6 Ways LinkedIn Long-form Posts Will Make You A Thought Leader

“…you don’t have to be anointed as an influencer to build online influence.”                     Stephanie Sammons, socialmedia examiner.com

When you share valuable insights and information via Linked long-form posts, good things begin to happen for you and your business. Here’s why:

  1. Long-form posts enhance your online credibility. When Long-Form posts are well done, they will build your online credibility and help develop your personal brand. When people read your words they are hearing directly from you. Prospects begin to feel they personally know you — and they begin to trust you. When they need your type of service, your name will be first on their list of trusted experts.
  2. Long-form posts are searchable. With LinkedIn long-form posts you have a great opportunity to reach a tremendous number of new potential clients. Long-form LinkedIn posts are searchable within LinkedIn and outside of LinkedIn.
  3. Long-form posts are automatically shared. Long-form posts are automatically shared with your LinkedIn connections. Prospects will begin to look forward to the insights and information that you share. They will find themselves quoting to others from the information they gain from your postings. You will become their source for information.
  4. Long-form posts look great on your LinkedIn profile. Your LinkedIn posts will become an important part of your professional profile. They will be easy to find on your LinkedIn page, displayed up top in your “Posts” section. Readers will immediately see you as a thinker and communicator.
  5. Non-network Linked members can follow your long-form posts. People can follow your posts even if they are not part of your network. Followers will receive updates when you publish new posts. You will gain devoted followers who will help expand your potential client base.
  6. You may receive unexpected, additional LinkedIn distribution of your long-form post. Your post may be suggested to other LinkedIn members, as determined by a LinkedIn algorithm.

Today, Linked in long-posts are critical when you want to become the “go to” expert in your field. Don’t be a stealth expert … be a thought leader! Begin to build your online influence today with LinkedIn long-form posts.
Too busy to write great content for LinkedIn? We can help. Laura Elton, Owner Laura Elton Marketing & Web Design laura@lauraeltonwebdesign.com 862-432-2107

 

Posted in Branding, Keys To Strong Web Content, LinkedIn, Strong content and creativity | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Marketing content, trendspotting and humor made simple.

 

“Content is king.” – Bill Gates, 1996

“Content isn’t King, it’s the Kingdom.” – Lee Odden, 2012

“Nobody goes there anymore. It’s too crowded.” – Yogi Berra

Sometimes it’s easy to report a trend. Other times not so much.

 

Posted in Keys To Strong Web Content, LinkedIn, Strong content and creativity | Leave a comment

Will Your New Prospect Think You’re A Thought Leader?

– Originally published Nov. 10, 2015 on LinkedIn

Does this sound familiar?
•You meet a prospective client at a networking event or other encounter.
•You exchange brief hellos and business cards.
•There is an interruption and you don’t have time to make a lasting impression.

Now what?

Have you ever thought about the actions a prospective client goes through once they get back to their office?

Chances are they will take out their newly-acquired business cards to add to their own contact lists. They most likely will also scan your LinkedIn page and website.

This is when your internet presence is vitally important. It will speak for you, and help someone decide if you are someone they will want to stay in touch with — or not.

In this situation, the content you offer on both your LinkedIn page and website is critical. It needs to speak for you in an articulate and interesting manner.

LinkedIn is great for positioning you as a thought leader in your industry; your website is excellent for providing easy-to-find and important information about your business and products. One does not supersede the need for the other.

LinkedIn and websites serve different functions in part because they are read differently. Posts on LinkedIn are made to be digested more slowly. Websites need to grab attention in less than seven seconds.

Our company has always emphasized the need for great content in websites. We continue to provide smart and effective websites for our clients.

But today we want to address an important benefit of LinkedIn — the Long-Form Post.

Wouldn’t it be great if your business prospect checked out your LinkedIn page and immediately found a series of your insightful business posts? (And we’re not talking about links to articles by other experts — but articles authored by you.)

LinkedIn now allows members to publish long posts which will position you as a thought leader in your business arena. Your postings are gathered in a “Post” section that sits at the top of your LinkedIn profile. When someone visits your page, a list of your postings are immediately and attractively displayed.

When published, these postings are also immediately shared with your connections and followers. Other non-network members can find and follow your posts as well. The post is searchable on and off of LinkedIn. It is available to both free and premium accounts

This is how Laura Elton Marketing & Web Design (LEMWD) will help you.

