Tuesday, May 31, 2011

LinkedIn: The Job Site for People Who (Wink, Wink) Aren’t Looking for Jobs

by Todd Raphael


LinkedIn’s a paradox. It’s a place for recruiting people who aren’t looking to be recruited. And it’s a place for finding jobs — especially if you’re not trying too hard to find a job.

I talk about these oddities in the 9 1/2-minute podcast below, with Coleen Byrne. She’s a sales director, most recently with Yahoo, and is the co-author of a new book for job-seekers called The Web 2.0 Job Finder. We also talk about the interesting advice people are getting with respect to creating a LinkedIn profile, as well as some mistakes job-seekers make when using LinkedIn.

Listen to the ERE Podcast

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Brand yourself, LinkedIn tells job hunters

CAREER networking site LinkedIn's record float this week may have had analysts using it as a litmus test of the value of social networks like Facebook and Twitter.
But for its Australian head of communications Tara Commerford the comparison is not one the company is keen to make.

The corporate message is that social networks are for play but at LinkedIn the networking is for serious business - one that is now valued at about $US10 billion ($9.4 billion).

Ms Commerford is the publicist on the ground for the US web juggernaut, spruiking to Australian and New Zealand companies, marketers, recruiters and ad agencies on how best to use the service, which allows users to meet and share their resumes with prospective employers online.

She says success today means marketing yourself effectively and surrounding yourself with people from a range of industries for support, right down to the individual.

"I've never secured a role in a conventional way," she says. "Never via a job board and always through networking, a recommendation or word of mouth.

"We call it 'Brand You' – every individual is now a brand so make sure you're sending out the right messages. Learn as much as you can, as fast as you can and keep up to date with changes in digital trends."

Ms Commerford said it was a practice LinkedIn made sure to use internally to provide opportunities for staff to excel at the company and for later if they move on.

But for all the faith in digital networks and communications there’s one technology that seems to trump them all – the jet plane - for getting to meetings at head office in Silicon Valley three to four times a year.

"It's invaluable to have that face to face time with my boss (VP Corporate Communications) and other members of the public relations and marketing teams," Ms Commerford says.

"We're all about connecting talent with opportunity at massive scale so the breadth of the opportunity is huge and the challenge is exciting.

LinkedIn last year opened an office in Australia, where it has more than one million users.

"We have a truly international office – I was the second Australian to join. Our MD is South African, we have an expat from our Mountain View headquarters heading Hiring Solutions, and a Brit heading our Marketing Solutions team," Ms Commerford says.

She said some days started at 4.30am with a conference call to the global team. She tries to answer emails early enough to catch the US operatives in the office and later on – whether through Skype or email – it's time to liaise with offices in the UK and India.

"I can be doing media outreach one day and organising event sponsorship the next," she says. "Every day is different, it's extremely rewarding."

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Branding Yourself Through LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the leading social networking site for professionals and offers countless opportunities for both building your brand, as well as for advancing your career and career search.
Here are just some of the ways that you can leverage this network’s features to more effectively establish credibility and communicate your personal brand:

Profile

Complete Your Profile: Take the profile creation process seriously and follow LinkedIn’s suggested steps to complete your profile 100%. Add a professional picture/head shot and fill in key information and work and education history from your resume that strengthen your personal brand and desired reputation. The more complete and compelling your profile is, the more professional and credible you will appear to your profile visitors.

Subtitle: Depending on the reputation you would like to have and area of interest and/or expertise you are pursuing, choose professional, yet intriguing title(s) for yourself. Whether you have a different full-time job or not, list that you’re an author, a blogger, founder of an organization or community, an entrepreneur or any other appropriate and relevant designation. Also, include your unique one word or phrase personal brand and possibly any certifications or advanced degrees as these can increase your credibility.

Summary: While not everything that you would want to share to build your reputation can be included in your work history, your profile’s summary section is a great place to detail your personal brand, list your awards, press or media you have received, books you have written, organizations you have founded, blogs you write and manage, and anything else that sums up the unique value you have to offer others.

Customize Your Website Links: Use your external profile links to connect your profile viewers to your website, blog, company site, online resume or other networking profiles as this will help promote other platforms on which you are creating and contributing value.

