Category Archives: Linked In

LinkedIn Company Pages

Were you aware that LinkedIn now has “Company” pages for your business? Similar to Facebook pages, but I think easier to use, your company page showcases your business, services, products and more to LinkedIn’s 100+ million members.

These Company pages are different from your personal profile page. If you haven’t yet created your LinkedIn company page, simply click on Companies at the top of your LinkedIn homepage, and then Add Company:

linked in company tab

Once you’ve added your company, there are many places to add content. You can add products and services, embed a company video, post jobs and more all from this interface. If you include them, your Company overview page will also publish your Tweets and blog posts automatically.

What’s most interesting? Once you add a product or service, and then go back to Edit, LinkedIn opens up a section where you can add (and link!) your own custom banner images (three total). You could easily promote a service, special offer, or other brands within your organization. What’s better than free banner advertising on LinkedIn?

Even more, there’s also analytics on your Company page, You can see page views, clicks on images (those with links), and more.

Although a work in progress, take a look at how FIND the CLIENT’s company page looks on LinkedIn. Let me know your thoughts, tricks and tips!

Five Things You Didn’t Know About LinkedIn

blackboardAs readers of this blog will confirm, I’m a huge fan of LinkedIn for selling and consulting. I wanted to share a few additional features many casual users of LinkedIn probably are not aware of:

LinkedIn has a store, where you can buy branded merchandise. Up for sale include mugs, shirts, luggage tags and even reusable grocery shopping bags. For me, I’ve got my eye on the lapel pin for in-person networking.

The LinkedIn blog is frequently updated with all the new and cool enhancements on the network. Writers use the content here for their own blog posts. And for those of you who like to comment on blog posts, the structure here publishes your profile URL, which is a unique twist, and may help you with optimization.

A fairly new feature is the ability to reorder the elements on your profile. Via simple drag and drop, you can move the pieces of your profile around to best highlight your skills, expertise or experiences and stand out from the crowd.

I launched my first DirectAds campaign earlier this week, and the results seem promising. The targeting is robust, but the $10/day minimum is pretty high when compared to Google and Facebook ($1/day or so). More to come on the results of my campaign.

LinkedIn also makes it very easy for you to promote your profile with badges. When logged in to your account, the badges are automatically updated to include your profile URL.

I hope you find these features useful to your networking goals on Linked In, and I welcome your comments, and connection requests.

Photo credit by ilco.

4 Mistakes People Make on LinkedIn

wrongIn a recent post, I shared how to maximize your LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn Optimization, or LIO, is key to your networking success. Here are the top mistakes people make when building their network and profile on LinkedIn:

Mistake #1
Using no photo or an unprofessional photo. LinkedIn is clearly not Facebook, so spend a few bucks and have professional headshots taken by a real photographer. Make sure the photographer crops one of your pictures down to the recommended size used by LinkedIn, which is 80 x 80 pixels. The file size limit to upload is 4MB.

Mistake #2
Using your company email as either your contact email or, gasp, your login email. Unless you own the company, use a personal email address. What happens if you’re let go, or the company goes out of business? You may be locked out of your profile (and miss potential connections!).

Mistake #3
Incomplete work and educational history. Think about how you’d build connections – by places you’ve worked at and school’s you’ve attended. It’s natural to start our connections by the familiar, so include complete details about work and school.

Mistake #4
Expecting to close business on the first contact. Networking, whether in person or online, is an ongoing process. Your success comes from constantly making new connections, sharing great content and keeping in touch.

Since there are many ways to get noticed on LinkedIn, you’ll need to get comfortable with this form of self-promotion. Start with the right attitude about networking, which means giving more than asking, and you’ll build much better connections. And if you’re making these mistakes, correct them as soon as you can.

Photo credit by Cieleke.

How to Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile

linkedin small logoWith more than 60 million members, LinkedIn has become the best resource for developing your professional network. It’s a great place to meet, post and find jobs, answer questions and join groups. Once you’ve created a basic profile, here are some tips to get the most out of LinkedIn.

First, and without question, your profile should be 100% complete. School, work, past work and other relevant information assists others searching for contacts, and helps build your own network. Next, add a profile photo. Your picture triggers recognition and makes networkers feel like they are connecting to a real person. Then optimize your summary section with relevant keywords. Use Google’s Keyword Tool or Wordtracker for your research. This particular section of your profile is often indexed fully by major search engines.

Potential SEO Benefits?
Take a look at this screenshot, which is a portion of my public LinkedIn profile. There is speculation (and some confirmation) the items in this section helps with organic search engine optimization.

linkedin profile

  • Add your website, link to your blog and link to your company. Make sure you further “edit” each by giving it a name other than the defaults provided by LinkedIn. As you can see from my list, I’m hyperlinking phrases such as “Marketing Blog” and “Consulting Services”.
  • If you’re on Twitter, be sure to add your Twitter profile, and connect the accounts together. Under your profile, click on Edit and look for your Twitter settings. You could also try this link when logged in to LinkedIn.
  • Always choose a real name or variation on your name over the default format LinkedIn provides for you. This certainly feeds your organic name optimization and enhances your online reputation. As you can see, my profile link is my full name “brianjfarrell”.

Connecting with Twitter
This image below shows my Twitter settings — my account name (@findtheclient), my privacy settings, and the most important section, whether or not all or select Tweets should show on my profile. When I first set this up, I sent all Tweets to LinkedIn. Since I’m on Twitter often, this amounted to sometimes a dozen or more updates in a single day. When friends said they couldn’t keep up with me, I changed this to show only Tweets with the “#in” hashtag. Much better results, and I can leave up new blog posts or polls for a longer period of time.
twitter settings on LinkedIn

Build Your Connections
Once you’ve done the above, it’s time to build your network. Start with people you know, such as co-workers, clients and colleagues. Also look for connections by company name, under the “Companies” tab. Once you’ve built up this initial base of connections, ask for and make recommendations. But before you do this, read as many as you can. You’ll quickly see what makes up a good (or bad) recommendation. It also helps to personalize your request for a recommendation rather then sending out the canned form letter provided by LinkedIn.

Finally, updated your status often, since it appears on LinkedIn as well as in network updates to your connections. Updates should be considered a professional status, not what you’re eating for lunch. And if you haven’t done so, let’s connect on LinkedIn!

Three Free Ways to Grow Your Business in 2010

Here are three areas to focus on or add to your January marketing plans. Each of these will generate new leads for your law firm or other professional services practice. The best part? All of these are free, requiring only time and talent.

Local Listings
The practice of law, or any other service, is typically a combination of a problem + a location (e.g. “divorce lawyer in Dallas”), so claim your listing on Google’s Local Business Center and on Yahoo Local.

Ratings & Reviews
Ask current clients to rate and review your practice on Yelp. This site has grown beyond just reviews on restaurants, and organizes businesses in more than 20 categories, such as Local Services, Professional Services, and Real Estate. If you’re not part of the conversation, how do you know what’s being said? Simple instructions are found on Yelp’s Business Owners Guide.

Networking
When asked, nearly all service providers like to say they get business “by referral” so put your networking on steroids and join LinkedIn. The best ways to use this site, beyond simple networking, are by joining groups and answering questions. But don’t neglect your network! Writing unsolicited recommendations is the best way to get more of your own. And if you’re a lawyer or an attorney, join Martindale-Hubbell Connected, which is a professional network is designed exclusively for legal professionals.

Build your marketing plan from these three foundational elements, and you’ll be well on your way to growing your service-based business in 2010.