Having little to say

I start this blog posting with no real intent. I have little to say on a theme or a specific topic.

I was asked a few weeks ago to host 20-minute open Q&A LinkedIn sessions at a statewide small business convention. I was quite pleased that a number of people came just to ask and others came just to hear what others asked. I heard back that the attendees were pleased with the format.

Earlier that week I observed a master work a breakfast crowd of small businessowners in NJ as he ascertained trends and themes using a few questions and well timed follow-up comments. I took style notes.

So without an agenda I try to reorient fellow entrepreneurs how to really use LinkedIn. Sometimes less can be more.

I guess I did have something to say…


Shameless ussie (not a typo)

I learned a new word the other day.

The plural of a selfie is an ussie. Yes, it’s a word.


In fact, Ellen DeGeneres made the ussie enormously famous during the recent Academy Awards broadcast, posing with her actor friends.

It’s a split second, arm extended, digital photo version that captures the entourage you travel with. Immortalized and immediate.

LinkedIn provides you another way to show your entourage–in your connection listing. Look at each person you are connected to:

  • Do you know and trust everyone you’re connected to?
  • Do you want to be seen with their name as a trusted colleague on the “ussie” that LinkedIn casts out to your prospects, clients, friends and coworkers?

Have some editing to do? That’s ok. There’s no shame in resetting the group you associate with. Social connections change with time. It’s expected.

But you have to do make the changes.

Here’s how to delete connections you really don’t know or want to be associated with and have a better quality LinkedIn profile, and shameless ussie.


Describing your trusted advisor role on #LinkedIn

Yesterday at a networking meeting a colleague described his business of advising parents on financial planning for college expenses and then himself as a “financial psychologist.”

psychologistWe all counsel our clients. Some need more in-depth advisory service than others. Some need to tell us way too much information. And others try to make the world conform to their sense of reality and thus their needs. That sometimes poses a gutsy challenge for consultants and entrepreneurs.

To give the client what he or she expects/needs may not agree with regulation or established industry practice. We sometimes have to deliver the bad news that’s hard for both sides to stomach.

You learn how to deal with all types of people as you progress in business. Some need different degrees of unlicensed psychological counseling than others.

Start by setting the stage: describe your role as trusted advisor on your LinkedIn headline in a way that your prospective clients will understand, and reinforce it in the sections below that.

Prove the point. Be a good counselor. Soften the hard headed.



Happy to help on #LinkedIn

Another success story, and it’s partially about the benefit of having LinkedIn at my disposal. It’s also about helping a friend.

My colleague from my corporate days and I reconnected via LinkedIn many years ago. We always got along famously and thought out and solved organizational problems cooperatively while the rest of the company was fighting. (Remember the hoopla around Y2K? Yes indeed we saved the company from the demon millennium change!)

jobs onlineRecently she contacted me to help her with her LinkedIn profile. She was making progress in her new job search and had identified a great opportunity. All she needed was a nudge to “tell about herself” and thus improve her LinkedIn profile.

After a couple of phone sessions, she had it right. Then she pursued the job. And did she! Interviews went well, no surprise, as she exudes positive energy and smarts. Always did.

She asked me to serve as a character reference, which I gladly accepted. The caller from the company was very optimistic about my friend and her “fit” in the organization.

She aced the interviews and yesterday she emailed to say she got the job!

She considers it a perfect fit. Bravo for her and best wishes for continued success. They are fortunate to have you! Makes for another happy ending.

It’s great to be able to help the wonderful people I knew well and worked with decades ago, and can continue to stay in touch with via LinkedIn in the years to come.


Asked to connect on #LinkedIn but you don’t recognize him/her?

It happens to me daily, multiple times, seven times this weekend alone. And it happens to you as well, judging from the questions I get.

“I’d like to connect to you on LinkedIn.” That’s it.

Do call someone on the phone, when they pick up, you just say hello (and nothing else)?

directionsWho are you? What’s the context for the request? 

Most importantly, why should we connect? 

Same thing here.

BTW these are not my sneakers…

I get 2 choices of what to do.

