Transform Your LinkedIn Profile with Your Personal Branding

Here are some cool statistics on LinkedIn. Right now there are 146 million users in the United States. The age group of 32-49 years comprises one-third of the total. See The Statistics Portal for details. LinkedIn reaches over 200 countries and territories. Suprisingly, 70% of the users on LinkedIn are outside the United States. Here’s an interesting stat. Adding a picture to your profile makes it 36 times more likely you will get a message on LinkedIn. Click here to see DMR Stats.  LinkedIn Profiles with photos get 21 times more profile views.

LinkedIn should be included in your Online Strategies

I like LinkedIn for the business networking capabilities. LinkedIn provides some excellent advanced search options which includes the ability to focus on certain key words. The Premium Level provides the added advantage of emailing to key contacts, If you are conducting a job search or do routine B2B networking then paying the $50 monthly fee is a worthy investment. Another option is to take advantage of recently introduced software that help you more easily manage the business uses of LinkedIn.

So back to the issue of using LinkedIn to promote your personal brand. The primary reason you want to upgrade your LinkedIn profile is to develop a dynamic marketing page that reflects your personal brand. Whether you are a company or an individual, your LinkedIn profile often initiates a starting point to optimize your Online Presence. This includes networking, sharing dynamic content, and establishing new & exciting business relationships.

During your review of your personal profile you should pay close attention to your title, which is just under your name. Transform your title with a captivating call-to-action statement. In fact, it should be a reflection of your primary area of expertise. Although the LinkedIn Summary is limited to 2000 characters, it provides plenty of space to highlight your personal brand in a simple and concise manner.

You may want to include your testimonials of your past work, since reviews often reflect one’s integrity and work ethic. The primary reason to include 3rd party testimonials is to establish trust with your prospective networkers or clients. It actually takes 6-10 FIVE Star Reviews to establish trust. Continuing with the Summary you will want to include your products or services, highlight your approach to business, define your ideal customer or client and even touch base on your biggest challenge. Most of this information is pretty straight forward but it provides great way to introduce your personal story.

Overall the strategy is to highlight your Call-To-Action Title with a powerful Summary that will attract possible employers, attract potential new employees and even possible networkers. That’s was LinkedIn is all about. Forming new and fulfilling business relationships is the GOAL. For more information click here to see a short video on the Transforming your LinkedInProfile.

Click here to connect with me on LinkedIn.

Top 8 Strategies to Optimize Your Personal Branding

I am pleased to share with you my Passion through a personal branding statement. My branding statement is really an evolution of my past 4 years in internet marketing. So Here Goes!!

“I support entrepreneurs, consultants, and professional business owners. These 3 business types all need to optimize their online presence to grow their business. Although I may not have all the answers, I do provide knowledge or business solutions that shorten the learning curve and get you on your way to more business & more sales.”

I am going to provide a quick perspective on some great resources that are critical in getting greater online visibility.

1. Business Listings – Every business needs to optimize their online listings or directories. This starts with the major search engine Google. You need to Verify your “GoogleMyBusiness” Listing and participate in Google+ and Google Maps. You need to include other search engine listings and social media listings. It is no longer just NAP or name address & phone. You need to appreciate the value of enriched content, which can increase your views 4-fold. Being a Yext Certified Partner, I can help businesses with their online directories. Typically, we work with 70+ directories. Month to month plans are readily available.

2. Social Media Profiles– Focus on your online profile. Using a strong personal branding statement establishes you as an authority figure in your business niche. You may want to begin with LinkedIn. Virtually everyone in business is listed on LinkedIn. Use a call-to-action statement for your title. This is eye catching and will get that person to get more information from your profile. Don’t minimize the value of your profile. People go there to check out what you do.

3. Reputation Management – Customer testimonials are so important in building trust. Prospective clients will most likely go online and search for reviews, whether it be on Yelp or another search engine directory. It is important to engage with your customers or clients to provide feedback on your products or services. It takes a least 6 FIVE Star reviews to establish trust.

