Friday, October 5, 2012

Three Tips for Growing Any Business with LinkedIn


Last year, Social Media was the number one marketing tool used by small businesses.  That trend is continuing in 2012.  One of those sites, LinkedIn.com, is growing at a rate of approximately two new members per second.  Yes, that’s right, per second. 

LinkedIn (LinkedIn.com) is the Social Media site for business professionals and executives.  With currently over 175 million members, it’s the largest professional network in the world.  That’s a whole bunch of business people!

LinkedIn is a great place to connect with people you know or want to meet.  Consequently, it’s a good site to meet buyers of your product or service, whether you sell to businesses or consumers.  As a side note, LinkedIn suggests everyone connect only with people you already know.  What’s the fun in that?

If you don’t already have a LinkedIn profile, start one today.  Then search for people you know through the search box and ask them to connect.  The more professionals you are connected to, the larger your network, the more people who will see you, the greater your chance of making that next sale.

Let’s talk about a few ways you can grow your business using LinkedIn. 

1. Ask your connections for introductions.  This was originally the purpose of LinkedIn.  Strangely enough, not many people do this.  If you notice, the statistics on the right side of your profile page will show the size of your network through your connections and how many new people in your network.  Typically, this number is in the millions.

Whether you are in a big corporation or run your own small business, it’s good to know decision makers.  A personal introduction is a great way to meet someone you’ve wanted to do business with.  Go to the person’s profile you would like to meet and click on ‘Get introduced through a connection.’  It will list any of your connections who know this person and can make an introduction for you. 

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Why Social Media Doesn’t Work


We’ve all heard about Social Media...Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, You Tube, Pinterest, Google+, and more.  Many marketers and business professionals have all but forgotten other forms of marketing.  The questions that loom over Social Media are, “Is it worth the effort?” and “Does it really work?” 

The answer is yes it’s worth the effort, but in reality it doesn’t work for everyone.  Don’t get me wrong, Social Media is terrific.  As someone who works with it every day and helps clients’ achieve success with it, I’m a true believer.  Each day it becomes more intertwined in the fabric of marketing, but the real problem is most businesses don’t implement it effectively.  Consequently, it doesn’t work.

Here are the primary mistakes businesses are making with Social Media:

No Plan:  Marketing always works best when a plan is formed based on your target market, costs, and proper marketing/advertising vehicles.  Social Media, and the correct way to use it, is more complicated than you might think.  At the very least, think through what you want to accomplish, why you are using social media, who you are targeting and how it fits in with your other marketing endeavors.  Without this you are apt to be wasting time and money.

Believing it’s easy: Misjudging the difficulty of properly implementing a sound Social Media strategy is a mistake also.  Do you have someone knowledgeable in Social Media handling your accounts?  If not, rethink whether this is really a priority for your business.

Setting up a page and thinking “They will come”: Many people believe the hard part with Social Media is the initial set up of their page, profile or account.  It’s just the beginning.  Involvement and building relationships is crucial to making it work and that takes time and effort.  Followers won’t come if they never hear from you. 

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