How to really use LinkedIn to get clients. These are the exact steps and tools I used to land my first $32K client.I love LinkedIn. I love its simplicity. I love that it’s all business. I also love that I can leverage it to win new business, because almost half of its user base is C-level executives.

I realized just how powerful LinkedIn is after trying other databases like Google, InfoUSA, SalesGenie, and data.com. I always found myself coming back to LinkedIn.

Here’s why:

  • My prospects are on LinkedIn.
  • Members keep their profiles up to date, so the information is accurate, unlike other databases where the info is often outdated.
  • It’s easy to perform and save searches.
  • LinkedIn mirrors live networking in a social setting.

Today, I’m sharing my system for getting high-paying clients with LinkedIn. Here’s what you will need for this system to work:

  • Sales Navigator account – starts at $75
  • SalesTools – $35 per month
  • Sellhack – $10 per month
  • An email emulator + Vibe – free (or a VA to do this part for you)
  • QuickMail – starts at $39 per month

What I’ve done with these tools (except for Sales Navigator) is keep them active when I’m in deep prospecting mode and turn them off when I don’t need them. With SalesTools, it’s easy enough to create an account later on, and QuickMail will let you go in sleep mode for $5 a month.

Here’s a quick rundown of the tools:

  • SalesTools is a search extractor tool that will save your searches to an Excel spreadsheet. There are others out there, this is just the one I prefer.
  • Sellhack and Vibe are both Chrome extensions that will help you gather email addresses for your list. I use them both. Sometimes Sellhack will find an email that Vibe can’t, and vic versa.
  • The email emulator is an Excel formula that creates email variations based on your prospect’s name and domain (firstlastname@domain.com, flastname@domain.com, firstname.lastname@domain.com, and so on).
  • I found an amazing VA to help gather email addresses.
  • With Quickmail, you can automate your outbound emails in batches, rather than manually one by one.

There are two ways to go about using LinkedIn to get clients:

Prospecting within the LinkedIn platform

You can make 1st degree connections and message prospects directly through LinkedIn. In this case, you won’t need SalesTools, Sellhack, Vibe or Quickmail. This is because you can message anyone you have a first-degree connection directly on LinkedIn. You also have access to their email.

Prospecting outside of LinkedIn

You perform searches with Sales Navigator, save to a spreadsheet and prospect outside of LinkedIn. This is the method I used. You will need all of the tools mentioned above for this method.

There are pros and cons to both approaches

With the first method, you’re building your LinkedIn network while you’re generating leads, so you can continue to engage your connections with new content and products. You also have access to their email, which is a huge plus. All you need for this approach is a spreadsheet to track your connections and messages.

The downside is that you have to message people one by one, which is time consuming. You may hit LinkedIn’s limit of invitation connections using this method. In that case, you’d have to hold up for a while. You also can’t save searches, so it takes a bit more admin to keep track of your progress.

With the second method, you’re working offline (meaning outside of LinkedIn). You’re not building your network, but you still have their data saved in your spreadsheet. It takes some time to gather email addresses, but once you do, you can set up sequences in QuickMail and automate your email outreach. I’ve found that with this approach, I can be a more direct in my emails.

Whichever method you prefer, here are some things you’ll want to before you begin:

 

PART ONE: SETTING THE FOUNDATION

1) Make sure your profile is up-to-date

Make sure your profile reflects your purpose and your message. What a lot of people do is to treat their LinkedIn profile like a CV or resume, when really you should treat it more like a mini personal website for you and your business. After all, you want to use it for lead generation and to grow your business, so you want to make sure you frame it around your value proposition, products and services.

This is especially crucial if you’re using prospecting method #1, where you’re networking within the LinkedIn platform. When you invite someone to connect, they will first visit your profile before accepting.

What they’re going to see first is your profile pic, headline, and your Summary. It should go without saying that you want a professional-looking picture for your profile a headline that clearly conveys what you do.

The area you want to pay special attention to is your Summary. It’s the first substantive section that people will see, and they’ll make a decision based on this to accept or decline your invite. What I like to do here is to tell a bit about myself and my business, with a focus on who I help and how. It’s also a good idea to list your specific services. You can check out my Summary to get an idea of what to include here.

LinkedIn profiles take more time to complete than Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. For my tips on how to optimize your profile, check out this post.

2) Create a prospect avatar

Next up, create a prospect avatar. Think about who you want to reach. If you’re unsure, take a look at your existing clients. Which ones do you wish you had 5 more of? Which are most profitable? Use those to create your prospect avatar.

Here are some things to include in your avatar:

  • Target industries: what specific industries do you want to target?
  • Location: What geographic regions do you want to focus on?
  • Revenue: LinkedIn doesn’t actually list revenue as a search criteria, but it’s still something you should know.
  • Company size: LinkedIn uses number of employees as a measure for company size rather than revenue. The breakdowns are 1-10, 11-50, 51-200, and so on. What size is a best fit for you? To get an idea of how revenue translates into company size, data.com will show you both for any company.
  • Titles/positions: Who are the key decision-makers for your product or offer? Do you want to reach marketing managers, presidents, CIOs?

Then take this info and document it on a worksheet so you can refer to it.

3) Export your current connections

Your current connections are a perfect place to start prospecting. You probably have connections with friends, co-workers, family, colleagues, and friends of friends. Some of these may fit your prospect avatar.

Here’s how to export your connections:

  • Under My Network in the top brown bar, select Connections. This will bring you to a page where you’ll see all your connections.
  • On that page, select the gear icon in the upper right.
  • On your Manage Connections page, under Advanced Settings on the top right, select the “Export LinkedIn Connections” link.
  • Export as an excel file.

Then go through your spreadsheet and make a note of anyone on there who fits your prospect avatar.

4) Use the Advanced Search tool

LinkedIn’s Advanced Search is an amazing tool. If you use it right, you can get pretty granular with your searches.

You want to focus your searches on 2nd and 3rd degree connections and group members. 1st degree connections you already have access to, so you don’t need to include.

All accounts, including free, have access to the filter criteria in the left and middle columns. The right column has two very important filters that you need in order to narrow down your searches and those are only available with a premium account.

Here are the filters you’ll use the most:

  • Location
  • Company, if applicable
  • Industry
  • Seniority level (requires premium account)
  • Company Size (requires premium account)

Once you fill out your desired fields, you can run the search. There’s a bit of an art to conducting searches and after a while you’ll get the hang of how best to use it to get the results you need. Try to narrow the results down to between 200 and 600. Any more than that and you’re probably not being targeted enough. You also want a number that’s manageable.

One thing is for sure. Upgrading to a premium account (at least for the duration of your prospecting) will get you more targeted results than a free account. You will literally get thousands of search results with a free account and it’s impossible to narrow it down further without access to Company Size and Seniority Level.

Two fields from the left column that may also be helpful, depending on your search, are Keywords and Title.

 

PART TWO: PROSPECTING

Now that you have your foundation set, you can start prospecting. I’ll be going into detail on the method #2 in this post.

Here’s what I will point out about method #1 before I get into it:

  • Start with the current connections that you downloaded and send a message to any profiles who look like they fit your avatar. Try to get in the habit of using your connection spreadsheet like a CRM. Make sure you make a note of the date you sent your first message, with a follow up date at least 2 weeks out.
  • Once you’ve messaged your current connections, then run a new search. Look at any profiles that seem like a good fit and send them a connection request. Note: Don’t use the default I’d like to add you to my network message. It’s much better to say something like I hope business is good. I came across your profile and thought it might be good to connect…
  • Try to send about 20-40 connection requests a day, or do something like 300 requests within a one or two-day period. Remember, with this method you can’t save your searches, so you need a way to track each search you perform and where you left off so you can pick back up the next day.
  • After a couple of months, go in and export your connections again. This is where it gets a little tricky because you need one master spreadsheet for all your connections.  You need to merge the two spreadsheets and get rid of duplicates so you can get your new connections into your pipeline and start messaging them.
  • Repeat these last few steps every couple of months

Now on to method #2.

