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Good morning internet fans. Ryan Perry, Simple Biz Support. Today is Wednesday, July 15th, therefore it is Social Media Wednesday, and I have Sarah Giometti with Provaro Marketing as usual on the other end. Good morning Sarah.

Good morning Ryan. How are you?

RP: I’m doing good. I’m excited to discuss what we’re going to be talking about which is LinkedIn because I’m… I was kinda going through the brain going, “I don’t think we’ve talked about LinkedIn, if ever, if it has been maybe once in a long time ago, but it is for business owners, a very powerful social media device tool to use.”

SG: It is, it can be very powerful, especially if you’re a B2B business, you can do a lot of online networking on LinkedIn for your business. And so, making sure that your profile is kind of optimized, making sure you’re coming up within searches. It is a great way to kind of have a leg up on that platform.

RP: Alright, and essentially what we’re… We’re going to be talking about LinkedIn, how to optimize your profile and it really boils down to branding, even though we’re not talking about graphics and, or anything else what type of colors you’re going to use. What we’re really talking about is how do you brand yourself, an individual within your company? The way do that is by putting out compelling information that is going to entice people to want to at least call you and ultimately, do business with you.

SG: Right, because they’re going to… If you’ve talked to them in person and they do some research on you, your LinkedIn profile’s highly likely something that will come up. And so, this is the way for you to show them that you are an expert in your field, you know what you’re doing, that you’ve been in your business for a while, you’re involved in your industry and stay up-to-date on any trending changes. So you really want to make sure that the profile is filled out to the best of your ability and has as much information business-wise as you can.

RP: Yeah, and ultimately, it’s going to lend to your credibility and the last thing you want to do is create something and just create it because, “Oh, LinkedIn was a fad, let’s say, five years ago. Everybody started talking about LinkedIn, so I went in and created a profile, but I haven’t done anything to it since then and I really didn’t fill it out completely.” By not doing something you’ve done something and that is affect your credibility in a negative way. Same thing if you have a Twitter account, if you have a business page on Facebook, Instagram, any of those accounts, if it’s inactive essentially or not filled out completely, you are affecting your credibility in a negative way.

SG: Absolutely, and even if we preach this all the way through that pick your platform and focus on that so you have activity. LinkedIn you don’t necessarily have to have ongoing activity to be effective on there. But you should check in on a regular basis to make sure your head-shot’s up-to-date, your company information is up-to-date, your skills are up-to-date. Just make sure all your information there is current and up-to-date so that it doesn’t affect your credibility in a negative manner, even if you are not actively utilizing that platform for pushing out content driving traffic to your website right now.

RP: Yes definitely, so let’s talk about what you should be doing, so assuming that you’ve actually gone in, you’ve updated, you’ve got your business, you have a nice head shot of yourself. What are some of the other things that you might want to consider looking at your profile and updating it with?

SG: One of the first things to make sure you have on there is your skills. Going in there and adding your skills to Face, not Facebook… To LinkedIn, it also makes it easier for your connections to endorse you for those specific skills. And the skills also add keywords to your profile so that if somebody is searching for like, in my instance, social media marketing, I have a better possibility of coming up because it’s in my skills and I’ve been endorsed by my connections for that skill. So you’re making it easier for other people to promote you on LinkedIn and say that you’re an expert in what you do. So that’s something that you really want to make sure you have in there, and so, that other people can do it. Another one would be to promote your projects and this is something… As I was reading an article about it, it actually made me think outside the box when they mentioned podcasts.

SG: They considered podcasts as a project and it made me realize that these, that Ryan and I do, would be a project that we could promote on there and even I, as social media expert-ish [chuckle] don’t. We don’t always, we’re thinking outside the box. When you’re thinking projects think of things that you’re doing on a regular basis, it doesn’t necessarily mean a construction project for contractors or a graphic design project. So think of the things that you do on a regular basis that you can promote and drive traffic to your website.

