The Components of a Successful LinkedIn Marketing Campaign

LinkedIn can and should be the nexus of a successful corporate marketing campaign. In addition to being able to write full-length articles, the beauty of the system is that it has the features of most, if not all, of the other major social media sites: You can share short messages (updates), pictures (photos), and multimedia (audio and video) files and, most importantly, you can interact with virtually no limitation, with current and potential clients/customers, whether they are your direct (first-degree) connections or not.

It is how I built my brand which equates to my business. And while it is a long, on-going, process that takes commitment and an investment of time, it’s relatively easy to do.

What are the steps?

First, obviously, create a personal profile. But what some business owners neglect is to create a Company Page as well. While not obligatory, it may be helpful, depending on your type of business. There may be some things you don’t want to have on your personal profile but would want on your Company Page. This is similar to Facebook complementing your website. You do some things on the former that you would not do on the latter.

Of course, if you do not let the world know what you are doing, then you are doing nothing. You can’t be the best kept secret in town! And this is what takes time. You not only have to write articles (posts), but share updates and (business related) photos, but also promote any of your PR successes, such as quotations on news sites, podcast or radio interviews, television appearances, and speaking engagements (all of which may come as your reputation builds).

The foundation of your LinkedIn world is your network. You can literally invite the world to join you. That is a strategy that works for some but not for others. It depends on your type of business. I, for example, need connections in all industries across the United States. A realtor in New York City only needs first-degree connections in the “Greater New York City” area. That said, she still will want to be known outside of New York so that if someone is moving to the City they will reach out to her for advice and assistance. That is accomplished by becoming a recognized industry leader.

This brings me to Groups. In addition to writing articles and sharing updates (not just about your activities but also professional articles/news stories), and photos, it is important to lead and participate in discussions in LinkedIn Groups, which is why joining Groups is so important. It is also a great way to promote your LinkedIn articles.

But let’s return to those first-degree connections. Once you have them, you have to use them. If you don’t interact with them, professionally, through messaging, it would be like going to a party, getting the phone numbers of persons in whom you are interested, not calling any of them and then complaining that you don’t have a date for Saturday night!

Additionally, you should not ignore other social media. For example, make certain to Tweet about your LinkedIn and real-world activities. (This can easily be done by using the social media message scheduling site, HootSuite, which, like all the other sites mentioned here, excluding LinkedIn, are free.) That will help to broaden your name recognition and will result in your receiving requests from LinkedIn members to join their networks. As soon as you are discovered on LinkedIn, based on your activities, people will want to have you in their networks.

(For the record, there is a free LinkedIn account. That said, you need a premium account because there will be no limitations on the number of searches you can conduct. You need to conduct searches to find members to join your network.)

A great website to help further build your reputation is Help A Reporter Out. Sign up as a “source” and every day, three times a day, you will receive literally hundreds of questions from reporters. Answer those that pertain to your profession or industry and, before you know it, you will have media citations which you can share with your LinkedIn and social media networks and include on your personal Profile and Company Page.

Similarly, opening an account on the podcast site BlogTalkRadio, can also help in the building of your brand. If you are proactive, you could be a guest on podcasts. Once the interviews go live, so to speak, you will then have links to share as updates, not to mention having something to add to your Profile and Company Page, thus making them multimedia.

There is no doubt that this is a time-intensive activity, but if you have the time, it is time well spent. And, if not, there’s someone you can hire to do the work for you.

Recent LinkedIn Posts for Job Seekers

I want to share with readers of this blog some recent posts which I have written on LinkedIn.  The most important, in many ways, is the third, “If you are doing this on your profile you are embarrassing yourself and may be rejected by employers!”  I don’t know why, but it really bothers me when people fall for this nonsense.  So please read it, remember it and share it with your networks.  And if you are not already doing so, please follow me on LinekdIn.  THANK YOU!

Three Ways to Get a Job for Which You are Overqualified

The One Thing to Remember When Preparing for a Skype Interview

If you are doing this on your profile you are embarrassing yourself and may be rejected by employers!

How to Answer the Question, Why Should We Hire You?

Why Profile Views on LinkedIn are Overrated

 

Candice Galek of Bikini Luxe to be Interviewed on Bruce Hurwitz Presents

This coming Thursday, ACandice Galekpril 14, at 11:30 PM (EDST), Candice Galek will be interviewed on Bruce Hurwitz Presents! about her LinkedIn marketing campaign.

