We have one more bonus interview with the Red Heel Day Sydney speakers! With a diverse background (including TV presenting, Public Relations, coaching SMB owners on digital strategies) Veronica Auld is passionate about all things digital, SaaS, social media and digital marketing.

veronica auldOriginally from Melbourne, Veronica has now found her home in Sydney and a place where all of her passions can thrive – LinkedIn. Veronica works with small to medium businesses to position them as an employer of choice on the LinkedIn network and educates business leaders how to network most effectively in the digital space.

And if you haven’t yet, check out our previous interviews with Anne-Marie EliasAlexandra MillsKirsten Galliott, Jules Sebastian and the founder of Leaders in Heels, Kasia Gospos.

What does your typical week look like?

I’m an early riser mid week and like to get into the office to plan for my day. My days are busy and I am speaking to clients about transformative tech solutions – and I love it! I try and work out 4 times a week and then you can usually find me at a local restaurant in Bondi (I rarely cook with so many yummy restaurants at the end of my street). Weekends are filled with friends, food, beach and family.

What inspires you to get out of bed every day?

So many things! Each day is a new opportunity to create the life you want. My career at LinkedIn inspires me and drives me every day and I am lucky enough to work for an company that has the most incredibly driven people, that are as passionate about networking through technology as I am! LinkedIn is like one great big start-up and it feels like that too!

My biggest motivations are my Mum and my sister. These two very special ladies are the strongest, kindest, caring, supportive and most beautiful women who have taught me my values and always remind me to be the best I can be.

Which key characteristics do you see a female leader having?

I think any leader should be a great communicator – with the ability to both speak and listen. Leaders should be honest and ethical and always act with integrity. Negative energy feeds from the top – so a positive attitude is critical. Clear delegation is important. I think true leaders should recognise strengths in people and use those to achieve objectives. Kindness is key.

What is the greatest learning you have had?

Success is something that we control each and every day and passion drives success. My time in public relations made me realise I was passionate about the digital space – I didn’t even know it until then! The minute I was exposed to digital media, content marketing and the power of social media, I became completely addicted and fell in love with this totally disruptive and new way of thinking! Then it was a matter of further educating myself and becoming an expert in what I now loved. Discovering that I found pleasure in educating others on my learning was a big turning point.

Why are you excited about Red Heel Day?

Being a member of [email protected] (Women at LinkedIn) I am extremely passionate about empowering women through leadership, development and opportunity – so I feel really connected to this #RedHeelsDay event. I looooooove networking and am so excited to share insight into how to become thoughtful in your approach to digital networking and position yourself as a leader on LinkedIn. I can’t wait!

Oh, and I have some killer red heels that I’m pretty excited to rock as well ;)

 

If you enjoyed reading Veronica’s interview, why not come hear her speak in person at our Red Heel Day Sydney event? Last-minute tickets are still available here!


LinkedIn is currently the only business to business online social networking site. When used correctly it can generate lots of enquiries for your business.  As well as people searching for you within the site, your LinkedIn profile can also be found externally in a Google search.  Sadly, most business owners don’t optimise their online profile and are missing out on using their LinkedIn profile to generate new business.

Here are the four main areas you need to optimise in your LinkedIn profile to generate new business.

Your LinkedIn Headline

Located under your name, your headline is one of the main factors contributing to where your profile is listed when people are searching.  By default it’s the job title of your last job. You should be using this area to allow more people to find you and attract their attention when they do.

No one ever searches for the CEO of Pty Ltd (unless they are a sales person!), they are searching for keywords; social media expert, ghost writer, financial planner, etc. Ensure that you use these terms in your headline.

Your headline can either be a complete sentence or a list of words and phrases.  Just do what works best for you.

Your LinkedIn Summary

Once your LinkedIn profile has been found, your summary is often the next major area which is read.  This is an area where you can expand and provide more information about yourself, your business and the services you offer.

Your summary serves two main purposes.  It helps in search rankings, so it’s important to repeat the keywords (which you used in your headline), but it’s better if they flow in a sentence.  The easiest way is to make a list of your products/services or ways you can help people.  This will often include most of your major keywords.

The second purpose is to build rapport with the reader.  Therefore make it personal, professional and enjoyable to read.  Don’t use stuffy 3rd person speak.  Write like you were having a conversation with them.

At the end remember to include a clear to call to action.  i.e. “If you are interested in finding out how to work with me call xxx xxx xxx”

Recommendations

You know that people want to work with people they know, like and trust.  But did you know that 70% of people trust consumer opinions posted online? When viewers read the recommendations on your profile, most of them will believe that what they are reading is true.

This is huge! When people read a recommendation on your LinkedIn profile it instantly boosts your credibility and increases the chances of you being contacted.