We now offer our two-pronged “LEMWD Thought Leader” program. It will help you become the go-to expert for your prospects.

1. LinkedIn Long-Form Post Writing and Publishing.

Every week we will write and publish on your LinkedIn page, a thoughtful, substantial post on a topic of your choice, 350-450 words in length. The post will provide information and insights relating to your business.

Some clients like to give us a topic and want us to run with it. Others have precise information or opinions that they want presented. Of course, final approval is yours, so nothing will ever appear in your posting that you don’t agree with or want published.

We will supply an attractive and appropriate image. These postings will reach all of your current LinkedIn contacts and attract new LinkedIn followers.

If your Twitter account is attached to your LinkedIn account, we will publish it on Twitter at the same time.

 2. Constant Contact Mailing.

We will email your same article to your personal list of contacts via your new Constant Contact eNewsletter.

We will set up your Constant Contact account (if you do not already have one) and develop a great looking email template that coordinates with your business logo and colors. (The contacts will be supplied by you and be used only for your own personal mailings.) Since these mailings are informative and not advertising, they are generally well received and even looked forward to, by your recipients. (Of course, your contacts will always have the option to opt out of all mailings.)

Who Will Be Helped By This Program?

This program is for the businessperson who wants to develop and expand their prospect outreach, but does not like to write posts, or simply is too busy to do so. The benefits of becoming a thought leader via a consistent outreach program are great and easy to achieve.

If you would like more information about our LEMWD Thought Leader program contact us today at laura@lauraeltonwebdesign.com or by phone at 862-432-2107.

Posted in Strong content and creativity | Leave a comment

How To Go From Stealth Expert To Thought Leader

Are you a thought leader in your field?

Or are you a stealth expert?

According to Forbes.com a thought leader is:

… an individual or firm that prospects, clients, referral sources, intermediaries and even competitors recognize as one of the foremost authorities in selected areas of specialization, resulting in its being the go-to individual or organization for said expertise.

A thought leader is an individual or firm that significantly profits from being recognized as such.

On the other hand, a stealth expert is someone who is very good at remaining hidden. (Unless you are playing a popular video game, you probably don’t want to be one.)

You work hard at networking, and have many business associates and contacts online. But do they know the depth of your business knowledge? Are you giving them a strong reason to bring their business to you? Or are you taking a back seat and clearing the path for your business competition?

The more often people read your thoughts and views, the more they will trust and respect your business knowledge; business contacts will begin to think of you as the “go to” expert in your field. And it will be your name that immediately comes to mind when they want or need your type of service or product.

If you are ready to become a thought leader, and say good bye to your role as stealth expert, we can help you achieve your new and exciting status.

Laura Elton Marketing & Web Design (LEMWD) will partner with you to make sure that your potential clients discover your business expertise. Here’s how our two-pronged “LEMWD Thought Leader” program works:

LinkedIn Post Writing and Publishing: Every week we will write and publish on your LinkedIn page, a thoughtful, substantial post on a topic of your choice, 350-450 words in length. The post will provide information and insights relating to your business. We will supply an appropriate image.

Constant Contact Mailing: We will email your article to your personal list of contacts via your new Constant Contact eNewsletter. We will set up your Constant Contact account (if you do not already have one) and develop a great looking mailing that coordinates with your business logo and colors. Since these mailings are informative and not advertising, they are generally well received, and even looked forward to, by your recipients. (Of course, your contacts will always have the option to opt out of all mailings.)

This program is for the businessperson who either does not like to write postings, or simply is too busy to do so. The benefits of a consistent program of smart outreach to your potential clients are great and easy to achieve, so they should not be squandered.

Some clients like to give us a topic and want us to run with it. Others have precise information or opinions that they want included. And, final approval is yours, so nothing will ever appear in your posting or mailing that you don’t agree with or want published.

At LEMWD we have always recognized the importance of great content. What we define as great content is content that is:

- informative,
- well written,
- meaningful to your reader, and
- clearly presented.

For more information, simply contact us today at: 862-432-2107 or at laura@lauraeltonwebdesign.com.

Posted in Branding, Keys To Strong Web Content, LinkedIn, Social Media, Strong content and creativity | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Got Purple Cow?

