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Wednesday, 27 July 2016

LinkedIn Tip # 51 - How should we communicate on LinkedIn?

Did you know that there is such a thing as good LinkedIn Etiquette?

Today when I mention anything about "etiquette" I often get know...THE LOOKS. Either they have no idea what I am speaking about, or they poo-poo the whole idea of anything that has to do with anything that might be considered proper or courteous to other people.

Usually when we hear anything that mentions etiquette, we immediately think about, "Which fork do I use at a formal dinner table?" However, etiquette applies to most everything we do in life.

Personally, I have experienced some hard lessons learned on this topic of how to communicate on LinkedIn. - Not only on LinkedIn, but all types of online systems.

Each of the platforms we use to connect with people online has its own style of etiquette.
Twitter is viewed as the "coffee shop chatter" where people go to have informal meetings over coffee. These conversations can be short, using hash tags. We only have 147 characters available, so there isn't a lot of flexibility with formalities.

Facebook is viewed as the "Backyard Bar-B-Q". This is more casual and allows for more informal far as a personal profile is concerned. However the business pages on Facebook still command a more professional formality in our communications. After all, we are looking to show our business in the best possible form, aren't we.

Google+ is similar to Facebook when it comes to how we handle our communications. We have a profile page and a business page, so the same standards apply.

LinkedIn is the most professional platform on the internet, bar none. Everyone here is looking to do business. So, here is the etiquette question: "How would you view someone who treated you professionally, addressing you by name and signing off with their name?"

Hi Mike,

Thanks for your recent comments.

I agree that we need to be more formal on LinkedIn. Tell me, what are your thoughts around introductions? How would you prefer to be introduced to someone on LinkedIn?

I look forward to your response.


I almost lost two great friendships over a misunderstood online communication. This was because the other person sent me a message that did not address me by name and just bluntly started out with a rant. It came across as very abrasive and gave a totally different meaning to the communication than was intended. I learned from this experience to always be sure to address people by name and give a short opening statement thanking them for connecting, a note they sent me, congratulations, endorsements, etc. Then addressing the topic of discussion in the main body of the message, always remembering to close with a proper signature.

I cannot tell you how many people send messages to me without addressing me by name, and without signing off properly. It makes me have to look twice to see who is sending me the message, especially if it is not in the middle of a chain of communications.

When you are in the middle of a chain of communications scheduling a coffee meeting or a time to chat, you are both usually on the same page, but I usually address them and sign my name at the end.

Here's my humble rule of thumb: "How would I feel if someone sent this message to me on this platform?"

Contact us if you have any questions about your online marketing and branding.

Christine Till
The Marketing Mentress

Monday, 25 July 2016

LinkedIn Tip # 50 - Does your headshot look like you?

How long has it been since you have had a professional headshot done?

Do you look like your headshot on LinkedIn?

How inviting does your headshot look? -Or is it scaring people away?

Are you smiling in your headshot? Did you know that your smile is your brand?

Try an experiment. Click on one of the groups that you are a member of on LinkedIn and do a member search. Check out all the headshots. Make a mental note of the ones that seem to resonate with you best. Do they look pleasant; have a smile; have professional dress? 
What else about the headshots seems to stand out for you?

Then check out their other online systems, website, Facebook, Twitter, Google +, etc. You can also do a Google search for them to see what pictures you can find. See if their headshot looks like the one on LinkedIn.

Have you attended a live networking event and met someone you thought you had never met before? You reach out to shake hands and introduce yourself, and before you can say anything, they say, "Hi (your name goes here)! It is great to meet you in person; we are connected on LinkedIn!"

You look at them and cannot recall any memory of ever having met them in your entire life!

Then they tell you their name. Suddenly you remember a sharp looking 40 year old you have recently connected with on LinkedIn. The picture you remember is 20 years younger than the person you are shaking hands with! Your mind is in a whirl trying to be sure you are making the correct association, so you ask them what their business is and get them talking about themselves.

Yup! Everything matches with your memory, except the headshot.

The first time this happened to me, I was totally blown away by how the person had aged! It make me scramble to keep my wits about me so that I did not say something that would embarrass them...or me!

At the same time, because they were not honest with me about their headshot, I couldn't help wonder if they would be dishonest in their business dealings as well. I never did business with the person because of this lack of being forthright on their part.

Have you ever had this happen to you?

Get a fresh new headshot every 2-3 years max!

For more help with your branding and marketing, respond to 

Christine Till
The Marketing Mentress

Friday, 22 July 2016

LinkedIn Tip #49 - Are you Personalizing your Invitations?

