Archive for the ‘Cow Tips’ Category

LinkedIn-PuzzleLast week, I had the honor of doing a LinkedIn Workshop for the Apex Chamber. We had a room full of professionals at different LinkedIn skill levels who were all able to make improvements to their profiles. After the workshop, I realized that the information would be helpful for a lot of people I know, hence this series of tips for beefing up your LinkedIn profile.

This post focuses on what you can do to passively let LinkedIn support you. Future posts will talk about how to actively use it.

Let Your Profile Do Some Heavy Lifting

1. Update your photo.

Get rid of that glamour shot from 15 years ago and exchange it for something that looks like you. People often look up your profile before meeting with you… it helps if they are looking for you and not  who you used to be. It’s also good to have the same profile pics on all your social media accounts for consistency. I’m also a fan of using a photo that’s professional, yet shows my personality. Show the real you!

2. Use the name people know you by.

Make it as easy as possible for people to find you when they search for you. If you recently got married and your name changed, keep your maiden name, as well as your new last name. If you go by your middle name, don’t use your first name in your profile.

3. Create a search-friendly title.

Again, the name of the game is to be easily found. People aren’t searching LinkedIn for gurus and wizards. Don’t be afraid to have a personality, but don’t sacrifice value for quirkiness.

  • Use a headline that displays a variety of titles people are likely to use to search LinkedIn to find your services.
  • Write a descriptive headline with key words included.
  • Use a combo, like mine: Brand Strategist, Brand Manager, Branding Consultant, Marketing Specialist at Holy Cow Branding

4. Claim your vanity url.

My url is http://www.linkedin.com/in/loranaprice. Create yours by selecting “Settings” from the drop down menu under your name, choosing “Edit Your Public Profile,” then selecting “Customize Your Public Profile URL” from the box on the right. Ideally, you’d want to use your first and last name.

5. Customize your website links.

Rather than having the generic “Company Website” listed on your profile, you can change it to be more personalized. Simply click on “Edit Profile,” then select the “Edit” option next to your website. Use the drop down menu on the edit page and select “Other.” This gives you the option to rename your site. You can do the same for blogs, and can also drive people to specific landing pages on your site. Use search friendly terms here to help generate traffic to your profile.

6. Create a functional summary.

Your summary is the place where you can brag about what you’ve done to get where you are today. Make yourself shine here! Add key words and phrases to help support search (noticing a trend here?). LinkedIn is a silent sales person, just like your website. Use your summary to help make it as functional as possible. Don’t forget to also list your specialties here.

7. Show that you’ve got skillz.

Skills is a relatively new section that will have more functionality in the future. For now, it’s a good way to show specific areas of expertise.

8. Take advantage of sections and applications.

Sections allow you to add more custom areas to your profile, such as certifications and awards. Applications allow you to
connect to other sites, such as your blog feed, Slideshare and Behance. This gives you the opportunity to really cross link
information and expand LinkedIn’s capabilities.

9. Rearrange your profile.

Now that you’ve added all this info, you may want to put some sections higher than others. All you have to do is click and drag when you’re in the edit mode. This is especially helpful if you participate on a board and want to have it secondary to your profession. Just click and drag it beneath your current position, et voila!

Feel free to creep on my LinkedIn account to get ideas.

Next time, we’ll be talking about how to get more out of LinkedIn.


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The other day I was at the bank where they told me about the new tracking sheets the sales people fill out.  Their biggest complaint was what a pain the forms were to fill out.  Then I remembered what makes such forms easy to complete.  HOT KEYS!

That’s right, hotkeys.  With the right combination of keystrokes, filling out an Excel form is quick and easy!

Here, let me show you:

Need to copy the entry from the cell before?  Use CTRL and ”.  Add today’s date by pressing CTRL and semi-colon. Need to enter the current time?  Use CTRL and colon.

Below is the link to the Microsoft help page that lists all of the shortcuts!


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The best way to improve your SEO and make it easier for people to find you online is by keeping your blog current.

Having a blog is the easy part.  Providing good content is the hard part. Keep reading for some easy ways to find great blog fodder!

#1: Recruit Guest Bloggers
Ask someone whose blog you are a fan of to write a guest spot on your blog.

A guest blogger needn’t necessarily be a blogger. It can be someone who is interesting and is an authority on something your readers would enjoy.  Give them a subject; it’s much easier to write on a given subject than to come up with your own.

#2: Conduct Interviews
This is a basic Question & Answer format where you interview someone smart, fun or interesting.  There is very little writing involved, just transcribe the interview tape. Better yet! Record the interview and post the video to the blog.

#3: Point to a Good Resource
If you find an article you like, pass it on. There are a few ways to do this.  Summarize what you liked or how you used the information, then add a link to the page you are referencing. The author will appreciate the shout out and your readers benefit from content you found. If you quote the material, don’t use more than  15 % as direct quotes. Otherwise you are infringing on their copyright. Google may penalize you for the duplicate content.

You can find and import  good content  via curator software such as  Scoop It or CurationSoft. While they work a little differently, the idea is similar in that they  look for content in your interest area, then send it to you. From there, you can reference it in your blog.