1) Ignore your request (LinkedIn purgatory)

2) I review your profile and ask you back 2 questions:

a) Have we met?

b) How can I help you?

No reply after 3 or so days and you get ignored.

Respond by identifying yourself as to the context where we met or how I can help  you and I think about connecting.

Give yourself a better chance of connecting. Waste less mutual time and effort and decline to use the default connection request language. Tell me how we can help each other by connecting. Be creative and real.

But do something beyond the default!


Work titles in #LinkedIn headlines

While driving to my morning appointment I heard a radio ad for the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest on July 4th on Coney Island in New York. They called the hot dog eaters “gustatory competitors” which got me chuckling and also thinking at the same time:

What do you call yourself in your LinkedIn headline?

evangelistI call myself a “LinkedIn Trainer and Evangelist” which conjures up an image of a passionate advocate for a certain point of view to those who need to be convinced and thus, changed, in some way.

Colorful? I try to be.

I suggest you rethink your headline (and the rest of your profile for that matter) and find the right terms and phrases that paint your self defining image in the minds of your readers.

Go for it!



TMI on #LinkedIn

ziplipsI encourage you continually in this blog to express the WHY YOU throughout your LinkedIn profile. But there are 4 things LinkedIn asks you to provide in your profile build that you don’t have to, and really shouldn’t, tell us.

One is your birthday. Unless you REALLY need your colleagues to wish you a happy day, it’s not needed. That’s not really business-related so I submit you should leave it off your profile.

Same goes for martial status. I will allow an exception: I have a client who is a marital counselor/mediator/attorney whom I admire. In her profile, she tells us she is married and talks a bit about her kids. That way we know she has been there and can empathize with her clients. She is discrete and reveals only as much information as to make that point. If this is not your profession as well, please leave your marital status out of your LinkedIn profile.

Address is completely up to you. If you show your home office address and update that you are headed to Vegas to speak at a conference, you are inviting someone to know you are away (sort of like robmyhouse.com). I use my PO Box as my address on LinkedIn. You may want to do that as well or just leave it out.

Cell phone number is also up to you. I list my office and cell number and (thankfully-tempting fate here) no one has ever abused either, except Rachel at Card Member Services (whom I have now blocked) and she is not on LinkedIn anyway. Never your home number. Period. But you definitely want to list at least one phone number on your profile.

If I think of more I will add them in a later blog post.


Rubs my fur the wrong way on #Linkedin

LinotfacebookI am not apologizing for what I said on LinkedIn yesterday; I am expressing what I think is important.

Let’s keep LinkedIn different from Facebook. 

It takes the community of LinkedIn to self-police and do that.

12 people had chimed in with positive comments supporting the photo in one way or another before I waded in.

Anyhow, please help me.  Resist the temptation to be “Facebooky.” 

See screenshot for my comment:

And folks, this picture belongs in Facebook, not on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is for business professional use. I am all for some fun but please let’s keep the word games and number puzzles and now funny pet pics out of LinkedIn. IMHO…

Agree with me? Disagree with me?



Admiration for my son (non #LinkedIn topic)

danandsnakeToday my son Dan leaves for 27 months of service in the Peace Corps in rural Panama.

The Peace Corps gains an engineer, and we temporarily lose our snake charmer. He joins 215,000 Americans who have served the Peace Corps in 139 countries since its inception in 1961.

Wishing Dan another life-changing experience and countless adventures as he assists Panama with environmental issues. What an amazing way to further refine his engineering skills in real-life, making a difference. Oh by the way he is on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/danhalpert.

Makes his blogger Dad proud.




Premium #LinkedIn membership…for free…but at a cost

I hear so many people who jump at the free-mium that LinkedIn offers: one month of the works for free.


But then what?

Did you mean to leave it on and pay for it, until you opt out?
Did you use it effectively and then get out?
Or did you forget and leave it and they hit your credit card every month?

Once I deliberately opted in, used it to the nth degree in a research project I was doing and got out.

And now to make it a bit more complicated there’s a new premium level at $9.99/month. Peanuts, right?

I’ve looked at all the various offerings and frankly, no thanks.
Free but no “-mium,” is fine for this power user but thanks for offering.