LinkedIn Influence: How to Build a Profitable Digital Presence

This Old New Business Podcast with Jeff Korhan

This is Episode 14 of This Old New Business weekly business podcast with Jeff Korhan.

Are you overwhelmed with digital and social media? Then maybe you need a fresh approach.

In this episode Stephanie Sammons shares her secrets for establishing your LinkedIn influence, while also building a profitable digital presence across every other social media channel that makes sense for you and your business.

The practices Stephanie teaches for mastering LinkedIn are universal social media disciplines that will serve you well for years to come.

Our Featured Guest: Stephanie Sammons

LinkedIn Influence: How to Build a Profitable Digital Presence Stephanie Sammons is an entrepreneur, a digital business and marketing strategist, and a Certified Financial Planner.

She teaches entrepreneurs, business owners, and professionals how to build personal digital influence and create a more powerful, productive, and profitable digital presence.

Stephanie was recently named one of the Top 10 Most Influential women on Twitter and a Top 25 Social Media Expert by LinkedIn.

Leverage Your Personal Strengths

Stephanie is a firm believer in understanding and taking care of yourself first, so that you are then best equipped to help others within your nextwork.

In regards to social media in particular, it’s important to have a clear sense of your own authenticity to know which channels will work best for you. For example, some of us are more comfortable with content creation, while others tend to be more heavily committed to curating and sharing.

In other words, digital can become a roadblock if you don’t have a plan that suits your strengths.

Get in Front of Influential People

When Stephanie left the corporate world she instantly gravitated toward LinkedIn because it allowed her to digitally get in front of influencers in her industry.

Unlike the filtered Facebook newsfeed and the endlessly surging Twitter stream, LinkedIn allows us to see beyond our first degree connections, thereby making it possible to easily connect with just about anyone.

First degree LinkedIn connections are the doorways to hundreds, if not thousands of personal introductions. Another suggestion for building your LinkedIn influence is to upgrade to a premium LinkedIn account and take advantage of LinkedIn InMails to connect with influencers.

LinkedIn InMails can be sent to anyone on LinkedIn. Each premium account receives a given number of InMails every month, depending upon the level of subscription.

Connecting with InMails is a regular habit for Stephanie. She says the trick is the same as when making any connection: Be clear about the value you can offer your new connection.

Share Your Personality, Passion, and Perspective

Stephanie suggests viewing your social media profiles are dynamic digital assets.

Considering the rate at which the digital and social media space is changing, it’s important to completely freshen your profiles at least once every year, while also keeping them personal. That’s what that influencers do, so it stands to reason you should too if you expect to build your digital influence.

Your personality, passion, and perspective are everything when it comes to making new connections and engaging others with the news you share. We can get the news anywhere, but for your community in particular, it’s your perspective that makes it relevant.

That’s your influence. It’s personal.

Lighting Round Tips and Advice

Stephanies’s Top Sales or Marketing Advice – Invest in a professional digital presence.

Her Favorite Productivity Tip – Spend 10 minutes each day personally reaching out and touching 10 people within your network.

A Quote that has Inspired Stephanie’s Success – “Nothing great has ever been achieved without enthusiam.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Key Take-Aways

  • You can connect with Stephanie on Twitter at @stephsammons and learn more about her at at
  • View your social media profiles as dynamic digital assets. Update them regularly so they represent you well.
  • Stephanie and Jeff met as early contributors to Social Media Examiner – the host of Social Media Marketing World. Join us and 2,500 social media practitioners this coming March in sunny San Diego at the world’s largest social media conferenceSocial Media Marketing World 2015. Yep, we’ll both be speaking on our respective specialities.

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How is your business adapting its selling practices to an environment where buyers have new expectations?

About the Author:  Jeff Korhan, MBA, is the author of Built-In Social: Essential Social Marketing Practices for Every Small Business and host of This Old New Business podcast.

