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Personal Branding for Sales – ignore this at your peril

These 3 questions could change your life …  Social Selling Matrix Personal Brand

  1. How many people know WHAT you do?
  2. Do people understand HOW you do your ‘stuff’?
  3. And how many really know and care WHY you do what you do?

To really change our sales and business results dramatically answer these three questions.

It’s down to each of us to take ownership of this, to identify the right people, make contact, educate them, and give them good memories and a reason to care.

This progression is what builds our reputation and personal brand for sales.

This in turn leads to referrals and inbound enquiries and assists with sales conversion.

What people know us for is the heart of our Personal Brand.

Read on to discover more examples and tips on Personal Branding for Sales

Let’s start by taking stock:

  • What do your customers know you for?    – Have you asked them?
  • What will your referral network say about you?     – Have you educated them?
  • When people search for what you do will they find you?      – Do you show up for your keywords?
  • If people search for your name what will they find?      – What shows up against your name?

The challenging part for us all is to distill our skills, experience and value into a short and memorable proposition!

Your personal brand serves as your best protection against business factors you can’t control. – Dan Schawbel – Best-selling Author of ‘Promote Yourself’

Personal Branding for Sales – the foundation for Social Selling Success

What is the most significant investment we can make today?

What has the potential to multiply our income or turnover many times over throughout our future career or business life?

  • Knowledge and skills are good.
  • Who we know is pretty important.
  • Achievements and outcomes rate highly too.

But beyond these, Creating a Brand for ourselves is one of the key differentiators in the professional and business world.

All of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You. – Tom Peters – Business Author & Speaker

What do you want to be remembered for?

Who are the business people who you remember most clearly? Who would you choose as a role model?

Maybe you’ve had personal contact with them. Or perhaps you felt a personal connection with them for what they stood for.

  • maybe they helped you or gave you genuine advice at a critical time for you?
  • perhaps you gained insight and encouragement from something they wrote or said?
  • did they stand for a cause that you felt was something you’d like to support?

Deciding what it is that we want people to remember us for is the root to leave behind as a lasting memory when we meet or encounter people. Choosing what we want to be remembered for really comes down to something about us that is consistent and lasting.

The other important dimension from a sales and business perspective is to be remembered for something that has a value to the other person in a business or professional capacity.

Every career exists on three levels: WHAT you do, HOW you do it and WHY you do it. Very few can clearly articulate WHY they do what they do. By WHY, I mean what’s your purpose, cause or belief? Why did you get out of bed this morning? And why should anyone care? – Simon Sinek – leadership speaker (link to “Start with Why” on his YouTube channel 

Challenges that our Personal Brand will need to stand up to

What we would like to be remembered for needs to be capable of being conveyed in many ways:

  • On a 1:1 basis when we’re in-front of a prospect or on the phone, we at least have the opportunity for a dialogue.
  • With a small group of people, for example at a networking meeting, there may not be much deep dialogue, but we and they have the benefit of body-language.
  • To people we are reaching out to over social media there may not be dialogue or body language, and there may well be a lot of passive observers, now and in future.

The other big challenge, as the volume goes up, is the danger of being drowned out by the noise. Finding an edge through insight and attitude is one way to offset this.

It’s important to build a personal brand because it’s the only thing you’re going to have. Your reputation online matters, which in the new business world is pretty much the game, so you’ve got to be a good person. You can’t hide anything, and more importantly, you’ve got to be out there at some level. – Gary Vaynerchuk – Entrepreneur, Author, Investor

How can we make it easy for people to remember us?

It’s one thing to be remembered by people who we’ve got to know well, and where they will contact usas and when they have a need.

It’s quite another to make the next step, to give people who know us the ability to identify the right people and situations to refer us to.

Our brand will build as we do more with it, as we live and breath it on a daily basis, and re-inforce it through the content we create and the contacts we make.

