Creating a LinkedIn Profile for You and Your Business

LinkedIn LogoLinkedIn is a powerful social networking site that will yield results if you take the time to engage with this community. Like the other online strategies we’ve discussed in this series of posts on how to grow your business online for FREE, LinkedIn can bring you repeat business and referral business if you work it right.

Understanding LinkedIn and Getting Started

LinkedIn, established in 2003, was one of the first social networking sites. Originally designed to connect professional peers, almost like an online rolodex of sorts, LinkedIn has grown to encompass more—a robust Q&A section, group memberships, advertising, job searches, status updates, and more.

To get started, you’ll need to visit http://www.linkedin.com/ to create a personal profile that mimics your resume. Understand that unlike Facebook or Twitter where you may reveal personal information and several pictures, LinkedIn is meant to be your professional front. When you are creating your profile, remember that an investor or potential customer could someday view what you share.

Once you have a personal profile on LinkedIn, visit http://www.linkedin.com/companies and select “Add a Company” (on the right) to create your business page. This page will not talk about you in detail, but rather, it will describe your business.

How LinkedIn Will Grow Your Business

Professional credibility – Prove to customers and prospects that you have what it takes to do the job right. Take the time to answer questions within the Q&A section to really set you apart.

Search engine presence – LinkedIn profiles and business pages come up at the top of search engine results pages, helping to manage your personal and business reputation online. LinkedIn also allows you to add links to your website(s), and every link helps. In fact, the search engine optimization benefits of creating a professional profile and business page on LinkedIn are reason enough to do it! Note: You need to set your profiles settings to “public” in order to get the full search engine benefit.

Stay in touch with your peers – The best way to market your business is through relationships. LinkedIn allows you to stay in touch with your network in a non-obtrusive and “non-salesy” way. Foster your relationships, provide testimonials, and make it easy for others to refer you. A LinkedIn account will help you do all that.

Proof that LinkedIn WILL Grow Your Business

Yes, creating and maintaining your LinkedIn profiles may feel like more work you have to do, but it’s not a wasted effort. Smartly, LinkedIn has a page dedicated to LinkedIn success stories that prove it.

LinkedIn press proves it too. In a recent Fast Company article, it was reported that LinkedIn has more than 90 million users and earned $120.13 million in the first nine months of 2010. All this shows that LinkedIn is here to stay. It’s time for you to jump on board.

Synerge Marketing can give you more detailed advice or handle to the job of creating your LinkedIn profiles for you. Contact Synerge-marketing to learn more.

If you’re just tuning in, check out our other posts in this series including How to Create a Google Places Profile for Your Business and Using Facebook to Grow Your Business Online.


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Using Facebook to Grow Your Business Online

In a previous post we talked about some of the ways you can grow your business online without spending money. Today, we’re going to cover how to setup a Facebook page and how to use the page to grow your business.

What Facebook Business Pages Are All About

Unlike your personal Facebook profile, your business will not make “friends” through Facebook. Rather, your business will gather “Likes.” Depending on how you setup your Facebook business page, you can create an open forum or you can exert complete control over what is published to your Facebook business page.

These are the essential elements of a Facebook business page:

  1. The wall where you post updates and where fans can post comments (if you enable this feature).
  2. The info section where you post contact information and a brief description of your business.
  3. The photos and videos sections where you share information and promote your business.
  4. The reviews area presents an opportunity for your fans to comment on your business.
  5. The notes section can be used for relevant discussions or to feature your blog posts.

In addition to what’s listed here, Facebook also allows for custom applications, custom tab designs, and advertising. We recommend these additional features to businesses that are serious about branding their Facebook presence and/or advanced Facebook users who have demonstrated a return. We’ll talk more about these topics in future posts.

How a Facebook Business Page Will Help You

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Tips for Developing Your Blogging Voice

Defining your professional blogging voice takes time and practice—a lot of both, actually. If you are getting your business blogging feet wet, consider these tips to help develop  a blogging voice for your business that your readers and, hopefully, your customers appreciate.

Research the blogosphere in your industry.

Using keyword phrases specific to your industry, do a Google Blog search to see how your competitors blog. Notice which blogs provide valuable information for the reader and which blogs only write fluffy content to promote themselves. The larger companies most likely use professional writers to blog, so take note of their content as well (outsourcing blog writing is an option for you too, of course.). By assessing your vertical online, you can make a conscious decision on the style of writing you would like publish online.

Decide on a handful of blog topic themes.

Yes, planning can be a drag, but planning will help you refine your blogging voice.

How? Read more

Free Images for Blogging

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

You have heard it a million times: A picture is worth a thousand words. In blogging, this old adage remains true.

Your blogging goal should be to inform your readers without being overly promotional, so that they come to trust you and return to your blog again and again. A photograph or graphic will help you to both inform and engage. Other benefits include:

  • Highlight your products/services and your people. Show your readers who you are and what you do.
  • Support headlines that evoke an image – try using metaphors. For example, a headline that references the beginning of something within your business might be complemented well with a sunrise image.
  • Entice visitors to spend time with the post. Few blog visitors will read your blog post word for word. By adding images to your post you make it easier for the reader to scan and hopefully tune into more of the details.

Of course, it’d be great if you had a staff photographer or graphic designer who had time to produce all your blog post images, but that’s not exactly realistic. So, online image resources are the second best thing.

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Online Marketing Strategies on a Shoestring

Building Your Business Online Without Spending a Dime

So you’ve got yourself a business and you know you need to be on the Internet.  Even if you don’t have a website, there are several ways to start building your business online that are relatively easy and inexpensive (or free). A few of those ways include:

  1. Create a Google Places profile for you business
  2. Create a Facebook business page for your business
  3. Create a LinkedIn profile for yourself and your business
  4. Create  a self-hosted blog (using WordPress) for your business
  5. Submit your business to online directories
  6. Create a Google Plus One Profile

In  today’s post, we’re going to cover the importance of a Google Places profile for your business.

Google Places – Boost Your Search Traffic in a Half an Hour or Less…. For FREE

Often times it is possible to be at the top of a search engine query for your local business category without having a website and without spending a dime. How?  Google Places offers a free profile for business owners. On Google.com, these profiles are often positioned at the top of the search results, so if you have a Places page for your business, you have a chance at being in the top results.

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