Call/Text 414.640.7445

Networking and Connecting

Instagram Marketing

Instagram offers a unique way to keep your brand in front of customers and allow them to interact. The ‘Do Business Last’ theme also fits right! This is excellent for helping business owners to see the value of Instagram.



Get More of the Right Twitter Followers!

This infographic breaks down what you can do to get more of the followers that improve your brand and your return on investment; it does this by artfully showing how to use twitter effectively. This is great to analyze your twitter or to build a stellar account!



LinkedIn: What is it Actually Good For?

Check out this great infographic that breaks down the main benefits of LinkedIn. It shows how LinkedIn can help you stay connected with people both in your industry, new companies, and individuals. This is great for anybody who is looking to grow their LinkedIn account, or looking at how this tool could be beneficial for them.



Top 10 Tools to Connect You to Your Customers

In my presentations, I talk about tools last, because it’s all about the value you provide first, and then the tools you use to manage those relationships second.

Top 10

Here are my top 10+ favorite tools to connect you to your customers. I’ll be doing reviews of many of these in the future.

If you use these tools, I may get more time on my subscription or a few dollars in my pocket. I use each of these all the time and I LOVE them!

Should You Post Images to Your LinkedIn Profile?

I love to experiment in how I use social media. Even though, I read and share different statistics on social media, my own and those from others. My results don’t always match what the other “experts” have seen. So last week, I saw something I hadn’t seen, or rather hadn’t paid much attention to. Someone had posted a graphic to their status. Rather than just showing up as a link, it showed up as a whole graphic.

linkedin image post.png

So I decided to share it to my status. I posted it along with this status, 9 days ago:

This is really interesting. What do you think? Waste of time on LinkedIn – or useful?

Here are the results and the subsequent conversation :

whos viewed picture post.jpg


  • Gregg Voss I’m seeing more, frankly, silliness on LinkedIn, which is too bad, because it clutters the really good, insightful stuff want. 7d agoAndrew C. (Andy) Marris, MBA
  • Andrew C. (Andy) Marris, MBA I admit, too, that I joined-in the first time I saw the math questions or the crossword puzzles, but it started to get ridiculous. I love this! 7d agoAndrew C. (Andy) Marris, MBA
  • Andrew C. (Andy) Marris, MBA That and the constant LION stuff, too. It’s great to be an open networker, but please stop all the news feed clutter! 7d agoGregg Voss
  • Gregg Voss Hear, hear, Andy. :-) 7d agoPeter Dorfman
  • Peter Dorfman Hear, hear, Gregg.
    • Rick Ornberg It seems to me that many people use apps that link several different social media outlets so that whatever is posted on one, is posted on all the others. This, unfortunately, diminishes discretion and proper targeting. 6d agoAnne Munkwitz

    • Anne Munkwitz What is being shared that isn’t useful? My feed is full of insightful shares! 6d agoBenjamin Smidt, M.A.

    • Benjamin Smidt, M.A. I would agree with Annie. Your feed can be modified to ‘mute’ people you may find are cluttering your feed, or posting too frequently. I would like to see LI offer a feature that allows you to shut off Home Feed notifiers for Group postings. I …more 6d agoBob Graw

    • Bob Graw My immediate reaction was, “Who decides what is nonsense”? My idea of nonsense might differ from yours. As Anne and Benjamin suggested, modify your feed—or just keep scrolling to what you decide is the good stuff. Also amusing to see the poster …more 4d agoPhil Gerbyshak

    • Phil Gerbyshak Judging by the fact this got 29 likes and 15 comments (not including mine), I’d call this an experiment worth adding to my personal marketing mix. Maybe for you too? 1d agoRob Pritzlaff

    • Rob Pritzlaff Well, it all depends on your professional position. If you are a leader in the industry, you then have a license to post “motivational” material. But if you are not, then you should keep your posts to a modest professional level. I use Facebook for …more 5h agoGregg Voss

    • Gregg Voss Totally agree with Rob on this: I think the old rule should apply: speak (post) only when you have truly something of value to say because you will be judged by your every word. I’d add something from the nuns in grammar school: Empty barrels make the most noise….. less 3h ago

    • Phil Gerbyshak Rob and Gregg – While I respect your opinions, I’d ask if you are my ideal client – or more importantly, if your ideal clients would value this diversion from the rest of the news and links of the day? My thought: an occasionally relevant graphic would be useful. Doing it every post would be annoying. Doing ANYTHING every time is annoying. Doing NOTHING is annoying. Do what works. This seems to work – RIGHT NOW. I’d encourage you to try it, and see if your results were like mine. Don’t knock it until you try it is my advice. PS Stay tuned for an article on this very topic. less 3h agoPhil Gerbyshak