  • Substance – elements with a longer shelf-life, such as our LinkedIn profile, articles we write, LinkedIn Group Discussions we start, video we appear in, slideshare presentations etc.
  • Soundbites –  the incidental items such as – LinkedIn Status Updates, LinkedIn Articles we Like and Comment on, Tweets and ReTweets,

Through our online activity we can stay front of mind with people who know us. Give them insight and help them in areas that re-inforce our personal brand proposition.

Branding demands commitment; commitment to continual re-invention; striking chords with people to stir their emotions; and commitment to imagination. It is easy to be cynical about such things, much harder to be successful.” – Sir Richard Branson – Entrepreneur (Link to his LinkedIn Pulse channel) 

Where will you create your Personal Brand online?

To be found online we need to have a plan to develop our presence online. There are multiple places that we can use to roll out our Personal Brand when we’ve decided what it is. For example:

  • LinkedIn for Substance – for professionals, especially those with knowledge and experience such as consultants, senior sales leaders and business owners the primary place is on LinkedIn – because of the reach, quality and engagement of an increasing number of business professionals and decision-makers.
  • Twitter for Soundbites – short messages on diverse topics risk diluting our personal branding on LinkedIn, so use Twitter for the community aspect around #hashtags and a broader range of topics and interactions.
  • Google+ for website traffic – functionally rich platform with powerful SEO value (for sign-posting visitors to your website) but doesn’t (yet) have the mainstream business users that LinkedIn has
  • Facebook for Family & Friends – excellent for the personal and consumer market but the wrong tone for professional branding
  • Also consider extending your personal brand presence into Slideshare, YouTube and Google Images as resources allow.

Having a presence on all is useful – however include a sign-post or call-to-action pointing to your primary Social Network and build your Personal Brand for Sales on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is the primary social network within which to develop a Personal Brand for people who serve the business market. Mark Stonham – LinkedIn Trainer & Social Selling Consultant

How will you develop your Personal Brand for Sales?

Having defined, designed, and created our Personal Brand proposition, manifesto or blueprint we now need to develop this over time.

There are many things that we can do to make it easier to be consistent, starting with a master plan, for example:

  • Quarterly – review and update your LinkedIn Summary and Current Role description, adding in new talking points and achievements respectively
  • Monthly – write an article highlighting your perspective on one of the major challenges in one of the markets you serve, and post it into LinkedIn
  • Weekly – schedule time to spend in key LinkedIn Groups and Channels to add comments, start discussions and reach out to ‘qualifying’ individuals
  • Daily – share an on-topic article – from a trusted source, from your website, from LinkedIn Pulse (tip: pre-schedule the week using Hootsuite)

And as you do, take time to learn from people who do this well, such as those connections who are at the Top of your “Most viewed Connections” chart.

People are asking themselves “Is what I’m sharing a consistent extension of who I am professionally? – Jeff Weiner – CEO at LinkedIn
We only get one chance to make a great first impression! Find out how we help people just like you to stand out from the crowd.

 

Wealth Creation – The 8 Ways Successful Entrepreneurs Create Value

Entrepreneurs Institute Logo

The ability to create value is central and fundamental to every successful career and company.

While there are thousands of ways to make money, analysis has identified that, in reality, there are

                “only EIGHT Ways to Create Value!”

The entrepreneur who has brought this Value Creation thinking into the 21st century is Roger James Hamilton.

His outline of the underlying principles and summary of each profile in this video provides real clarity..

I’ll let Roger James Hamilton introduce the Wealth Dynamics framework.

I encourage you to take a few minutes to absorb the insight contained here. It could just be the best 10 minutes you spend this year.

As you watch the video you’ll probably find it helpful to refer to the image below as Roger talks through each profile.

The Wealth Dynamics ‘Square’…

The eight profiles and their inter-relationship have provided me with huge clarity. How to Create Value - Wealth Dynamics Square

 

So what are the EIGHT ways to Create Value?

Wealth Profile LogoThis list may well come as a complete surprise to you. However, you can probably relate readily to the very successful international entrepreneurs in each category (admittedly with an American bias).

