About Jerrilynn B. Thomas

2018 One Million Woman Link Up

What women are missing when it comes to LinkedIn is a collaborative marketing approach to harness its economic power. You can change that by plugging your business into the 2018 One Million Woman Link Up.  It's a year long virtual tour / business movement surrounding LinkedIn’s 220,000,000+ women in business community.  Its mission is to spark collaborative marketing relationships between 1,000,000 professional, Main Street & virtual business women so they can thrive INSTEAD OF survive by cross pollinating their marketing skills and female LinkedIn connections.

LinkedIn Journey & Online Experiences

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Jerrilynn B. Thomas, Founder

CollaborativeBusinessMatch.com is the evolution of my business journey on the Internet. I’ve morphed numerous times over the years to keep up with the ever changing Internet but my target audience has remained the same since day one — women in business. 

The Catalyst

Motherhood launched my entrepreneurial journey after giving birth to twins in ’88. I did something that was totally untraditional at the time, started a home-based business. It didn’t make sense to pay someone to watch two babies.  I would just be working to give away my paycheck.  Instead of starting a business around what I went to college for, fashion merchandising and design, I focused on what I learned in my marketing and PR class. 

My target audience kind of picked itself. Dominating the news in the late 80’s were stories of children being abused at daycare centers. It made me wonder, what if women could afford to be stay at home moms by replacing their income with a home-based business that capitalized on their job skills — accounting, administrative, sales, etc.

I created a PSA with home-based business ideas and tips and sent it off to a local radio station. They shared it and my phone started ringing. Women wanted to be a part of the support club I put together.  I sent a thank you note to the station director which led to an on air interview. From there, things took off for me (TV interview, interview in newspapers, in-person networking events and a conference). Then I jumped on the world wide web to reach more women.

When I set up shop on the Internet in the mid 90’s, discussion lists and bulletin boards dominated the scene.  I accessed the Internet using a friend’s WebTV box!!!  I saw the opportunity the Internet presented to position my marketing message in front of business people around the globe.  I was a sponge. I learned HTML, built my own site, absorbed everything I could about running a business online and built alliances.

Introduction to LinkedIn

Discussion lists slowly gave way to social networking sites.  Social networking was all the rage. The diamond in the rough was LinkedIn. Initially it was a glorified Rolodex until groups were introduced. That’s when I started to see sales results. Two million plus groups and hundreds of million users later, it’s a marketing goldmine that takes a LOT of finesse to get results from due to:

  • Group messages sitting in moderation bins for weeks and sometimes months;
  • LinkedIn members sporadically checking their messages;
  • & Updates get lost in member feeds.

As a member of LinkedIn since 2005, I’ve seen the numerous “improvements” their site has undergone.  Some for the better, others for the worst.  A lot of its popular features have been discontinued:

  • Event calendar/announcements to alert your connections about your upcoming business event;
  • Being able to send bcc mass messages based on business industry or geographic area;
  • LinkedIn profile organizer;
  • LinkedIn Answers that allowed members to showcase their expertise;
  • & More.  

They’ve added some great new features but they don’t fully make up for ones that were taken away. LinkedIn’s web site is a nightmare to navigate and a lot of its top features (background image that promote your business, LinkedIn Publishing Platform, Company Pages, and more) seem to be the best kept secret.  I may have a love hate relationship with it but all in all I can say without hesitation, that LinkedIn is the best source of B2B and B2C clients.

Benefits of collaborative business relationships

My business passion is facilitating lucrative cross marketing partnerships between complementary female LinkedIn B2B and B2C members who want to strategically expand their female client base while reducing the amount of time and money it takes to market their companies.  

Why spend your valuable marketing hours trying to capture one client at a time when you can secure 10 or more clients by forging win win collaborative business relationships with complementary business and professional women who can open doors for your business?

The smartest way to harness LinkedIn’s economic power is to forge collaborative business relationships with its powerhouse female members to give conferences, write e-books, launch business organizations, implement a shop local campaign, etc.  Most people rather get a message inviting them to partner on a fun project that will net them new business verses receiving one trying to sell them a product or service they hadn’t expressed an interest in.

Mission & Vision

Collaborative Business Match’s mission is to nurture creative collaborative business relationships forged between complementary business and professional women who want to grow their client base using LinkedIn. It’s vision is to be the catalyst that changes the women view and use LinkedIn for business collaboration to grow their sales and support each other so they can build multi-million dollar ventures.  Now that LinkedIn has been purchased by Microsoft, there will be more changes coming.  

You can pay someone to coach you on how to post, use groups, create long form posts, etc., on LinkedIn.  Their focus will be singular.  When you have a tight budget and limited time, you can’t afford the singular approach.  You need a collaborative approach to mine LinkedIn so you can quickly gain access to its members.  Your clients are tucked away in your LinkedIn connections’ Rolodex waiting to hear from you.  

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