Achieving LinkedIn Influencer Status

I previously wrote about recognizing influencers in order to increase your business’ reputation. The other side of the coin is how to achieve LinkedIn influencer status yourself so that you can positively influence other businesses. One thing that you should keep in mind is that there is influencer status and then there is influencer status on LinkedIn. The two are not the same thing.

What do you need to do to gain influencer status on LinkedIn?

Of course, in order to go through the process of gaining influencer status, you need to start with content, just like you always do. Not only do you need to create content but you need to create fresh, compelling, engaging content on a consistent basis. The more top-quality content you produce, the higher your status as a LinkedIn influencer will go. It will also help you to boost your professional reputation in general, which is one of the main things that you are after. As is always the case, you will want to stay away from doing a “hard sell” on anyone. You will succeed at selling your products and/or services by building your reputation, credibility, trust, and by positioning yourself as a subject matter expert. Of course, remember that the writing of your content not only needs to be top quality but it also needs to be interesting. You need to connect with your reader on a human/emotional level and the story that you tell with each and every piece of content needs to resonate with your reader.

Getting started

The content that you share with other people should be a combination of curated and original content. If you aren’t sure about the virtues of curated content, the only thing that you need to know at this point is that curated content is beneficial because it widens your perspective and adds value to the postings that you share with other people. Of course, your original content is just as important (if not important) for your business. There are people who feel that clear, concise, short content postings are the way to go. However, there is a lot of merit in posting longer articles as well. One of the positives of a longer post is that you are able to provide details that you just cannot supply if you have a strict word limitation. A longer post will allow you to connect with your reader in a different way than a shorter one. Of course, the issue with a longer post is that the reader has to stick with you for a longer time and you have to hold that person’s attention for a longer time. That is not always easy, of course. However, if your post is really well written and captivates the reader, you should have no problem holding his or her attention. All you need to do is wow the reader with your knowledge and expertise. You can accomplish that in your sleep!

The next step

Once you have written your extraordinary post, that content will establish a connection with your reader. That is the first way to successfully connect with your reader. However, you shouldn’t think that you are home free when it comes to your influencer status. That is only the first step. The second part of your journey is your ability to successfully engage your target audience members. The way to accomplish this is by interacting with your reader. You can leave an interesting comment or a thought-provoking question. You can be confident that other people will respond to you. People love to offer their opinions and if you make them understand that what they think matters to you, you will have them hooked. The more you interact with other people, the stronger your relationship will become with those people. It is important that you take a long, hard look at your content and make sure that the content is appropriate for as broad an audience as possible. Always ensure that your content is appropriate for anyone who might read it and also make sure that you captivate those people who are reading what you are sharing and coming back for more.

Gather followers

Quality versus quantity is a very important concept here. You want to have a relatively wide sphere of influence; however, you need to make sure that those people who you allow into your social circle(s) are connected to you for the right reasons. LinkedIn lets you connect with other people and it lets other people connect with you. That is a part of your journey to becoming a LinkedIn influencer. You can have interactions with other people on topics of your choosing and of theirs. It is very important for you to get a good sense of what other people want to read about and discuss. Your content will be driven by the results of those discussions. It is a great idea to search for other influencers to see how they do things and what makes them influencers. You can learn a great deal from them and you should take whatever makes sense as it applies to your business.

Continue to write

Remember that you need to continually post new content. Once you have established a connection with the other person, they will look forward to reading more and more from you. It is very important that you use a consistent voice in your writing (original writing) and that you do the same with the commentary that you add to curated content. It is not a good idea to simply share curated content without adding your own spin to it. Your contribution to the curated content is the reason that people visit your website. Otherwise, they would just read the article on the author’s website without any involvement from you. Always strive to do as good a job with your content as you possibly can. It will elevate your status on your journey to becoming a LinkedIn influencer and you may even make it to LinkedIn Pulse, which will elevate you even further.

