- Do you have a website?
- Do you have an email address at that domain name?
- Do you have a company LinkedIn page?
How many of you are 3 for 3?
I still run into people who have been doing business very successfully without a website. Many of them are hyper-local and do most of their business by word-of mouth. But if you have ever watched Eric Qualman’s Social Media Video? Your growth depends upon “World-of-Mouth”.
When you have a website, you validate your authenticity. By taking it one step further and having a company LinkedIn page, you increase your authenticity, but you increase the likelihood of showing up higher in search results.
The first step in creating a company page on LinkedIn is that you MUST have a company email to set-up the company LinkedIn page. You cannot use gmail, yahoo, hotmail or (heaven forbid) aol. If you want to get started right away you can link here - http://marketing.linkedin.com/company-pages/
If you want to take advantage of all of the bells and whistles, you will need some graphics to optimize the profile to the fullest and the time to create a listing of your products and services. This gives you in-bound links that also help drive up your website’s SEO.
Last but not least, if you are creating a company profile, you will want followers. To keep them interested, you will more than likely need to post some interesting information about your company or industry. Get a twofer by sharing your company update to your personal connections! Need to know more about that? Check this post.
Does all of this sound overwhelming? Give me a call.
No matter who you are, if you have a career path you are following, you need one thing in social media – a LinkedIn profile.
When was the last time you searched Google, Bing or Yahoo for your name? If you do search your name, your LinkedIn profile will normally jump to the first spot in search results unless you have a website that is your name. Now having said that, if your profile is just there, not complete, not being used, it won’t help you much. BUT, if you are putting in the effort to show-up on LinkedIn, your profile can do wonders for you. I just searched mine and my LinkedIn profile showed up #1 on all three major search engines.
LinkedIn Company page – one of the best points about a company page on LinkedIn is that it validates you as a business. You must have a name@yourwebsite dot com email address to create a company page. You link your profile to your company profile, and voila, people see your company information in your personal profile AND they see your personal profile image linked to your company page. If you are a B2B business, I would suggest that you may want to enhance your company presence to the Nth degree on LinkedIn. Use all of the images and product spots available to you.
After searching Time2Mrkt on the three search engines, my company profile fell in 3rd behind website pages and Yelp, Twitter or YouTube. (Remember the bond YouTube and Google have now.)
There are so many ways to take advantage of social media to drive your organic search results, it is a shame to waste any opportunities. If I can help you drive your results or find out more about Time2Mrkt services visit: http://time2mrkt.com/productsandservices/
Building a brand isn’t just for companies. As this recent article from Entrepreneur.com states, you need to build your personal reputation as well.
So many names are synonymous with their brand:
- Zappo’s – Tony Hsieh
- Ford – Lee Iacocca
- Facebook – Mark Zuckerberg
- Apple – Steve Jobs
- Motorola – Guy Kawasaki
- Time2Mrkt – Dee Reinhardt (while I am not on this list yet, I am striving to practice what I preach)
When you are building your company brand and you ARE your company, you are building them simultaneously. But if you work for a company, how can you build your personal reputation without taking away from the company? If you are currently unemployed, how do you build your personal brand to promote yourself?
1. Promote thought leadership – share useful opinions and information regularly. Share your thoughts on an article that you have read. Share your views on making a “hot topic” situation better. Ensure that your opinion or expertise is sought after even if it is hyper-local instead of national or international.
2. Stand out – this may be more difficult for some than for others, but find your niche “thing”. One colleague uses bacon as his “thing”. Another colleague’s “thing” is that is all about the other person. What was your 15 (or 30, 60, 90) minutes of fame? How can you incorporate that into your introductions to people you meet?
3. Internet – At first I was going to start with social media, which is a huge driver of how people will discover your personal brand, but it is so much more. LinkedIn is a fantastic tool to develop your personal brand. Because your profile represents you and what you have done with your career, you have the ability to highlight those aspects that will help you express your expertise. Remember you need to post to be seen, and that means on all of your platforms. Blog articles, LinkedIn updates, Google+ live hangouts, webinars, your website, and all the other tools and platforms where your voice can be heard.
How have you built your personal brand?
One of the most frequently asked questions that I receive is “What are endorsements? What good do they do?”. I thought I would put an explanation into words for you.
Endorsements – are a way to give your connection a thumbs up for the skills that they have listed without going through to much effort. Some people think they are a waste of time, but I would tend to disagree. Here are a few reasons:
- The act of endorsing someone gives you a “post” without having to think of anything to say;
- Endorsing someone’s skill let’s them know that you think they “own” that skill. I don’t endorse someone for a skill that I don’t know they possess and I don’t add skills to their profile by endorsing them for something they have not included.
- Endorsing others might give you an idea for a skill that you possess that you hadn’t thought about including in your skills.
Read more about managing endorsements in this article: LinkedIn Endorsements.
Recommendations – The best part of recommendations is that you can give one to your first degree connections without having to be asked. Recommendations are much more thoughtful and descriptive than endorsing someone. This is a way to speak to the quality of someone’s work more than just the skill that they possess. My caution here is > don’t give someone a recommendation as soon as they have written one for you. It just looks like “recommendation love” and that isn’t so good. ”Paying it forward” is the thought to keep in mind when you are writing recommendations. Remember, just because someone writes you a recommendation, doesn’t mean that you have to return the favor. Perhaps you “pay it forward” to someone else. LinkedIn used to require 3 recommendations from first degree contacts before they would consider your profile complete. It is still advised to try to obtain them for your current and past positions. Just remember, that to write a recommendation or request one, you must be first degree connections with the person. AND by all means, don’t invite them to connect and ask for the recommendation in the same communication!
When you recommend someone, they must approve your recommendation to appear on their profile. Use your best grammar and punctuation. Not only will it reflect upon the person about whom you are writing, but it reflects upon you as well. The recommendations that you give, as well as, receive show in your profile for everyone to view.
Product/Services Recommendations – Now if giving and getting endorsements and recommendations weren’t enough, we have the third option of recommending the company product or service for which the person you are thinking about recommending offers. This is a great idea if the company is a one-person or small operation. While searching LinkedIn, a company page may appear before they run across the person. In my case, I am my company so when someone recommends my company, they are recommending me.
I would love to hear your thoughts on endorsements and recommendations. Tell me what you think!
“What’s the buzz, tell me what’s a-happening, what’s the buzz, tell me what’s a-happening,
WHY should you want to know?”
These are lyrics from the musical Jesus Christ Superstar, but are applicable to social media practically everyday. The song lyrics go on to say,
“Don’t you mind about the future?
Don’t you try to think ahead?
Save tomorrow for tomorrow;
Think about today instead.”
But if you only think about today, you can get left behind pretty fast in the fast paced changes of social media.
Today let’s focus on the newest change to Gmail – the tabs!
The five tabs give you some flexibility on sorting out your inbox. Gmail makes most of the determinations for you, so you have to be diligent about checking all of the tabs. The real beauty here is that you don’t have to sift through a multitude of e-news and advertisements to get to the emails you need to follow-up on projects or business.
Do you get Google Alerts – they will all show up under your Updates tab. All of your e-news and other promotional items will come into the Promotions tabs. Any LinkedIn invitations and messages from your other social platforms appear in the Social tab. The emails to let you do business will still be locate in the Primary tab. Would you like to know how to change the settings to add or delete certain tabs? Check out this short video.