4. Video – Video has many applications in business. Whether a video is used to promote a testimonial or to advertise your product or services people just out prefer video. It’s visual and easy to see. Don’t forget that YouTube is the #2 search engine. This means YES. DO VIDEO! I do produce 60 second promo videos and 2 minute LinkedIn PROFILE VIDEOS. When you are ready for a LinkedIn review give me a call.

5. Keywords – Know your keywords. This is what drives the ship in online visibility. It is important to do your homework on your competition. Know their keywords. Key words work for your website, social postings and your videos. Insert your keywords into LinkedIn searches and Google Searches.  You may be surprised on what you see.  Contact me for assistance at any time.

6. The Web Site or Blog site is used to further define your branding. I do not get overly involved in website development. I do create Lead Generating Sites for a particular niche since key words and SEO are primary drivers for lead development. Consider getting a Mobile App solution.  Although only 33% of the small business web sites are mobile optimized, it is safe to say this number is rapidly changing. Mobile users are far more receptive to “push notifications” versus emails, hence the mobile app is a fantastic opportunity to promote a business.

7. I provide a Media Expert solution. This is a process where you create a press release, using your personal branding statement and post on a national network affiliate. This allows you to state “…as seen on network news” on your social media profile, website, or business correspondence.

8.  Lastly, text marketing is rapidly becoming a new practice.  Open rates for text messages exceed 90%.  Text marketing vendors offer different applications, including keyword texting, group texting, texting campaigns and even connections to a CRM.

To summarize, I support entrepreneurs, consultants & small business owners with innovative online business solutions to optimize their online visibility and reputation.

So that’s it for now. Thank you for tuning in.

37 Reasons to Do a Press Release

37 Reasons to Do a Press Release

The power of the Press Release is not fully realized by small business. Here’s why it needs to be reconsidered as a trusted marketing strategy.  There really are 37 Reasons to do a Press Release.

The Google Algorithm

We all know GOOGLE maintains an algorithm that ultimately determines online ranking.

  • The Location of the searcher to a physical business makes a difference.
  • The Physical Address of a business is determined by the number of times and consistency an address and other contact details appear in online searches.  This results in a citation for the address and site.
  • Google knows where a business is by tracking the location of peoples’ phones.

So here is the bottom line.

With more citations, you get more ranking power for a specific business AND the type of business it represents.

Graphic provided by Press Cable

Get Safe Citations with Google

A press release can get you over 300 of these Google “safe” citations in under 24 hours, literally overnight.  It is unclear whether it is the citation that causes the increase in ranking, or the increase in click-through traffic by potential customers.  It seems to be the two working together generates great results for local businesses.

Either way, it is clear the address is a critical component of the press release.

When you couple the address with a search for non-standard long-tailed keywords showing buyers’ intent you set the stage for sustained ranking power on Google.  Why not add the Press Release to your Online Marketing Strategies.  It’s smart business.

The End Result of a Press Release

The end result is an…

  • efficient
  • fast running
  • successful
  • powerful marketing campaign.

Click here for 37 Reasons to do a Press Release.


Enriched Listings for Directories Make a Difference

Virtually every business uses online directories.  To be successful, businesses need to be found.  The question is, do businesses have enough directories?  In addition, do they have the right directories? I am asking the latter question only because niche directories can make a big difference.  Businesses often neglect TripAdvisor.  If the Business is located in an area with a key attraction (wine country, recreation spot, famous landmark, etc.), then yes, by all means TripAdvisor is a MUST HAVE for any business in that GEO-LOCATION.

I have recommended businesses have 20-30 directories.  Yes, more is better.  Click here if you  are not sure about your own directories.

Directories are important, but let’s talk about Enriched Content for your directories.

ENRICHED CONTENT FOR LISTINGS DEFINED:  So let’s talk about the information used to complete each directory because today not all directory services are the same.  You have to take a look at what information goes into  the directory. Click here >> THIS IS A MUST DO!  Let me tell you what “enriched content for listings” is all about.  An enriched content for listings includes additional information fields other than NAP (name, address, phone).

