Category Archives: Personal Branding

Kelly Kohen
Digital Marketing Netiquette – Mind your Grammar!

I am currently volunteering in my son’s 3rd grade classroom during their writing hour. My job is simple, to make sure they have a capital at the start of each sentence and punctuation at the end, use proper grammar, check their spelling and make sure they have clear and complete sentences. While the rules are simple, the kids still need constant reminders for these tasks.

You may be asking, “What does 3rd grade writing have to do with digital marketing?” Amazingly, A TON. At Web Marketing Therapy, I help proofread copy for our clients, anything and everything: social media posts, blog posts, meta data code for SEO, press releases, website copy, copy in images and more. We often find spelling and grammatical errors-it happens to the best of us. We also stage interventions when we see clients blogging sloppily or using poor form – it’s a major credibility killer! My healthy digital marketing advice is to exercise proper netiquette, ALWAYS proofread your writing!

Here is the checklist I use when volunteering in the classroom. More adults need to respect these rules!checklist

Remember, the way you write is a reflection of your brand!

With technology today, it is a quick and easy step to use the built in tools of spell check and grammar check before posting your work. Be sure to use them. If writing isn’t your strength, have someone proofread your work! Asking for help is a small step that makes a BIG impression!

Mind your grammar manners!

Spell and Grammar Check Your work

 

 

 

Lorrie Thomas
Stay on Your Marketing Journey!

wmt_butterfly_quote_blogI came across this quote “Perhaps the butterfly is proof… that you can go through a great deal of darkness yet become something beautiful.” and it spoke to me in a number of ways.

Whether you are an entrepreneur on a professional journey, an organization cleaning up a marketing mess, a company going through a rebrand, or if you are personally going through some $#!t (let’s be real, life happens) remember the power of staying on the path to where you want to go is SO worth it.

I look back to when I started my business back in 2005. It was a dark time. I was going through a divorce, my father died unexpectedly, I was up to my eyeballs in debt, was trying to get through grad school and I was in the early stages of starting a business. I accepted the fact that I was in “cocoon” mode, hunkered down, kept my focus and had faith that I would emerge beautifully.

I was re-marketing myself (as a single person, a businesswoman & a company leader) as well as launching and marketing Web Marketing Therapy. I knew where I wanted to go personally and professionally and I held that vision with me every day. It wasn’t always cozy in that cocoon. I had dark and scary days, but I embraced the daze of creation and kept my focus.

A decade later, I work with my wasband, I’m happily remarried, I’m a mom, paid off my debt, I got that degree (negotiating marketing work with my university in exchange for tuition is another blog topic in itself!) and WMT is a happy, healthy, kick-ass company.

Life isn’t always pretty, but it’s pretty wonderful when you embrace the journey. You CAN spread your wings and fly!!!

Virtual marketing hugs,
The Marketing Therapist®

 

Lorrie Thomas
Tough Love – Why You Need a Linkedin Company Page

If you don’t have a LinkedIn Company Page yet, then it’s prime time to get on the Web Marketing Therapy couch for some tough love and learn the reasons why you need a LinkedIn Company page. Being a part of the “World’s Largest Network” is not only is a way to manage your personal identity but it is also a way to increase your company’s visibility. And with over 300 million members – it’s a must!

Marketing Rx – Swallow these statistics on LinkedIn Company pages:

  • 68% of LinkedIn members say that they would like to receive relevant news articles or insights from companies.
  • Companies that post 20 times per month reach at least 60% of their unique audience.
  • Recent research shows that LinkedIn is 277% more effective at lead generation than Facebook or Twitter.
  • Members are 50% more likely to purchase from a company they engage with on LinkedIn.

Slow is the same as stop in web and social media marketing. Stay on top of the social media curve by jumping on this opportunity. It’s a professional and free way to keep your company name out there and connect with current and potential customers. Plus, with Facebook Business pages becoming less and less prominent in feeds (unless you pay to play- read the new Facebook News Feed rules) it is just plain foolish to not create a business page for your LinkedIn account. I told you this therapy session was going to involve some tough love 🙂

Your personal connections on your LinkedIn account will be able to follow your new LinkedIn Company page. A LinkedIn Company page will increase your brand visibility and would be geared to attracting potential clients.

