Building Your Network – and Your List – with LinkedIn

LinkedIn-LogoMost business people I know are aware of LinkedIn. They know it’s a business networking platform within the larger catch-all known as “social media.” Many know LinkedIn is not only a great place to connect (or reconnect) with other professionals in their field, but also to engage with past, current and prospective clients and even find potential new hires.

It’s also a great place to form or join groups of like-minded individuals who can become or refer clients. And a lot of worthwhile information is posted there that can prove helpful in your everyday work life.

And since LinkedIn is 277% more effective than other social networks in generating leads, you’d be crazy not to be making the most of it, right?

What too many don’t seem to understand, however, is the best way to make meaningful and mutually beneficial connections with people on LinkedIn. I have observed the following (in my opinion) misguided ways in which people seek to connect on LinkedIn:

  • Sending invitations out of the blue to people they don’t know, using the pre-packaged invitation copy provided by LinkedIn (“I’d like to add you to my network.” Really? Why? Who are you? How do we know one another, or whom / what do we have in common?)
  • Indiscriminately joining every group that has a word within its name relating to their business (for instance, “marketing,” “law,” “construction,” “restaurant,” etc) and then failing to interact, interacting too infrequently, or contributing only negative or “know-it-all” type comments within the groups they’ve joined.
  • Endorsing others’ skills and expertise when they don’t have sufficient knowledge to do so.

Here are my best tips for making the most of LinkedIn’s unique opportunities: (more…)

Introducing Our New Referral Rewards Program

Budget-CuttingAs part of my 2013 marketing plan, I decided to devise a plan to reward those who help us grow our business by making it easier for them to grow theirs. So, I analyzed others’ programs, tossed around a few different ideas, and finally …

I’m pleased to announce our brand new Referral Rewards program!

Now, this program is not exclusively for new clients, as I found many such programs to be. Why would I choose to reward new clients and not those who are already contributing to my business success? That made no sense to me. So, instead, I designed it so that Referral Rewards can be included in our initial contract with new clients or as a contract addendum with our existing clients.

I also didn’t want to make the program overly complicated, and I didn’t necessarily see any point in putting an expiration date on it, since there is no limit to my gratitude for those who refer business to me 🙂

As a result, Referral Rewards is literally as simple as 1-2-3! Here’s how it works: (more…)

Online Reputation Management

Online Reputation ManagementOne of my favorite quotes about online reputation management is by Tyler Tervooren: “Even if you opt out of participating in the digital world, your online identity still exists in parallel; you’re just not in charge of it.” Basically, it comes down to this: Refusing to acknowledge that people are talking about you does not make that talk go away. And if that talk is negative or inaccurate or untruthful, you have, essentially, decided to allow others to decide who you are and what your brand represents.

Whether due to time constraints, or not knowing enough about how online marketing differs from traditional media, or an inability to keep up with the ever-changing world of online marketing – monitoring online channels is not something the average business professional can reliably do on their own. Many try, only to find sooner rather than later that neither they nor their staff have the time and expertise necessary to develop the Know-Like-Trust factor that leads fans, followers and other online connections to be converted into buyers.

Understanding those challenges is what led me to transform my own business from a general sales and marketing consulting firm to one focused exclusively on branding through social media, online, and email marketing.

Managing Your Online Reputation

There are two equally bad responses to negative online feedback: (more…)

How to Outsmart Facebook

Design a Facebook News Feed you actually look forward to reading

Did you know …

Facebook now requires page administrators to PAY to promote status updates to fans who already like your page (CRAZY, huh?). If you do not pay to promote your posts, only about 10% (or less) of your fans will receive your updates in their news feeds – even though they’ve indicated they want to hear from you!

We were blown away to think that, chances are, we’re probably not seeing everything our favorite pages are posting – and, worse yet – those who’ve *LIKED* our page are not seeing all of our posts, either!

If your business or organization has a Facebook page, this should concern you.

So, what’s the solution? (more…)

The Fifth P of Marketing

Marketing StrategyWe’re all familiar with the Four P’s of Marketing:

Product. The right product to satisfy the needs of your target customer.

Price. The right product offered at the right price.

Place. The right product offered at the right price available in the right place to be bought by customers.

Promotion. Informing potential customers of the availability of your product, its price, and where they can purchase it.

Each of the Four P’s is a variable that you control in creating the marketing mix that will attract customers to your business.

But marketing in the 21st century requires a Fifth P: