Today's LinkedIn Nugget

My tai chi instructor picks on me and that’s OK

taichiI defy you to try doing everything in tai chi, all at once, properly.

I promise you one detail in your movement will escape you.

It’s not easy.

Start:

  • head pulled up by a theoretical string,
  • stretching the spine up from the top,
  • modified sitting stance,
  • hips pushed forward,
  • shoulders and arms round,
  • tongue at roof of the mouth,
  • feet planted with heel and ball of foot,
  • energy (chi) flowing up and down

and so far all you are doing at this point is just standing there.

You haven’t even started the rhythmic movement of your arms and legs yet!

Then, in the posture I outlined above, you embark on the beautifully fluid routines, odd-number repetitions, and then repeat the odd-number of movements on the opposite side to keep in equilibrium.

The careful eye of the instructor knows all, sees all, and encourages us all (but just how does he know who is doing, or not doing, all this correctly with his back to us so we can follow him?)

“Marc, you have to move your pelvis backward as you tai chi walk forward!”

“OK, got it,” I say.

We repeat the routine. I try to conform to his suggestion.

“No, Marc, not enough.”

Now I am a bit (just a little!) guilt-ridden, and make a joke to dissipate the awkwardness. I want to do it just right. My head does. My lower torso was not agreeing.

He approaches me and suggests I push my torso into the right position. I hold it there.

We repeat it again. It feels right now. Not perfect, but I am getting there.

He knew. That’s why he is the instructor. I am but a neophyte, with only 2 1/2 years of weekly informal classes, compared  to his 20+ years of daily practice.

He cares. I appreciate that.

He wants me to do better. I thank him for that concern.

He can show me a better way to move in the exercise, the right way for maximum effectiveness.

The LinkedIn segue? Here it comes…

Attend one of my LinkedIn group classes in September or become a coaching client for one-to-one customized  work with me over 4 sessions.

You will get my expertise and together with the right words, phrases, and appropriate gestures, we will put your LinkedIn body in line, branding it into perfect alignment, for maximum professional benefit.

Without breaking a sweat.

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Because we are getting wiser everyday; part 4 of 4: Don’t worry about “other people”

 

time2Note: I came across an article titled “The Biggest Wastes of Time We Regret When We Get Older” that I thought was important to share. It offers wise thoughts and suggestions, no matter how old or experienced you are; so much so, that I decided to make it the cornerstone of my next 4 blog posts. I hope you gain some of my additional insight, augmenting this article. 

The fourth and final one in this series is about jealousy and envy of others. From the article’s intro (and my added thoughts on each section):

We spend a lot of energy looking for shortcuts to save time, and sure, those shortcuts add up. But when I look back, my biggest time regrets aren’t spending too much time on Twitter or mismanaging my daily tasks. Those are bad habits, but there are bigger, more systematic time wasters that have really gotten in the way. Fixing these will free up a massive amount of time and energy.

Worrying About Other People

Your LinkedIn profile is a true market brand about you. Not about you in relation to others’ careers, just yours.

So get over what others might think and say and be your true self.

Now get to work thinking of how to bring the journey of your career to light. Not in a resume. But in a story.

And use “I” and power verbs to tell that story well and personally. \

Ask others to help read and critique what you are about to post on your LinkedIn profiles. Does it tell your story from the POV of the friends and colleagues you trust? Did you leave anything out (it’s easy to!)

It’s OK to peek at competitors’ LinkedIn public profiles but do not worry about being the same. Telling your story will differentiate you in the eyes of the prospective client. In the end, they are “buying” you, not your competitor, for objective AND subjective reasons.

Connect with good people by vetting them for suitability. Connecting is a privilege.

Meet and nurture other experts in a topic in a Group. Converse with them outside the Group. Great relationships can arise.

Endorse others whose skills you know directly. Recommend others who did not request one as a thank you for extraordinary work they did.

Describe, don’t just list, your publications, honors, awards, pro bono / volunteer and board work, etc. in terms of why you are recognized for the value to add to others’ needs.

In other words, be a mensch. Others will recognize you as a business partner for the reasons you are a good one. But tell about yourself with little regard for others’ successes and achievements. You have yours. No jealousy or envy.

We are all rooting for you. But first you have to run with the ball yourself.

Just be you, honest and direct and true. 

 

 

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Because we are getting wiser everyday; part 3 of 4: Learn from Mistakes

time2Note: I came across an article titled “The Biggest Wastes of Time We Regret When We Get Older” that I thought was important to share. It offers wise thoughts and suggestions, no matter how old or experienced you are; so much so, that I decided to make it the cornerstone of my next 4 blog posts. I hope you gain some of my additional insight, augmenting this article. 

The third one is about learning from our mistakes and not dwelling on them. From the article’s intro (and my added thoughts on each section):

We spend a lot of energy looking for shortcuts to save time, and sure, those shortcuts add up. But when I look back, my biggest time regrets aren’t spending too much time on Twitter or mismanaging my daily tasks. Those are bad habits, but there are bigger, more systematic time wasters that have really gotten in the way. Fixing these will free up a massive amount of time and energy.

Make and grow from mistakes

The article quotes a study whose author advises you not to look back. Not quite.

Look back, reflect on: what you did well, and what you learned from not doing so well. The assumption is that we learn from our mistakes, which becomes part of our skill set and tells the story of how we rose, not launched, but gradually added more layers to the “onion” so tell the story.

Look at your LinkedIn profile. Make it tell how your past colors your present situation. Then make your present tell your future aspirations.

Tell us why you do what you do (a familiar theme from me, huh?).

And ask others to endorse your skills and call on recommenders to tell us how well you do the why you do what you do. Be strategic and smart about asking for both.

And while I am on the topic of mistakes, a common one I encounter as a LinkedIn evangelist and trainer: do not make the mistake of allowing just anyone to endorse your skills. That just makes you look like you took your eye off the ball and could create an uncomfortable situation (from my book):

Endorsements by people who do not have direct experience with your skill, despite the fact they endorsed you with good intention or out of carelessness, need to be edited out. Again no worries, losing their endorsement is not an issue since they can neither help describe your skills anyhow nor assist you in being in the search results. Besides, LinkedIn does not notify them you deleted their endorsement.

Suppose I need a referral of a trusted financial advisor for baby boomers with older parents. You are one of those financial advisors, and I may know you from a brief meeting at a chamber event. Another day I am meeting with Carolyn, who has already endorsed you for your skills in Eldercare Financial Planning, and I explain why I need her input on the short list of quality candidates. Ahead of my conversation I did my homework and see you and she are mutual LinkedIn connections. I delved further in your profile and I saw she endorsed you for a skill in Eldercare Financial Planning. I ask her during my meeting how she knows your skill in that area. She stammers, then with some embarrassment admits she has no experience with you in that skill area.

How do you look?

How does she feel?

What do I think of you both now, especially you?

Have I wasted my time?

Uh oh, your work requires you to be thorough. Your brand is to be reliable and have an eye out for possible technical (tax, legal, documentary) roadblocks and to be able to react to new financial opportunities.

Here’s how to remove endorsers who do not know your skills in that area (scroll to the bottom of the link).

OK, now you know. Don’t be lax or unaware.

Mistakes happen and need to be cleaned up asap, damage control underway and not to be repeated. Learned from. Right?

I hear you agreeing. 

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Because we are getting wiser everyday; part 2 of 4: Drop Bad Relationships

time2Note: I came across an article titled “The Biggest Wastes of Time We Regret When We Get Older” that I thought was important to share. It offers wise thoughts and suggestions, no matter how old or experienced you are; so much so, that I decided to make it the cornerstone of my next 4 blog posts. I hope you gain some of my additional insight, augmenting this article. 

The second one is about eliminating relationships that were not meant to be (although they seemed that way at first!). From the article’s intro (and my added thoughts on each section):

We spend a lot of energy looking for shortcuts to save time, and sure, those shortcuts add up. But when I look back, my biggest time regrets aren’t spending too much time on Twitter or mismanaging my daily tasks. Those are bad habits, but there are bigger, more systematic time wasters that have really gotten in the way. Fixing these will free up a massive amount of time and energy.