This is not some ‘trendy topic’ either, as it has its roots going back 5,000 years into Chinese origins.

It has been brought up to date, and is backed by resources that provide a modern interpretation and guidance. The eight profiles are:

1. The Creator – Builds innovative products

Examples: Steve Jobs (Apple), Walt Disney (Movies), Richard Branson (Virgin)

2. The Star – Builds an influential brand

Examples: Oprah Winfrey (Presenter), Paul Newman (Actor), Bill Clinton (ex President)

3. The Supporter – Builds high performance teams

Examples: Steve Ballmer (Microsoft), Jack Welch (General Electric)

4. The Deal Maker – Brings deals together

Examples: Donald Trump (Property tycoon), Rupert Murdoch (News International)

5. The Trader – Buys and sells commodities

Examples: George Soros (Business magnate)

6. The Accumulator – Buys and holds assets

Examples: Warren Buffet (Investor), Paul Allen (Microsoft)

7. The Lord – Controls cashflow producing assets

Examples: Lakshmi Mital (Steel tycoon), Ingavar Kamprad (IKEA)

8. The Mechanic – Creates an efficient, duplicatable system

Examples: Michael Dell (DELL), Ray Kroc (McDonalds)

Which profile do you think you are the closest match for?

What do Successful Entrepreneurs do?

Successful entrepreneurs focus only what they are good at. They understand which of these 8 areas they are ‘wired’ for and where they have a natural strength. By doing what is natural to them things are easier, work is more enjoyable, and great results follow too.

Crucially, they identify and work with others who are naturally good at different and complementary areas. By helping others to succeed it’s a genuine win:win.

By design or by accident, leaders of successful companies will have identified opportunities where they can create value. They do things that other businesses find difficult or expensive to do.

Discover your easiest path to create value and increase your wealth

To find out which of these profiles you match, click on this link or the image below and take the test today.

Once you do you’ll receive supporting resources, guidance and recommendations about the actions you can take to focus in on your natural abilities.

How to create value - Take your Wealth Profile test Now! NB. This is an Affiliate link so we earn a small commission. Thank-you.

Pimp your LinkedIn Profile – Dress for Success Online

LinkedWin Pimp Your LinkedIn Profile ImageIs your LinkedIn profile working really hard for you?

  • Does your LinkedIn Profile do you justice and clearly present your Value and Expertise?
  • Do people find you, invite you to connect and does your LinkedIn Profile Open Doors for you?
  • Does it make it easy for people to Contact and Connect with you, via LinkedIn or other channels?

Or is your profile an embarrassment, languishing with minimal details, or looking like an out-of-date CV? LinkedIn can be a powerful sales tool for you, especially for lead generation and social prospecting, but you need to look the part.

Who gains from having a Professional Linkedin Profile?

Essentially anyone who is on LinkedIn who does not already have an excellent profile – whether they lead a large company or division, are employed in a sales role, run their own business, or are a fee earning professional.

  • If you are the figurehead of the business then your colleagues and team will benefit from your lead
  • If you want introductions it will make it much easier for people to refer you
  • If you are prospecting for new business it will support those outbound activities
  • If you want inbound inquiries you’ll rank well in the LinkedIn Directory
  • If you are managing major accounts you’ll come across as a business specialist
  • If you are a fee earner you’ll add strength to the team and company on LinkedIn
  • If you’re in career transition it can clarify your focus and direction.

If you head a business or sales team and want to connect LinkedIn with Sales this is an excellent place to start.

The “Pimp your LinkedIn Profile” service from Wurlwind makes it REALLY EASY and QUICK to look smart online.

 Pimp_Your_LinkedIn_Profile_Button1

Dress for Success Online

In the same way that you need to dress appropriately for business meetings, so you need to Dress for Success in LinkedIn.

Just think about the value of an addition customer gained through LinkedIn? How much would that be worth to you and your business?

  • £100?
  • £1,000?
  • £10,000?
  • Maybe even more?

This may be a direct result of a new contact, or indirectly, if one of your prospects checks you out and then agrees to take your call or arrange to meet.