Recommendations: Ask for brief recommendations from as many past supervisors, co-workers, classmates, customers etc. as possible, especially from people whose testimonials of your work would support your personal brand and reputation. Recommendations or testimonials for a blog itself from partners, readers, clients, community members, customers etc. also increase your credibility.

Groups

Join Groups: LinkedIn allows you to join up to 50 groups. There are groups for every industry, functional area, association, company, university, event and more. Groups allow you to engage with professionals beyond your profile. Joining groups also can help expand your visibility and messaging access to individuals as you begin to increase your network.

Contribute: There are numerous ways you can contribute value to the groups you join, including contributing high-value articles and commentary both as new discussion threads and as responses to others. The more value and insight you can contribute, the more credible and professional you will come across.

Start Groups: If there seems to be a niche area with no current group, don’t hesitate to start one up. It will take some work to grow it; however, it might be an opportunity for you to establish yourself as a community founder and leader while creating a community opportunity for your blog readers to join. If starting a group isn’t up your alley, consider helping moderate a group to get more involved. Send a message to one or more group owners and ask them if there are some ways you could contribute as part of the group administration.

More Advice and Complete Blogaristo Article

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

5 Tips To Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile

Today I want to cover how to optimize your LinkedIn profile so that people can find you.

Use Keywords In Your Headline
Your headline is the first thing people see when they go to your LinkedIn profile. Unless you change it, your headline will appear as your current or last position held.
Since this headline will appear in various places on LinkedIn, you want it to be more descriptive. The LinkedIn algorithm seems to put a lot of emphasis on the words used in the headline when ranking people, so make sure your headline includes your USP, benefits your company offers or your geographic location if you serve a specific area.

Include Keywords In Your Summary
After the headline, your summary is the first place that people will learn about you. Your summary is your elevator pitch. Make sure it looks clean and professional, while including the top keywords that you want to target.

Customize The Web Sites Option
So many people have this set to the default option (personal web site., company web site). LinkedIn allows you to make these more descriptive by using keywords as you can see below.


To do this, when adding your website select “other” from the drop-down menu and then manually key in your website title. Next paste your URL into the appropriate field and click “Save Changes.” You can do this with up to three (3) websites.

Tips 4 - 5 and Complete Article

Monday, May 23, 2011

10 Things I Know About... LinkedIn

By Susan LaPlante-Dube


10. BASICS WORK
The free, basic LinkedIn account is a great starting place. Maximize this level before paying for enhanced services.

9. It Is Networking
All the rules of traditional networking apply. You need to build relationships. You cannot barge into conversations, ask for recommendations from people who do not know you well, or link to strangers to build your connections.

8. OPTIMIZE
Make the most of LinkedIn’s powerful search feature — use your keywords throughout your profile and company page. Include them in your summary, specialties, web links, company description and job title.

7. FIND/SHARE EVENTS
Click "Events" from the "More" menu to find events your connections are attending, to share events you’re attending or hosting and to search for relevant events.

6. COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION
Groups are a great way to listen to conversations and increase visibility. Choose three to five groups and add value with your input. Answer questions, share insights, support members, but no selling!

5. BE A THOUGHT LEADER
LinkedIn Answers lets you answer specific challenges and questions posed by members. Select "Answers" in the search drop down and enter a phrase related to your expertise.

Things 4 - 1 and Complete Article

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Making LinkedIn Work for You

By Sue Shellenbarger


Some Juggle commenters have asked for a post on the professional networking website LinkedIn. The site passed 100 million users in March and continues to grow by about one million members a week. Its public offering this week is drawing even more attention.
Non-users of LinkedIn may wonder, why bother? Posting a profile, keeping it updated, building and maintaining your network of connections, and responding to messages takes time.


Of course, LinkedIn can help you find a job and research prospective employers by contacting current and former employees. Recruiters use it heavily to find what they call “passive candidates” who are open to new opportunities but not actively looking.


But even if you aren’t looking for a job, LinkedIn is a tool for displaying your work and credentials to colleagues and potential clients, gathering intelligence about trends and competitors from others in your industry or profession, and keeping in touch with alumni and other groups that matter to you. Also, if you lose your job unexpectedly, having your LinkedIn network up-and-running is a big asset.


