Today we have a very special guest with us. We are joined by one of the most influential women of Social Media. She has been named a key social media influencer by Forbes for four years running. She is an internationally renowned LinkedIn expert and author of the bestselling book, ‘LinkedIn Marketing: An Hour a Day’.

Have you guessed
who our guest is? If not, then you’d be amazed to know that she has taught a
whopping 100,000 (and counting) people how to create business relationships and
how to generate business leads using social media. Without further ado, we
would like to welcome Viveka von Rosen to our blog.

Branex: Viveka
von Rosen, thanks for taking out your time for Branex. You are a Linkedin
expert, a challenge itself, how do you think LinkedIn trainings can help
corporate professionals online?

Viveka: I think a lot of professionals feel like all they need to do is throw their resume on LinkedIn and then expect it to work.  But just like any tool, you need to learn how to use it and then you actually have to use it.  So to Viveka your Branex, at Vengreso we teach corporate professionals, SMB and enterprise sales teams, Influencers and executives how to create a powerful brand on LinkedIn, how to search and engage with prospects, how to drive visibility and conversations with the right type of content, messaging and social selling strategy.  

Our analogy is “Not only are we going to teach you to
fish, but we will also make sure you are at the right fishing hole, have the
right bait for the fish you want to catch, and have the right pole to make it happen!”  

What we have
found is that, like any useful skill, you can’t learn effective LinkedIn skills in an
hour or even a full day training.  Our programs offer training, coaching
and community help for at least 30 days (and up to a year) so that your team
not only learns but gets into the habit of social selling.

Branex:
LinkedIn is important for businesses, and yet many companies are not able to
leverage it. Why do you think LinkedIn Marketing needs to be pushed to the next
level?

Viveka: Absolutely!  I think the mistake companies make is thinking, “Oh LinkedIn Marketing- that’s for the Marketing team to do.”  In reality, while the marketing team might design a nice company page and create some content to share, it’s really up to the rest of the employees to amplify that content. 

A company page
might have 1 or 100,000 followers.  But it will never have as many
followers as it has employee networks.  Think about it; if you have 10
employees, with 1000 connections each, then you have the amplification to
(potentially) reach 10000 people!  Most companies don’t take that into account.  So, your
marketing department, or a marketing agency like Branex, can create a company
page, feed it with content, then simply ask employees to share 1-2 times a
week.  You don’t
even need to run ads to push your LinkedIn Marketing to the next level – just
use the resources available in your employee network.

If you have a
healthy sized sales team, I would recommend investing in an employee advocacy
tool (we use EveryoneSocial – but GaggleAm and Elevate are good too!). Combined
with excellent content marketing resources that are aligned with your buyer
persona and the buyer’s
journey, (www.ContentforSales.com) you have a win/win combination.

Branex: Having so many years of experience comes with lots of challenges, who do you think inspired you to pursue this field?

Viveka: I remember in the early days when I was just getting started, Jason Alba (who wrote the first LinkedIn book, “I’m on LinkedIn, Now What?”) was extremely generous with his time and mentoring.  I was honored when he wrote the Foreword for my first book, “LinkedIn Marketing: An Hour a Day”

Other Social
Media and business gurus who supported and mentored me in my early days were
Bob Burg (The Go-Giver Series, Endless Referrals) and Mari Smith (Queen of
Facebook), Mike Stelzner (The Social Media Examiner) and many more awesome
people. 

This is the
wonderful thing about Social Media – the community is just amazingly
supportive.  I have made so many good friends throughout my career in
Social Media and LinkedIn.  In fact, it’s such a supportive community that three competitors
and I got to talking one day and eventually decided to create a new company –
and Vengreso was born!

Branex: You
were listed in Forbes among the Most Influential Women on Social Media for four
consecutive years. When you first started out, did you ever think you would
reach there, and what was the driving power behind getting you to where you are?

Viveka: LOL- never!  I was just enjoying teaching some local entrepreneurs how to use LinkedIn when an association, I was a member of, asked me to speak at their annual conference in New York. That’s when I realized there might be something to this LinkedIn thing. Eventually, I got more and more speaking, training and consulting gigs and realized I could actually do this for a living. 

I was fortunate
enough to get the LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and the Instagram
moniker “LinkedInExpert”.  That helped with SEO.  And a
big shift came when John Wiley and Sons reached out and asked me to write my
first book.  And shortly after that Mike Stelzner asked me to speak at the
first Social Media Marketing World conference. I was lucky to get in and
establish myself early.  I’d
hate to compete with the likes of Goldie Chan and Michaela Alexis and all the
wonderful new up-and-comers on LinkedIn!

Branex: What
are some of the challenges faced by Digital Marketing arena in the first world
countries as compared to the third world countries?

Viveka: On one hand, it’s easier to come by “live” training and resources in first-world countries.  On the other hand, it’s a REALLY saturated market.  I find when I speak in other countries, my audience is much more engaged and enthusiastic.  I think there is a good amount of Social “burn out” in the US. 

There is so much
GREAT content and it’s
so easy to access, we are a little spoiled!  One benefit of the third-world
countries is that Human Resources are often less pricy than their US
counterparts. Six of our creative and support contractors are based in the
Philippines and they are AWESOME!  I doubt we could run Vengreso if we had
to pay them all 6 figure salaries!

Branex: Being
the LinkedIn expert, what would you suggest to startups who are in the throes
of devising their digital media strategy?

Viveka: We actually have an award-winning 10-step process that you can look at and adopt at www.LinkedInDigital.com. It’s important to have the right mindset and buy-in from ALL the folks you are going to involve, from your C-Suite to your sales folks. You will also need to set KPIs so you can measure success. 

Then it’s important to build a strong brand –
which could mean not only a company page overhaul but creating a profile
template for all your customer-facing employees.  You will, of course,
need training to teach the new skills and coaching to sustain them.  You
might consider some form of gamification in order to motivate your employees. 
You’ll need
to have monitoring and measuring in place to make sure your KPIs are being
reached.  And adjust accordingly.  You will need to establish a
realistic budget for resources, software and training. And of course, make sure
you have the right sales stack and software. 

Some very careful
planning at the onset can save you an enormous amount of time and money in the
long run.  We see way too many companies throwing hundreds of thousands of
dollars and hours away because they are just “throwing something at the wall to see what
sticks.” 
You don’t need
millions of dollars – just a good plan and the human resources to succeed.

Branex: What
are the best options for a marketer who is just starting out with LinkedIn?
What courses do they have to take up to nail LinkedIn marketing?

Viveka: Well, of course, I think you should take our course: www.SellingwithLinkedIn.com!  But there are other inexpensive courses on LinkedIn Learning (I have a few: Employee Branding on LinkedIn and B2B Marketing on LinkedIn.) or you can also visit our YouTube channel for free:  www.YouTube.com/Vengreso

Branex:
Lastly, Branex is a full-service digital agency that helps brands grow. What do
you think about Branex? And how important it is for Businesses to collaborate
with a professional Digital Agency?

Viveka: I think it’s key to involve a professional Digital Agency in your Social Marketing plan!  And if you don’t have your own Marketing Dept., then agencies like Branex can help you to develop AND align ALL the resources you need to succeed!

Branex: Thank you Viveka for being an awesome guest on our blog. We wish you more success in years to come and will look forward to seeing you again on our blog about a different subject.



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