Are you receiving invitations to connect from people using the "canned" LinkedIn invite?

There is only so much LinkedIn can do to help us. We need to use our own brain box for the rest. It's common sense.

To personalize your invitations, you need to invite without clicking on the "People You May Know" profiles.

Hopefully you are only inviting people that you know to connect with you. When you invite people you do not know, you can get your profile I.D.K'd if 5 of those people say they Don't Know you. Simply put, your profile gets sent to 'LinkedIn Jail'.

Once your account has been frozen in 'LinkedIn Jail', it takes a few days to get it out of jail. 
So the rule of LinkedIn is to never invite people to connect with you unless you know them.

However, there is one caveat! Yes, there is always a caveat.

There are groups on LinkedIn called "L.I.O.N." groups. They are full of people who will connect with anyone whether they know you or not and never "I.D.K" you.

Here is the clincher: If you are sending the "Canned" invitation that is set up on LinkedIn, people do not feel that you are serious about building a business relationship with them.

Address them by name and let them know why you would like to connect with them. Make it personable. -And use your best grammar.

Let me know if you create a great invitation you would like to share with our followers.

Read more tips at

Christine Till

The Marketing Mentress

Monday, 11 July 2016

LinkedIn Tip #48 - Financial Planners Can Prosper with LinkedIn.

Are you a financial planner wondering how you can utilize this LinkedIn platform?

Not only do you wonder how you can utilize this platform, you are looking to discover how to make it "convert" into dollars for you.

Am I right?

You already make good money and now you just want to sit back and work exclusively with your target market. These are the clients who bring in the "milk and honey" money.

What is that perfect recipe for you?

It's like searching through a cookbook for the perfect recipe, you cook it and it tastes great. Then the next time, you find that you are missing one or two ingredients, so you either substitute or leave them out.

Yuck! Not the same taste is it.

The same thing works with LinkedIn. There is a recipe for each person using this platform. You need to find the recipe that works for you and your company.

You cannot do it by reading blogs and being a "lone wolf". I learned this the hard way when I first started my business. Thank goodness I had a coach! Since then I have had many coaches. I have read books and attended workshops and webinars by the dozen.

I found my "secret sauce" and I have made it my goal to help financial planners find their's.

Once you get your "Secret Sauce" down as a financial planner, you will never look back.

Struggling with your "Secret Sauce"?

Ask us how to find it.

Christine Till
The Marketing Mentress

LinkedIn Tip #47 - Are Your Blogs Tooooo Long?

Are you wondering why your blogs are not being read more regularly?

You have great content; you put many hours into researching your subject. You read and re-read, and write and re-write. Finally you are ready to publish your literary accomplishment!

Then just before you click the button to finally publish your blog on Linkedin Pulse, you do one final pass, reading through your blog making sure all your "t's" are crossed and the  "i's" are dotted. You create and add that perfect picture.

Click! Away it goes into...cyberspace!

Now you wait and see who will read your stuff.

But who WILL read your stuff? -Or do you know who that is?

Are you watching your analytics? Can you tell how many people have actually read your material? Can you see if they just clicked on it and did not stay, or can you tell anything else about the people looking at your post? Oh! And the biggie; Are they sharing your material?

Your numbers are important! Did you know?

If you see that people are only looking at your posts, it means one of two things.

1. Your blog is too long and people just don't have time to read it.

2. You are targeting the wrong people.

Have you seen a great headline on a blog post and decided to read on? You click on "read more..." What happened? Did you find a proverbial "book"? Did you take one look and decide, "I don't have time for this!"?

We can get our point across with far less words than we think. (250-400 words)

LinkedIn has a great way to target your readership and gather analytics for your published blog posts. Check out "Who's Viewed Your Posts" under the "Profile" tab.

Struggling with your blogging? Wanna fix it?

Ask us how.

Christine Till
The Marketing Mentress

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

LinkedIn Tip #46 - What appears is not Always true.

What impression are you leaving with your potential clients and followers?

You have heard me mention before about the three second rule of LinkedIn. (You have three seconds to make a great first impression on LinkedIn.)

One of the things I look for when people invite me to connect with them is their headshot. No acceptance.

However, there is another rule that tickles my subconscious mind on many an occasion. That is the fact that I am looking at a "fake" profile.

Oh yes! There are fake profiles on LinkedIn.

