Our exciting journey to the Five Year Anniversary. A highlight was visiting the LinkedIn Headquarters in San Francisco
It all started in Zurich, Switzerland in early 2015. Erica Kessler decided to be her own boss and founded her business focused on Social Media Marketing. At that point, she had no idea where the business would take her in the first five years.
Celebrating with people who supported us in growing our business through good and challenging times.
Thank you very much, Cordula Rieger, Michaela Geiger, Franziska Kunz, Juerg Koller, Christoph Hilber, Marcel Rupp, Marcus A. Bergagård, Ewa Ming, Martina Dalla Vecchia, Urs Kohler, and Andreas Jäggi.
Special thanks to Dr. Carsten Henkel for the nice working space on Dufourstrasse, Zurich-Seefeld, Switzerland, where we have already been working a few months.
Where our business started…
Erica Kessler founded Kessler Social Media in Zurich, Switzerland. In this article, you can read more about our story.
The next step was to extend our knowledge globally and find our niche. So Erica Kessler flew to the heart of Social Media, the United States, where she attended the largest global Social Media Marketing event in March 2015 in San Diego.
During a virtual Skype coffee, Andrew Smith recommended to Erica Kessler the Social Media Marketing World in San Diego, founded by Mike Stelzner. Taking part in this event has changed Erica Kessler’s private and business life – Wow, what an amazing experience! She was one of 3,000 participants in the world’s largest social media marketing event. Erica Kessler had fun and learned about new marketing opportunities for acquiring clients and strengthening our network through personal branding. The openness and warmth of people in California touched her heart and inspired her. A few months later Erica Kessler went back with a business visa to learn more about LinkedIn marketing.
Great discussion with Mike Stelzner, Founder of the Social Media Marketing World, at his office in San Diego in December 2019
After Erica Kessler’s time in San Diego we focused on LinkedIn only which was admittedly risky.
Everyone connected with Erica Kessler in San Diego using the LinkedIn mobile app where they talked about the possibilities for job seekers, HR and sales teams on how to attract talent and acquire leads. This was an eye-opener and Erica Kessler realized immediately that we are neither using LinkedIn strategically nor to its fullest potential in Switzerland. That knowledge was missing there at that time in our home country. Friends, colleagues, lecturers and many more told Erica Kessler there is no need, especially in Switzerland, and that our business model would not work. But now, for more than five years, we have trained, inspired and educated CEOs, Board Members, headhunters, recruiters, HR, sales and marketing teams, individuals, job seekers as well as students globally, both in person and with zoom video.
Our speaking journey from a start-up event to large organizations and universities
Erica Kessler was a speaker at the IFJ Start-up event in St. Gallen in April 2015, and with more than 200 participants she shared her story and how Social Media can help start-ups to be known and grow their business. In the beginning, it was challenging to be on stage, but soon it was flowing nicely. Erica Kessler spoke at exhibitions like SuisseEMEX, Talent Pro and Swiss Online Marketing, events which led to more speaking engagements at large organizations. And since 2017 she is a guest speaker at the University of Zurich, ETH, and the University of Applied Sciences Graubünden. She loves to speak, inspire and then connect in real life or on LinkedIn. Feedback from lectures is very apparent that participants not only come away motivated and encouraged from her presentations, but they also note how enthusiastic and energizing she is with the topic and what she has to say. Erica Kesler’s next goals are to speak to large audiences and to have a speaking engagement in San Diego (She was invited to speak at an annual event there but, unfortunately, no speaking slot was available).
Erica Kessler continues to share her unique vision and experiences as a speaker, primarily focused on educating professionals through presentations and keynotes about the power of LinkedIn.
From speaker to lecturer
In November 2016 Erica Kessler was a guest lecturer at the FHNW in Basel, at the invitation of Professor Martina Dalla Vecchia. Erica Kessler addressed the students on how to build a strong and professional personal brand and reputation online. This led to more guest lecturing at HWZ and AISTS .- International Academy of sport science and technology – in Lausanne. Starting on April 2020, She will be a lecturer at HWZ in Zurich, where she studied “Social Media Marketing”. She will train the students on how to build their personal brand and find a job on LinkedIn. Erica Kessler enjoys sharing her knowledge with students who are inspired and have the courage on LinkedIn to take it to the next level(s); which is, of course, not everyone.
Visiting the LinkedIn Headquarters was a highlight
A highlight was visiting the LinkedIn Headquarters in downtown San Francisco
How it happened… Erica Kessler was again attending the Social Media Marketing World in San Diego. She really wanted to visit the LinkedIn headquarters. In the LinkedIn article, you can read how Erica Kessler’s network helped her after posting in the newsfeed. Thanks a lot, Jared Di Vincent and Viraja Prema.
