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LinkedIn for business

Linkedin for Business

Written by Anne McAuley on . Posted in Entrepreneur Tips

Many thanks to Becky Cholewka of Cholewka Law and Shanna Tingom of Heritage Financial Strategies for asking me to present this topic at Wednesday Women and Wine.

In 2005 I was in corporate America, working at a computer analyzing data. It wasn’t exciting work but I loved my colleagues and the corporate culture. A co-worker kept sending me a request to join him on a new website – at least new to me – called LinkedIn. After talking to other colleagues, we all decided to create accounts. It was until 2010 when I was laid off that I began to see the power of LinkedIn.

When I got laid off, we were given a to do list that included updating our LinkedIn profiles. I am compliant and had heard at Career Connectors that I needed to have an online presence if I had a chance of finding a new job.

Long story short, I didn’t find a new job.

I found a new career as a freelance writer and I’ve used LinkedIn for business development.

LinkedIn isn’t for everyone.

Know your target market.

LinkedIn is a great social media platform if …. You’re seeking to connect with other professionals. For me, that’s easy. I am connecting with small to medium size businesses who have a need for content.

Tips for Using LinkedIn for Business

  1. Is this the right social media site for you or your business?
  2. Complete your profile to 100%. **Include a photo — you’re 14 times more likely to be found on LinkedIn with a photo.
  3. Ask for recommendations
  4. Give recommendations
  5. Post updates (statuses)
  6. Comment and share the updates from others in your network
  7. Connect with 500+ people
  8. Keep updating your profile
  9. Target companies or people with whom you want to work
  10. Connect with the right people, not just anyone.

You do all of these things to stay in front of your connections so when they need someone with your expertise, they call you and not your competitor.

Those are the basics about using LinkedIn for business. Now let’s dig in.

At the end of last year my social media was a bit stale. I wasn’t getting results so I decided with switch things up. I found an article on Co-Schedule about The Best Times to Post on Social Media. I scheduled my social media posts according to their plan.

For one month I tracked my progress and the results surprised me.

  • Connections increased by 10
  • Followers increased by 13
  • 3 new leads for clients

Honestly, these were better results than I had anticipated!

(Read more about My Experiment on the Best Times to Post on Social Media.)

Since then I’ve kept on this schedule and continue to see results. I landed my biggest blogging client to date. Here’s what’s interesting — We weren’t even connected on LinkedIn at the time he contacted me! He has a premium account so he can see everyone on LinkedIn. I only have a basic account.

What happens when you’re posting, liking, commenting, and sharing on LinkedIn is that you’re seen by not only your network of 500+ people, you’re seen by the networks of others whose content you’re liking and sharing.

If you’re looking to grow your business using LinkedIn…

  • Consistent effort
  • Relevant content
  • Don’t be selfish especially when it comes to giving recommendations and sharing other people’s content.

For a limited time, I am offering a 30 minute LinkedIn Review for $49 includes recording of our call. Schedule today!

If you’re looking for help creating a consistent presence on LinkedIn, I’ve partnered with Out of the Box Marketing to offer Social Media + Blogging packages starting at $249. 

How to Blog When You Have No Time to Write

Written by Anne McAuley on . Posted in Blogging, Entrepreneur Tips

We each have 24 hours in the day but I have days that feel a lot shorter. I make excuses for not focusing on my own writing projects but it boils down to how I manage my time. To blog when you have no time to write means thinking ahead about what, when, and how you want to organize your content.

Before quitting the idea of creating blog posts for your brand, consider these:

  1. How to Blog When You Have No Time to WriteGet into a Routine. My blogger pal Robbi Hess has been telling me, for way longer than I care to admit, to block time for my own writing. It wasn’t until recently that I made it a priority. Each morning I start my day by writing a blog post for one of my websites. Just that simple act focuses and inspires me to write.
  2. Plan Ahead. Spend time creating a list of blog post ideas that includes links to related articles, notes of what you’d like to include in the post, and a focused theme or category. I am not an outliner but I know bloggers who outline posts as they get ideas, filling in the blanks when they have time to finish. I tend to outline in my head and then start writing. There’s no right way to blog so find what works for you and do that.
  3. 80/20 Rule. 80% of your results come from 20% of your efforts. There’s a large amount of activity that you can delete because it’s not helping your business. If you’re going to coffee meetings with people who aren’t colleagues, masterminds, or prospects, cut those meetings from the schedule. This creates time for blogging.
  4. Create in Batches. Be ahead so you can take time off to spend with family and friends or focus on other business activities like networking or business development. Write a few posts and schedule them to go live over a longer period of time. I recommend four posts a month for most businesses. Write two posts a week for two weeks and a month of blogging is done!
  5. Set Reasonable Goals. I don’t know about you but I am an overachiever that struggles when it comes to goal setting. Take this blog challenge as an example. When it started my goal was 12 blog posts in six days but I soon realized that I only had time for one post. Instead of feeling like a failure, I reset my goal to 12 blog posts in 12 days. This is the fifth of those posts. The lesson? Set reasonable goals for blogging and track results. You might be surprised at what you can achieve.
  6. Hire a Professional Blogger. If you’re overwhelmed at the thought of creating content or have ideas and no time to write, it’s time to hire a professional blogger.