#4: Don’t underestimate the value of original content about you…
Take the time to toot your own horn. Tell about your organization. Not only what you do, but who you are, what your corporate culture is like and why people who should business with you.  Tell your story, brag on your employees, and show off awards.

People want to do business with people and organizations they know, like and trust. Once they get to know you and like who you are and what you stand for, they are more likely to buy from you.

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We like to count things at Holy Cow. We count words, hours, followers, sodas left in the fridge, site hits, fans, days ’til payday, visitors, bounce rate…we count so much we have our own analytics guy.

The truth is most businesses count things. If they aren’t counting, they are missing information vital to running a business successfully.

Our guy builds spreadsheets for us to count, calculate and analyze data. Not only does he build the spreadsheet, he advises us on how to use excel to work smarter.

Here, let me show you:

Don’t have your own data guy? Well, learn from ours!

He’ll be teaching Microsoft Excel as well as Microsoft Word beginning the week of May 14.
Contact Reuben if you’d like class information.

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Twitter for job listing? It appears so.


While it seems impossible to give a job description in 144 characters, there are plenty of companies who are giving enough information for job seekers to click.

Employers in almost every  field are using Twitter to list jobs. One can look for a job locally, twitter.com/#!/jobsraleigh, by field, twitter.com/#!/getsalmanagjobs  or by company, twitter.com/#!/electra.

In fact, in an  interview  Zappos  Recruiting Manager, Christa Foley, said not only does Zappos list jobs on Twitter, they do a search looking for people tweeting about their interest in working for Zappos.

She said primarily using Twitter seems to lead to higher quality applicants, who have done their homework, knows what job they want and are actively pursuing it.

Twitter Basics:

  • You don’t have to have an account to read what others are tweeting. Go to twitter.com and put anything in the search field, say, Holy Cow Branding, our tweets will come up
  • You do need an account if you want to tweet or follow others
  • ‘Follow’ means you want to see all the tweets from a person or organization
  • Accounts are free and it takes just a minute to sign up
  • Twitter is just another way to get your brand to the world, it doesn’t stand alone but it can nicely compliment the rest of your marketing efforts, or job recruiting.

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Market your business through graphic social networking

Imagine saving and sharing the things on the internet you like, want to remember or want to go back to, without tracking it all on paper. The art and design industry were the first to use Pinterest as a way to share talent, crafts, photography, and passions. Soon clients, then clients of their clients, begin to share on Pinterest, too. Business’ are catching on and using it as a form of inbound marketing.

 Simply Marketing. While marketing your business is complicated, using Pinterest is simple. A virtual pin board, users share the unique things they find on web, and could become Mark Zuckerburg’s successor.

How it works: Pinterest is open to the public. Gaining access requires an invitation from a current user. Fill out the invite, submit and wait for your approval to start pinning. The fun is not only saving or “pinning” sites and images you find online, but also “following” others who pin things you also have interest in. You can save or “repin” your “likes” after scrolling through various images that catch your attention. This allows you to share your interests with others.

Curate Your Brand’s Content…Virtually! Recently marketing has been taking place through Pinterest’s use of graphics, quotes and categories. Pinterest doesn’t presently have a section dedicated to business; however, organizations that have a Pinterest account have been assigning various branding and marketing categories to their own pin boards.

What to Pin:  It’s important to understand what your audience and clients are interested in before pinning to the pin board. If it doesn’t appeal to the eye, your image will not get repinned; therefore, you will not attract new clientele or followers and your current clients may veer away from the site. Pin board suggestions may include but are not limited to:

–          Links to your webpage

–          Link to your blog and published documents

–          Current Projects

–          Company News

–          Articles or Columns of interest to your employees or clientele

–          Images or projects

–          Photos of the Office and Employees at work

Get ready, Get set, PIN!

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Marketing Based Lead Generation is selling through the back door.

Very simply, this is a way to get your name to the public without making even one cold call.  

Generate free exposure by writing what you know. Authoring articles in your knowledge wheel house is a great way to get your name out as an expert in your field. You can write for trade magazines, which is good for B2B sales, but to reach the general public,  a publication with broader appeal or a blog is the way to go.

Don’t be intimidated by the task of writing, you’re putting yourself out as an expert on your subject, not on writing.

If writing isn’t your thing how about talking? Interviews, YouTube Videos  and Podcasts are all ways you can talk your way into lead generation. Again, it’s flexing your expertise muscle in public.

In writing and talking, less is always more. Edit yourself. I try to use as few words as possible.

Has enough been said about social media?  It seems the social media emphasis is overdone but people really are reading , responding and ‘liking’ information put out on social media. You can’t drum up a following overnight;  it does require a strategy, but the effort really is worth it. Who knew 144 characters could be so powerful?  There are entire ad campaigns built around the constraints of twitter.

All this lead generation is completely free. Your own YouTube account, Facebook Fan Page or Blog are  all free and require little expertise to set up. They do need to be maintained, though. If your message is compelling, people will come back often to hear what else you have to say, so keep talking. The next thing you know, you’ll have a captive audience, and the phone will start to ring.

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