Tag Archives: Linked In

Tricky Signatures

What do you do when you have a slew of social media addresses and want to include at least some of them on your email signature?

A few weeks ago, I received an email from a new client. I noticed his signature included a half dozen (or more) links to his social media sites.

At first, I thought this was great. I felt I had dropped the ball on this great tactic. It’s a simple way to let people know not only that you are connected online, but where they can connect with you, too. And if you are a social media marketer, which he was, it’s a crucial move.

So I went to my settings and loaded up my signature with my links. I was like a kid ripping through the gifts under the tree on Christmas morning. I went a little crazy. I had the standards, my website–I have two (watch where this goes)–then I put down my blog, my LinkedIn, my personal and business Twitter, my Delicious, my Slideshare . . .

It got crazy. If this actually had been Christmas, the floor would have been covered in torn wrapping paper. I would have been sitting cross-legged on the floor, panting and breathless from the frenzy.

I lived with this for a few days, but found myself deleting the addresses whenever I sent emails to friends or to clients who knew me well.

Then I modified it to what I felt were just the essentials. The problem is, as a social media nerd/marketer, they all seem essential to me. I felt bad enough I had left off my Foursquare, Gowalla, Plaxo, Squidoo and Tumblr addresses. Like anyone else, I didn’t care so much about the Friendster, My Space, and there was no way I was going to put down my Facebook address–like everyone else, I have enough strangers trying to friend me as it is.

So then I had an epiphany. What do I really want people to see? You’d think the two websites would be an obvious, but while they are both business, one is really about my career highlights, the other is for business. I realized, also, that who I send those addresses to depends on what context we are doing business. Plus the business website really isn’t ready so . . . I deleted all of my email signatures except for two: the blog and my LinkedIn, which has everything any prospective client or reporter needs to see.

It may be a short-sighted move, but I no longer cringe when I see my signature, feeling like I look like the poster girl for a social media nerd club. I also don’t feel the need to delete it whenever I send emails to friends. What links do you include in your email signatures? It’s worth reviewing, but don’t go crazy like me.

Three Easy Ways to Stay Connected

It can be hard to stay on top of industry trends and news. Social media can help. There are three things you can do that will take less than half an hour of your time today, and will save you a lot of time in the future, as well as give you instant updates on important news items in your industry or field, or news in general.

1) Digg it. Did you know that Digg has an option to receive email alerts of their best and biggest stories? You can set the alert to go to your email daily, or if you don’t want to be deluged, you can have it sent to you weekly.
2) Get even more Linked In. You may already be on Linked In, but are you taking advantage of the many networking groups on the site? They have networks for a wide range of industries and professions, many broken down by regions and even cities. They have networking groups for the unemployed, the self-employed and the part-time employed. They are so many different kinds of groups there is probably one for marketers who sneeze too easily, or doctors who cry at Hallmark ads. Again, you can set up your email to receive alerts when one of your groups has new discussions or topics posted to the board. It can sometimes be an enormous waste of time, particularly when members go into overdrive on self-promotion, but often you’ll find great articles and links to websites that may have valuable, or at least useful, information.
3) Google Alerts. This may seem like a no-brainer, but if you haven’t set up a google alert for the news or information you need the most, you’re missing out. You can set up a Google alert to come to your email on any topic. Boston Terriers, new movie releases, diamonds, celebrity engagements, your favorite brand, your competitor, your company— definitely set up an alert for that one! If it exists, you can set up a Google alert for it. The search engine will notify you when an article or blog post hits their radar.

This is just a short list of easy ways to stay connected without having to search for news that interest you. Send me your favorite ways to stay connected, whether it’s picking up the phone and talking to a colleague, reading the news paper, or a useful website.

Connecting with Linked In

linkedin-logo1The professional networking site Linked In is making headlines during the recession as a company that is exploding like gangbusters as job seekers sign up in droves. It’s much more than just a well-connected job board, though. You can find new business partners, vendors, seek advice from experts in areas you are not that familiar with, and most importantly, create an online network of people you know and have worked with throughout your career. You can also join online groups where topics in your field are discussed.

Linked In is like a personal branding tool—for free. It can increase your visibility and can  help establish you as an expert in your field. The site allows clients or colleagues to publicly recommend you for your work.  Here are some basics of Linked In that will help you get the most out of this useful site:

Make your profile count: if it is not interesting or compelling, why bother? Many people simply post their resume. With Linked In, you can go further than that, expanding on different parts of your resume, showing results, adding presentations through some nifty add-ons, and linking to your other websites. It’s a turbo charged CV online. Look at what some of your more successful contacts have written for inspiration on how to make your own profile sing.

Be an active participant in your network: answer questions or post them, link to relevant articles and websites. Give a little, get a lot . . . of respect. Behave professionally and it may lead to new, important connections or opportunities.

Seek approval: Ask your contacts to recommend you. Build up an arsenal of online testimonials and then copy them to your website’s testimonial page as well.

Something to Link About: Link to your websites, blogs, any place where your work can be found or other social media sites where you have a profile.

Keep Your Contacts Updated: Tell your contacts what interesting book you are reading (especially if it is industry or field related), or let them know what kind of project you are working on. Just remember, keep it professional. Linked In is not the site where you give updates such as, “Bored. Wanna go home.” In fact, in this hyper-connected world, no site is good for that.

Search for That Special Someone. Linked In is a great vehicle for finding contacts in companies where you want to get your foot in the door. You can search companies for names of individuals you may know, or someone in your network may know. Never be afraid to ask your connections for a referral. It’s the Internet. They can’t kill you, they can only say no.

Learn About the Competition: connect with them and see what kind of updates they give on projects they are working on, or join network groups that they belong to and see what kind of questions they ask or response that they give.

Linked In is one site where it really does pay to be well-connected. It puts the six degrees of separation theory to the test, and often, when done diligently, can pay off.