The first step is to sign up and create a profile. The profile should be briefer than your resume, but it should include current and past employers, education, a professional-looking head shot (no party or beach candids, recruiters say), and any relevant affiliations appropriate for listing on a resume. Try to include details that will set you apart. “We are searching through tens of millions of people on LinkedIn, so include the thing that makes you different and unique,” says Steven Raz, managing partner of Cornerstone Search Group, a search firm.


It is also OK to include a little personal information that would be suitable for your resume, such as being an avid runner, says J. P. Sniffen, a regional recruiting manager for the recruiting firm Orion International.


Keep your profile up-to-date, and don’t make the common mistake of failing to delete outdated versions. Recruiters sometimes call these up by mistake, thinking they are current. Another common error is failing to respond to messages, which can create a negative impression, says Corey Ackerman, a senior partner at Cornerstone.


Strengthening your LinkedIn network is worthwhile. The more contacts you have, the more likely you are to get job interviews. Also, employers are likely to review your contact list to see who you know at what levels and in what industries, a measure of your networking skills, says Don Kjelleren, director of career services at Middlebury College. Many LinkedIn users maintain dozens to hundreds of contacts.
LinkedIn poses a risk that your boss will notice your profile or activities, assume you are jobhunting and hold it against you. A vigilant boss may wonder why you are connecting with a human-resource manager at a competitor, for example. Or “a significant change in activity level, such as new recommendations or changes to your profile, it could look suspicious” to your boss, says Laura Poisson, a vice president at ClearRock, an executive coaching and outplacement firm.


Mr. Sniffen says “it happens all the time:” An unemployed jobseeker calls to say he is out of work because the boss discovered via LinkedIn that he was looking around.


Recruiters offer tips on reducing the risk. Consider making a pre-emptive strike: Tell your boss that you are active on LinkedIn for networking purposes, to share ideas and information, to get help solving work-related problems, or to stay in touch with alumni or professional groups, Mr. Sniffen says. Be consistent in updating your profile and contacts, so a sudden flurry of contacts from recruiters or prospective employers won’t be so conspicuous. And if you receive a LinkedIn job query, consider responding via your personal e-mail or phone. Some users post their personal e-mail addresses on their profiles, enabling prospective employers to contact them that way.


More Tips and Complete WSJ Article

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

4 Easy Ways to Improve Your LinkedIn Profile

By Mark Henricks


In the race to see who will own social media, LinkedIn can if nothing else claim to be the first to publicly sell out. But there’s more to business networking than an opportunity for Reid Hoffman to join the ranks of the ├╝ber-rich. Savvy business people increasingly see LinkedIn as a critical place to find new employees, recognize existing ones, troll for sales prospects, and build their own digital brand. Here are some tricks you can tap to buff up your own LinkedIn profile:
  • Create a custom URL. This helps your profile rank more highly in Google and LinkedIn search results, according to LinkedIn spokesperson Erin O’Harra. “And it’ll be a lot prettier to put on a business card,” she adds. Click the “Edit” hyperlink at the bottom of your blue profile box next to “Public Profile” and your current URL. On the next page, click “Customize your public profile URL” and type in your preferred URL. Try “firstnamelastname” and if that doesn’t work, “lastnamefirstname.”

  • Strut your smarts (and tap other people’s) via Answers. This is under the “More” toolbar button. You can ask any question you want, or answer someone else’s. After a week, the questioner tags the best answer. If you give the best answer, you get a badge on your profile that calls attention to your expertise. O’Harra says participating in Answers is a way to clients, partners or others looking for a specific skill. “By answering a question, that may open the door to a new relationship,” she says.

Monday, May 16, 2011

10 Useful LinkedIn Tips & Tricks You Might Not Know

Linkedin is by far the biggest professional network in the world and a great place to forge B2B connections but far all it’s useful features it can feel a little restrictive at times so here is a list of useful features, hacks and tips that will help you get even more out of the social network. Given that you are probably on Linkedin to get business, find work or network it’s important that you do something different that helps you to stand out which is exactly what this list of tips will help you do. Make sure you pimp your Linkedin profile today with some of these great hacks and tips…

Find business people near you

The new iPhone Unsocial is now available for free on the app store and it integrates with your LinkedIn profile to let you find business professionals located near you, to connect with. Almost operating as a Foursquare for LinkedIn, this is all about location services for the professional and is being billed as a particularly useful app for people attending conferences. This process can often be a bit messy, where you meet someone once then remember to hook up on LinkedIn days later. Though you don’t have to use your LinkedIn profile for this to work, it’s a great way to find relevant searches for people near you and connect instantly :

