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Inbound & Digital Marketing Blog

4 Easy Steps to a Custom LinkedIn Profile URL

Posted by Kami Valdez

April 23, 2015

When you first sign up for LinkedIn, you are assigned a default URL that includes your name, dashes, slashes, and numbers that is really hard to remember. But LinkedIn allows you to customize your URL and create something unique and memorable.

I recommend you choose something that uses your first and last name and is easy to remember. Your name must be different from every other LinkedIn member, so use your middle initial or middle name if your name has already been claimed by someone else.

Your public profile URL is easy to change, and helps you look like an experienced LinkedIn user, so I don't want to hear any excuses!

Step 1: 

Move your cursor over Profile at the top of your homepage and select Edit Profile.

 Edit-LinkedIn-Profile

Step 2:

Click the gear icon next to your URL link under your profile photo. It will be an address like www.linkedin/in/your-name/92/510/448

 LinkedIn-Public-Profile-URL

Step 3:

Under the Your public profile URL section at the top of the right sidebar, click + Create your custom URL.

 LinkedIn-Create-Your-Custom-URL

Step 4:

Type the last part of your new custom URL in the text box and click Save.

LinkedIn_Public_Profile_URL

 

You will no longer look like a LinkedIn newbie and the URL will look great whenever and wherever you post it.

If you are interested in having us review your LinkedIn profile, click the button below, and we’ll provide you a Free LinkedIn Profile Review.

Get Your LinkedIn Review

 

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Topics: Social Media


5 Crucial Parts to a LinkedIn Profile that Brings You Leads

Posted by Kami Valdez

April 10, 2015

Is your LinkedIn profile powerful enough to get you leads? Before you automatically tell yourself "Sure" and move on to the next article, think about it for a minute.

Does your profile get you leads? It can, you know. But for your profile to get you leads on LinkedIn, there are 5 crucial components it must have.

                         5_Crucial_Parts_to_a_LinkedIn_Profile_that_Brings_You_Leads

Most profiles I review on LinkedIn look like they were thrown together in 10 minutes, over 5 years ago, and have barely been touched since. LinkedIn can be very powerful for bringing you leads, so having a strong profile should be a priority.  

Take a look at your own profile right now. Go ahead and pull it up. Don’t worry, I’ll wait…

Got it? Great! Let’s do a quick review of the 5 crucial parts that, if optimized, will help bring you leads.

1. The Headline. Read your headline. Does it tell WHAT you do, or does it state your title? I know, I know, you worked hard for that title, but a title like "President at" or "CEO at" isn’t going to help you get leads. And that is one of the main reasons you are on LinkedIn, right?

Your headline needs to convey what you do to help solve your client’s problems -- using words potential clients would use to search for you. Spend a few minutes thinking about those keywords, and replace your current headline with them, like our President, Clarke Bishop:

Clarke_Bishoop_Inbound_Team_LinkedIn_Profile


2. Your Profile Picture. Look at the picture you uploaded to LinkedIn. Is it a picture of you and your significant other? Or you and your pet? Or, worst of all, a blank avatar? Augh!

Your picture should be professional. You should be facing forward or slightly toward the text on the page. You should be smiling and your attire should reflect what you would wear to an interview.

You should look like someone people want to know. This may be the only impression you get to leave with someone -- so make it a good one!

 

3. LinkedIn Public Profile URL. Your public profile URL should be customized to say your name or what you do. The last thing you want to do is leave it as your name with a bunch of numbers after. Nothing says amateur LinkedIn user like a profile URL that is not customized.

This is such an easy fix. Move your cursor over “Profile” at the top of your homepage and select “Edit Profile”. Under your profile picture is the link to your public profile URL.

Click the edit icon (pencil) next to your URL. On the next page at the top right, click on the edit icon again and type the last part of your new custom URL, like so:

 Edit_Public_Profile_URL_Inbound_Team

 

4. Summary. Your summary should not read like a resume, listing all your accomplishments, the awards you’ve won, and what you do at your job. You can spend one or two paragraphs telling your story and what makes you credible, but do it in a way that speaks directly to your target audience and make it relevant to their needs.

It should explain who your ideal clients are and what solutions you offer to solve their problems. You should know what pain points your ideal client has and what your company does to remedy them.

End your summary with a call to action -- what you want them to do next. This is how you close the deal.