Because of the "LinkedIn Rules of Engagement" listed in LinkedIn's Terms of Use, sometimes companies set up fake profiles, so that when these profiles get sent to LinkedIn jail, it does not matter. They will just set up a bunch more fake profiles. Companies like these are purposefully breaking the "LinkedIn Rules of Engagement." This is a large part of the reason that LinkedIn changed the algorithms last fall.

Here are the signs to look for:

1. The headshot does not match what is in the profile. For example the headshot is a Catholic Nun, but the name on the profile is not one that a nun would use, and the fact that the person works for a high powered government agency in Africa also does not match.

2. There is a lovely headshot on the profile, usually an attractive young woman, but there is almost nothing written in the profile itself.

3. There is a picture other than a headshot on the profile, along with very little information listed therein.

I learned this little trick from my friend, Sid Clark, on LinkedIn today!.

You can right click on the profile head shot and a drop-down menu appears. Then click on "Open in new window". You can see if it matches the profile on LinkedIn.

You can also search other people on LinkedIn with the same name and do the same with their headshots. Then you see how authentic the headshot is.

If you see more than one person using the same headshot and different names, you have a fake profile.

Thanks, Sid!

Fake profiles will not harm anyone, they are merely being used to mine LinkedIn for business. This is illegal, and if you know of any profiles like this, block and report them immediately.

Ask us how.

Christine Till
The Marketing Mentress

Friday, 1 July 2016

LinkedIn Tip #45 - Four More Work-A-Rounds on LinkedIn.

There are unlimited resources available to us with LinkedIn, helping us to connect.

I spoke with a gentleman just this week who is on LinkedIn, and he confessed that he had been inviting tons of people to connect with him from the "People You May Know" list. He is lucky that he has not had 5 people I.D.K (I Don't Know) him. If that happened, he would have his profile sent to "LinkedIn Jail"! (Account frozen temporarily.)

That said, many of the people in the "People You May Know" list are L.I.O.N.s.(LinkedIn Open Networker) That means that they will not I.D.K. you.

Lucky him!

Here are some more tips and tricks for you to use:

1. View their Profile back and Follow them.

When someone views your profile, View them back. Then if they are someone you would like to get connected to eventually, "follow" them. They will receive a message in their regular mail letting them know that you followed them. Then when they, in turn, ask you to connect with them, you are "away to the races".

2. Post in other groups.

When you publish your blog on LinkedIn, there will be many people who will miss it, so you send posts to a few different groups every week. You will soon see the ones that give you the best response to your posts. Continue to post to the responsive groups. You only post once or twice a week in the groups, so you do not become a pain.

3. Study their profile and who has endorsed them.

Once you see who has endorsed someone, you can then see if you are directly connected to them. Reach out to them and find out why they endorsed that person, and ask for an introduction.

4. Like and share their blogs on LinkedIn.

When you study someone's profile, check out their posts and then like and share them. Write a great comment about the blogs. Do this continually for a few days, and the person will soon try to get in touch with you.

Ask us how.

Christine Till

The Marketing Mentress

LinkedIn Tip #44 - Three Keys to Working-A-Round NO InMails.

What can we do with LinkedIn if we do not have InMails available?

Even being on a paid platform, I run out of InMails very quickly each month. So I have to find ways to reach out to the people I want to build relationships with, for business.

Remember these are real people on LinkedIn and we need to treat them the same way we would treat them if we met them in a fact-to-face networking meeting.

It takes time and skill to build trust with everyone.

Here are three keys that I use every day:

1. Check the profile of each person you want to get connected to and search their company pages.

When you visit company pages, you will find all their employees who are on LinkedIn listed there. You can then search for any that you might be connected to, or someone you know who is connected to them. Then request an introduction.

2. You can blog.

Think about all the questions you receive from your customers and where your customers come from. Start blogging to answer some of these questions. Educate and inform your audience to build that know, like and trust.

The key here is to be sure to publish on the LinkedIn Pulse.

3. You can become a L.I.O.N. (LinkedIn Open Networker)

When you are a L.I.O.N., you theoretically will connect with anyone who asks you to connect with them. The key here is to never I.D.K.(say "I Don't Know You") someone you don't know for reaching out to connect with you. You still have the free agency to decide who you want to accept as a connection. Personally, I never connect with someone who does not have a headshot.

Ask us how.

Christine Till

The Marketing Mentress

LinkedIn Tip # 43 - Three "Work-A-rounds with or without InMails."

How in the world do you message people you find on LinkedIn now?!

Back a few years ago, you could send out up to 300 messages a day to people you were not connected to on LinkedIn.