Check your updates any time

If you’re a hardcore LinkedIn user, then you might find it a bit laborious to keep logging in to the site to find your latest updates. The Google Chrome LinkedIn toolbar does away with that and also has some nice extra features, such as the ability to share any article with your LinkedIn network right from within the toolbar. You can also comment on other people’s updates. This could help with one of LinkedIn’s biggest problems – that it’s easy to forget about until you get an invitation from someone to connect. This helps to make it a fluid experience across the web, easily integrating with content that you view to make the experience more social.

Build a beautiful resume

Often your latest work experience and history will be contained within your LinkedIn profile, but when it comes to looking for a job you have to go back to the dreaded word format, likely copying and pasting most of the information from your LinkedIn profile anyway. This handy app takes the job away from you, by turning your LinkedIn profile into a beautiful looking resume, instantly. Free to use and a great product from LinkedIn Labs, this is a little known tool that could save a lot of time for people :

Save your searches

A little known trick within LinkedIn is the ability to save up to 3 searches. This might not sound like much use at the start, but this trick allows you to save searches for people and get email notifications every time the results change. This is a great tool if you’re looking for potential employees, new network connections or possibly employers. To save your search, simply run your search for people in the bar along the top, then click on ‘save search’ along the top right. Think about the kind of searches you can run here that will return relevant and interesting results, to get practically instant industry updates from LinkedIn :

LinkedIn profiles in your email

Finding new connections on LinkedIn can be one of the most daunting tasks and you’ll often forget people that you contacted that you wanted to add but didn’t at the time. This handy plugin for Firefox allows you to bring up the LinkedIn profile of people you’re emailing instantly. This works across most web mail accounts, including Gmail. And a nice add-on to this is that if the person that you’re emailing doesn’t have a LinkedIn profile, you can invite them to join LinkedIn from within the email.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Top 25 LinkedIn Groups ALL Job Seekers MUST Join

One feature you job seekers may not know about or have fully explored is LinkedIn Groups. LinkedIn Groups are free to join, and you can choose to join up to 50 groups from a list of thousands of user-created groups for literally just about anything. Not only do these groups provide you access to connect with and contact fellow group members who could become future partners, employees, investors, customers etc., but the groups’ newly updated discussion board feature can provide more networking opportunities, answers to your questions and insightful advice, tips and support. You can also join the groups' subgroups and contribute answers, comments and your own expertise to the groups’ discussion boards to establish your own online personal brand on LinkedIn.

Last year, I published a list of the top 20 LinkedIn groups for job seekers which became a very popular resource on Career Rocketeer. It's been over a year since the list originally went out and some of the groups have changed and new groups have emerged. Therefore, I have updated the list and am pleased to present the Top 25 LinkedIn Groups ALL Job Seekers MUST Join to help you build your brands and launch your careers:



  • JobAngels - Non-profit job search network of professionals helping other professionals find job advice and opportunities.




  • Executive Suite - Community of over 100,000 US-based executive-level and recruiter members.




  • Star:Jobs Professional Career Center - Group working in tandem with Linked:HR, the largest Recruiters’ Group on LinkedIn, to help top candidates find jobs quickly and efficiently.




  • Career Rocketeer - Career Launch Network - Fastest-growing professional network for personal branding, career search and career management, bringing job seekers and employers, recruiters and career experts together for mutual success.




  • The Talent Buzz - Group for job seekers, recruiters and HR professionals interested in expanding their professional networks.




  • Helping Friends Career Network (LI2HF) - Business and career network where entrepreneurs, hiring managers, recruiters, and talented professionals worldwide can make meaningful win-win connections.




  • JobsDirectUSA - Official job search group on LinkedIn for JobsDirectUSA.com.




  • Career Change Central - Group linking job changers and professionals in career transition with recruiters, hiring managers and career coaches.




  • CareerLink Network - Community providing job seekers spiritual, physical, social, mental, economic and personal growth to meet their ever-evolving needs




  • Jobs Alert - Job search group for middle and senior-level managers worldwide. 









