Marketing Moxie Blog

What they didn't tell you about Networking

Posted by Melanie Taljaard on Tue, Feb 14, 2017 @ 07:02 AM

Hands-up-who-hates-networking-events.jpgAsk any business coach how to grow your business and they ultimately preach about the many benefits of networking. These meetings can build valuable relationships that can help you stay connected to your community and other business leaders.

Networking can provide your business with a steady stream of leads - if you know how to do it properly. Networking can also be a huge time waster. Here's what those business coaches don't tell you about networking:

 

* You see the same people: Many coaches will tell you to join as many networking groups as possible. This doesn't always give you the exposure you want. You will start to see the same people over and and over again. If these people aren't right for your business, you will be wasting your time. Always keep your target market in mind and find people who are interested in your business, product or service.

* Networking takes time: All of those breakfast, lunch and dinner meetings may be tasty, but you will have to eat out on a regular basis for at least a few months. Don't expect a business deal after meeting someone for the first time, even if you think they will benefit from your product or service. Networking is all about building relationships, and people will have to get to know and trust you before they will purchase from you.

* You will be expected to reciprocate: If someone buys a product or service from you, there will be an 'unsaid' expectation to reciprocate the deal. You may not want what they have to offer, and that can strain the networking relationship.

* Pressure to deliver leads: Some groups pressure members to provide other members with leads. While giving leads to others in your group can be incredibly valuable, there are times when you have to say you just don't know anyone who would benefit from what they have to offer. This can cause friction between you and the others in the group.

Like all like all approaches to sales marketing, the key to success is knowing your target market and presenting your business in a way that helps others understand how you can help them. Is networking really generating leads and sales? Look back at your recent deals and think about the source.

Even if networking is working, chances are your connections are still going to google you tomorrow. I can’t stress enough the importance of polishing your online profile. Check out these great marketing resources to polish your online marketing presence. 

As you set out to grow your business—exploring every opportunity isn’t the best approach. You have to be laser focused and learn the art of saying no so you free yourself up to say to the right fit. I am selective about networking functions – I find they don’t bring me the leads. Don’t get me wrong, it is extremely valuable to get out in the community and connect with other leaders and support worthy causes, but then recognize it for what it is. I know if I am selling online it is far more valuable for me to spend time on SEO, blogging or a newsletter that “networking”.

So whether or not you are going to that next business after hours, I’d recommend that you polish up your LinkedIn page before heading out and get clear on your ideal customers as well as thinking about if they’ll be attending that event.

Loving LinkedIn -- A guide to creating an Effective Profile

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Tags: linkedin, online marketing, personal branding

Difference Between LinkedIn's Share an Update and Publish a post

Posted by Melanie Tajaard on Thu, Mar 10, 2016 @ 08:03 AM

linkedin-logo-square2-purple.pngLinkedIn is one of the most powerful, yet undervalued online marketing resources. Most people tend to gravitate
 toward Facebook and Twitter, and while those are great for getting results, LinkedIn can garner even more results. Because it's not used as much for marketing, there is some confusion as to how to market on LinkedIn effectively. One of the biggest sources of confusion is the difference between 'Share an Update' and 'Publish a Post'.

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Share an Update

Generally, this is for used for short, simple messages. For example, if you wanted to share a link with a brief commentary, you would use this option. You can also upload photos here as well. When you do this, a thumbnail of the image will appear below the text box. This is the ideal option when you want to share relevant stories, video or photos with your connections.

Publish a Post

This option is for longer posts. Here you can put a couple of paragraphs, or even write a full blog post. It still shares your post with all of your connections when you publish, just like the share an update option does. It also sends a notification to all of your connections to notify them that you've published a new post. You can embed video and photos with this option as well.

Generally, you only want to use the post option if you have more than a few sentences to share. Be careful that you are not sending too much, either via the share or the post feature, as your connections may get a little tired of hearing from you, even if you having something relevant to say.

A longer post can be beneficial, though, to influence your followers and help get you viewed as an expert in your industry.  The publish a post feature also has a few marketing advantages -- like a headline and the ability to TAG the post with relevant keywords.

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If you're not sure of what to post or how often, use the "Pulse" feature in LinkedIn, to follow posters and get an idea of their posting style and frequency.

The other major different is a post that is shared shows up in your followers notifications...

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LinkedIn has the potential to catapult your business to the next level, if you understand the features and market properly. Don't ignore this invaluable resource.  Ready to put LinkedIn to work for you?  Download these free resources.

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Latest updates on LinkedIn

Posted by Melanie Tajaard on Tue, Sep 01, 2015 @ 14:09 PM

LinkedIn recently introduced some changes aiming to help business professionals customize their profiles according to their preferences; hence increasing visibility on the site.

Settings

The Settings menu has undergone a few alterations to include the "How You Rank feature."  This feature shows images-3the number of profile views a user gets compared in comparison to his/her connections. It advises and gives tips on how to improve visibility. The more people get to see the user's profile the more interested they get to working with them and therefore anything that boost the user's profile viewers is advised.

Background image

To enhance the profile of the user, LinkedIn has introduced a banner photo, which can be seen at the background of a user's profile. Professionals should remember that LinkedIn is a platform where professionals network, so you are advised to use pictures that are less personal. This boosts a user's ability to attract the right connections.

View Profile As

Using this new feature, a business professional is able to see what the public and other viewers know about him/her, as soon as they've visited a profile. By doing this, users are able to configure their settings, thus making it possible for them to target a specific audience. This move has made it possible for professionals on LinkedIn to connect with like-minded professionals; and if the user's profile manages to display on the front page, he/she is provided with more chances since clients are able to find him/her quickly. The Public profile enables non-registered members, or members who aren't logged in to view a user's profile, which includes number of connections and the ability to view his/her recent activity on the site.

