Looks Matter

I read an article by Business Insider online about how your looks really do matter. At least, that’s what research by the Ladders found when studying what people looked at on LinkedIn profiles.

They discovered through heat map and eye-tracking research that the profile picture is the first thing people look at. And I can vouch for that personally. People like pictures. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words.

So what does your picture say?

In the conclusion of the article they said that putting a picture up does invite both acceptance and rejection. People can dismiss you much like they do in face-to-face interactions if you’re too old, too young, or even – too beautiful. This one was shocking to me, but I think I get what they mean. Some people are written off as just another pretty face (aka, not intelligent) before a word is even uttered from their lips.

So what can we learn from this research? I’d like to go on a rant about the importance of not judging a book by its cover, however that is like trying to stop a leaky dam with bubble gum now isn’t it? Instead, let’s keep this research in mind when posting pictures of ourselves on any online site, and make sure the image portrayed is one we’d like to use in a professional setting.

This advice is very similar to an article I wrote on the topic – Social Media Tips. And this information is similar to research done by the Ladders on how recruiters only spend 6 seconds on your resume. My summary here – Gone in 6 seconds.

If you’re unsure of whether or not your online profiles are up to par, and would like some expert help, Contact Us today. Our Online Marketing Services include image consulting to ensure you’re online presence is portraying the image you desire.

3 Tips to Make YouTube Work for Your Business

You may think YouTube is just a place to watch that hilarious panda sneeze or other funny videos. But what you may not realize is that it’s also an effective place to promote your business, if done correctly. Considering the average viewing time is 2.5 minutes, according to co-founder Chad Hurley, you have plenty of time to get your message out to your target audience.

Most TV commercials are only 30 seconds and cost thousands of dollars, so utilizing this opportunity properly could really pay off. So here are the three tips to show you exactly how to leverage this valuable online tool:

1. Short and simple – Keeping in mind that viewers are only there for a couple of minutes should tell you that you need to get to the point fast. Give them the answer to their question ‘why should I care’ quickly. And keep it interesting from the start – no boring talking heads here.

2. Quality is key – Anyone who has viewed YouTube videos will tell you there’s a plethora of poor quality videos to view, and this is to be expected if you’re planning on watching a home video or funny blooper. But if you’re trying to sell products, services or ideas in a business setting, you’ll need to make sure the image you’re creating is up to par. Imagine that the CEO of a major corporation you want to partner with is watching. Or that company you would love to have on your roster is watching. That should set the bar for the type of quality you’re looking to create.

3. Use key words – Make sure it’s easy to find you by using the exact words people would use to search for your company, and utilize any analytics you have at your disposal to find them. Figure out what people type in when searching that leads them to your website, and you’ll be on the right track. Make sure you’re using all the SEO tricks from my previous article as well, only now for YouTube.

In conclusion, if utilized properly, YouTube can be a valuable resource for free advertising or promotion, as well as education. You can directly target your desired audience, and even get some subgroups of your targeted demographics. If nothing else, you will have one more platform that leads people back to your website where that all-important call-to-action is. More about improving your online presence here.

Click here to contact us for more information about our online marketing services, or for a consultation on how to leverage YouTube.

3 Tips to Make Twitter Work for Your Business

Many people think Twitter is just a site used to follow celebrities and politicians. But it’s so much more than that; it all depends on how you leverage it. Like anything else in business, you have to find out what works and what doesn’t on each platform, and stay within those boundaries for the most effective messages to your target audiences.

With these things in mind, here are 3 Tips for Making Twitter Work for Your Business:

Tip #1: Follow strategically – Don’t just follow people you want to hear from, but follow those who are in your target audience or top influencer lists. This assumes of course you already know your target audience, and who is a top influencer in your industry. You can even request to be followed by sending some of those contacts an email. The bottom line is to follow anyone who you want to be in your social circle. And don’t forget to put your Twitter information on everything – your website, business card, LinkedIn page, etc.

Tip#2: Post frequently – Whatever you do, don’t make the same mistake millions make every year. Don’t start off strong on the social media networks and then drop off the face of the earth. It’s to your advantage to tweet timely, relevant content three times a day that appeals to your target audience. Give them a reason to click here, or fulfill a need they likely have. Just don’t use it as a way to advertise, use it as a way to lift a burden or answer a question. Think like your audience and you’ll be far more likely to tweet about things they care about. And make it easy for people to find you on Twitter with an easy @blank.

Tip#3: Pay attention – You should visit all three sites, but especially Twitter every day. See who is following you and follow them back if it’s a benefit to you; and make sure no one is mentioning you in a negative light. Your online reputation can either be a valuable asset or your worst nightmare. Most people who are really working the social sites are online for a minimum of 2 hours total a day for each company or brand they represent. This is why people hire an online marketing coordinator, because they simply don’t have that kind of time. If it’s too much trouble for you to even download the Twitter app to your smart phone and look at it three times a day to stay current, then by all means pass the reigns over to someone who knows what they’re doing.

In conclusion, if you don’t feel you have the knowledge, time or energy to keep up with these tasks, then let someone handle it who does it for a living. These people research current trends, stay up to date on the newest technologies, and know what works and what doesn’t from trial and error. I speak from experience, as that’s what I do for a living.