Last fall LinkedIn changed their algorithms and completely closed down the ability to send InMails when you were on the FREE platform. Then they allowed 15 FREE InMails on the FREE platform. A week ago, they shut the FREE InMails down all together ... again.

Today if you want to send InMails to someone on LinkedIn, you need to be on a paid platform. Personally, I am on the Executive one, because I need more InMails.

Here is what you can do to reach out to people on LinkedIn:

1. Send messages to all the people who stopped by to visit my profile.

You think of your LinkedIn profile like your store. When you have a physical store front and a prospective customer comes through the door, what do you do? -You approach them and thank them for stopping by and ask them "How may I help you?" So that is what I say to all those profile viewers. (You need to be on a paid platform for this.)

"Hi <name>!

Thanks for stopping by my profile!

How may I help you?



2. Invite them to join your group.

Mine is the "MarketingEnthusiasts". Come over and join our discussions about marketing.

Do you own your own group yet? You might want to give it some thought. It is a way to pitch your stuff to your group members once a week. As a group owner/manager, you can send a pitchy message inviting them to come to an event or to your website to take advantage of your special offer, etc.

3. Watch the other profiles people viewed.

When you find one of your connections, who is connected to the person you want to connect with,  ask for an introduction.

Share with your connection why you want to get in touch with the person and ask them to introduce you.

These are a few possibilities you have available to you on LinkedIn whether you have access to InMail or not!

Ask us how.

Christine Till
The Marketing Mentress

LinkedIn Tip #42 - The keys to being a Financial Planner on LinkedIn.

Financial Planners must be very careful about what they post and share online.

It has been my privilege to work with many different individuals in the financial planning profession. I enjoy helping them because it is a lot more challenging type of business to work with.

Financial Planners need to be careful about what they say, how they say it and where they say it.

Many of the big companies use platforms that have been specifically developed for the financial planning industry, to make it easier for the individuals working in this field.  However, these platforms leave a huge gap when it comes to LinkedIn.

When I am working with any clients in the financial industry, I like to get a copy of that company's "Social Media Best Practices". They all have one someplace. Funny thing is, they are all different.

Usually your basic personal information that comes from your resume is fine to use. Where the challenges come are with the headline and summary. This is where these individuals need to consult closely with their superiors.

The headline needs to speak more about how they can help people, and not list all their credentials.

The summary needs to speak about who they are as a person and what inspired them to become a financial planner. This way they can be a tiny bit transparent with their networks and still remain within the guidelines of their head office.

The big key to building that know, like and trust on LinkedIn and on any social media platform, for that matter, is through blogging. Blogs can tell stories about experiences without names mentioned. These stories help to build that trust needed for people to want to do business with you. Blogs pique curiousity.

Let's face it, this industry is extremely personal, so you must build the relationship online, but real business gets done in a face-to-face meeting offline.

Ask us how.

Christine Till
The Marketing Mentress

LinkedIn Tip # 41 - Why should we accept connection requests from people we don't know?

"I only want to connect with people I know and in my area."

Sound familiar?

It is not all about the people you know or in your area. It is about who THEY know.
I am a L.I.O.N. (LinkedIn Open Networker) However, there is a caveat to that. I will not connect with people who do not have a headshot on their profile. It makes me feel like they are hiding something from me.

That said, I have connected with people all over the world. I have coached people about LinkedIn in Australia, New Zealand, Cyprus, Monaco, UK, all across the US and Canada.
I understand that not everyone is like me and their target market is probably more close to home. But...

Here is an example of what can happen.

I am connected to a gal in Vancouver, BC area. She is connected to a gal in Calgary, AB. The Vancouver gal is chatting with the Calgarian and discovers that she is looking for help with LinkedIn, so the Vancouverite refers the Calgarian, to me.

Voila! New Client!

That's the beauty of LinkedIn and social media.

Who would have thought that if I connected with someone in Vancouver, that they would refer me to someone in Calgary!

This is only one of many similar scenarios.

With all the great technology we have today, we can connect with people and work with them all over the world. If you offer a service, this is easy-peasy. If you have a product, you can always ship it.

Yes, I realize that there are some products and services you cannot ship or conduct at distance like hair dressing and restaurants, but remember it is not all about your direct connections. It is all about who they are connected to.

The next time you go to discard a connection request, think twice.

To learn more about marketing and branding best practices, check out our website.

To get help with LinkedIn, check out my profile page.

Christine Till
The Marketing Mentress