When you see a picture of this structure, most will know exactly where it is. Does your social media profile pic allow people to know exactly what you are about?
Sydney’s Opera House is one of the most recognizable structures in the world. Whether you like opera or not, when you see the building, you stop and marvel at the design and beauty. You wouldn’t click on this picture if you wanted information on Chinese cooking or if you were interested in connecting with train collectors. The photo gives you enough information to draw you in or cause you to move on. In the world of social media and social networking, your online persona is made up of your name (or nickname), your avatar (or social media profile pic) and then the content that you provide. You may not be recognizable to many in the beginning, but it doesn’t take long to create that recognizable online persona.
When I see certain pictures on Facebook or Twitter, I pay more attention to the information than when I see others. There are some that I see and skip right over knowing it is not information that I want or need. (I know, I should just disconnect or “unfriend” them, but that is for another post.)
When developing your online persona, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, is the photo that you choose to use. Selecting a great headshot or photo that really represents YOU is important. In my book, Gettin’ Geeky with Twitter, I spend an entire chapter talking about using a great headshot and standing out. I have some below that I feature in the book and I will explain why they stand out in my opinion. But do this simple test: Scan your list of friends on Facebook or look down the stream of Twitter followers, which pictures jump out and capture your attention? Which one’s get lost in the stream? Are there some that stop traffic and cause you to dive into their information?
A great social media profile pic or headshot is close up, it shows personality and it becomes YOU to all of US. I used to think that everyone should use a REAL photo of themselves and not their dog or a picture of their book cover, but I have found enough exceptions to this rule to now say, “it depends.” Who are you online? Do you provide information from a dog’s point of view? Then a dog-face works for you. Do you use an animated character because this is how you see yourself? Cool. As long as it is not a picture of someone else–like those who post a photo of a celebrity as if that were them, or there have been cases where someone posts a picture of someone more attractive because they don’t want the world to see who they really are. This is different than posting a cartoon image or caricature.
I feel that this becomes a form of deception. Too many people create fake accounts with someone else’s face, name or both so they can write nasty comments or lead people into false relationships. I guess this is done in face-to-face relationships as well, but it is wrong in either case (in my humble opinion!) I would love to hear your thoughts and opinions on this. Depending on why you are online and engaging in social networking, it is usually important to build authentic relationships even when they are shot-term acquaintances. A friendly or engaging avatar/photo is very helpful.
Here are some of my favorite Twitter profile pics–and the reasons I think they stop traffic:
Viveka von Rosen or @LinkedInExpert
Peg Fitzpatrick or @PegFitzpatrick
Both Viveka and Peg have had great close up shots of their smiling faces. Just looking at their profile pics, you would get the feeling that they are friendly and helpful. After reading the content they provide on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and everywhere else, I know that when I see their face pop up it is worth stopping to read their post.
Here’s an example of a brand mascot being so recognizable he stops eye traffic. Moz is a brand that provides SEO tools and news that is always a favorite to read.
Lil Pecan or @LilPecan
Lil Pecan is one of my favorite Twitter Critters. First she is hilarious, she makes delicious chocolates (well, she has never actually sent me any, but they sound delicious by her descriptions), she has a great blog and she is always in character. The only irreverent social media guinea pig that sings scat that I know of. Lil Pecan is a great example of someone who connects with people through her character and it just works!
You be your own judge. What calls to you? In our overly crowded information highway, you need to be sure you have a face that stops traffic and then you’d better have some good content for them to read while they’re there! Let us know who stops traffic for you.
Now that you’ve got tips for your profile pic…let’s get that bio in shape!
Whether you are concerned about privacy or concerned that potential clients and hiring managers can’t see enough of your amazing LinkedIn profile before they request to connect, you get to be in control of what people can see. You can adjust the settings to control what people can see on your LinkedIn profile.
