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What Recruiters Really Think of your LinkedIn Page

linkedin-1183716_960_720“When you’re looking for a job, your LinkedIn profile is a 24/7 information resource for the recruiters who are looking for talent,” says Gwen Moran in Fast Company.  “87% of recruiters find LinkedIn most effective when vetting candidates during the hiring process.”

Whether you’re looking in graphic design, digital marketing or mobile app development, think of your LinkedIn page as an expression of your brand identity. Your page can make or break your job search, depending on whether the details about your career so far attract recruiters rather than repel them.  Here’s a quick checklist of 10 ways to appeal to (and sometimes, drive away) recruiters looking at your LinkedIn branding.

  1. DON’T LEAVE HOLES.

When a senior talent acquisition expert like Cassandre Joseph of Korn Ferry looks at your LinkedIn page, she wants to see work experience, education and accomplishments. Incomplete profiles make it trickier to determine whether you’re the best match for the job. "I find somebody's profile and it says they've worked at, according to the profile, four different places simultaneously. They're adding the new places, but not putting end dates. That says they haven't updated their LinkedIn profile in X amount of years," she says.

  1. STOP WITH THE SELFIES.

Your profile photo should match your brand message. It should synch up with the way you see yourself in the position you’re seeking. Selfies and snapshots tell recruiters you couldn’t be bothered to make a professional first impression. "People can easily evaluate their profile photos using Photofeeler.com,” says search consultant Donna Svei.

  1. WHO’S GOT YOUR BACK?

If you only have a handful of contacts, start beefing up. Reach out to your contacts’ contacts first.  Recruiters find candidates without contacts unappealing; they prefer to see robust networks that include allied fields. So if you’re looking in HD video production, for example, it doesn’t hurt to have contacts in traditional marketing, content management and business development. And while some people have thousands of contacts, 300 contacts or more is a healthy and (relatively) easy-to-achieve number. Start adding, and keep adding to increase leads.

  1. DISCREPANCIES TRIGGER ALARMS

When your dates of employment, job titles, or other facts differ between your profile and resume, a recruiter might question your handling of details. They may also wonder if you’re not being truthful on your LinkedIn page, your resume, or both.

  1. NO ONE HAS TIME FOR A LONG, DENSE SUMMARY

Think like a copywriter. Highlight what’s in your summary for recruiters to connect with you, like your achievements, honors, and success stories. Short copy blocks and bullet points drive your message home.  Try looking over your summary on your smartphone before sending it around—that’s how many recruiters will first see it on their mobile apps. It’s also important to include keywords about your industry for easy searchability.

  1. YOUR HEADLINE has to SAY IT ALL

Your LinkedIn profile will likely come up on Google searches. Google results usually include your location and the professional headline that appears under your name on your profile. Rebuild that headline to clarify who you are, your industry and your specific position in one glance.

  1. DE-CUTE YOUR JARGON

If your job title is “Retail Ninja” or “Director and Wizard of Light Bulb Moments,” your co-workers will smile (briefly), but recruiters will just sigh heavily. Be clear: Deliver your job title, what it means, and what your industry does.

  1. RECRUITERS FOLLOW YOU ONLINE

Melanie Lundberg, assistant vice president of talent management and corporate communications for Combined Insurance, emphasizes the need to stay active online during your job search.  "Read news feeds, share content, comment—it shows a level of professional engagement," she says. When possible, link to articles you’ve written or other examples of your work. Many will also be looking for professionalism in what you post, so think twice about posting political opinions or off-color jokes.

  1. DON’T DEPEND ON RECOMMENDATIONS ALONE

Recruiters aren’t usually very impressed with recommendations, unless they’re short and highlight something positive or unique about your capabilities and strengths. Don’t ignore recommendations, but don’t count on them to do any heavy lifting, either.

  1. LET THEM KNOW YOU’RE ON THE HUNT

LinkedIn’s Open Candidates option lets you privately signal recruiters that you’re looking for a job. Donna Svei says it’s a good idea to use this option, which indicates that you want to hear about potential opportunities.

 

How dead is cold calling?

Cold CallingOnce upon a time, before laptops, tablets and smartphones atomized our desks, file cabinets and conference rooms, an enterprising salesperson could simply walk into a corporate office, ask for, say, the marketing director—and actually be led back to meet them.

With today’s “offices” often being carried in pockets and purses, the days of the cold call, both in person and on the phone, seem to be over. An infographic created by Sales for Life lists reasons like poor conversion, where only 1% of cold calls actually convert into appointments; the upcoming obsolescence of close to one million sales professionals who will lose their jobs to self-service e-commerce; and a dismal response rate: 9 out of 10 top-level B2B decision makers simply do not respond to cold outreach anymore.