Conclusion

Being a LinkedIn influencer is a wonderful thing for your career. Other business owners are constantly trying to connect with influencers because it helps their business. In turn, being an influencer will help your business and the businesses of other people. Although it requires a lot of effort to become an influencer, it will be well worth it because it will elevate your professional status in so many ways. However, one thing that you need to keep in mind is that although you must accomplish a great deal to reach influencer status, you still need to be invited to hold that position. It is a prestigious position to be in.

Michael Cohn is the founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of CompuKol Communications. He has over 25 years of experience in IT and web technologies. Mr. Cohn spent a significant amount of time at a major telecommunications company, where his main focus was on initiating and leading synergy efforts across all business units by dramatically improving efficiency, online collaboration, and the company’s Intranet capabilities, which accelerated gains in business productivity. He also reduced company travel and travel costs by introducing and implementing various collaboration technologies.

His expertise includes business analysis; project management; management of global cross-matrix teams; systems engineering and analysis, architecture, prototyping and integration; technology evaluation and assessment; systems development; performance evaluation; and management of off-shore development.

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Cultivating a Following Fanbase on Facebook

There are those people who believe that Facebook is an amazing social media tool and those who just don’t understand its merits at all. Well, Facebook does have a lot of extremely useful features that can really help you to bring your business to the next level.

Things have changed over time
Earlier on in Facebook’s evolution, it was really no big deal to grow your following. At the time, the competition was not so stiff. However, things are different nowadays. At this point, there is a great deal of competition and if you don’t present your ideas in a way that really wows your prospective and existing clients, they won’t stick with you. They will go to someone else to get their content fix. You need to tell yourself that it is not an option to let that happen.

The reality is that you don’t just want to have a following with a large number of people in it. You want to have an amazing following and you want those people to share your vision and your passion about what you are trying to accomplish (and will succeed at accomplishing). Don’t worry. It is certainly not impossible to make that happen. It is just a matter of going about it in the right way.

It is very important for you to grasp how important a strong Facebook following is for your business. If you understand that, you will make every effort to give it your all. You can trust that the results will pay off for you and for your business. There are certain steps (in a certain order) that you should follow in order to grow your following. You will want to build it into your online marketing strategy and keep it there.

Identify your target audience: It is critical that you address the appropriate audience for your particular business. Your target audience serves many different purposes, including using them as a source of information when it comes to giving them what they want and need. You should allow WIIFM (What’s In It For Me?) to drive you. In other words, no matter how much you have to contribute as a business owner (or a business person), it won’t mean anything if you are not able to solve the other person’s problems. That also means that you are able to connect with the other person on an emotional/human level.

Speak in a language that the other person understands: After you have identified exactly who your target audience members are, you need to begin the process of getting into their heads in a more profound way. In other words, you will need to get into their heads and learn how to think the way that they think and communicate the way that they communicate. If you can manage to accomplish that, if you can really manage to speak their language, you will find that they will start to trust you and to become loyal to your brand quite easily.

Decide how you want to engage with other people: There are so many different ways in which you can engage with other people. You can have a combination of in-person and online engagements, which may work very well for you. Only you can decide what works most effectively for your particular business.

Remember that you are in it for the long haul: Relationships are at the heart of your success when it comes to Facebook as well as all of the other social media channels. It is probably obvious that you can’t build a following without the people. That inherently means that you need to have a human connection between you. It is important to keep the journey in mind, not just the prize. That means that you are investing in relationships that will stand the test of time and that will be mutually beneficial.

Work on the relationships: When it comes to relationships, you don’t want to overwhelm the other person or demand too much of his or her time. On the other hand, you want to make sure that whatever you communicate is relevant and valuable to the other person every time. After all, you are growing the relationship, not allowing it to stagnate and die. You worked hard to make it work in the beginning so it would not make any sense to let it go at this point.

Make sure that your interactions and postings are consistent: You need to be committed to posting and engaging with other people on a very regular basis. That is very important for your relationships because other people will come to expect (and look forward to) your consistency. That is a very important building block of the relationship. It will not require a great deal of effort to maintain a schedule once you get used to it and the payoff is much greater than the effort that you will have to expand.

