online networking

How easily can people find you online?

You spend a lot of time online, but do people know where to find you? Connecting the dots between where people can find information about you and where they can connect with you is a key component to successful online marketing.

For example, if you're spending time networking in Facebook Groups - sharing insight, giving advice, asking questions, and building relationships - if people want to take your relationship a step further from those groups, how easily can they do that? 

If someone clicks on your name what will they see in the About section of your Facebook profile? It's important to make sure that you link to somewhere people can find you in your personal About section on your profile. 

How to link your Facebook Profile to your Facebook Business Page

From your Facebook profile's About section go to 'Work and Education' and make sure you're linking to a Facebook Page where people can find out more information about you and change your title to describe what you do i.e., my about section reads Digital Marketing Strategist at Lara Wellman Digital Marketing. Most people have "owner"  or "self-employed," which doesn't explain a lot to a new connection.

You also want to make sure you're connecting to your actual page - make sure it comes up in the dropdown menu and not that you're just typing in the name of your page because that won't work.)

Once someone arrives at your business' Facebook page, do you have a call to action? Make sure you have a cover image that invites people to do something and that you have a link to that action in the description of that image. You should also activate the Facebook call to action (CTA) button so that if someone clicks on it they are directed to another online location where they can learn more about you. For example, my CTA button directs visitors to my Facebook Community, The Biz Studio.

Because I do the majority of my online networking in Facebook Groups, people can click on my name, see that I am a Digital Marketing Strategist, click on my business' name to be directed to my page and see that I have a free online community I'd love for them to join and find the link in the description or click the Sign Up button.

Step by step, people looking to connect with me have a path to take and it's the path *I* want them to take.

You need to make your path clear and easy for people too.

The value of Facebook Groups

People can easily find me networking in Facebook Groups. I love meeting new people through these online communities, as well as engaging and learning from them. I recently chatted with Facebook Group Strategist, Jordana Jaffe, about how networking in Facebook Groups can grow your business. You can find out more about my interview with Jordana Jaffe by clicking here.

Last year 90-95% of Jordana’s clients came from Facebook Groups and she had a six-figure income with 60% profit! Jordana is proof that if you are excited about something and commit to it, success can come from it.

The key to Facebook Groups is to be consistently active and to not spam people with business promotions, but rather offer them friendly advice, resources and partake in casual conversations as they come up. You never know where a conversation will take you!

So, what does your path look like? How can people connect and find you online? Leave a comment and let me know.

Before we connect, 3 things I need to know...

Lately I’ve been getting a lot of requests to connect online. I have been noticing this particularly on LinkedIn, but it’s been happening on all of the networks, and I love it. In the cases where I need to approve whether or not the person starts having access to my information, I always go and have a quick look to try to figure out who they are and what they do and whether or not it makes sense for us to be connected. In the ones where I don’t, I’ll often go and have a look to see if I should follow back.

As I’ve been doing that I’ve noticed a few things that always make me think someone probably isn’t worth connecting with. There are a few things I notice generally make me hesitate or decide not to connect.

1) Who are you?

When I connect with someone I want to see who they are. If they have a photo that isn’t of themselves or a blurry (I don’t like to connect with flowers or clouds) or really candid shot as their avatar (this is particularly true on a professional network like LinkedIn) I hesitate.

For example, which says “professional I’d like to hire” more to you?

I’ve used the first one as my Facebook profile photo and I still would now, I might use it on Twitter too.  But I would always use something more professional on LinkedIn or anywhere I am primarily trying to connect for business purposes.

I generally do connect with people who have casual photos unless there are other reasons not to connect as well, but I almost never bother with a generic image and never with someone who didn’t upload a photo at all.

2) Where are you from?

I think that people have a tendency to believe that they don’t want to pin themselves down to a geographical location (this is especially true if you’re hoping to sell online) so they don’t put a location in their profiles or they say “everywhere” or “the whole world.”

When I read that I feel like the chances you’re a spammy person are much higher.  I want to know where you’re from. That helps me make a decisions on whether or not to connect with you. In fact, there are a few cities where I will almost always connect with you based on just that!

When you’re precise about who you are, you come off as more trustworthy and authentic.

3) What have you got to say?

If you aren’t saying anything at all, I don’t really have a reason to follow you. Take a few minutes, at least once in awhile, to share some updates on your channels, to have conversations with others and to say hi to the people you’re trying to connect with.  It makes you seem more human and gives people a reason to want to get to know you more.

