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5 Tips to Get More Traction on LinkedIn

I’m frequently asked by those who have service and product-oriented businesses to provide some tips on how to make LinkedIn more effective as a marketing and promotional tool. As someone who’s reaped the rewards of LinkedIn on multiple occasions, I’m often seen as somewhat of a LinkedIn ‘expert.’ It takes time to really get to know how to use LinkedIn’s many free tools (and even more time if you are a Premium member). So to save readers having to spend their precious time learning what I already know, I’m sharing 5 helpful tips today to give you ‘a leg up’ as you use the world’s leading social media site for business.

But first, I want to tell you my story: When I first got on LinkedIn back in the early 2000’s, I set up my profile and began making connections, and then… I waited for something to happen. After about six months went by and nothing really changed, I began wondering why LinkedIn wasn’t working. Given that I didn’t know much about using LinkedIn, I then decided to research it further by taking live and online classes on social media marketing. With that knowledge, I then started applying what I had learned to my own business as a content, marketing and public relations writer and author.

Those lessons paid off because it got me to invest time in setting up my own professional profile and then creating a strategy for connecting with others and initiating my own PR and marketing efforts using LinkedIn. Here’s what I learned – maybe it can help you too.

  1. A professional LinkedIn profile is of utmost importance. If your profile is incomplete, not written to engage or impress the reader or doesn’t highlight your experience, hire someone to write it for you. This is the very beginning of your journey into LinkedIn and every eye is going to be focused on your profile.
  2. Connect with anyone who you know from business, past and present.  This should include any organizations that you have been affiliated with, any charities that you serve, and people who you meet at networking events.
  3.  Communicate with others:  Those who you accept as connections are now part of your Circle of Influence. Think of them that way and value the connections that they may have for generating business in both directions. Start by looking at who they are connected with and seeing if you have any common connections. After you connect, write them a short response thanking them for connecting and asking them to stay in touch if you can help them in any way.
  4. Post weekly:  On LinkedIn, you can post ‘updates’ or ‘posts.” Posts are the same thing as blogs – LinkedIn offers you a free blog site to write and share your content. Once you post your blog, wait a few days then post it again as an update. The update section is great for sharing news about your business or your industry. You can also share stories that others in your company have written to strengthen your overall company marketing campaign.
  5. Be a part of the virtual community.  There are those people who sit on the sidelines and those who are out ‘front and center.’ Be one of those people who are front and center. By engaging with others, even to share short items of interest, you will be getting your name and your company ‘out there’ for others to see and remember.  Keep in mind that repetition is the main component in any marketing campaign. Be present for your LinkedIn connections and serve them as a resource – even if it’s as a ‘free resource’ right now. In time, that may change.

 

For help with setting up a professional LinkedIn profile, writing content for your company blogs, or generating press releases to showcase your accomplishments, please visit: www.writerpatkramer.com or email: pat@writerpatkramer.com.

LAPD’s “Top Brass” Address Residents at Sunland-Tujunga Police Town Hall

LAPD-Badge-LogoOn Thursday, March 24, 2016, several of L.A.P.D.’s finest came to Sunland-Tujunga to address growing concerns about transient and drug crimes as well as drag racing and other issues. The event was sponsored by Sunland-Tujunga Neighborhood Council Safety Chairperson Nina Royal and was held at the Elks Club on Commerce Avenue. Guest speakers included: Commander Chamberlain, Homeless Coordinator for the City of L.A.: LAPD Lieutenant Solano, who oversees gangs and narcotics; LAPD Transportation Officer Flores and Captain Eskridge.

Commander Chamberlain opened the meeting by telling residents that a new law came into effect 2 or 3 years ago which prevents police from going through transient encampments and confiscating their belongings. However, there is now a proposed law before the Los Angeles City Council #56.11 which would allow police and sanitation to go through the possessions of homeless when they are left out in the open. Currently, a team known as the “Reset Team” goes to transient cleanup sites along with Department of Sanitation to identify bioenvironmental hazards that may exist in cleanup sites.

Commander Chamberlain mentioned that many homeless do not want short-term housing, that they are “service-resistant.” Due to a homeless advocate lawyer, who has created legal roadblocks for police, the homeless are well protected here in California. He pointed out that being homeless is not considered a crime. He added that it is in fact not humane to enable human beings to live in tents and he suggested that handouts of clothing to the homeless is actually creating a larger issue with trash accumulations.

Captain Eskridge spoke about the LAPD Transient Car that focuses specifically on transients committing crimes. In order to support police investigations, he suggested that businesses and residents install video cameras, so if a crime is committed, there is proof to prosecute them. He added that today’s technology is very inexpensive and can provide very good quality surveillance for properties.

Lieutenant Solano spoke about how his work involves reducing the number of violent crimes that go hand in hand with gangs and narcotics so he can rebuild the community’s trust. He gave a report on what is going on with the local gangs in the Sunland-Tujunga area and how crimes have been reduced. Out of 18 previous marijuana dispensaries in the Sunland-Tujunga Foothill area, only a few locations now operate.

LAPD Traffic Officer Flores of the Community Traffic Safety Unit then reviewed stats on the number of traffic incidents in the Valley last year: Out of 17,000 total, 1,600 were in Sunland-Tujunga and 5 involved fatalities. That number is now up to 13 fatalities for 2016.

Residents questioned how to deal with illegal street racing, a big issue for our community. Police are spread thin right now, but residents were told to report it to LAPD and they will respond as soon as possible. As with any police activity, it’s always best to report the incident to the police and let them investigate instead of trying to resolve it yourself.

Important phone numbers to call to report crimes: “911” – for emergencies only.

