MEDIA & MARKETING | Staff Reporter, Singapore

LinkedIn guru Chris Reed launches new personal branding company

It aims to make LinkedIn rockstars out of entrepreneurs.

True to his mastery in personal branding, Chris Reed was again named as an Official LinkedIn Power Profile in 2017, having one of the most viewed LinkedIn profiles in Singapore. It was his sixth year in a row to make the cut.

Reed is attempting to imbue the same passion in personal branding to other professionals and entrepreneurs in Singapore through his newly launched firm The Dark Art of Marketing - Personal Branding for Entrepreneurs, which he says is “growing rapidly.” and his NASDAQ-listed company Black Marketing - Enabling LinkedIn For You.

The 47-year-old serial entrepreneur and bestselling author reckons the launch of Dark Art of Marketing and the fast growth of his NASDAQ listed company Black Marketing are filling the demand from “entrepreneurs wishing to enhance their personal brand, employer brand, become a thought leader, develop a content marketing strategy and generate leads on LinkedIn but not knowing how.”

It is a misconception to think that Reed and his two dozen staff only train executives how to use LinkedIn. The value that clients get is in the execution of the personal branding strategy that is tailor-made for them.

“90% of our business is actually implementing the strategy through the client’s profiles themselves to make them rock stars on LinkedIn to achieve all of their business goals,” says Reed.

He claims that while there are many LinkedIn training and marketing companies out there, Black Marketing is unique because it is led by an Official LinkedIn Power Profile and can “implement as well as train professionals in all the aspects of how you become successful on LinkedIn.”

“No one four years ago and very few people now know how to actually maximise LinkedIn,” says Reed. “We solve this problem by doing it all for you with your total approval of every aspects of the process from curating content to blogs, from who to connect with top who to target for lead generation and what kind of message to use.”

Reed shares that even CEOs fail to understand that they must use their personal branding to develop their company branding and to market their services. Some neglect their profiles, which will likely hurt the perception on their personal and company branding.

“Executives do need to realise that not having a profile or having an incomplete one or one that says the wrong things can be just as negative and brand harming, as having a full and focused LinkedIn profile is brand enhancing and positive.”

Clients have been clamoring for Reed’s services as personal branding becomes more critical as a professional advancement tool. In just two years from launching as a startup in 2014, Black Marketing launched an IPO on NASDAQ in 2016.

LinkedIn announced that Singapore had 1 million LinkedIn users in 2016, part of a rapid increase in membership in Asia Pacific region (APAC), which doubled to 100 million in two years.

Olivier Legrand, Managing Director, LinkedIn Asia Pacific and Japan acknowledges that personal branding and professional networking has become more valued as tools to land a new job, clinch a promotion or nurture other business opportunities.

“The rapid pace at which we doubled our member base from 50 to 100 million members makes this milestone even more special. It also reflects a growing understanding of the economic value of personal branding and a global professional network," says Legrand.

Reed says the term “personal brand” is relatively new and he has so far been delighted at the opportunity to explain what it is and how it holds the key to personal success in a professional basis. His firm is determined to educate people why they should manage their personal brand and how to leave a positive impression to LinkedIn, or at least avoid giving a negative one.

“First thing that comes up when I Google you is your LinkedIn profile. I click on that and gain an impression,” he says. “If you’re not creating your personal branding strategy then basically that is your personal brand, and it’s negative.”

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