    • Phil Gerbyshak Rob and Gregg – While I respect your opinions, I’d ask if you are my ideal client – or more importantly, if your ideal clients would value this diversion from the rest of the news and links of the day? My thought: an occasionally relevant graphic would be useful. Doing it every post would be annoying. Doing ANYTHING every time is annoying. Doing NOTHING is annoying. Do what works. This seems to work – RIGHT NOW. I’d encourage you to try it, and see if your results were like mine. Don’t knock it until you try it is my advice. PS Stay tuned for an article on this very topic. less 3h ago

  • Rob Pritzlaff Hi Phil, Point taken but you yourself just made the clarification when you used the term “relevant”. This implies using your best judgement. I agree with occasional use though. I guess whatever the content and whenever you post, it should be thought out in terms of purpose and not impulsive. less 2h agoGregg Voss
  • Gregg Voss Phil Gerbyshak: It comes down to strategy for your personal/professional brand. What content are you putting out there…and not putting out there because it might be clutter. This has been a really good, insightful discussion, BTW. :-) 41m ago

In 9 days, it has become my most viewed post, and, other than my profile picture updates and job changes/job anniversaries, the most commented and liked post. If you look closely, you’ll see it radiated out all the way to the 3rd level, putting me in front of people who would otherwise not be aware of me.

Did I get any business as a result of this? Not yet – but likely for those 2nd and 3rd level folks, it was the first time they saw my face, so I need to keep experimenting.

Key takeaways:

Do your ideal clients value this diversion from the rest of the news and links of the day? I think an occasional relevant graphic would be useful. Doing it every post would probably annoy your contacts. Doing ANYTHING every time is annoying. Doing NOTHING is annoying. Do what works. This seems to work – RIGHT NOW. I’d encourage you to try it, and see if your results were like mine. On LinkedIn, I’d encourage you to make sure you are relevant, not just posting random word searches and cat pictures. That might work on Facebook, but I don’t think that will work on LinkedIn. It’s important to understand how the platforms are different, so you can make your content more compatible to your contacts and consistent with your company.

Or you might try a cat picture and see what happens. I know I’m going to.


Want to see more experiments like this? Connect to me on LinkedIn and follow the Advisology company page.




Creating a Custom Profile URL: LinkedIn Professional Tip

One way to tell if someone is using LinkedIn well is if they have a custom URL or not.

What is a custom profile URL?

It’s how you point people to find you on LinkedIn. Do you say “find me on LinkedIn?” That’s easy to do – if your name is Phil Gerbyshak. It’s harder to do if your name is Katie Jansen – or Bob Smith.

How can you create a LinkedIn custom profile URL?

linkedin custom URL

Watch this 2 minute and 30 second video on how to create your LinkedIn custom profile URL.

Can’t see the video embedded above? Click here to watch it on YouTube.

Your turn

Do you have a custom LinkedIn URL? Leave it below in the comments.

Do you have other questions about LinkedIn? Let us know by leaving a comment, or contact Advisology to have us do custom LinkedIn training for your organization.

I Hate to Break The News: Effective Marketing is Hard. And Costs Money.

I am honored to present today’s guest post from Tom Snyder.  Tom Snyder, is founder, president and CEO of Trivera, a seventeen year old strategic marketing and communications firm that has embraced the web from the very beginning. Tom oversees the day to day operations of the firm, and lives in suburban Milwaukee, Wisconsin with his wife Marjie and their two dogs. When Tom isn’t busy making his clients look like marketing rock stars, he’s also a wine snob, music junkie, Ex-Milwaukee Radio Guy, HDTV expert, political wonk, hopeless romantic and author of “The Complete Idiot’s Mini Guide to Realtime Marketing with Foursquare,” from Penguin Books.

smdeadendBroadcast advertising: DEAD!  Print advertising: DEAD! Direct Marketing: DEAD! Trade Shows: DEAD! Web sites: DEAD! Email Marketing: DEAD!  Long Live Social Media!!!!!

A lot of folks have been regarding me as a go-to source for Social Media marketing for several years. My marketing firm, Trivera, produced Social Media University, the first major Social Media conference in Milwaukee in 2009 (we picked Phil Gerbyshak as one of our professors).