Sometimes 24 hours isn’t enough time to get everything done. That’s where I can help. As a professional blogger, I work with my clients to create content that speaks to their target audience. Contact me via email at anne@annemcauley.com or call 480-206-6452.

For more blogging tips, join the Blogging Badass Facebook Group.

What NOT to do as a Professional Blogger

Written by Anne McAuley on . Posted in Blogging, Entrepreneur Tips

When I decided to become a professional blogger, I did it with my ass on fire and really had no idea what it meant to be a professional blogger or social media manager.

All I knew was that I had been laid off from corporate America and wanted to pursue my dream of being a writer. A dream, 14 weeks of severance, crash courses in blogging, social media, and networking, and I was ready (ish) to go.

Over the years I’ve offered a variety of writing services to my clients. The projects didn’t always turn out the way I wanted but I learned along the way.

Here’s what NOT to do as a professional blogger:

  1. Listen to the naysayers. I would have started a side gig before leaving corporate America if I had ignored a certain person at my corporate job. She told me I couldn’t make money blogging and I believed her. I never thought to do my own research or give it a try. I could’ve at least had a running start on a full-time business.
  2. Start without a plan. I know what you’re thinking — that I didn’t have a plan and I am okay. Yes, it’s okay but there are days when I wish I could go back in time and tell myself to get a j-o-b and start a side gig before jumping in full-time.
  3. Fail to have a strategy. I’ve spent A LOT of time spinning my wheels, doing what other people said I should be doing, and never had my own strategy. Whether it’s short or long term, you’ve got to plan where you’re taking your business. Once I did that, I was able to focus my efforts on social media and marketing, making the most of the time I spend on my business and on client work.
  4. Let clients dictate your pricing and packages. I thought it would be more sale-able to let clients tell me what they needed and then I could put a price on it. Boy was I wrong! Here’s the secret: clients don’t always know what they want. I ended up down a rabbit hole of projects and clients I didn’t want. Once I defined my pricing and packages, I was able to say, “Here is how I can help you and the cost.” It’s easier to tell someone that they didn’t fit what I offer and refer them to someone else rather than taking on work I didn’t really want to do.
  5. Assume people will do what they say. Last year I made the mistake of assuming a company was going to refer a certain amount of business to me so I didn’t fill my pipeline with leads. When they didn’t come through, I was left without the income and without any leads to fill the gap. Ouch. Lesson learned.
  6. Be afraid of change. If there is one thing I’ve learned as a professional blogger, it’s that change happens and you just have to ride the wave. When I started my business, I was a social media manager for most of my clients and blogged for a few. I discovered that blogging is a higher margin and, more importantly, I enjoy it more so that’s where my business is focused now. It was an interesting shift but well worth it in the end.

Even without a plan to start my life as a blogger, I’ve been able to learn, grow, and change along the way. Are you interested in becoming a blogger? Do you want to start a blog on your business website? Schedule a Getting Started Session today by calling 480-206-6452 or email anne@annemcauley.com.

5 Signs it’s Time to Redesign Your Website

Written by Anne McAuley on . Posted in Entrepreneur Tips

Time to Redesign Your Website

The Old Website

If you’re like a lot of business owners, you created a website when you started your business and haven’t changed it much since that time. I can relate. The McAuley Freelance Writing (MFW) website was originally a blog-only site that was (slightly) updated over four years. Those first versions were created without real focus on who my target client is and the story I wanted to tell.

I started asking colleagues what they thought of my now-old website and they gave honest feedback.

  • What do you DO?
  • How can you help my business?
  • Who is your target client?

It became clear the design was outdated, the content needed to be updated, and a clear message needed to be articulated. It was time for a website redesign.

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Here are five signs it’s time to redesign your website:

Let’s Talk!

480.206.6452

info@mcauleyfreelancewriting.com