Aim to get at least 10 recommendations on your most current job and then focus on adding new ones.  The best way to get them is to ask!  Also remember “Giver’s Gain” and send out some recommendations as well.  It’s good karma.

Skills + Expertise in your LinkedIn profile

The final section to optimise is the Skills + Expertise section.  Following on from your recommendations, this is a quick way for people to endorse your skills in certain areas.  When it was first launched, LinkedIn pulled information from your profile and created your own list of skills.

It’s really important that you go in and edit this list to skills that you want to be known for.  Along with the public endorsement for your skills and expertise, it’s another area which LinkedIn uses to determine the search results rankings.  If you have a high amount of endorsements for “online marketing” then your profile will be moved to the top of the list.

How does your LinkedIn profile look?  Are these four areas optimised for LinkedIn success?

Image credit: A name like Shields can make you defensive

Natalie Alaimo

Natalie Alaimo is a social media marketing expert who teaches small business owners & entrepreneurs how to build the brand of “YOU” via social media & online marketing to create an avalanche of clients ready to buy from you.


We live in a competitive world and if you want to make an impact, you need to be in control of your online presence, personal brand, cultural fit and reputation. Failing to give adequate attention to your LinkedIn profile may not only result in you missing out on potential contacts, but you also run the risk of your competitors leaving you trailing behind. The LinkedIn summary section is also the most viewed section on LinkedIn

Importance of LinkedIn Summary section

Many people don’t realise the importance of a great summary section in your LinkedIn profile.    More than any other section, this area, represents you, your business and your brand. It is also the most viewed section on LinkedIn. If you get this area right, you are well on the way to having one of the most viewed profiles on LinkedIn – and attracting more of your target audience.

Here are a few of my top tips for creating a successful LinkedIn summary:

Be clear on your Objective

Before writing your summary, be clear on what you want to achieve from LinkedIn.  Are you just using it to raise your credibility or are you looking to expand your network? Are you seeking new clients? Be clear on what you are trying to do and make sure this is clear in your summary.

Write a BOOM LinkedIn summary

By this I mean it meets the blend of key words and of your brand.   This section is limited to only 2500 characters so I recommend the following layout:

1st paragraph:

This is your LinkedIn elevator speech and should cover your title, years’ experience and what you want to be doing. For example, “Professional Leadership Coach with over 15 years’ experience in Leadership, Consulting, Human Resources and Performance Management. Tertiary qualified with a wide variety of local and international experience.”  These tasks also need to be the keywords you want to be found for.

2nd Paragraph:

“Some of the organisations I have worked for include………..” If these brands elevate your brand then list them here – even though they may already be in your career history. Ensure you put the most important information to the top of the page.

3rd Paragraph:

What some people have said…..this is a great spot to put your best quote from a testimonial or recommendation.

4th Paragraph:

“Career achievements include…” and list your top 3-5 achievements. How have you assisted your clients? What issues have you resolved? Have you increased engagement or efficiency?  Make sure there are numbers here that quantify what you’re saying.

Include Keywords and Key skills

Spend a few minute researching keywords which are being most sought after and then ensure those words are in in your summary – and in the rest of your profile. You can check this on the www.linkedin.com/skills page.  It is important to cover all bases and the good news is that you can use up to 51 key skills.

Ensure your LinkedIn summary is congruent with who you are. It isn’t about what you have done or how successful you have been. The words in your summary are about making an emotional connection with the reader.  The best way to do this is by emotive language and keywords.  Research recently showed that people will actually make that decision of whether to contact you within a few seconds of reading your profile.

Importance of LinkedIn keywords

Ensure your title reflects the keywords that you want to be found for. If your title is “Director of XYZ Associates”, the likelihood of someone trying to find you is very low.  Ensure your title reflects what you do, for example if you are the Director of XYZ Associates but you are actually a HR Director, ensure your title is “HR Director, Sydney”.

Jane Anderson

Jane is a professional and experienced certified career and business coach. She also assists businesses and individuals to explore their personal brand and get the best out of their LinkedIn profile. She is also the author of ‘How to use your LinkedIn profile for career purposes’. Jane is also a successful speaker and runs regular LinkedIn workshops.  More details can be found at www.jane-anderson.com.au.


In a previous post it was discussed how employers are using LinkedIn and other social media tools to find their future employees and get a feel for their online personality. In this post I share 5 key tips in getting the most out of your LinkedIn profile and ensuring it puts you in the driving seat when it comes to finding your perfect job.

Don’t forget this is a professional network and these tips are geared towards portraying yourself in the best possible light for your future employers – remember everything can be searched so think about your long term goals when you post. LinkedIn is a professional network and these tips are geared towards portraying yourself in the best possible light for your future employers

Tip #1: Connect with the key movers and shakers in your industry. If you don’t know who they are then search for companies and groups that resonate with your profession. Take note of who posts regularly and try to engage them by adding your comments too. Try an advanced search to find the key contacts within companies that you want to work for – enter location, job title and company name. You can view 2nd and 3rd tier connections (friends of friends) so the more relevant connections you have in your industry the better.

