One of the biggest myths about LinkedIn is that its members are only stiff-shirted job seekers, recruiters, and companies looking for talent. While all three of these categories are represented in the 500 million plus who use LinkedIn, it is not primarily why executives and the businesses they represent use the platform. In fact, many are turning to LinkedIn as a branding tool - both for their personal and professional brands.
In addition to being a client success manager here at IMPACT, I, like many of us, have a side hustle. Back in 2013 my husband and I started a hard cider company. We packed up our life in Boston and we moved to my husband’s family’s farm in New York State to turn a home cider making hobby into a business. That business now has distribution in five states and two retail locations in NY, with plans to expand even further. As with any small business, we both wear multiple hats, and we’re a good team.
We all know the story of Jack and the Beanstalk. In this classic fairy tale, poor little Jack’s mother gets majorly miffed when her son comes home with a hand full of “magic beans” instead of the money she hoped for after sending him out to sell their only cow. In her eyes, Jack was taken advantage of and manipulated into an unfair exchange and chances are, she wouldn’t be alone in these feelings. (I mean, let’s face it, those beans must’ve had one heck of salesman.) Like in the story, salesmen and marketers often get a misleading rap of being manipulative or tricking people into buying things they usually wouldn’t (or shouldn’t.)
In today’s crowded marketplace of companies, ideas, and products, branding is critically important. People who do not yet know your organization will give you mere seconds of attention before moving on, so all your strongest branding elements need to be in place when the moment is right. While most marketers understand visual branding with images, colors, logos, and even with the written word, very few of us understand that it is possible to create (and own the rights to) your own sounds and music that align perfectly with your brand attributes.
Cybersecurity has never been of greater concern for businesses of all sizes and industries. It seems like every other week, there is news of another devastating data breach (i.e. Equifax exposing the personal information of 143 million Americans.) "Ransomware" such as WannaCry can lock down your system and prevent you from accessing your own files, while distributed denial of service attacks like the October 2016 cyber attack are capable of temporarily bringing down even tech giants like Twitter, Amazon, and PayPal. The challenge for any digital business today is combating these negative headlines.
So with the internet being the best it’s ever been, the ability to effectively communicate determines which businesses limp along and which become the thought leaders in an industry. After all, we live in a time where strategy, positioning, and messaging are almost more important than the very product or service you offer. Dollar Shave Club is the best example of this we’ve probably seen in recent. It was not the first company to sell razors, and they are not the best razors in the world -- but the company is worth billions of dollars and people love it. So, what gives?
We’ve all heard the phrase “love what you do and you’ll never work a day in your life,” but I struggled to understand this for much of my career. See, I started out working on TV shows and like most people, I loved what I did... until I didn’t.
It’s go-time, people. Aside from food, family, and football, businesses and consumers alike are preparing for one thing as Thanksgiving approaches -- sales. Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, is widely accepted as the “busiest shopping day of the year.” It marks the official start of the holiday shopping season and helps thousands of retailers across the country get back “in the red” with profits. However, with the advent of Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, and “doorbuster deals,” more and more retailers are expanding their sales beyond just Black Friday -- and not all consumers are happy about it.