How to Best Respond to a LinkedIn Business Inquiry

July 16, 2014

There are many reasons to use LinkedIn, including the fact that this is a great way to drum up new business. Even though this may not be your primary objective, over time you will find that people are connecting with you in hopes of forming some type of business relationship. In the event that somebody reaches out to discuss a business opportunity.

there are five steps you should take when it comes time to respond:
1. Make sure the person and opportunity is legit. Just the same as any online service, there are spammers and scammers who will reach out to anybody and everybody in an attempt to make money. Don¹t be duped!

2. Do some research into the person¹s background. Since you received the message on LinkedIn, this is a great place to start. What is their current position? Where are they located? Which companies have they worked for in the past? From there, you can do a quick Google search to see what else you can find.

3. Answer any questions that were asked of you. This is when you will dive into the opportunity that has been presented, letting the person know if you are interested or not. Tip: while answering questions, don’t be afraid to interject your own ideas, explaining why you are the right person for the opportunity. Despite the fact that the other party reached out to you, there is nothing wrong with selling yourself.

4. Be quick and to the point. LinkedIn is not a place to hold a long conversation. You should be as quick and concise as possible, sharing the necessary information and providing the person with everything they asked of you. If you drag on too long, you take the risk of your note not being read in its entirety.

5. Setup the next action. At the end of your response, suggest the next action, such as a time for a phone call or face to face meeting. If you are truly interested in the opportunity, no matter what it may be, you need to take the initiative in setting up a time for you to take discussions to the next level. Every LinkedIn business inquiry is unique, however, you can take these five steps to ensure that you are on the right path.

As the biggest professional networking site in the world, the more time you spend on LinkedIn the better chance there is that somebody will eventually reach out to discuss a business opportunity.

Peg McDermott is an award-winning marketing communications expert,Internet marketing specialist, and public speaker. Peg is the founder and president of COGO Interactive, an innovative Internet Marketing firm specializing in helping small to mid-sized businesses increase revenue and awareness by leveraging Social Media Marketing and Search Engine Optimization. She can be found on Google +LinkedInTwitter, and thecogoblog.com


July 1, 2014

There is a lot that goes into creating an effective online marketing strategy. While the use of video may sound intimidating, once you are on the right track this can be a fun way to generate new business and connect with your target audience.

With the average internet user watching videos on a daily basis, it only makes sense to add video to your online marketing strategy. If you don’t, you are missing out on a great opportunity to share information with the world.

The way you use video depends on many factors, including your company size, industry, budget, and availability of time.

Here are three ways to add the use of video to your online marketing strategy:

1. Demonstrate your product or service. Did you recently roll out a new product? Are you hoping to educate your audience on a particular service offered by your company? While there is nothing wrong with adding the appropriate text to your website, don’t overlook the power of video. When you bring your “how-to tutorials” to life, you may be surprised at how responsive your audience becomes.

2. A big hello from your staff. By showing the faces behind your company, customers and prospects will feel much better about doing business with you.

Give everybody the chance to get in front of the camera, introduce him or herself, and show the world what they bring to the company. Not only is this a great addition to your online marketing strategy, but it is something fun for employees.

3. Customer testimonials. A prospect is more likely to become a customer after hearing how great your company really is. Have you taken the time to reach out to satisfied customers, asking them to record a testimonial?

Don’t Shy Away

Many people shy away from the use of video in their online marketing strategy because they don’t know where to start. Even if you only have the use of a basic webcam, you can shoot video that can be shared with your audience. As you grow, you can purchase or rent more advanced equipment, ensuring that your videos are of the highest quality possible.

For many companies, the use of video is a big part of their online marketing strategy. Now that you know more about how to get started, the time for doing so is now. After your first video you will look back and wonder what took you so long.

Peg McDermott is an award-winning marketing communications expert,Internet marketing specialist, and public speaker. Peg is the founder and president of COGO Interactive, an innovative Internet Marketing firm specializing in helping small to mid-sized businesses increase revenue and awareness by leveraging Social Media Marketing and Search Engine Optimization. She can be found on Google +LinkedInTwitter, and thecogoblog.com

5 Tips for Marketing your Business on Pinterest

June 5, 2014

How do you feel about your current social media marketing plan? Like many, you may focus most of your time on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. While these three services put you in position to drive a lot of traffic, there is another you may be overlooking: Pinterest.

Many people believe that Pinterest is only for professionals in some sort of “design” industry, however, nothing could be further from the truth. Regardless of the industry, there are ways you can use this social media service to your advantage.

Here are five tips for marketing your business on Pinterest:

1. Add a “pin it” button to your website. With this in place, visitors have the ability to pin any image they come across. If you don’t have this button in a prominent location, it becomes much more time intensive to add a pin, which will scare many people away.