Tip #2: Regularly post updates. You can link interesting articles (perhaps this one?!), ‘like’ other updates (this will show on your timeline) and generally link anything from the web that has a share button. You can share just as a status update or as you get more confident you can share with any groups you are part of – don’t forget to make a relevant comment to introduce whatever you are sharing.

Tip #3: Ensure your profile is positive and you are upbeat about your current or most recent position. Just as in any job search situation, no one likes to hear people bagging their current or past employers. There is an option for any awards, projects or blogs to be highlighted within your profile – depending upon your line of work this could be very useful for you.

Tip #4: Don’t be afraid to offer written testimonials/recommendations to your connections – there is every chance they will reciprocate. This is probably the easiest way to generate endorsements as opposed to asking for them. That being said, if you do get great feedback from people then make sure you suggest to them that it would be appreciated if they could post that on LinkedIn.

Tip #5: Use regularly and ensure you respond to any requests promptly. If asked to connect you can view the requester’s profile and decide if you wish to accept their invite. If approached by a recruiter and the role isn’t for you – suggest you meet for coffee or arrange a phone chat to discuss exactly what types of opportunities you are searching for. Remember even if they don’t have the perfect role for you right now, they may have in the future!

Kathie Kelly is the Director of Square Pegs Consulting which was founded to provide affordable assistance to not for profits, businesses and individuals with recruitment, HR projects and CV writing. Kathie has spent a number of years in recruitment, workforce planning, marketing/business development and community/corporate partnerships in both NZ and Australia.

As a keen follower of the arts Kathie is also on the board of the Anywhere Theatre Festival, loves to travel and is an avid rugby league follower. You can connect with Kathie on LinkedIn at http://au.linkedin.com/in/kathiekelly or visit her website at www.squarepegsconsulting.com.au


Elizabeth Heusler, Director of Heusler Public Relations shares her trials, tribulations and triumphs with… LinkedIn.

LuckedIn…

LinkedIn, whose slogan is Relationships Matter, is the main platform for building business connections for professionals. Calling prospective contacts, manually updating databases, entering names and ringing to check addresses, names and titles, which I did as a PR intern, is now relegated to the dinosaurs.

So how did it happen, that while hiking in the hills of Sri Lanka 2000 metres above sea level, with no roads let alone internet access, I deleted the contents of my LinkedIn account? Apparently I did, accordingly to the online response two weeks and six requests later to their help site. Yup – the problem lay with me as I had deleted my account.  With that I was directed to the online FAQ section of the LinkedIn site. Alas my question was not of the ones asked.

My carefully crafted content, testimonials, endorsements and almost a thousand contacts that I had cultivated as an early adopter to LinkedIn in 2006 had disappeared. Only my name was left.

LinkedIn, like all the social media platforms, is part of a digital evolution

I hoped that an organisation listed on the New York stock exchange, with advertising sales in excess of US$155 million, a purported one million members in Australia and two million worldwide, that was based on professional relationships, would have someone to talk to and a back-up system.  I had read that the digital behemoth has offices in Sydney and Melbourne, although our office super sleuths could only find the last known address which was a serviced office in Sydney’s CBD. I persevered, tried linking to their head of Human Resources in Australia (OK I tweeted him every night too,  but was barred from sending him direct tweets). Alas not even Telstra had a phone number, nor is the company to be found on the ASIC site.

After a month of daily emails to the help centre in the United States and no response to my request for a local number I called their Californian head quarters only to receive a recorded message. Finally my contacts were reinstated and I am now piecing, rewriting and uploading the rest of my information.

Being born under the sign of the dinosaur, I had manually entered every contact into an excel database and updated it ever month. This covers everyone I had have ever met socially and professionally.

LinkedIn, like all the social media platforms, is part of a digital evolution. As I am naturally curious (sounds better than stalker) it is terrifically useful to look up contacts, make connections and join groups. Writing updates and posting bon mots are only limited by time and budget.

7 tips on how to use LinkedIn account effectively

A few techniques to note:

Backup. Keep contact details and never rely on a helpdesk. Social media is an adjunct to marketing, not a stand-alone tactic.

Build. For LinkedIn to be of any use the key is to work on building a data base. This means penning a few lines to people you would like to connect with. Start with people where there is a common denominator or a genuine connection.

Write. Don’t, whatever you do, send the sample: I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn’. This outs you as an amateur. It’s like those Dear (insert name) emails we all receive where someone is still in training on mail merge. It’s a sample template people – not the message.

Communicate. Mention why you’d like to connect. I received a request from someone completely unconnected, irrelevant to my business and life but the note was so complimentary, he just liked the way I wrote and wanted to tell me. It sounded genuine and we made an instant connection.

