Making the Most of Your LinkedIn Profile

I have blogged a lot about LinkedIn, just click on the LinkedIn category on the right, and the features the platform has as well as what to do to get noticed.  I recently read an interesting article that sums up some of the don’ts for LinkedIn users and I have to say I need to add one more to the very end of their list.  Connecting with too many people.  People who you don’t actually know.  People you don’t even bother creating a custom message to.  Because, I simply decline those requests.

What are your thoughts on the below, and on the whole article as a whole?

Mistake #1: Horrible photo.

Mistake #2: Non descriptive headline.

Mistake #3: Forgetting that you have a LinkedIn profile.

Mistake #4: Simply scanning in your resume and not elaborating.

Mistake #5: Don’t connect or network with others.

Linda’s tips:

Mistake #1: Not personalizing your “I want to connect with you” emails.

Mistake #2: Not creating a custom LinkedIn url for your profile.

Mistake #3: Not updating information on a regular basis – regardless of being employed or unemployed.

Mistake #4: Not asking for recommendations while employed somewhere.

Mistake #5: Not keeping an eye on who’s viewed your profile and seeing if they might be a good connection to have.

Focus on Sharpening that Ax

I read a really great article that probably didn’t even need to be read.  I say that not because it was useless but because the title says it all. Are You Too Busy Chopping (Marketing) Wood to Sharpen Your (Marketing Operations) Ax?

After those first 90 days are over, those of us who are lucky enough to be in management are constantly asking ourselves, how do we stand out? how do we not take on the baggage and stay above water?  how do we continue being those thought leaders we were hired to be?  The author of the above linked article has some easy steps that I will take note of and wanted to share:

1. Focus on impact vs. activity:

  • Which business outcome does this activity support?
  • Do you know how this activity is expected to move the needle for the business outcome?
  • How will you know whether the activity had the desired impact?

2. Make metrics count:

  • How is Marketing having an impact on and contributing to the business?
  • What is and isn’t working?
  • Does the data enable course adjustments?

3. Embrace insights:

  • Purposefully collect and analyze your data.
  • Establish a data infrastructure.
  • Implement a process for collecting and using data on a regular basis.

4. Run marketing like a business:

  • Ensure marketing strategies are executed seamlessly
  • Create, manage, and track marketing processes
  • Analyze and develop metrics to improve effectiveness and reduce inefficiencies

4 quick steps to success! Good luck and keep that ax sharpened!

Digital Marketing

It seems like this word is all the rage now.  When in reality, it’s just a buzz word for all those familiar things you are probably already doing – email campaigns, social media, web, etc.

Mobile does play a huge part in it but all the things, and more, listed above can be found on mobile.  So in reality, what do we need to think about when it comes to “digital” marketing?

For me, a clear strategy needs to be set in place before anything even happens.  Assess the things you are doing today and look at the metrics to evaluate what’s working and what isn’t.  Next, you need to identify your target audience and how they want to hear from you.

After all that evaluation has been done, you can actually think about how to improve on the things that are working, but could also do more for your business.

I found a great article on MarketingTechBlog.com about digital marketing that I think might be interesting to you all as well.

“What is digital marketing? It is the use of new media to market a brand/product/organization and so on. Though there are a lot of activities that can be done, but digital marketing these days relies on the internet.”

P.S. You can even subscribe to a 5 week email crash course, through MarketingTechBlog.com, on inbound marketing which I recommend doing.

Spring Forward to Q2

In honor of the time change this weekend I’m thinking spring…but at the same time lamenting the fact that I haven’t even been out to ski once during this epic winter.

The time change brings with it tiredeness, hopefulness for better weather, as well as the reminder that the first quarter is almost over.

Metrics should have been monitored every month but this is when crunch time should really happen.  What has happened in the first quarter of the year that needs to be reevaluated or reinvested in?  What have the combined efforts of the marketing and sales department achieved?  This is the time to maybe take a look at some goals and see which ones need to be reeled in and which ones can be taken up a notch.

Take the next few weeks to really begin evaluating your roadmap and consider turning some things around, if you need to.

P.S. Here are a couple of great online resources:

7 Ways to Evaluate Your Marketing Plan

How to Evaluate a Marketing Strategy

MSRP vs. MAP – Why Determining Minimum Advertised Pricing is Important

Manufacturer Suggest Retail Price (MSRP) vs Minimum Advertised Price (MAP) - Explained

In my second job out of college I was tasked with, in some instances, creating a luggage collection and working all the way through from concept to design to sourcing to pricing.  When it came to the latter, I have to admit that I was pretty green in understanding retail vs. wholesale vs. MSRP vs. etc. etc. pricing and how it works.

I can by no means say that I am any more well versed in it but it does make more sense now.  But, it never hurts to look back and learn more about that thing you used to do and see how you could have understood it better.  So to google I went.

Well, I happened upon a great article that talked about MSRP (Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price) vs. MAP (Minimum Advertised Price).

Here are 5 key take-away’s:

1. “The price resellers pay is determined mostly by your MSRP (Manufacturer Suggest Retail Price). But once they’ve paid, they can then sell at whatever price they deem profitable to them. So if your MSRP is $50.00 and you sell to a retailer at 50% discount, they have the potential to make $25.00 profit. But if they’re willing to make less they can undercut the competition.

When this happens, and the price war kicks in, your MSRP goes out the window and your phone starts to ring off the hook with complaints from resellers.”

2. “A minimum advertised price is just that – it’s the agreed price a reseller agrees to advertise a brand or product at. There may be some wiggle room, but generally, when a reseller accepts the agreement, they’re stuck. They can’t advertise a product for sale any less than the agreed price. This means in print, online, or any where.”

3. “While collusion to maintain a fixed price or profit margin is illegal in most circumstances MAP policies are legitimate and valid – if done correctly…here’s the big differentiator – MAP pricing does not limit the actual selling price. It simply sets the minimum price a product can be advertised at – whether that’s in print or online.”

4. “Resellers are adverse to risk. They certainly don’t want to take on new brands and products that they’ll be undercut on by other resellers. They want to have some cost control and profit assurances. MAP affords them some protection. They know that if they buy your product to sell, they won’t necessarily see it online tomorrow advertised for way less.”

5. “MSRP is what you’d like everyone to sell your product at – and you’re discounting levels are based on it. While MAP is the price resellers agree to advertise your product at – provided you’ve had them sign reseller agreements. So, make sure you have reseller agreements in place.”