5) Extract your search results

With the search results still open in your browser window, open up SalesTools and enter the URL for your LinkedIn search. SalesTools will save up to 1,000 profiles (which is another reason to narrow down your searches). It will take some time to process, so just let it run while you do whatever else you need to do. Once it’s done, save the Excel file.

You’ll see in the spreadsheet that you have a whole lot more information than you need, so you’ll need to clean it up a bit. The only sections you need are Name, Title, Company, URL, City/State (if needed). Get rid of everything else.

Next you need to start scraping emails, which leads me to the next step:

6) Gather the email addresses

You can either do this next part on your own or hire a VA with lead generation experience to help, which I highly recommend. It’s a monotonous process and you’ll want to stick a needle in your eye in no time (but the pay-off’s worth it!) Someone experienced with lead generation will have access to their own databases, such as data.com and more. I’ve found some great VAs on Upwork.

If you do it on your own, here’s what you do (use Chrome to do this):

  • First use Sellhack because it’s easier. Just enter the name, company, and domain for each prospect into Sellhack. Let it run and it will come back with an email and accuracy rating. If I get a 50% or better accuracy rating, I’m happy. Sometimes it can’t find a result, which is when you need to turn to Vibe.
  • Vibe works with the emulator and your Gmail account. An emulator is a simple formula made in Excel that will spit out common email variations based on your prospect’s first name, last name and domain.
  • Open Gmail and start composing an email. In the “to” window, start entering in different emails from the emulator. As you hover on each email, Vibe will hunt through Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn until it finds the email address. When it does, you’ll see the profile appear on the right and that’s when you know you have the right one.

You can see how tedious this step is. But once you have it down, it’s easy enough to train a VA to do it for you or find someone who has access to their own databases (meaning that they have paid accounts with SalesGenie, data.com, etc.)

7) Import your list into QuickMail

Once you have the emails you’re ready to start the outreach, which is where QuickMail comes in. QuickMail is a tool that lets you automate outbound emails and make them look like you sent them each personally, like the old fashion manual way.

The first step is to connect QuickMail to your Gmail account. You can specify another email address to send from, but you’ll lose some functionality if you do this.

Here’s what I mean: when you use your Gmail address to send from, any prospect who replies to your email will be removed from your sequence (not removed from your list, just your sequence). This means that if you have a 4-step email sequence and John Doe replies to the first email in your sequence, he won’t get emails 2, 3, and 4. But if you use a different email as your “from” you will need to manually go into the sequence and remove him. And that’s very easy to forget to do. It’s embarrassing to you and insulting to your prospect if you send follow up emails when he already expressed or declined interest. It totally kills the personalization, too. It’s happened to me and it’s mortifying!

Now that you’ve connected your Gmail, it’s time to import your list. QuickMail categorizes leads with Prospects and Groups. When you import your spreadsheet make sure you assign it to a group. I usually name my groups by niche or company. You can go back in and assign prospects to groups later, but it’s better to do it right away during the import. This way as you import new spreadsheets you have them grouped accurately.

Before you import your list, you need to make sure you follow QuickMail’s naming convention for the header row (Fname, Lname, Email).  If yours doesn’t match, the import won’t work.

And for an extra $10 or so, you can have QuickMail verify your email addresses, which I recommend you do. It will move any unverified email addresses to a new group so you don’t get high bounce rates or send to invalid email addresses. This step is to keep your sender reputation high so you don’t wind up in the junk or spam folder.

8) Craft your emails

Decide how many emails you want in your sequence and write them ahead of time (I usually send at least four). You’ll find that the follow up emails will often get you a better response than your initial email. This is because people are busy and may not have time to respond right away. Most will eventually reply, even if it’s to say No, which is fine because it will help you to focus your efforts on qualified prospects.

When it comes to what to say in your emails, there are a number of schools of thought. What I do is to quickly introduce myself, what I do and firms I’ve worked with (if you have a well known brand you can mention, it goes a long way). Then I list out how I help and how it will benefit them. I always close by asking if they have time to speak on a given day, say Tuesday, of the next week. It’s good to give people an option to choose another day or time that works best for them.

My follow up emails are even shorter – 3 sentences max. I mention my previous email and recap my value proposition and how I can help. I phrase each follow up email it a little differently. And again, I ask for a call. Some people add humor in their follow-ups and say things like I haven’t heard back from you so that means you must have fallen through the cracks like these ducks. This isn’t my style so I’ve steered away from it, but am still curious as to what kind of response a funny email like this would get.

The bottom line with email outreach is that if you don’t ask, you don’t get. Make sure you pick a day rather than “some time over the next few weeks”, so that all the recipient has to do is reply with a Yes.

9) Schedule your sequence

Now that your emails are ready, you can add them to QuickMail. You’ll need to create a new sequence to do this.

Note that Quickmail refers to individual emails in a sequence as Steps. So on the left side of the dashboard, select “1st Step”. You can then enter your email in the window on the right side. Don’t forget to add a subject line. Check out this post for how to write subject lines that stand out and get opened.

Below the main window you’ll see a list of merge tags you can insert, like Name and Company. These tags will pull the data from your list and merge it in your email. And this is how you get “Hi John,” and make it personal.  Use these tags to add the person’s first name and/or company as you see fit. Do the same for the 2nd and 3rd Step, and so on.

Make sure you test each email before finalize it so you can catch any typos or bad links.

Once you’ve entered your emails, you’re ready for the last and final step. Let’s start scheduling!!

Actually, scheduling is the easiest part in all of this. Just select the Schedules link from the left side of the QuickMail dashboard (under Sequences). You can specify the days and times you want to send your emails. You will also need to specify the number of prospects to pull from each group and which sequence to send.

It’s a good idea to start out with smaller batches so that your emails don’t get red-flagged as spam. You want it to appear as authentic as possible. I usually send 40 emails per day and break that down into batches of 10 prospects and 4 different times. So I’ll email 10 prospects at 8:00am, 10 at 11:20am, 10 at 4pm, and 10 at 5:30pm. As my campaign progresses I will increase the number to 60 or 70 per day. This will helps you avoid getting red-flagged as spam.

In terms of best days and times to send, I’ve found that I get better responses when I send emails either earlier in the day or later in the afternoon. And Tuesdays and Thursdays are hands-down the best days to send. You’ll need to test to see what’s most effective for you.

That about wraps it up. Happy prospecting and good luck with it! I know this is a lot of info – let me know if you have any questions or have used LinkedIn in other ways to get business. I’d love to hear!

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Here are my 6 top tips for biz owners and entrepreneurs to drive massive free traffic to your website with Twitter. These same exact strategies helped me grow my followers from 65 to over 17K quickly and easily. The best part is, the results are guaranteed. Click through to read all the tips! Creating successful social media campaigns can be time-consuming, especially when it’s hard to know what will work and where you should invest your time. In a perfect world, you’d have fully-automated campaigns on each platform that drive traffic to your website and provide you with great returns for the time you spend.

The good news is that when it comes to Twitter, it is a relatively easy social platform to master and can consistently drive traffic to your website once you get the basics down. The key is to know how to tap into the massive traffic and truly become part of the conversation so others will follow and promote you.