A recent study (The Yext 2015 Comparative Listings Study) analyzed 14 popular listing information fields to identify which fields could increase customer engagement and foot traffic.  The Study Fields included URL, Twitter handle, FB page URL, email, calendar, gallery (photos), Menu (restaurant or services), Product List, Logo, videos, Descriptions, hours, payment options and special offer.


Across the board, all 14 fields had a positive impact on all four metrics of engagement when compared to a minimally (1/14) completed listing.

  • Searches increased 347%.
  • Yelp had 214% more page views.
  • Listing views increased 416%.

In addition, specific fields, when completed for Major Verticals, influenced listing views.  These Verticals include:

  • Food & Dining – URL’s  +85%
  • Retail – Payment Options  +105%
  • Financial Services – Hours  +190%
  • Automotive – Logo  +141%
  • Hospitality – Videos  +117%

This strongly suggests businesses need to go beyond Name, Address & Phone for their listings.  LISTINGS NOW NEED TO BE CONSIDERED AS A NEW MARKETING CHANNEL.


  1. For Yelp, listings with hours received 120% more page views.  This likely is due to Mobile Users
  2. Links to Twitter & Facebook receive 54% to 83% more more listing views
  3. Listings with photos, videos & descriptions receive 45% to 61% more listing views. I suggest this content is readily available and can be easily re-purposed for online directories.
  4. Enhanced content lists such as calendars, menus & product lists receive up to 120% more listing views.  This is especially important for beauty & restaurants.

CONCLUSION:  Businesses now have an opportunity to paint a more compelling picture for their new customers. ENRICHED LISTINGS HAS NOW BECOME  A BEST PRACTICE IN ONLINE MARKETING. The additional information is simple and easily obtained.   Click here to run your own listing report.

I can now help you update all your directories in a matter of 24 hours.  All directories will have the same identical information.

The Online Scorecard Helps Define Your Brand

There are a couple of new products in the market that will be a great resource for businesses to further define their brand.  One of these new resources is the Online Scorecard (OSC)Click here to see your Online Scorecard.  You may also hear the term Reputation Scorecard.

Here is what the Scorecard offers:

  1. Visibility Grade & Summary: The OSC provides both the national & local directories you are aligned with and whether or not any updates are required.  This may be as simple as updating the address or phone number.  The OSC also shows the number of Reviews with each directory.   The OSC also provides a summary.
  2. Reputation Grade: The SC indicates whether you have reviews with listings.  No reviews with a listing will lessen your score.  This provides opportunity to get more reviews posted on more listings.
  3. Negative Reviews: The OSC will show the Negative Reviews.  You can also see the Positive Reviews.  All Reviews in chronological order.   The key take away is Positive Reviews will displace the Negative Review.  This is especially true if there is a Feedback Review Process in place.
  4. Video Visibility Grade: The OSC will reflect a video presence in an Online Search, Website and YouTube.  Videos are now frequently used to market businesses. Over 50% of all consumers routinely look for videos to judge a business.
  5. Great Analytics: Good decision making always requires good data.  You get it here.
  6. Opportunity to built equity: An ongoing program to gain new customers and market to current customers provides greater value when you decide to sell your business.

So that’s the Online Scorecard.  Click here to see your Online Scorecard.  You will need your Business Name, Business Phone and Email to get access to your free Online Scorecard ($197 Value).

One of the biggest challenges to small businesses is how do you manage the negative testimonial.   I recently spoke with an insurance agent about this issue.  She is dealing with a negative review posted on a major directory and she didn’t even know the person who wrote the review.  It appears the business is always last to know if a negative testimonial is posted.

If you have read my previous postings you will know the market is more demanding good information. This is another great reason why the Online Scorecard is a breakthrough product.   In fact, 92% of consumers go online for information to judge a business. More than 96% of Millenials need to see at least 6-10 FIVE STAR REVIEWS to gain trust in a business.  This revealing statistic can be interpreted to mean, “5 STAR REVIEWS” are the key to building a brand in today’s world.  Whether you own a restaurant or a healthcare practice, you need 5 STAR REVIEWS to keep your business growing & busy.