 

5. Shared Content. LinkedIn is a business community and sharing costs you absolutely nothing, but be sure to share information your client will find useful. The better the content you share, the more trust you build.

Share things your audience cares about, as doing this will help you build credibility and trust. The more content you share, the more you’ll show up on other feeds. People will feel like they know you and you can be trusted as an expert.

Sharing content gives people the opportunity to interact with you. They will look at your profile, and if you have put in the effort to improve your profile, you can’t help but get leads.

 

If you are interested in having us review your LinkedIn profile, get your Free LinkedIn Profile Review by clicking below.

Get Your LinkedIn Review

Tell me what you think. Is there a part of the LinkedIn Profile I missed that you feel is very important for getting leads?

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Topics: Lead Generation


5 Steps to Win Content Marketing MVP

Posted by Kami Valdez

March 20, 2015

Are you playing to win when it comes to content marketing? The key to content marketing success is sharing valuable and interesting information, consistently, that draws in your readers and keeps them reading.

win-content-marketing-mvp

You need a game plan--a process to produce and consistently deliver information your readers will quickly devour. Below are the steps needed to help get you started on your own game plan and win with your marketing.

Follow these 5 steps to become a content marketing MVP:

1. Perform a Content Marketing Audit

Pull all your existing marketing collateral together, such as current web pages, printed material, slide decks, blog posts, advertising, brochures and any old material hidden away in filing cabinets or folders that might be put to good use.

Analyze what you have, how effective it’s been, and then consider what objectives you hope to accomplish. Ask yourself, “What is my goal?" With this knowledge, you can determine the gap between where you are and where you want to be and create the content you need to reach your buyer.

2. Create your Content Marketing Strategy

This will provide strategic direction on how your marketing content and content marketing processes will help you achieve your business goals. Your content strategy should be directly related to your business objectives and your customers’ needs.

You need to document your strategy. To properly plan content, you should clearly list the goals your business has and then prioritize them. Then, create objectives that help you reach these goals. Review your content and ask how well the content matches or serves these goals and objectives. Then you will have no problem creating meaningful content that achieves your goals because it stays on message.  

3. Develop Well-defined Targets

To make content marketing work, you need to understand who you are selling to. Your blogs, email marketing, white papers, videos, e-books, podcasts and advertising all need to speak to your buyer. The best way to keep visitors engaged with your site and company is to set business goals and then create content that helps you meet them. With your goals in place, you can create content that serves those goals.

Determine your target audience and build buyer personas or profiles for each sector you intend to target. You can then build an editorial calendar to plan the content you are going to deliver to each audience.

4. Compose and Distribute Great Content

The content you create will depend on the objectives outlined in your content marketing strategy. Remember to create the kind of content your target audience will actually care about.

Simply creating good content isn’t enough, you need to distribute that content to reach people. Your distribution plan will be guided by where your target audience consumes content. Make sure your content is easy to share to encourage more engagement and sharing.

5. Monitor, Measure and Make Improvements

Most important, you need to measure your progress on an ongoing basis. These metrics will provide you with valuable information on what’s working and what can be improved upon.

The metrics will also provide insights into developing new opportunities for engagement and content delivery and will guide your strategy and content marketing system moving forward.

By creating great content, developing a strategy, defining your target reader, composing and distributing your content, and measuring your success, you will become a true content marketing MVP.

If you need some extra help creating a content marketing plan for your business, use our Content Marketing Kit. Or you can always give us a call.

Are you a content marketing MVP? Please share the tricks and techniques you have discovered that are delivering the best results for your business.

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Topics: Inbound Marketing, Content Marketing


How To Get Prospects To Listen To Your Marketing

Posted by Kami Valdez

February 18, 2015

shutterstock_158199479

 

Do you know your clients? Really know your clients? Do you understand what puts them over the moon and what keeps them up at night? Are you listening? Or are you so busy talking about you, that you know nothing about them?

Here’s the truth. No one cares about you. People are only interested in themselves. The only way to get someone to pay attention to you is if you are talking about what interests them!

Knowing your audience is essential for inbound marketing success. Every individual prospect will be different, but there are things they have in common, and you can use these commonalities to create marketing personas that will make your prospects think you are talking directly to them, about them.

Marketing personas should represent your best clients. They give guidance for molding your future products or services. They help with the decision making process of your marketing strategies. They direct your sales and marketing teams in knowing what to say.

