Archives for November 2012

10 Ways to Optimize your LinkedIn Experience

LinkedIn is the professional’s networking site. It’s a place where people connect to share information, discuss relative topics, seek opportunities, and enhance business relationships.  While it’s a heaven for recruiters, LinkedIn offers value for all walks of life. Let’s discuss how you can optimize your LinkedIn experience.

If you’re working for IBM and in every social network your byline reads, “the views represented here are my own and not those of my employer” just be careful about your activity. This is something you need to feel out with your employer.

LinkedIn (LNKD) went public in May 2011, and currently trades ($160.44) (updated 2/24/2013) above its opening day high.  It’s IPO and run has been smooth and profitable, much better than the ballyhooed and disastrous Facebook IPO.  With a 187 million users and growing it would behoove you not to participate.  LinkedIn offers a lot of opportunity to connect with others and build relationships.

1) Keep your profile updated – This may sound simple, but so many users can’t manage to complete their profileHaving a LI profile without a photo is inexcusable.  Period.  If you don’t have a photo displayed, you lose credibility.  Upload a professional headshot photo if you haven’t already. A headshot is more personal than a logo.  Arguably worse than no photo is a picture of a celebrity. Come on.  Take the time to complete your profile.  It’s to your benefit to go in and complete 100%.

2) Customize your website links Under the Contact info tab you should put your business website info.  You can have two additional site listed in this space.  Add your personal blog and a charity site that you support.  Now something a lot of users miss is personalizing the title of the sites.  Using the default “Company Website” is bland.  Charge it up a bit.

Go to: Profile > Edit Profile > Additional Information (on the bottom) > Edit > Websites > Other
Put the title in for each site or use keywords if you prefer.  Mix it up, be creative.

LinkedIn Additional Information

3) Join Groups and Engage Groups are arguably the most important part of LinkedIn.  This is where you meet people and build rapport.  This is where connections are made.  There’s no build rapport in 15 minutes plan.  This takes time.  While you can join up to 50 groups, start with 1-2 where you have an interest and will be active.  Anymore than that and you won’t be able to keep up.

4) The new “one-click” endorsement This has been all the buzz of late.  The critics have lined up.  LinkedIn is worthless now because it’s too easy give an endorsement.  Come back down to earth.  Think of it as a little nugget, a show of appreciation to someone else.


5) Recommendations Unlike the “one-click” immediate gratification endorsements, recommendations are a more thorough representation of a business relationship.  A couple things.  Even if you’ve amassed 50-60 recommendations, you should only show 7-8 on your profile.  Anything more is too much, and will probably include some poorly written versions.  You want to highlight the marquee recommendations.  I’ve been asked multiple times to write recommendations, and while I’ve done some, they can be a time consuming operation.  Learn to say “No”.  You have to pick your spots.  People will ask, and feel like I should have it done by the end of the day.  If you do say yes, set expectations so it doesn’t get messy.  Another idea is to have the requester write up something themselves and you can tweak and edit accordingly.  This takes the onus of you create this from scratch.  If I was asking for a recommendation today, I would proactively write it up myself to get the ball rolling.

6) Content Curation Finding solid relative content is an ongoing challenge for both individuals and businesses.  LinkedIn provides an area that consistently delivers good quality content that can be easily shared.  LinkedIn Today captures the day’s top new, and is tailored specifically for you.  LinkedIn Today can be found under News in your profile.

7) Post, Comment, and Like This ties in with #3.  People post on Facebook, but many forget about LinkedIn.  This article will be posted on LinkedIn.  If you have something interesting to share, either of your own or something you uncovered, go ahead and post it.  Likes are always appreciated for others that post, and commenting allows you to share your voice and participate in some great conversations.

8) Tight Connections or Loose Connections So you have two ways to go with your account.  Keep it tight with only people you know personally, or open the flood gates and accept every invitation that comes your way.  There are arguments for both sides.  You’ll see LION a lot on LinkedIn.  LION stands for LinkedIn Open Networker.  If you want to go this route, I’d suggest joining TopLinked.  It runs $10/mo and adds you to an invite me list.  If you do join, make sure to turn off your notifications.  They come in fast and furious.  I went this route because at the time I was a Sales Manager and wanted to build a huge database for my team.  You need to decide what’s best for you situation.