Pay close attention to the results: Once you have done all of that work, it would be a real shame to just leave it alone. You will want to monitor whether your efforts are paying off or not. You can use an analytics tool, which will make it pretty easy for you. That will allow you to identify trends and patterns and it will let you see which of your efforts are paying off and which ones are not. If something isn’t working, you may want to consider abandoning it and trying something different.

Conclusion
The various social media channels are all extremely valuable for your business in their own way. Facebook can really be beneficial for your business but it is very important to keep in mind that you will not be able to accomplish anything with Facebook if you are not able to interact with other people. The following is critical to your success. Remember that the people who follow you are human beings and that means that you need to connect with them as such. If you make it a mix of personal and professional, with whatever percentages work for your business, it will probably turn out well. Whether you are just beginning to work with social media or you have acquired a lot of experience, your following on Facebook is a huge contributor to your success.

Michael Cohn is the founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of CompuKol Communications. He has over 25 years of experience in IT and web technologies. Mr. Cohn spent a significant amount of time at a major telecommunications company, where his main focus was on initiating and leading synergy efforts across all business units by dramatically improving efficiency, online collaboration, and the company’s Intranet capabilities, which accelerated gains in business productivity. He also reduced company travel and travel costs by introducing and implementing various collaboration technologies.

His expertise includes business analysis; project management; management of global cross-matrix teams; systems engineering and analysis, architecture, prototyping and integration; technology evaluation and assessment; systems development; performance evaluation; and management of off-shore development.

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Solidifying Your Online Relationships Effectively

If you own a business (or even if you work for someone else), the foundation of your success (and this applies to everyone around the world) is solid relationships with the people who you eventually want to buy what you are selling. If you have a relationship with someone with whom you spend in-person time, it is often easier than if you have an online relationship with that person.

The necessity to build solid online relationships
When it comes to your social media circles, you probably have hundreds (or even thousands) of online connections among the various social media channels of which you belong. People ask to connect with you and you ask to connect with other people. Before you know it, you have built up a significant list of connections. The question is whether you are truly connected to those people and exactly what your connection with them is.

There is no doubt that having a strong and prominent online presence will be very good for you professionally. If you have that, other people will start to pay attention to your brand and your offerings. They will start to notice what you stand for and they will want to connect with you and interact with you if what you believe and what you write resonate with them. In many cases, those online connections are not local to you (geographically speaking). If you want to get to know those people, the only way to do it is online. The truth is that having a relationship with someone online is very different from having an in-person relationship with a person. In many respects, online takes a lot more effort.

How to begin
If you are in a situation where your only option is an online relationship, you may not know where to start. Well, first of all, you need to start interacting in some way. A great way to get the ball rolling is by sharing valuable, well-written, helpful content with the other person. You may not have a clear understanding from the start about the issues that the other person is experiencing. If that is the case, it will most likely be revealed shortly. That is definitely the approach that you will want to take in your online relationship with that person.

You should be driven by the concept of “WIIFM?” (What’s In It For Me?) In other words, no matter how wonderful, knowledgeable, and effective you and your business are, if you are not able to solve the other person’s problems, don’t even bother to attempt to build a relationship with the other person. The good news is that you can probably accomplish that and the other person will never forget what you did for him or her. That is exactly how a solid, meaningful relationship begins. If you happen to be close to each other geographically, you may have a relationship that is a mix of online and in-person. However, if not, don’t worry about it. You can still have a meaningful relationship that will endure and that is mutually beneficial.

The chances are really good that once you have posted relevant, meaningful content, the other person will react to that content in some way. If you post an article, the person may wish to share some thoughts.

Another way to jump start the interaction is by posing a thought-provoking question. That is an excellent way to get other people to respond. It can lead to an animated, extremely stimulating discussion and it may also be a wonderful source for ideas for future postings. That should be a part of your overall strategy.

Quality over quantity
Let’s discuss LinkedIn as an example. Maybe you have 500 connections on LinkedIn. If you sustain that number but you actually only have a relationship with 10% of that number, what good does the 90% do for you or for your business? You are better off having a relationship with a number of people that is closer to reality. If you are connected to 50 people and you interact with all 50 people regularly (or even semi-regularly), that is saying a great deal. You are doing well in that case. Of course, that number is only an example. You should connect with a comfortable number of people. After all, you want to retain that number. Some of those relationships may be in-person and some may be online. As long as you put in the effort to continue the relationship in each case, it doesn’t matter how you interact with those people.