So what I’m about to say may surprise you.

If I see one more expert blog about the demise of any traditional marketing vehicle at the hands of the next new shiny Social Media object, I just may vomit.

News Flash: NONE of them are dead, or even going away any time soon. And as much as some would like to believe that Social Media is the low cost silver bullet that will allow you to ignore other marketing vehicles, those people are kidding themselves.

Old time Marketers who have been around for awhile (i.e. since before SXSW), will tell you: New platforms don’t make it easier or cheaper to market your business. They never have and they never will.

Decades ago, there were marketers who hoped that this new fangled TV thing would be their savior, and they’d no longer need to use radio to reach their audience. The smart ones (and even the not-so-smart ones) soon realized that they needed to figure out how to strategically use BOTH to reach different market segments.

More recently came the promise that the web was going to eliminate both print and broadcast media. While some forged that path, others stubbornly refused to even pursue web-based marketing. But again, the most successful marketers figured out how to use all of them together. It cost more, but generated an even greater return.

Then came the marketers who rejoiced that email marketing would deliver them from the “high” cost of print and direct mail.  The wise ones found that successful digital campaigns, if done properly, could actually be even more expensive than the printed predecessors. But ironically, while even more expensive, those campaigns could still be more effective…and produce a greater ROI…when combined with direct marketing efforts using personalized URLs.

And now, most recently, businesses who resisted the high investment required for a strategically and professionally architected, effectively-developed, search engine optimized, well marketed web presence are celebrating the coming of “free” Social Media. With messianic fervor, they proclaim “the website is dead” only to be disappointed  as they bounce from MySpace to Facebook to Twitter to Foursquare to Pinterest with Wac-a-Mole-like effort, only to become serial Social Media failures. Now Instagram Video and Vine are the new shiny objects that will help them achieve their elusive, unfulfilled dreams of amazing success with little investment.

“When this 6 second video I shot for free with my iPad goes viral, my brand will finally take off!”


Here’s the deal.  Effective marketing is hard. It requires expertise. Chances are you don’t have that expertise. So you’ll need to find help from someone who does.  And I don’t mean a friend’s son who “knows computers,” a Social Media “guru” whose only credentials are that they’ve been on Twitter since 2009 or even a 30 year old ad agency whose “digital division” is a WordPress theme hack.

An effective marketing campaign is one that will start first with an understanding of your brand (not your logo, but the promise of an experience). It’s only by knowing why your ideal customers love, trust and do business with you, that you can then know where, when, why and how to find more just like them. Once you’ve done that, then you need to understand what will generate awareness, interest, desire, and action for that group, and then be able to effectively (and measurably) execute the plan to make it happen, regardless of the media necessary to get it done. That may mean Social Media, but it might not. That may not mean radio or TV, but it might. It might require email, Direct Mail or both.  PR, content marketing, video, outdoor, and even the back cover of the phone book could each be the  ideal ways to reach them.  One thing for certain: it WILL require a web presence. Whether it’s a micro-site, an informational website, a fully functional eCommerce site, an intranet, the data source for a mobile app or all of the above, there will be a web component. Part of that web component will be the tools to measure the success of every marketing channel being used and monitoring what’s working (so you do more of that) and what isn’t (so you stop doing that).

Obviously a single individual will never have the knowledge and experience to do all of that. So what you really need is a team. A team with a combined knowledge of every one of those media, and how to use them all correctly, either independently or in concert with any of the others. A team that can measure your key performance indicators, and continually improve them.  It requires a team that understands your brand, and can use the right mix of tools to reinforce that brand and increase sales. A team that understands…and can deliver…meaningful Return on Investment. Find that team and let them help you succeed.

Competition for reaching a market share and turning it into meaningful conversions will never be easy. Neither will the choices of marketing and transactional tools. There are no short cuts.  It will require an investment. But the one thing that will never change is that strategic marketing done right will come back in spades.

And that is the only real silver bullet.

Connecting the 5-Year Journey to Discovering You

Photo credit Lyssa Vang

Photo credit Lyssa Vang

[Today's guest post is by my good friend and co-host of The Shut Up Show, Berni Xiong. As The Shin Kicking Life Spark, Berni helps solopreneurs spark people and spark movements.]

