Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Use Viral Marketing to Market Yourself

Viral marketing is a powerful concept that is used by many companies with much success. Yahoo! uses viral marketing in emails sent by Yahoo! Mail users who use its basic email service: Every time a Yahoo! Mail user sends an email using a free account, an advertisement for Yahoo! is appended to the end of the email. This email may get forwarded to numerous other people, who will all have the opportunity to "catch the marketing virus" by seeing the advertisement.

You can put the same concept to work for yourself by appending one or more web addresses (URLs) to the bottom of every email you send. I append anywhere from one to five addresses after my name at the bottom of every email I send. Often one of the addresses I include is my LinkedIn personal profile address: https://www.linkedin.com/e/fpf/1645002.

When someone clicks on this address, they will see my profile if they are logged into LinkedIn. If someone clicks on my profile and they do not have a LinkedIn account, they will reach the LinkedIn home page which will encourage them to register.

So how do you determine your profile's address? Follow these instructions to find out:
  1. Log into LinkedIn.
  2. Click the "My Profile" tab.
  3. In the upper right corner of the Profile Information page, click "View your profile as others see it" link to go to the User Profile page.
  4. Look at the address (URL) for this user profile page. It will look like the following link, but will have a different number at the end:
  5. Copy the address that follows, and paste it into your browser: https://www.linkedin.com/e/fpf/
  6. Type the number you noted in step 4 to the end of the address of you pasted into the browser, so that you have an address that looks like this: https://www.linkedin.com/e/fpf/1645002
  7. Press enter in your browser to load the new address that looks like this: https://www.linkedin.com/e/fpf/1645002
  8. You should now see your profile using this address.
Many email clients allow you to configure a standard "signature" that can be populated into every email you write by default. You may want to edit your signature to include your LinkedIn profile address. For my signatures, I put the addresses in a small font so that they do not appear too obtrusive.

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