There are many factors to consider, but you can get off to a great start with these important steps.

1. Use a Customized Twitter Button

A customized Twitter button gives people a chance to promote your site on social media as they view it. These buttons have a great click-through rate and, what’s even better, all the assets are provided for free by Twitter. All you have to do is take advantage of them.

  • Start at Twitter’s button page.
  • Choose “Share a Link” and enter your URL.
  • Add a message and your own @username so you know when others tweet you.
  • Enter the auto-generated code into the HTML of your website.

If you use a CMS like WordPress, Joomla, or Drupal, check out the software’s development community to find free plug-ins that can help you promote your site and amplify your voice on Twitter. Not only can these generate custom buttons, but they also provide many other features.

Drive more traffic to your website with custom Twitter buttons #smm #socialmediaClick To Tweet

2. Use Hashtags

#Hashtags are like keywords. They make it easy for people to find and share your tweets and not only that, they can increase engagement by up to 200%. Use hashtags in your tweets to highlight words that you want to appear for when people conduct a Twitter search.

To find the top hashtags to help you use them well, here are 3 tools from Jeff Bullas.

Once you launch a full-scale social media campaign, hashtags become even more vital. As you build a strong following on Twitter, it’s time to try your own custom hashtag. Any word you set off with the pound symbol will become a hashtag, but your followers will have to retweet and promote it aggressively for it to be “trending” – that is, for it to be recognized as one of the most-used hashtags at any given time.

A custom #hashtag helps people stay engaged with your brand’s conversation and locate your latest content even if they’ve been away from Twitter for a while. Make sure your hashtag is memorable and short: A long tag will be more difficult to fit in around your message. Use your tag consistently so others are more likely to pick it up.

3. Install Twitter’s Search Widget

Brands who already have a vibrant social media following can capitalize on it – getting the kind of “social proof” that attracts new followers who might be on the fence. Luckily, there is a perfect tool: The Twitter Search Widget lets your audience see what others are saying about your @username or your #hashtags in real time.

When people are new to your content and they see others already tweeting about you on your site it makes them more comfortable to promote or buy or take whatever action you want them to take.

To install the widget:

  • Start at the Create a Search Widget page
  • Enter your desired search term into the “Search Query” box.
  • Checking the box “Safe Search Mode” to exclude coarse language and images.
  • Select a light or dark-colored theme to match your site.
  • Once you’ve chosen your settings, click “Create Widget”
  • Copy the new code into your website.

The widget will pull data from Twitter and automatically populate the widget with tweets that contain that search query. This helps your profile appear active and vital to audiences. Be sure to keep an eye on how your search terms are performing, if they grow unpopular, it’ll be reflected in your widget.

6 Insider Secrets to Getting More Website Traffic With Twitter #smm #socialmediaClick To Tweet

4. Use ClickToTweet

People are never in a better mood than just after they’ve made a purchase they’ve been looking forward to. Savvy brands can take advantage of that all-important moment using ClickToTweet. This widget spices up your post-purchase “Thank You” page by adding a contextual Twitter link. That gives your buyers an easy way to share the details on what they just bought with their followers.

To get this done,

  • Visit ClickToTweet.com.
  • Sign in with your Twitter account.
  • Add a message “from” your customer (the one they’ll retweet after their purchase).
  • Link to your sales page.
  • Add your username to get an alert each time ClickToTweet is used.
  • Include your own custom hashtag to drive Twitter traffic to your products or services.
  • Click “Create Tweet”.
  • Add the code to your Thank you or Checkout page.

Not all buyers will tweet their purchase. ClickToTweet is a powerful way to find out which customers are most enthusiastic about your offerings. To show your appreciation, try offering those who do spread the word a special coupon or discount.

5. Target Influencers

Twitter influencers can catapult your brand by giving you the social proof to build a loyal following.

Influencers are those Twitter users who have thousands of dedicated, engaged followers. Generally, these are figures like authors, celebrities, entrepreneurs, and others whose reputation extends well beyond Twitter. Some social media power users have built their very own brand from within Twitter.

To get started, you first need to find the influencers in your niche. These people have an outsized presence and will usually be followed by a large number of your own followers. An influencer’s time is valuable, so get their attention by tweeting on topics that matter to them … including their own products or services. Use their username and hashtags to get their attention.

Once you are confident an influencer has “seen you around” and interacted with you a few times, you can connect with them through direct message. Send them a selection of 3-5 pre-written tweets promoting whatever your most important offerings are and politely ask whether they’d be willing to share. Since you’ve saved them time, it’s likely they will help. Be prepared to take your time with influencers. The last thing you want to do is invite yourself to their party by moving too fast.

6. Put Your Account on Autopilot

Daily interaction is what Twitter’s all about, and the most powerful results to get free traffic to your website comes from engaging directly with people in real time. This is tricky, since you can’t be on Twitter around the clock and you probably have things to say during those off hours. There are several free programs you can use to automate tweets so you’ll be part of the conversation 24-7.

Tools like Hootsuite and Buffer allow you to add any messages, blog posts and curated content you want to Tweet into a calendar that automates your whole campaign. So instead of grabbing a few minutes here and there to find interesting articles, you can schedule your entire week’s worth (or month’s worth) of tweets in just a few hours at the beginning of each week.

Key Takeaway

Making Twitter work for you is easier than you think, and these simple steps will make Twitter a primary source of free traffic to your website. Once you have your Twitter campaign automated, it can really be a powerful marketing asset that allows you to connect with people from all over the world. The more you provide valuable content and authentic interactions with followers, the more you’ll stand out from the pack as a true expert in your field. Over time, this will easily translate into meaningful customer relationships that will have a great impact on your business.

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Social media image sizes for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Google+Seems like there are so many different cheat sheets out there when it comes to social media image sizes. I was actually a bit stumped gathering these dimensions because there’s so many sources out there with completely different info.

The reason is that things change on each network, and each network has a completely different set of dimensions, viewable area, positioning and requirements for cover photos, profile pics and shared images.  It can be overwhelming knowing where to start.

So I put this resource with information together to help you make sense of it all. I’m hoping these are current and accurate. If not, please let me know and I’ll update it right away.

My top recommended sizes are:

For profile pics: 500 x 500. You can edit, crop and resize inside each platform.

For cover photos: See below – varies for Twitter, LinkedIn and Google +

For shared + link images:
1200px square for Instagram
1200 x 600 for Facebook & Twitter *
736 x 1102 (up to 2061) for Pinterest

*Even though Facebook and Twitter dimensions have slightly different proportions, following a 2:1 aspect ratio for both has worked fine for me. Also, since Twitter updated its tweet image size to 506px square, you can use the same 1200px square image instead of the horizontal image. Keep in mind that if you’ve enabled Twitter cards on your site, when you post a URL to Twitter the image will still crop to horizontal. So 1200 x 600 may still be the way to go for FB and Twitter, at least for now.

Part of the decision here is your blog design and sizing of your featured image. If your blog is designed for horizontal images, go with the 1200 x 600 as a template size. If you’re using a masonry type grid, a square might work well. And if Pinterest is important to your brand, a vertical image will work well. I use a horizontal image as the main featured image and add a vertical image inside the post for pins.