On every social media platform, there are privacy settings that you can adjust, if you just know where to look. Today someone contacted me via email, asking me how they could adjust their LinkedIn profile so certain projects and accomplishments were highlighted or shown to people who were not yet connections. (I’m always grateful that people think of me when they have these questions, but find it amusing when they write, “I need someone to get back to me with this information” like we are LinkedIn or Facebook helpdesk!) I decided if I was going to play the role of LinkedIn’s helpdesk for one person, I should share that here with everyone.
So there are 4 steps you must take (and they are pretty hidden for some reason) to adjust what people can see on your LinkedIn profile before you are connected. This is also referred to as SEEN BY PUBLIC, versus SEEN BY CONNECTIONS.
STEP ONE: Select to View Your LinkedIn Profile as a Specified Audience
When you are logged into your LinkedIn profile, click on the blue, VIEW PROFILE AS, button.
STEP TWO: Switch your LinkedIn view to PUBLIC
To see your profile as the PUBLIC sees it, switch from CONNECTIONS to PUBLIC. While you are viewing your profile as your connections would see it, you cannot edit, you can only see the profile through their eyes. To edit you must go back to PROFILE – EDIT at the top. Once you switch to PUBLIC you will still be in VIEW ONLY mode but you will see a settings option to your right.
STEP THREE: Select Your Public Profile Settings
This will open up all of the LinkedIn profile sections that you may or may not viewed by those you are not yet connected with.
STEP FOUR: What Will You Reveal and What Will You Keep Private?
Here you can decide to make your profile visible to NO ONE, or you can select specific parts to be viewable by people before they are connected with you. To decide which features you want to have open to the public, you might want to spend a few moments asking yourself why you are on LinkedIn to begin with. If you are hoping to be found and hired for services you can offer, be sure those services can be looked at before you are connected, or the person viewing your public profile may never send the request. If you are a job seeker, you may want to make sure your summary and skills are out in the open.
Of course, it’s up to you what you leave out in the open and what you keep behind closed doors, but give people enough information to entice them to want to know more, otherwise you could be missing opportunities that you are on LinkedIn to uncover.
And don’t forget to SAVE your changes before you leave.
I’d love to hear any of your questions or comments –remember, we are better than the LinkedIn or Facebook helpdesk!
You can connect with me on any social channel or leave me a comment here! We have a fabulous group for entrepreneurs who want a place to ask questions and get resources to grow their business. Come join in the fun–> DIY.social
Gina Schreck is the president at SocialKNX, a digital marketing, and social media management company. She has been helping individuals and organizations use today’s tools to build their business since 1995! She is also the founder of the Business Growth Coaching program, DIY.social
Follow Gina on Twitter, or connect with her on LinkedIn…her profile is about as public as that name scribbled on the bathroom wall.
We all love beautiful images. Our world is filled with text. We all suffer from infobesity, so anywhere we can insert a beautiful photo, a video, or show an image to explain something instead of text, our eyes fill with tears of gratitude, and when Slideshare was purchased by LinkedIn in 2012, I celebrated. LinkedIn has been (and still is for many) like a boring college textbook.
It then became very easy to add beautiful decks to your LinkedIn profile to highlight projects you have worked on (the keywords are… BEAUTIFUL DECKS! Don’t put up text-heavy slides that have more text than your LinkedIn profile). LinkedIn is still not the most visual of social media channels, so use this tool as a way to make your profile POP!
A study conducted at the Wharton School of Business found that 67% of the audience were persuaded by a verbal presentation that had accompanying visuals. Remove the visuals and that number dropped to 50%.
I first started using Slideshare to simply share my slide decks with audience members after speaking at conferences. I could load the deck and anyone could go and “have a copy of my slides” without me having to email them. I didn’t think beyond that. Sure I had my name and contact information on them, but I hadn’t unwrapped Slideshare’s true value yet.
I then noticed they were getting viewed by thousands of other people who didn’t even attend the event. That was when I started to see the marketing power behind Slideshare. I started adding a contact slide at the end as well as a slide that gave information on what we did at SocialKNX. I put a call to action, taking people from the last slide to a landing page that captured their email and delivered a value piece to them. Now Slideshare was becoming a lead generating tool!