What will replace cold calling? As one of the characters in Deadpool bragged, “Yo, I’m like a boss in the world of guerrilla journalism, and I got mad connects with the peeps behind the curtains!”

Translation for those over 40: Networking pays off—but it’s a lot more personal today, almost like “networking without networking.”  And, as Ken Cook noted in the Philadelphia Business Journal,  “Think about the successful people you know. They don’t network. They don’t sell. They have relationships—genuine connections with people.”

“Traditional networking misses the most important element in the equation—the person to whom we are connecting,” Cook continues. “Individuals are not numbers in a sales equation. People know the difference between a genuine connection with someone, and individuals who are trying to connect for their own benefit. Get to know the person, his or her interests,, dreams, challenges and vulnerabilities. As you get to know these things about someone, you build trust. From trust comes opportunity.”

Ben Firman, co-founder and managing director at 80-20 Growth Corporation, isn’t ready to hang up on cold calling just yet. In a recent article in the Globe and Mail, Firman writes, “If cold calling is the act of picking up a telephone and asking for a nameless person that holds a generic job title, in order to deliver a canned product pitch, then I would argue that cold calling was not alive in the first place.”

“Skilled cold callers immediately acknowledge that their call wasn’t expected and respectfully deliver a line that catches their prospect’s attention.,” Firman writes. “This invariably earns them another 60 seconds to deliver a succinct and carefully crafted pitch that provides a new perspective on a relevant problem. They are immediately delivering insight, and therefore value. The best salespeople understand the value of every minute of their work day, and they focus on connecting with prospects that meet a predetermined ideal profile.”

Making Sense out of “Hashtags”

MediaMark Spotlight - Making Sense out of "Hashtags"When you are using Twitter, you will often see text accompanied by the symbol “#” – what we used to refer to as a number sign has become known as the “pound” sign but also known as a “hashmark.”  In social media parlance, # indicates you are using a “hashtag.”

So how has a simple typographic symbol become a signal of something of importance on social media? The symbol was often used by computer and IT specialists in the past to highlight something that may have had special meaning in code writing.  In 2007, as Twitter was being launched worldwide, a computer scientist named Chris Messina – his background includes his advocacy of “open source” computer and software codes – experimented with the “hashtag” to tag topics of interest on Twitter.  He posted the first hashtag on Twitter in August 2007 – “How do you feel about using # (pound) for groups.  As in #barcamp [msg]?”  Messina’s suggestion to use the hashtag was not formally adopted by Twitter, but the practice took off after hashtags were widely used in Tweets relating to the 2007 San Diego forest fires.  Messina thought that the use of the hashtag would make it easier for “lay” users to search for content and find timely updates.  In early July 2009, Twitter began to embrace the use of hashtags, and by 2010, it had introduced the category “Trending Topics” displaying hashtags that are in popular use now.

It was around this time that trade shows and business began to realize the value of hashtags – for example, a gathering of thousands of YMCA managers and directors used the hashtag #YMCAGeneralAssembly in the summer of 2013 to promote their event in Philadelphia.

Twitter users utilize hashtags to comment on serious political events (#Election) or entertainment topics (#Oscars), while brands use them to promote their brand (#Coke).

Many major brands now have Twitter accounts, and some choose to create hashtags to promote specific events or campaigns. If you want to use Twitter as part of your business strategy, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  1. Consolidate your tweets - Choose a specific account that will represent your brand or business. Set up a business account or designate one employee to tweet on behalf of the company. That way, users can find all your tweets in one place.
  2. Use relevant hashtags -  See what hashtags other businesses in your field are using.   Users will find you when they search for those keywords.
  3. Follow trends - See what hashtags are trending and make use of them — if they are relevant to your business. Using a popular hashtag that has nothing to do with your brand (for example, including #DonaldTrump in a tweet about a software sale) makes you look like a spammer and will hurt your credibility.
  4. Create your own hashtag - If you want to create a special hashtag for an event or campaign, select one that hasn't been used before and remind everyone to use it in related tweets. Be sure to include the hashtag in any promotional materials. Make it informative but short — for example, MediaMark Spotlight uses #MediaMark to talk about activities in our company.
  5. Generate “buzz” -- Creating a contest, raffle or promotion is a great way to get Twitter talking about your brand. Users will be more likely to retweet your hashtags if they know they might win a prize by doing so. For instance, if you're promoting a new bakery shop called, oh, “Bread Land,” get Twitter buzzing by offering free baked goods to users who tweet #BreadLandPromo.

