Is LinkedIn a Waste of Time?

John Haydon of Inbound Zombie recently posted this question on Facebook.

Is LinkedIn a waste of time? - question

A lot of people are frustrated with the new-ish Endorsements feature. I know I personally have been endorsed for skills I didn’t even know I had!

So, I can understand their bewilderment when people who don’t really know them come along and endorse them for every skill they have listed. It’s like they’re trying to game the system or something.

Here’s the response I gave though.

Is LinkedIn a waste of time?

 LinkedIn can be a powerful part of your business strategy. [Read more…]

Are You Networking in Your Pajamas?

How’s your LinkedIn?

How much of your time do you spend networking for business each week?

Hours can be spent away from the office, going to meetings, walking away with a handful of business cards and no real follow-up method in place.

What if it could be simpler, done at your own convenience, and through targeted conversations?

That’d probably be much more efficient for you, huh?

Greeting the dayBut what if you were unprepared to start those conversations? Maybe your hair hadn’t been brushed yet, you had morning breath, your forgot your business cards in yesterdays’ outfit, or you were still dressed in your sweat pants…

I often see people whose LinkedIn profiles aren’t “ready yet” trying to get started with LinkedIn, and it’s a bit painful to watch. Their profile pictures are either missing or inappropriate. Bios are incomplete.

It’s clear to those they connect with that they haven’t really considered how to present themselves on LinkedIn yet. And then they become discouraged when it’s not the Magic Bullet they keep hearing LinkedIn can be.

There are no magic bullets!

LinkedIn is a powerful social network for any business professional to be on. But you have to approach it with the same care and planning that you would going to a networking meeting in person.

Consider your 30-second elevator speech. That’s your bio.

The professional history isn’t a resume as much as it’s a showcase of your talent.

The groups help form points of common interest.

Is it time for you to learn how to use LinkedIn the right way? Contact us for a profile assessment today, and we’ll get you spruced up and ready for powerful networking in no time!

The Best Social Media Platform for Business

I’ve been asked many times before, “What’s your favorite social media platform for business?”

Many people think that if you’re in business, LinkedIn is the only place to be, and while LinkedIn has its many benefits and is a strong contender in my social media platform, my answer may be surprising to you.

My favorite social media platform, hands down, is Twitter.

I know. I know. I hear it all the time. You’re thinking “What? Twitter? I just don’t get all that tweeting stuff. All it is is stuff about what everyone had for breakfast!”

That’s where I’d jump up and down, pointing my finger at you and shouting “Wrong!” Well, maybe not so much jumping up and down… And probably not shouting. (It’s not my style.) I have no idea why I’d point a finger either…

But you’re definitely wrong. Sorry!

As simple as the site is, Twitter is the most powerful tool in my social media arsenal.

The Best Social Media Platform for Business

twitter

When I found out in 2009 that I was soon to be unemployed, Twitter was where my job search took root. It was where I was first exposed to the power of hashtags to find and sort content being shared on the internet.

I was a bit nervous at first about using Twitter. Was everyone a scam artist?

Then, I came across Steve Keating (@LeadToday) on Twitter. For some reason, his simple reassurance in his bio that he wasn’t selling anything on Twitter, only giving back, set my heart at ease. I started engaging with him a bit, and enjoying his nonsensical animal trivia on Saturday mornings. It reminded me of a book my kids and I enjoyed called 365 Days of Nature and Discovery: Things to Do and Learn for the Whole Family.

Our shared interest in leadership topics led me to discover the Lead Change Group (@leadchange and #leadchange) shortly after their Leader UnPalooza in early 2010, which sounded like a lot of fun. I struck up a friendship with Mike Henry Sr. (@mikehenrysr), the founder of the group, which led me to discover and make connections with many of the founding members of the Lead Change Group.