9) Premium Account I’ve upgraded to premium a few times on LinkedIn over the last five years.  For certain occupations it makes sense and it’s worth the $24.95/mo.  The Executive turbo plan actually runs $99.95/mo.  If you’re in Sales, HR, and/or Recruiting, it’s worth a closer look.  The premium upgrade allows you to see more.

10) LinkedIn Advertising Oh yes, LinkedIn offers Ads.  I’ve used this a handful of times with another business and had mild success with 1-2 warm leads for each $25 spend.  It works similar to Google Ads in search.  You have 25 characters for the Title and 75 characters over 2 lines for the description.  You can also and can add an image.  LinkedIn Ads really allow you to pinpoint who sees your advertisement.  You can target your campaign by location, company, job title, and many more.  They offer Pay per Click (CPC) and Pay per 1,000 Impressions (CPM).  Go with the CPC as you want people clicking through to your landing page.  The minimum budget is $10.00.

As is the case with most Social Networks, you get what you put into it.  Yes, let’s not split hairs, LinkedIn is a social network.  If you don’t stay active and participate consistently you will not get results from LinkedIn.

LinkedIn can be a powerful tool for business owners. It is a simple one to use, too. LinkedIn used properly can help you to gain very specific people who may be ideal visitors to your blog. They will not visit just one time either. The right networking will net you followers of your blog long term.

If you’re looking learn more about LinkedIn, I highly suggest two books from Neal SchafferHe takes it to another level, and both books provide a ton of value.  You can actually download a free sample from each book. Neal has no idea I’m putting this information here, so say Hi for me if you go over to his site.

If you found the article useful, please share it with others using the social network buttons above.

Instagram: How to Become Instafamous


In September 2012 Facebook completed its acquisition of Instagram.  The deal was reported to be worth an estimated 1 Billion in cash and stock.

First things first, decide if Instagram is right for you. Odds are, you’re reading this because you either use IG already and want to grow your presence, or you’re still sitting on the fence and deciding whether to try it.  I’ll discuss several foundations of Instagram and show you some steps on how to become instagram famous and how to become instafamous all in one article.

Three Questions to ask to see if you’ll enjoy Instagram

1) Do you like to take pictures?

2) Do you consider yourself creative and artistic?

3) Do you want to expand your network and create loyal connections?

Assuming you answered yes to one of them, the debate is over… keep reading because the people already on Instagram are wondering why it’s taking so long to get to the good stuff.


Instagram Stats Board





I joined Instagram back in April of this year, when it first became available on Android devices.  In the 7 months since my debut, I’ve built a fanbase of over 60K followers (updated 4/16/2013; over 100K followers) who’ve collectively blown me away with their engagement. It’s safe to say, after earning 1.25 million likes and 36000+ comments, I’ve achieved a certain level Instafame. Now it’s time to map my success and pass on a few directions how you, too, can become Instafamous.


I know, I know, it was a bait and switch; I asked you if you liked to take pictures and you said yes, WTH!! That’s just the thing, though, anyone CAN take picture. Of course it helps to take a “better” picture, but the #1 concept I learned about photography is it’s all about the finish. Anyone can take a picture and upload it to Instagram; you need to set yourself apart. Here’s the deal – skip your latte and invest in a “pro” photo editing app.

Being a droid user, I can recommend a combination of PicSay Pro and the PicsPlay Pro to meet your editing needs.

A fellow IGer (instagrammer), Christine Kramer-Skulevold, has a few recommendations for iPhone users. She employs a suite of Photoforge2, Colorsplash, and Snapseed to enhance the experience.

Here’s a quick look at what a creative eye and technology can produce with some of before and after shots!


Simple Edits



Advanced Edits

This is a good segway – when you’re doing advance edits, don’t try to pass it off as an original. Some people’s feathers get in a bunch when you don’t disclose it as an edit.

Another “controversial” topic is the use of cameras outside of your phone. Some people are hardcore, iPhone only, purists that shun other IGer’s who post pics shot with a digital or DSLR camera. Well, I use a DroidX and Canon point and shoot… so the purists might not like me. It’s a 60% phone / 40% Canon ratio for my posts and, frankly, I don’t care what the aristocrats think.



