5 Steps to Optimise Your LinkedIn Profile

LinkedIn is THE NUMBER ONE social network for professionals, so why are you treating it like its just an online resume? In this day and age you need to start thinking outside the box.  Follow these 5 simple steps and you'll be one step closer to landing that job, earning more clients and closing that deal.

1. Your Profile Picture and Background: Make sure you've got a kick a$$ profile picture and banner. Do you know how often I reject a connection because there's no picture? People want to feel connected and depending on your industry they're also drawn to interesting and quirky photos. So if you're a graphic designer, get creative with your background.  In realestate? Get a photo with the nicest home or apt you've sold.  Recruiter? get good pic of yourself interviewing someone or speaking at an event.

2. Your professional headline: Keep it interesting, this is where your story begins. Here's an example, Real Estate Agent (boring) | Upper West Side Luxury Real Estate Agent, cha-ching!  This gives people an idea you're working with pretty high end placement here.  It's important to niche yourself.  You may think this is limiting your capabilities, but would you rather work with a client in a $6000/month budget or a $2000/month budget? Get the picture?

3. Summary: Your summary is where you're going to draw in your connections.  Stand out from the rest, make it interesting.  Be sure to use keywords specific to your industry and make it short and sweet. Lets be honest, peoples attention span are limited these days.

4. Experiences: This is where all the juicy stuff goes, don't just list your responsibilities, tell your story. Educate your reader, treat it like a mini interview & give examples of your success.

5. LinkedIn Blogging Platform: If you're not familiar, Linkedin rolled out their blogging platform to all members a few months ago.  It's free, it's searchable and it shows you're a leader in your industry. 

 These are just a few pointers to help you get started with your professional profile and creating a personal brand, if you haven't read the post on working in keywords to boost your profile make sure you check it out here.  Need help optimizing your profile? Shoot me an email, I'll hook you up with a great connection.

Strategic Marketing Planning: 5 basic principles and Best Practices

Need help with strategic marketing planning? 5 basic principles and best practices to help you get started…

Basic (yet essential) marketing best practices and disciplines are important in order to achieve sales goals. Below are common questions and conversation topics with responses that can help you set a good foundation.

What’s the first thing I should do to develop a marketing strategy?

1. Collect and organize key strategic business insights. For example:

• Business and sales goals
• Customer pain points, motivations, barriers and buying process
• Customer feedback on your product, offer or service
• Profile/persona of the ideal client
• Workflow and timeline of a typical sales scenario
• Success stories and barriers from the sales team and other front-line employees
• Competitive landscape and gap analysis
• Industry landscape; e.g. analyst reports, and third-party research and data
• SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats)

Then what?

2. Discuss them in aggregate (in the context of marketing and sales planning). By doing this you may draw different or new conclusions, and get new ideas for attracting buyers and influencers to your brand. This exercise can help you look from the outside in and center your decisions on the customer and their problems, as well as validate ideas or plans you already have.

Helpful tip: Don’t think of your marketing and sales strategies as two different things; they should be one (particularly in B2B) if you want stellar results.

3. Use strategic insights to confirm your brand position and message.

• What do your most profitable clients love about you? What can you hang your hat on? Do you have a great story?

• How should you talk about your value proposition so that you stand out? What is the best way to ensure people will want to know more and engage with your brand?

4. Develop a point-of-view on marketing’s role to drive sales goals, as well as an estimated budget. Examples of what to think through:

• What are your marketing efforts supposed to do? For example, should they drive new leads, build general brand awareness, promote thought leadership, upsell existing customers, move prospects down the sales funnel?

• How should the marketing budget be allocated? For example, how much should be spent on inbound/online marketing infrastructure vs. sales support tools and training vs. collateral design vs. events vs. analytics/data management?  And why?

5. Lastly, make sure you invest well in execution of the areas you’ve decided to spend money on. In order to see results, the devil will be in the details.

Marketing vs. Public Relations

Small Businesses often often struggle with the difference between marketing and public relations.  So here's a simple explanation, marketing is used to support sales efforts, ultimately driving revenue; whereas public relations is used more to promote a product, service, or strategy through public or media-targeted announcements.

Marketing is needed to help a company increase sales and bring brand awareness. This can be done in many different ways.  An email blast to your current database is a great way to let your current and prospective clients know of any new products you may have coming out or a service you may be offering.  Webinars are another great tool that is used to showcase what your company is up to and since this is a free service to the listener many times you will have a large variety of attendees.  Marketers also help their company promote their goods at different tradeshows and conferences often by creating usable content to distribute, helping find fun and unique giveaways that will keep a company in the front of a perspective client’s mind or even helping with any presentations that may be given by the company.

Public relations is often used when you want to get your message out to a specific target group.  This can be done by arranging telephone calls or interviews with the press who will turn around and write an article about your company that may end up in their publication, whether in print or online.  Press releases are often written with the help of the PR team and then picked up by various news wires, once again getting your news out to the correct outlets.

In a perfect world, both the marketing and public relations teams work cohesively together, with the same goal in mind, increasing revenue.  Many marketing companies provide both marketing and public relation services, often together with client helping them reach their sales goals, as well as, bringing awareness to their brands.