LinkedIn Networking

linkedin_square.jpgOver the years I have been building my reach on LinkedIn. It has led to very valuable connections. People who share a common understanding and mission, or those whose capabilities can help me or visa versa. LinkedIn is quite different from Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Foursquare and other social sites. On these others sites you can follow or fan someone or their company just because you want to. On LinkedIn, in order to connect, you need a reason. In other words, there has to be something that the two of you have in common. Either you are already friends, know each other from another source, like you worked together at a previous company, went to school together, or belong to a common group.

LinkedIn is very business oriented and is the largest database of working professionals that there is. It’s really the best place to connect to build you and your company’s professional profile. For LinkedIn to work for you, you must fill out your profile completely, and while connecting with people, ask them to write recommendations, the more, the better. 10+ will really help your credibility and visibility.

The groups section of LinkedIn is a very powerful way to reach many at once and build connections, better than searching for people or companies and adding one at a time. Let’s say you’d like to join a group on social media and marketing, or maybe you’re an animal lover like me and want to follow what’s happening through the World Wildlife Fund, you can join these groups and be connected with thousands through the discussion groups. Just put in any search criteria and the results will appear. It will display starting with the group that has the most members. When you find a group that seems interesting, look it over, read what they’re about, and what the most recent discussions were. Then join! Once in, you can either participate in discussions or start one on a topic you feel the group would like to learn about. Your discussion will be sent out in the daily/weekly digest to those thousands of members and the potential to connect to others is enormous. A discussion will list how many comments have been posted and if you add a comment, that’s nice visibility to all who are in the discussion with you. Just remember not to spam the list with selling tactics or you’ll soon be dropped from the group.

Another reason for joining groups that interest you, is that is gives you a “way in” when searching the company or people database. All those details are woven together. Let’s say you’re searching for companies in New York City who are in the marketing field. The results will be displayed and the companies will show how many employees there are and how many shared connections you have… then once opened, the people within the company will show who your shared connections are and if you have a group in common. Now you have more information and can write to connect with that person using the people you both know and the group in common. Think of LinkedIn as a place to build your business posse.

Three VIDEO Tutorials:

LinkedIn Tutorial on Using Groups To Connect with Others

LinkedIn Tutorial on Using Groups To Connect with Others

LinkedIn Tutorial on Connecting through Groups and Creating Your Own Group

LinkedIn Tutorial on Connecting through Groups and Creating Your Own Group

LinkedIn Tutorial on the Company and People Search Tool, Combined with Related Connections and Groups in Common

LinkedIn Tutorial on the Company and People Search Tool, Combined with Related Connections and Groups in Common

 

Susan Newman is the CEO of Susan Newman Design Inc and a brand visibility designer. In 1994, Susan established susan_newman.jpgher own company, Susan Newman Design, Inc. Branding YOU Better!, her motto and blog is about how logic, structure, continuity and style make a client look good. Susan is her company’s CVO, Chief Visibility Officer and knows how to create that for others as well! If you build it RIGHT, they will come! She has been featuring other brands in her “brand interview” series to show how strong brand design can build a successful and memorable company. Susan has a free webinar series at Broadcast Louder and a new Radio show on Talkshoe called Suzy Brandtastic’s Interview Series. Her clients range from entrepreneurs and small businesses to large corporations and span the United States and abroad. Her work encompasses “brand visibility design”, brand identity, social media strategy and design, advertising & promotion, web design and development, and theatrical/environmental poster design.

To enroll in Susan’s course on Udemy, go to Branding Strategies for More Visibility.

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Build Your Galactic Brand Like Batman

  When someone opens Google and searches for you or your company name, what comes up? If they search for your type of batman.jpgbusiness or industry, or by a keyword or phrase, does YOUR company come up?

Brand visibility is not just being the answer to your name, but being the answer for what you do, and maintaining that first-page spot consistently.

How is this accomplished and how do we attract our exact targeted audience so that we’re gaining new clients as well as extending our global and local reach?

It begins with understanding your company’s mission and goals.

Once you have discovered these key components, and once you have zeroed in on who your exact target audience is, you’ll be ready to write your content-rich, SEO-friendly website pages, blog posts and most especially add in the long-tail keywords that will draw the targeted audience to you.

The point is not to go out there looking for clients, selling all the time, pointing at yourself or answering every ad you see, but building your online presence in such a way that you are expanding your reach, and having people want to connect with you, share what you’re doing as advocates, and buy from you!

 

Superhero Online Presence So let’s go through an exercise together on Keywords, SEO, Google Searches and Results and how to draw much more traffic to you. batman_search.jpg

The first step is to go to Google. Let’s say you’re Batman: The Caped Crusader and you want to know if people can find you not just by your name but by the good deeds you do.

In the pictures below, you’ll see I typed into Google “Batman” to see what came up for his name and then “Comic Book Super Hero” and “Caped Crusader” to see what comes up for the descriptive words and nickname.

 

For the name, I was so glad to see that Wikipedia was first because that would most likely have the most information and history on the comic book icon as well as the celebrities who have worn the mask. Second in the search was the creator, DC Comics, bravo! After that were the pages from IMDB for the celebrities and movies.