Ms. Galek is the founder and CEO of Bikini Luxe, a Florida-based retailer specializing in fashion clothing, swimwear and accessories for young women.  Founded in December 2013 as a one-person operation, with Ms. Galek working alone in her dining room hand writing and packing every order that came in, Biki Luxe has grown into a business with more than 10 employees in its Miami office and an international team of 40.

Although a relatively young company, Bikini Luxe has risen quickly in the ranks of online fashion, stocking well over 2,500 different bikinis and one-piece swimsuits.  While primarily focused on luxury swimwear, the company also sells other designer clothing items and accessories, such as designer active wear, luxury resort wear, jewelry and dresses.  It has grown to the third largest online swimwear retailer, now carrying such well-known brands as Frankie’s Bikinis, Agua Bendita, Beach Bunny Swimwear, Michi NYC, and Shahida Parides.

Ms. Galek has taken Bikini Luxe from humble beginnings to a world renowned swimwear and resort wear hot spot that’s been featured in publications such as Forbes, Shape Magazine, and Inc., and on Fox Business Channel.

Want to ask Ms. Galek as question about her marketing campaign and using LinkedIn to grow a business.  Call in at 11:30 PM (EDST) to 516-387-1690.

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Have an interesting story to tell?  Interested in being a guest on Bruce Hurwitz Presents?  E-mail your proposal to Bruce at bh@hsstaffing.com.

 

The Most Important Part of a LinkedIn Profile for an Employer or Recruiter

Of late I have come to the realization that, as a recruiter, besides a person’s location and industry, the most important part of a potential candidate’s LinkedIn profile is the “View Recent Activity” button.

Why?

Because it shows how a person acts publicly in what is supposed to be a professional network.

One woman today posted a photo of her new born baby.  The post was apologetic in tone.  “Sorry I have not been updating you recently but I have a good reason…”  Does she really think her LinkedIn network noticed her absence?  And why is she sharing details of her personal life, literally, with the world?  Would she bring her personal life into the workplace as well?  Would it just be about births (which is understandable) or will her co-workers have to hear complaints, comments, criticisms and praise about her family day in and day out?

Now the birth of a child is a joyous occasion.  The death of a child, parent or colleague is not.  It’s sad and we can all feel sympathy but the same questions I posed above also hold true when publicly announcing a tragedy.  These announcement, both happy and sad, are perfect for Facebook but not for LinkedIn.

And then there is the politics.   A woman recently opined that is was a shame that the person who apparently was going to attack Donald Trump failed.  (I reported her because such comments are inexcusable and possibly criminal.)  A man shared his opinion that President Obama will go down in history as the greatest president of all time.  (From the comments posted one would be excused for thinking he was kidding.)   And then there are the pictures/posts debunking Black Lives Matter.  The list is endless.

Will these individuals bring politics into the office?  No employer wants that.

So think twice when you post non-professional or purely personal commentary or information on LinkedIn.  It may cost you a job offer.  (It will be interesting to see if anyone is ever fired for a LinkedIn post or comment and, if they sue, what the verdict will be!)

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Bruce Hurwitz is an executive recruiter and career counselor.  He is the author of Success! As Employee or Entrepreneur and A Hooker’s Guide to Getting a Job: Parables from the Real World of Career Counseling and Executive Recruiting.

Who Will the FTC Fine for Endorsements or Recommendations on LinkedIn?

I am not an attorney. I don’t play one on television. And I am not giving legal advice. But I am what some people call a LinkedIn “mega-user.” With 30,000 first-degree connections, I constantly get requests to endorse or recommend people. The requests are always pretty much the same: You endorse/recommend me, I’ll endorse/recommend you. In other words, you lie about me, I’ll lie about you. I got so fed up with these requests that I wrote a post on my own blog titled, “LinkedIn Liars.”

As far as I am concerned, the idea to have endorsements and recommendations was a very good one. The problem is that, instead of wanting to give them value, members have turned the endorsements into little more than “awards” similar to those that players get for accomplishments on video games. And the recommendations are not much better.

But here’s the serious problem:

When you endorse or recommend someone on LinkedIn, what are you doing? You are publicly announcing that the product or service that the member offers is of real value. In most cases, given that the profile is for a person and not a company, you are stating that the member is a professional whose credentials and expertise you endorse. Put differently, you are giving them the equivalent of the “Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval.”

