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How to effectively use LinkedIn for business

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Worker checks his LinkedIn on a tablet
LinkedIn was launched in 2002 in California, USA.

No matter if you are a business owner, actively looking for a new job, or have been happily holding on to your dream position for the past 10 years – and is not intending to move to a new challenge anytime soon – LinkedIn is the place to be to network and learn.

In fact, it has been a while since the platform, launched in 2002, stopped merely being a place to host your digital CV. The more it grows, the more LinkedIn is becoming a place to socialize and engage, rather than a HR database.

So, how can businesses take advantage of a platform with over 700 million members that is comfortably positioned as the most trusted social network in the U.S?

Here, entrepreneurs share their key lessons and tips on how to effectively use LinkedIn to get an advantage for your business.

 

Joining LinkedIn groups and staying active

“Joining LinkedIn groups that are relevant to your target demographic is a tip I often give to small business owners. Not only is this a fantastic way to ‘listen in’ to what your target audience is talking about, but also provides small business opportunities like interacting or offering them their advice. So, LinkedIn can be a marketing service. More significantly, even if you aren’t related, you can message members of groups you’re in. Since LinkedIn InMail costs money, this is a perfect way to save money while developing relationships with potential clients.”

Lee Grant – CEO at security and privacy management developer www.wrangu.com

 

Look for your network

“The most effective way to use LinkedIn for your business is to look for your network. You don’t have to wait for the network to come to you; instead, you can go to the network. You can search LinkedIn’s database of over half a Billion (with a B) users for people who work in the industry you are targeting, work for the companies you want to sell to, and so forth.”

Benjamin Rose – Co-founder at www.traineracademy.org

 

Engage before pitching

“When approaching a potential client, you have to be casual and conversational. People love to talk about themselves. So, get them talking by asking questions. By the time they are done they will ask you what you do, and now you have permission to pitch them.”

Peter Burstyn – CEO at marketing agency www.burstynconsultingllc.com

 

Be honest and upfront

“The worst thing about LinkedIn is all of the messages from people asking how you’re doing and if you have time for a chat next week. So many people use these annoying approaches to try and grow their business. I have even seen unrelated people who are using the same introduction scripts to message me. Everyone is trying to do their best, but it is annoying and gets ignored.
If you want to get traction on LinkedIn these days, be honest and direct about what you’re doing.

Jim Miller – Author and personal finance expert at www.iamjimmiller.com

 

Combine different strategies

“I use LinkedIn for business promotion in several ways. First, when people include me in their expert interviews, I promote their articles to my LinkedIn wall. This gives them the motivation to include my insights again, bringing me more links to my site and boosting my SEO. So, this approach gives me exposure on Google.

Also, I promote in LinkedIn groups that are relevant for my niche using hashtags that LinkedIn recommends. I always use my brand’s hashtag as one of them. All these methods help me receive offers and opportunities on LinkedIn.”

Janice Wald – Blogging Coach and freelance writer at www.mostlyblogging.com

 

Be creative to stand out

“Add something to your name that stands out to your target audience.
Instead of ‘Martina Cooper’, write ‘Martina Cooper – Helping Online Marketers
Grow Their Business’.
You can use Sales Navigator to effectively connect with your perfect client. This extension allows you to filter by niche, number of employees, location, and profitability.
Even though it’s super professional and mostly B2B, it’s a social platform.
Build relationships, engage and provide value. The ROI of those relationships won’t be instant monetary checks but seeds that will turn into flowers in the long-term.”

Martina Cooper – Editor and digital marketer at www.brutallyhonestmarketingreviews.com

 

Leverage the Live video tool

“LinkedIn Live video interviews with those who have a consistent show and following demonstrates our thought leadership, increases our reach and allows people to connect with us on a more personal level. They often follow up with connection requests and messages. These are all organic strategies that build trust, strengthen our brand, and make genuine connections.”

Daniel Snow – Co-founder at digital marketing agency www.thesnowagency.com

 

Have a clear target

“Our company recently started using LinkedIn to promote our video production service through paid advertising. In less than three months, we gained 300 followers and 104k post impressions. Our goal has been to get new leads through LinkedIn. It has been a slow process but we’ve noticed LinkedIn is targeting the markets we’re looking for, rather than just leading everyone and anyone to our page.”

Tyler Mose – CEO at full-service video production agency www.e3mcreative.com

 

Build your tribe

“LinkedIn has become a platform where likeminded business people want to connect, engage and learn from others. One of the most important things to do is build an engaged network (a tribe) by commenting regularly on other people’s posts, being visible in groups, and posting valuable content regularly on your page. People do business with others whom they like. Business is about relationships. Build the relationship first and people will want to work with you.”
Gareth Bain – Director at growth Marketing agency www.gotlegsdigital.com

 

And coming up text  …

Professional networking site LinkedIn has recently announced plans to launch their own gig marketplace. It will be similar to the already established Upwork and Fiverr, allowing professionals to post projects and hire freelancers to work from home. The new platform, to be called Marketplace, will primarily focus on jobs such as writing, marketing, and consulting. Microsoft—the parent company of LinkedIn—is also focusing their efforts on creating a digital wallet that will be compatible throughout several of its platforms.