Your hashtag’s visibility will depend on your privacy settings. If your Twitter account is private, only those authorized to see your tweets will have access to your hashtags. If you are using hashtags to increase your brand's exposure, make sure your tweets are set to Public.

Best Practices for using hashtags?  Here’s three key tips:

  1.  Be specific: If you’re using a hashtag to join a conversation, make sure the hashtag is specific and relevant to your topic. If you’re talking about President Obama's health care plan, use #Obamacare instead of simply #Obama. A vague or generic hashtag like #health or #opinion isn’t effective either.
  2. Keep it simple: Hashtags, like links, look like spam if they are used too often. Three hashtags should be the maximum on Twitter and Facebook, but you can get away with more hashtags on Instagram and Vine. And don’t hashtag the same word twice (“#DoctorStrange is a great movie! Everybody go see #DoctorStrange”). It’s #redundant.
  3. Give context: A tweet that contains only hashtags is not only confusing — it's boring. If your tweet simply reads, “#happy,” your followers will have no idea what you’re talking about. Similarly, if you tweet, “#HouseofCards is #awesome,” you’re not really adding much to the conversation.

As with any other social media, learn by watching what others are doing.  See how you can contribute to the dialogue, and of course, find a way to talk about your brand that will attract the business you want to you brand.  Experiment, test, try it out – and watch what happens!

Happy Thanksgiving from MediaMark Spotlight!

mms-thanksgiving-2016-graphicWe have a great deal to be thankful for this year. This has been another great year for our firm. This cannot happen without the support of our many loyal clients and business partners who continue to work with us year after year and the many new companies and organizations that have invited us to provide them with our services and support in 2016.

From all our families to yours, we wish you a Happy Thanksgiving.

 

LinkedIn; Essential For Your Business

linkedin-1183716_960_720We cannot emphasize enough the value of LinkedIn as a Professional, Social Media platform for any business, especially a “Business to Business” (a.k.a. “B2B”) company.

Having a presence on social media is just-about a given in today’s business environment, but putting news and information about your company on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other “social” media is almost purely a Public Relations tactic to keep your business image positive and forward-thinking.

But LinkedIn is more than just an image building tool – used correctly, it can be a business development resource, a competitive research tool, and a more direct way to reach your past, present and future customers and other “influencers” in your industry.

LinkedIn has grown over the past decade into the largest Professional network online, growing organically as more and more business professionals have added LinkedIn to their daily regimen.  With LinkedIn’s recent acquisition by Microsoft, and Microsoft’s goal of integrating LinkedIn into Microsoft Office and other software platforms, the future for LinkedIn makes it imperative that YOU be there, too.

Statistics from LinkedIn show that LinkedIn members with 100 percent full profiles receive 46 percent more profile page views than those who don’t; in other words, the more complete your profile page, the more you open yourself up to opportunities.

Do you have a personal LinkedIn member profile?  When is the last time you took a moment to update it, look at it objectively, and “tweak” it a little bit?

Let’s start with the photo.  You do have a photo, don’t you?  It’s very important that your head and shoulder photograph be professionally produced – people want to be able to instantly recognize you.

A big part of doing business on LinkedIn is making connections.  It’s been said that a strong network is like money in the bank.  For example, your network can help you become better known, introduce you to influential colleagues and peers, and help you secure clients.  Getting and staying connected with others is a powerful strategy for marketing your business.

Joining an alumni group (college, high school, past employers) is a great way to re-connect with people who know enough about you to willingly help you grow your business, purchase your services, or introduce you to those who may – it presents another opportunity to make new connections.

Prospective clients are likely to scan your LinkedIn endorsements before reading your entire profile page of consider hiring you.  Do take the time to add in the top 25 skills you want to be endorsed for, with your best skills at the top.  Endorsements are a place where opportunities find you.

You should also regularly share valuable information with your connections.  Aside from updating your profile, this simple box lets you add tips and resources, and refer others to industry information such as articles and white papers.  It’s another excellent – yet subliminal – strategy for marketing yourself.

Joining LinkedIn groups, uploading PDFs, videos, audio and slides, and regularly updating your LinkedIn profile are all great ways to stay active and participate in the growing LinkedIn business community.

In the coming future, we will discuss additional ways to use LinkedIn not only for you as an individual, but also for your company overall and your management team.  Now, though, we suggest you check out your own LinkedIn profile and update!