[Read more…]

LinkedIn for Authors

Every professional should be using LinkedIn, and that goes for writers too. LinkedIn is the online equivalent of real-world networking. As such, it can be used in much the same way. However, LinkedIn goes beyond just meeting new people, and participating in “getting to know you” conversations and lead generating “dance cards.”

LinkedIn for Authors

Here are a few reasons why you want to be on LinkedIn:

  • Links: Links from LinkedIn to your online content count in the Google search algorithm, whereas Facebook links don’t.
  • Credibility: Since LinkedIn is a site for business professionals, there is an air of credibility that having a well-ranking profile within LinkedIn grants you.
  • Research: LinkedIn’s search functions enable you to identify agents, publishers and editors in the areas you want to get into. In addition, though, it also shows you who your mutual connections are, shared interests, and other commonalities between you that enable you to craft an introductory message that breaks the ice, instead of being just another nameless face in the crowd.
  • Connections: The opposite is also true. People who are looking for what you do can find you via LinkedIn’s search functionality, but only when you have a great profile (otherwise, all of the other better profiles outrank you in LinkedIn’s search result – don’t neglect building a strong profile). I have had a number of clients and booking agents find and subsequently hire me due to LinkedIn.

It all comes down to how you use the site, and how strong a profile you have.

aleweb social marketing, tara r. alemany, linkedin for authors, all-star linkedin profile, professional writer, offer sample chapter, how can authors use linkedin, how writers use linkedin

So, how do you create a strong LinkedIn profile?

Want step-by-step video instructions to improve your LinkedIn profile? Check out our LinkedIn Mastery course on “Creating an Awesome Profile!

Follow these simple steps to create and use an All-Star author’s LinkedIn profile. [Tweet]

[Read more…]

To Tweet, Or Not To Tweet

Thomas Comer | B2B CFO http://www.b2bcfo.com/partner/tcomer/Thomas R. Comer, MBA, JD, a partner in B2B CFO. Tom attended a talk I gave at a NetworkPlus event in Westport, CT, this spring, which just happened to be of the same name. It’s one of my more popular Twitter talks, “To Tweet or Not to Tweet: Whether Twitter is a Useful Business Tool or a Devious Distraction.”

Without knowing what the topic was that day, Tom had brought along this poem he’d written. With his permission, I share it with you. (Apologies from both of us to The Bard.) 🙂

To tweet, or not to tweet, that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of cyber-obscurity,
Or to take arms against a sea of competitors,
And by opposing end them? To log on, to search,
No more; and via Google to say we end
The heartache and the thousand natural junk mails
That flesh is heir to: ’tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wished. To log on, to search;
To search, per chance a “hit” — aye, there’s the rub:
For in that SEO of hope what dreams may come,
When we have shuffled off this limited liability company,
Must give us pause — there’s the respect
That makes the value proposition so long.
For who would bear the whips and scorns of clients,
The promised referral, the proud man’s brochure,
The pangs of unreturned phone calls, the Internet’s delay,
The insolence of networking, and the spurns
That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
When he himself might his laptop make
With a Facebook page? What would consultants bear,
To blog and sweat under a weary life,
But for the dread of something called LinkedIn,
The undiscovered country from whose bourn
No traveller returns, puzzles the will,
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Thus the hyperlink doth make cowards of us all.

What are your views? IsTwitter a useful business tool or a devious distraction? If you don’t know and want to find out, feel free to give us a call or book our talk for your organization.

Staying “Top of Mind” While Marketing Your Book

Anyone who has authored a book knows that there are a million ways to market it. Some tactics are subtle and friendly, while others are more “in your face.” A solid marketing strategy for your book includes a careful mixture of both. You have to let people know your book exists, but then gently remind them as time goes on. It’s a fine line between being enthusiastic and being nauseating. Enthusiastic is good, but don’t be a turn-off to your prospective readers by beating them over the head with it.