  • Groups 15 - 25 and Complete Original Article
  • Tuesday, May 10, 2011

    55 Ways to Use LinkedIn to Grow Your Business

    LinkedIn can be a fantastic tool for improving your business. In order to maximize the benefits from using LinkedIn, I have asked the CarolRoth.com contributor network of entrepreneurs and experts to give their best tips for using LinkedIn to grow and improve business. Their answers are presented below in no particular order.

    You may notice some similar insights, but I kept the concepts separate, as something in the way one is framed may resonate differently with you.



    1. Hello to Groups
    I use LinkedIn to post upcoming webinars, articles, columns, and events where I am either speaking, presenting, or I think would be of interest to all. Not only do I post this on my regular space, but I also send it to all of the groups to which I belong, which really gets the word out, helps create my credibility, and keeps my name in front of people I can't always get in front of. This truly is the paradigm shift of one to one to one to many in action.
    Thanks to: Rosanne Dausilio of Human Technologies Global Inc.


    2. Key to Business Support
    Let's keep this simple. LinkedIn is about creating a business community so that we can support each other. Community = Join Groups + Ask Questions.

    Summary: Get yourself in the crowd and get involved. The rest will just happen.
    Thanks to: Haleh Rabizadeh of Little Patient Big Doctor.


    3. LI Groups & Email Marketing
    Join LinkedIn Groups that target your audience. Then, submit links to press releases or articles featuring your company, along with short comments and summaries on the targeted groups. The groups send out email newsletters to members and will include your link & message. This is like free email marketing!
    Thanks to: Becky Boyd of MediaFirst PR.


    4. Dare to Expose Yourself
    Most LinkedIn profiles are boring and can put you to sleep in a few seconds! Make yours shine by sharing a bit about yourself personally in the summary section on your profile. Tell others why you are in the business you're in. Share with them about your passions or values or what makes you different from your competitors.

    By sharing some of your personality, it gives the reader a glimpse into who you are
    and you're likely to stand out and be viewed as a much more interesting prospect.
    Thanks to: Jane Morrison of Morrison Business Solutions.


    5. Announce Deals, Book Services
    Like other social media sites, a LinkedIn company page is a great place to announce deals, promotions and ongoing specials. You'll quickly generate a loyal and growing following of customers to market your products and services to. And many will visit often to see what's new with your business. If you're a service-based business with online scheduling, you can even include a link that allows them to book their services or reservations at the same time.
    Thanks to: Eric Richard of Appointment-Plus.


    6. Answer Random Questions
    If I look back at the years that I have been involved in Linkedin, I think that the ratio of questions I answer compared to those I ask has to be at least 50:1. Taking the time to look through my areas of interest and expertise, singling out the questions where I can provide value and then providing thought provoking answers has been a key to my success. As well, at the end of the post, I always put an offer to contact me for more help AND a LINK to my website. Amazing the HITS I get!
    Thanks to: Ben Baker of CMYK Solutions Inc.


    7. Don't Just Take -- Give!
    The best way to forge relationships and get your LinkedIn contacts actively seeking business to steer your way is to give more than you take. What can you give? Advice, leads, links to relevant articles, information, compassion, your time and more. Give those things that will help others know you are a knowledgeable and helpful person who cares about others. Your contacts will soon become friends and the relationship that emerges will be mutually beneficial.
    Thanks to: Susan Greene of Freelance Copywriter.


    8. Each One Reach One
    Use your LinkedIn connections to both give and take. Give your colleagues something to improve their lives--a tip, a website you've found, maybe even an ebook. In return, ask them to send it along to at least one of their own connections. Life and LinkedIn are all about growth and you can grow your followers by asking for help and making your helpers glad that you did.
    Thanks to: Marlene Caroselli of "Jesus, Jonas, and Janus".

    Read Ways 9 - 55 to Grow Your Business and Complete CarolRoth Article

    Monday, May 9, 2011

    Confessions of a LinkedIn virgin

    Bill Bishop


    I’m certain that many entrepreneurs and business people don’t take an invitation to be added to one’s professional network very seriously.

    I confess. I didn’t. I simply clicked the “accept” button and that was the end of it.                   

    It’s a strange new world out there, however, and most people are only beginning to understand the potential power of the social media. Some have found no value at all while others have seen limited success. And then there are those who have actually built viable networks of revenue generating partners… and business is good.