Updated: January 18, 2018

Facebook Image Sizes

Cover photo: 828 x 315 desktop / 828 x 462 mobile
(New) Group Cover photo: 1640 x 921px
Profile pic: 180 x 180
Link image: 1200 x 630

For Facebook profiles, your profile image will cover a good part of the lower left side of the cover, so if your cover photo incorporates text like mine, make sure you placement clears these areas. Keep in mind that mobile cover photos are taller and extend to 462px, so if you don’t want the left and right margins to be cropped, use 828 x 462 for your cover photo and adjust the placement of your images and text so they clear the difference. For instance, on the desktop my cover photo is cropped to 351px, but on mobile shows the full image:

Facebook cover photo size, including visible and invisible areas, plus mobile size guide

For Facebook pages, you don’t have to worry about your profile pic interfering with the cover photo. There’s less nudging and tweaking you have to do because the profile image now appears to the left. You have the full canvas to use for creative elements, branding, icons, CTAs and so on.

 

Twitter Image Sizes

Header: 1500 x 500 (1500 x 389 visible)
Profile pic: 400 x 400 (displays as 200px)
Tweeted image: 1024 square or 1024 x 512 (2:1 aspect ratio, displays as 440px wide)

For Twitter, even though the height of your file should be 500px, the visible area will be cropped to 398px high. And a portion of your profile pic is positioned on the lower left corner, like Facebook. Be sure to take that into consideration when placing creative elements.

Another thing to note is that the cover photo is responsive, meaning that the size will adjust according to the browser size and resolution. This means that your profile pic will shift left and right as people adjust their browser windows, so be sure to block out enough room for error on either side.

Twitter header image size, including visible and invisible areas

 

Instagram Image Sizes

Profile pic: 180 x 180 (displays as 110 x 110)
Shared image: 1080 x 1080

Note that Instagram images are no longer limited to a square shape, so you can work with 1080 wide, and choose a height anywhere from 566 to 1350 high. This larger 1080 image size means that images will be high resolution, so people may want to download yours for their own use. To prevent that, consider branding your photos with a watermark.

Pinterest Image Sizes

Profile pic: 165 x 165
Board cover: 500 x 500px recommended
Pins: 736 x 1104 (up to 2061)

Pins longer than 2061 will be cropped in the stream on mobile.

You can create custom pins for each of your boards – which I’m on the fence with – as a way to brand your boards so that they have a consistent look. If it bugs you that you can’t crop or reposition standard pins to get them to display the way you want, creating board covers may be the way to go. Personally, I’m okay with the look of my boards without customer covers. I figure that when/if Pinterest changes board cover sizes again,  I won’t have to worry about chasing new designs!

Still want to try experiment with custom board covers?

All you have to do is upload a pin sized to 500 x 500px, give it a description with a link back to your website, and assign it to your preferred board. Then edit the board and select the new pin you created as the cover photo.

Here’s where you do it:

Where to change your Pinterest board cover photo

 

LinkedIn Image Sizes

Profile pic: 200 x 200
Profile background: 1400 x 425
Update image: 698 x 400

Just like Twitter and Facebook, part of your background photo is hidden by your LinkedIn profile, which overlays the mid- to lower- section. If you have a free account, an additional 70px on the top will be superimposed by LinkedIn banner ads. So even though you do need to upload a 1400 x 425 image, the visible area on a free account is more like 1400 x 355. This is not the case for premium accounts – with premium accounts your profile will be superimposed but you have the full 425 height for creative elements.

Make a note of the invisible areas below when designing your cover. If you have messaging or images you want to showcase like I do here, make sure to clear those areas. The background photo is responsive, so depending on browser sizes and resolutions your background image will scale larger or smaller.

 

LinkedIn banner image size guide, including visible and invisible areas

 

Google+ Image Sizes

Profile pic: 270 x 270
Cover photo: 1080 x 608 (displays as: 920 x 518)
Shared image: 800 x 600

Did you know that when someone clicks on your name in the Google+ feed, both your profile pic and cover photo appear? It’s kind of cool and called your “hovercard”, which is like a digital business card.

If you’re a Google+ user, when someone visits your profile the visible area is about 1080 x 372. That means that any elements you place on the top and bottom won’t be visible when your profile initially loads. Users will have to scroll up to actually see the full 608 height. Keep this in mind when placing text, branding and graphics you want people to see right away.

Google+ cover image size template for profiles and pages

 

Keeping current on social media image sizes can be such a headache with all the changes. It doesn’t have to be! Help spread the word to make it easier for everyone else. I will try to keep this as current as possible as new updates are released. In future posts, I’ll walk you through determining which template sizes are best, how to create them, and how to watermark them with your own brand elements, colors, fonts and logos. That way when it’s time to share your images, you have a process down that will save you tons of time.

Feel free to pin this 2016 social media image size cheat sheet so your followers can benefit too:

 

Social media image sizes for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Google+

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A social media cheat sheet for bloggers and entrepreneurs so you know what to post and when, plus tools to help you automate everything from scheduling, to growth and engagement, and creating images. Click through to see all the tips!

A social media cheat sheet for bloggers and entrepreneurs so you know what to post and when, plus tools to help you automate everything from scheduling, to growth and engagement, and creating images. Click through to see all the tips!

If you want to use social media to grow your business, but are a bit stumped with what to do, this social media cheat sheet is for you! It will help you plan out your content so you know what to post, when to post and how to post it. You’ll be on your way to blowing up on social media instead of feeling overwhelmed! I could have made this 30 days but actually, you don’t need it – just repeat it all over again on Day 25.

Follow these simple tips and download the social media cheat sheet  for massive growth:

  1. Share other people’s content and your own. Plan it all out and write it all down.
  2. Part of feeling overwhelmed is when you plan out more than what you can actually do because it looks great on paper! If you can share your own content once every two weeks, just fill in with more quotes, announcements, roundups, and other people’s content to give yourself some breathing room. When you have more time, you can share more of our original stuff.
  3. Pre-schedule your posts with services like Buffer, HootSuite or Tailwind. This will save you tons of time!!
  4. Be visual. Visual content is 40x more likely to get shared than other types of content. Use Canva to create appealing graphics and title images for your posts. Remember to brand each image with your logo!
  5. As you build a following and engage with people, you’ll see a boost in traffic to your blog. Make sure your posts encourage people to sign up for your newsletter or opt in to a freebie so you can leverage the traffic to build a mailing list.
  6. Study the things that other brands are doing to build their following and do that too. Monitor everything after the first month to see what’s performing well. Then do more of it!

Click on the image below to download your cheat sheet and calendar.

A social media cheat sheet for bloggers and entrepreneurs so you know what to post and when, plus tools to help you automate everything from scheduling, to growth and engagement, and creating images.

Let me know how you make out with this! Did I miss anything, anything else I need to add to help you save time?

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Here are the 3 top strategies I used to grow my Twitter followers from 65 to 2000 in 2 months. And 8 months later I have over 17K followers using these exact same strategies. Results are guaranteed. Click through to see the strategies! If you’re a ninja Twitter user, 2,000 followers isn’t going to impress you, I know. But after staring at my account with 65 Twitter followers for a year, it’s a pretty huge milestone for me.

I just couldn’t take the barren wasteland of followers and decided it was time to ramp up my Twitter game. And over 2 months later, I’ve added over 1,900 new Twitter followers to my account. And I’ve done this by sharing other people’s content, and just a few of my own original posts.

These are the three strategies I came up with to boost the number of Twitter followers and engagement.

Update: It’s been 8 months since I originally wrote this and I now have close to 18K followers, using these same strategies.

1) Adopt a Twitter mindset

Twitter is all about real-time conversations. And they’re short conversations. You’ve only got 140 characters to say what you want to say, and that character limit includes hashtags and links. The lifespan of tweets is about a millisecond.