When posting to your new LinkedIn Company page, you will have access to specify a target audience for each post. You can choose what type of industry, the company size, function, location and language preference you want your LinkedIn Company update to be seen by. A powerful tool that is not provided by other social media platforms i.e. Twitter or Facebook unless again if you are paying for it. Here is a screenshot of what LinkedIn’s Targeted Audience tool looks like:

linkedin-targeted-audience

To reiterate – a LinkedIn Company page is not connected to your personal profile. It is simply another opportunity to gain followers and create another way to communicate and capture members and product purchasers. There is no “handling” of your personal contacts with a Company page other than having a good excuse to invite them to follow your new page to get business tips, advice and inspiration from posts and updates. The credibility factor also seals the deal with potential clientele who are doing their web research on your company and how many employees you may have and what their experience looks like. SEO wise a LinkedIn Company page will come up higher in searches, usually on the first page of searched keywords associated with your brand.

There’s no time like the present. Okay, session is over, get off the couch and and get going on creating your new LinkedIn Company page!

 

virtualwordspecialist
The Power of Your Profile Picture

Professional Image by Toki Lee Photography

I am not exaggerating when I say hiring a professional to take my photo for profile pictures and my online brand was one of the best investments I ever made. It also was a lot of fun too!

I chose a photographer whose portfolio and experience with business professionals matched the look I wanted. In advance of the photo session, the photographer provided me with guidelines, tips and ideas to make the whole process successful and very enjoyable. (I love it when professionals lead!)

Whether you are an entrepreneur or work for a company, your profile picture defines your personal brand. If you don’t have the budget to hire a professional photographer, there are a few practical guidelines that can help get the most mileage out of your profile picture.

1) Determine the “look” you want to achieve. You can do this by stating what you are going to use the photos for i.e. business or pleasure or both. I tailored my images to function well for both business and personal use.

2) Let your personality shine through. Whether you hire a photographer or have a friend take your photo, relax and have fun! How you feel during the process will show up in the image. If you feel good about yourself chances are you will look good too.

3) Consider your dress code and attire. My photographer (Toki Lee (tokileephoto.com) generally divides the wardrobe styles into three categories: Professional, Casual-Nice or Casual and highly recommends a “simple is better” approach. Here are some of her recommendations regarding wardrobe:

  • No big patterns or stripes or florescent colors.
  • Avoid whites if you can (although a white button-down under a suit, cardigan, etc. is fine).
  • Only wear simple and subtle jewelry – nothing too distracting to take away from your eyes and personality.
  • Bring a couple of options for each of those three styles to your photo session.

Toki believes clothing is not nearly as important as it used to be since most images including professional head shots are used online, generally in thumbnail size. Ultimately, the neckline and good grooming practices including hair and makeup are really what matter most.

A quick online search revealed that other business and marketing professionals agree with the importance of a relaxed and comfortable profile or headshot photo. They also highly discourage “selfies” for professional profile uses. A LinkedIn Pulse article titled: “What Your Headshot Says about You” concludes that a “selfie” profile image does not convey professionalism that would make clients; prospective clients, partners or employers take them very seriously.

In Lorrie Thomas Ross’ online course Personal Brand Building Basics, she confirms how your image is conveyed through your profile photo. “You cannot not communicate.” Lorrie suggests that look critically at the way you present yourself both personally and professionally. Make sure that if the photos used are not the same they are consistent in style and image.