RP: Yeah, I like that one and that was the same thing when you brought it up, I’m like, “Yeah, there’s things, projects that I posted on my LinkedIn account, but I didn’t think about promoting this weekly episode that we do and it just… ” And it lends to both of our credibility that we’re willing to invest time every single week to give away great information to essentially promote ourselves as experts, definitely lends the credibility. So I will be updating my profile. Thank you.

SG: You’re welcome, because I probably will be as well. So even we learn when doing these for you guys and it’s… But it is a great thing… if you’re doing something on a weekly basis, collaborating with someone, definitely put that in there as part of your projects, things that you’re doing for… For your community, and your business and your customers, things like that. The next one I want to talk about is linking to your publications.

SG: Most people in the publication section I think, “Oh, well, I haven’t been published in a newspaper or a magazine,” that’s not the only thing you can put there. In your publication, if you wrote a book, obviously, that’s people might think of that as well as a link to the sales page. But if you have ebooks that you’re giving away for free or selling on your website, those are publications as well. So you can include your ebooks and drive people to your landing pages on your website as part of your publications. And it’s just another way to drive traffic to that opportunity that you’re offering to customers and clients, and the general public.

RP: Right, definitely.

SG: The last one that I’m going to cover today, there’s so many things that you can do to your LinkedIn profile. It is a really, really long profile. But the next one is highlighting your professional organizations. This also lends to your credibility because it shows that you are involved in your industry, and you stay up-to-date in changes and trends. And so, showing that you’re part of industry groups, industry organizations shows that you are committed to what you are doing and committed to constantly learning more about your industry and staying up-to-date and immersing yourself in it.

SG: That tells future clients and existing clients that you didn’t learn it at one point a couple of years ago and are kinda flying by the seat of your pants hoping you remember how to do it and not staying up-to-date. So it actually looks really good if you’re involved in your industry organizations. That and I know from… Ryan and I, there are plethora of them for marketing and social media and SEO. So showing that we’re part of those organizations for us is really key ’cause our industry changes basically on a daily basis. So look for industry groups for yourself that you can be a part of.

RP: Okay, perfect. We have a couple minutes and I’m going to go through… I’m going to do a quick screen-share of my Facebook. We talk about Facebook way too much, apparently.

SG: Clearly.

RP: Let’s talk about LinkedIn here. So a couple of other things on your banner, a couple of things that I typically do not see is… On LinkedIn is having some sort of image in the background. Everybody has gone to banners, and we ideally you want some consistency. You’ll notice mine, if you know my branding, it’s not consistent here simply because I really don’t like the way LinkedIn, they really bite into the banner here with all this information. And so, as I was having my designed it just didn’t look right, especially on different computer screens, because as the computer screens are bigger or smaller, then this whole background image kind of shifts and change. So I went with something basic, essentially.

RP: The other thing that I did with my profile picture is, you definitely, if you’re a business professional, definitely use a business profesional image. So I actually had a… I hired a photographer, had a headshot done. But I also had an article that was written and published in the North Bay Biz, which is a local business magazine here in Sonoma County. One of the things that I did is on my headshot is I put, “Featured in North Bay Biz.” The reason why I do that is we’re very visual people. Typically, we’re going to look at the headshot because this is all about people. People go on LinkedIn to learn about individuals, not the business necessarily that they work for. And so, [A], I want to make sure that I look credible in my headshot and number two I want to add credibility. So a lot of times you may have seen people that have been featured in ABC, NBC, CBS, all it does is add credibility.

RP: The other thing that I’ve done is I’ve published a number of blog posts and I continue to add blog posts on a regular base through LinkedIn so that when people are looking at my profile, they can go ahead and see that I’m actually adding content. And here, by the way, here’s on the right-hand side, it’s pretty small, but all these little icons is ABC, NBC, Fox. And there’s a little secret on here, these people weren’t necessarily on those TV shows, but there’s a way that you can work around it. Then I have a full summary.

