Setting Out Your eStall on Social Media

Libraries NI is holding an event for entrepreneurs or potential entrepreneurs across Newry, Ballymena, Belfast and Omagh from January to March this year. “Setting Out Your eStall on Social Media is a seminar designed to help you see if you’re suited to entrepreneurship. During this event, Dawn will tell her personal and business story. She will also consider the practicalities of getting started, using online tools to help you research potential buyers, how to brand yourself or your organisation on the web and where to find additional, start-up and growth funding.”

Admission to each event is free and everyone is welcome. Booking is advisable. Contact Newry City Library (79 Hill Street, BT34 1DG) on telephone 028 3026 4683 or email to book a place at the first event. For details bookings for other locations, go to the Libraries NI website”

Image credit: crabchick.

LinkedIn Skills Endorsements

Situated between Experience and Education on your LinkedIn profile, there is a section entitled Skills and Experience, to which you can add words and phrases. Here are the crucial rules.

Add only the skills you possess

Be honest. Simples. If you want to add to your list, do so. But, be reasonable. Someone who claims to be able to do everything often conveys a lack of focus, direction and writing skills, none of which are attractive to a potential employer, partner, or client.

Be precise. Be succinct. Be niche. Be mindful of relevant, targeted SEO.

Add only the skills to another’s profile that they possess

It is very tempting to big up your mates. But when a potential recruiter rings to ask for further details (a reference), you need to be able to back up your endorsement. Can you, in truth? If not, don’t add it. Otherwise, you run the risk of being caught out as dishonest, and you make your LinkedIn contact look the same. (You can easily remove or hide skills others have added to your profile.)

The same rule applies if you are contacted by someone on LinkedIn, asking you to add a skill to their list.

Add skills to another’s profile if you have personal experience of their work

If you don’t have personal experience of someone’s work, it will be very difficult to give examples of how they demonstrated a certain skill. Again, avoid digging yourself into a hole. If you are contacted and then realise you can’t recommend them after all, it’s embarrassing for both you and your LinkedIn contact, and may damage your business reputation.

For those who are much too big of a personality to care about “reputation”, read “sales”.

If you need additional detail, read LinkedIn Skills Endorsements, or add a question to the comments.

Have you used LinkedIn Skills Endorsements? How did you find the experience? Have you encountered people adding skills they clearly do not possess? Have others added skills to your profile which you don’t have?

Profitable Online Marketing Strategy

10 Early Bird tickets have been released for our September event, Create an Online Marketing Strategy. Follow the link for further details and registration information.

Key Points:

  • All attendees will be subscribed to a follow-up Creating a Profitable Online Marketing Strategy email course (value: £150).
  • Two complimentary tickets will be issued to two charities, not for profits or social enterprises who contact us before Wednesday 10th July.

5 Ways to Set Out Your Manifesto on LinkedIn

Gordon Brown has this week pledged to spread excellence. And, many Northern Ireland politicians are spreading promises of excellence via Twitter. We shall see. But just think, are you spreading your excellence across the web too? Here are five ways you can use LinkedIn to Set Out Your Manifesto, just like the big boys and girls. Except, they’re not using LinkedIn. Continue reading “5 Ways to Set Out Your Manifesto on LinkedIn”

Questions I Get Asked About Getting Business Through Twitter

People are asking me the following questions – an awful lot – so I thought I’d write a blog post to redirect everyone to, when these issues come up again. This blog post is directed at new Twitter users who are tweeting about their occupation or business.

How do I get more followers on Twitter?

  1. You must tweet. If you don’t tweet, people won’t know you exist nor what you do. Don’t expect people to approach you in Twitter. It won’t happen. And, when you click to follow people, some people will be put off if there are months between tweets.
  2. You must interact with others, as described below, under What should I tweet about? Continue reading “Questions I Get Asked About Getting Business Through Twitter”

Despite being fairly active on many social networking sites – for networking and research purposes – I’d never come across until it was recommended to me on Twitter by @mrcush. Thanks Mr Cush from Wolfmarks!

What does it do?

It saves you time posting status updates to various social networking, IM and bookmarking sites and profiles. You post to your central place, and it takes your update and replicates it around the web. There! You can be in eight places at once. And, update lots of profiles, without actually logging in there. The down side is that you have to hand over your username and password to those sites you wish to update. This is a fairly common phenomenon online, so if you’re happy doing that, then…

I’ll be testing it out for a while, to see how it helps. It’s certainly going to save me time, and add a nice little bit of activity to profiles I don’t use so often.

Image credit: Twitter.

How to Avoid a Dull Twitter Profile

A caveat before I begin. So the haters can go elsewhere. I’m addressing people who use Twitter to help raise their profile, and connect with professionals.

Never Have a Blank Avatar

The blank avatar space is filled with a Twitter bird or an egg shape. Neither adds anything to your profile.

  • Add the profile picture you use elsewhere online. This helps people recognise you at conferences, networks, and meetings. It helps break the ice at such gatherings. People can easily approach you with, “Dawn? I recognise you from Twitter.”
  • Alternatively, use a logo. However, people prefer to see a face, as it helps connect the words you tweet with the personality followers will eventually get to know.

Add a URL

If you do not enter a URL in the requested space, those you follow have no way of telling who or what you are.

  • Those who forget names easily may not follow back, or block you.
  • The URL is a clue to how you may have already met in person, or demonstrate a shared interest. This will encourage followers, and is more likely to result in replies to any messages you send.

Complete the Profile

Avoid crypric fragments, that are likely to make sense only to you and a few in the know. This, combined with a missing URL makes you look flaky, weird, or just plain frightening.

  • Instead add a brief list of your main professional roles.
  • Alternatively, add a brief list of interests, skills, or specialisms.

Either tactic will help potential followers determine if you will have anything of interest to say, and encourage the right people to your profile.


Recently, I’ve used JustUnfollow to pare back my Following list. I’m also pretty particular about who follows me. Once a week or fortnight, I peruse the list of recent Followers, and remove anyone who doesn’t abide by the advice I supply above. I’m not interested in engaging with those with no name or interests.

  • Surprisingly, I found that many Followers had a dull Twitter profile. They were mostly removed.
  • A sub-set had an interesting profile, but simply did not tweet. They’re taking up space on my list, so they were removed. First, those who’d not tweeted for 6 months, then those who’d not tweeted for 3.
  • A smaller subset again have a really interesting profile, tweet seldom, but when they do, it’s not about their craft. They’re slowly being removed too.

I like to know who I’m tweeting with. And what they do for a living. And where they’re from. I like to find out more about them, from an online profile, a blog, or a website.

If you don’t supply these basic details, you limiting the amount of people who will follow back, and you limiting the meaningful exchanges you can have online.

What are your thougths?

Embedded Tweets

Twitter has a nice, new, shiny feature. Embedded tweets. What is it? Well, you can now insert tweets (as they appear on your timeline) into a WordPress post. There are three ways to do this:

  1. First, Find the URL of any tweet by clicking on the time the tweet was posted on, for example 2 hours (ago)
  2. Click Embed This Tweet
  • HTML
    • Select the HTML tab, copy the tweet’s HTML and paste into a webpage where you want the tweet to be displayed
  • Shortcode
    • Select the Shortcode tab, copy the Shortcode, and paste into a webpage where you want the tweet to be displayed (this works with sites that support Shortcodes, like WordPress)
  • Link
    • Select the URL tab, copy the URL paste it into your post editor (for example WordPress) or you can do this directly from step 1

Here are two recent tweets we received following a Sink Your Teeth Into Social Media seminar.

Click Embedded Tweets for full details.