Today’s tip will show you one of those tactics intended more to remind people that your book exists rather than directly tell them about it. The nice thing is, if they want to learn more, they can click through and do just that! But I’m getting ahead of myself…

Watch the video below to learn how you can add the Facebook page for your book to your work history in your profile. If you don’t have a Facebook page for your book yet, give us a call and we’ll help you get one set up.

You can do the same thing for your LinkedIn profile. (Once again, if you don’t have a LinkedIn profile, we’re here to help!)

By linking to your book in both of these places, you’re leaving a subtle reminder for people connected to you that directs them to where they can find more information about your book.

Remember, one of the rules of marketing is to stay “top of mind.” You want your book to be the first thing they think of when they go to pick up a new one, and you can subtly do that by keeping the title visible wherever you interact with people.

At the same time, this additional visibility for your book title helps to grow your platform, enabling more people to be aware of what you’re working on and generating potential interest in your future projects.

What are some of the other subtle ways that you stay “top of mind” for your readers?

The Oft-Forgotten Tool in our Marketing Toolkit: SlideShare

Are you an author? A speaker? A trainer? A marketer? All of the above? You know there’s a very powerful tool that’s often overlooked that we could be taking out and using more often; or at least I know I could. So, today’s post is going to cover some interesting examples of how you can use SlideShare to increase your visibility.

  1. Start first with the increased exposure that posting presentations to the SlideShare site itself gives to you. Developing a strong presence on the site, with a complete profile, suitable keyword tags for each presentation, etc. will allow others to find, appreciate and share your material and samples that much more easily. It also provides a great place to send event planners, training coordinators, etc. who want to see a bit more of what your work looks like. According to the SlideShare website:

    SlideShare is the world’s largest community for sharing presentations. With 60 million monthly visitors and 130 million pageviews, it is amongst the most visited 200 websites in the world. Besides presentations, SlideShare also supports documents, PDFs, videos and webinars.

  2. Jazz up your LinkedIn profile by incorporating the SlideShare app into it. To do so, in LinkedIn, select the More menu, followed by Get More Applications…, and then select the SlideShare Presentations app to add to your profile. Configure the app to connect to your SlideShare account, and then visitors to your profile will be able to see the most recent presentation you shared. If they click on the app logo, it will take them to an expanded version of the SlideShare app where they can explore other presentations as well.
  3. Embed a presentation on your website. If you have a presentation or two that you want to highlight for your website visitors, SlideShare provides you with the necessary embed code to be able to do that. Here’s one that I just uploaded from a talk I gave last March.
  4. Pin presentations from SlideShare to Pinterest boards. I recently got into a debate with someone about Pinterest and its ideal uses. They saw it as a place where women share recipes and post inspirational quotations. The thing is, Pinterest is such a powerful site and has an incredible level of engagement. So, why wouldn’t you incorporate it into your business strategies, marketing tactics or even your job search? Here’s a great SlideShare presentation on creating Pinterest resumes. The same concept can apply for various speaking topics, book subjects, training courses, etc. Be imaginative!
  5. Periodically share your presentations in your status updates on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Create a few pre-crafted posts that you can add to your editorial calendar and keep continuing traffic coming to the presentations you want to have the most visibility. Schedule these posts in your post planner (I use Hootsuite), so that they run on auto-pilot.
  6. Remember to craft your presentations well! A well-crafted presentation will catch people’s attention, prompting them to share it with their networks as well. Consider adding video to your presentation or an audio track, wherever appropriate, to bring the presentation to life.
  7. Generate leads using SlideShare. If you upgrade your free account to the PRO version, you can use LeadShare to enable viewers to contact you directly, right from your presentations! With a LeadShare campaign running, a lead capture box is displayed after the first 10 slides, at the end of the deck, or by a permanent display button on the player. To learn more about Leadshare, click here.

What are some of your favorite ways to use SlideShare?

How to Change Your LinkedIn Password

Perhaps you’ve read one of the many articles out today about the security leak at LinkedIn? Business Insider reported:

6.5 million encrypted LinkedIn passwords have leaked, reports Norwegian IT site Dagens IT found via The Next Web.