What about you? Leave a comment and tell me what makes you hesitate when you get a request to connect, or what you see that really makes you WANT to connect?

Should I care about LinkedIn endorsements?

Lately, every time I log in to LinkedIn my notifications include a fairly long list of endorsements. This got me thinking about endorsements as a LinkedIn feature. Some people think they are great, others think they are worthless because anyone can endorse you on any skill without thought or real knowledge.

What are LinkedIn Endorsements?

According to LinkedIn they are:

Skill endorsements are a great way to recognize your 1st-degree connections’ skills and expertise with one click. They also let your connections validate the strengths found on your own profile. Skill endorsements are a simple and effective way of building your professional brand and engaging your network.

The Pros and Cons of LinkedIn Endorsements


  • It (hopefully) reinforces the skills you are most known for, whether or not everyone who endorsed you knows you personally or has even worked with you in that capacity. They believe you know about those topics which means you’ve done a good job sharing who you are and what you do with people.
  • It’s a fast and easy way to remind people you exist. They’re going to be notified if you endorsed them and the response could be for them to click on your profile and see what you’re up to, since it’s been awhile since you last saw each other.


  • Anyone can say you’re good at something without any proof.
    TRUE, but…that’s why the recommendations section is even more valuable…for proof.
  • People can add skills to your profile for you. That could mean someone is adding things you don’t want to be known for.
    TRUE, but…new skills you’re endorsed for have to be added to your profile BY YOU.

Endorsements are good for your personal brand

As small business owners we are trying to build our business brand, but how we are personally viewed is also critical. Tools like LinkedIn allow us to connect with people and reinforce our expertise.

The top four skills I’ve been endorsed for are Blogging, Social Media, Facebook and Newsletters. I’ve been blogging the longest and talking about newsletters for the shortest amount of time. While it isn’t an exact picture of my qualifications it definitely shows that people think I know about the things I want them to know about.

Endorse and connect

Next time you’re on LinkedIn and they prompt you to endorse someone, do it when you feel it’s appropriate. Don’t do it if you don’t really know they’re good at something. I skip about half (if not more )of the suggestions I see go by because I just don’t know if those people have that skill. But if you feel comfortable with your knowledge of someone to endorse them, go for it.

On the flip side, next time someone endorses you, go and have a look at their profile and what they’ve been up to. Endorse them for skills you know they have. And if it makes sense, use that endorsement as a way to re-connect with someone. Send them a quick thank you note or a request to go for coffee and catch up.

If you really don’t like the concept and want to turn off endorsements, that is also possible. Here is an article that tells you how.

Leave a comment and let me know what you think about LinkedIn endorsements, and while you’re at it, feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn too!

Twitter: the best networking event around

There are a lot of analogies we use when trying to help people understand social tools.  One of our all-time favourites for Twitter is that you need to think of it as networking. So, let’s compare - in-person networking versus Twitter.

In-person networking events

  • You meet new people, introduce yourself, and chit chat.
  • People you’ve met in the past introduce you to new people they think you would benefit from knowing.
  • People who know you sing your praises in a manor that is far more effective than if you did it yourself.
  • When you see someone you’ve met at a previous event, you reinforce the relationship by chatting with them again.
  • You don’t start any conversations with calls to actions or by putting news releases or shouting discounts and sales at people.


See above list, but with a few advantages, including (but not limited to):

  • A smaller time commitment,
  • No travel time OR gas costs,
  • Log in when it is convenient for your schedule,
  • Tweet in line at the grocery store, in your PJs, from the cottage or anywhere else the mood strikes.


If you think of Twitter and the interactions you have on Twitter as similar to those you have at a networking event, you will start to build and grow relationships that can turn into beneficial partnerships and sales.  If you think of Twitter as place to broadcast sales, you may get some pickup, but the true “magic” of twitter may be escaping you.

If you aren’t sure where to start, start with 10-minutes a day. If you go to an in-person networking event, connect with people you met who have Twitter accounts and say hi.  You just reinforced that initial meeting and opened the door to many new conversations without having to wait for the next event you both happen to be at. Don’t think you need to divulge all your personal information, it’s more about being personable. And please say hi to us: @larawellman, @Karen_C_Wilson and @WellmanWilson!

Have you had any great networking experiences on Twitter?