For Non- Emergencies:

GANGS, DRUGS: Lt. Carlos Solano: 818-897-6081, 26339@lapd.lacity.org

NARCOTICS: Det. Travis Coyle, 818-834-3136, 33128@lapd.lacity.org

TRAFFIC: Officer Joel Flores, (818) 644-8142

General LAPD # – 818 834-3115 / Anonymous Tip Line – 800 222-8477

I Found a Way to Give Back

Pat teachingOn April 20 and May 18, 2016, I will be sharing my 30-year career journey as a news journalist, corporate/business copywriter and publicist with high school students at two, underserved Los Angeles high schools: Oscar de la Hoya High School in South L.A. and Animo Inglewood High School. In doing so, I hope to impart to these idealistic young students that the next ten years (at least) of their lives are going to involve hard work and sacrifice. And while they will question the need for giving up their free time and putting in this level of effort, it will all pay off in the future because it will provide them with the dedication, determination and discipline they need to be successful at whatever they choose to do.

My two presentations are in partnership with the Youth Business Alliance (YBA), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that focuses on bringing critical 21st century business skills and perspectives into the classroom. In an effort to provide high school students with a broader perspective of what it takes to be successful, The Youth Business Alliance invites business leaders to share their experience and achievements. The YBA was formed in 2012 with one disadvantaged school and has since grown to include 14 high schools serving roughly 350 disadvantaged students each year through its year-long after school course “Introduction to Business & Careers.” When I started my career as a news broadcaster and radio news reporter right out of college, I had stars in my eyes: That first month, I got to meet and interview Sweden’s King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia who were in Newport, R.I. for the America’s Cup Races. I also got to interview American icon Ginger Rogers who was humble, gracious and patient with me.

But that first year was also a time of sacrifice. I had the midnight to six a.m. shift at radio station WOTB and in addition to having to be there six nights a week (Monday – Saturday), I also had to cover City Council/Town Council meetings in three towns before I went to work. Then just 21 years old, I often felt lost, lonely, and displaced from everyone I knew and had a hard time making connections in that affluent seaside resort community, so I threw myself into my work and that became the focus of my life.

That same discipline followed me to the next radio station and the next. For most of the next ten years, I worked every shift around the clock: afternoon drive time (1 p.m. – 7 p.m.), morning drive time (5:00 a.m. – 1 p.m.), both morning and afternoon drive times (split-shifts), weekends, afternoons, evenings, and finally, as the News Director for a small radio station in Massachusetts.

Eventually I decided to get out of radio altogether. I moved to the West Coast in 1988 with the dream of writing for a number of entertainment publications. I managed to do that but found out that they didn’t pay enough to make a living, so I also began working as a writer for a number of public relations firm. In 1990, I started my own business as Writer For Hire® and also freelanced for the Los Angeles Business Journal, Variety, Boxoffice, Entertainment Weekly, Insurance Journal and a number of corporate outfits.

What I have found is that it is never easy to build your dreams – it always involves sacrifices and hard work, but overall, it pays off by giving us the opportunity to do the kind of work that we love. Today, I have clients who I value, who hire me because they need my expertise, they respect my work ethic and they pay me for my time.

Looking back, I’ve never worked so hard in my life as I did at the start of my career, but I believe all the challenges I have had gave me a wealth of experience in life and a tenacity to succeed, when other writers have had to close up shop or take other jobs. Now, I have the opportunity to help today’s youth get started on their own career path and it’s my time to give back.

Writer Pat Kramer specializes in developing informational, editorial, promotional and ghostwritten content for law firms, real estate and insurance companies, the travel and hospitality industry, and a wide variety of business professionals and potential authors. Her press releases have helped first-time authors reach “best seller” status on Amazon.com, and her media outreach campaigns have elevated formerly unknown business professionals to “thought leaders” in their industries. Known as Writer For Hire® since 1990, Pat has written more than 1,000 articles for local, national and well respected industry publications.

As a speaker, Pat Kramer has led workshops and seminars for business associations and organizations for the past 20 years, helping them to improve their branding messages by using news-oriented press releases, professionally-written articles, and informational blogs on social media. Pat is a recognized business leader and an active member of her business and civic community in Sunland-Tujunga. She is an advocate for the humane treatment of animals and the ghostwriter of several books and memoirs.

For more information on Writer For Hire®, please visit: www.writerpatkramer.com.

To learn more about Youth Business Alliance, go to: www.youthbizalliance.com.

 

Inspiring the Generation of Tomorrow

Pat teachingOn December 14, 2015, I was invited to speak to a class of high schoolers at the Alliance Susan & Eric Smidt Tech High School in Los Angeles on what it took for me to build my career as a writer. The students numbered about 20 and each had questions about my work, my clients, my pay scale and the different jobs I had to take before I “made it” as a professional business writer and ghostwriter. It was interesting to listen to their questions and to watch their reactions as I talked about “paying my dues” over the course of my 30+ year career.

The presentation I gave was set up by a non profit called the Youth Business Alliance, which organizes guest speakers for high schools in low income areas of Los Angeles. The students are all high achievers who are interested in pursuing careers with or without a college degree. From meeting them, I was able to see that these kids were intelligent and motivated but may be financially challenged.

I shared with them my journey from my first job as a 3rd shift radio news announcer/news writer at a small radio station in Newport, Rhode Island to writing for top business publications like  Variety and the Los Angeles Business Journal, and being hired by a travel company to take an all expense paid trip to Italy for 12 days in 2007.

What I hope I imparted to these students is that hard work really does pay off and to go for their dreams, even if others challenge them or try to talk them out of succeeding.

To volunteer to be a speaker for high school students in L.A., please go to: www.youthbizalliance.com. I think you’ll find it a great way to give back.