 

When I searched “comic book super hero” I got a variety of websites and pages that listed the top 10 or top 100 superheroes. I’m sure Batman was on the list, but the competition to be the best and singled out is tough! However, when I searched his nickname, “Caped Crusader” he dominated that first page. Yeah!
batman_search_2.jpg
So we know that over time through the consistency of so many wanting more Batman, and the years of comics, TV episodes, and movies, there are millions of pages about Batman, based both on him as an icon and on  what he did to help others.

Building Your Own Superhero Presence
So through this next exercise I’ll show you how to build a superhero online presence for yourself.

First, I want you to create four columns. In the first column will be the words that describe YOU. What makes you unique? Really dig deep into what sets you apart, don’t just put the same generic words that describe everybody else.

In the second column, put descriptive words that describe your ideal clients. Perhaps not the clients you have now, but who you are trying to reach. What are their demographics? If they were a superhero, which one would they be?

In the third column, list the words or phrases that describe what you do that is unlike anyone else. What over time have you mastered and do? Have you rescued a cat from a tree, pulled someone from a burning building, arrested those bank robbers?

In the last column, I’d like you to put what five clients said about you. Read through your past testimonials or ask a few new clients if they could describe what sets you apart and why they are working with you.

Next, I want you to circle words from each column that match or stand out. When you see certain words in common, you will know you are onto something that will define YOU and what you offer, which will magically be what your ideal clients seek too!

You may be able to create a new tagline or moniker from this exercise.

In my own exercise, some of the words that were in common were: branding, design, professionalism, technology, education, creativity, visibility. As you can see these words not only describe what I’m capable of but what my clients are seeking as well. So I decided the three best words to put together for me to use as a moniker were “brand visibility batman_search_3.jpgdesigner.”

In considering this and the best way to describe yourself, remember that it’s not about what you do that’s just like someone else, but what sets you apart. If we use the Batman example again, yes he is a superhero just like Superman and Spiderman, but each of them has something very unique.

If we apply this to the test above what you really want to identify is what is it that will draw people to you like a magnet? What will make the clients who are searching on Google type in the words that pull up YOU as the answer? What you say about yourself has to be what you want others to discover, remember and share as well.

Next, you want to visit Google Adwords (download the attached Google Adwords Exercise and SEO in Action pdf) and begin typing in those words and word combos and see what the results are.

Not all the words will be right, but you will be able to see what was searched more and as you select and build your keywords you will begin to have the tools you need to surpass the competition. You can download these combinations and save them to edit later, adding in more words that are specific to you, like your name, more about what you do and your location.

Steps to building your strong brand and presence 
Be sure your online and offline selves are sending the same signs to others so their experience is the same no matter the place or format.

What does the public perceive about you, your products and services, and is it consistent everywhere? Is the experience of using your products and/or services in line with scanning pages of your website, flipping through your brochure or catalog, or visiting your store? If they met you, or your employees, at a function would they find your mindset to be in line with your company? Is your visual footprint the same across the web, on social media, in advertising and marketing, and in commercials on TV, past or present?

When we talk about brand visibility we must realize it means “all encompassing.” So, if you are a small business owner and entrepreneur, you must act, speak, dress, and fully represent your brand. You are your brand’s ambassador. When someone meets you in person when they previously only knew you by your avatar, are you the way they imagined?

Magnetizing Your Target Audience
Because of the web, many small businesses get confused between being visible globally and locally. Yes, having a website and social media presence helps others find you, but can the local community find you?

The key to being found is broadcasting your brand louder and farther than your competitors and on a consistent basis. Find creative and genuine paths for you to gain trust and others will naturally begin to flock to you.

Consistently blogging on a particular topic and making sure that the title is engaging, the opening sentences are drawing others in, and the post itself is tagged properly, that’s one way.

For others it may be consistently posting on social media, on the radio or creating videos about their topic of choice. The key, though, is to bring others into the discussion in clever ways, not just talking about yourself or what you’re offering.

For example: I love to share other brands, what makes them tick, who they worked with on their visual footprint and how they became a success. So I created a way to showcase them in my brand interview series. I’m celebrating these brands, and that along with my SEO skills is driving traffic to the site, the brand interviews and their businesses, helping them attract new audiences. I’ve also just started an online radio show and to have some fun and enjoy interviewing others I have named it “Suzy Brandtastic’s Interview Series.” It’s all about separating oneself from others in unique ways that make a brand memorable.

You too will find there are a variety of ways to broaden your overall visibility, so be creative and whatever paths you take stay on point consistently.


susan_newman.jpgSusan Newman is the CEO of Susan Newman Design Inc and a brand visibility designer. In 1994, Susan established her
own company,
 Susan Newman Design, Inc. Branding YOU Better!, her motto and blog is about how logic, structure, continuity and style make a client look good. Susan is her company’s CVO, Chief Visibility Officer and knows how to create that for others as well! If you build it RIGHT, they will come! She has been featuring other brands in her “brand interview” series to show how strong brand design can build a successful and memorable company. Susan has a free webinar series at Broadcast Louder and a new Radio show on Talkshoe called Suzy Brandtastic’s Interview Series. Her clients range from entrepreneurs and small businesses to large corporations and span the United States and abroad. Her work encompasses “brand visibility design”, brand identity, social media strategy and design, advertising & promotion, web design and development, and theatrical/environmental poster design.

To enroll in Susan’s course on Udemy, go to Branding Strategies for More Visibility.

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