Category Archives: Social Media

5 Tips for a Memorable LinkedIn Profile by Beth Braccio Hering

Thank you for including my advice in your April 16 FlexJobs article, Beth! I was quoted as No. 5.

5 Tips for a Memorable LinkedIn Profile

LinkedIn operates the world’s largest professional network on the Internet with more than 400 million members in over 200 countries and territories. But simply signing up isn’t going to land you a job. Your profile needs to stand out to entice recruiters and hiring managers. Make yours a memorable LinkedIn profile with the tips below!

Here are five informative and appealing strategies to create a memorable LinkedIn profile:

1. Include a photo.

Eyes naturally gravitate toward a picture. Providing one gives viewers a visual to attach to the information they read, which makes you more memorable. Choose a good quality head shot in which you convey professionalism and friendliness—qualities that welcome potential employers to pursue further action.

2. Craft a powerful headline.

Don’t waste prime real estate with the default “Job Title at Company X.” “Use the space after your name to tell the LinkedIn world what you do, what your impact will be, or what you are passionate about,” says business and life strategist Erica McCurdy. “Leave the employment section to tell the story of your work history. You have one opportunity tomake an impression on your potential employer—give them a reason to look further.”

3. Add some pizzazz.

While a profile should include your educational and professional qualifications, don’t simply treat it as a carbon copy of your resume. Instead, use the space to paint a vivid picture of who you are and what you bring to the table. Career coach Cheryl E. Palmer, owner of Call to Career, suggests these attention-grabbers:

  • Incorporate multimedia. You can upload audio files, as well as video and PowerPoint presentations, that illustrate your expertise. For example, you can show growth in sales by including a chart that shows a spike in sales over time. Including multimedia on your profile will add more life to it and give potential employers a more comprehensive view of you as a candidate.
  • Add examples of your work. Providing great blog posts can be an excellent way of demonstrating your expertise. You can upload posts along with pictures that illustrate the theme of your posts. Then you can add keywords so that your posts can be found.
  • Include links to outside profiles or portfolios. LinkedIn allows you to not only list your published works, but also to link to them on the web. Showing that you have been published gives your profile greater credibility.

4. Include testimonials.

Just as you might read customer reviews before making a purchase, potential employers turn to input from others before investing in a candidate. Put the information at their fingertips by including recommendations from previous supervisors, colleagues, and clients attesting to your abilities.

5. Complete the entire profile.

Finally, take heed of this advice from Karen Taylor Roane, founder of New Destiny Marketing, in order to be a stand out both literally and figuratively. “Work on your profile until you reach LinkedIn ‘all-star’ status by filling everything that LinkedIn suggests you fill out (see this rating on the right-hand side of your profile page). This is another way to help you come up higher in the search ranking.”

And including that extra bit of information—whether talking about your volunteer work or listing membership in a college sorority—may be just the edge that keeps a viewer around a little longer and lands you an interview.

 

Deciding Whether To Invest In Social Media

Thank you to Kate Beles for interviewing and quoting me in this article which appears in the Flagstaff Sedona Business News.

Deciding Whether to Invest in Social Media

Written by  on March 14, 2012

Since social media is still so new, it can be hard to find good statistics on the return of investment, and that makes some business owners wary about sinking time and money into the endeavor. However, there are countless stories of very successful social marketing campaigns. Whether reviewing the small local pizza company in Chicago who gets over 50 percent of their business from Twitter, or a presidential campaign that earns large donations via Facebook, it is hard to dismiss the new strategies.

Using social media effectively, whether one is focusing on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, a blog or other applications, is like stoking a fire; it takes watching and tending to ignite a blaze. Most experts and business owners who use social media agree that the returns of social networking are well worth the effort – but only if done right.

Local Business Owners Share Their Insights

One proponent of social networking is Kim Yuhl, owner of Fizz Bath Shop located on Aspen Avenue in downtown Flagstaff. Kim has doubled her profits in the last year, and she attributes a great deal of her success to social networking.  With 9000 Twitter followers, well over 1000 Facebook fans, a successful WordPress blog and an active Google+ page, Yuhl is no slouch when it comes to social media.

“Social Media is a way to develop real interactive relationships with your customers, which you can’t do with traditional marketing,” Yuhl claims. “Social media can help you develop true loyalty, ongoing relationships, get honest feedback, and keep your name in front of the community.”

Mike Russell of MikerDzign freelance graphic design agrees. “Social Media is a great way to reach out to the community, but you need to know the audience you want and develop an authentic voice to speak to them,” says Russell. “Share information that’s relevant to your audience, and they will listen.” Russell’s Twitter strategy is to tweet about things that will interest his audience and customer base, namely Flagstaff news and graphic design.

In a world where consumers are often inundated with the impersonal messages of traditional advertising, the interactive personal voice of social media can be refreshing. Customers want to believe someone is listening to them, not just selling to them. Although social media is relatively new, wanting to know and trust the people with whom we do business is as old as commerce. Some believe social media helps business owners create that type of personal/business relationship on a larger scale, outside the confines of geography.

“People want to do business with people, not a corporate entity.” Yuhl claims. “It works for me and my business just to be real. I suggest you try to have a relationship, and decide how personal you want to be depending on the type of business you run.”

Choosing Applications and Getting Started

Many folks who are new to social networking can find the many choices overwhelming. Yuhl and Russell agree that it is best to just get started wherever you feel most comfortable. It may also be wise to spend a bit of time researching each application, and visit the sites of businesses you like or are similar to your own to get inspired.

Many believe Facebook is one of the best places to start, and it may be useful to note that there are now over 250 million Facebook members.

“A Facebook Fan page will bring most business owners instant gratification,” says Karen Taylor, owner of New Destiny Marketing in Phoenix.

Yuhl agrees that Facebook is a great jumping-off point. “You just want to make it easy for people to find you, so making a Facebook page and sending it to everyone you know is a great way to get started.”

But wherever you do start, these business owners suggest you dive in – but only if you are willing to play the long game.

“If you only have 15 minutes a day, do 15 minutes,” Suggests Yuhl. “You don’t need to spend a lot of time to see results, but you do need to be consistent and provide constant content, even if it’s just a bit each day. And keep in mind that it takes awhile to grow a following – most results won’t be instant.”

Social Media Experts

According to Karen Taylor, she’d rather teach business owners to fish than do the fishing for them, “I think a few hours to teach people how to use these applications and help them get set-up is usually enough. It can be useful to hire an expert, but hopefully that expert is realistic, and helps educate his or her client.”

Some small business owners have someone working for them who is a natural candidate to handle social networking on a part-time basis, but others are wary about relinquishing the responsibility

Yuhl says “I’m not comfortable letting anyone else handle my social media for me, unless I had someone I was sure shared my voice and vision.”

Mistakes to Avoid

Yuhl, Russell and Taylor all agree that it’s important to avoid some common social media faux pas. Yuhl says “the biggest danger is to think you can just get on there and promote your business, without having a real conversation.”

“No one goes to social media to be sold to,” says Taylor. “Once you have contact some other way, then you can sell. Social media is for being social and setting yourself up as an interesting and reliable resource.”

Although social media is social, it’s important to know your limits – and what personal information you’d rather not share. “I suggest avoiding politics, rants, and negativity,” says Russell.

Experts agree that there are few silver bullets when it comes to social networking, but if you can be consistent, personable, and maintain a strategy without being robotic, it might be one of your best time investments.

“If done right, social media can be a great equalizer,” says Yuhl. “It can put a small local business in league with the big boys.”

Social networking might not be a business necessity yet, but it can help any business, particularly a new or small one, stand out from the crowd.