7 Tips – Maximise Your Linkedin Profile

Whether you want new customers, a new job, a promotion or just to be found; here are 7 tips to help you build a better profile for yourself using your linkedin profile.

In this digital age, if you cannot be found on the web I personally begin to wonder what you are hiding or do you not want to grow your business?  If you are still holding allegiance to the tribe of anonymity and you have a front line position in a company (sales, marketing or owner) then I would suggest seeking a new profession or shutting your business down. If  you have more customers, opportunities and wealth than you can handle – then by all means operate in stealth and ignore the tips below.

 7 Linkedin Profile Tips   linkedin logo

  1. Add your photo
    Many people are poor at remembering names. Your face is the best form of recognition we still have. Make it visible to everyone. Don’t use logo’s or diagrams. Better still if you can clear cut it (edit the background out).
  2. Load your contact details – Phone, email and website
    If you want to be contacted then put your phone, skype an email address in and make them visible. Linkedin is better than the white or yellow page directories for getting up to date contact details. People who want to connect with other busy people (read successful or great potential clients) publish cell phone no’s.To access someones contact information, click the contact info envelope  at the top of their profile (highlighted below) and it will expand out to show their full contact information.
    MJR linkedin contact info
    The other day my wife and I found a wallet full of credit cards, office access keys and other personal stuff on the street. We then set off in a major social media stalking exercise to find and contact the owner – her hours of anxiety could have been reduced to minutes if she had put her cell phone no or email address in her linkedin profile.
  3. When sending a connection invite – add a relevant comment
    Don’t just send connection requests without at least a simple “this is why I want to connect with you” or “this is how I know you” line. This way you turn your cold call to a warm call.I meet lots of people in my business life, many from speaking gigs – when someone from the audience attempts to connect with me with a little note I generally connect. People with big networks will more than likely accept your request.
  4. Get some recommendations
    Linked in is a great way to build personal credibility – get personal recommendations from people you respect to build your credibility.  Because its in the public its more likely to be authentic.
  5. Put some history
    Make sure you list more than your current role on Linked in. As a general rule cover the last 10 years of your business history.
  6. Use your linked in network for marketing
    You can very easily export your linked in database to a csv file that you can use outside linked in eg starting an email newsletter list. Go to connections page – click settings – its in the panel listed as advance settings.
  7. Delete Duplicate profiles
    If you have duplicate profiles – delete all but one. If you have lost both password and the email account it is linked to contact linked in support. Linked in now have a service that will merge multiple accounts into one.
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Differentiation for Services Coy’s

My twin and I are different…

So we all know we need to have a USP (unique selling proposition)  – Elevator Pitch. But what about when you are in the services business ? …”we are the best” or a derivative of it “we are the leaders” fails miserably on the unique test.

Unfortunately unless the output of your service is significant – it is useless at differentiating you, in fact doing a great job is what I call a hygiene factor – something any decent professional will give.

Very seldom, if at all, it is the firm that differentiates the service provider. There is always someone else that has the “expert team” or “boutique personal service”. We need to hunt further than that.

Think about how you choose your last: Dentist, lawyer, architectural designer or business adviser?

Differentiating in the services game is hard, as the string of poor web sites  are testimony too.

My guess it came down to one of these:

  • Referral from a trusted source – the great thing here is price is often eliminated with a great referral. So make sure all your endorsements are succinct and powerful and not hidden away,
  • They stood out from the pack in some way. This could be from:
    • Making a stand eg Being thought leaders or just different
    • You just liked them, because they are “like you”.

Notice I am not talking about a logo or fancy tag line. It is more about your approach, attitude or way you are. Once you are conscious of what your customers like, give them more of it. Make sure that this “way” is consistent across your entire organisation. Have you ever fired someone because they did not adhere to your company values – brand attitude?

It still blows me away when I see people referring to their craft rather than a measure of success from the client’s perspective. Here is classic from a web site “Accounting is our passion,” If accounting is your passion, enjoy yourself. But what can you do for me?

For something completely different check out this law firm www.valoremlaw.com/ (see the tease below)

They are making a stand:  “the billable hour is dead”

 

Check your web site out,  how much of relevance do you offer your clients?