Ok, let’s get it out of the way – I’ll tell you the “Big Secret” everyone wants to know. How do I do it… get so many likes… have so many followers… comments? It started with hard work and then became a helluva lot easier as I reached the popular page. So there it is, getting on the popular page will make you Instafamous. The End.

Just kidding, sort-of, but here’s the kicker. You’ll need more than a bunch of people following you to climb the charts. You want fans, not followers. Fans are the ones who actively view their Instagram feeds and engage with you on a regular basis. As your base grows, use tools like Statigram to keep tabs on your most engaging fans and monitor your progress. The chart below, along with the first infographic above, were both generated with

Run to a Million

Run to a Million


This part isn’t as hard as it seems, but takes time. You’re going to need thousands of fans before you make it to the popular page; which means more people need to know of your existence on Instagram. There are three main ways to accomplish this: follow someone, like their post, comment on posts. The first two are the quickest way to introduce yourself. If you want further detail on follow/like strategies, comment with your interest at the end of this post.

My Bieber Moment

My Bieber Moment

Most of the things we talked about fall under one umbrella – setting yourself apart from the other tens of millions IG users. I have one last tiny tip that will pay dividends immediately and probably will be the most impactful concept you take away from this. I’m assuming that you do (or will) respond to all your comments. Make sure you respond to all comments until you reach the popular page and can’t keep up with them all. The key here is to use your fans name in your reply to their comment. I’ve had over a hundred people respond by with something similar to “you’re the first person to ever called me by name here.”

Go ahead and ignore everything I said up until to the last two sentences. That’s the real secret – get to know your followers and make them into your fans.  Follow the information in this article and you’ll be on your way instagram fame.

Please share through one of the buttons below if you found this article on Instagram to be of value.  Thank You.

Tony Bennett is a passionate photographer, future Senator, and Instagram Superhero.  Above all Tony is great guy and would be happy to answer all your Instagram questions below.

Requirements for the Changing Landscape of SEO Techniques

Best Practices for On-Page SEO

The most effective manner for On-Page SEO techniques are being altered at an accelerated rate. Taking into consideration the various Google updates and the indefinable hold of social media, getting totally familiar on successful SEO procedure is becoming quite a challenge. To be in the top rankings, websites need to adjust. In a recent discussion on websites, five outdated procedures were discussed in the promotion of important content, and previous best practices were considered redundant.

These included forcing the maximum amount of keywords in a minimum space, creating unnecessary and outmoded content for supporting target keywords, buying links, sustaining used links and article spinning. Examine your website(s) and SEO techniques and if any of the above techniques are still being used, you must update immediately. The future is in considering all factors relevant to your site which must be understood and then optimizing for best user knowledge and understanding.

Good Content

When you produce relevant and solid content, people and search engine spiders will notice your site. On-Page SEO should be attentive to the post-click occurrence. The recent change in SEO adaption strengthens the concept that content is king. The new standard is supported on knowing your audience. There should no guessing. This can be achieved by listening, changing your SEO techniques to meet requirements, and then giving the audience what it wants.

Factor to Concentrate on

Progressive strategy makers are now concentrating on four major factors. This includes relevance of your SEO techniques by giving content that is reliable and trustworthy, by creating a site that can be crawled and indexed and meets current data values and principles, and gives content that impresses your audience. This means building a brand and endorsing it on targeted opportunities and be recognized as an intellectual. This will help you create sites that catch the attention of your audience.

The SEO Steps


The content that you write should be accurate and without any ambiguities which can be shared socially. Display post-click knowledge contentment and fulfillment, monitor the results, assess the important aspects of your web site, and experiment to find out what works the best with your audience. SEO techniques begin by evaluating thoroughly the entire segment audience that you want to reach. It is more than checking the search performances of the current sites for how to attract audiences.

Landscape Analysis

This is the first step in search optimization is where audiences need viable SEO landscape to decide upon the content to base the web site upon, the manner in which it should be built and the conversion of natural searches and other incoming promotion and selling avenues. This is significant in aggressive verticals online. Natural SEO techniques include identifying your audience and deciding upon the requirements of the audience and monitoring to see who is doing it right and how you can do better.

Find the most favorable conditions and the way to prioritize, your approach for availing the most favorable conditions according to current performances, aggressive landscape and the means to achieve your goals.