Here's a simple three-step guide to help you create a marketing persona:

  1. Identify your ideal client(s). You need to gather the basic facts about them like: What's the size of their company? What industry are they in? Are they a new startup or an established business? Where are they located? Questions like these will help you define who they are.
  2. Know what they like. Identify the things that they actually buy and use or how they spend their money. Based on these facts, you will know what and if they are willing to pay for your products or services.
  3. Find out their drivers. What desired result are they seeking? What problems do they need to have solved? Knowing the answers to these questions will help you understand the wants and needs of your ideal clients so you can speak their language.

These are just a few basic things to remember when creating your marketing personas. Spend some time getting to know your ideal clients better, and you will discover your best prospects will hang on your every word.

If you need some help creating the perfect marketing persona for your business, download our Precise Prospect Profile Worksheet. Or you can always give us a call.

Tell me, have you developed personas for your company yet? Leave a comment below--I’m all ears…

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Topics: Lead Generation, Small Business Marketing, Inbound Marketing, Content Marketing


LinkedIn Lead Generation - 3 Powerful Sales Ideas for 2015

Posted by Clarke Bishop

January 6, 2015

shutterstock_92434219_Powerful

In a recent Ask the Expert interview, I discussed three powerful ways to bring sales to your LinkedIn doorstep.  These are three known, but not necessarily well used, techniques that will help bring you more prospects, more sales and more revenue as we move into 2015. 

With over 100 million US users of LinkedIn and more than 330 million users worldwide (current as of Nov 2014) – and with a target of 3 billion, LinkedIn provides a social media framed business tool that is a great way to attract leads. There are three strategies you can use on LinkedIn:

  1. Finding inbound leads.

  2. Using outbound methods.

  3. Engaging through groups.

Finding Inbound Leads

Setting up your profile and waiting for them to find you CAN work, but often doesn’t.  Yet, this is the method most people choose to deploy (and often the only one they ever use.)  For this approach to work at all, you need a well thought out landing page (treat it like a web page) for prospects to find you as a solution to their issues.  You need to know what people are looking for within LinkedIn and how you can position yourself to be found instead of blending in with all your competition.  Using relevant keywords that are exclusive to you is important.  Google yourself and see how you show there – does LinkedIn come up above your Facebook profile?  It should and needs to.

Using Outbound Methods

An outbound approach requires analysis, follow up and planning.  First you need to define who your target is, and what it is you have that they need.  How do you solve their problems?  How do you make their life better/easier?  You can begin by asking for a connection, or you can go another route that I describe in my interview (listen and I’ll share a great door opening strategy – it is an instant ‘warmer upper’ – and worth the listen, I promise!)  LinkedIn has made outbound calling and connecting so much simpler and it is something that I advocate for all my clients.

Through Engagement

Give educational materials to your prospects through the group function of LinkedIn and get them to, you guessed it, engage.  If you can help people ask questions that you can provide excellent answers to, you can also help win their trust and their business.  You become the coveted expert who they will turn to for their answers and most likely, their business will come your way as well.

Be sure to listen to the audio interview to hear my own personal success stories as well as those of my clients. This really works well when you execute it properly.  

Feel like your LinkedIn profile isn't as good as it could be? Click the button below to get a Free LinkedIn Profile Review.

Get Your LinkedIn Review

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Topics: Lead Generation


Top 5 Reasons You Should Be On LinkedIn

Posted by Kami Valdez

December 30, 2014

LinkedIn is the social network where business professionals are spending their time. You can generate leads, build relationships, improve your reputation, gain insights, establish thought leadership, build online communities, and so much more.

5_Reasons_You_Should_Be_On_LinkedIn

In today’s business world, relationships are more important than ever and professional networking has never been as critical and necessary as it is today. Here are a few reasons everyone should be on LinkedIn.

  1. Show others who you are.

A LinkedIn profile shows people who you are, what you know, where you’ve been, what you’ve done, and what you are interested in. Showcase your abilities and let people know why they should hire you or do business with you. A great profile lets others see not only your professional side, but your personality as well.

  1. Get noticed.

To be found, you should be where other professionals are searching for you. That perfect company or perfect client could be looking for someone like you right now on LinkedIn. People change jobs, switch careers, and start new businesses all the time. Being active on LinkedIn will allow opportunities to come directly to you.

  1. Connect with others.

LinkedIn was built for networking. Connect to the people you know from school or through work. You can also discover key people that could help you get your foot in the door or could potentially be great clients.