How much do you spend on your company website, while your Personal Profile Page is neglected.

Your Professional LinkedIn Profile starts here

Getting to 100% by following the LinkedIn prompts is just the start.

The Wurlwind Profile Re-write Service goes way beyond that and includes:

  • writing your summary in a way that will engage prospects
  • including triggers that move your prospects from status quo to action
  • updating the 10 points that make your profile look really professional
  • identifying and listing your keywords and including them in the text
  • positioning you at the appropriate level – as a peer to your prospects
  • highlighting your key skills so you get found by prospects within LinkedIn
  • build your credibility by including proof points and social proof too
  • including a call to action, for prospects and for referrals and introductions

Get ahead of your competitors really fast with this ‘LinkedIn Profile Package’.

The ‘Done For You’ Service and Support

This is a personal service that uncovers your hidden strengths and achievements and understands your goals and objectives. Having been a successful salesperson I can relate to, and add value, to a wide range of sales related profiles, from CEO and Sales Director, Business Owner and New Business Sales, to Fee earning and Freelance Consultants.

  • I will personally review your profile against your goals, which I’ll ask you for.
  • I will interview you by phone so I understand your strengths, achievements and ideal prospects.
  • I will prepare and send you a rewritten Headline, Summary, current position Title and Text.
  • I can also update your profile for you, including settings and contact details.

I also offer online and telephone support, to talk you through the activities you should focus on, to meet your objectives quicker.

Service Packages are being updated, so I’ll cover the options and costs when we talk.

Send an email to me, Mark@Wurlwind.co.uk, and let’s get started 

Get Dressed for Success Online – within a week!

LinkedIn Personal Profile – ten steps to optimise yours

LinkedIn Personal Profile Personal BrandIt still surprises me how many people have a very superficial LinkedIn Personal Profile.

The lack of a photograph, sketchy information and a brief one-line work history is unlikely to impress customers, prospects, business partners, or candidates if you’re recruiting.

On the other hand, a couple of hours spent updating your LinkedIn Personal Profile will pay dividends over the weeks, months and years. It will present you much more professionally, make you more findable, and be more engaging. Having a smart profile, and dressing for success online in LinkedIn probably has the most impact on results you achieve. As the saying goes;

You only get one chance to make a first impression!

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Here is a quick run through of the ten steps to move from a minimal profile to a LinkedIn Personal Profile that will pay dividend and support your network building and lead generation activity in LinkedIn.

LinkedIn Personal Profile Checklist

Optimise your profile in these 10 areas so it’s professional, engaging and has social proof.

  1. Photograph
  2. Upload an image that makes you look friendly and approachable. It doesn’t need to be formal and stuffy, but it should project you as professional. You can add logos to it if you wish. A crisp, clear professional photograph is impressive, but a well composed one taken on a decent smartphone will do the job very well.

  3. Headline
  4. This is a really good opportunity to make a strong first impression by highlighting your value to customers and prospects. This is what you leave as your calling card when you comment in discussion groups and like other people’s comments, It’s what shows up in searches as well as when people visit your profile. Highlight your expertise and the customer benefits you deliver. Add your job title and company at the end. Include keywords that you want to be found for. You have about 60 characters so make full use of them.

  5. Summary
  6. This is your opportunity to shine, especially in the first 80-200 characters, for mobile and the new user interface. If you are in a sales role don’t focus on sales achievements. Focus instead on demonstrating your ability to add value to client businesses, along with evidence of business benefits achieved if possible. If you are the business owner provide a mix of personal and company messages, and highlight customer value, along with your ambition for your business and ways others might be able to help you, for example specific introductions you would value. Including some trigger events that typically start conversations between prospects and you will really make you stand out. Add Specialisations at the end as a way to include keywords.

  7. Contact details
  8. It may sound obvious but assuming you want to be contacted by potential customers take a moment to fill out your phone number and address. Make sure it’s your business email address showing and update your LinkedIn profile URL to remove the default numbers. Add your Twitter name, and update the website addresses, choosing the ‘Other’ option so you can update the text descriptions. You could even include a link to your email newsletter subscription page, for example, or your Slideshare or YouTube channel.