Conclusion
Your online relationships are just as important as your in-person relationships. They require the same amount of time and effort and you will get back just as much as you put in. Online relationships will drive a lot of your business and you will begin to see that there is no obstacle in the way just because you don’t see the person face to face. As long as you are genuine, sincere, and you connect with the other person on an emotional level, you will enjoy a successful relationship together. Also, if your strategy is solid and relevant, you will succeed with all of the relationships that you choose to develop.

Michael Cohn is the founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of CompuKol Communications. He has over 25 years of experience in IT and web technologies. Mr. Cohn spent a significant amount of time at a major telecommunications company, where his main focus was on initiating and leading synergy efforts across all business units by dramatically improving efficiency, online collaboration, and the company’s Intranet capabilities, which accelerated gains in business productivity. He also reduced company travel and travel costs by introducing and implementing various collaboration technologies.

His expertise includes business analysis; project management; management of global cross-matrix teams; systems engineering and analysis, architecture, prototyping and integration; technology evaluation and assessment; systems development; performance evaluation; and management of off-shore development.

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Innovative Trend-Setting Marketing Concepts

Did you ever wonder where the trend setters get their ideas for what’s at the top of the leading trends for event planning, scheduling, or entertainment for corporate team building events?

Social networking using innovative trend-setting marketing concepts brings solid brand recognition to the right market.

In a recent conversation with an event planner, I noticed that he wasn’t really aware of the hottest new trends in entertainment and suggested he review some of the more popular current trend-setters. His response was curiosity, wondering what those might be. He truly had no clue who determined trends in entertainment for the corporate community. And because he lacked that information, his events weren’t happening as fast, or as profitably as he would have liked.

The point is, when executive planners, or corporations make decisions about entertainment for events, they tend to follow “trends” set by the Fortune 500. If companies can afford to hire a band – at least a cover band – the chances are pretty good that they are NOT a Fortune 500, but rather a smaller company that follows the trends set by Fortune 500 companies. Those trend setters get their information about who’s popular, what’s trending, and why they should hire a cover band, or a band, from informative discussions in news magazines such as Forbes Magazine.

Big companies, meaning boys that cap out wall street, earn the biggest dollars in business, and celebrate their team players with high-dollar bands and well-known entertainers share their success with journalists who write for magazines like Forbes. Do you read Forbes? How about Curator or the Editorialist? Prestige?

Perhaps you’ve found another magazine that your top-earners read regularly?

Social networking with trend-setters in any market is a key to building recognizable brand identity for your business.

Corporate community building events set trends. If you want to be part of those trend setting moments, you’ll want to know how to captivate the moment at YOUR event with cutting-edge entertainment, top-notch motivational speakers, and high-end cover bands.

If your event includes write-ups by leading journalists in flagship magazines, you’ll earn a name for setting trends, being part of the trend-setting elite, and gain the benefit of a recognizable brand in jet-setter corporate events. You want your company name to be the one dropped at every private club across the continent, and you’d better be mentioned somewhere in the pages of the best luxury lifestyle magazines in the world.

Innovative trend-setting marketing concepts will explode your profit-making ability in the right social network.

If you want the world to roll out the red carpet for your business, you must learn the process, join the trend setters, and be part of the recognized names in the luxury industry. It’s all about marketing to the right people and being known in the right circles.

If you’re looking for the right marketing network, trying to locate the market that is hungry for what you offer, and desperate to increase your income using key marketing principles and brand relevance, you’ve come to the right place. Jan Verhoeff offers insight and innovative brand recognition and marketing strategies to put your business in the right spot for profit.

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Hidden Gems in LinkedIn

LinkedIn is an amazing social media channel for professionals. You are probably well aware of that; however, what you may not be aware of is how much LinkedIn actually has to offer. It offers some features that are not so well-known but if you start to use them, you will not understand how you ever did without them in the past.