Globally featured in magazines
Erica Kessler was featured in the INC. Business Magazine, New York, on why LinkedIn matters for businesses. Thanks to Rebekah Radice. And she was featured in Persorama the Swiss HR magazine, NZZ am Sonntags Zeitung “How LinkedIn matters for job search” and many more.
Erica Kessler’s learnings as the founder
It was challenging to grow a business focused on LinkedIn only when, in Switzerland in particular, only a handful of people and organizations were ready for this. Other LinkedIn trainers in English speaking countries told Erica Kessler on Zoom Video calls that she was a pioneer in Switzerland.
Organizations, entrepreneurs and individuals were not ready to use the global social media tool strategically and through the help of external training, it needed quite some time to convince them through our client success stories.
At the beginning, we only offered profile quality checks for job seekers and sole entrepreneurs. For us, everyone’s reputation is very important. That is why we are now only offering premium team and one-to-one training with quality checks of every single personal and company profile. LinkedIn is complex and so many underestimate this powerful tool. And, yes, it is completely different from other social media platforms (so many do not understand it or they do not have the knowledge or skills). In addition, it needs a clear strategy to be successful.
Our deepest gratitude to our clients, friends, colleagues, family, lifestyle and business coaches and business partners?
We would like to thank all our clients in Switzerland and globally (We can only name a few publicly and therefore we will not list any). We enjoy very much working with our clients and learning about their business, culture and much more. It is always exciting to travel to the clients’ offices and meeting them at the reception. A special thanks to Erica’s friends who have been there for her every time. Further thanks to Erica Kessler’s family who believed in her and supported her, especially in the beginning. And a thank you to our business partners who helped us with marketing.
Marcus Bergagård has been a great supporter and brought Erica Kessler her first clients and is a LinkedIn early adopter. He introduced Erica Kessler to Frank Weber who gave her an introduction to the LinkedIn Management team which opened interesting opportunities. Thank you very much.
Our awesome LinkedIn community – thank you so much. We really like how you engage and build relationships with us in the newsfeed – Keep it up!
LinkedIn Switzerland team in Munich and Dublin – thanks, thanks, thanks
A thank you to the LinkedIn Management team and employees who are responsible for the Swiss market and for the great meetings in the past. It is great to work with you all. Looking forward to what comes next.
A special thanks to Stefan Ehlebracht (I saw his LinkedIn article – Die besten Schweizer Personaldienstleister 2018 – Handelszeitung) for the great meetings in Zurich and the introductions to employees at LinkedIn Dublin and Munich.
Erica Kessler’s leisure time with the poodle Flake
As some of you know, Erica Kessler is a dog lover since she returned from San Diego. One day she was walking to the train station in Männedorf. Flake was looking at her and wagging his tail. This is when Erica met the middle poodle and its owner Judith for the first time. This led to dog sitting and walking.
Flake and Erica are deeply connected and they have a nice friendship with Flake’s family. He cheers her up when they are relaxing together, going for walks or having fun at home.
Dogs touch Erica Kessler’s heart and put a big smile on her face, especially this one – Flaky-Boy.
Time to wake up the CEOs, the members of the management team and the board members
The power of LinkedIn offers plenty of opportunities which are not yet used globally by the c-level. You can make yourself stand out as a CEO and sustainably strengthen your personal brand. Maximise your LinkedIn presence strategically! Do it just like in real life: position yourself, build relationships and maintain your network with the LinkedIn Mobile app (which is the most efficient way for c-level). Yes, it also works that way in Switzerland. Be a Thought Leader and an Influencer on LinkedIn to support your company goals and attract talent. How could the CEOs leverage LinkedIn to accelerate the implementation of his strategy? And in which areas of his organization could LinkedIn add value to a winning overall communication smartly integrated with all other channels at hand.
Where will our journey lead us?
Erica Kessler would like to share her story in San Diego and Switzerland on a big stage about how she built her personal brand globally and how she has grown her business successfully with LinkedIn.
From now on, I will be focusing on leaders and organizations who want to use LinkedIn strategically and in the long term.
Erica Kessler is the founder and CEO of Kessler Social Media.
A LinkedIn marketing strategist, trainer, and international speaker. Erica Kessler empowers and consults business people, companies in Switzerland and English speaking countries to boost influence, earn more business, identify potential clients, and find top talent using LinkedIn marketing.