Once the deck is loaded to Slideshare you can add a lead capture box, embed the deck into your website for an engaging marketing presentation sitting right in your sidebar or as a blog post. One way I like to use Slideshare today is to help extend the content created in each blog post and basically turn a single blog post into 10-20 pieces of great content.
Here is a content marketing example:
Write a blog post on 10 tips for creating something
Create a Slideshare deck with one tip on each slide with awesome images
Turn each slide into JPGs to use as tweets, Instagram posts, Pinterest images leading back to the blog post, etc.
I used to start with PowerPoint to create the deck and then export to Slideshare, but then I discovered Haiku Deck. Haiku Deck takes boring PowerPoint presentations that tend to get too text heavy and templatized, and turns them into art!
A couple tips for great Slideshare presentations:
Keep them short.
Remember the attention span of your reader is as short as that of a goldfish, and your potential customers have an attention span that is one second less than that! People are not going to stick around to read 87 slides any longer than they are going to stay awake during a presentation with that many slides. If you have a call to action at the end, you want them to make it there before slipping into a coma, and if you keep it short enough and interesting enough, they will want more from you.
Keep the text light.
Let your photos tell most of the story. Keep your bullets to 5 or fewer and aim for 5 or fewer words per bullet. No one wants to read a novel.
Don’t forget to add that contact page and a call to action at the end.
Don’t leave people wanting more and then they don’t know how to get it. Add live links in your presentation notes taking them to other content pieces on your website.
Slideshare now offers a wonderful landing page feature you can add to your marketing presentations. You pay approximately $8 per lead, but only if someone fills out the lead form. You decide when to have the lead box pop up during your presentation (after the 3rd slide, 5th slide, or at the end). Your LinkedIn account is charged, like running ads. Experiment with one.
Have you used Slideshare yet? What other ideas have you used or seen for this hidden gem? Do share.
There are a lot of foolish things I see done on LinkedIn every day, from not updating a profile for months, to mistaking it as a dating service. Guys, “Your profile picture is beautiful” or “I am interested in women in your area” are really bad first introduction lines on LinkedIn. But aside from those obvious lame actions, there are many areas where small improvements can make great advances in your profile being found by your ideal audience more often and then have it stand out to those who find it.
Here are 9 foolish things that too many are still doing (or NOT doing) and how to fix them:
Writing in 3rd Person Like Gina’s Doing Right Now.
Your LinkedIn profile is not a website. It is not a brochure. It is a personal profile that you create. Talk to me. Talk to those who are looking for your skills and talents. There is something very awkward (or very Bob Dole) about writing, “Gina and her team work with organizations to magnify their brand.” It makes people want to look around to see where you went and who did you leave here to talk about you.
Make your profile a place where you can share what you bring to the table for those searching for you. Share problems you solve, skills you possess that they need, and write in a conversational tone to connect with the reader.
Leaving Your Summary Section Blank or Very Skimpy.
LinkedIn has generously given you 2,000 characters to use to tell the world all about your awesomeness. Use every single one of those characters. While it may seem like a high school writing assignment, your summary section should encapsulate your work, education, volunteerism and include a dash of personal flare. Be sure you have added keywords to your summary as well, to ensure your profile pops up when someone is searching for that perfect person.
QUICK TIP: Open a Word doc and look at the bottom as you type to see your character and word count, or go to http://LetterCount.com for help in using all 2,000 of those characters.
Being all Business on LinkedIn.
Loosen the LinkedIn tie and add a little personality to your summary. Don’t be afraid to tell the world a little bit about who you are as a person. Perhaps after all of those amazing job highlights, you add in that you love coaching Little League teams or that you keep your sanity by getting outdoors as much as possible. This information could be what someone actually connects with and a great conversation can be started on this thread of personal shared knowledge.
Leaving Your Profile Filled with Nothing but Text.