Some more ideas on standing out from the crowd:

  • Share customer stories, highlighting what your customers got beyond your basic service
  • Make sure all your headline stories on your promotional material talk the language of your customers need and success – not yours
  • On referrals, make sure you make it easy for people to refer you:
  • Be clear on what you do and don’t do. give them a simple sound bite to pass on…
    Particularly if there is some overlap of your services with them.
  • Be clear on what market segment you are after.
  • Make sure you have a LinkedIn profile and its up to date (google is great at finding you here)
  • Reciprocate – people you give referrals, will give you ones in retutn
  • Your existing and past customers will give you the best referrals, they know you. Always ask for an endorsement and highlight rather than hide them on your web site. Third party endorsements have an 80% probability of closing a sale.
  • Google yourself and see what people see of you. Do it on an I-pad and see how your web site looks – influencer’s are generally busy people and they steal time by using these portable devices

More GMC articles on Networking or Pitching , or if you want more information specific to  selling professional services I found a great resource here  http://www.marcusletter.com/Differentiation.htm

First Impressions Count – 8 Tips

The real world says first impression count – how much business are you missing out on because you are maiking 8 basic mistakes?  Here’s 8 turnoffs for me (or a potential client)…

  1. Do you have a dedicated domain email address?   
    Sorry but there is no excuse for a @gmail or worst still @hotmail account any more. Register a domain name (costs $40 per year). Hell I would recommend getting a family domain for your kids.  www.freeparking.co.nz
  2. Does your web site exist and not look like a child made it at school?
    Too many companies use large homemade web site that say nothing of relevance for their customers. At very least commission a graphic designer to develop a simple holding page with your contact details on it. Less done properly is better than lots of crap. This is the best place to spend your next $5 – $10,000 of marketing money. Also make sure it can be viewed on an i-phone and i-pad – people who use these devices buy stuff.
  3.  Do you exist on LinkedIn?  Linked  is the easiest way to build an online profile that will help you get clients, qualify staff, suppliers and much more. Start a profile today www.linkedin.com
  4. If I Google your business name or your name something comes up? Failure to have any online presence today is suicidal.
  5. What does your business card look and feel like?
    Make sure people get an idea about what you do from your card. Use the rear of the card as well, use quality print stock and finish.   
  6. Is your mobile phone no. on your business card?  
    Having your mobile phone no. on your card says I am open for business.
  7. Do you post clients stuff that can be emailed?
    Don’t post me something that can be emailed; most business people today are mobile, paper gets wet- lost and ignored. My suggestion is email everything. Last weekend at a trade conference, I heard someone say since they started emailing bills out they get paid faster.
  8. How you look, appear and smell?  Tidy & not smoking in my presence?  Style matters, it doesn’t matter what the look is – but remember it reflects your company and personal brand. Young entrepreneurs soap and deodorant are necessary. Old guys it may be time to throw out that sports jacket that has served the last 10 years  🙂

 As a footnote – remember the world does not like plastic flowers “perfect in every way” have a personality – brand and stand for something.

                                                                      

 

Loyal – Trusted Networks Don’t Just Happen

Have you ever sat back and analysed your business network and assessed who gives you referrals that result in clients – one’s that pay.

  • Building a collection of names – Easy
  • Building relationships – Good Fun!
  • Building a powerful referral network that results in $ales – ????

In my case, excluding existing and previous clients, I have received more referrals from one person, than the rest of my wide network put together .

This concept has had me thinking lately as to what defines and differentiates a person more likely to refer paying work to you than others.

Here is my list for an ideal referral agents – or a great person for your network:

  1. They like you – they can be bothered
  2. You have provided them clients – reciprocity .
  3. You both service a similar market – i.e their clients are good clients for you
  4. You have a mutual clear understanding of what you each do well – how clear is your pitch?
  5. It is clear that you are not in competition to them – My take is fear of a stealing clients gets in the way of most referrers
  6. If you are in the professional services area – you have seen each other in action. This is important because we may like people – but our own personal brand is associated with any referral.

Jits Doolabh’s Trust Model

I meet Jits (www.revonet.co.nz ) for the first time the other day over a coffee and he shared his model for building effective networks.  Basically he goes through a process of shifting contacts – potential clients or referrers from knowing you to liking you then trusting you. This is evident by the clients matching responses and behaviour transitioning from agnostic through to being loyal and ultimately acting as a referrer for you.

He has systemised this model to help companies improve their sales performance. By working intensively with sales teams and owners he has managed some transformational results in sales results.

 

For those looking at boosting their networking power, there are some helpful tips can be found on jasons blog at www.thepeoplepeople.co.nz http://www.thepeoplepeople.co.nz/2011/01/the-top-13-of-2010/