Exporting Your LinkedIn Connections into a SPREADSHEET = mind-blown! You’re welcome! Happy ‘non-spammy’ marketing.

Exporting Your LinkedIn Connections into a SPREADSHEET = mind-blown! You’re welcome! Happy ‘non-spammy’ marketing.

Ever wondered how you could take all those connections you have on Linkedin and just EMAIL them all? It’s easier than you think to get the contact data into one nicely formatted place with a LinkedIn connection export.

Once you have your connections exported into a handy dandy little spreadsheet, the sky is the limit for what you can do with these new-found glorious pieces of contact information! Well… ok maybe it’s not that exciting… but hey, you can now at least send everyone an email if you have a special announcement, invite, or an important message.

The data that will be exported from your LinkedIn account with be the contacts name, email address, current employer, and position. But let’s face it, we really only want that email address, so here we go.

To export your connections list in easy steps:

Locate the ‘connections’ link at the top of your dashboard and click ‘keep in touch’
Click the ‘settings’ icon at the top right of this page
You should now see ‘export linkedin connections’ at the top right under ‘advanced settings’
Choose the file type you would like and voila!!
For our more visual learners, here are screenshots of where you can find these settings

New in Business – What I’ve learned 12 months in…

I did my research before taking the leap, I thought I knew what to expect, I thought that it wasn’t possible to be profitable right away, I thought it was going to be an extreme struggle to get the first few clients, I thought I knew our core offering… I was wrong!

Let me start off by pointing out that I decided to branch out on my own not to become a millionaire (although wouldn’t this be nice), but rather to somehow structure a life that has more balance for myself and my growing children. Some people were supportive, others told me I was crazy. Some even told me that starting a business was the complete opposite of what I should do if I wanted to spend more time with my family. Let me tell you, those people were wrong. Are there days where I work 20 hours? ABSOLUTELY! But are there days where I can schedule work around mommy-duty and take on only a couple hours of work? Also yes. *Note photo above – riding my bike today on the trail, taking some me time. Could I do something as small as a half hour ride while sitting at a desk for 8 hours straight during the day? Nope! Those little half hour re-charges are worth more than anything to me (even more when I get to do extra special things with my children that I was missing before launching my business).

I’ve learned that by valuing your team and valuing their uniqueness and passions ultimately creates loyalty. I’ve learned that when you share your passion for the business and paint the picture of what it WILL be one day, you inspire people to want to join.

I’ve learned that NOTHING comes without hard work, and being self-employed is probably more work than anyone imagines before they jump two feet in, but it is 110% worth every, single, struggle… because watching it grow and creating opportunities for others is plain old rewarding!

I’ve learned that positivity is contagious and that winning clients over is easier when you live and breathe your core values not only in life but in your business.

I’ve learned that sharing your struggles in addition to your triumphs with your team makes your team super strong. Being a good leader is not about shouting orders, it’s about getting your hands dirty and digging in as part of the team. Leadership is setting an example from the highest level strategy right down to how the company is represented on the customer service front line. If you never act ‘above’ any of the seemingly meaningless tasks, your team will not feel above the tasks either.

I’ve learned that not sticking to your ‘core offering’ can hurt your profitability AND your reputation, and I’ve learned that discovering your core offering can come as a result of listening to your clients needs intently.

Most importantly, I’ve learned that how you choose to treat clients regardless of budget, scope of work etc, will ultimately be the difference between the companies that succeed and those that fail. If your provide a service that’s in a competitive market (like ours) and it’s a service that can be obtained from numerous local freelancers, the ONLY things that will set you apart are your communication skills and your customer service. Turn-around time, pricing, product suite, reporting… all of these things can be duplicated but your culture and your team can not.