  9. Current role
  10. This is very prominent in the new User Interface so maximise the message here. Highlight 3-4 major achievements in your current role, along with the areas you are responsible for, or expertise that you possess. As a sales person or sales director, make it clear that your focus is on delivering customer benefits, not just in achieving your sales targets. As a business owner, paint a picture of your value and uniqueness to clients, as well as your roles and responsibilities for running your company. Avoid the temptation to cut and past the ‘About us’ section from your website here. Include evidence and social proof as well, to increase your credibility. Make sure to include keywords in the copy, and a ‘Specialisations’ section at the end.

  11. Add video and multi-media
  12. You have the opportunity to add visual media at the end of each section of your profile. If you have video or slide presentations they can be easily added here, as can documents that are hosted on the web. For lead generation, consider creating a short – 6-8 slides – on a topic that your prospects are concerned about, which you can help them with. Avoid selling a solution, but outline the main areas and issues that they should be considering. You can also add slides and video from other sources, so you can enhance your credibility on the back of material from trade associations, research companies, supplier, partners and so on.

  13. Review and add skills around keywords
  14. Being at the top of the LinkedIn search for the main fee earning or client solution skills is a great way to generate inbound inquiries. Expanding your skills section to 30, 40 or even 50 skills. Drag the THREE prime skills to the top of the list. Then work them into the body copy and headlines of your profile so you appear higher in the listing when people search for those skills. Done well and you may also appear toward the top of Google and search engine rankings too. Endorsements for skills are well worth giving and receiving.

    Tip: The TOPIC area of LinkedIn is very useful for research. Start with http://www/linkedin.com/topic/sales/ Change the last word for your major skill (use a hyphen if it’s 2 words eg /lead-generation/). Or go via the LinkedIn Topic Directory per letter – starting with A at https://www.linkedin.com/directory/topics-a/.

  15. Join groups where your prospects are
  16. Some people are reluctant to join groups, and others belong to college or former employer groups, and professional and trade groups. Useful though these are, the primary ones to focus on are those where your customers and prospects are more likely to be members.  Sharing news and updates with potential customers is far more worthwhile than reading and commenting on sales and marketing oriented groups, unless you’re looking to partner with them. Update the order of your groups within LinkedIn so the prospect oriented ones appear at the top of your Groups display list.

  17. Give and request testimonials
  18. The social proof value of customer endorsements can be very high. When they are given they are circulated around the contacts of both parties. Giving and receiving 10-20 testimonials will provide social proof that you are a generous giver and also that you have delivered value to clients too. For people in sales roles and business owners the value of testimonials from colleagues is limited. Giving testimonials for colleagues and suppliers is a positive move though.

  19. Grow your network to 500+ contacts.
  20. As a sales person, sales director or business owner there is much to be gained by getting through the 500 contacts level. This indicates that you take LinkedIn seriously, and it gives you a good reach when you share content as Status Updates. If the growth is with customers and prospects rather than colleagues and people who you are very unlikely to do business with your network becomes a very valuable resource for you.

Fast-track your way to an optimised LinkedIn Profile

It can be difficult to recognise our own strengths and find the right words and phrases to put them across. It’s rather too easy to put off the task of creating a professional, engaging and optimised LinkedIn Personal Profile.

We offer a LinkedIn Personal Profile Rewrite Service.

This is tailored to particular roles, such as Consultant, Business Owner, Sales Leader, Business Leader and Management Teams.

We send out a background form, interview you by phone, submit draft text for review and then post the changes live when you’re happy.

Costs start from £295.

If you’re interested in a clearer positioning with an optimized LinkedIn Personal Profile for lead generation and sales then let’s have an introductory chat. Schedule a time to suit you below.

Linkedwin LinkedIn Review Masthead Image

I look forward to talking with you very soon.

Mark.

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