU SOMETHING. On social media, a soft sell works best. That’s why it’s best to use it as a tool to establish yourself as an authority, an expert in your niche, educate your audience and solve problems and tell them about your business and what you do in creative ways.

Here are 5 ways you can brand yourself and generate buzz using Social Media.

1. PHOTOS
Share photos of you and your business in action. Are you a speaker or presenter? Share photos of you speaking at events on your page. Is your business product based? Share photos of your latest products. Post pictures of yourself at industry events or training.

2. VIDEO
Videos are a great way to connect, engage and BRAND YOURSELF! There are many options available. Share video clips of you offering tips and expertise. Do product demonstrations. Get creative! Host Google Hangouts!

3. STATS
Educate your audience with statistics, facts and information that are relative to your area of expertise. Make sure the information is valuable to your audience and provokes them to want to learn more about your business.

4. WRITE
Blog about it! Write blog posts and articles about what you know best that can best help solve problems for your target audience. Are you in the travel business? Share travel tips about what to do in certain destinations, how to pack items that are airport screening friendly. Give tips on what to bring on a cruise, or what to do in whatever areas you specialize in. If you are a Caribbean expert, talk about what are the best attractions to see in Puerto Rico, The Bahamas or Jamaica. Blog posts are great because you are creating web pages with each post. You are also providing content that your audience can pass on which can ultimately expand your network.

5. GRAPHICS
Create branded graphics that features your own crafted tips, or quotes that are relevant to your niche. Make infographics to creatively educate your audience. Infographics are an excellent way to establish yourself as an authority in your niche by showcasing what you know in a fun informative way.

Take advantage of what social media marketing has to offer you in terms of building your business. Your target audience is on social media. Be a problem-solver and go -to person by sharing your expertise in ways that your audience loves to consume by incorporating these things in your social media strategy.

What ways do you brand yourself and showcase your business online? Please share in the comments below!

Social Media Marketing 9 Clues For Success

Take Note: 9 Must Know Things!
Take Note: 9 Must Know Things!
Social Media Marketing can be an overwhelming subject. There is much to learn and many aspects. The good news is, if you keep it simple, it doesn’t have to be so stressful. There are many misconceptions about social media marketing and what it is supposed to do and not supposed to do. So today I want to bring your attention to 9 points that are universal and very important to clue you in on how you should think of social media marketing and how you should approach it:

1. It’s no longer optional. You must be in the game. If you haven’t gotten started yet, get started. If you started but aren’t active. Get active! The benefits are well worth it.

2. YOU are what make your business unique. Be sure to be present and participate. It’s OK to outsource certain tasks. But make sure that you are participating in comments, responses, questions, answers, content selection. Make sure that every aspect of your marketing efforts are consistent with your brand message and image.

3. It’s not “one size fits all”. Because your business is unique, so is your marketing. What works best for one business doesn’t necessarily work best for another. Sometimes it’s trial and error. You have to see what your audience responds to best. Focus on what their needs are and how you can solve problems for them and go from there.

4. Success doesn’t happen overnight. Period. Just like anything else worthwhile, it takes time to see results. Be patient.

5. Being social is MANDATORY. Social media is not about broadcasting. It’s about having conversations. You are developing relationships. You must socialize.

6. You can do anything but not everything. Ever heard that saying? Choose your platforms wisely. Go where your audience is. If they are on Twitter, be there. If they’re on Pinterest, be there. But you don’t have to be EVERYWHERE. Build your community on one platform and then move on to the next. Don’t overwhelm yourself unnecessarily.

7. Things change daily. Sometimes hourly! You must study to keep up. Stay plugged in so that you are informed of changes to terms and policies, redesigns, new features that will have an impact on your marketing efforts.

8. Social Media is FUN. Don’t make it complicated. It’s simple, be social. Focus on building relationships, having those important conversations, building trust and ultimately loyalty. The people you develop relationships will be ambassadors for your brand.

9. You must take your networking efforts offline as well. Social Media is just one aspect, not the end all be all. Nothing beats face to face conversations and handshaking. Attend networking events, industry events, social events. Get out and meet people!