I’ve been intrigued with the various forms of social media and how I could use it in my marketing efforts for some time, but I really didn’t have much success. Granted, I’m not an expert by any means, but I have tried to figure out how to make it work for my unique market.
So one day I was talking to my friend, Melanie Benson Strick, who told me I really ought to be using LinkedIn more, because that’s where the more professional people… those who are really serious about their businesses and their careers hang out. It’s more “business-oriented” than Facebook, Twitter, and some of the other social media sites. I already had more than 600 connections on LinkedIn, but only three recommendations.
Melanie told me that I should focus on building my recommendations because that would give me more credibility and also help my LinkedIn rankings. So with a little effort, I boosted my recommendations from 3 up to 66 in a matter of a couple of weeks. If you’ve ever looked around LinkedIn, you’ll recognize that 66 is a HUGE number compared to what others (even big-name “gurus” or experts) have. It was a simple strategy, and it worked. Then I copied the recommendations and posted them in the Testimonials section of my various websites. I can tell you that this has really helped. (Thanks, Melanie!)
In the process, I became very interested in the potential of LinkedIn, and wanted to learn more. So I connected with Michele Scism, who is well known as one of the premier experts on social media… especially, LinkedIn. Michele is one of the kindest, brightest, most gentle and down to earth people you’ll ever meet. But when it comes to knowing her way around LinkedIn, she’s one of the best, she knows all the tricks, and she’s very willing to share.
So I arranged for us to have a telephone conversation so I could learn more and share what I learned with our consultants. Michele was very willing, and so we got to work. In the process, I asked her all kinds of questions that I wanted answers to for myself, and then put myself in the shoes of the consultants and asked what I thought they might be interested in knowing and that would be helpful to them. Michele opened her brain and poured out a ton of ideas that could be implemented right away, and with no cost whatsoever.
As she was giving idea after idea, I was quickly making changes on my LinkedIn page according to her suggestions. I edited my profile and increased its “completeness” from 70% to 100%… something that will improve my rankings dramatically. I also made several other changes to enhance my site and my rankings. Michele gave more ideas than I could keep up with, and I still have a few more to get to.
As a result of what I’ve done, I’ve had several requests from my LinkedIn connections (including some of our consultants) to do joint venture marketing projects, webinars, and various ways for us to work together for both of our benefits.
I recorded Michele’s and my call. You can listen here.
If you’re interested in learning more about LinkedIn (and I strongly recommend that you do – based on the results I’ve personally gotten), then I suggest that you listen to the call. At the end, Michele tells how you can get more information… some free, and some for a ridiculously low price. In fact, it was so low that I chided Michele for offering it at that amount. (Note: I mention this only because I feel there is real value for you in what Michele offers. I receive no affiliate fee or compensation in any way for my referral or endorsement.)
Here’s what Michele wrote to me in a follow-up email:
“Hey Martin – It was so great to talk with you last night. 1st thank you – Since our call I have been thinking about the fact that I am playing small – LOL – which is weird to say because I am a big thinker but hearing you talk about the value of the information that I teach and then looking at what price point I am offering it for – I definitely have some work to do in that area and I wanted to say thank you for getting me started down this path.”
Michele doesn’t know that I’m using that quote, and I’m not sure what she’ll think when she sees it. But there’s a real message in what she says and it’s well to pay attention and learn from what she says. Michele is like so many people you and I both know… other consultants, business owners, entrepreneurs… maybe even you!
There are so many people out there who are bona fide experts… they absolutely KNOW what they’re doing, but they either under-value that knowledge, they don’t know how to position themselves to capitalize on it, or they’re just too humble and unassuming to take the position of being a leader or expert at what they know.
Go back and look at what Michele wrote… I think big, but I play small. Michele is no different than the rest of us. We pretty much all fall into that trap at one time or another. You can’t base your prices on what you think the market values your services at. You have to base them on the actual value you provide your market and the quantifiable value they get from your information.
There are two kinds of value… Real value, and Perceived value. We hear a lot of talk about perceived value… in fact, too much talk. Perceived value is what you think you’re going to get and is largely influenced by marketing; real value is what you actually get, as measured by the dollars in your pocket, or other measurements.
Michele (and you and the majority of your consulting prospects) deliver real value; that’s not the problem. What keeps them from maximizing the potential of their products or services (and making more money) is their communication of the perceived value… the perception of what a person is going to get if they take advantage of those products or services. Enhance and sell the perception and you’ll have more buyers, affect more businesses and lives, and make yourself more money.
If you (or your prospects or clients) have a product and/or service that is truly beneficial to the potential end users and are playing small, shame on you. If you’re not doing everything in your power that is ethical, honest, moral and legal to make sure those who can benefit from what you offer have all the information, the facts, and the details to make an informed and educated decision as to whether or not they should take advantage of your offer, you’re cheating them, your company, your employees and their families, your suppliers and vendors and their employees and families, and you and your family.
So here are your take-aways…
I really want to help you grow your consulting practice and take advantage of this extremely lucrative market. The opportunities are bigger than ever before in recent history, and many of our consultants are making very substantial incomes. There is no reason why you can’t do the same. As always, please let me know your comments and what I can do to help you move closer to your goals.
Martin Howey, CEO
TopLine Business Solutions
P.S. Here’s one of the recommendation I recently received from a consultant who works the Australian and Asia markets…
“Martin changed the model for my business with practical advice and materials which will increase my income by at least $50,000 this year and ten times that in the years to come. Martin truly is the “Masters Master” when it comes to business strategy and marketing.”
— Chris Hanlon, Australasia’s #1 Business Growth Synergist
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