Have you heard about the Purple Cow? Do you know why your business needs one? And is it fully featured on your website? It better be, if you want to reach your full share of your product or services market!

purple-cow-2a

Seth Godin, the well-known marketing specialist has defined the Purple Cow as that product or service which is truly remarkable. Every business needs to have its own Purple Cow, or it is doomed to remain just one of the crowd.

A Purple Cow can be a product or service. The product may be unique, or the service may be exceptional.

Nordstrom built its strong and loyal customer base by always offering its customers exceptional customer service. Have you ever noticed that when you purchase something at Nordstrom the salesperson will never hand you your wrapped purchase over the counter? Instead, he or she will come around the counter and hand you your shopping bag face to face. This small action not only shows extra respect for the customer, but it also reinforces the fact that Nordstrom values your business. Exceptional service in all aspects of customer interaction is what put Nordstrom on the map as a leading department store. Exceptional service is Nordstrom’s Purple Cow.

As a business owner, you need to discover your own business’s Purple Cow, and then market it to the people who will truly want it. Follow this simple formula, and demand for your unique service or product will grow rapidly, much of it through word-of-mouth. But first, be sure your business has something remarkable to offer.

Have you ever been on a job interview and the prospective employer asks, “Why should I hire you?” They don’t want you to respond with a long litany of your experience which is already well documented on your resume. They are in effect asking you, “What sets you apart and makes you such a great job candidate.”

The fact is, any time someone visits your website, they are asking themselves the same question: “What makes this company’s product (or service) so great that I should order now and give them my hard earned money?” If your website clearly presents your Purple Cow, they will have their reason right there. Your website visitor will not leave your site to go visit any others; they will stop and take notice, knowing they have found a Purple Cow!

Some businesses find their Purple Cow in a product or service that is truly unique. However, if your business does not offer a unique product or service, it can still have a Purple Cow. Strive to make one aspect of your business truly outstanding. And then let everyone know about it.

When you find your Purple Cow, be enthusiastic about it. Purple Cows are that rare thing that make potential customers sit up and take notice. If you are excited about what you offer, odds are your potential customers and clients will be too. Enthusiasm is infectious.

Here is a short, whimsical video that we have put together on the subject. Take a brief but fun ride through the French Countryside, as you discover the importance of the Purple Cow.

And be on the lookout for the unexpected!

Link To Video.
(The video is inspired by, but not endorsed by Seth Godin.)

If you need help discovering or promoting your Purple Cow, contact me at  laura@lauraeltonwebdesign.com.

Posted in Strong content and creativity | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why Posting on LinkedIn Will Help Grow Your Business

By now, most owners of business’s large and small know the importance of maintaining a presence in the social media. For business-to-business companies, LinkedIn is the number one “must” social media on the list. LinkedIn allows you to connect with most of your colleagues, and gain new business contacts. And, it is the first place a new business acquaintance will go to check you out after you exchange cards at a networking meeting or luncheon. LinkedIn is the number one source of referrals to your website. Compare LinkedIn’s 64% referrals, to Facebook’s 17% or Twitter’s 14%.

LinkedIn Is A Great Source of Free PR

When people look you up on your LinkedIn page, do you want them to see a brief resume of your accomplishments and contacts, or do you want them to determine that you are a true expert in your field? This can be effectively accomplished by periodically entering smart and insightful LinkedIn posts onto your profile. Well written and engaging posts providing industry insights will help establish you as the subject matter expert in you field; when company owners need your business service, you will be the logical and favored person they will contact. You will have proven yourself to be a known, trusted source through your LinkedIn postings.

The Golden Rule Of Posting

The golden rule of posting is: present information that is important to your reader. Become the source of information for your prospective clients. When it comes time to making a business decision, other company owners will know you through your postings. They will respect your knowledge, and know that you can best help their business with your service. A posting can contain a brief blurb about your business toward the end, but you never want a posting to exist solely to advertise your service. People will resent spending their busy time to ultimately read an advertisement. They want to learn something important. The one exception to this is when you are promoting a new product or service your company now offers. Readers are interested in what’s new.

How Often Should You Post?

There is some difference in opinion as to how often someone should post on LinkedIn. I have heard estimates anywhere between once a week to 20 times a month. I believe that for most, once a week is a good starting place for enhancing your LinkedIn presence. The number of weekly posts can always be adjusted upwards. You want to be sure that you don’t bombard readers with posts, or they may choose not to follow your updates. Once a follower is lost, it is very difficult to get them back.