Drop Bad Relationships

Correctly the author of the article points out that we spend too much energy and time trying to resuscitate relationships that were doomed to start with. Now don’t get me wrong, I am all for trying to make relationships bear fruit (hence the name of my company connect2collaborate!).

But some decisions that seemed good end up being poor. No one can see the future.

And as I said here before your network is your net worth. Thinking of your financial portfolio, if you can dump a bad investment, you do.

So it is with LinkedIn (with instructions on all three options):

  • you can downgrade a connection to “follow” instead (read about this alternative here)
  • or you can drop the connection (and no message is sent out to the “dropee” to announce this, so no worries!)
  • or in really dire cases, you can report that person (and this is fortunately rare but sometimes needed as an option)

Do not discount the time-suck and the effect on your reputation of being seen in the company of incorrect people. Take this right seriously and act professionally.

You are in charge of your relationships. Spend your LinkedIn energy and time positively.

Be a good connection and ensure they are good back to you. 

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Because we are getting wiser everyday; part 1 of 4: Asking for Help

time2Note: I came across an article titled “The Biggest Wastes of Time We Regret When We Get Older” that I thought was important to share. It offers wise thoughts and suggestions, no matter how old or experienced you are; so much so, that I decided to make it the cornerstone of my next 4 blog posts. I hope you gain some of my additional insight, augmenting this article. 

The first one is about asking for help. From the article’s intro (and my added thoughts on each section):

We spend a lot of energy looking for shortcuts to save time, and sure, those shortcuts add up. But when I look back, my biggest time regrets aren’t spending too much time on Twitter or mismanaging my daily tasks. Those are bad habits, but there are bigger, more systematic time wasters that have really gotten in the way. Fixing these will free up a massive amount of time and energy.

Not Asking for Help

The article mentions a formula of asking for help via email.

OK, that’s fine but very formulaic. Life is not always so cut-and-dried. To which I add: use LinkedIn to ask an open-ended question of a peer / colleague / vendor / member of your entourage (in any case, a carefully selected group of peers), or if appropriate, ask an entire LinkedIn group whose interest aggregate around the topic you are asking about!

Ask “Has anyone had success with a situation like this {…}” or “I am looking for your collected wisdom on a challenge I am facing in which {…}“.

Everyone wants to help out on LinkedIn {OK, most people do}! That’s why it is called social media! So ask away! If you do not receive concrete, helpful and thoughtful replies, you either did not ask the question well or you need a new group of connections!

And it’s perfectly fine to ask questions on LinkedIn, no matter how experienced or sage or old or recognized you are. Check the ego at the door. Where else can you access the world’s greatest group of experts on any topic and be so efficient in tapping into their collective knowledge?

And finally on this topic: if you need help on a mechanical LinkedIn topic, ask within the Help Center. And if you cannot find the answer from the prefab material there, ask them directly. They answer in about 36 hours, sometimes same day! And you can appeal or refine their reply.

Or ask me.

Tomorrow is part two: Trying to Make Bad Relationships Work

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

185 ways to pump up your #LinkedIn profile

thatwasgoodI am remiss in mentioning this enough: your profile must be artfully crafted.

That means interesting to read, NOT boring, bland, drab, stuffy, dull and back-and-white.

Other than using color attaching your slide decks and and video, use power verbs throughout the narrative.

Get rid of “has” and “made” and “did.” Have a look and I promise you that you will appreciate this list of “185 powerful verbs that will make your resume LinkedIn profile look awesome.”

 

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

I hope you dance on #LinkedIn

happyI always liked the message in the Lee Ann Womack song “I Hope You Dance.”

I first came across this song when a guidance counselor sang it at my child’s graduation from middle school.

Have a look at that link to find the line(s) that speak to you. I promise you that you will find some real meaning, as an entrepreneur or business person.

We all need a reminder to dance, no matter what is happening on our desks.

Tell us why you do what you do in your LinkedIn profile. I hope you dance (a lot).

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

1-800-NICEJOB: #LinkedIn recommendations

humbleYes, 1-800-NICEJOB was the phone number I saw on the side of a moving truck yesterday in the Boston area. They obviously live to a very high standard, placing a high hurdle in making an impression from the very beginning, throughout the consumer’s experience with them.

