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.

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This Will Guarantee You a Successful Elevator Pitch

A reader wrote asking me to write about elevator pitches. He said he had difficulty knowing how to reply in an interview when the interviewer says, “Tell me about yourself.”

The first thing I told him was that an elevator pitch is for networking and has nothing to do with interviewing or with “Tell me about yourself,” which I have dealt with in a previous article. Then I promised to write this article.

So let’s look at the elevator pitch.

This is how the concept was first explained to me. Feel free to change the genders around; it makes no difference:

A woman gets into an elevator. A man rushes in just as the doors are closing. He presses the tenth floor button, and notices that the second floor button has already been pressed. He then realizes that there is only one other person in the elevator, an attractive woman. She’s exiting in, at best,10 seconds. That’s is how much time he has to win her over. That’s the elevator pitch.

You have 10 seconds to impress. What makes it difficult is that you don’t know your audience. Does the person care about business or something from their personal life? What should you say? What shouldn’t you say? Will a compliment be appreciated or rejected?

First, think of where you are. Since LinkedIn is (still) a business site, let’s assume we are at a business event. All business events are networking events so asking someone what they do for a living is appropriate. Here’s the scenario:

Good morning. I’m Bruce.

Hi! I’m Sally.

So what brings you here at this ungodly hour?

This is not the elevator pitch. This is the setup to the elevator pitch.

Business.

What business are you in?

Now this is her elevator pitch.

I own a security company.

Perfect. Now I know what to say.

We almost have something in common. I’m an executive recruiter. The mission of my company is to promote the hiring of veterans.

And then I hand her my card and shut up. She knows what I am telling her. I don’t have to explain it.

But let’s reverse the scenario. What if Sally approaches me? I don’t know anything about her so how can I know what to tell her?

It’s called the truth. Just be general about it. I would respond, “I’m an executive recruiter and career counselor,” and hand her my card. If she looks at it she will see my mission statement, so I don’t have to mention veterans. The important thing is for me to immediately ask her, “And what about you? What do you do?” Then the conversation will begin about veterans and how we can help each other.

All an elevator pitch is, is an opening to a conversation. You can either do what Sally did and just make a general statement about your business or profession. Or you can do what I did, and add something unique – promoting the hiring of veterans.

Now a conversation will hopefully begin. Usually, because mission statements are generally meaningless, I am asked, “So how do you promote the hiring of veterans?” And there is sometimes a bit of sarcasm with emphasis on “how” or “you” or “promote.” I just smile and say, “By lowering my fee by a third to 10 percent when the candidate is a vet.” That ends the sarcasm and the conversation continues.

And that is how it is done. An elevator pitch is nothing more than how you define yourself. In a professional setting, it’s a professional definition. In an elevator, I don’t know! And if you can’t do that in ten seconds, you have got bigger problems than networking!

Please do not misunderstand me. Believe me. I have worked with enough career counseling clients, teaching them how to network, to know that this can be very difficult for people because they have done so much in their lives that they do not know on what to focus. It can seem daunting, but it really isn’t. One amusing story will hopefully put things in perspective.

A woman came over to me at a networking event. She asked me what I did for a living and after I told her I asked, “And what about you?” She looked me straight in the eye and said, “I’m a social worker.” At this stage we exchanged business cards. I looked at hers and said, “I think you gave me the wrong card,” and handed it back to her. She said, “No. That’s my card, I sell real estate.” I told her that it must really have been a long day because I could have sworn she had said she was a social worker. She confirmed that I had heard her correctly. “I’m confused,” I admitted. “I’m an MSW,” she said. “So you just graduated and are looking to start a new career. Good for you,” I replied. “No,” she said. “I graduated 30 years ago.” “How long have you been a real estate agent?” “I’m celebrating my 20th anniversary with the company!”

And that, dear readers, is a woman who does not have a clue about elevator pitches or, for that matter, networking.