    You probably don’t want to hear this, but the key to success in the social media is the same “secret” that must be applied anywhere else in business — hard work.

    Part of the problem, at least in my situation, was that I wasn’t serious about making the service work. Therefore, I didn’t offer any good or useful information about myself and consequently, I got nothing in return.

    When you give nothing, you get nothing! It’s that simple.

    LinkedIn may not be as sexy as Twitter or as popular as Facebook, but it could be the most important social network out there for businesses. So if you’re in business and your schedule is tight and you only have time to devote to one social platform, LinkedIn could be your best bet.

    Here are just a few tips for growing your network and your business using LinkedIn.

    Work on your profile
    First, make your profile irresistible. Start with a professional headshot. Don’t use a photo of yourself as a three-year old. Don’t crop your head out of a party picture or use a photo of your favorite pet.
    We live in the age of digital photography, which means you can have a current picture of your very own smiling face online in a matter of seconds.

    Next, complete your profile. Again, if you’re not serious about growing your business, you’ll leave this area blank, but completing the profile simply means including all your relevant jobs, both past and present, as well as where you went to school and boards you’ve sat on or positions of leadership you’ve held.

    You never know how people may connect with you, or what searches they may do.

    You’ll also want to write a compelling summary, which means more than just posting your resume. Instead, you’ll want to explain what you do, and why someone should reach out to you. Be persuasive.
    Leverage your keywords in order to improve your “findability.” Ideally, these should be repeated in various key areas of your profile including your headline, work experience and summary. A repetition of your keywords makes you significantly easier to find.

    Content is king!
    Want to really make an impact? Add a video. Content is king!

    If you are not creating content and uploading it to the social web then your company is invisible. And the most engaging content you can create is video.

    Video grabs attention and holds people's interest like no other marketing material. It's dramatic and exciting.

    Adding a video to your LinkedIn profile can be done rather easily by uploading a video to Slideshare.net and enabling SlideShare on your profile page.
    Next you’ll want to begin building your network. An easy place to start is with your current contacts… the people you already know.

    There are two ways to do this — the short way or the long way.   

                   

    Thursday, May 5, 2011

    Building Solid Business Relationships Using LinkedIn

    There is a good chance that you have a LinkedIn account. You may have had it for a long time. As you know, having a complete profile is critical to using it successfully. Now, you need to leverage your connections.

    Leveraging your LinkedIn connections to their fullest potential
    Perhaps, LinkedIn doesn’t seem to be doing much for your business. It is very possible that you have concentrated all of your efforts up to this point on increasing your online connections so that you strengthen your credibility and visibility. Believe it or not, building your lists of LinkedIn connections is not your greatest challenge. An even bigger challenge for you will be to take those connections that you have established and to deepen them to the point where those people will buy what you are selling.
    The success of social media (including LinkedIn, of course) depends on relationships. Meaningful interactions and face-to-face meetings are critical to the success of your business. So, what can you do to leverage those meaningful relationships so that they become even more significant for you and for your business?

    Event Leveraging
    You should be paying close attention to what your connections are doing and where they are going. Because you are connected to them online, the chances are great that they will be sharing information on which events they will be attending. If you see that those events are in your geographic area, you should plan on attending them also. If the events are live, you should consider them a wonderful opportunity to interact with your online connections face to face, even if they are not first-tier connections to you online.
    You should approach this by visiting the RSVP page of the event, identifying who among your connections is attending the event, and reaching out to a few of those people. You can communicate with them by sending them a message if they are a close connection or sending them a message through InMail if they are a more distant connection to you. Your message should indicate that you will be attending that particular event and that you look forward to the opportunity to interact with them in person. This approach is effective but unobtrusive at the same time.

    Timing is critical
    The optimal time to start to build a deeper relationship with your connections is when you are on their minds. Right after you have made a new connection, received an introduction, made an introduction, responded to a question or comment or received a response to a question that you have posed are all ideal times to reach out to build a more meaningful relationship. Online interactions can easily lead to phone calls, continued discussions and face-to-face meetings.
    Seek advice from others


    There is not a person around who doesn’t love to give his or her 2 cents. Everyone loves to feel valued. If you reach out to your connections and ask their opinions on something that is important to you, you will be surprised at the amount of valuable responses your will receive in return. You will also be strengthening your relationship with your connections. When you do reach out, make sure that you clearly communicate who you are, explain the common thread or threads between you, pay them a compliment and explain why you are seeking their advice. This will prove to be a wonderful approach for you.