It is obvious small businesses need to be proactive in optimizing the 5 STAR REVIEW process.  The SIGN IN System is a great resource to facilitate 5 STAR REVIEWS.  The SIGN IN System (click here to see a SIGN IN example) provides the business an option to send their customers a SMS text or email for feedback on their recent experience with a product and/or service.  The Feedback Review is a powerful tool to overcome any negative testimonials.

The Online Scorecard is an excellent resource to help you make good marketing decisions.  Here are some easy to implement strategies:

  1. The SIGN IN Form makes your Feedback Reviews far easier to facilitate.
  2. Expand your online presence by adding more national directories.
  3. Add Videos to your marketing strategies.
  4. Focus on 5 STAR REVIEWS. It negates negative Reviews and means more business.
  5. Contact Kim Kersten at 707-372-0742 to discuss any of the above strategies.

Click here to access your Online Scorecard.

Marketing Online Testimonials

Today’s post will review the value of the online testimonial.  If you take a look at statistics you will realize you really need to focus on generating 5 STAR REVIEWS for your business.  Here’s why:

  • 92% of Consumers use online reviews to judge a local business.
  • 97% of those aged 18-34 use online reviews to judge a local business.
  • It takes 6-10 “5 STAR REVIEWS” to increase sales 19%.

Yes, online reputation has taken a front seat in how businesses should market their products and/or services.  This means you have to budget for reputation development.  I expect reputation will be part of the Marketing Budget.  Click here to access your Reputation Report.

So let’s take a look at the National Directories where online testimonials are posted.  My information comes from online research and personal experience.

YELP.COM:  Yelp is currently the most frequently used site for local business reviews.  Yelp has 135 million visitors and now has over 71 million reviews.  Most of the users are 25-35 years old and 72% are college educated with 54% having a salary exceeding $75,000.

GOOGLE+:  Being Google makes it a no-brainer.  It has such a huge search engine.  You will want to tap in Google+ Local.  You do have to set up a Google Account.  This is well worth it, since you will be accessing Google Search, Google Maps and even YouTube. Keep in mind video marketing is here to stay and should be part of any reputation marketing initiative.  Google search results point to reviews and not websites 80% of the time.

FACEBOOK:  Facebook offers several options for businesses, as long as you are set up with a local address.  This will allow you to use the FB Page, which has the capability to use a formalized review feature to connect with customers.  More information is available at the FB Help Center.  Whether it be video, photos or just excellent written commentary FB offers a check-in feature for people visiting their favorite restaurant.

ANGIE’S LIST:  Angie’s List is now a household name and offers some nice features.  The site is known for honest and accurate information about local businesses.  Users pay a membership fee to write and read reviews.  The grading system uses a letter grade. Businesses can sign up and provides facts about their business, respond to reviews and interact with members.  Angie’s list does offer discounts for high grades and will solicit reviews for businesses.

SUMMARY:  So that covers some of the major national directories. There are others you will want to consider, including Amazon, Better Business Bureau, YellowPages,, GoodSnitch, 4 Square, Trip Advisor and Manta.  If you are doing business in a niche, then be sure to review the niche directories.

It is smart to list your business with multiple directories to focus on generating 5 STAR REVIEWS.”  Keep in mind your clients, customers or patients may favor one national directory over another. Spreading your base allows for this flexibility and offers a fast way to enhance your online reputation.

Click here to access your Reputation Report.  Be sure to reach out to me for more information.  I have a great solution to help you expand and build your online reputation.

Statistics Confirm Video Marketing Works

Video marketing is an important strategy in attracting new customers.  Obviously the goal is to get on the front page on Google, whether it be for “ALL” or just “VIDEOS.”

Take a look at the statistics and see why VIDEO MARKETING ROCKS:

  • 51.9% of marketers say video has the best return in ROI.
  • 57% of consumers say product videos make them more confident in their purchase.
  • 69% of all global consumer internet traffic in 2017 will be video
  • Video promotion is 6 x’s more effective than print.
  • 1 minute of video is worth 1.8 million words.
  • Professional videos optimized for eCommerce outperform user-generated videos by 30%.
  • 50% of 25-54 year olds share videos online
  • Page 1 listing on Google increases 53 x’s with video
  • Videos gain a higher “click through” rate than the written text
  • YouTube searches included 28% of all Google searches with over 1 BILLION visitors each month.

