Posts

Connect Like a Pro on LinkedIn

How do you treat LinkedIn connection requests? Do you accept them all? Do you apply certain criteria when considering requests? Do you only connect with people you know outside of LinkedIn?

Managing your LinkedIn network is a personal thing. There is no one-size-fits-all answer. You do want to connect strategically.

First, define your goal.

Why are you on LinkedIn? Knowing the reason will make it easier to go about making the right connections.

Determining what you need to accomplish on LinkedIn is step one in determining what type of networker you will be on LinkedIn. Avoid setting a numerical goal. The size of a network is not as important as having the right network.

Second, a connection should be real.

There are fake accounts everywhere. You don’t want to crowd your LinkedIn community with them.

Take a look at the profile and give it the legit sniff test. Is there detail in the profile or just a name and little more. Is there a believable profile picture? Does the work experience make sense?

Do you share mutual connections?

Third, a connection should have value.

Value comes in many forms. Is this someone you know that you want to maintain contact with? Does the person work somewhere where you want to work or do business? Are they part of a community that is valuable to you professionally?

Determine the characteristics of a valuable connection. Connect with people who will matter to you.

Finally, be valuable.

Consider your networking strategy and think about who, how and why you are connecting. How can you add something worthwhile (value) to others before you ask for something?

Be sure to give as much to your network as you get.

Prepare for the Future of Digital Marketing

I’ve participated in several webinars and workshops lately on the future of digital marketing. Everything is always changing! Here I share some themes.

Convergence

Currently, people generally engage with six different channels for a brand before making a purchase decision. As marketers, we know this because keeping all those channels up to date is a daunting task.

Good news, is that a convergence is expected. Consumers will look to just one channel.

Bad news, the one preferred channel is not clear. Predictions are that it will involve highly individualized messaging or text. I haven’t seen a marketing plan yet to tackle that challenge.

Relationship

People want authentic, human, relevant and timely messaging. If you haven’t dropped the corporate-speak, you are behind already and will be completely lost in the future. Marketing and communication that builds relationships will continue to win.

In relationships, one person doesn’t get to control all the conversations and actions. If your marketing is solely brand-led, start to think now about how you can let your audience take the lead in your relationship.

Add to the mix an increasing desire for spontaneous, unscripted communication.  I have seen this called “story living.” Whatever you call it, if you aren’t playing with live video already, you should start.

Personalized Content

Think about your content in segments. There is no one campaign. There is a series of highly personalized campaigns.

To accomplish this, you need to start thinking of your content in segments, noting the audience and need that each addresses. In the future, your messaging will assemble the right pieces for the specific person you are addressing.

Start to think now how you can structure your content for assemble-on-the-fly messaging.

Business Networking in Loudoun County

I do a lot of in-person networking in Loudoun County where I live. It’s a great supplement to my online marketing. Here’s a list of opportunities. Some I discovered and others were shared with me by some generous, helpful fellow business people.

Know one that I missed? Share in the comments!

Loudoun Chamber Networking Events, http://www.loudounchamber.org/events/

The Loudoun Chamber offers many networking events throughout the year. The monthly Business Showcase breakfast is a chance to meet 40-60 business people in rounds of speed networking.

Loudoun Chamber Business Women of Loudoun Committee Meetings, http://www.loudounchamber.org/business-women-of-loudoun/

Business Women of Loudoun is focused on strategic networking, leadership and mentoring as well as giving back to community causes. Monthly committee meetings are free and are often attended by 40 or more business leaders.

First Thursday of each month
9 am
Loudoun Chamber Office

Lovettsville Business Network First Thursdays, https://www.facebook.com/groups/300718436790649/

Open to anyone who does business in Lovettsville. Meets the first Thursday of every month at Market Table Bistro in Lovettsville. Networking starts at 5, and agenda starts at 5:30.

1st Thursday of each Month
5-7 pm
Market Table Bistro
13 E Broad Way, Lovettsville, VA 20180

NeXco, https://www.nexconow.com/

NeXco is designed to make networking enjoyable, educational and productive. Members are seasoned professionals who have limited time to spend on networking, but know the importance of maintaining and developing professional relationships. NeXco is designed with a focus on helping you build lasting relationships that grow your business.

1st & 3rd Tues each Month
8:30 – 10 am
Paul Davis Restoration
44601 Guilford Drive, Ashburn, VA 20147

Savvy Business Network, http://savvybusinessnetwork.com/

Savvy Business Network events are free for attendees to network and enjoy. Events feature fashion shows, speakers, dozens of vendors, food, drink and fun. The Savvy Business Network helps vendors grow their businesses throughout the year. 

Sterling Women, https://sterlingwomen.org/sterling/

Sterling Women provides a networking opportunity for business women and men. Each month, a successful business woman located in Loudoun County speaks about her accomplishments.

First Thursday of each month
11 am- 1:30 pm
Belmont Country Club
19661 Belmont Manor Lane, Ashburn VA  20147