 

Marcio Delgado is a Journalist, Producer and Influencer Marketing Manager working with brands and publications in Europe, America and Asia.

Business

What is credit invisibility and how can it affect your finances?

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A woman paying groceries with cash
Only paying in cash will make it difficult to build a credit history and may make you may be credit invisible

If you’ve never taken out a loan or owned a credit card, you may be credit invisible. This means that financial institutions have no records to show that you’ve borrowed money responsibly in the past, which lenders largely rely on to approve you for financial products.

Everybody starts off with invisible credit. However, it can affect you in more ways than one, so it’s important to seek ways to build your credit history as early as you can. Here, we look at some of the effects of credit invisibility on your finances, and offer a few tips to start becoming credit visible.

Access to financial products

Before being approved for any kind of financial product in which you borrow an amount of money, a lender will run a credit check to ensure you have a good credit history. Usually, they’ll be looking to see that you have a high credit score – this would prove that you’ve borrowed money responsibly in the past, and have been able to continuously keep up with repayment obligations.

When you have no credit history for lenders to look at, it can make it harder to qualify for financial products. Your lender will know that you have no prior experience managing borrowed money, and therefore can’t for certain know that you’ll pay any amount back that you borrow. This can be true of all kinds of borrowing options, such as credit cards and loans.

Low limits, high fees

Ultimately, everyone starts off with limited or invisible credit history. So, there will always be a restricted number of financial products available to those looking to borrow for the first time.

However, you may not be offered the best deal if you’re credit invisible. For example, you might be offered a lower limit on a credit card you apply for, or a smaller sum of money on a loan. Plus, you’re likely to face higher interest fees than those who have a visible credit history.

Stagnated progression

Most people will need to borrow money from a lender at some point or another. Usually this will be to pay for a big life expense – you may be buying a house with a mortgage, or purchasing a car on finance. Having limited access to credit options can make goals like these much harder to work towards and obtain. Unfortunately, this could have a knock on effect on your overall quality of life.

Limited access to financial products means that you’ll largely have to rely on your own savings to make any big purchases – this could set you back years when it comes to owning a property.

How can you become credit visible?

Luckily, credit invisibility impacting your quality of life in the long-term is a worst-case scenario. As long as you take a proactive approach towards your finances, you can easily remedy your credit invisibility.

There are plenty of simple steps you can take to become credit visible – you can get on the electoral roll, link your current account to a credit reference agency, or take out a monthly mobile phone contract. These tasks won’t necessarily prove that you can borrow money responsibly, but they’re a good place to start.

Next, you’ll want to look into credit options. Taking out a credit card or loan with a low limit and a high interest rate can seem like an unappealing option, but as long as you can cope with the financial responsibility, it’ll be worth it in the long run. By sticking to your limit and repayment commitments, you’ll prove to your lender that you are a responsible borrower. In turn, this will be reflected on your credit report, and your credit history will begin to take shape. Using such a product responsibly is likely to boost your credit score rather swiftly, which can qualify you for further credit options. You may even find that after a set period of time, your lender is willing to increase your limit and offer a lower rate of interest on your product.

Getting started

Keen to start building your credit history? Do plenty of research on the products available to you before making any long-term commitment. To ensure that you can keep up with the financial responsibility, create a detailed financial plan for the best results.

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Extreme tourism market to reach $91 Billion

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Extreme Tourism Market to Reach $91.0 Billion
Mountain climbing held the highest extreme tourism market share in 2022 | Photo: Connor Moynihan

A recent report published by Allied Market Research forecasts that the global extreme tourism market, valued at $24.2 billion in 2022, could reach $91.0 billion by 2032.

The growing influence of social media is a powerful force surging demand in the extreme tourism market, which attracts travellers those leaving their comfort zones to engage in activities that are considered high-risk, adventurous, or unconventional, such as skydiving, bungee jumping, and rock climbing. Thanks to platforms such as Instagram and YouTube, serving visuals and tutorials breathtaking adventures,

Travelers, inspired by visually appealing content on platforms such as Instagram and YouTube, are actively seeking out thrilling experiences to share on their own social networks, driving a sense of Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) among younger demographics, compelling them to actively participate in adrenaline-pumping activities to create their shareable moments.