RP: The other thing that I’ve done is, I actually have some business products, essentially. It’s one of the things that you were talking about, Sarah, so I have an infographic about video marketing because video marketing is very near and dear to my heart. So I have my infographic there that people can download if they want. And then I also have a copy of the article that I was on the North Bay Business Journal or North Bay Biz article.

RP: And then I’ve also got some blogging tips. I’ve got testimonials, and then the other thing you were talking about is making sure you have your skills. So as people go down and they look and they see the skill set, not only do they see that it’s all internet marketing related, but I have a lot of social proof here by a number of different people who have essentially said, “Yes, he is competent in these areas.” If this only has one or two people, or is blank, or is missing, again, this is just adding social proof, if you will, that I really do know what I’m doing. And if you happen to know who Natalie Tyrell is, it’s going to add even that much more credibility because you’re going to have trust in that relationship with her, and by her giving me a thumbs up that I know about social media, as an example, she’s essentially lending her credibility to me.

RP: So I think that’s all I have on screen-share here.

SG: Yes. You definitely want to scroll through and take a look ’cause LinkedIn is often updating what your profile can include. You now have like some of the things we highlighted. I know they show up; on mine, it’s not filled out. Let me… I’ll pull mine screenshot. So you’ll see here all these little boxes that you can add stuff, too. So if you speak multiple languages, you can add it in here. If you do volunteering experience, this plays into when we talk about company culture. People want to do business with like-minded people, so if you, a volunteer add an animal organization and they love that organization as well, then that’s something in common. So you want to make sure you highlight in there, your volunteering opportunities, honors awards. There’s so many things in here that you can add.

RP: Yeah, and I just want to clarify one thing, when I screen shared my profile, that was the way the public saw it and what you’re looking at is the way you, as an end user, see your profile.

SG: Right. At the moment, yes. Sort of. Yes and no sort of ’cause I actually am viewing it as the public, but it pops up telling me to add more stuff. LinkedIn has several ways for you to view it. ‘Cause I click to view it and it showed up to tell me to add more stuff and you click it again, the ‘View as’ and it goes really to the full profile, which is this one. So, it was a couple clicks away you get the full profile. So you want to make sure you fill it out and you have as much information in here as possible, ’cause it can and it can get very, very long when you start adding all of your stuff in there.

SG: But going back to here and looking at all these opportunities to add sections to your profile, just all of that adds to your credibility, all of it adds to your possibility to be coming up in searches. So there’s a lot of benefit to doing it. So I would say at least at a minimum, quarterly, take a look at your profile and just see if LinkedIn has come up with new things for you to add if you need to update information, delete information, just make sure it stays relatively up-to-date even if you’re not on a regular basis posting to LinkedIn and utilizing that platform as part of your social media strategy.

RP: Yeah, perfect. And the other thing that you touched on is that LinkedIn is a very powerful tool so if people are actually doing a search by your name, a lot of times LinkedIn is going to be one of the first search engine results on Google for an individual name that’s business related. So you definitely want to make sure you have a good profile. Any last second comments? Otherwise, we’re going to end this episode.

SG: I don’t think so. Just make sure you go check it out and make sure it’s filled out.

RP: Yeah. And this is a great opportunity if you haven’t thought about it. Just take five minutes, log in real quick, check it out and then calendar a time where you can actually go in and fill it out completely. With that, I’m going to bid you adieu. And next week, we’re going to talk about a recent Facebook algorithm change that actually is going to benefit business, which is really kinda cool. So I’m excited to learn more about that because it’s something new that I wasn’t aware of that we were talking about offline. So, Sarah, as always, I appreciate the time and energy that you put in to these episodes, and I’m looking forward to seeing you next week in learning more about the recent Facebook change.

SG: Thank you, Ryan. It’s always a pleasure to be here, and definitely stay tuned for next week. It could be a really big thing for business pages.

RP: Yeah, definitely. I’m looking forward to seeing it. Everybody take care. Hope you all have a great week.