2. Don’t go nuts. As tempting as it may be to load up your feed with “pins,” you don’t want to go overboard. Doing so will annoy your followers. Even if they continue to follow you, they will become “blind” to your pins.

Quality over quantity definitely holds true here.

3. Begin the curation process. This is as simple as browsing categories within your industry, and pinning items that are of interest to you and your company. Even if these items are not your products, pinning them will increase traffic to your account.

4. Take advantage of cross promotion. Are you looking for the best way to jump start your Pinterest account? You can do this easily enough by sharing your new account with followers on your other social media channels.

Tip: you can also send out an email to clients, coworkers, and friends with a link to your account.

5. Remain consistent. The last thing you want to do is get others excited about your Pinterest account, just to give up on this form or marketing before you achieve success. You may not get the results you are looking for right away, but if you remain consistent you will begin to reach your goals soon enough.

If the time has come for you to introduce Pinterest marketing to your business, the five tips above will point you in the right direction.

Marketing your business on Pinterest is not nearly as challenging as it sounds. Once you get started, you will realize just how simple and effective it can be.

Peg McDermott is an award-winning marketing communications expert,Internet marketing specialist, and public speaker. Peg is the founder and president of COGO Interactive, an innovative Internet Marketing firm specializing in helping small to mid-sized businesses increase revenue and awareness by leveraging Social Media Marketing and Search Engine Optimization. She can be found on Google +LinkedInTwitter, and thecogoblog.com

How to Effectively Advertise on Facebook

June 5, 2014

Many people understand the benefits of updating their Facebook page on a regular basis, sharing information, tips, and ideas with others. But did you know you can take this one step further through the Facebook advertising platform? As complicated as it may sound, Facebook advertising is extremely simple once you know what you are doing. Here are five steps that will lead you towards an effective campaign:

1. Start small. As tempted as you may be to set a large budget, start small with $10 or $20 per day. This may not bring big results, but it will give you a better idea of how the system works and what to expect along the way. Note: you can scale up your campaign with each passing day, especially when you find an ad that generates results.

2. Set goals. Why are you advertising on Facebook? What are you hoping to accomplish? What are you going to do with the traffic once it arrives on your website? If you don’t set goals, you will find it a challenge to track the success of your campaign. 3

. Take advantage of the information available to you. For example, the Facebook ad guidelines page will help you better understand what you are and are not allowed to do. Along with information from Facebook, there are thousands of tutorials and online courses that will teach you how to effectively use this advertising platform.

4. Think outside the box. Many people believe that Facebook advertising is all about driving people to their website. While this is a good strategy, don’t overlook the benefits of pushing people towards your fan page. Doing so can lead to an increase in the number of “likes,” which will go a long way in improving your social media presence.

5. Experiment with different types of ads. Regardless of how much success you have with a particular ad, there is always room for improvement. Experiment with a variety of colors, images, and layouts, tracking the results of each one. Have you given any thought to advertising on Facebook? If so, you know that this could make a big difference when it comes to the future success of your business. Now that you know how to effectively advertise on Facebook, there is only one thing left to do: create an ad and see how it performs. This is a trial and error process, but if you stick with it you will be happy with the end result. – See more at: http://www.cogoblog.com/#sthash.bHUrzkrN.dpuf

Peg McDermott is an award-winning marketing communications expert,Internet marketing specialist, and public speaker. Peg is the founder and president of COGO Interactive, an innovative Internet Marketing firm specializing in helping small to mid-sized businesses increase revenue and awareness by leveraging Social Media Marketing and Search Engine Optimization. She can be found on Google +LinkedInTwitter, and thecogoblog.com


Top Five Reasons to Spend More Time on LinkedIn

May 20, 2014

As a business professional, there are many social media outlets that can help you grow your sales and take your profits to the next level. Are you spending as much time on LinkedIn as you should be? If you have been neglecting this platform, there is no better time than now to change your approach. Although no two business professionals use LinkedIn in the exact same manner, here are five reasons why you should spend more time on this site:

1. To grow your network. One of your primary goals as a LinkedIn user is to expand your network, connecting with coworkers, clients, and prospects. Doing this will work in your favor now, while also bringing you benefits down the road (such as when prospecting for new business).

2. Participate in group discussions. What LinkedIn groups do you belong to? Are you active in discussing the target topic with other members? From helping others to asking questions, as you participate in group discussions you will find yourself connecting with others as you increase your knowledge base.

3. Opportunities will come to you. No matter if you are prospecting for clients or hoping to land a new position, the more time you spend on LinkedIn the better chance you have of opportunities finding you. Tip: be clear in your profile of what you are trying to accomplish by using the service. This will ensure that the opportunities best suit your goals as a business professional.

