How to build a business LinkedIn profile

Think of LinkedIn as the Facebook of the business world – it often acts as the ‘default’ site of a business even if they have an actual business website. Well, these days, the Facebook business page is probably visited more than the company’s LinkedIn profile, so that might not be the best comparison.

Still, having a functional and on-point LinkedIn profile is very important if you’re wanting to establish a presence. Filling out the form is easy – going from there might not be.

Starting out on LinkedIn

As you might have expected, filling out various information related to your business is how you’ll start building a LinkedIn profile. Have a nice and friendly description that explains why you do your thing well and why you enjoy doing it. If you’re an older business, make sure to list how long you’ve been providing your services – if not, don’t be afraid to omit it.

If you’re linking your business website on the LinkedIn profile page (which you should be), make sure that the site works great and looks like something worthy of a professional. Not linking to your business website will make you seem less established or even a bit shady, so you’ll definitely want that site up and running soon.

Don’t neglect images or even videos of you, your employees (with their permission) and your workplace. These will engage everyone who views the profile and will provide insight into how you do things. Having a couple of pics on which employees look like they’re having fun will do a lot for your business, as will pictures of modern and well-equipped business headquarters.

Lastly, don’t forget to list several easy and working ways for people to contact you – email address, multiple numbers (preferably a main line you have access to 24/7) and so on.

Once you’re finished with the basics, it’s time to let others on LinkedIn know about you.

Spreading out through networking

There’s a good chance your employees have their own LinkedIn profile up and running. If so, ask them to list you as their employer on their profile page – if you’ve treated them well and run a respectable business, they should have no problem doing this and might even add an extra snippet about how nice it is to work for you. If they don’t have a LinkedIn page, try and get them to create one by explaining the benefits it could have on their professional life – make sure to let them know how much it would mean to you, as well.

Past that, try and connect with some of the people in the same industry and get some shoutouts – the site is fairly easy to navigate, so you should have no problem finding relevant individuals.

A good way to improve your LinkedIn exposure is providing frequent updates related to your business – every time you feel an urge to post a new picture of your pet on your Facebook timeline, post a picture of your business and its workings on LinkedIn instead. These regular updates will make you appear active and enthusiastic – a look every business owner should aspire to.

Posted in Marketing | Comments Off on How to build a business LinkedIn profile

2 great online marketing strategies

More than brave soldiers and lethal weaponry, strategy is what ultimately wins every battle. Considering how ruthless the business world is, there’s no reason why it shouldn’t be considered a battlefield – every day, you’re fighting other businesses and search engine algorithms to get more leads.

To properly market yourself, you’ll need a strategy for it – one that’s built for the long haul as opposed to being centered around this month. Here are 2 great online marketing strategies for you to consider – tweak them based on your business and its needs.

One: Deals and discounts

Associate a day in the week with a discount or an additional service, and begin spreading word of it. We have a client who is in the rug cleaning business, (http://www.delraybeachorientalrugcleaning.com), we’ll use that as an example. So, let’s say you’re a rug cleaning business – you can create something called ‘(your business name) Friday Madness’. Every Friday, you give out a different benefit – one Friday you could clean rugs larger than so-and-so at 27% off: on the next, you could be adding a minor free service to each complete cleaning job.

Make sure that whatever you’re offering is appealing without costing you too much and you’ll have no problem capturing people’s attention. With a few good contacts and the right deals, those in your area won’t think twice about sharing your page every Thursday or Friday to alert their friends, family and acquaintances to your deals.

This is a great strategy because the traffic you get will consist of interested customers who weren’t forced or tricked into going your way – not to mention, you won’t have to do too much work to market yourself.

Two: Scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours

Partner up with a relevant business and see about joining your marketing efforts. This is another good way to get massive exposure when done right, but also depends on your particular niche – some will be able to make great use of it while others will only get limited benefits.

As a hypothetical example (but one that you can still pick up useful information from), imagine you run an auto repair shop in your area. You could do a lot if you partner up with a used car dealer who’s also looking to establish an online presence – the two of you could exchange insights and places on the web to get customers from.

Every post either of you makes could mention both businesses, which is a terrific way to reduce the advertisement-y appearance of the text – two companies with different names and different owners being mentioned won’t look like a concentrated effort to bring traffic to either. It’s a great way to legitimize your online presence further while also expanding your clientele. You can employ this strategy with a single business or even several others to create a ‘mini-network’ where each company helps the rest.

Another great perk of this strategy is that the online contacts of each business will be shared – you’ll meet new people and get customers who might not have otherwise heard of you. Certainly, finding the right business to do this with is the hardest part and the type of work you do is key, but count on reaping great rewards if you manage to employ this strategy well.

Posted in Marketing | Comments Off on 2 great online marketing strategies

3 questions to ask a marketing consultant (before hiring)

Are you finished trying to market your business by your lonesome and are ready to hire a pro? That’s a sound idea – as long as you know how to pick the right person for the job. Hiring a marketing consultant might send your business flying up through the search engines – conversely, it might also not amount to much other than you wasting a bunch of money on their fee.