The passwords were shared via a Russian hacker site, and security researcher Per Thorsheim confirms that the leak is legit.

LinkedIn hasn’t offered any statement on the incident at the time of this writing, but we would strongly suggest changing your password.

So, how do you change your password on LinkedIn? We’re glad you asked! This short video tutorial from Aleweb Social Marketing teaches you exactly what you need to know in less than a minute. Enjoy!

9 Easy and Inexpensive Ways for Businesses to “Get Found”

Image from Photobucket.com

I was recently asked the question,

What are some easy and inexpensive ways for companies to get their name out to the public?

This all depends first on what you have to start with. Do you have a website? Do you have an existing client list? Does it include e-mail or mailing address details? Are you starting totally from scratch? What industry are you in?

Off the top of my head, here’s what I’d do…

  1. Add your business listing to Google Places.
  2. If you have an established business, search for your business/product/brand and find all business directory listings in which you appear. Claim each one, and ensure that your listing is appropriately categorized and that the keywords are optimized.
  3. If you have a website already, review the keywords to ensure that they’re accurate and optimal. Use Google’s Keyword Analyzer to identify the best keywords for your site.
  4. If you don’t have a website already, create a free one using either WordPress.com or moonfruit.com. If you plan to include eCommerce on your site, you may have to go ahead and pay a little something. To see the differences between WordPress.com (the free site) and WordPress.org (paid version), go to WordPress’ Support page.
  5. Create social media profiles, as appropriate. Use Facebook to build a community around what you do, Twitter to share news and information, LinkedIn to network with potential collaborators, partners and referral sources, and industry-specific networks, as appropriate.
  6. If you have an existing mailing list, I use a fantastic online greeting card and gifting company to connect with my best clients. If you’re interested in doing the same, take a look at SendOutCards.
  7. If you have an existing e-mail list, consider sending out a newsletter or using the list to invite people to join you on your various social network profiles. Be sure to also add links to your online profiles in your e-mail signature and newsletter. (I use WiseStamp for this.)
  8. Ensure that you post links to your website and social media profiles everywhere that you can. Think of your online presence like a spider web. Each strand (site) should point people from one to the other, providing similar content with unique information at each place. (Some overlap is expected. But give people a reason to follow you in more than one place.) As these pathways from one place to another are created, a web builds around your online presence, making you easier to find.
  9. If you enjoy writing or sharing information, consider blogging or video-blogging. If having one of your own is too time-consuming for you, find people who would welcome a guest post from you.

Obviously, this is a quick and dirty list. There are many more things you can do, but this will get you started. Up to this point, everything I’ve suggested (except a WordPress.org site) is free. The only expense is your time and talent.

The only issue with this is, you probably didn’t go into business to do all of these things. You started your business to do whatever it is that you are passionate about. So, is your time and energy best spent doing these things on your own, or hiring someone to do it for you?

Whenever I take on a business-related task that is not part of my work, I consider this before I start. Where are the cost efficiencies? To make it simple, say you charge $50/hr for what you do, and the task you’re considering doing will take you 90 minutes. Are you willing to pay yourself $75 to do it, or is there someone else you can pay to do it so you can find a client willing to pay you for that time instead?

To give a concrete example, when I first started my business, I wanted to form an LLC. I spent some time on it, and found the whole thing very frustrating. I didn’t understand much of what I found. After wasting more than an hour on it, I found a website called Legalzoom.com. For $150, they would file the papers for me. Given how little progress I’d made, it was easily evident that it would cost me less to hire them (even though funds were limited) than it would to pay myself for my time based on my own rates. Plus, hiring someone else gave me the chance to focus my attention on what I love doing instead.

So, do yourself a favor. Balance “easy and inexpensive” against “experienced and cost-effective.” And if you decide that you want help, give us a call! Helping you get found is what Aleweb loves doing!