It’s hard to believe I almost let myself whittle away to nothing nearly five years ago. Literally. Two weeks after I kicked my corporate sales job to the curb and started my first entrepreneurial venture in coaching, I got sick with a mystery diagnosis. I was hospitalized for seven days. Unable to work on building the new business. Uninsured. Unemployed. On top of that, I was forced into involuntary anorexia by four doctors who prodded and probed me every day conducting a multitude of tests to find out what the hell was going on inside me.

On day seven, I was discharged with no known cause for my illness, a new parasite in my colon I contracted from my hospital bed, and a $40,000 bill. I seriously just wanted to die.

There isn’t a day that goes by I don’t think about my 2008 hospitalization. The kind of inner chatter that was happening could have easily moved me to take my own life back then. There were many moments I wished I could die so my son could cash out my insurance policy and not have to see his good-for-nothing mother rotting in her bed with no job and no strength to build a new business.

How different would things be today had I surrendered to the beast?

Phil and I recently had an amazing conversation with Srini Rao of BlogcastFM on our new web show where we got to talking about connecting the dots of our past decisions. Srini said, “If I could push the reset button on my life, I would have done things differently. But if I did push the reset button, we might not be having this conversation right now.”

What Srini says is so profound for many reasons. If you could go back and take away all your mistakes and you only kept the good, you would miss out on a lot of invaluable experiences you’ve learned along the way. The connections you’ve made would no longer be there. Your story would not resonate with a lot of people as a result. And in the very literal sense, you would not be where you are right here, right now.

As I write this, last week I gave a kick ass workshop on selling. It was like magic. I achieved my objectives as the presenter. They got what they wanted as attendees. It was a win-win. It almost didn’t happen that way. I had originally built the curriculum to teach cold-calling and selling techniques the way I was taught over the last decade. After doing my first run-through with my material, I was extremely unexcited. I even gave myself the stink eye. There was no way I would subject anyone to that horror.

So the night before my workshop, I scrapped it all, cleaned my canvas and went to bed. The next day, I delivered my best workshop ever.

berni and phil margaritasPhil texted me after I finished my workshop asking me to meet him for lunch before I head back home two hours away. I said “Hell yeah!” with no hesitation. Two margaritas and one vine later, I realized why I got up from that hospital bed in 2008. Why I kept moving forward even in the darkest times. Days like last week delivering my best workshop ever and getting to hang out with Phil to conspire under the sun while making a difference in the world made every excruciating moment worth the journey to get here.

The shin kick here I’d like to impart on you?

As Phil says:

No regrets. But no repeats.

Berni Xiong (shUNG) is The Shin Kicking Life Spark for solopreneurs and Phil’s co-host on The Shut Up Show. When she’s not kicking shins, she writes about her journey from corporate to coaching at

Getting the Most Out of a Networking Event

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Stephen P Smith.

Work. Smarter! By Stephen P Smith cover artAuthor’s Note: The following is an excerpt from my forthcoming book, “Work. Smarter!” which will be available in May. You can pre-order a paperback edition of the book, along with a special coaching opportunity for any of the book’s topics here – The Work Smarter Book Pre-Order.

I am looking forward to the launch and helping people get a grip on their work.


I am a big fan of the Chamber of Commerce. Part of the reason is the opportunity to meet other business people in a relaxed social setting at the regular get-togethers such as Business After Hours, Lunch-and-Learn, or Breakfast Seminars.

Sometimes these meetings have a structure, with a focused presentation, other times they are more free-form with food and beverages. All the time they are a great way to meet others in your community that you can work with, or can send more business your way.
I always attend a networking event with two goals in mind:

  1. Meet at least one new person and introduce them to someone I already know that would have an interest in developing a business relationship with this new person.
  2. Re-connect with someone that I may not have seen/spoken to in a while and get caught up on what they are working on.

By following these steps I have often been able to help others create business relationships and establish myself as a Connector. This often brings people (and business opportunities!) to me that I may never have had the chance to meet otherwise. The most popular type of networking event is the Business After Hours which has some excellent opportunities as well as its own special pitfalls to watch out for.

One thing to remember – have a good supply of business cards with you. So many people do not bring cards with them, and they miss out on opportunities. I also recommend having a short stack of 3″x5″ cards in your pocket for writing quick notes about the people that you meet.

The Challenges of the After-Hours Event

Your typical Business After Hours is an unstructured event with some finger food and a beer/wine bar. We can look at an event like this as having two main challenges and three primary opportunities.