Before hiring a market consultant, ask them a series of relevant questions and honestly assess their answers – if you feel any of them are wrong, don’t hesitate to keep looking. Here are 3 things to ask to gauge how well of a job they could do.

  1. What is their experience marketing the type of business you’re running? Specific experience isn’t the most important thing, but it can be a big plus. If you own a plumbing business and the marketing consultant you’re hiring has made some plumbers well-known in their area, this professional might have tricks up his sleeve that a ‘plain old’ consultant won’t. Similarly, you’ll want to examine the results they got when they were marketing a business similar to yours – how much did they really accomplish? If you suspect embellishment on their part, don’t hesitate to get in touch with their former clients for confirmation – how much their story differs from that of their former employer will give you a good idea of whether they’re inflating their resume or potentially deflating it.
  2. What is their strategy for your business? A quick glance at your business should give a skilled marketing consultant a good idea of what needs to be done to improve its standing – the best marketing consultants will know where to start after mere minutes of assessing the position of your company. Their answer to this question will tell you a lot: is it a clear-cut and confident one or does it sound more along the lines of “Well, I’ll see what I can do…”? If the latter is the case, it might indicate that they’re not very experienced or aren’t sure how to go about the job. Everyone needs to get experience somewhere, but there’s no reason why your business should act as their training facility.
  3. What are the results I can expect from working with you? Another big one, and one where you’ll also want to pay close attention to the answer. A marketing consultant worth hiring isn’t going to say “I can’t know now, hire me first” – someone who knows their stuff will have a realistic idea of what they can accomplish and will have no problem giving you a glimpse of it. Look for clear answers without a flicker – position on this and this page, recognition here and here, mentions there and there… To make this question more effective, you’d do well to become intimately familiar with your business’ current standing and how it compares to your direct competitors. If your marketing consultant can’t offer to place you shoulder-to-shoulder with them or at least somewhere close, you might want to continue your search.
Posted in Marketing | Comments Off on 3 questions to ask a marketing consultant (before hiring)

How to use mailbox advertisement to build a business

Some consider mailbox advertisement to be a dying form of brand-spreading – online advertising is certainly more convenient, even if spam filters of present day are notoriously merciless.

Mailbox advertisement also gets bad rep in many areas – lots of people consider it the precursor to online spam and might even get upset that you tried to use this method of letting them know what you’re offering.

So how can you ever hope to use mailbox advertisement to build your business, especially since younger businesses need all the good will they can get? Believe it or not, there are still ways mailbox advertisement can work in your favor as long as you go about it the right way.

Don’t get discouraged – not everyone hates mailbox advertisements

Sure, a person might have gone through the trouble of printing menacing warnings along the lines of “Advertisements in the vicinity of this mailbox are strictly forbidden!”, but their neighbor might welcome the ease of learning about new businesses and their services.

Don’t ignore these warnings by posting a pamphlet anyway, even if you feel that what you’re offering is worth reading – these people will often throw your advertisement into the bin just to prove a point. Not to mention, the fact that you dropped advertisement somewhere you were asked not to might come off as rude.

Also, ask yourself: why am I dropping this pamphlet in the person’s mailbox? If you’re an established business in your area and everyone knows about you, dropping pamphlets in every mailbox probably won’t do much besides annoying people. Instead, make sure you’re actually informing people about you and your services.

New businesses can use mailbox advertisement to help spread their name and build themselves up, but companies that have been around longer will need to offer a good deal to get results. For example, we have a carpet cleaning client in Corpus Christi, Texas. (http://www.corpuschristicarpetcleaningpros.com). If you’re a carpet cleaning business, you’ll want to drop mailbox advertisement whenever you’re having temporary discounts on certain services or something like a free inspection week. As long as it seems like you’re trying to spread awareness of something good, people won’t mind reading and will be open to working with you.

The design of the pamphlet

Endless hours go into the visual appearance of any advertisement – why should the case be any different with pamphlets? Your mailbox advertisement should be slick and stylish – don’t be afraid to disperse ‘deluxe’-looking pamphlets even if you’re a business that’s just starting out, as you can always rely on your charms after the customers have made contact with you.

A single leaf works best for various reasons – spending too much time reading advertisement is nobody’s idea of a good time, no matter how interesting you think your business and its deals are. What you have to say should go on two sides of a standard-sized pamphlet page, and that’s accounting for the glossy visuals that will invite people’s attention in the first place.

It might seem like a waste, but working with someone with design experience to create your pamphlets can prove beneficial – at the very least, get the opinion of someone with an eye for style before disbursing them.

Posted in Marketing | Comments Off on How to use mailbox advertisement to build a business

Marketing gurus coming at you…

Gurus of marketing and online business dropping the real truth for your business. Building it out…

Posted in Marketing | Comments Off on Marketing gurus coming at you…