5 ways to make the right first impression on linkedin

When it comes to using social media to market your business, choosing the correct platform can make or break your marketing efforts. LinkedIn is one of the premier social media platforms and it boasts a very professional atmosphere. While Facebook and Twitter are geared toward the more casual user, LinkedIn was specifically built for professionals in business.

LinkedIn allows users to build a network of contacts through direct introductions or posting helpful information on their own feeds and in groups. While relationship marketing requires effort on your part, you can also encourage others to network with you by putting forth a professional image. As the old saying goes, “You only have one time to make a good first impression,” and that one time often lasts only a few seconds while prospects look at your LinkedIn profile.

Let’s discuss ways to make that right first impression:

1. Create a professional-looking profile. Splurge on a professional headshot instead of a blurry selfie. Consider how you dress: do jeans and a t-shirt represent you well or should you dress in a suit or a business casual look? Fill out your LinkedIn resume completely with former job descriptions. Always use keywords in your profile descriptions; keywords accurately describe your experience but will also grab your profile when someone does a keyword search.

2. Ask for introductions. Instead of just spamming dozens of people a day in hopes of making a connection, ask others in your network to introduce you to decision-makers you want to meet who you’ve identified as prospects. Your choice of introductions shouldn’t be random; instead, think of companies who can use your services and then check your network for connections to those companies.

3. Be a helpful resource in groups. LinkedIn groups are extremely helpful in connecting people with like interests but LinkedIn also protects its users from spammers. If you write an article but try to share it with multiple groups at the same time, you may be labeled a spammer inadvertently. Mix up your group interactions and become known as a helpful resource. Ask questions; answer questions; direct others to resources you have discovered.

4. Send thank you notes. Thank you notes are rare these days but it’s a simple act that will make you stand out from the crowd. Even a quick email thank you is better than none at all. Send one to your newest contact, especially if you have plans to meet in person, as well as the person who introduced you. A simple thank you will be remembered and may encourage those contacts to help you in the future.

5. Focus on relationship-building instead of selling. In the world of social media, nothing turns people off more than accepting a new connection and then getting a “like my page!” or “here’s my sales pitch” messages. To avoid being that annoying spammer, focus on building a relationship first by sending articles, videos, or case studies without any expectations. Go back to basics and learn how to converse again and interact with these contacts in a group setting. Let them see you as a person first instead of just a salesperson.

5 TIPS FOR PUBLISHING THE RIGHT CONTENT ON LINKEDIN

So you have a LinkedIn profile, now what? In addition to searching out viable connections (such as people you already know or have worked with in the past), publishing content should be at the top of your to-do list. Publishing the right content on your feed as well as in your groups will attract potential leads and increase your credibility and expertise.

One word of caution: Do not publish an article to your wall and then publish that same exact article to the twelve groups you belong to. That single activity will get your LinkedIn account frozen faster than you can sneeze. LinkedIn does not tolerate spammers so post your content carefully.

If you want to post both to your wall and to your groups (which is a smart strategy), either post on two different topics or rewrite one article so it covers the same topic but not with the same wording. An editorial calendar is helpful when it comes to planning your social media posts.

But if the words “publish content” scare you to death, here are a few tips to follow:

1. Know your audience and your industry. Publish information they can use. Are there big changes coming to your industry or new laws affecting your industry? Explain those changes in lay terms in a short article. Do you know what problems plague them? Offer daily action steps to help solve those problems.

2. Include photos for more engagement and interest. Photos used in articles should relate directly back to the main topic. Photos also help break up a large page of text, which can be intimidating for even the best readers to tackle online. Purchase photos legally from stock photos houses or use Unsplash.com for completely free photos. Never copy/paste from Google Images; that’s copyright infringement.

3. Ask questions and provide insight. Are there misconceptions about your industry or what you do? Clear these up in a simple Q&A article. Create a whole Q&A series with the questions you receive online as well as via email or your help desk.When you ask questions you may also discover a new pain point which you can then discuss or create a new product to address it.

4. Give people a behind-the-scenes look into your business and what it’s like to work with you. This topic lends itself to a fun video series where you can address exactly what you do and who your ideal clients are. Don’t be afraid to clearly identify your ideal clients and let them qualify themselves to work with you. The worst thing is to sign on with someone who can’t afford your prices or who won’t do the work necessary.

5. Include a call to action on all your posts. What should your reader do next: Join your email list? Call you for a consult? Meet you at a local networking event? Gently guide your reader to the next step in your sales funnel. Relate the Call to Action to the topic of the post.

