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Education resource for the group travel supplier


Tuesday, 22 January 2013 08:13

Basics for Improving Your LinkedIn Profile

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LinkedIn recently rolled out a new look to its 175 million members, which should make it easier to tell your professional story and help you to find more connections and opportunities—and I think they’ve done a good job. Everyone’s profile is a lot cleaner and simpler to view, with clear divisions of the individual sections. It makes it much easier for you to see at a glance whether this person is who you are looking for.

But if people are able to see what skills and experience you have more easily, you must make sure your profile has been filled out correctly. Let’s go through the steps to improve your profile.

Your picture: This has been increased in size, so you should make sure the quality and display is correct for how you want to be perceived. And if you have a picture of you and your friends drinking, now is the time to acquire a business photo of yourself. I’ve noticed you could choose to not have one at all, but that is not really in the spirit of being part of a community, will frustrate searchers, and may well count against you as far as potential opportunities.

Headline: This hasn’t changed as part of the new look, but is one of the most overlooked sections of your profile. What goes in here is part of the algorithm as to where you appear in searches. Don’t just put in your current job title. In fact, you could omit your job title altogether if it doesn’t reflect the keywords that best describe you professionally. Use the 120 characters to include important keywords and experience. 

Vanity URL: Don’t forget to get your own vanity URL for your profile (see underneath your photo). Including your name in your LinkedIn URL strengthens your personal brand, makes it easy for you to remember, and looks better on business cards or on your contact details for bios.

Activity: This is something that LinkedIn is giving a higher priority to. Your activity shouldn’t only be about people with whom you have connected; it should be a reflection of how much you use LinkedIn, and of your professional knowledge and interest. Next time you read something interesting connected with your work, comment on it, and share it on your business network. You should aim to have at least two or three updates a week.

Tell your own LinkedIn story through your experience and skills

Background: LinkedIn is encouraging you to tell your business history and with pictures, videos, and documents.

  • The first section is your Summary. Even if you have written your summary quite recently, write it again with your highlights for 2012. Your summary should be changed to include changes in your industry and to reflect how current your profile is. Let your output speak for you. Include links to videos, images, documents, presentations, and blogs.
  • The second section is on Experience. Don’t just cut and paste your CV or résumé here.  Take the time to really talk about what you did in each role, and make this section truly reflect your professional experience and achievements. Again, add links to images, videos, and presentations.
  • If an organization you’ve worked for has already been referenced on LinkedIn, you will be able to select it from a drop-down menu as you start to enter the name (otherwise, you can enter it as a new company).  If the organization has its own LinkedIn profile, then its logo and a link to its company profile on LinkedIn will appear. Perhaps you could suggest your current company create a profile, if it doesn’t already have one.
  • In your background, there is the opportunity to include education, courses, publications, and voluntary work; try to have as complete a profile as possible.

Showcase your Skills and Expertise

This is an area that has changed considerably. Now, there is the ability to have your individual skills endorsed by your connections; these endorsements will also appear under the relevant employment sections under Background.  LinkedIn allows you to set up to sixty areas of skills/expertise. This list is then visible on your profile. To receive an endorsement, a connection simply clicks that they endorse you for that skill.

Irrespective of whether you think these endorsements water down your profile, because the site has made it so easy to endorse people and there is undoubtedly a large element of log-rolling, you should play the LinkedIn game and set up your most important skills so you could be endorsed. Don’t forget: You could still request and give recommendations as you would do previously; if you want to recommend a connection, you could do so.

Both areas are completely editable, so if you get an unwelcome endorsement, you could hide it from public view.

Groups and Follows

Remember: The LinkedIn groups to which you belong and the companies you follow are visible on your profile.  Make sure they convey the right impression. If there are groups you don’t visit, leave them. It’s a good opportunity to clean up your groups, so you only belong to the valuable ones.

I hope these hints and tips will be useful in helping you update your profile. I suggest you make a note to review your profile at least once every quarter: You need to keep it fresh and high up in the searches, or people won’t find you. 

Article adapted from Social Media Today. Source: Lisa Barnett, Lead Community Manager at eModeration

Feeling a bit overwhelmed with marketing your business? Not sure which shiny new objects you should be using (if any)? Don’t worry. You’re not alone. Let me clear the fog in one fell swoop with these three marketing secrets that work:

Any business needs to consider its branding regardless of its niche, offering, or brand recognition. 

It doesn’t matter if your business is Brown’s Bait & Tackle in tiny Keokuk, Iowa or Google, if you expect to keep the customers you have or gain any new ones, you need to nurture your brand’s reputation. Virtually every business has some brand identity—even if it’s only established in the mind of one customer. It’s important to remember that a brand identity can be either negative or positive.

Thursday, 03 January 2013 11:18

How Do You Make Tour Operators Choose You?

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Looking to bring more groups to the events in your area? Provide them with the “red carpet treatment,” like you’ll find during the Shreveport-Bossier Mardi Gras. Group tour operators looking for a less chaotic Carnival season experience make Shreveport-Bossier the place to party.

Among the main reasons group tour operators choose Shreveport-Bossier as their Mardi Gras destination are convenience, safety, amenities, and assistance provided by Tourism Sales Manager Erica Howard.

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