And the best part – the BEFORES!  Here are a few of my in previous images used in social media profiles:

Sources:

Lorrie Thomas Ross – Personal Brand Building Basics Lynda.com online course library http://www.lynda.com/Business-Business-Skills-tutorials/Personal-Branding-Basics/126618-2.html

LinkedIn article: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/article/20140812145657-40075634-what-your-headshot-says-about-you-part-1

Backstage: http://www.backstage.com/advice-for-actors/headshots/5-things-remember-your-next-headshot-shoot/

Toki Lee Photography: tokileephoto.com

Katherine L. Garcia
Marketing Yourself to Get the Job You Want

I recently wrote an article for LinkedIn about how I scored an internship with Web Marketing Therapy. The article, called Sending out a Résumé is Not Enough Anymore is about career management. Marketing yourself is the core of career management, so I am sharing the article here as well for anyone wanting to manage their personal brand or market themselves for that next job.

As soon as I heard about Web Marketing Therapy, I knew I wanted to work with them. So I let them know. I emailed them twice explaining the value I could bring to the team. It wasn’t until I made an effort to meet with WMT’s CEO, Lorrie Ross when she was speaking at a Santa Barbara conference that I made a dent. Through persistence, vivid passion, and some healthy cyber stalking, I was able to score (and create) an internship, which became a full time job!

Employers want people who are hungry and who really want that job. It’s important to stand out beyond the resume and really show them you want it. Taking the extra step to research the company and understand its values are ways of showing you care about the company you’re applying for. It’s the small extra efforts that make you stand out from everyone else and helps you score that job.

The LinkedIn post has marketing wisdom on how to present yourself and also ties into the importance of personal branding. It also is a great reminder to go grab the reigns of what you want in your professional life! I invite you to read the post here.

Marketing Love,

Katherine

virtualwordspecialist
Business Leaders Share Career Development Tips

Sheryl Sandberg opened up a flurry of opinions and enthusiasm when she discussed women and their careers in her book “Lean In.” Continuing the “lean in” discussion, online learning company, lynda.com selected five video course instructors (including WMT’s Lorrie Thomas Ross) and shared their helpful career development tips in a Slideshare presentation titled: “Five Ways for Women to “Lean In” to Their Careers in 2014.”  The advice ranges from getting out of your comfort zone, the importance of personal branding and managing your career to negotiating your worth to values and vision leadership.

Business News Daily staff writer, Nicole Fallon also highlighted the best five quotes from the “Five Ways Women Can “Lean In” to their Careers” presentation in her article: “5 Changes That Will Take Your Career to the Next Level.”  Tips follow.

  • Disrupt yourself to get to the next level. Speaker Whitney Johnson inspires people to shake things by using the power “disruptive innovation” to their own careers. She encourages people to actively take the right risks, play to their distinctive strengths, all the while understanding and recognizing constraints. Johnson admits this will not be easy and that you may step back, sideways or even fail in the process but that eventually, your strategy will emerge.  Quote: “Learn how you can disrupt yourself.”
  • Tend your personal brand. Personal branding expert (and our company CEO), Lorrie Thomas Ross points out that people need to be aware of the personal brand they are building every day, through their actions, ideas and their online presence. Quote: “Be intentional about the brand called you.”
  • Proactively manage your career. Valerie Sutton recommends people seeking their dream job create a gap analysis to map a path to it. First, they will need to determine through research the requirements needed for the ideal position. Then, they will need to identify which requirements are missing from their skill set (gaps) and come up with a plan to fill them in. Quote: “You can shadow others through informational interviewing to think through how you might fill some of those gaps.”
  • Claim your worth. Lisa Gates contends that learning how to successfully negotiate your salary and career opportunities is critical to career success. Lisa also affirms that every savvy leader is also a strong negotiator who knows their worth and is not afraid to claim it. Quote: “To be successful in negotiation, it’s best to walk in prepared.”
  • Lead with vision and values. Britt Andreatta contends that people want vision and values from their leaders. Leaders who clearly articulate their values and vision for the future, will build a healthy and positive culture. Quote: Having a clearly articulated set of values and a vision for the future, both contribute to a healthy, positive culture.”

For additional information on Lorrie’s personal branding video course, check out Lorrie Thomas Personal Branding Basics course on lynda.com.