Shine. Each of us has a unique personality. You’re an original so make that request shine. People have all the professional information about themselves on show. You’ve already read their biography and know about their working lives. It’s an unthreatening environment.

Note. Be aware though, as this didn’t dawn on me until after it happened: one of my industry ilk was following my “connected with” contacts and connecting with them as soon as I did. There is little recourse.

Decide. The potential for good and evil is fantastic. Decide what you want out of LinkedIn and how you can best use it.

I am sceptical of relying, or investing too much, on a company who has all my contact data without reciprocal local details or a telephone number.  Hopefully that will change – in the meantime – take care using Linkedin, choose carefully who you share information with and back up to a database that you own.

Elizabeth Heusler

As a communications consultant and media trainer it’s important to stay ahead of the trends. I am keen to predict the next big thing and call the tipping point. Everything I know about technology I’ve learned the hard way. Hours spent at conferences, courses, seminars and webinars. Invested in the hard books, e-books, software, routers, toggles and dongles and paid the big bucks for gurus, nerds and boffins. Many weekends have been spent in the foetal position with instructions manuals and call centre operatives and online elves have driven me to drink. After all, devices are all so intuitive and I am blessed with intuition as a gender perk. Hopefully reading my monthly column will stop you wanting to throw your technology from the top of a tall building and if I can stop you biting your nails and tearing your hair out then my work is done. 

Featured image credit.


I have recently asked four experts in social media what their top favourite tools and apps were to manage social media communities in the most time-effective manner. There are lots of apps to manage social networks so it is easy to get lost. Here are their top recommendations:

4 Apps to manage social networks

Sprout Social

“Sprout Social centralizes multiple social media accounts into a single application which provides you the ability to grow your network, share updates and get full stats reporting across all social platforms. The Sprout Social dashboard allows you to see all key statistics and the increase or decrease they’ve achieved over the last few months.

Further to that you can add secondary members to help you manage your social networks as well. “

Devices it is applicable to: Web Based, iPhone, Android
Cost: 30 Day Free Trial Then Payment Based On Size (from $39/user/month)
More info at: www.sproutsocial.com

Recommended by: Samuel Junghenn, Managing Director of Think Big Online. Samuel manages communities of multiple clients including their own with 100,000+ Facebook  fans and twitter followers (across all clients).

Hootsuite

“Hootsuite is a complete social media dashboard. I can import all of my own social media profiles and those of my clients into one place where I can then update, track and monitor more efficiently. Because it is available as an app on your smartphone, you can quickly check on what’s going on and respond where necessary. Hootsuite also allows you to schedule status updates in advance across all platforms and include web links and multimedia. You also receive regular emails which give you basic statistics on how your profiles are performing and more details statistics can be viewed through Hootsuite.”

Devices it is applicable to: Web Based, Android, iPhone

Cost: there are 2 packages (1) Free for up to 5 social media profiles (2) Professional package for around $6 per month for unlimited packages

More info at: www.hootsuite.com

Recommended by: Paula O’Sullivan, Business Owner and Licensee / Social Media Consultant at Social Media Business Boosters. Paula manages a number of social media profiles for her clients.

Argyle Social

“It’s a web based app, that can schedule posts, monitor customer engagement, and measure all of the specific social media metrics. You can manage all content from one dashboard across various social media platforms. Very helpful when dealing with time zones, and measuring successful posts. Argyle Social gives me the most accurate idea as to our campaign performances, with simple graphs ways to actually work with all of the social media platforms in one spot. “

Devices it is applicable to: Web Based only (as of  now)
Cost: $300/mo

More info at: http://argylesocial.com/what-is-argyle/features/social-media-publishing-tools

Recommended by: Sara Wiedenhaefer, Marketing Manager of Shoeboxed Australia. Sara manages communities of  5500+ Facebook fans and 8500+ Twitter followers of American and Australian ShoeBoxed

Buffer

Buffer has revolutionised the way I tweet! Once registered, add the Buffer button to your browser then when you find something you want to share, simply click the button to add it to your schedule. You can set a different schedule for each day of the week – ideal if you cover multiple time zones – and, best of all, the analytics feature allows you to easily see how many clicks your content received as well as who retweeted or replied to your tweet – and you can thank people from within Buffer itself. It can also be used with Facebook and LinkedIn.”

Devices it is applicable to: Web Based, iPhone, Android

Cost: Free or upgrade to the paid version to access post scheduling and adding multiple social accounts (US$8.50 per month).

More info at: http://bufferapp.com/

Recommended by: Bridie Jenner, Business owner of Bridie’s Typing Services. Bridie manages community of 1,300 Twitter followers.

What are yours favourite applications to manage social media? If you checked out more than one tell us your rating and why…