It’s living the quality promise you lead with. It’s part of your every day routine DNA.

It’s about receiving a phone call from a client, complimenting you for something ex post facto; these moments do not always come often, since the client expected quality (you started out with that impression from the beginning).

These calls are unexpected. That’s the moment when they tell you how you exceeded their expectations at which you must ask them to memorialize the nice things they just said.

How?

In a LinkedIn recommendation. They will be happy to do this. You start the process.

Both you and they look good doing so. A sweetener for both your profiles: taking the time and effort to tell how well you do the “why” you do what you do.

My latest followed just that process: call from client, compliment received, asked for his rec, started rec process, published:

I recently brought Marc in to give a presentation to our clients at our annual user group conference. We are a legal software company and the conference is a two-day opportunity for attorneys and law firm staff members from all over the country to learn more about our system and how to improve their practices. Marc spoke about using LinkedIn to build client referral networks and knocked it out of the park! Of the people who responded to our post-conference questionnaire, over 80% chose his presentation as the most beneficial one at the conference. This just confirms what I already knew – he is a gifted communicator who knows how to connect (no pun intended) with his audience and impart valuable knowledge.

This is not about me, shown as my most recent example only. This is a suggestion to you-don’t miss the opportunity.  You need to ask to seize the moment too.

And here’s another idea-give a rec that the receiver does not expect. Reward good work.

1-800-NICEJOB calls can be special for all of us, you too.

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Schedule me down, Scotty.

timeYou may recall Captain Kirk asking Scotty to beam him up. I could really use that transporting process they used on Star Trek: stand still, electrons disassembled and then reassembled to the destination, and you are ready to explore new worlds.

But sometimes I schedule myself and one little thing occurs to disrupt those electrons and there’s near-mayhem. Not full onset mayhem, just partial.

It happened yesterday, twice. I set aside time to host a noon conference call with a new potential client. His car troubles made for an unraveling of the scheduled 4-party call. OK, I get it, sh*t happens. And I felt badly for him, trapped on the side of a country road awaiting assistance. And for the others too. Not his fault; we called off the conference call, rescheduling for another time. He was appropriately apologetic.

In this case, a hole appeared in my schedule: “found time”–like discovering a $20 bill in your pocket–what do you do? Spend it now or re-pocket it for another time? In this case, I recycled the time and wrote more in my new book.

Loss or gain? Half full or half empty? Some of both, I believe.

Later, in the evening, in our 90-minute LinkedIn coaching session to go over the assignments, I hear the client say he has not done his homework. There’s nothing to show me to critique and spend the allocated 45 minutes’ time with him to go over it. So I pushed on and taught new material, as I would have normally after the homework review. I added more homework to keep to my curriculum schedule, and believe he will come around with all of it. Session over in half the time.

Loss or gain? Half full or half empty? Some of both, I believe.

The point of this double-anecdotal post? Use “found time” or find the time to be productive on LinkedIn (or another endeavor) even in unexpected circumstances:

  • tweak your LinkedIn profile, and/or
  • share an article with a colleague to two or three, and/or
  • start that LinkedIn essay that you know you need to write, but invest the time.

The time in the first instance allowed me to get over a hurdle in the book that I had been wrestling with. I passed through it and am now back on track. Value added to me. In the second instance I finished the workday a bit earlier than expected. The evening was mine for a much-needed walk by the beach!

No matter which situation, time is a figment of the mind, so beam those mental electrons along to the next creative (or LinkedIn) undertaking that you now have time to accomplish. Or know it’s time to retrench for the day. 

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Back at ya!

speaker mikeI am the one who for nearly 900 blog posts has been telling you how to do better on LinkedIn.

Yep, that’s my self-accepted job, but sometimes I have to admit I do not know it all.

So I turn it back to you-please tell me:

  • what’s you favorite single LinkedIn trick or technique?
  • what one thing you did on LinkedIn led to a smashing success?

Please reply on either (or both) directly to me at by email at marchalpert@connect2collaborate.com.

The best one single reply gets an invite to be a guest blogger here on a Friday and tell the full story to all.

The offer ends this Friday so don’t delay.