He helps mainstream businesses adapt their traditional growth practices to a digital world. Connect with Jeff on LinkedInTwitterFacebook, and Google+

Google+ is Content Marketing on Fire

Google+ is Content Marketing Fire

Sustainable communities are often described as ecosystems in which everyone gets what they want.

This explains why Google+ is steadily gaining momentum for attracting the attention of a wider audience than even Facebook, and quite possibly one that will prove to be more powerful for content marketers

Over the past couple of years we’ve watched as the Google+ community has evolved from predominantly technophiles, to an increasingly mainstream audience that includes regular small business owners like you and me.

In a worldwide web that is driven by content, there are three big reasons why ignoring Google+ any longer is to risk online irrelevance.

#1 – Search Drives the Web

It goes without saying that Google+ should merit your attention simply because Google itself controls approximately 67% of search here in North America; and Google+ is clearly the favorite son of the search giant.

A significant reason for paying particular attention to Google+ is that content mentions within Google+ seem to merit search rankings that are even higher than the original source.

While this is an observation that many of us have noticed in recent months, it turns out there is data to support it. According to,  the number of plus ones on Google+ rate second only to the overall page authority for determining the search ranking of a site. Is this surprising?  It shouldn’t be.

When you consider that Google’s mission is to deliver the most relevant search results as quickly as possible, it’s logical that those infused with social context will be more relevant than static content.

#2 – Google+ is An Identity Service

It has been evident for some time that Google+ would prove to be an identity service. The first clue  was in 2011 when Google Profiles instantly became Google+ About pages for personal accounts. This was handwriting on the wall for things to come.

Then Google Places became Google+ Local. And most recently, YouTube videos and comments are by default now automatically published to our Google+ profiles.

Are you noticing a trend here?

It is clear that Google+ is the service that will integrate content from all of the Google properties, and by design, as much of everything else as possible.

What’s fascinating is that all of this is being done very quietly, and that may be because the tech oriented Google+ community tends to embrace change. Unlike the Facebook community, the general thinking seems to be: “let’s see what we can do with this.”

The bottom line is unlike Facebook, the Google+ community trusts Google+. This all dates back to the beginning when Googlers (Google employees) were active on the platform for the specific purpose of learning how to improve the Google+ learning experience.

This collaborative approach is one that you may wish to consider for your business in 2014. It’s certainly part of my strategy.

#3 – Social Context is Authority

One of the recent search benefits that enhances the Google+ social experience are the automatic hashtags. Some people are using hashtags and others are not. Therefore, Google+ is taking the liberty of appending your content with a hashtag to give that content some searchable context.

Make it your business to pay attention to which hashtags Google+ decides are relevant – and why. This will not only help you to better choose hashtags for Google+, but also for other social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

It seems logical that there are topic areas that Google would like to drive more traffic to. This is the win-win. If several hashtags seem appropriate for your content, why not use the one Google+ chooses to establish your authority by having your content rank more highly?

Additionally, if you have not yet activated Google Authorship you will want to make that a priority to claim authorship of your original content. Here’s why.

“Within search results, information tied to verified online profiles will be ranked higher than content without such verification, which will result in most users naturally clicking on the top (verified results). The true cost of remaining anonymous, then, might be irrelevance.”  – Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt

It stands to reason that relevant hashtags attached to your Google+shared content will further define your authority as a subject matter expert in those specific areas.

SEO used to be about links and keywords. Now Google+ is layering in Authorship, shares, +1’s, and relevant hashtags to provide additional social context to that content marketing equation.

I couldn’t be more excited about Google+. How about you? 

Update: At least for now, Google has officially killed Authorship. Many of us are scratching our heads as to why. More updates coming!

All the best for an outstanding New Year!

About the Author:  Jeff Korhan, MBA, is the author of Built-In Social: Essential Social Marketing Practices for Every Small Business and host of This Old New Business podcast.

He helps mainstream businesses adapt their traditional growth practices to a digital world. Connect with Jeff on LinkedInTwitterFacebook, and Google+

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