8 years ago, Chris decided to leave his home in the UK and come to Asia, more specifically to Singapore.
This is how he describes himself: Reed is the Only NASDAQ Listed CEO with a Mohawk! Founder and CEO of Black Marketing (global marketing consultancy specialized in LinkedIn for C-suite executives & Entrepreneurs) since 2014. He has one of the world’s most viewed LinkedIn profiles with 55,000 followers. The first position of the Amazon’s ranking of LinkedIn books comes from him “LinkedIn Mastery for Entrepreneurs”. In his LinkedIn we can also find the organizations he joins and multiple awards he has won… as well as events he takes part in as a speaker and his labor as a mentor for others entrepreneurs…
There are 3 reasons which pushed this British entrepreneur to make a life-changing decision:
- The crisis in Europe.
- The narrow market in Britain (where sometimes a city is the entire market for your business)
- And the most important one: Weather! “I hate the weather in the UK, miserable and dark. It is beautiful everyday in Singapore, sunshine and smile. It’s such a vibrant place that gives positivity. Weather in Singapore makes people happier”, and happiness is what drives the most iconic LinkedIn’s Mohawk forward.
But who is behind the LinkedIn Profile?
As an entrepreneur, he was able to see where the opportunity is (this is something I really admire).
Chris arrived as Mr. Nobody to Singapore and now he has become one of the biggest influencers on LinkedIn in Asia, and number 1 LinkedIn profile in Singapore, “When I arrived to Singapore I didn’t know anybody, and I was forced to meet people and do networking”. Chambers and events are very useful to meet other peers but “Asia is so different to the West. When you are an entrepreneur here, you are targeting the whole Asia-Pacific, not only one country” so you really need to do networking online. “I started to use LinkedIn to promote myself. Meanwhile I saw that people didn’t like to promote themselves here. So if you do that, you are adding value to yourself because other people are not. That’s all about projecting your personal brand.”
‘We should be more Americans (on LinkedIn)’
Culturally, English and Asian people have the same problem with modesty. “They tend to not over-sell themselves. But the trend nowadays is that: unless you are doing it, someone else is going to come and claim that credit, and they are the ones who will get the job or the client. Moreover, even if you claim the credit, it’s not about saying. Always use statistics, awards, testimonials or any evidence that could give you credibility in order to claim that opportunity”.
Chris is quite recognizable due to his Mohawk. “The other day I was at the photography exhibition, someone came to me saying “we’ve never met, but we are connected through LinkedIn, and I recognized your Mohawk!” That’s amazing! You are in Shanghai, and you meet a person in such a way! That’s the power of personal branding”. And it really works! People look at him with a smile in their faces, it’s an excellent icebreaking wildcard to meet people and hold conversations. (Although, I must say Chris’ talk won’t run out of words). But what makes Chris unique is his happiness and coherence. His Mohawk plays an important role in making people happy and his unconventional look gives him more coherence. Chris supports the idea ‘you don’t have to present yourself in suit and tie. Be yourself! I’m selling personal branding and I live it”
His punk aesthetic reminiscence is not accidental. His favorite color (black), his wild haircut and his lack of dress code pretty much say who he is. “I am always fascinated by Punk and Rock music. I think they are among the most disruptive people in the world. They look differently and think differently”.
Based on his grandpa’s mantra “it’s not about what you know, it’s about who you know” Chris enhances the LinkedIn experience by putting quantity and quality on balance. “Quality and quantity always go together, in this case, to drive your business forward. If I connect with you, I want to make sure that you are in my industry, you know people that could help me, and you have a lot of connections”.
What have we learnt from the king of LinkedIn to implement in our profiles?
Firstly, we need to understand what LinkedIn is:
“LinkedIn is not a place where you really conduct the business, it’s a place to meet and build relationship with people”
And now, we can follow some of his takeaways!
- The picture should be real, show who you are (but in an business context –no party pictures-)
- Use the background picture to promote yourself, add more information and strengthen your profile.
- The picture should invite people to talk to you. Smile!
- Your headline will help your SEO and it’s is your introduction everywhere on LinkedIn, so take care of how you describe yourself and use keywords. Remember LinkedIn also ranks on Google.
- Your summary also helps your SEO and it’s the right place to tell your story (Please, business stories only).
- You must prove your CV. It’s not showing off, it’s just corroborate what you have done.
- It’s easier and more appealing for readers if you use visual content.
- Content creator? Great! But watch out your audience! Chris highlights the example of Marriot Hotels because of the news they publish on LinkedIn. They are relevant for business people and engage their network. (Common sense, right?)
- Participate, comment, share and like (as you would like them to do with your content)
- Would you like any more tips? You will find them in his book.
Teresa Marín, correspondent when and where the occasion calls for it, 2geeks1city.
Teresa Marín started her career in marketing and communication in Madrid, Spain. Since then she has been developing online marketing strategies for international companies in the fields of retail and e-commerce. At this point she works as Marketing Manager at Webpower China and she is responsible for digital marketing strategy and corporate communication within international business in China.