Here’s a list, in no particular order of other things I’ve learned in this first crucial year in business:

There is no amount of money that can replace your freedom
Being a leader just means setting an example
Positivity is contagious
There is no perfect science to marketing… ever
Business coaching or mentoring is essential
Your systems need constant attention to streamline everyday processes
I hate accounting (more of a personal vent haha. But really, who wants to chase their own clients for payment… this is just annoying)
You CANNOT outsource your customer service
If you don’t spend at least an hour a day on ‘business development’, you are shooting yourself in the foot
Post your goals EVERYWHERE – if you see it enough, you will make it a reality
Referring business out when it’s not a fit can seem like you’re losing money but comes back two-fold as you build your own referral network of professionals
It’s important to do one thing for yourself each day so you don’t go insane
Giving back feels really good (make time to support causes you care about, whether it’s donating time or money from your business)
Learn when to say no
Not every client is the right fit
Getting rid of clients that are a drain on your team or that are not profitable is probably the hardest thing to do, but when you eliminate the least profitable clients, you can quickly replace them with more profitable, better performing accounts/clients
Having a giant idea/project list seems daunting but is absolutely necessary
You can never go wrong when investing back in to your business
Spying on your competitors is essential (not realllllly spying, more like online ‘researching’ *wink wink)
It’s scary
And one last thing… the key word that’s been repeated over and over in this post is ‘learned’ – because if we do not pursue knowledge with a hunger to learn more every day in our businesses, then we really know nothing at all.

I want to know what did you learn in your first year of business? What stood out the most to you, and when did you really feel like ‘ya… this was the right choice for me’.

Growing your Facebook Audience | Empty Desk Solutions

Before we get to some tips on growing your audience, lets quickly look at the difference between a Facebook ‘Profile’ and a Facebook ‘Page’.


this is YOU as an individual
for non-commercial use and represent individual people (From Facebook’s help center)
You need a profile in order to manage and create a page
Your profile interacts with other profiles much like a person to person conversation. You can message other people and post to their timelines
you can share info from your page to your profile, but you cannot create ads or boosted posts from a personal profile

Pages look similar to personal profiles, but they offer unique tools for businesses, brands and organizations.
Pages are managed by people who have personal profiles.
You can like a Page to see updates in News Feed
Think of this as your storefront. You cannot initiate a message conversation FROM your page, but if someone sends a message TO your page you can then message them back
You can run ads and ‘boosted posts’ from a page
For more info from Facebook’s help center on pages: https://www.facebook.com/help/217671661585622

Now that we know the difference between the two, lets look at how you can grow your audience. We have clients that come to us to manage their social media who already have an established client/audience reach, and then we have clients that we are starting completely from scratch. The ones we start from scratch are much more time consuming, but very rewarding when you have a hand in growing their audience which ultimately assists in increasing their market share in their respective industries.

It can take upwards of six months to get a solid base for audience and followers (each social platform has their unique advertising and reach tools). Today in part 1 of our 4 part series, lets look at Facebook on it’s own.

When using your personal profile (which is great for keeping in touch with past clients), you can simply add friends and search them by name or location. Facebook has a suggested friends option so you can see people that are connected to you and you can add them as you go. Facebook’s help center on adding friends also shows you how you can import your contacts to send automatic friend requests – this would be ideal for that past client database that you want to connect with via your personal profile: https://www.facebook.com/help/146466588759199

Now on to your Facebook ‘Page’ (aka your storefront or business persona)

The one thing we would like to lead with is that if you are going to create a paid ‘likes’ campaign, it is absolutely essential to make sure you are targeting the ad to an audience that is relevant for you. You should be making sure your audience is within a certain geographical location, and furthermore, you can target to specific interests and behaviors. It’s less about the quantity of likes or followers and more about the quality of likes and followers. There’s no sense in having 5,000 likes on a page if none of those people are a fit for your service. It’s better to have a smaller audience of people that are more likely to connect with your content and you as an individual or business.

One other very important note to make is HOW you will measure the success of your reach on Facebook. With Facebook’s ever changing algorithm determining who sees what and when, it’s important to keep an eye on the stats that matter to your business or the business ‘goals’ you set up as part of your social media marketing campaign. IE. website traffic, connecting with past clients, brand building with advertising etc. Determining these goals up front is paramount to ensuring you consistently improve on your social marketing. Review them often to stay on track. More on this later in this blog series

Your Facebook reach on each post is a totally different topic which we will also cover later in this blog series. In the meantime, lets take a look at 10 things you can do to increase the sheer amount of likes on your page (growing your audience):

