FREE LinkedIn Masterclass for pre-start and new businesses

We’re delighted to let you know that Bell Branding will present a FREE class on LinkedIn How To’s on Tuesday 29th July in York, hosted by Business Support York and North Yorkshire.

Places are very limited, so if you’d like to book on please call the number on the poster below!

Bell Branding hosts LinkedIn masterclass-page-001

If you are unable to make this event but would be interested in learning more about how LinkedIn and social media can boost your sales and reputation, please do give us a call on 01904 593 124 or email info@bellbranding.com for details on how we can help.

Get connected

We’ve had a brief look at how social media can boost your business, whether you have 1 or one thousand employees. But what about the individual staff members? A brand is only as good as its people – and making sure your messaging extends to their business profiles is a wise idea.

This isn’t Orwellian. We’re not saying that you should control their Facebook profiles or have their Twitter passwords. What we’re talking about is the key business network across the world: LinkedIn.


What is LinkedIn?

You may have been under a rock somewhere in the Amazon forest, so we’ll briefly explain. Most commonly known as ‘Facebook for business’, users have a profile, are able to connect with others and post status updates.


Invest in headshots

People are far more likely to connect and engage with people if they have a professional photo in their profile. This is not the place for that holiday shot or grainy webcam photograph. Invest in your team members and their engagement on the social network will reflect well on your company. A smart, well-lit headshot in office attire puts out a professional image and shows that your staff take your business as seriously as you do.

Standard profiles

Ensure each key member of staff has a standard summary in their profile. Allow their personality to show through later on – the summary is the first thing people see and you want it to be connected to your business. Create a standard blurb about your business, including ethos, vision and goals. This only needs to be a few lines long.

Get involved

Identify key groups across LinkedIn which are relevant to your business as a whole, or to specific teams. Encourage your staff to join these groups, and engage in them. Start discussions on forums – and answer other people’s questions, too. Remember, providing value is one of the fastest ways to build trust.

Post statuses

The relatively new function of posting a status has brought LinkedIn closer to Facebook’s social element, and is a nifty function for promoting your latest blog or news. Encourage members of your team to post links under a public setting to achieve a wide reach, and this will make a difference to your web traffic.

Have a company profile

Set up a company profile, and have all your staff connect to the page. This profile is a great tool to tell LinkedIn users more about your business, spread your latest blogs, and share industry insights.

Online and offline work in harmony

When you have established good online relationships with key industry players, move the social aspect into the real world. Talking through forum posts and email is all well and good – but nothing beats meeting someone and connecting on a real level.

This also works in the reverse: when you have met people at events, business networking meetings or at your auntie’s wedding, connect on LinkedIn. Try not to leave it too long between meeting and connecting, and keep the conversation going by sending a short message with your invitation.


If you need a hand writing a blurb for your LinkedIn profiles, or setting up a company page, we can help. Follow us on our company page, or connect with our Founder, Imogen Bell, for a solid example of what we can do to help.

People don’t trust your brand: they trust people (Plus: win free stuff!)

 

Trust No One - Artwork by Sebastien Millon

Trust No One by Sebastien Millon – follow @sebreg on Twitter

Brand trust is a strange phrase. How can you have trust in something that is inanimate, a concept with vague applications? Well, that’s the point – you can’t. You can only trust the people who tell you that a brand delivers a good service, or product.

While you might think that you’re best placed to create this trust – and tell everyone how amazing your brand is – you’d be pretty wrong. People don’t trust things, they trust people. More significantly, they trust the people they know.

Customer recommendation is probably your number one tool to build an excellent brand reputation. Word of mouth is a huge factor in creating a strong, recognisable brand, with 92% of people trusting personal recommendation over any other form of advertising. But how can this be done?

Build a community, not an audience

The role of social media is in the name – it shouldn’t be your sole marketing channel, because people don’t use it to be sold at. They use it to communicate with others – so rather than selling to potential leads, by telling them what you offer, it works far better to talk with them and ask what they want to see.

Unlike traditional marketing channels, social media is not a broadcast tool. It is an engagement tool. It gets people talking to you and, more importantly, about you. Use the metrics about online chatter to discover who your real audience are, what they are happy with – and what they would change about your service or product.

A little word about LinkedIn

If you offer B2B services and don’t have an up-to-date company profile on LinkedIn, you are missing out a massive opportunity. Just as consumers like to read reviews on Amazon before purchasing a product, potential clients will likely be looking at your company and key players to see how highly you come recommended.

Ensuring your personal profile is highly visible, with select recommendations in a prominent place, is a good place to start. Ask for recommendations from a variety of previous clients – and be sure to reciprocate. Making the link between yourself and your company page is another useful way to build traffic, both for yourself and your company.

Get out in the real world

All this online marketing is fab, it really is. But nothing beats putting a handshake to a name – so get out there and introduce yourself. People are more memorable than brands – so your people should be your brand. Get yourself and your team out to meetings, business breakfasts, events, anything that will enable them to meet people face-to-face.

There are some great networks around, depending on where you are in the country. Some are national, while others are local. If you’re a small, locally operating business, don’t be scared of the national networks, though – if your service is unique enough, people are likely to want it regardless of location. Remember: nothing comes of nothing. Take the leap and get talking to anyone and everyone!

Free stuff!

Everybody loves free stuff. We don’t just mean physical products – although if your budget allows for it, these can go a long way to building word-of-mouth recommendations.

Free stuff can also mean free content. Give away enough to demonstrate that you know what you’re on about, and people will begin to share with others. Ways to do this include blogs, whitepapers, guest articles, print articles, infographics – the list goes on. If people think they are getting something for free, and it has your branding stamped all across it (both literally and in tone, message and style), you will become memorable.

Speaking of free stuff, Bell Branding are offering a competition to provide £500 worth of free services! All you need to do is send us an email to info@bellbranding.com with the subject title “Yes please” and include your company contact details. A random draw will be made from the viable entries on 31st July 2014 – so get entering!

 

The small print: any data collected from the Bell Branding competition will not be sold or shared to any third party. By entering the competition you agree for your details to be held on file solely for Bell Branding’s use. The Company will not abuse the access to this information but may contact you at a later date with news updates. If you would prefer that your information was deleted after the competition draw, please include “Delete me” in the body of your email. A ‘viable entry’ is one which includes all company contact details from an organisation based in the U.K. The prize is worth up to £500 and must be taken in full either as a full project or discount against a larger project.