When I get an email that is more than 2 sentences, my eyes glaze over. We see so much text come across our screens today, that photos and videos are a wonderful and needed break for our brains. LinkedIn allows you to add rich media like video clips, SlideShare presentations, photos on your posts and more. Don’t let your profile be a snoozer. Add some flare to your summary or work experience sections.
Having a Less-Than-Professional Looking Headshot.
Notice I didn’t say professional studio headshot. Many people tell me they are waiting to schedule an appointment with a professional photographer to take that perfect shot for their LinkedIn profile. In the meantime they have a picture that was cropped from a family picnic photo wearing a tank top. You don’t need to spend money to get a professional photo taken. Today our cell phones sport 10-20 megapixel cameras and if you simply put on a button down shirt or something that doesn’t show your chest hair or cleavage, have a friend snap a pic from the chest up, you’re in business!
Showing Few Skills or the Wrong Skills.
LinkedIn has over 45,000 skills indexed that you can select from and LinkedIn states, “Members that list skills on their profiles receive 13 times the number of profile views than those who don’t.”
Not only can you add skills that you would like to showcase, but by going into edit mode on that section, you can remove skills that you really don’t want people associating with you any longer. Perhaps you have made a career shift and had programming as a past skill, but you no longer want to appear in searches for that.
You can also reorder the skills, moving those you would like more endorsements for to the top and those that are less significant, to the bottom. The skills listed at the top will show up for others to endorse you for most often.
Not Asking for Recommendations.
A beautifully written thank you note on personalized stationery is so nice to receive, but sadly, it is hard to show that to anyone else wanting to see a recommendation of your work. Fortunately, LinkedIn has made it easier in the past year to manage your recommendations and even reordering them, moving your best to the top.
If no one has offered to write a recommendation for you on LinkedIn, you can be bold and ask some of your past clients or co-workers to write one. LinkedIn makes that easy too. Simply click on ASK FOR RECOMMENDATIONS and send the request. Along with endorsements, recommendations help to boost your profile’s rank in search, and of course if someone is comparing you to another, endorsements and recommendations are like honey and they sweeten the decision.
Not Taking Advantage of the Ability to Publish Posts on Your Profile.
Initially a feature only given to a select chosen few, now everyone can showcase their expertise and insights. Posts stay front and center on your profile and when you add a photo to your posts, they really stand out and draw people in to learn more about you.
Whether you enjoy writing or not, take a stab at putting your thoughts on topics you are passionate or knowledgeable about, into written words. You may discover a talent or love for writing that you have suppressed since that junior high school teacher destroyed it with her red pen.
Updating Too Infrequently.
Most people create their LinkedIn profile, log out, and never look back. LinkedIn is more than a resume sitting online. It used for more than looking for a job. LinkedIn has gone through puberty and is now a real social network. (Minus the cat videos!) Stay active on your LinkedIn profile. Aside from posting regular status updates, don’t forget to freshen it up after projects, new certifications, or even new skills you have added. When you show your profile a little love, it will multiply that love right back to you.
Spend some time this week and commit to eliminating a few of these foolish items off your list and you will turn that fools cap into a party hat!
If you need more tips and tools for marketing yourself or your business- Join our DIY.social Coaching Program!
You open your email inbox to see 87 LinkedIn notifications telling you of birthdays, work anniversaries, changes in positions, and more, just in your LinkedIn network. Do you really need to know about these, and what are you supposed to do, write notes to each one of them? Many times LinkedIn shoots out that auto-message because someone simply updated their profile and added something new. Do you still shout like a fool, “Way to go on that new position Carol!”? What about people who send YOU the “congratulations notes” because LinkedIn kicked out the automated update about YOUR work anniversary? You could be here all day replying to all of your adoring fans!
Well, if you are using LinkedIn as a business networking tool, then you treat each notification about others the same as you used to treat those write ups in the Business Journals. “Bob was promoted to Regional Vice President at XYZ.” You didn’t write to every one of them, but you may have clipped out one or two and sent a nice hand-written note telling them you saw their anniversary notice in the paper and you are thrilled to know them, or that you would love to set a time for coffee to see if there is a fit for the two of you to share business leads. (Do you remember those days? I know there’s one of you right now who still does that!)