Heroes

Memorial DayMonday we celebrate Memorial Day. This is usually a day that we’re all too grateful to enjoy as barbeque filled bonus day added to our weekends. Swimming pools will be opened for the season, and backyards will be filled with family, friends, food and shenanigans. There is much more to Memorial Day, though, than grilling burgers and hot dogs.

Originally called “Decoration Day,” it was a direct result of the Civil War, and honoring those loved ones lost in battle. The day has evolved into an all-encompassing remembrance to all heroes who have served our great nation. The “National Moment of Remembrance” resolution was passed on Dec 2000 which asks that at 3 p.m. local time, for all Americans, “To voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a Moment of remembrance and respect, pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence or listening to ‘Taps.”

We at MediaMark Spotlight would like to take a moment now to recognize all those service men & women who sacrifice so much for our great nation. These selfless heroes leave us in awe, and inspire every day of the year. Please take a moment this holiday weekend to honor and remember those men & women in your life; they are truly an inspiration.

Dynamic Strategic Sales Executive Jenny Goncher Joins MediaMark Spotlight as Business Development & Sales Manager

jenny goncherPhiladelphia, Pennsylvania – May 05, 2016 – MediaMark Spotlight, the award-winning Marketing and Business Development Agency that is home to the revolutionary Creative Pod™, recently announced the hiring of Jenny Goncher, a dynamic strategic sales and business development executive, as the company’s new Business Development and Sales Manager.

“I first met Jenny as a potential client, and I quickly became impressed by her enthusiasm for our Creative Pod, and I was determined to bring her into MediaMark Spotlight to help us grow the Creative Pod and our exposure to the business marketplace,” said Gina Ferraro, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of MediaMark Spotlight. “She’s a motivator and a great communicator who shares our goals. Jenny has a great style about her, and her sales experience will greatly enhance the growth of our company as well as the growth of our clients’ businesses as we expand our client base for the Creative Pod.”

As the Business Development and Sales Manager for MediaMark Spotlight, Goncher will liaison with client businesses with annual revenue of $10 million to $100 million and up.
MediaMark Spotlight specializes in driving revenue through creative brand, marketing, and business development with entire teams of seasoned and award winning Creative and Business Development Professionals.

Goncher will strategize with the company’s teams of creative professionals inside MediaMark Spotlight's proprietary Creative Pod to deliver world-class branding and marketing, open doors for client sales teams, and support revenue driven results for client organizations.

“Gina’s innovation of the Creative Pod is what attracted me to joining her at MediaMark Spotlight,” said Goncher. “Gina knows what businesses need to be successful. She saw a need to be filled to drive revenue to make that happen. She has streamlined the results driven process with the creation of the Creative Pod. Business can use the Creative Pod and continue to build their business without worrying about their creative needs including social media, public relations, web presence, and their marketing and advertising. At MediaMark Spotlight, we are all about taking a business’s brand even further than they might envision it can go with carefully assembled teams of experts behind the strategy and tactics and the vision Gina has been building upon for the past 30 years.”

Prior to joining the team at MediaMark Spotlight, Goncher was the Founder and Creative Director of The Fearless Female (Cape Girardeau, Missouri), a business and career development concept for women building new business ideas. Previously, Goncher was Vice President, National Group Sales and Fundraising for Safe ID Trust (Cincinnati, Ohio), and earlier she was the Executive Director for The Tailor Institute (Cape Girardeau, Missouri), and Director of Financial Development for the American Red Cross Disaster and Emergency Services for Southeast Missouri. Goncher served as a Development Officer for Young America’s Foundation (Santa Barbara, California) and began her career as the Southeast Missouri Field Representative for U.S. Senator Jim Talent (Missouri). She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Government from Southeast Missouri State University, having also attended the University of Missouri – Columbia.

About MediaMark Spotlight:
MediaMark Spotlight provides a customized proprietary marketing and creative program that increases revenue for your business. No one does what we do. We seamlessly combine traditional and digital marketing with sophisticated relationship cultivation, open doors for sales teams, enhance revenue, and deliver word-class branding. Our team of experienced Marketing and Sales Professionals and award winning Creatives bring on-demand real time service at unrivaled value.

Additional information is available at http://www.mediamarkspotlight.com.
Public Relations Contact:
Jim DeLorenzo
MediaMark Spotlight
215-680-6917
Jim@meediamarkspotlight.com

Who is Protecting Your Brand?

broken-link-shows-insecurity-and-disconnection_Gkxw-NvdReputation is everything.  We hear this all the time.  It is true though.  When it comes to building personal and business credibility (and as an owner it really is both) how people view us as business owners and executives and what they say and write is a huge part of the pie of success.  Reputations are in great measure the level of credibility we can garner and hold from those who work with us.

Foundations of Trust

Building business also means building foundations of loyalty and trust in the communities where we work and live.  This footing comes from what people hear and see, validating their beliefs about who we are as people and organizations.  We get it, right?  We are also customers and part of a community, paying close attention to the good and bad of what happens around us. The reality then is that when reputation is everything, it must be strategically managed to protect what has been built. Rome wasn’t built in a day, but there it went.

When Loyalty Isn’t Enough

Like most in business you probably invest a fair amount of the budget in keeping up your brand and ensuring your deliverables are above board, exceeding all promises.  “Under-promise and over-deliver,” right?  Unfortunately, this simply is not enough to guarantee that your reputation and credibility continue to reflect who you are in honesty and brand excellence.  The fast moving digital age is here and the Internet gives anyone anywhere the ability to say just about anything at all.  Because of this, word of mouth travels even faster and unfortunately it only takes a matter of seconds to skew an entire group’s perception of who you are as a company or related individual.  “How does this happen,” you ask?  Very simply, the catalyst to losing your reputation can be any number of things.  The most common however comes from those who were once your most loyal associates or patrons, and even those who see you rising and as competitors are acting to protect themselves up front.

Investing in Peace of Mind

It takes only one disgruntled employee, contractor or customer to negatively impact your business in a matter of minutes…with lasting effects.  A single Facebook or other social media post, a blogger or online critic with a less than stellar review, or websites that claim to be independent but are actually run by competitors can all impact business quickly and with great detriment. There is no time or strategic way for businesses to manage all of this themselves and on a consistent and timely basis. Still yet, Reputation Management as it is called, is absolutely critical to building and sustaining revenue with solid credibility.  As a matter of doing good business you already surround yourself with experts in each field within in order to reach solid decisions and take protective measures in growth and driving revenue.  Working with a firm who incorporates Reputation Management into their entire platform for your brand fits is one in the same but without the management headaches and overhead.  Experts in Reputation Management give complete peace of mind to you and your team that no matter what things look like at present or what happens in the future, the best of the best have your back, ensuring that your good name is right where it should be – at the top.

Reputation Management Service

On Demand Is Not Just About Television!

MMS---Blog---Demand-Generation-GraphicOne of the things about being in marketing, especially digital marketing, is there are often terms that get thrown around that mean absolutely nothing to anyone else. We forget that business owners speak a language that is all about dollars and cents, profit and loss, sales and revenue. “Demand generation” is one of those terms.

Demand generation, in simplest terms, means creating demand for your product or service. Put another way, it’s the process of making the consumer aware of your product or service, cultivating a relationship with that consumer, providing them with valuable information at no cost and then moving toward a place where that consumer is most likely to want to buy your product. In the past, we just called this the sales process but today, with the consumer being bombarded with so much information, especially on the Internet, it’s critical to look at ways that you can influence the extent to which you can make the consumer aware that you’re there all the way to the point where they become a paying customer.

One of the things we do at MediaMark Spotlight is handle the entire demand generation process for you. It starts with us making you as visible as possible on the Internet. This means we make sure people can find you on the Internet, that when people are doing a search using specific keywords, they find you before they find your competition. It includes providing the highest quality content to cultivate consumers who might be interested in your product and/or service. We deliver this dedicated and strategic content over a period of time, be it through social media, your blog, your email marketing, videos on Youtube and any channel we think will make the most sense for making people aware of you and also creating a level of trust in the consumer. With this concerted effort to earn the consumers’ trust, we focus in moving that consumer closer to making a purchase from you.

This entire process is very involved and requires dedicated resources to get the result you’re looking for and need. Most businesses don’t have in-house experts that do this kind of demand generation. Even worse, when you don’t have experts doing this work, you can find more harm being done to your business than any benefit that might be derived.

At MediaMark Spotlight, we specialize in Demand Generation that helps create new customers for you and help you maintain the customers you already have. We’d love to talk to you about demand generation and would welcome the opportunity to provide you with a free assessment of your efforts to date and provide you with suggestions for what else you might do to improve your results. If this sounds of interest to you, give us a call at 215-680-6917 or email us at gferraro@mediamarkspotlight.com. Just a few minutes of your time could result in a whole new wave of customers for you!

Gina Ferraro
President
Office:   215-680-6917
Mobile:  215-514-5188
Email:   gferraro@mediamarkspotlight.com
 
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Creative Pod Video