Thursday, May 22, 2014

The LinkedIn Code: An interview with author Melonie Dodaro

MELONIE DODARO is the founder of Top Dog Social Media, a social media agency that helps brands, businesses, professionals and sales teams use social media marketing and social selling to boost their visibility, attract new customers and increase their revenue. Dubbed by the media as Canada’s #1 LinkedIn expert and social media strategist, Melonie provides LinkedIn training to corporate sales teams and speaks worldwide at both industry and corporate events and conferences.

Yesterday, Melonie visited Ton De Graaf's 'Worldwide Coaching magazine' blog at, where he asked about LinkedIn Ads and how to create a 'virtual presence' in order to stand out from the crowd. Today, I'd like to share with you a recent interview I had with Melonie where I asked her about LinkedIn premium accounts, positive posting and activity levels in LinkedIn groups.

RICH: You put a lot of emphasis - rightfully - on branding yourself with a strong LinkedIn profile. But what if you are a "mutt"? For example, I am a freelance writer, a public speaker on communications skills, and a psychotherapist - and all three are important parts of my livelihood. Or, to use a bigger example, Bill Gates was both a software CEO and a philanthropist. What is your advice to people whose career descriptions use the word "and" a lot?

MELONIE: Like you, I also offer more than one set of services to a variety of different ideal clients. The first thing you need to do if you are in this position is determine if your ideal clients for each product or service use LinkedIn.
Once you have determined which products or services are the best fit for LinkedIn, you need to pick the best two or three of these. More than this will make it difficult to ensure that your profile is optimized well for search and it also becomes too much information for your ideal clients to read through when they land on your profile.
After you have your top two or three, then you need to make sure that you address each appropriately, in your Headline, Summary, Experience and Skills sections.
RICH: How active should you be in a LinkedIn group? Of course you shouldn't spam or post self-serving messages. But is there a point past which you are "too" present in an affinity group, even posting appropriate messages?
MELONIE: Often one post a week is sufficient for each group, with most of your time being dedicated to either replying to people who have commented on your posts or reading and commenting on others posts and comments. The engagement and interaction is often just as, if not more important than the act of posting itself.
As long as you are making positive and helpful comments that make sense, it is unlikely that you could be too active.
RICH: You do a good job laying out the features of LinkedIn Premium accounts. Should most small business owners get one?
MELONIE: Not at all. Most small business owners will only ever need to use the free version of LinkedIn.
Situations where you might consider upgrading would be:
  • If you are sending semi frequent InMails, which are costly if you are purchasing them individually
  • If you have a lot of people viewing your profile everyday and you want to use the Who’s viewed your profile page to see everyone who has viewed it or to better understand the general demographics of those viewing it.
  • If you would like to increase your ability to narrow your searches with the premium search fields as well as to increase the number of saved searches you are allowed and the number of results displayed from each search.
I hope you enjoyed this brief interview with award-winning social media expert Melonie Dodaro. You can find out some of Melonie's TOP SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGIES – along with those of 10 other TOP world-class social media experts – on her FREE 3-Day Telesummit:
Cracking the Social Media Code:
The Masters Speak!
Register FREE at

Here's Melonie's stellar guest line up (in order of appearance):
  • MELONIE DODARO - Founder Top Dog Social Media, LinkedIn and social selling expert, author of The LinkedIn Code
  • LYNN SERAFINN (co-host) - Founder 7 Graces Project CIC, marketer, coach, author of The 7 Graces of Marketing, Tweep-e-licious
  • JASON MILLER - LinkedIn Marketing Solutions, corporate marketing manager for many companies
  • JOEL COMM - Entrepreneur, NY Times bestselling author, new media innovator
  • EKATERINA WALTER - CMO of Branderati, speaker, author of Think Like Zuck, co-author of The Power of Visual Storytelling
  • MICHAEL STELZNER - Founder/CEO of Social Media Examiner, host Social Media Marketing podcast, author of Launch, Writing White Papers and others
  • JOHN JANTSCH - Marketing consultant, business strategist, Founder Duct Tape Marketing, author of Duct Tape Marketing and others
  • PATTY FARMER - Marketing and social media strategist, speaker, trainer, radio host and author
  • KIM GARST - CEO of 'Boom! Social', social media marketing strategist, entrepreneur, speaker, author
  • ALLISON MASLAN - CEO of "Blast Off", business mentor, entrepreneur, author of Blast Off!
  • JILL ROWLEY - Marketing expert, social selling 'evangelist', entrepreneur
Over those 3 days, Melonie and her guests will share their top tips on:
·         Building Your Personal Brand
·         Building Your Online Community
·         Monetizing Social Media
If you cannot make the live broadcast, register anyway so you can listen to audio replays.
THEN, when you buy The LinkedIn Code during its official Amazon launch, you’ll receive dozens of valuable free gifts from Melonie and her friends and colleagues. You can CLICK HERE to find out more about the book, and these free gifts.
Be sure to follow Melonie tomorrow on the next stop of her Virtual Blog Tour, when she’ll be visiting Wendy McClelland's blog at, where they'll be talking about sponsored updates and the 'relationships' tab.