So you really have to adopt a Twitter mindset of following, tweeting, retweeting and messaging frequently. And understand that magic’s not going to happen overnight.

If that all sounds daunting, trust me, I know.

I mean, what are you supposed to do with Twitter? When I first created my Twitter account, I had no idea what to do first. I’d log in every week or so, search for some people to follow and try to figure out what the fuss was with #hashtags. That was pretty much it, and that got me to about 65 followers.

Getting from 65 to 100 was hard. I simply lost my enthusiasm and couldn’t figure out a better strategy, so I stopped logging in once a week. A month or two later I finally logged back in and noticed that my number of followers had dropped off.

So what should you do?

The takeaway is that there’s a Twitter “code.” You have to show up and engage in order to even maintain your current followers, let alone try to get new followers.

Start by setting aside a few minutes each day for Twitter. Enter keywords and hashtags that are relevant to your industry and your target market to find people you’d like to follow. Try to follow 10 to 20 people each day and watch your numbers grow as people follow you back.

Once you hit 100 Twitter followers, it will be easier to get the next 100, and so on.

2) Tweet frequently

Because Twitter conversations are happening in real time, you need to post more frequently than on Facebook and LinkedIn if you want to grow your follower base.

Up to about 300 followers, I’d tweet four or fives each day, excluding weekends.

On my quest for the perfect Twitter strategy, I noticed that some people I followed were tweeting every half hour or less, and that there was a definite correlation between number of tweets and the number of followers. The more people tweeted, the more followers they had.

Once I increased the number of times I tweeted to 12 per day, things started snowballing and I saw a huge increase in Twitter followers.

So what should you do?

Because Twitter conversations are happening globally in real time, your tweet is bumped down to the bottom of the page just about the minute you post it. You have to tweet more frequently to increase the chances that people will see your tweets.

Tweeting throughout the day doesn’t mean you have to have your eyes peeled on your dashboard all day. There are tools to help you manage tweets so that all you need is an hour or two each week to gather the content you want to share.

Here are some scheduling and automation tools I use:

  • Feedly
    I use this to gather news feeds and curate articles from blogs and publications that are of interest to my audiences. Once you find an article you like, you can either tweet directly from Feedly or add it to a scheduling app.
  • Buffer
    I use Buffer in conjunction with Feedly to schedule tweets. The scheduler is very easy to use and allows you to specify the days and times you want your tweets to post. It’s not just for Twitter. I use it to schedule posts across all of my social channels. If you’re using it with Feedly or another news aggregator, simply add what’s in your Feedly to your Buffer queue and you’re done.
  • IFTT
    IFTT is a big time saver for me. IFTT stands for “If This Then That” and allows you to create conditional statements based on the actions of Feedly. Any new articles added to blogs or publications within one of your Feedly categories can be automatically added to your Buffer queue. A word of caution here: you’ll have to check your Twitter buffer daily to make sure the articles that IFTT pulls in are actually ones you want to share. You can easily delete the ones that have little relevance to your followers.
  • Social Quant
    Once I reached about 1600 followers, I decided to give Social Quant a try. Social Quant is a social media management app that finds targeted follows based on keywords you provide. I don’t recommend using Social Quant when you’re first starting out, simply because it takes some time to know what keywords and influencers you want to target. You really have to manage Twitter yourself until it’s time is right to take the training wheels off. Once you know what you’re doing and what followers to target, Social Quant takes the busy work off your hands.

Using Twitter consistently is the best way to realize meaningful results. The good news is that after a while, you can put automation in place to grow your followers and boost engagement with just a few hours each week.

Automation is a powerful way to grow your followers and boost engagement with just a few hours each weekClick To Tweet

3) Say thanks and retweet

Many people on Twitter rely on retweeting alone to build their brand. I’ve used this technique and continue to use it to increase my Twitter followers, so I do think it works pretty well. It’s an easy enough way to share content. All I have to do is find a message that my followers would be interested in and send it out there.

Retweeting is also a powerful way to increase visibility with influencers. I’ve gotten a few heavy hitters to follow me back, simply by retweeting them.

If you retweet them enough and the right way, you can eventually get on their radar and increase the likelihood that they’ll share your tweet with followers.

When it comes to people retweeting and following me, up until recently the way I’ve thanked them is to retweet them and follow them back. I know some people prefer to shoot off a “thanks for the share” tweet, but I’m not a huge fan. In my mind, retweeting and following back is a better way to show appreciation than littering up feeds.

Having said that, I’m running a one-month experiment to run my own “thanks for the share” test to see if it fits with my culture and gets better engagement.

So what should you do?

Use a tool like Tweetdeck or Hootsuite to track mentions, tweets and follows. Right from the dashboard you can view the activity of people you follow and see who’s followed and tweeted you. These are both great Twitter compilers that allow you to see who’s talking about you and respond right away.

@SandraJClayton Tweetdeck dashboard

If you’re going to retweet influencers, don’t simply hit the Retweet button. Instead, quote the original tweet using the RT abbreviation. You want your quote to read: “RT@TwitterHandle:” followed by the actual tweet. This way all of your followers will see the person’s name as well as your name, and the person you’re retweeting will see it too. This will help you build a stronger following.

Here are some other things to try:

Use lists
You can organize twitter users in groups. I’ve found these to be a great way to monitor and interact with important people. I have lists for my industry, influencers and lists for each of my target audiences.

Rather than hunt through my feed or search for content to share, I can just go to my lists to find out who’s posting what. If there’s an influencer or competitor you want to engage with but don’t want to follow them, lists are a great way to do that.

They’re also a great way to monitor the tweets of your competitors. You can view their updates, check out their offers and see what works for them and adapt it to your business.

Twitter lists

Twitter chats
I have to be honest, I haven’t used Twitter chats yet but have read that they’re a secret weapon for businesses. You’ve probably seen a Twitter chat or two in your newsfeed.

A Twitter chat is a moderated conversation between a group of people on Twitter. A hashtag is used to organize the conversation. #SmallBizChat and #bufferchat are popular Twitter chats for businesses. If I were to particpate in one of these chats, I would use the appropriate hashtag in my tweets so everyone could follow.

Twitter chats seem like they would be a great way to interact with like-minded people and share my content. If you wrote a blog post about a specific topic and there just so happens to be a Twitter chat on that topic, then it would be a good idea to mention your post (so long as it provides value to the conversation).

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Here's how entrepreneurs and biz owners can use Facebook contests to grow your mailing list and generate qualified leads.Facebook contests can help you generate qualified leads, and if done right can be a source of business for your sales funnel. They’re also a great way to create a buzz about your products and services and encourage people to become more invested in your brand.

As with all marketing, relevance and emotion play crucial roles to your success. It’s all about qualified subscribers rather than empty leads: you’ll have to weed out everyone else and appeal only to your ideal prospect. To do that, you need to create a visually engaging campaign and offer a prize specifically relevant to your business and your target audience.

Here are 6 steps to running Facebook contests that generate qualified leads:

Map out a plan

Having a solid plan for your Facebook contest will help you follow through and stay on track. What’s the intended outcome for your contest? Do you only want to grow your mailing list, or is increasing your fan base also important? Who is your target audience and what types of prizes will appeal to them? What incentive will you provide to encourage participation? Having your goals in mind when you start your contest will keep you focused and give you the best results.

Pick something to give away

This is where you let fans know why they should enter the contest. You need an exciting prize to generate the feedback you want. Understanding both your business and your audience is the best way to pick an appropriate prize. Prizes should be both relevant to your business and exciting enough to generate interest from your fan base.