By adventure type, the mountain climbing segment held the highest market share in 2022, accounting for more the two-fifths of the global extreme tourism market revenue and is estimated to maintain its leadership status throughout the forecast period. However, the skydiving segment is projected to manifest the highest CAGR of 15.2% from 2023 to 2032.

25 to 45 years is the age group holding the highest market share since 2022, according to the report, accounting for more than two-fifths of the global extreme tourism market revenue. The segment is estimated to maintain its leadership status throughout the forecast period. However, by 2032 it will be below 25 years segment that is projected to have the highest CAGR: 15.3%.

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Petrol up 6p a litre so far this year in the UK

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Increase in the cost of wholesale petrol has squeezed the average retailer margin which has now reduced to 8p a litre | Photo: Engin Akyurt

Petrol went up nearly 2p (1.86p) a litre in March from 144.62p to 146.48p meaning the average price at the pumps has increased almost 6p since the start of the year, data from RAC Fuel Watch reveals.

Diesel rose by more than a penny from 154.68p to 155.99p (1.31p), making for three consecutive months of rises. A full 55-litre tank of petrol now costs £80.56 – up by £1 – and diesel £85.79, up 72p.

While the increase in forecourt prices was driven by a 5% rise in the cost of a barrel of oil (from $83.55 to $87.48) in March, a surge in demand for petrol in the United States ahead of the summer has caused the wholesale price of unleaded to rise to match that of diesel. This meant that by the end of March, a litre of unleaded cost 113.3p on the wholesale market, only a penny or so less than diesel at 114.69p. If this remains the case, the gap between the two fuels at the pumps should close from its current 7p in the next few weeks.

RAC Fuel Watch data shows the increase in the cost of wholesale petrol has squeezed the average retailer margin which has now reduced to 8p a litre, in contrast to 10.5p at the beginning of the month. The average margin on diesel is 11p, up by a penny over the same period.

Looking at the big four supermarkets which dominate UK fuel retailing, Tesco had the cheapest unleaded on 31 March at an average of 142.7p across its 511 forecourts, while Asda had the most expensive at 145p. Asda, which for many years prided itself on selling the lowest-priced supermarket fuel, also had a whopping 33p price difference between its cheapest and most expensive petrol. The grocer charged 139.7p at nine forecourts, four of which are in Northern Ireland, and 172.9p at junction 29A of the M1 near Sheffield – a Shell-branded site operated by Asda. Comparatively, Tesco had the smallest difference between its lowest and highest prices at just 6p (138.9p v 144.9p).

At the end of March Sainsbury’s sold the cheapest unleaded at 136.9p at two sites – one in Wolverhampton and one at Dungannon in Northern Ireland. Tesco, however, was charging its lowest price – 138.9p – at 30 separate forecourts. Asda, on the other hand, was only charging its lowest petrol price of 139.7p at nine of its 658 forecourts.

Sainsbury’s and Tesco were tied for the lowest average diesel price across their portfolios at 151.7p and 151.8p. Asda’s gap between its cheapest and most expensive diesel was 35.2p (147.7p at Torquay and two in Northern Ireland v 182.9p at the Shell-branded site it runs near junction 29 of the M1).

Tesco had the smallest gap of just 6p between diesel at its forecourts (148.9p v 154.9p) while Morrisons was also under 10p (145.7p v 154.9p) Sainsbury’s had the cheapest diesel at 142.9p, but this was only available at Andersonstown, near Belfast, in Northern Ireland. Tesco’s lowest price of 148.9p was, however, on offer at 45 of its forecourts.

BP and Shell-operated forecourts also have very large differences between their cheapest and highest fuel prices. For unleaded BP has a gap of 27p (142.9p v 169.9p) and Shell 26p (143.9p v 169.9p) across their 287 and 536 forecourts. For diesel, it is 30p for BP (149.9p v 179.9p) and 26p for Shell (153.9p v 179.9p).

“The rising cost of oil, combined with the pound still only being worth a meagre $1.3, has led to another month of misery at the pumps with the price of petrol going up 2p a litre. Sadly, this means the average price of petrol has gone up nearly 6p so far this year,” says RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams.

“The data also reveals that Asda, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons only offer their cheapest prices at one or two stores whereas Tesco offers it at around 30 forecourts, albeit at a slightly higher cost. Its customers also have the comfort of knowing that there’s only 6p difference between its lowest and highest prices.

“Sadly, Asda appears not to be the force it once was in fuel retailing. Gone are the days when it used to announce big headline-grabbing pump price cuts when wholesale prices fell, along with a promise at the time that drivers would never pay more than a certain low price at any of its forecourts.

“On a more positive note, it’s good to see the average retailer margin on petrol come down from 10.5p a litre at the start of March to under 8p. While the cause is most likely to be the increase in the wholesale price of petrol, it could also be due to the CMA again raising concerns about higher retailer margins very publicly just last week.”

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