  1. Share what you know and learn from others.

Join groups with the same interests, where you can share information and discuss ideas. Learn more about your specific niche from renowned people within that industry. Answer questions and demonstrate know-how to build your reputation and help others see you as an expert.

  1. Generate leads.

Connect with prospects on LinkedIn. Research ideal prospects and then nurture the relationship by sharing content. Offer a free e-book or whitepaper and, using a call to action, direct them to download the information giving you a warm lead. Continue to provide them with great information to move them down your sales funnel.

LinkedIn is by far the most important social network for business professionals.It is the platform that is serious about business with people that are passionate about their professions. You need to be on LinkedIn to take full advantage of all it has to offer. So tell me...what’s stopping you from being on LinkedIn?

p.s. Feel like your profile isn't as good as it could be? Click the button below to get a FREE LinkedIn Profile Review.

Get Your LinkedIn Review

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Topics: Social Media


LinkedIn Lead Generation for B2B Sales

Posted by Clarke Bishop

December 1, 2014


Why Use LinkedIn for Sales?

We are working to create some great resources to help sales people and marketers find more leads and get more exposure on LinkedIn.

Please help us by answering the following questions:

Do you use LinkedIn for selling and lead generation?

  • If so, what had you start using LinkedIn? And, what's your biggest current challenge?
  • If not, what's holding you back? 

Please leave a comment below or respond on LinkedIn—whatever's easiest. Any ideas you have are greatly appreciated.

linkedin-lead-generation

New LinkedIn Tools Coming Soon

A lot of new LinkedIn tools are in the works:

  • A book to help you learn how to really prospect and sell on LinkedIn. 

    Not just the "How to build your profile" stuff that everyone has. Real selling for real salespeople!

  • An online learning website that's all about LinkedIn selling. Some courses will be free or very inexpensive.

  • Other information that you request by leaving a comment below.

If you want to stay up to date on our LinkedIn plans, request a LinkedIn Review.

Get Your LinkedIn Review


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Get AdWords Help from Inbound Team

Posted by Clarke Bishop

August 19, 2013

Google Marketing Agencies like Inbound Team have a special type of AdWords account. It's called an MCC (My Client Center) account.

So that we can help you improve your pay per click marketing, please complete these steps.

Login to AdWords, and get your Customer ID. It's a 10-digit number that shows up in the upper right corner when you log into AdWords. Send the number to your Inbound Team account manager.

Get Adwords Help

Once we get your Customer ID, we'll request access to your account.

You will receive an email from Google that contains a link to approve our request. Either click the link or log back in to AdWords.

Go to "My account" > "Account access" in your account and click "Accept invitation." You must be an administrator on the account.

Once you've approved access, we will review your account and let you know how you can improve your paid search marketing results.

You can always turn off our access if we decide not to work together. Doing things this way leave you in complete control, and lets us get the information we need to help you improve your marketing ROI.

 

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Topics: Inbound Marketing, Conversion, Pay-Per-Click


Volusion Access for HubSync Setup

Posted by Clarke Bishop

July 29, 2013

Volusion HubSpot ConnectorHubSync requires that we add some small amounts of javascript code to certain pages. In most cases we add the code to Article 101 (Add To Cart) and Article 130 (Order Finished).

We also require that the lastest HubSpot tracking code be correctly installed in Volusion. 

The final thing we need is API access to retrieve orders and send the data into HubSpot.

Volusion Permissions

Volusion allows you to set very specific permissions, and it's not always clear what each setting does. If anything is missing, we'll have to ask you to add that permission. For convenience, here is the list of permissions we need:

  • Products
  • Customers
  • Orders
  • Articles
  • Import
  • Export
  • File Editor
  • API

Details on each permission are shown below in a table copied directly from Volusion. The permissions we need are highlighted in orange. 

By default, your store has a primary administrator account – known as the Super Admin – which is typically assigned Customer ID #1 within your Customers database table. The Super Admin has access to every portion of your store.

Note that customer accounts can only be granted administrator access by a Super Admin.