You can consider offering your service or product as the prize, but tread with caution here. If you’re an accountant, it may not be very enticing to offer a free consultation. You just won’t generate the interest you need, especially if you have a small fan page to begin with. A sporting store, on the other hand, would do well to offer fans free hiking gear. This type of prize is both relevant and exciting.

In the example of the accountant, it may be better to offer a day at a local golf club. This is a win-win. It offers something exciting and targets your ideal prospect. Remember to think about your audience first, and be creative.

What you don’t want to do is offer a generic price, like a new iPhone. This will generate the wrong type of interest and you’ll wind up with fake fans and empty leads. Keep the prize relevant to your business.

Create your ad

You can create your ad two ways. You can run a simple timeline contest by posting a status update in your news feed. This is ideal for business owners who don’t have time to create a page app or design graphics for a landing page. In this case the entry method for fans would simply be to join your email list.

You can also use a third-party app such as Wishpond or Shortstack. Apps allow you to create a landing page for your campaign, with graphics and a lead form to collect information. They also give you campaign analytics and tracking features.

If you choose to create a landing page for your campaign, here are some tips to make it visually engaging:

Feature your product and prize. This may seem like an obvious point, but one that’s easy to forget. Include images of your product or business, as well as images of the prize. Let fans see who you are and what they can win by entering. The more visual you can be, the better. If you’re offering a day of golf, show them relevant golf images. The images should be high quality so you can resize your campaign without them becoming blurry.

Place the form at the top of the page. Your entry form should be prominently placed so that fans can easily see it when they’re on your page. The form can include more or less information, the minimum being an email address.

Include a short poll. You want to provide value for your fans, but also consider what value the contest can provide to you. Consider including a few short questions in the contest entry that will give you insight into what your target audience likes. You can use the answers to segment your future marketing and to develop services and products that would interest them.

Add like and share buttons. Include steps encouraging fans to like, share, and tweet about your contest. This will bring more people to your page, increase contest entries, and increase the likes on your page.

Make the entry method easy

How do they enter your contest? What do your fans have to do? Make the entry method obvious and clear. Give them all of the information they need to make a decision.

Most contests require an email address to enter. You can also ask for contact names or other information. Depending on the entry rules, you may ask fans for some kind of submission in the form of a photo or video. Don’t forget a strong call to action, such as a “like this page” step, which will increase your fan base in addition to building your email list.

Promote your contest

Once you’ve launched your campaign, you’ll need to promote it. Post about it on your news feed. Change your cover image to match the contest visuals and use an arrow or graphic pointing fans to the contest tab. Remember to mention the contest in your blog and link to it from your website.

Use your existing email list as a platform to get the word out to your fan base. The more you get the word out, the more people you have sharing your contest with their friends. You may also want to run Facebook ads targeted to your audience in order to generate more feedback. You can set your budget with these ads, so they shouldn’t be too costly.

Pick a winner and follow up

How you follow up with your campaign is crucial to its success. Posting the winner’s profile on your fan page will provide social proof and show fans who didn’t participate that the contest was real. Use your fan page to announce your next contest or let fans know how frequently you run contests: once a month, quarterly, or twice a year. Whatever it is, let your fans know. The point here is to encourage them to stay engaged with your fan page.

Follow up with everyone who entered your contest. You’ve created a mailing list. Use it! Make every participant feel like a winner. Consider offering some kind of consolation prize, invite them to a webinar, or let them know about future events. Include a link to the winner profile to get them excited. This way you’ll gain early momentum for your next contest.

In Conclusion

Building a strong email list is a valuable asset for the B2B sales funnel. For your email list to have high conversions, you need to weed out any prospects whose interests aren’t in alignment with yours. Make sure your campaign speaks directly to your target audience by offering prizes relevant to your business.

Don’t forget to invoke emotion in your campaign. Too often B2B marketers focus on logic and facts, and forget about emotion. You want to inspire and encourage fans to take the next step. Let them know the bottom line and what’s in it for them if they enter your contest.

Once you have their attention, keep the marketing ball rolling by engaging and interacting with them. Use polls to find out what products they like or want to see. Make it easy for participants to share the campaign with their friends. There’s a good chance that friends of friends will also be your ideal prospects.

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If your business relies on LinkedIn, this guide is for you! It includes 13 tips to optimize your LinkedIn Profile for more views, appointments, and leads. Click through for the complete guide!When you compare social media sites, Facebook and Twitter get a lot of hype. Every one seems to want more fans and followers. Facebook and Twitter can certainly boost awareness of your company and establish credibility, but when you need to measure ROI in sales and leads instead of likes and shares, you may want to consider focusing more of your efforts on LinkedIn, starting with your LinkedIn profile.

What gives LinkedIn the edge over Facebook and Twitter is its direct access to C-suite executives. As of April 2016, LinkedIn had 433 million users, with an estimated 128 million in the US alone. Many LinkedIn members don’t even have Facebook or Twitter accounts. This means that LinkedIn is your only way to reach them via social media.

There are over 1 billion searches per day for names and companies on LinkedIn. This gives you a real opportunity to build your business reputation, expand your professional network, and generate leads and sales.

If you think of your LinkedIn profile as a one-page website, your first impression is crucial. With so many people fighting for attention, your ability to convince and convert potential customers can mean the difference between creating a lasting impression or creating no impression.

Below are 13 tips to creating a powerful LinkedIn profile. Before you dig in, keep in mind that LinkedIn profiles are pretty extensive with sections for Summary, Experience, Education, Publications, and more. There are no short one or two sentence descriptions.

It’s going to take some time to optimize your profile, and it certainly doesn’t need to happen in one sitting. Take your time, go through each section and gather the information and materials you need. You’ll be rewarded with more connections, increased visibility, and more leads and sales.

All of the items listed here can be edited by simply mousing over elements of your profile and clicking on the pencil icon that appears.

13 Tips to Optimize your LinkedIn Profile for more meetings, appointments, leads and customers.

Use a current profile image

Profiles with pics get an 11x increase in profile views. If you don’t have a high quality professional picture, get one taken as soon as you can. LinkedIn is all about the art of social selling, with “social” being the operative word. When I visit a LinkedIn profile without a pic, my first thought is that this is an inactive user. I’m also a bit frustrated, because I want to make an emotional connection and without a pic I can’t. I also don’t feel compelled to scroll the profile to find out more. To me, it means the person is too busy, uninterested or just plain boring to warrant more of my time.

Let people know what you do

Your professional headline is one of the first things people see when they land on your profile, right under your name next to your profile image. Give careful consideration to the title you use. While it might seem appropriate to use a simple title such as “CEO”, standard titles like this won’t do much to get you noticed on LinkedIn. Being creative and descriptive with your headline is more likely to capture someone’s attention. Think of your headline as a mini value proposition. Try to communicate more than what you do, and tell people who you help and how you help them.

Another point worth mentioning is that the words in your headline are indexed by search engines, so be sure to include keywords relevant to your industry with which you want to be associated. Using keywords in this way will prompt LinkedIn to show your profile when someone conducts a search for these keywords, so give some thought as to how you’d like people to find you.

 

Sample LinkedIn Profile Header

 

Also, don’t forget to let people know your industry, which appears above your location.

Update your contact info

Under your header is a tab for contact. This contains your contact information that’s available to all of your connections. At a minimum, include your email address, phone number, website and Twitter account if you have one. For the website section, you can include more than just your main website and add a link to your Twitter account here as well. Try naming the links in a way that creates interest and tells people what you do, rather than just showing your website address.

sample linkedin contact

Customize your URL

The default URL is long and hard to remember, something like http://www.linkedin.com/firstNamelastName/1/a59/379. You can easily edit the URL to something that’s short and branded. Customized URLs are also referred to as vanity URLs. You definitely want yours to be as short as possible with your name in there so people can easily remember it.