How Long Should A Post Be?
LinkedIn posts on the average should be at least 350 words but generally not longer than 1,000 words. Most people reading LinkedIn are merely browsing, and will stay longer when reading something of interest. However, they are not looking to read an in-depth article, or spend a lot of time in one area online.

How Else Does Posting Help Your Business?

Posting will a help you gain new contacts and connections. People outside of your contacts will begin to read, comment on, and like your post. Your influence will grow, and your name will become better known to others.

LinkedIn posting is an important and growing way that business owners communicate with each other. A great LinkedIn post, full of important insights, is an important part of your marketing and networking efforts.

If Writing Isn’t Your Thing …

Laura Elton Marketing & Web Design provides web site and social media services for its clients. To contact us regarding how we can help your business grow, contact me at laura@lauraeltonwebdesign.com.

Posted in Strong content and creativity | Leave a comment

Now Our Dog-Themed Tee Shirts Are Even Easier To Order

Hi everyone –

I would like to thank everyone for their great reception of our new line of dog-themed tee shirts, “The Cool Dog Collection” which is part of the items we offer on our website http://itsmybestfriend.com. These tee shirts don’t just celebrate individual dog breeds; they also celebrate passions and activities such as: tennis, video games, techno music, vacationing and travel and examining the notion of celebrity status. So what is the connection to Laura Elton Marketing & Web Design? It’s easy? ItsMyBestFriend.com also offers websites by dogs for the people they love. We are happy to say there is a growing number of online dogs. And, the revelations they offer their owners and loved ones is often entertaining, funny and touching. Also, as you can learn at ItsMyBestFriend.com, it is very beneficial for your dog to have an online web presence.

We have updated parts of our web site, so it is even easier to see and order our tees. Here are some new links that might be of interest to you:
1. Goldendoodle Celebrity Dog Tee Shirt: http://itsmybestfriend.com/celebritydogtee.html
2. Labrador Retriever (Lab) Techno Dog Tee Shirt: http://itsmybestfriend.com/technodogtee.html
3. Yorkshire Terrier (Yorkie) Vacation Dog Tee Shirt: http://itsmybestfriend.com/vacationdogtee.html
4. Rottweiler Gamer Dog Tee Shirt: http://itsmybestfriend.com/gamerdogtee.html
5. Beagle Ball Dog Tee Shirt: http://itsmybestfriend.com/balldogtee.html

Of course, if you want to view the entire line of tee shirts, you can visit us at: http://itsmybestfriend.com/teeshirts.html

Posted in Strong content and creativity | Leave a comment

New Dog Themed Cards and Tee Shirts from ItsMyBestFriend.com

As many of you know, along with my regular web design business, Laura Elton Marketing & Web Design, I also create “websites by dogs for the people they love” via ItsMyBestFriend.com

As an outgrowth of ItsMyBestFriend.com, we now offer dog-themed tee shirts and other items for people who love pets. We also offer pet portraits. And, special for this time of year we offer dog-themed Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday cards. We have created a collection called “The Cool Dog Collection.” People buy these items because of the themes they represent and/or the dog breeds involved.

So far our collection, which is unique and created by our own talented in-house artist, includes:
1) Gamer Dog — Rottweiler holding video game controller;
2) Techno Dog — Labrador Retriever wearing music headphones
3) Celebrity Dog — Goldendoodle wearing sunglasses
4) Vacation Dog — Yorkshire Terrier wearing a lei
5) Ball Dog — Beagle carrying a tennis ball

You can view and buy our unisex tee shirts at: http://itsmybestfriend.com/teeshirts.html

You can view and buy our Christmas Cards and Happy Holiday cards at: http://itsmybestfriend.com/HolidayCards.html
Additionally, our greeting cards come with free name personalization.

So please check out our new items. I would love to hear any and all of your comments.

Posted in ItsMyBestFriend.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

When Considering Your Brand, Go For The Gold!

Yesterday I attended a Morris County Chamber of Commerce breakfast where Steve Adubato, Ph.D, author of the book “You Are The Brand,” was guest speaker. His topic was “branding.”

Branding is a concept that every business owner has heard of these days. But exactly what is branding? As Steve Adubato explained, it can best be described as “your public reputation. What people say about you behind your back.”

