Welcome back, everyone.  Consider this quote.

“A company is no longer made up of anonymous people building one brand; rather, it is made up of many personal brands that are telling your one corporate-brand story in their own personal ways.”  [Mitch Joel from his book “Six Pixels of Separation”]

Personal branding is surely a hot topic like never before, based on lots of changes in the economy and in available technology.  I could have a series of tips solely on that and how LinkedIn plays into that space, but what I want to cover this week is sort of a diversion from the “highly popular” personal brand story but to the “still important” company story you are trying to tell on your profile and your activity on LinkedIn.  I have titled this:

            Five Important Things to Consider When Telling Your Company’s Story Using LinkedIn

1.      Profile Heading, Summary, Specialties, Experience (Jobs) – Be very judicious in making sure that you are consistent in using exact company names (be careful with divisions, departments, etc.), products, processes, and services.  Keep in mind that the more times you use the same words or word combinations, the higher you will end up on the LinkedIn search results. 

2.      Profile Applications:  SlideShare, Box.net files and Google Presentation – These special applications are a great place to use Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and pdf files along with videos to highlight company accomplishments, projects, customer testimonials, awards, history, and products.  My suggestion is to decide as an organization or sales team just which of these documents/files will make the most impact, and then have all team members share those documents on their individual profiles.  You can also reference these documents in the Summary section with something like “See the Google Presentation below to view our full line of products and specialties.”

3.      Profile Websites – Three places to include not only your company website but “hotlinks” to other company topics or actions, which could include product videos, email sign-up sites, surveys, etc.  As mentioned in earlier tips, you can put your own description of the website (26 characters available) so that people are more encouraged to click on.

4.      Status Update – The power users of LinkedIn use this as a consistent marketing
program to share not only company happenings, articles, white papers and expertise but also to ask questions of their network about potential new product and service offerings.  I recommend you lay out a calendar of what you want to share on a day-to-day or at least a week-to-week basis, remembering that you can re-post some of the best information from time to time.  Not everyone reads everything every day and remembers what everyone posts; so don’t hesitate to share again if you found that it resonated the first time you posted.   As long as it is spaced apart significantly and still relevant to the time of year or current situation, post it again. Be sure to use a URL shortener for the article, website, etc., so you can use the majority of the characters available (148) to share your individual thoughts on the post.

5.      Company Profile – This step seems like a “no-brainer,” but you would be surprised how many companies are not represented at all on this part of LinkedIn.  In addition, many of the companies that are represented present their information in a poorly written manner.    Think of this as a free Hoovers, Yellow Pages or other business directory on the Internet.  Take advantage of this part of LinkedIn, and be sure to load it with keywords that you want your company to be found by.

Let me remind you that LinkedIn is mainly a personal branding and networking tool, but if strategically crafted and maintained, you can obtain substantial results for your company as well. 

Wildcard Tip or Question

People often ask me “Who do you respect and follow for LinkedIn advice?” 

I don’t hesitate to share with them the name Neal Schaffer, who wrote the book “Windmill Networking:  Understanding, Leveraging & Maximizing LinkedIn:  An Unofficial, Step-by-Step Guide to Creating & Implementing Your LinkedIn Brand - Social Networking in a Web 2.0 World.”  This guy is just the best at creating interesting, thoughtful, and easy-to-apply ideas and concepts for improving your LinkedIn usage.  His book is written for the “hard core” LinkedIn user.  It has 382 pages; so it is not exactly one of those quick, Packer-game reads.  If you want to get a consistent dose of advanced LinkedIn help, follow his blog as well as his tweets on Twitter.

Windmill Networking Blog: http://windmillnetworking.com/
Neal Schaffer Twitter: http://twitter.com/NealSchaffer

Miscellaneous News and Notes

Some of the other resources I provide are:

•       Customized corporate training classes
•       Keynote and workshop presentations for conventions and association meetings
•       Corporate social media strategy consulting
•       For Sale:  LinkedIn training DVDs for beginners and intermediate users
•       For daily tips, follow me on Twitter at:  http://twitter.com/WayneBreitbarth

Here is my upcoming schedule for teaching/speaking so you can share with friends, relatives and business associates.  Follow link or paste into your browser for additional details and registration information.

Thurs Nov 11, 2011      Wayne's Power Formula Training for Beginners
                                  M&M Office Interiors; 5:00 PM - 7:30 PM

Enjoy your week.

Wayne C. Breitbarth
M&M Office Interiors, Inc.
W233 N2833 Roundy Circle West Suite 100
Pewaukee, WI  53072

office 262-781-2600
cell 414-313-7785