As a result of the above statistics it really does make sense to expand marketing to include videos.  I work with reputation video and we actually promote customer testimonials on YouTube.  Videos are optimized and often get TOP 5 Ranking on Google video.

Click here to see a reputation video.  Contact me for more information on reputation marketing.



The Power of Customer Testimonials

There are many ways to market a product or a service and providing the potential clients and customers with testimonials is one of the best ways to market.

The power of testimonials can never be underestimated.   People, especially nowadays, will only purchase products or avail services which have been referred to them by people whom they know.   But most of the times, this is not an option that is in the hands of the business owner, he/she has to do the next best thing, which is to get testimonials from his past clients.

Testimonials are living statements from past customers or clients which states that they were satisfied by the product/ service. Every business must have testimonials to be able to stand out in the ever crowded markets.

There are many benefits of having testimonials. Here are some of them.

  • Testimonials appease the target market. Testimonials usually lessen the doubts of the target market. There are a lot of scammers and con artists nowadays, and this has turned the market into a fearsome one. Credible testimonials provide security to the people who are eyeing at a certain product or service. The provision of testimonials gives people a much more relaxed attitude towards a product or service.
  • Testimonials assure quality. Aside from confirming the existence of a business and lessening doubts, testimonials provide assurance to potential customers and clients of the quality of the product or service. The fact that they took time out to be able to write testimonials about the product reflect their levels of satisfaction towards the product/service.
  • Testimonials give advantage. Credible testimonials provide a competitive advantage for the product/service. There are many products and services out there and one of the ways to stand out from the rest is the use of credible testimonials.

There are many types of testimonials. Testimonials are usually categorized according to the source. Here are a few examples:

  1. a) Testimonials from satisfied customers – This is probably the most effective type of testimonial. Nothing beats a testimonial from a satisfied customer because it is a picture of what the product/service is all about.
  2. b) Testimonials from experts – Experts can be credible sources of testimonials. If a renowned dermatologist writes a testimonial for a beauty soap, it will surely help in boosting its sales, wouldn’t it?
  3. c) Testimonials from celebrities – In a world that is run by mass media, celebrities have become powerful sources of testimonials. Today, even infomercials are infested by testimonials from celebrities. People may think that getting testimonials from celebrities will cost a lot, but if it’s a real testimonial, celebrities may even waive their talent fees.

There is much more to making a testimonial an effective tool for marketing than gathering them. Good testimonials are the ones which can be compressed into a few catchy words.   “I lost 20 pounds in two weeks time!” is an example of an eye-catching testimonial.   However, one must never rephrase or edit what the client had said. How to get the right kinds of testimonials will be discussed later.

Credible testimonials should also contain the complete attributes of the people who gave them.   Their titles, location and age should be included whenever possible.

Visual appeal will also be a great help in using testimonials.   If the clients are willing, one must insist in taking photographs or videos for their testimonials.

So how does a business owner get started with the whole testimonial thing?

Here are 6 TIPS on How to Create Testimonials:

  1. Before anything else, only products/ services with outstanding quality deserve testimonials, so one must make sure that his/her product/service possesses exceptional quality.
  2. Ask the help of your customers. One must be able to communicate to his customers his need of getting their testimonials.  If they are really satisfied with the product/service, they would be more than willing to participate.
  3. Interview your customers. Ask them about what they like about your product/service, why they chose your product and other questions like these.
  4. Ask them if they are willing to make a written testimonial. You can offer to make the testimonial yourself based on their responses during the interview but the testimonial is still up for their approval. You might want to make the wordings catchy and let them approve the testimonials.
  5. Ask them if you could record the testimonial using a tape recorder or video cam. A video testimonial is better, but of course, many people are camera-shy and this can be a limited option for most.
  6. Choose the best testimonials. Use the best ones so as to maximize the benefits that your product can get from the testimonials.

Conclusion:  Testimonials are very powerful and this is the reason why every business should have them.   They provide assurance and security and reflect the real essence of a product or a service. Click here for a reputation video.