    Coordinate geographic locations with travel - More Advice and Complete Article

    Michael Cohn is the founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of CompuKol Communications LLC. He has over 25 years of experience in IT and web technologies.

    Wednesday, May 4, 2011

    Four steps to make social media work for your business

    By Dream Local


    I often get questions from business owners wondering how social media can work for them. Many say they have no time at all to utilize social media, and I completely understand – but share they are missing a huge opportunity. Others will have questions that go straight into tactics: “I posted x, y, and z on Facebook, but I only have 25 fans”, or “I post things all the time but no one comments”. Even though it may seem counterproductive, before I start to answer these questions I make them take a step back and talk to them about their overall strategy and business needs. Because social media marketing can be largely free, many people jump in and start using the tools without first putting together a plan of how they want this marketing to work for them, or without understanding its strengths and weaknesses. This often leads to wasted effort and less than stellar results. Let’s walk through the four steps you need to take to make social media work for you and your business.

    1. First, it’s important to understand your existing business and what makes it tick. What kinds of customers add the most value? What products or services are the most profitable? What kinds of content and information do we have available that could be of interest – can we establish you as an expert or resource?

    2. Determine your marketing goals. Are you trying to get more business from your ideal customers? Do we need to strengthen and build upon word of mouth and referrals? Generate buzz and keep you top of mind? Improve your site’s performance on search engines? Sell more of a particular product or service?

    3. Third – it’s planning time! Many businesses approach marketing without a thoughtful plan. This can often lead to wasted resources. Since social media takes a considerable amount of time to do well, and you don’t want to waste your time. Consider the different ways that social media can enhance your overall marketing plan and help you achieve your goals, and develop content and posts to help support it.
    For example, if you determine that your ideal customer is a small business owner with ten or less employees, and you have a considerable amount of expertise that can be leveraged, your social media strategy will likely include a blog and using tools like VillageSoup, LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter to promote that content. Your plan would have a series of ideas and then posts on how to get small business owners interested in your content, and then convert them to leads. For each business, this is different. At Dream Local, while we follow a tried and true formula for creating marketing plans, they are customized to each business because their needs and goals are all unique.
    Questions to ask yourself when developing your plan:

    See The Questions + Step 4 + Complete Article

    Tuesday, May 3, 2011

    Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile – Top Ten LinkedIn Tips

    LinkedIn is the largest professional network with over 100 million users worldwide. You can read more stats over on LinkedIn’s About Us page.
    So to help you get noticed, stand out among the large crowd, and get that dream job here are my top ten LinkedIn Tips to optimize your LinkedIn profile.
    1. Complete your profile 100%
    2. LinkedIn keeps good track of your profile completeness. It is in your best interest to complete your profile 100%. Include as much past and current work histories, a summary, skills you’ve learned, etc. LinkedIn will show you what you should fill out to get to 100%.
    3. Post a professional image of you in your profile
    4. A professional image is defined as a head and shoulders portrait of you. Two reasons for this: 1. Adds to your credibility 2. Makes your profile more professional
    5. Complete your current title and summary
    6. Your Title should be genuine – recruiters will check. Your summary should be a short, concise two or three paragraphs that should answer 3 basic questions: Who are you? What do you do? and Who do you do it for?Within your summary use keywords that will help you get found in LinkedIn search. For instance in my summary I listed out several keyword phrases such as internet marketing. It is a service my company provides but it is also a phrase users on LinkedIn would search.
    7. Complete your past experiences and specializations
    8. Specializations should answer this question. What makes you unique from everyone else in your line of work?
    9. Use all the Linkedin features offered (blogs, slideshare,Twitter feed, video, book recommendations, etc)
    10. LinkedIn provides several in house apps that connect to various services like Twitter and WordPress. If you have written an e-book list and recommend it using Amazon book list app. You can share a recent presentation through the slideshare app. 

    Monday, May 2, 2011

    Klout looks to exert influence

    San Francisco-based startup identifies people whose opinions carry weight with others for social media marketing