Use appropriate hashtags. Yes, hashtags are for more than just twitter. They are a way to categorize posts and you can search Facebook for posts with a certain hashtag. Example, if you are a realtor, you may wish to use your location and real estate after your post, like this; “Property values on the rise again in #Calgary #realestate”.
Boost posts to create sponsored stories
Boost your page to create a paid likes campaign (remember, be specific!)
Make sure your content is high quality. If it’s spammy in nature, people will flag it and your page will appear less frequently (your posts will not show often either)
Use your page as a customer service mechanism – do you clearly display your contact details and have a ‘message page’ option
Use rich media – mix up your content and add in photos, video etc rather than just plain text content
Link to your page from any existing marketing (website, email signature, business cards)
Run a contest
Let you customers know you have a page (seems pretty simple but you would be amazed how many business have a page but dont tell anyone about it)
Comment, like, and share content from people/pages that you wish to acquire likes from. If they see a notification that your business page ‘liked’ their status, they just might check out your page and give it a like to!
Questions? Comments? Email us anytime! team@emptydesk.ca

If you are interested in Empty Desk Solutions Social Media Marketing Plans, please drop us a line and we will send you your customized proposal all in less than 3 business days #EDSguarantee #happymarketing

Are you a ‘hash-hole’?!

Ok, so I came across the term ‘hash-hole’ when doing some hashtag research and couldn’t resist writing a post about the origin of this funny term, and hopefully educate some of you along the way about the proper use and best practices for ‘hash-tagging’ on social media! The origin (or so I think) of the word hash-hole comes from Jordan Crook. Here is a little excerpt from his post called ‘The Hash-Hole, And 6 Other People That Ruin Instagram

“The Hash-Hole could be the worst person on Instagram. Their flagrant substitution of quality for quantity is offensive. There should never be a hashtag in front of the word #the. Still, there are 16 million photos tagged with #the. Why? Seriously, an explanation for this would surely entertain.

#Not #only #does #this #make #your #caption #unreadable, #but #it #makes #you #look #incredibly #desperate #for #Instagram #love. There are clever ways to implement hashtags in your captions, and they can still get you likes or new followers.”

hashtags everywhereBefore we get to the do’s and don’ts, let’s get really clear on what a hashtag is and what it’s for. The # symbol, called a hashtag, is used to mark keywords or topics, or in other words, it is a categorizing mechanism. Originally used on twitter only, it is now used also on Facebook and increasingly popular Instagram. Do’s and Don’ts

DO: Use hashtags sparingly! Research tells us that using too many hashtags actually decreases your reach. The exact opposite of what you are trying to do. Have you ever unfollowed someone because their hashtags or statuses are literally polluting your news feed? I bet you have. Don’t pollute.
DO: Create your own ‘branded’ hashtag, and use that consistently. Example: Tinselit which is an event website where you can launch your event and curate your perfect wishlist. We are consistently using the hashtags #Tinselit and #Tinselitwishes with each post.
DO: Quality over quantity. This goes in line with #1 here, but remember, less is more. Especially if those few hashtags are geared towards finding people that are legitimately interested in your product or service (and this should be your goal)
DON’T: Use the trending hashtag for no apparent reason. Using a trending hashtag ‘just cause’ (secretly you think this will make people find your service or business and then call you… which we all know isn’t reality) is a super hash-hole move. The whole idea is to use hashtags that are relevant to the post AND your target audience. So if your status was ‘Bank of Canada drops mortgage rate overnight’, instead of posting ‘Bank of Canada drops mortgage rate overnight #TBT #dressthatbroketheinternet’ (don’t laugh, I’ve seen this before…), try something like ‘Bank of Canada drops #mortgagerate overnight #mortgage #realestate’. This might actually connect you with people looking for real estate or mortgage in their search terms.
DON’T: #putsomanywordstogetherthatyoucantreadit . Enough said
As much as I would like to publicly shame some brands I see (and quite often I might add) for being hash-holes, I will resist the temptation, and perhaps the Empty Desk Team will anonymously send them this post instead 😉 ‘hint hint if you get this in an email from us’ Now hash-holes…. You’ve been warned. Happy Hash-tagging!