And that means, since you are doing it publicly, on the Internet, that the profile may constitute an “ad” for the individual and your endorsement or recommendation may, therefore, be the equivalent of an “expert endorsement.” After all, a profile, in many if not most cases, is the individual’s advertisement for employment. There’s no difference between an ad saying “Buy my widget” and a profile, however subtle, saying, “Hire me.”

According to the Federal Trade Commission, “Whenever an advertisement represents, directly or by implication, that the endorser is an expert with respect to the endorsement message, then the endorser’s qualifications must in fact give the endorser the expertise that he or she is represented as possessing with respect to the endorsement.” In other words, if you say Joe is a great marketer, but you have never worked with Joe and don’t even know him, you may have committed fraud and, by permitting the endorsement to be on his profile, Joe may have as well. You lack “the expertise that…you [represent]…as possessing with respect to the endorsement.” You are a liar and lied on an ad. And that’s when the FTC knocks on your door!

The Small Business Administration’s guidelines are even clearer: “All endorsements must be truthful and not misleading… In essence, they must reflect the endorser’s actual experience and opinion.” Again, no “actual experience” and you are simply a liar.

Now because LinkedIn endorsements are just photos and not words – actual testimony, as stated, they are nothing more than silly “awards.” (And yes, I have them on my profile…but only a couple of recommendations – all honest!) But recommendations are different. Actual text and context are being offered. And if they are bogus, and if as a result, for example, an employer decides to hire someone, or a client/customer decides to utilize someone’s services, that may very well constitute fraud and result in the FTC taking action. And who knows, someone may decide to sue you for misleading them! Moreover, financial advisers could be in serious trouble with the SEC if they permit recommendations on their profiles.

My advice, don’t lie. If you don’t know someone, don’t write a recommendation for them. And if you have bogus recommendations on your profile, get rid of them.

As recruiter, I give no weight at all to recommendations. I actually want to speak to references. But, in one case, when a candidate for one of my executive recruiting clients kept on telling me how great he was, and using the fact that he had scores of recommendations on his profile, I brought my lap top into the conference room, logged on to LinkedIn, looked at his profile and asked him for the contact information for the first recommender. He said he didn’t have it on him. I then asked about a few others. Same response. So I told him to send me the contact information for the first 10, that I would choose three to actually contact and, if their comments were positive, I would submit him to my client. Not surprisingly, I never heard from him again.

Don’t lie!

This post was originally published on LinkedIn Pulse: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/article/20141009155112-2335221-who-will-the-ftc-fine-for-endorsements-or-recommendations-on-linkedin?trk=mp-reader-card

LinkedIn Liars

I am a big believer in LinkedIn.  I use it to find candidates for my executive recruiting clients and to help my career counseling clients network.  Do I know my 39,000+ first degree connections personally?  Of course not.

And that’s why I do not offer endorsements or recommendations.  If I were to endorse someone, or recommend them, assuming that I do not personally know them, I would be lying.  Endorsing or recommending someone means you are attesting to the quality of their work and their professionalism.  Based on that, someone might decide to hire them.  And if they are incompetent, you are partially responsible for the damage they will cause to their clients.  That is why I do not endorse or recommend strangers.

But every day I receive sometimes multiple requests for endorsements and, to a lesser extent, recommendations.  Usually the LinkedIn connection tells me that they have already endorsed me and would appreciate if I would endorse them.  Or, they offer to write a recommendation for me if I will write one for them.

And that is why recommendations and endorsements are meaningless.  And that’s a pity.

So what should you do if someone asks you to lie for them?  Well, what I do is to tell them that they are liars, explain my reasoning, tell them that I am not a liar, refuse their offer, and I then remove them as a connection (What do I need liars for?) and block them so I don’t have to deal with them in the future.

Why do I tell them that they are liars – one of the worst things you can say about someone?  Well, maybe it’s wishful thinking on my part but maybe, just maybe, one of the liars will realize the error of their ways and will change.  Maybe…but…

I just received the following response from one of my “liars.”  This may be a good example of why it’s not worth the bother.  And I quote (the spelling errors are in the original):

Clearly the response i would expect from a non-millionaire, struggling, incompetent over credientialed man that feels that they know it all.

It impresses me how ignorant people like you are.  

GOD will not reward your behavior and you will continue to live a life full of regrets and misfortune.

 PS. You don’t’ know me. Why did you request me as a connection? Perhaps a simple “remove connection” would be the best solution here.

I rest my case!

 

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