To edit your public URL, mouse over your image in the brown bar at the top right of your LinkedIn profile and select Privacy and Settings. Midway down the page in the Privacy tab, select Edit Your Public Profile in the right column under Settings. This will bring you to your public profile. At the top of the right sidebar, you’ll see Your Public Profile URL. Select the pencil icon to edit. The prefix will always be www.linkedin.com/in/. Add your name to the end of the string and you’re all set.

Make a list of keywords

When prospects and connections search for terms pertaining to your industry, you want them to be able to find you. Take some time to create a list of targeted keywords for which you want to be shown. In my case, I want my LinkedIn profile to appear when someone searches for the word “branding”, so that’s my main keyword. I also use variations such as brand positioning and brand development. You’ll want to write down about 10 for your industry, listed by priority, and have them on hand while you’re updating your profile.

Weave the keywords in wherever you have an opportunity to talk about you and your business, being careful not to overdo it. You should always keep the needs of your prospects at the top of your mind, so make it about them first. Then add your keywords wherever they naturally fit in.

In terms of LinkedIn algorithms for search, the best places to include your keywords are in the professional headline at the top of the page, and a little further down in the Summary and Experience sections.

Write a great Summary

The summary is one of the most important sections on your profile, because it’s the first section people see and it’s where you can really tell your story. Try to elaborate on your value proposition here. Talk about your business, who you are and what you do for people. You have 2000 words to play with, and it’s a good idea to use up as many of those words as you can. Profiles with longer summaries are more likely to show up in search results, which makes sense because you have more room to include the keywords from your list, which I strongly recommend you do.

A common mistake people make is to write their summary like it’s a biography or CV. The problem with bios, on top of being boring, is that they do nothing to share your brand value and benefits. Biographies just aren’t going mean much to your prospects. As business owners we’re here to get leads and sales for our businesses, not apply for jobs, so why write for a job interview?

The point is to really talk to people, be creative, and start conversations. You want to engage prospects and let them know who you help and how you help them. Instead of creating a bulleted list of what you do, let people know how your services and expertise translate into value. People want to read about your solutions.

Sample LinkedIn summary

 

Keeping in mind what I mentioned above, you may still want to add a list of specific services you provide, especially for those services or keywords that are hard to integrate naturally into your story. If that’s the case, list those specific services at the bottom of your Summary, after you’ve engaged prospects in conversation.

Once you’re done writing your summary, take a look at the Add Media section just beneath it. You can add up to 10 pieces of media and visual content to educate and engage prospects. Try to find your best blogs articles, videos, or presentations to include here. Consider ones that are eye catching and will prove most helpful to readers.

Manage Skills and Endorsements

Members who include skills and endorsements receive 13x more profile views than those who don’t. At the same time, this section is often misunderstood because people can endorse you for anything, even skills you don’t have and wouldn’t want to display on your profile. They can endorse you even if they’re never worked with you, met you, or spoken to you, which makes it essentially meaningless. Nobody wants false endorsements.

What you may not know is that you can control which skills you can be endorsed for as well as which ones are displayed on your profile. To edit your skills, select the “Add Skill” link at the top of the section.

LinkedIn profiles that show skills and endorsements receive 13x more profile viewsClick To Tweet

You can choose whether or not you want to be endorsed (I suggest you say Yes). Then select “Add Skill.” You’ll see your list of skills below, and can add up to 50 skills. Pull out your keyword list again and make sure some of the skills match the keywords on your list.

The next thing to do is prioritize your skills so that the ones most relevant to your business and what you do are at the top. All you need to do is drag the skills around until they appear in the order you want. If you have more than 25 skills, the first 25 skills will appear on your profile and the others will have a button to view more.

Your top 10 skills are the ones that show endorsement thumbnails. They’re also the ones that members can easily endorse. Knowing that, it’s a good idea to cycle through your skills every once in a while and shuffle them around so you receive endorsements for them all. Since I’m a branding consultant, I reordered my skills so that “brand development” is now on the top of the list. It’s been at the bottom for quite some time so I have only one endorsement for it. Now that it’s on top, it won’t belong before I start receiving endorsements for it.

LinkedIn Skills get 13x more views

 

The Manage Endorsements window is where you can control which endorsements are displayed. Selecting this link will show a list of endorsements for each of your skills. Simply check and uncheck which ones you want on your profile.

There are two reasons why the Skills section is important. First, it’s an additional use of keywords and will help your profile appear for a search. Second, skills act as a visual testimonial and form of customer proof. Clients and prospects will see this section, and your skills will reaffirm your value proposition and everything you talk about in the Summary section.

If you’d like to get more endorsements, the best way to go about it is to endorse someone else. When you view someone’s profile, LinkedIn will make suggestions for endorsements. As long as it’s appropriate and you feel comfortable doing so, go ahead and give them an endorsement. This will prompt others to return the favor and endorse you back.

13 Tips to Optimize your LinkedIn Profile for more meetings, appointments, leads and customers.

Make sure your LinkedIn profile is visible

Check your public profile settings and make sure that everyone can see your profile, whether they’re on LinkedIn or not. You definitely want your profile to appear when people search for you on Google and other search engines.

To check your settings, click on Edit Profile from the top menu. In the top section underneath your profile image is your profile URL. If you’ve followed this guide and claimed a vanity URL it will be something like http://linkedin.com/in/yourname.

Hover your mouse over the right side of your URL and select the gear icon. On the left side will be your profile the way others will see it and on the right side is a list of sections. You want every section to be checked and publicly visible.

Check your Privacy Settings

Many people are concerned about activity feeds and updates. Understandably, you may not want prospects and connections to know every time you make a simple change to your profile.

Here’s where you can control which of your activities LinkedIn members can see.

Mouse over your profile image in the top bar and select Privacy and Settings.

The first three links under Privacy Control are where you can manage your activity broadcasts, select who can see your activity feed, and choose what others see when you’ve viewed their profile (Name, Photo and Headline is recommended).

Activity broadcasts are updates that are shared to your network when you update your profile, add connections, make recommendations and follow a company. This is the one you’ll want to toggle on and off when you make small changes to your profile.

I suggest keeping activity updates turned on for the most part so you can stay top of mind with prospects and connections, and toggling it off right before you want to make any discrete changes. Once you’re finished you can go ahead and turn back one.

Your activity feed, on the other hand, is something you do want everyone to see. Let your connections see your status updates, published posts, and any updates you share.

Ask for Recommendations

Recommendations are a great tool on LinkedIn. Think of them as testimonials or success stories. In terms of customer proof, they’re much more credible than endorsements and are an exceptional way to showcase your expertise to potential customers.

You want to reach out to satisfied customers and clients and ask for recommendations. You can also ask for a recommendation from an nonpaying customer, as long as you’ve provided meaningful value. Likewise, if there’s someone with whom you have a professional relationship or whose blogs and content you find valuable, go ahead andwrite them a recommendation.

The more you recommend others, the more likely you are to receive recommendations in return.

Fill out your Experience

Some people think this is the most important section, but if your past employment doesn’t relate to your current business, potential prospects won’t get the connection, and understandably so, because it won’t be there.

My business is branding and marketing. I help individuals and businesses develop web strategies that position their brand and increase visibility among key audiences. I’ve also had past positions as a fashion designer and as a sound production engineer. Am I going to include these in the Experience section? Definitely No. Not only are they meaningless in terms of getting leads and sales for my business, adding them will only be confusing and cause a disconnect. Again, people are interested in the solutions your current business provides.