Perhaps your Franklin-Covey Day Planner had a reminder in it about a client’s birthday coming up. Do you ever send a card? Leave a voice mail letting them know you are thinking of them on their special day? Only if you want to stand out and be memorable! You can do the same thing when you see these digital reminders on your social media channels.
When you get 75 messages all telling you “Happy Work Anniversary,” perhaps you write a single post in your status update letting everyone know how appreciative you are that you have such a wonderful and caring network of people and perhaps a nugget of reflective wisdom that you have gleaned over the years of working where you do.
The bottom line is, every single notification is an opportunity to reach out to potential clients, current customers, influencers of others who might become customers, to stay in touch. Remember, technology is just another tool to reach out and touch someone…even if LinkedIn was wrong use these little reminders to stay in touch with more people in your network and nurture the relationships. Who knows…that birthday wish could just land you your next big client!
I’d love to hear what you do with those notifications you get. Are you struggling trying to keep up with all of the beeps, pings and notifications in your world? Let us help you. Click here to contact us…even if you are laying sprawled out on the floor from exhaustion after replying to all of your notifications!
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I attended a TweetChat recently where a question was thrown out, “Do you need social media for your business.” The tweets were flying. NEED is a strong word. Do you NEED to be using social media for your business is like asking, “Do you NEED a phone for your business?” “Do you need a website for your business?” “Do you NEED a fax machi….” never mind that one!
What you need to be successful in your business are the current tools of the trade. Sure there was a time when we NEEDED a fax machine to send contracts and receive important documents or spam messages from companies that wasted all of our black ink. Times change, business changes and our tools must change as well. Even our phones are less effective today than a few years ago. People don’t answer phones or even have a receptionist that takes messages when you want to ignore incoming calls. Today we have the ultimate gatekeeper…voicemail.
The great news is you have social media tools that allow you to gather information about your prospective clients, connect, and begin building a relationship with someone BEFORE you ever dial their number.
Here are 4 Social Media Tools and Tips to Get the Most Out of Them:
Subscribe to the company page of your prospective clients on LinkedIn
This will allow you to be in the know of corporate happenings. You can send a note or message to the person you are wanting to connect with, congratulating them on any big event.
Invite the person to connect. Be sure to add a personal note letting them know you are interested in learning more about them and the work they do at XYZ company. A personal note added to any social media invitation increases your chances of connecting. Yes, you can follow the rules on LinkedIn and ask to be introduced as well. (I always opt for the BOLD approach but I’m very careful not to abuse any invitation.)
Pay attention to your prospects’ LinkedIn profile. Even if you are not connected yet, you can see the updates on many profiles. This could allow you to like or share content they have posted.
Find and follow any and all executives and prospective client contacts you can find on Twitter.
Create a private list on Twitter and add these people to the list, allowing you to follow more closely what they talk about, what their concerns are and what is going on at the organization you are trying to penetrate. (Sounds a bit like stalking, but let’s just call it “collecting business intelligence”!)
See if your prospect’s company or anyone on the executive team has a Google Plus account or Google business page.
You can “circle” a business page so you will receive any updates that are posted and for individuals on Google Plus, you (as an individual) can also circle them, like Twitter, in a circle titled prospects or potential clients. Be sure to +1 their updates and post a meaningful comment or two, where appropriate.
Mention &/or Google Alerts
Mention and Google Alerts are important tools to help you keep tabs on what is being said about you and your brand or the brands you are wanting to do business with. These tools will alert you when something is written about a brand you are watching, whether that is on a blog or a social media site that you may have missed.
There are many tools that help us do business today, and more emerge each day. The key is to find and use tools that help you connect and build relationships. What other new tools are you using? We’d love to have you share them here in the comments…or you can send us a fax.