Database Tables

Products Ability to view/edit Products, Options, Option Categories, Warehouses, and In-Stock Requests.
Product_Keys Ability to view/edit Product Keys and Product Key Distribution.
Discounts Ability to view/edit Coupons / Discounts.
GiftCards Ability to view/edit Gift Certificates.
Customers Ability to view/edit Customers Accounts (non-Administrator accounts), including customer passwords. This Access Key is also a prerequisite for the following Access Keys: CRM System, Accounts, Administrators, Affiliates,and LoginAsCustomer.
LoginAsCustomer Ability to login as a customer.
Reviews Ability to view/edit Customer Reviews.
Affiliates Ability to view/edit Affiliates (system settings) and Affiliate Stats.
ConfigSetup Ability to view/edit Config Variables, Company, SEO and Product Display Settings.
PaymentMethods Ability to view/edit settings on the Payment page. This Access Key is also a prerequisite for the Credit / Debit Cards Access Key.
Vendors Ability to view/edit Vendors.
POs Ability to view/edit Purchase Orders.
Orders Ability to view/edit Orders, Phone Orders, Recurring Billing, Returns / RMAs andAbandoned/Live Carts. Allows the use of the Point of Sale system. This Access Key is also a prerequisite for the Credit / Debit Cards Access Key.
Credit / Debit Cards Ability to view/complete Credit / Debit Card / eCheck details of an Order. Note that due to PCI/CISP compliance regulations, no administrator will ever have access to view a customer's full credit card number.
Articles Ability to view/edit articles (Site Content) and the Knowledge Base.
Newsletters Ability to view/edit Newsletters.
Categories Ability to view/edit Categories (including subcategories).
Specials Ability to view/edit Nav Menu Promotions.

 

Admin Area Sections

Import Ability to use Data Import tool.
Export Ability to use Data Export tool. This Access Key is also a prerequisite for theAPI Access Key.
AdminHistory Ability to view Admin History table.
File Editor Ability to view/edit Templates, Custom Fields, IP Firewall and File Editor. TheFile Editor give access to change website colors and edit HTML and CSS files. This Access Key is also a prerequisite for the BrandingImages (Logos) Access Key.
Inventory Ability to prepare shipments and receiving at Receiving and view/edit Search Terms.
ShippingMethods Ability to view/edit/test Shipping Methods in Shipping. This Access Key is also a prerequisite for the Locations Access Key.
Locations Ability to view/edit Locations (Edit Countries/States/Provices in Shipping) andCurrency.
Tax Ability to view/edit tax rates and settings in Tax.
ROITracker Ability to view/edit ROI Tracking.
StoreStats Ability to view/generate reports at Reporting and view graphs/statistics on theDashboard.
WebsiteDesign Ability to view/edit styles and settings in Navigation Menu.
BrandingImages Ability to view/edit Logos.
Maintenance Ability to open/close the store and use tools in Maintenance.
Administrators Ability to create/edit Administrators and update Access Keys. Note that having the Access Key of Customers gives you the ability to view theAdministrators table, but you will not have the ability to open or edit any records until this Administrators Access Key is checked.
Volusion Social Ability to post from the Social page.
Deal of the Day Ability to create/edit deals in Deal of the Day.
Social Store Ability to modify settings in Social Store.
CRM Manager Ability to create/edit settings at CRM System.
API Ability to access/use Volusion API tools.
My Rewards Ability to modify settings at MyRewards.
Release Notes Ability to view Release Notes.

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Topics: eCommerce


Tracking Total Number of Orders with HubSync3

Posted by Clarke Bishop

March 19, 2013

Some of you want to track the total number of orders received from each customer. That way you can send special messages or special offers to your best customers.

Order Totals Workflow

  1. Log into HubSpot and go to Contacts -> Workflows.

  2. Click the Create new workflow button, and name the workflow "Completed Purchase HubSync3," or whatever you'd like.

  3. Setup the information to look like the example below.

    The workflow should trigger whenever the form named Completed Purchase (HubSync 3) is submitted.

    When this happens, the total number of orders gets increased by 1.

    You can add more workflow steps if you want. Remember you can only use each form once. HubSync Total Orders
  4. Be sure to click the Save workflow button in the lower right. Also click the button to make the workflow live in the upper right.

  5. VERY IMPORTANT: In the side navigation, click Edit workflow.
    Then, in the next screen, make sure Any time one of the Starting Conditions occurs is selected. Finally, click Save.

    If you forget to do this step, it will only increment the orders once for each contact.

    HubSync3 Workflow Sidebar
    HubSync3 Workflow Settings

That's it! Now the Total Orders will increment with each new order.

I hope you like the changes. Leave a comment to let me know what you think!

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Topics: Lead Generation, Small Business Marketing, Marketing Automation


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