When in doubt about what to publish, consider outsourcing the content creation to an experienced freelancer. They will brainstorm ideas and help fill in your editorial calendar rather quickly as well as prepare your content so all you need to do is approve it and publish. Extend your knowledge and expertise to your audience with your content. You just never know how your content will affect someone or to whom they will pass along your articles.

5 Ways to Increase Your Credibility

Since you’re not approaching LinkedIn with a sales approach mindset, you need to make every aspect of this platform work to your advantage in order to both attract prospective clients and then convince them that you are the expert they’ve been searching for. One way to achieve this is by showcasing your expertise in a natural, informative way which leads to increasing your credibility as an expert.

1. Create a personal LinkedIn URL. Don’t settle for a generic profile number that’s impossible to remember; leave those for less savvy people who aren’t as detail oriented. Create a personalized URL that represents your brand and is easy to remember. Put it on your business cards and in your email signatures.

2. Splurge on a professional photo shoot. Make your profile page work for you. At a minimum, get a professional headshot taken, preferably in a few different styles or poses so you can use them on multiple platforms. If you can afford a full-on photo shoot, choose the best shots and make good use of them in all your branded graphics, including your social media headers. Only less experienced and more frugal DIY types will use a blurry selfie for their LinkedIn headshot.

3. Brand your profile with a custom banner image. It’s the little details that count when it comes to optimizing your LinkedIn profile. As the saying goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words,” so hire a graphic designer to design your branded LinkedIn banner to clearly relay your message. No more DIY graphics; invest in your business.

4. Publish regular content. You need to be active on LinkedIn for people to recognize you and you need to publish informative content for people to remember you. It doesn’t need to be a 1,000-word manifesto; social media users have extremely short attention spans. Simply publish a Top 10 list or throw out some helpful daily tips. Record a 1-2 minute video series with these tips and you’ll get noticed faster, simply because few people use video on LinkedIn. Forget about the funny cat pictures or silly memes; this is a professional space so save those posts for less formal Facebook. The key points here are to post daily and to be informative in your content.

5. Be active in groups. Joining groups has a two-fold benefit: you will meet prospects and learn about their needs, and your prospects will see that you’re an active participant in your industry when they see your group listings on your profile. Being active doesn’t mean blasting your sales message on a daily basis; no doubt that will get you kicked out and banned from most groups. Instead, show a real interest in the other members, answer questions, take a poll to learn about their needs, or simply post information they need. Let the conversations flow naturally in your groups instead of worrying about sales or getting this prospect into your sales funnel. The more active you are, the more people will recognize your name. Paying attention to small details on your profile can help build your credibility as will participating in groups and by publishing content on a regular basis. When people recognize your name as a regular, they will check out your profile and a possible business relationship can blossom from there.

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THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A FACEBOOK PAGE AND GROUP

So, you want to start promoting your business on Facebook?

The question now is whether you should create a Facebook page, a Facebook group… or both!

And the answer is of course both. But in order to make the most of this strategy, you also need to understand what the top benefits of each are and how they are different. Here are some key differences between Facebook pages and Facebook groups.

HOW TO PROMOTE YOUR CONTENT IN ANOTHER FACEBOOK GROUP

When you think about marketing via a Facebook group, you probably think about creating your own Facebook group and then using this in order to promote a product or service that you’ve created.

While this is an effective and viable option for promoting your business however, it is only one of several marketing strategies involving the use of Facebook groups. In fact, one of the best ways to use a Facebook group is by using groups made by other brands and users.

But there is a way to go about this if you want to be successful. Read on to make sure you get it right!

5 THINGS YOU WON’T SEE ME DO ON LINKEDIN

LinkedIn is the premier social media platform for professionals in all industries. With over 303 million monthly users, you have quite a large base to develop new connections and build relationships with potential clients.

However, there are several LinkedIn “sins” which can haunt you and affect your credibility and reputation. Here are just a few things to avoid doing on LinkedIn:

HOW TO CREATE A FACEBOOK GROUP THAT RUNS ITSELF

There are many great reasons to create a Facebook group for your business, but one of the most compelling is that this is a project that can run itself.

3 WAYS TO KEEP A STEADY FLOW OF CONTENT TO YOUR FACEBOOK GROUP

Facebook groups are highly powerful marketing tools that can allow you to build an extremely engaged and loyal audience – perhaps moreso than other options such as Facebook pages.

But while a Facebook group is unique in the way it often gets used, it still requires content and discussion to provide value. People came to your group because they wanted to discuss a subject they’re passionate about and learn more about it. If the group is empty, then they’ll leave.

How do you keep your Facebook group full of great content? Here are three excellent options.

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