Haven’t built a LinkedIn profile? Don’t wait for an invitation. Today, LinkedIn is a professional necessity — think online resume, business card, Lions club membership and outdoor billboard — all for free. An online presence is no longer a luxury. Current clients want to connect, future clients want to run passive research on you, and your peers (read: competitors) are already building a digital brand. Uncomfortable about where to start? Make a small investment and tap a marketing professional or digital writing firm that can turn a profile around rapidly. Which, yes, you need.
See that delete button? Yes, you can push it. The worst marketing for your firm is a tepid, inactive newsletter that’s online 24/7 and was last updated seven months ago. Some do have the time and the focus to keep a blog updated, fresh and relevant, and those sites are fantastic tools for a firm. But unless you have the ability to keep your digital musings current, or the funds to hire someone to do it for you, consider dumping the blog and instead spending a few minutes a day crafting some LinkedIn updates (See Step 1). Have those updates automatically feed your Twitter account. Can’t handle that? Spend an hour a week and write 10-12 posts scheduling those across your feed through a third party source like HootSuite. While that’s not as nearly good as writing them in real time, it’s better than a dead channel and a disabled blog that leaves prospects wondering if you closed up shop last summer.
Wifi? Sure it’s easy and often free. It’s also potentially deadly to your business. Malware can travel across wifi as easily as your email, and can be less secure than your networked online connections — like an open door without a screen for the flies. Invest in a networked tablet, and pay the monthly carrier fee. Of course it costs more. So does trying to recover lost data, or an explanation to clients why their financial accounts may have been compromised.
Great. You’re on LinkedIn. Not let’s head over to the other social media sites. Start with Google+. Not on yet? You’re hardly alone. But Google is giving businesses an easy freebie where a presence can help boost search results. Once logged on, check under “account” to filter who can send you notifications, as well as comment on public posts. On Twitter, think about checking “security and privacy” to limit, or expand, how you want to be found. Next, head over to the “privacy” settings on Facebook to double check how people can locate and contact you, as well as what they can see. Privacy settings on social media sites need to be updated often, as these companies change policies. It’s even worth making the process a quarterly appointment on your calander.
If the last app you downloaded was Angry Birds, you’re in for a wake up call. No idea where to start? Check out some highlights. The App Store and Google Play make it fairly simple to find popular options. Others can be harder to uncover, but with apps that can organize notes or scan documents — with many of them less than the price of a double latte — it’s absolutely worth the investment both of your finances and your time. Don’t just look for yourself. Think about clients too. Consumers are using apps as well, and the suggestion of one or two that can be of use to them (or even better, fun) is likely to kick you up a notch in their eyes. Let’s face it, we can all use a little refreshing in the new year.
Link In, tighten up and (maybe) kill your blog: Here are five quick steps to renew your world, digitally.
Question. "Networked" can mean different things. In this #3 step, does networked tablet refer to a 4G cellular access?
Good question. Definitely. Networked cellular access is going to be safer than getting on the Internet via a public wifi hotspot.
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