People often ask me “what is the best way to build a Corporate MC business?”
My answer is always the same. LinkedIn is the perfect platform to help build a thriving Corporate Master of Ceremony business! You can establish a presence, position yourself as an expert and easily connect to companies and many people in your target markets. Here are some LinkedIn Marketing Strategies and some New LinkedIn Features.
While many MC’s seem to love Facebook, spending huge amounts of time building “Fan Pages,” posting “selfies” with assorted big name speakers and the inevitable “here’s my office tonight” shot of an empty auditorium (and yes I’ve done all these things myself.) But a growing number of Masters of Ceremony, especially those pursuing corporate engagements, are finding LinkedIn far more useful.
While the platform is smaller, it is made up of the people who do make the decisions and write the cheques for corporate assignments. I’ve had great success with it over the last few years. In fact, the two biggest clients I ever worked with, came via LinkedIn Marketing Strategies and they both booked me for multiple assignments over several years!
It can look daunting when you first approach it, so here are 13 Strategies to get you off on the right footing!
Note – LinkedIn is a constantly evolving platform. Some of the features mentioned here may or may not be the same at the time you read this
# “Take the time and set up your LinkedIn Profile fully”
LinkedIn will guide you through the simple steps needed to have a complete Profile and it helps you by showing your progress to achieving that goal. This progress is not set in stone and you don’t need to do it all at once. You are able to change and edit everything later on, so my advice is get on with it. The sooner you get started the better. The more information you get in your profile, the more times your listing will start show up in the search results.
# “Spend a little time there every day
LinkedIn is not “set and forget.” You need to be there and you need to be active on the platform. . By this I mean you need to tweak your listing, get involved in Groups, be inviting people to connect, make recommendations etc. If you just treat it as an online advertising brochure, most people will be disappointed.
All these things will be explored in more detail, but for now, please commit to a certain amount of time every day on the platform or at very least once or twice a week. It could be just 5 minutes, it could be longer, but a regular involvement is required.
I have a Daily Task sheet that I print out every morning when I’m working in my office. One of the Tasks is … LinkedIn.
# “If you ask someone to Connect with you, write a short personal note with the request’
This is a big one. LinkedIn provides a lot of ready made templates to make it easy for you. Don’t use them! If you are asking to connect with someone, immediately delete the line that reads –
“ I use LinkedIn to keep track of my professional network, and would like to add you.”
Write your own words at this point or at the very least add your own words before that line. There are many people on LinkedIn who will never connect with a person who didn’t bother to take a few moments to write a personal note.
A good idea is to mention when or where you met or corresponded with the person.
“Nice to meet you at the convention yesterday.”
“Did you enjoy the workshop last month?”
“I see we have a few friends in common…”
“I see we are both members of the Brain Surgery group!” etc
(see the Idea about Penetrating a Company and the Groups ideas below.)
# “A simple strategy to follow every session”
Add someone, Contact someone, Comment in a group.
Every session I try and get at least one new connection, via Direct Connection, InMail or Introduction. I also try to be in contact someone I already have as a connection and either share something with them or interact with them in hopefully a beneficial way. Lastly, I make sure I make a helpful comment in one of the groups I am involved in.
Depending how long you have, you may not do all three each session, but by keeping all three areas moving ahead, your connections to the community will grow.
I use this mnemonic to remind me … ABC
Brief or Benefit
# “Recommend rather than endorse”
One of the features they added in the last few years was the ability to “endorse” someone’s work in a particular field of expertise. You’ll get a few of these everyday and will probably send a few yourself. It’s just an easy click. But a much better strategy is to take the time to actually write a short recommendation of someone’s work. Not only does it strengthen the connection between you, but the recommendation will also appear on their page generating another link back to your own page!
# Your Contact LINKS
On your Profile page by following the Contact Info tab you can place links back to your own Websites. Take a few minutes to change the default “Company Website” text link to something a bit more compelling.
It’s a good place to use your own Target Keyword again and I believe this will also help in your own site SEO. LinkedIn is an Authority site, so links to your own site from there have more “weight.”
# “Export to PDF”
This is a very useful tool which can be found on your profile page. Not only can you turn your own page into a PDF and then send it to someone else, you can grab other peoples profile pages to help build up in your research and to build a prospects list.
# “Upgrade to Premium”
Consider upgrading to a paid premium account!
The Profile Folders, Open Link and many other features may well be worth the small monthly cost. But my advice is, I would wait until you have a good Profile you like and are very comfortable using the Platform on a regular basis.
This is important, because to get benefit from the additional features you really have to use them on a regular basis, they don’t just automatically help you.
I have currently reverted back to just the free version, which is fine for my needs at the moment, but I may go paid again in the future. I only mention this to reinforce the point, that it’s in no way absolutely necessary to pay extra.
# “Let people know they can find you on Linked In”
Once you are set up with a Profile you like and are used to using the platform, make sure you include a link or their Logo on all your materials.
Your Website, Printed material including Business cards and Fliers, Email Signature file etc. You should also mention it during conversations and presentations.
Check out the “Find Nearby Strategy” below.
# “Join Groups”
In many ways LinkedIn Groups are vital in the Networking process. It is here you can find and interact with people with similar interests and start building those important relationships.
For some reason LinkedIn separated the Groups area away from the main section of the site and some people have trouble finding it.
In the top menu bar click the 3×3 “Work” tab and then select Groups.
But, before you jump into joining and then participating in many groups, please take a moment to understand the dynamics of each group. Watch the threads for a while, read the rules and then once you have a feel for the group, answer or ask questions. Self promotion is usually not allowed and can get you banned.
But as you start participating you will find it much easier to connect with people. Answer a question and then send through a Connection request. Or just mention in the note that you are both members of the same group.
# “Sharp focus then expand”
You will find that once you have one contact in a company, it is usually quite easy to get more at the same place. You can use this get closer and closer to the person who makes the decisions.
One way to do this is to watch where your contacts are moving to. The era of “one job for life” is well and truly over. People move where the opportunities are and this is good for us.
You can mention your common friend in the contact request. Once you have a few people at the one place, it can become “I seem to know quite a few of your colleagues there … “
# “Learn More”
We have barely scratched the surface of tools, techniques and strategies with LinkedIn and as a platform it is constantly evolving and growing.
If it starts working for you, accept the fact that you will need to keep up with developments and changes. This can be frustrating at times, but as already mentioned, the rewards can be great.
Who is Timothy Hyde
Timothy Hyde has been a full time performer since 1977 and is widely acknowledged as one of Australia’s busiest Corporate MC’s.
A wide ranging performing career has taken him through – comedy clubs, theme parks, trade shows and seasons in Casino shows . He now works almost exclusively in the corporate sector, speaking , entertaining and as a professional Master of Ceremonies.
His online ExpertMC project, providing resources for MC’s worldwide has been running since 1999, including a free newsletter, manuscripts and unique products can be found here https://ExpertMC.com
His own website can be found here https://www.TimothyHyde.com