Having said that, you want to fill out the Experience section as best you can, because LinkedIn cares about optimized profiles. More complete profiles will be given priority with search terms. Go ahead and list past job positions that support your overall value proposition and current business. Just like in the Summary section, stay away from using bullet points and passive sentences, and have your keyword list handy so you can incorporate them.

You can add media and links here too, and it’s a good idea to take advantage of this feature for your current position, which will be your current business. Add some samples of your work or a guide you wrote, or link to specific pages on your website such as a services page or targeted landing page.

Add Projects

The Projects section is not an obvious one on your LinkedIn profile, which is why many people don’t know it exists. It’s where you can display a written portfolio of sorts and highlight specific successes. You can’t add media to it like you can in the Summary and Experience sections, but if you write some great descriptions about what you did then this section can be useful in showing potential clients how you’ve helped others and how you can help them.

 

Add any projects to complete your LinkedIn Profile

 

Another great use of this section is to promote individual products, campaigns or events. You can feature your offer or digital download with a link to a landing page with more information and a call to action to invite people into your opt-in list.

To add a Project, select Edit Profile, and directly under the header area, beneath your LinkedIn URL you’ll see “Add a Section to Your Profile”. Select the dropdown menu “View More” and you’ll see the Projects section.

Publications

This is the place to feature any books or publications you’ve written. You don’t have to limit it to published books. If you have contributed to other blogs, or if you have blog articles you want to feature, go ahead and include them here, as well as any guides, ebooks, slideshares or other content you’ve written.

Add the Publications section in the same way you added the Projects section.

Key Takeaway

Having a compelling LinkedIn profile is paramount to your success on LinkedIn. It’s your face to the online networking world and your first point of contact when reaching out to potential clients and joint venture partners.

The power of LinkedIn becomes evident once you commit to using it. Try to carve out 20 minutes each day to make connections and grow your network, contribute to groups, share posts and status updates and contribute your own blog posts.

Download the printable version of the Checklist for when you’re optimizing your LinkedIn profile.

 

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So now that you have a Facebook business page, the real question is, how do you actually use it to grow your business? While posting regularly is a great way to expand your reach, nowadays Facebook is less about organic reach and more about paid advertising. That means if you really want to create a buzz and increase your customer base, you have to start using Facebook ads. Click through for 3 must-do tips that will help you get the best results from your ads!You probably have a Facebook business page. The real question now is, how do you actually use it to grow your business? While posting regularly is a great way to stay in touch with your consumer base and build brand awareness and engagement, nowadays Facebook is less about organic reach and more about paid advertising.

If you really want to create a buzz and increase your customer base, you have to start using Facebook ads.

Follow these tips to use Facebook for business and get the best results from your ads.

Targeted Ads

If you’ve created valuable content such as ebooks and webinars for each of your buyer personas, one of the simplest ways to drive traffic to it by creating a Facebook ad that leads people to a form on your landing page.

This type of content is known as “gated content”, which simply means that people can download the information in exchange for their email address. This is where buyer personas are crucial. Getting people to spend a few extra minutes to fill out a quick form should be easy as long as you’ve created something that they perceive to have value. Ebooks are the most popular form of gated content, but you can also offer free trials or access to a webinar to entice people to click.

Once you’ve decided what type of gated content you’d like to promote, it’s time to put your ad together. Facebook’s Lookalike Audience feature allows you to target Facebook users who are similar to your existing customers and personas. This means that you can use your knowledge of your demographics to market the right content to the right people and generate new targeted leads.

If you want to use the Lookalike Audience feature, you first have to upload an email list to create a Custom Audience so that Facebook knows who to mirror. Facebook will take those email addresses and match them up to actual users. You can then use that audience to have Facebook find users similar to those on your list.

Once you’ve done that the next thing to do is to create your ad and choose how tightly you want to target it. Targeting by Similarity will reach a narrow number of users who are very close to your custom audience. You can also choose the Greater Reach option which gives you more reach, but because it casts a wider net to do it, you may not get as much targeting.

Both options are helpful in generating new leads, so don’t discount one over the other before A/B testing to see which one will work best for you.

Dark Posts

Facebook Dark Posts are news feed style ads that don’t get published to your timeline, hence the term “dark posts”.

As a business you sell services or products that appeal to slightly different audiences, and one call to action alone won’t resonate with all of them. In the past, the only way to let users know of your services was to create news feed type sponsored posts and target each one so that it would be seen by the right audience.

The problem with this approach is that all of these ads are on your Facebook page, which means you’re flooding the news feed of your fans with all of these different ads. (your news feed with nothing but ads). Your page will start to look spam-like and burn the reputation you’ve worked so hard to build with your followers.

That’s where Dark Posts come in.

To get started with dark posts, open up the Power Editor and click on Manage Pages. Select your business page and then select Create Post, making sure to click the radio button so that it says “This post will only be used as an ad.”

When creating your post, keep in mind that this is an ad, so make sure your headline, image and description are all be driving your call to action. You may want to create all of your dark posts at once and then assign them to different target audiences. This way you can upload the entire batch. If you do go this route, just be sure to preview your post on desktop and mobile before uploading the batch.

Pro tip: Check out Jon Loomer’s site for some highly effective Facebook ad tactics.

Once you finish, head over to the Ad Manager, select the post to use as the ad, and choose your audience and budget. Try starting lower in cost and adjust as you need once you track your ad’s reach.

Once all of your posts are created and uploaded you can switch to your Ad Manager and start creating ads by selecting the appropriate post to use as an ad, select your audience and choose your budget.

Once your ads are approved you can start monitoring your Ad performance to tweak your tests and improve your results.

Get More Clicks on Your Ads

Creating ads and offers for your demographic is half of the equation when it comes to generating leads on Facebook. The other half is encouraging people to click through your ad.

Generally speaking, images grab people’s attention more than plain text, so you can expect a higher CTR than on ads without. Try to go for simple images that are instantly recognizable rather than complex images that people will glaze over. Featuring a person is a powerful way to create an emotional connection with audiences and encourage them to click. You can also experiment with a humorous or unexpected image to grab people’s attention.

Most importantly, make sure you tie your image to your headline, so that it becomes a visual representation of your call to action.

The headline of your ad is where you really want to capture attention and drive your call to action, so it makes sense to experiment until you find one that really makes people click on your ad. Don’t try to be clever with it. The best calls to action are those that tell the user exactly what to do, or what they expect when they click on your ad.

Let’s take a look at these two headlines:

  • Check out our Portfolio
  • Transform your Business with Webinars
  • Tired of searching for blog images?

With all of these headlines, you don’t have to think about what comes after the click. The second and third are especially good examples of how understanding your demographic can help you speak directly to benefits and pain points. Exactly how will webinars help me as a business owner transform my business? And, yes, I am tired of searching for blog images. If there’s an easier way, I want to know.

And don’t forget about the role that color plays in increasing click-through-rates. Try to use eye-catching colors like red, orange and green rather than blues and whites that will fade into the Facebook color scheme. If your ad doesn’t stand out in news feeds, people will scroll down to the next post without even noticing your ad. Another powerful tactic is to embed a subtitle or second call to action into your imagery to let people know even more about your offer.

Key Takeaway

Using Facebook for business is about building an email list by reaching out to current and new users who will be interested in your products and content. Remember to test out variations of your ads within each campaign, changing images and headlines until you find one that performs the best.

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