Contact us today to find out more about our Online Marketing Services.


5 Tips to Make LinkedIn Work for Your Business

In my last article I discussed how to make Facebook work for your business. This article is more about LinkedIn, which is a completely different animal all together.

I recently tapped into the power of LinkedIn by exploring LinkedIn groups. If you aren’t utilizing and frequently engaging in LinkedIn groups, you should be! The referral traffic we got to our website grew exponentially, but it took a lot of work. So, in this article I’m going to tell you what I learned, and how you too can make LinkedIn work for your business.

  1. Join Groups – Not just any groups; and not just the groups that interest you – but the groups of people who are your target audience. If you want to speak to a group of people you need to be in their group, and speak to their needs directly. How can you help them? What do you bring to the discussion?
  2. Follow the rules – After you’ve joined a group pay attention to the auto-reply email you get with all the rules of that group in it and follow them, otherwise you will be booted out. It’s important to stay relevant and post content that is timely and under the right tab. For example, if you are selling Coach handbags you wouldn’t post a link to your website in every group discussion when that has nothing to do with HR, IT, or Engineering jobs for example. That is the quickest way to be flagged as inappropriate and be banned altogether.
  3. Give and take – Don’t use this platform, or any other for that matter, as your personal soap box or for free advertising. No one wants to hear you rant, and no one wants shameless self-promotion. There is a balance, and if you’re not sure how to act then read some of the other approved comments and discussion posts first and follow suit.
  4. Contribute – Similar to #3 you want to contribute your wisdom and assistance where it’s appropriate. If you have an answer to someone’s questions, great! Feel free to answer, but like any educated argument, make sure you back it up with sound evidence or research, not just because you said so, and not because it’s your opinion. Find your specialty to focus on – don’t try to be the expert in every group, only talk about what you really know about.
  5. Advertise – Utilizing all LinkedIn has to offer, whether it’s paid advertising, paid job postings, or even the free tools takes time and money, but will pay off if handled correctly. We have found what works and what doesn’t through research and trial and error, and we can take care of it for you. We can even create, place and run analytics on ads for you.

To find out more about how to make LinkedIn work for your business, or to discuss our rates for our Online Marketing Services – Contact Us.



3 Major Misconceptions About Hiring the Right Talent

In my first article on Why Hire an External Recruiter we looked at the costs of hiring an internal recruiter, and all that goes into getting the right talent to fill a position in your company. Now I’d like to dig a little deeper and show you exactly what goes into finding and hiring the right person for the job.

Many people have no idea why it’s taking their HR department or internal recruiter weeks to find the right candidates for the open positions they need filled. They figure it should only take a week at most to get someone in the door. After all, isn’t it tough to find a job these days? Shouldn’t they be beating down the door?

Not so fast.

Here are the 3 major misconceptions people have about hiring the right talent, and why you should leave it to an expert recruiter (like ours) to do the job for you.

Misconception #1: List an ad and they will come – Just because you place a position on Indeed or some other online site, or even in the paper, doesn’t mean you’ll get a ton of applicants. And if you do, what a headache! You have to rifle through all of those horribly written resumes from people who aren’t even qualified and all of it just makes you wonder – Did they even read my ad? Sometimes that answer is no. They figure what the heck, the worst thing you’ll do is throw it in the trash. Which is true for them, but is annoying for you (and your HR department). Most companies get hundreds of resumes for a single job posting, and only a very small percentage are actually qualified, much less have enough experience to do the job well.

Misconception #2: Credentialing can all be done online – Are you kidding me? First of all, you have to pay each time you run a background check if you do it that way. Secondly, don’t forget about a credit check, reference check, and calling previous employers to ensure the applicant was truthful on their resume. If you run a background, criminal and credit check on just one single applicant you’re looking at days sometimes just to get all of that information back. Not to mention, all of that might look great on paper, but how do you know if they’re the right fit for the job? How is their personality? How do they handle conflict? What about a personality or behavioral assessment? All of these cost you time, money and effort that you don’t have. And honestly, does your HR department really have time to do that on hundreds of applicants well? Or do you think a single internal recruiter does? The answer is no.

Misconception #3: Interviewing is a breeze – Have you ever experienced a wonderful interview, hired the person, then a few months down the road wondered why on earth you did? That’s because people are on their best behavior in an interview. They’re nervous, yes, but they are going to tell you whatever you want to hear sometimes in order to get hired. Others aren’t very nervous at all. They’ve had several offers already, have practiced several times on what answers to give you, and are generally comfortable around upper management. But you have no idea what’s lurking beneath the surface of that candidate. For example, can you tell from a couple of interviews how a person will react under extreme pressure and stress? What about difficult conflicts or personality clashes? And better yet, what if they (gasp) don’t get their way!? These are all things you can’t tell from an interview.

This all bring me to my point. We have executive recruiters who CAN do all of the above, and have a proven track record of doing them well. And better than just interviewing candidates, they actually perform behavioral assessments if you so desire, just to ensure you’re getting the right candidate for your money. Just remember, each new hire is an investment; and you want to choose your investments wisely don’t you? Well you need an expert for that, just like you need an expert to handle your monetary investments.

Contact us today to learn more about our Executive Recruiting Services. There’s a better candidate out there. And we will find them for you.