Navigation

There are some changes that have been made to the Navigation Bar. It contains a Recent Activity menu, which resembles the timeline on Facebook and other social media sites, giving a user the ability to view activity within his network. Additionally, there's a small new downward pointing arrow, which is next to the view profile button, and has extra navigational points added to it. When clicked, the arrow displays recent activity of a user, and edit options of the profile and privacy preferences, which enables a user to control what the public can view.

Ready to put LinkedIn to work for you?  We have put together two ebooks to help you maximize your LinkedIn presence. Your Perfect Guide to LinkedIn Company Pages or Creating an Effective LinkedIn Profile. 

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Tags: linkedin

Recent LinkedIn changes and how to leveraging your presence

Posted by Melanie Taljaard on Wed, Apr 16, 2014 @ 11:04 AM

Are you leveraging the online networking opportunities with LinkedIn?  In 2012, I blogged about, How to Use LinkedIn to Generate Business Two years on and I still love LinkedIn. Hands down THE social media platform that generates the most leads and business for More in Store. 

Just like the other social media platforms, LinkedIn continues to adapt and evolve their presentation and features.  Most recently, LinkedIn announced that effective on April 14th they will retire the “Products and Services” tab from “Company Pages” and removed from LinkedIn all together.

linked in company pages 

As of April 14th the product and services tab has be deleted, effectively the tab is being replaced by the Showcase Pages.   Showcase pages can be tested out now. 

According to LinkedIn, here are three reasons to use a Showcase Page for your product and/or service content:

  1. ‘Showcase Pages’ were built to enable you to highlight a particular brand or product line.
  2. ‘Showcase pages’ make it easy to build a dedicated community on LinkedIn and start an ongoing conversation about a particular product or brand.
  3. ‘Showcase page’ followers know to expect news about your ‘product or service’ – in fact, they’re looking forward to it! And since Showcase Page updates work just like company updates, they offer all of the benefits detailed above.

I tried out this new feature and created a ‘showcase page’ for my Inbound Marketing Services.  A couple of cool features that I liked about the new ‘Showcase pages’ are…

  1. ‘Showcase pages’ are Indexed and appear when using LinkedIn Search

linkedin showcase pages

This is a wonderful feature that we didn’t see with the ‘Company Page’s Service and Products’ tab.  With the page being index you have the opportunity to gain exposure with non-followers – name your page wisely using highly searched terms to attract prospects. 

 

2. Once your showcase page is set up, you can choose to post to your Company Page, to the Showcase page or to both.  This will ensure the most targeted reach of your updates on LinkedIn.

    showcase page screen shot

    The showcase pages are also more visual than original Company Pages’ Service and Products tab.  The full width image allows you 973 x 330 pixel area to showcase your offering.  Much like other social platforms you’ll need to layout your text around the logo that LinkedIn adds to the bottom left and the follow button they also insert over the full width image. 

    I can see the value of the Showcase pages and will likely create a few more.  Are you putting a LinkedIn Company page to work for you?  Not sure where to get started?  Make tackling this important tactic easy with my free ebook, LinkedIn Company Pages.

    Download Now! 

    And if your personal profile could use a little TLC, I have a free ebook for that too!  Download a copy of Creating an Effective LinkedIn Profile.

    Download Now!

     

     

    Tags: linkedin, social media marketing, social media tips, inbound marketing, content optimization system, online marketing

    How to use LinkedIn to Generate Business

    Posted by Melanie Tajaard on Mon, Nov 05, 2012 @ 14:11 PM

    I spend a great deal of time on social media.  I am on social media because I enjoy the experience and interaction and because I owe it to my clients to be up on all the tools.  Social Media cannot be studied, it must be experienced. 

    I often get asked which social tool is my favorite.  Personally it’s Facebook, professionally, hands down, it’s LinkedIn. 

    loving linkedin

    I love LinkedIn, because I can attribute business to my LinkedIn activity.  When a simple post leads to a sale or project, I pay close attention to the recipe that created that success.  I evaluate my social efforts asking, what’s worked, what hasn’t, what other opportunities are there for me with LinkedIn?

     I’ve generated business on LinkedIn by:

    • Posting about private in house training sessions I am putting on, other firms have called to book a session after see the post
    • Referencing a success story online that prompts a client to call and ask for marketing counsel. 

    LinkedIn is the ultimate B2B Social Media tool.  Use it wisely and LinkedIn can help in all aspects of sales, including:

    • Prospecting/ generating referrals
    • Shortening the sales cycle
    • Closing the deal
    • Customer retention

    While LinkedIn is hands down the best social media platform for my business, the other platforms: like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are often my favorite tools for my clients’.  As my clients are other businesses, I favour LinkedIn, (for me, it is the ultimate B2B social tool), for those clients that are more B2C, Facebook is usually the go to tool for starting a social campaign.

    Realizing LinkedIn’s potential requires an effective profile (and much more, this is really the tip of the iceberg).  It amazes me how people fail to complete their profile or they miss opportunities to promote themselves in the biggest networking opportunity on the planet.

    Have you Googled yourself lately?  There is a fairly good chance your LinkedIn Profile will come up high in the Google Results.  Your LinkedIn profile may appear in search results even higher than your own website.  Your LinkedIn Profile is your digital business card… you need to use it to your advantage.  Be sure to differentiate yourself and your company.  Give people a reason to connect with you and include a call to action in your profile. 

    Looking to spruce up your digital business card? 

    Download this guide to Creating an Effective LinkedIn Profile.  This guide breaks down the key aspects of your profile, walking you through step by step what you need to do to create a stand out LinkedIn profile.   

    Download Now!

    Tags: linkedin, social media marketing, social media tips, selling online