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Valerie Cochran

When You Have to Become the Face of Your Company, What Are You Doing to Stand Out?

Valerie Cochran, Chief Creative Officer at Exclamation Communications! Inc.

Valerie’s LinkedIn

My husband, Jeff Cochran, and I have been running our graphic design firm for almost 20 years now. It has been a great partnership. Jeff has always been the “face” of Exclamation Communications as President and sales person for our business. As Chief Creative Officer, I have always been behind the scenes, focusing on client projects. I had never had a LinkedIn account, nor did I feel the need to!

Just a few weeks ago, an opportunity for Jeff came up that we felt he couldn’t refuse. So he took the job, and now I am on my own, running ECI. I have to say, after 20 years of enjoying working in my own little corner without having to get out and spend time connecting with people, I find it a little daunting to now have to be the face of MY company.

So, I decided it was time to get a LinkedIn account. I sent out a couple of hundred invitations to people I knew. Wow! It wasn’t too difficult. I kept receiving the generic message in my inbox one after another: “Valerie, _____ has accepted your invitation.” But wait… there were three other LinkedIn messages that came in which were different. They stood out. They had a non-generic, albeit short message on each, using my name in the message body. THREE people out of 200+ took the time to craft a non-generic message for me! Boy, were those people set apart in a good way.

Colleen McKenna was one of those three! Colleen, many thanks for showing a newbie the ropes on LinkedIn! Your actions are a true testimony to your words: “… Create a strategy, implement the strategy, use today’s tools to be more productive, and ultimately, smarter than your competitors.”

Even though I lost my best (and only) sales person, I’m sure that by following Colleen’s advice and actions, LinkedIn will be a great tool for me to connect with others and hopefully find opportunities to help other businesses with my services.

Valerie—Thank you for sharing with us the fact that ‘it’s in the details.’ We are glad you noticed something different and appreciate you sharing this with our readers. It takes three seconds to personalize your request to connect…And it just might bring you a new business opportunity and LinkedIn success!

– Colleen and Lindsey


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