For the benefit of the user
It is not uncommon for business people to use LinkedIn in the most basic manner. That may be because they feel that they get what they need from those features and everything is fine or it might be because they are not aware of how much LinkedIn actually has to offer and how much it can benefit their businesses. Now is the time to delve more deeply into LinkedIn’s features, common and less common so that you can bring your business to the next level.

However, it is important for you to understand that those LinkedIn features are not apparent when you go to LinkedIn. You will need to work to find them.

The recommendations and endorsements feature: When it comes to your professional relationships through social media, recommendations through LinkedIn are an essential contributing factor to your professional success. The same thing applies to endorsements. If a person is trying to find information on what you happen to offer, a great way for that person to determine if you are the person with whom he or she should interact, recommendations and endorsements will elevate you to the top of the search engine page.

The reason for that is probably obvious. It gives you and your business credibility and it makes the other person feel that he or she can trust that you know what you are doing because you are positioned as a subject matter expert. The truth is that it is generally pretty simple for you to obtain endorsements and recommendations. Of course, that is, assuming that you have a strong enough connection with the other person that he or she is willing to give you an endorsement or a recommendation. Of course, you have the control, once the recommendation or the endorsement has been written, to display it or to hide it (and to use it when you feel it will have the greatest impact. If you wish to hide an endorsement or a recommendation, go to profile (at the top of your screen) and select “edit profile.”

Once you have done that, you will see “Skills and Endorsement and it will allow you to make changes to your profile. At that point, you should select “manage endorsements.” At that point, you can eliminate what the skill(s) that you don’t want to show. However, it is important for you to realize that your recommendations create a very important perception in the eyes of the other person. You want him or her to view you as knowledgeable and you want that person to come to you before anyone else when he or she needs what you are offering.

Contact information tab: In this tab, your online connection can enter his or her contact information. That is a beautiful thing when you want to synchronize your contact list on your smartphone with your contact list on your computer or other devices. Everything will be pulled into the right places. How convenient is that? In some cases, you will even receive an alert about certain pieces of information, such as birthdays, anniversaries, etc. With this tab, the chances of your losing the connection with the other person is slim to none. Indeed, you are probably well aware of how important those connections are.

A personalized portfolio: The whole idea of using social media is that it gives you a way to stand out against your competition and it allows you to let numerous people know why they should build relationships with you. One of the effective ways to do that is by displaying a sample of your work on your LinkedIn profile.

If you happen to have a large number of portfolio items, you may want to choose the one that you consider the best. A portfolio should feature the best of your creative talents. Too much may not necessarily be a good thing. There are a few ways to show off what you can do. One is by adding still images. Another is by creating a video or a slide show in which you show off what you can do.

The feature to show how you are connected to your LinkedIn connections: This tool, which is on your profile page, will allow you to connect with other people who are second-tier (or beyond) connections to you. This is a great way to get to know those people and to begin interacting with them. This feature lets you see your connections’ connections.

In addition to communicating how you are connected to your first-tier connections, it also allows you to see how other people are connected to their first-tier connections. After that, you can go about acquiring introductions to the people with whom you would like to interact.

Conclusion
LinkedIn is a fabulous social media tool that has tremendous capabilities and it is up to you to leverage whatever you feel is effective and appropriate for your particular business. It will be worth your while to study all that LinkedIn has to offer and then you will be in a position to pick and choose what you think will work best for your business.

Michael Cohn is the founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of CompuKol Communications. He has over 25 years of experience in IT and web technologies. Mr. Cohn spent a significant amount of time at a major telecommunications company, where his main focus was on initiating and leading synergy efforts across all business units by dramatically improving efficiency, online collaboration, and the company’s Intranet capabilities, which accelerated gains in business productivity. He also reduced company travel and travel costs by introducing and implementing various collaboration technologies.

His expertise includes business analysis; project management; management of global cross-matrix teams; systems engineering and analysis, architecture, prototyping and integration; technology evaluation and assessment; systems development; performance evaluation; and management of off-shore development.

Mr. Cohn earned a Master’s degree in project management from George Washington University in Washington, DC; and a Master’s degree in computer science and a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, NJ.

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