4. Meet others with the same professional interests. There is more to LinkedIn than growing your client base. There is more to LinkedIn than its ability to help you land your next job. You can also use this social site to connect with others who have the same interests and goals.

5. Keep tabs on others. Are you staying current with updates posted by your clients? Are you keeping a watch on what your top prospects are doing? With the help of LinkedIn, you can keep tabs on the people in your network, which could position you to benefit in some way down the road.

Do you need to spend many hours on LinkedIn every day of the week? Probably not. However, you should use this site as often as possible. The five reasons above should be enough for you to understand that LinkedIn can do wonders for your business, regardless of your experience or industry.

Peg McDermott is an award-winning marketing communications expert,Internet marketing specialist, and public speaker. Peg is the founder and president of COGO Interactive, an innovative Internet Marketing firm specializing in helping small to mid-sized businesses increase revenue and awareness by leveraging Social Media Marketing and Search Engine Optimization. She can be found on Google +LinkedInTwitter, and thecogoblog.com


How to Use Twitter for PR

May 1, 2014

To some companies, Twitter is a way or life. To others, this is a confusing 140-character mess that they simply don’t understand. If you find yourself shying away from this social media platform, now may be the time to come around to what it has to offer. Did you know that many companies are using Twitter to supplement their PR strategy? There are many ways to do this, including the following:

1. Link to company news posted to your corporate blog. With each update to your blog, be sure to mention it on Twitter. This will keep your followers in the loop, while also giving you another outlet for spreading the information.

2. Link to company press releases. Did you recently distribute a press release to announce an award? How about an upcoming event? What about a new hire? Regardless of the topic, you can share the information via Twitter.

3. Stay in touch with the media. From bloggers to journalists to television reporters, most media personalities have a Twitter account. Since these are the people who can give your company the press it deserves, you should communicate with them via Twitter as often as possible. Note: when you are “out of sight” you are “out of mind.” Keep your company in front of the media and you will be surprised at the results.

4. Provide live updates from a conference or event. Media types love covering live events. If you make their life easier, such as through “live tweeting,” it will improve your chance of garnering the attention your company deserves.

5.  Monitor your results. It is one thing to use Twitter, but another thing entirely to generate results. Are others talking about your brand? Are you growing your follower count with each passing day? Just the same as any PR campaign, you need to measure your results so you know what is and is not working.

Now that you know how to use Twitter for PR, there is only one thing left to do: get started.

Peg McDermott is an award-winning marketing communications expert,Internet marketing specialist, and public speaker. Peg is the founder and president of COGO Interactive, an innovative Internet Marketing firm specializing in helping small to mid-sized businesses increase revenue and awareness by leveraging Social Media Marketing and Search Engine Optimization. She can be found on Google +LinkedInTwitter, and thecogoblog.com


How to Create a Successful Social Media Strategy

April 19, 2014

Today, we are going to continue with our “online marketing spring cleaning” series. If you have not been keeping up, be sure to check out our recent pieces on website design and search engine optimization. This time around we are going to focus on social media, a factor that can play a big part in the future success of your company. What type of social media strategy have you used in the past? If you are not relying heavily on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn (among others), you are missing out on an opportunity to connect with current customers as well as prospects. This spring, it may be time to make some changes to your strategy. Here are three to consider:

1. Posting to social media on a regular basis. This may be a change to your current approach, but in the long run it is one that can bring big benefits to your company. How often have you posted to your social media accounts in the past? If you don’t know the answer, there is a good chance that you don’t have a defined strategy. Set a goal for posting more regularly throughout 2014, and you may be surprised at the results.

2. Do more than post. It is one thing to post fresh ideas to your social media profiles. It is another thing entirely to communicate with your audience. Are you answering questions? Are you asking questions? Are you connecting with people who could eventually turn into a client? If you aren’t doing these things, you are missing out on the true power of social media. In other words, you have to do more than post to achieve a high level of success.

3. Learn more about the specific power of each social media service. For example, this infographic compares Facebook and Twitter. From the growth to the navigation to the functionality, you are going to learn quite a bit about each service. From there, you can decide how to best use each one to your advantage. Tip: here is another infographic that will put your social media strategy on the right track. Even if you have achieved success with social media in the past, making one or more of the changes above could help you reach new heights in 2014. The sooner you alter your strategy the sooner you can make changes for the better. From there, the sky is the limit!

Peg McDermott is an award-winning marketing communications expert,Internet marketing specialist, and public speaker. Peg is the founder and president of COGO Interactive, an innovative Internet Marketing firm specializing in helping small to mid-sized businesses increase revenue and awareness by leveraging Social Media Marketing and Search Engine Optimization. She can be found on Google +LinkedInTwitter, and thecogoblog.com


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