The Challenges

  1. First, the bar. Avoid the bar as best you can. Getting tipsy at one of these events may be expected by the majority of the participants, but no one has to know that you have been carrying the same glass of wine for two hours. Consuming alcohol reduces your ability to stay focused on the reason you are at the event: meeting people that can bring you business. Limit your alcohol consumption or avoid it altogether to get the most out of your attendance.
  2. Your close friends and co-workers. Since you already have a relationship with some of the attendees it can be easy to spend most of your time talking shop with your co-workers or friends, rather than catching up with folks that you do not get to see very often or meeting the new people. I suggest that you work toward a goal of meeting 2-3 people that you do not know at each networking event. Ask them about themselves and their business, with an eye toward introducing them to someone that you already know.

As you can see, the challenges are insidious in that they are so easy to fall into. Stay focused on your own goals and you will be able to get the most out of your attendance and reap the benefits of the opportunities that the event can deliver.

Networking Brings Opportunities for Your Business

The primary opportunities of a Business After Hours event can build your authority, credibility and your bottom line. Have your elevator pitch ready to deploy!

hand with business cardMost people that attend these events are looking to sell something, that something being their product or service. You need to attend the Business After Hours with the goal of selling yourself – not your business, not your new product. Use the networking event to sell “Brand You” and set times for follow-up with the people that you meet.

These follow-up meetings or calls are the time for selling your business.

The Opportunities

  1. Build Authority by meeting new people and introducing them to others in your existing network. If you meet someone who has a new company that makes widgets and you know someone that makes widget-packaging machines, get them together. This will demonstrate your knowledge of the market and showcase a benefit of developing a relationship with you.
  2. Offer Value by listening to the people that you meet. Encourage them to talk about their business and interests. You need to work toward engaging them about them, and by explaining how you help others. Not by promoting your own business. That will come as your relationship grows.
  3. Get more business! By engaging the people that you meet and learning more about them you develop your credibility in the community. Bringing other people together into new relationships establishes your ability as a Connector and creates a positive balance in your Emotional Bank Account. Be prepared to help someone else get more business and they will come to you for help later. That is how relationships work!

Letting the other person talk, and actively listening, is a good way of beginning to build a rapport with a new person. People do like the sound of their own voice.

Phil has written a fantastic article about exactly how to follow up after a networking event here, at the end of the post on “Why I Hate Your Newsletter“. Specifically:

“Personally email each person you met at the networking – Follow up is where most networkers (myself sometimes included) fall down. Make time that night or the very next day and send a personal two paragraph e-mail to each person you connected with. Paragraph 1 should include something you enjoyed about the other person. Paragraph 2 should be asking them for that coffee date, and offer 2 mornings and 2 afternoons that work for you in the next 2 weeks. Make sure to include your email signature in case a curious person wants to learn a little more about you.

Attend the coffee meeting with a notebook and pen and some questions about their business – Show up early to make sure you get a spot both of you can sit at, and be prepared to ask some good questions about their business and their role in it, some things you CAN’T find out on their website. Ask if you may take notes (it makes some people nervous, that’s why you ask first) and write down key points. This is NOT meant to be a grilling session, so if you bring out your order pad, you are going to scare this person away. Find out what their biggest goal is for this year and think about how you might be able to help them achieve it. Pleasure is WAY more fun than pain if you ask me.”

Do you have a networking event coming up? What are some of your own, personal strategies for meeting new people and incorporating them into your network?

Share in the comments.

Stephen P Smith

Add Stephen on G+

About the author: Stephen Smith teaches Productivity and Social Media Literacy skills at In Context MultiMedia. He will be publishing a compilation of best practices based on his popular Weekly Letterin May 2012.

You can follow him on Twitter at @hdbbstephen.

Connected You – How You Can Get Ahead in the Connected World

Recently I spoke at DeVry University and shared my suggestions on how IT professionals and other professionals can leverage social media to grow their knowledge and connect that knowledge to the people and ideas they need to take their career forward.

The speech is a little over 15 minutes in length, and the audience enjoyed it – and learned something from it as well. I think you will too.

A connected you – keynote address DeVry University – Phil Gerbyshak from Phil Gerbyshak on Vimeo.

Your turn: What was your biggest takeaway from this video? How will you use it in your career?

Becoming A Networking Super Hero

Get Connected!

Free LinkedIn tips guide

What others say about Phil
“Phil Gerbyshak is an inspired master speaker who can light a dark corner in any room on fire with his absolute love of humanity, and a deep wisdom about team building, leadership and communication. His style is witty and improvisational, and grounded by a tireless, authentic generosity.”

Read More