And, he was quick to point out that your brand will be outstanding as long as you follow the Golden Rule. Yes, I am talking about the Golden Rule, ” Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.”

Become “obsessed” about helping other people, about customer service. Not only will people appreciate what you have done, and not only will they become to think of you as the source for solutions … but in purest terms, you will simply be doing the right thing.

As a business owner, some ways of paying it forward can include helping people who cannot afford your service. Or, perhaps, occasionally giving away inventory to people who cannot afford your product. Or, simply by being generous with your help and guidance, even when you see no obvious benefit to you for your extra time being paid to a particular problem.

Dr. Adubato gave many compelling examples of such generosity. Some were overlooked, while others were treasured. But all were worthwhile.

Now, often in web site development, I spend time explaining to my clients that their web sites must be about their readers. Readers are coming to your site looking for specific information and if they can’t find in they will leave. Quickly. Readers want to know: (1)What you can do for them; (2)Who you are, and (3)Why they will want to do business with you. It is all about them.

Today, Steve Adubato explained this concept, but proceeded to take it to a whole different level.

In short, the presentation concluded, make your brand “about them” and not “about you.” Always offer exceptional customer service. Pay it forward. Run your business by The Golden Rule. And your brand will surely be golden.

****
To learn more about Steve Adubato, you can visit his web site at: http://standdeliver.com

Posted in Branding | Tagged | Leave a comment

August’s Top 10 List For Effective Web Site Writing. (And why you should care!)

***This article was originally published in the August issue of my e-newsletter, The Evolving Web Site. To subscribe to this free e-newsleter, use the yellow sign-up box to the right of this blog posting.***

In my last newsletter, I shared many tips for effective web writing and effective copy design. If you missed that issue, you can view it now. This month, I will continue the discussion of what you can do to make your site more readable. Why should you care? Because a more readable site ultimately means more customer and client conversions for you!

So here are August’s Top 10 Tips for effective web site writing.

1. Use the active voice. Now, you may often hear that … but what exactly does it mean? A good example is: “Lucy walked her dog” (active) vs. “The dog was walked by Lucy” (passive). In the active voice the subject performs the action, instead of the subject being acted upon. The active voice is stronger and makes for a more powerful, less wordy sentence.

2. Use attention grabing headlines. A great provocative headline will draw your readers in . A dull or (gulp!) absent headline will most likely cost you readers … click! Writing effect headlines is an art in itself. (Watch for some helpful tips for headline writing in the next issue of this newsletter.)

3. Keep your pages short. Especially your Home Page. Do not let your Home Page scroll on and on. People prefer to read shorter pages that have links to other shorter pages. If you can keep your Home Page under 300 words you are on the right track.

4. Tell people the benefits of your product or service. Your web site readers will find the details for themselves. But they need to be told the benefits up front. After all, it is the benefits that sell! (Never expect the readers to figure out the benefits for themselves … no matter how obvious they may seem to you.)

5. Keep critical information “above the fold.” Many readers will never bother to scroll down on your web site. So keep important information up on top where it can be readily seen.

6. Minimize use of first and third person. Your readers dont want to hear too much about you. Avoid “I” and “we” and use “you” and “your.” (Yes, I did speak about this before. But it is so important it bears repeating.)

7. Don’t let your site become dated.Only keep current information on your Home Page. (ex. Don’t keep information on about a sale that was over one month ago.) If you don’t, people will begin to think of your site as outdated and not current. They may begin to question the validity of any information you present.

8. Let your site reflect you.Your site should be an extension of you, your ideas and your product or service. It should reflect your personality and the way you do business, much the way the decor in your store or office is an extension of your business or service.

9. Have impeccable spelling and grammar. Again, your web site is a reflection of you. Sloppy spelling mistakes and bad grammar will tell your reader that you are less than meticulous in your business dealings. Be sure to proofread your text before you send it into cyberspace! You may want to have someone else read what you write. This is a good sure-fire way to minimize mistakes and maximize clarity.

10. It’s not just what you say…but what your words look like! Use a font that is clean and easy to read. Gaudy fonts will not help your cause! And type that is too small for the average reader to view without straining his or her eyes should be avoided. You do not have a captive audience. Oops … click!

I hope you found August’s Top Ten List useful.

Posted in Keys To Strong Web Content, Strong content and creativity | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment