Tag Archive | LinkedIn

Four Ways To Build A Community On LinkedIn

By Cheval John

Many thought they was no value in LinkedIn because it was not generating buzz like Facebook.

However, LinkedIn has grown quietly to 500 plus million active users with no signs of slowing down.

The recent addition of native video video to their platform gives business owners and jobs seekers more opportunities to build a strong network.

Here are four ways you (as a job seeker or business owner) can build a community on LinkedIn

1. Do Not Send A Generic Invitation

When you send a generic invitation, it comes across as disingenuous because you only want to connect with them only to get new business or get an intro if they are connected to a big name influencer.

What you need to do is send a personalized invitation because the majority are not doing it.

Which leads to number two.

2. Do Your Research

You need to do your research on the person who you are trying to connect with.

Let’s say you are looking for work and you want to connect with a key decision maker.

What you can do is look at their LinkedIn account and see what they accomplished in their careers.

You can also do a google search and see if they have made an appearance on their local media outlets or even major media.

From there, you send a personalized invitation to the key decision maker.

Nine times out of ten they will accept because they saw you went out of your way to know them.

3. Share Other People’s Content.

You might think it is uncool to share your “competition’s” content on LinkedIn because they are vying for the same work position.

If your competition is sharing valuable content that your connections can benefit from, it does not make sense to withhold it from them.

What you are doing is robbing them of a solution that could help them take their careers to the next level.

Marcus Sheridan, who runs River Pools and Spas, wrote a blog post about the top pool builders in the Richmond, Virginia area.

Mr. Sheridan left himself off the list and still got business because of the willingness to recommend the competition.

Zain Asher, anchor at CNN International, shared during her “Trust The Struggle” TED Talk of how she coached her “competition” who was going for the same work position at a television station.

Video courtesy of TED Talks

Zain advised her on what to say during the interview process and how to present herself because she was the first to be interviewed by the executives at that station.

When you share your “competition’s” content, they will eventually become your biggest ally.

4. Use The LinkedIn Publishing Platform Wisely

You should not use the publishing platform just to advertise your latest book or events for your organization because it comes across as distasteful.

The platform should be used to share valuable content that solves a pain point that people are dealing with.

If you are a public relations major in college, you can use the publishing platform to write quality posts about the changing trends happening in the public relations field.

Or chronicle what you are learning during your time in a public relations practicum.

If you are consistent in cranking out quality post by the time you graduate, you will be way ahead of the competition when you are going for any entry level work in public relations because companies are now looking at google to find out more about potential hires.

Also, you can re-purpose your blog posts on the publishing platform to build brand awareness as well.

It takes a while to build your network on LinkedIn.

If you are consistent with all of these tips, you will have the right tribe which will serve you in the long term.

Do you agree or disagree with this post? You can share your comments below.

Cynthia Bazin’s Transition To Founding “The Smart Chic”

By Cheval John

Live video has changed the way how we interact on social media.

Before, we would chat with many people via social media platforms like Facebook (Instagram), Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, YouTube to keep up with what is happening in the world.

With Twitter, it made communication much easier in “real time” because of the instantaneous response.

When live streaming arrived in 2015, interaction on social media went to the next level with no signs of slowing down.

According to Cisco, 82% of all internet traffic will be drived by video by 2021.

Which means if you are not using video for your business, it will become much harder to reach your ideal audience in the future.

Another reason why you should be using live video is to meet people you would not have met before even with social.

I was very fortunate to have met Cynthia Bazin two years ago via live streaming.

She was among the early adopters of Periscope and also made some guest appearances on shows which was hosted on the now defuncted video platform called blab.

Cynthia have the drive of helping business owners to be laser focused and her company “The Smart Chic” is centered on her values.

I had the opportunity to interview Cynthia on this week’s episode of What’s The Word?

The show was recorded on Facebook Live via Blue Jeans Network

In this episode, you will hear:

How she transitioned from a private investigator to running her company

Why she did not dive immediately into entrepreneurship

How to run a business on the side while you working in a toxic company

How she overcame doubts to become successful with her company

How live streaming help take her business to the next level

The importance of having a mentor

Why video should be part of the business’ marketing strategy

Snippet of the interview on Vallano Media TV

Full episode on BlogTalkRadio

Cynthia Bazin’s Business Website: www.smartchic.me

Facebook: The Smart Chic

Twitter: @thesmartchic

Did you enjoy this post and who would you want to make a guest appearance on the show?

The Flexibility Of Being A Small Business

By Cheval John

Photo Courtesy of  Dream Designs

Photo Courtesy of Dream Designs


Everyone is celebrating national small business week.

It is in honor of all of the small businesses which plays a huge part in the United States economy.

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 2014 report, they were 28,443,856 small businesses currently in operation in the U.S.

The majority of the small businesses are non-employers (22,735,915).

Though these non-employer businesses would like to have employees, they probably enjoy being solopreneurs.

Another thing that you can factor in with these solopreneurs is the fact that their non-employer businesses could be side businesses because they are taking the small steps towards full-time entrepreneurship while they are at their current full time work.

One of the best things that small businesses have over the larger corporations is the flexibility to pivot when the market changes.

They do not have to worry too much about letting go of their workers if the economy is in a recession.

Though this is great news, you might still have the “I do not have enough money blues” to compete with the larger corporations.

That is not the mindset to have because you can still compete against the larger businesses even if you do not have the “large budget.”

Despite having “limited” resources, you have the ability to be very creative on how you market your product or services with the biggest game changer of all: SOCIAL MEDIA.

Social media is a place where anyone can interact with a person even if they are thousands of miles away.

With platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc., you can be very creative in how your share your message.

My suspicion is that you are like many of the small businesses who understand that must engage with your audience on a daily basis to earn their trust and eventually a new customer.

You also realize that gaining the trust of the customer is a long term goal and that it will take time to earn their loyalty.

If a corporation want to get their message out in the world, they buy advertisements, sponsor television events like college football, basketball, etc. to get in front of the large audience that are tuning in to watch the events.

That is why the smartest companies, intuition says the majority of small businesses, are participating in group chats on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn to build their audience.

They are also blogging to showcase their expertise.

Like Stephanie Shirley, owner of Bennis Public Relations Inc.

She shares about the ups-and-downs of running a business through her company’s blog

Mrs. Shirley was very creative in building a loyal following of nearly 1,000 fans because she has been very transparent with her readers.

Because of her transparency, she has taken her business to the next level.

Another way that small businesses can market their product or services is through a podcast.

You might be thinking “Why not just a blog?”

Though blogging is very, very important, the blogosphere is over populated.

According to statista.com, there were 173 million blogs in the world in October of 2011.

That number has really increased tremendously since that report came out.

It is also possible that they are more blogs out there that are not currently active at the moment.

So the number of blogs could possibly be close to 400 million.

However, they are about 300,000 podcasts.

And with the amount of people who uses smartphones which is over a billion, that is a huge opportunity for small business owners to reach a global audience.

And iTunes reported in 2013 that they had over 1 billion subscriptions of podcast from their website.

Another thing to consider about podcasting is that Apple created the Carplay system in 2014 that allows anyone to connect their iPhone to their car’s dashboard.

The Carplay system is set to be in 50% of cars hopefully by the end of this year.

So with less competition and huge access to potential listeners, small businesses can start a podcast and build a loyal audience in addition to having a blog.

They also do not have to worry about being their true selves when they are sharing their message out to the world unlike the corporations.

So if you are a small business and are looking to take your business to the next level, consider starting a podcast and also a blog because it will allow you to grow your audience the right way and you will not have to worry too much about using a marketing budget to share your message.

That is something that larger companies will probably not be able to do because they will have to get approved from a hierarchy of executives before they can share their message.

Always Reinvent Yourself To Maintain Success

By Cheval John

Photo Courtesy of Frame Angel

Photo Courtesy of Frame Angel

The most popular advice when starting out as an entrepreneur or podcaster, etc. is to pick a niche.

That is great advice to a huge degree because you do not want to spread yourself out too thin.

The thing about it is that sometimes that advice could get outdated in the long run.

Many college students have been specializing in a major which they believe will allow them to get a quicker path to getting the job of their dreams.

At first, it works out to a degree because they land a great job with an awesome starting salary.

When that skill is shipped off overseas, they are in trouble because they only are good in that particular skill.

One of the things a person can do when they are about to get laid off because of their department getting shut down is to reinvent themselves and learn new skills.

The reason being is that they will avoid being caught off guard when that layoff occurs.

They will be in a fantastic position to be at the right place at the right time when the company posts a job opportunity that they are qualified for.

Like Carlos Gil and Hank Blank.

Mr. Gil was working as a banker before he unexpectedly got laid off from his job.

He took great advice from his mother and set up an account on LinkedIn and connected with important people which allowed him to become a thought leader, speaker, and also landing a job in St. Louis.

Unfortunately, he got laid off again earlier this year in St. Louis.

Though he was surprised, he did not panic because he already had a strong social media presence and had established himself as a thought leader which led him to his current job as a Senior Social Marketing Manager at the very place which help him to reinvent his skills, LinkedIn.

As for Mr. Blank, he also is a strong advocate for reinventing your skills because he has been reinventing himself for over a decade as a self-employed consultant.

Before that he was working in advertising for about 25 years before he was unexpectedly fired from the agency where he was partner in 2001 over the phone.

Undaunted, Mr. Blank created his own business cards and launched his consulting practice.

He has leveraged LinkedIn and has built a solid reputation as a consultant.

Even though it is important to have a niche, it is always important to go outside of that niche and learn a new skill because when times get tough and you are looking for something new, you will be ready for the “hard times.”

Now, I want to share about another person who has reinvented their skills: myself .

I consider myself a sports writer because I have spent over two years freelancing for a daily newspaper in Huntsville, Texas.

Thought it was great and I loved the fact that I could cover sporting events and share stories of athletes who have succeeded, I was “trapped” because the sporting events happened during the fall and spring seasons.

So in the summer times, I was out of work.

I was over-specialized in one skill, which was covering sports and I could not continue to freelance for the paper during the summer times.

That was when I learned the importance of being knowledgable in other subjects in addition to sports.

That way, I would be able to better my chances at gaining other gigs which could supplement the “dry” months while waiting for sporting events to happen.

Now, I can say that I am learning other subjects like social media and I am a contributing blogger to Millennial CEO, which deals with social media, business and leadership.

It is also safe to say that I had reinvent myself because I am about to be a guest on a Twitter chat called “Content Chat” tomorrow at 3 p.m. eastern, 2 p.m. central to chat about podcasting.

So you see why it is important not to overspecialize in one skill.

Though it is important to have a strong expertise in one skill, it is always important to reinvent yourself and learn new skills everyday even if it is outside your comfort zone.

When you reinvent yourself, you will be in a much better position when the company decides to cut your department.