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Bruce Hurwitz is an executive recruiter, career counselor and business advisor. His posts on LinkedIn have been read over a quarter of a million times and have garnered national and international media attention.  In addition to serving on the Board of Directors of the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce, he chairs their Entrepreneurs Network, hosts their weekly podcast – The Voice of Manhattan Business – and serves as an Ambassador. An advocate for the protection of job seekers, visit the homepage of his website, www.hsstaffing.com, to read about questionable offerings of so-called job search assistance companies and to learn about his upcoming speaking engagements.

Building a Brand? Here’s How to Get Cited in Hundreds of Publications Across the US and Around the World, Secure Tens of Thousands of Real Followers and Do It All on a Zero Budget

The answer?  A website.  WordPress.  LinkedIn.  Help A Reporter Out.  Twitter.  HootSuite.  YouTube.  BlogTalkRadio.  Put them all together, mix thoroughly and – voilà – fame!

Of course the secret, like in any recipe, is knowing how much of each ingredient to use, and how to combine them.

Let me begin by establishing my credentials:  First, I have been cited in over 600 articles, appearing in 400 publications, across the US and in 23 foreign countries.  Second, I have tens of thousands of real followers.  I have never signed a single person up to receive any of my publications.  Anyone who follows me does so of their own volition.  And I certainly have never paid for a list of followers.  No, my tens of thousands of followers are all real.  Third, with the exception of my website (which I would have to have regardless of any marketing campaign), I have never paid a penny for any of the marketing/promotional websites/platforms I have used.

Now to the matter at hand:

As noted, I have a website.  Having a website is the minimal cost of doing business in today’s world.  You have to have a website and a professional e-mail address if you want to be taken seriously.  You need the site to be able to show people your expertise.  Being “the best kept secret” is not a formula for business success.  There is no room for modesty in business promotions.

I have a blog.  It’s a simple WordPress production.  I write all the articles myself.  And, as of this moment, the 3,529 subscribers have all signed up on their own.  Every article I write arrives directly into their e-mail Inbox.  I don’t SPAM.  They signed up to receive the articles.  They can unsubscribe whenever they want.  Fact is, every month I gain a few more readers.

Of course, if you don’t have a website, you can let the world know about yourself by making your LinkedIn profile multimedia, as I have done.  If I wanted to, I could add links to all of the articles in which I have been quoted.  There’s no limit to what you can include on a LinkedIn profile.  But sometimes focusing more on your activities (updates, photos and posts) than on your profile content can lead to better results.

But one word of warning:  You never want to sound obnoxious.  If you get up and say that you are the best at what you do, you will come across as foolish and lose any credibility that you may have.  Saying you are an authority in your field is not much better.  Showing it, however, is a different matter.  I could say that I am a recognized authority on executive recruiting or career counseling, and sometimes I do, but I prefer to show it.  I do so by publishing links to hundreds of articles on employment-related topics in which I am quoted.  I have those links because I know how to use the website Help A Reporter Out.

My industry is not visual so I do not need to use social media cites that feature photographs.  I use LinkedIn (which does allow for the uploading of photographs).   I’m also not a big fan of Twitter, although I have over 3,300 followers.  But Twitter is a great site, along with HootSuite, to use as a tool to “broadcast” accomplishments to numerous social media platforms simultaneously.

And then there is YouTube, which you can use to upload tutorials, and BlogTalkRadio, which allows you not only to possibly be a guest expert on countless podcasts, but to host your own show, further raising your profile as an expert in your field.

Bottom line:  When you are a recognized expert customers, clients and potential employers will come to you – which is a lot better than having to go to them!

Of course, what is missing from this article are the details.  Not to worry; if you are in New York City on Friday, June 17, at 10:00 AM, join me at the Science, Industry and Business Library, 188 Madison Avenue, to learn my secrets.  There is no charge for the event which, by the way, is purely educational.  You will not have to sit through any sales pitches.  Registration is requested.  (This presentation is part of MarketingWeekNYC, sponsored by the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce.)

Not in New York City on the 17th?  No matter.  I will be uploading a video of the PowerPoint presentation to my YouTube page and will let my followers know when it is available.  So become a follower!

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.