Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Early adopters and late adapters on #LinkedIn

earlyadopter.jpgYes, as might be suspected, I was an early adopter of LinkedIn. Number 203,392. (Don’t try to look that stat up today for yourself. it’s no longer available in the new LinkedIn.)

That means I was exposed to, and began optimizing this tool in 2001 and now 16+ years later, I am still adapting it to my needs. 

Not the other way around.

Others, in contrast, refuse to allocate the time and attention that it needs to improve their businesses and opportunities. 

They wait for a job search to need it. Too late.

Or they plop down a poorly constructed and limp narrative and expect miracles. 

Realizing the fallacy of their expectations, they quick-adapt themselves to it, then forget to “feed” it until they need it again. 

Don’t be like them.

Blossom before your competitor.

Or wait for the conditions to finally change… Ahem, no one has that time to wait.

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Make #LinkedIn your center of influence

I always subscribed to this concept, but recently was reminded of the term for it: center of influence.

concentric circlesI like to think of the goof people I know as a series of concentric circles in a pond after you plunk a rock: the most energy is nearest the center and it dissipates as it moves outward.

The same is true of your LinkedIn centers of influence: first level connections are most potent since they are closest to you as the center, the connections of your connections are less energetic (2nd level) and further out the rings are people you have little sway with but could if you were introduced to them (3rd and out-of-network).

I liked that concept so much I incorporated it into my company logo.

c2c-logo-small.jpg

So as we begin to look to the year-end, it’s a good time to reward your centers of influence in a positive way: ask them to attend an event you attend, if feasible, and/or bring a new guest to your networking group’s session.

Make the power of LinkedIn propel you to new concentric circles as they expand and meet new great professionals.

Another idea: Unashamedly, I’m available for hire for a kick-ass presentation on LinkedIn to center of your influence in your business, firm, organization, or group.

I’ll even make them each take out 4 business cards as an opening exercise to “unchill” the room…if you read me, well, you know the rest….if not, here’s a previous blog post on this topic.

 

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Who’s that person I am meeting?

lecturerAt many of my LinkedIn training sessions I ask for a show of hands, “how many of you looked at my LinkedIn profile to learn about me, to see if I am indeed qualified to speak on this topic?” and I wait for no hands to go up.

Nada. Zip. Crickets. Yes, it’s always that way.

I know we are all busy. But too much so to spend a moment reviewing a LinkedIn profile for a minute?

So being the LinkedIn evangelist I will challenge you: prove me wrong the next time I ask a group that same question! 

Look at the LinkedIn profile of the person speaking at an event you are attending, meeting with, calling on the phone. Review mine please if I am fortunate enough to speak before you, not because that helps me, but it helps you. You don’t know this Now you do!), but I always ask the sponsor of my session for a list of attendees names so I can review yours. And I do take the time to make my session more about how I can help you…

Prepare, because you should:

  • Look for common threads, special qualifications, hints at ideas and similar experiences that can make the event more meaningful for both of you.
  • Break the ice by referencing common friends and colleagues and how you know them.
  • Ask cogent questions based on what you learned. Make it a win-win for everyone.

Of course, you must have a great profile to make this a 50-50 proposition…

Prove me wrong at my next event, please.

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Don’t be a one-hit wonder on #LinkedIn

reviseThink of the one-hit wonders we hear on the radio: a flash, and then oblivion.

Not you. Don’t just write a limp LinkedIn profile and walk away for good.

You want to be a consistently rich, with an impressive profile, making changes as needed to update your fans and followers. They want to know and cheer you on, so as noteworthy events occur, make a note to yourself:

  • Add new achievements and publications.
  • Update us on article you read and liked (and be sure to tell us why rather than just linking them-we want to know what motivated you to share it.)
  • Congratulate others on work anniversaries with something more than the boilerplate “like” that LinkedIn offers. Be yourself and use the right supportive words.
  • Avoid using the “like” button completely as it doesn’t offer the comment or pat-on-the-back you want to convey. It’s boring and unwarm and you are neither.
  • Review your own way of expressing why you do what you do. If it’s not telling “why you,” it’s not compelling to others.

Be amazing-er than the competitor.

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

News…coming soon to #Amazon…

You’ve been asking…

My book will be available on Amazon starting Oct 1st.amazonbookorder

Here’s an idea, and the timing is right: give a copy as a holidagift to your colleagues, clients, friends, consultant, attorney, CPA, financial guru, architect, favorite young new member of the workforce, etc.!

Many have told me they believe this will make a timely, useful reference guide to anyone who needs LinkedIn training. And that’s just about everyone.

Help me make these Amazon Best Sellers Ranks improve (and it hasn’t even been formally offered!): 

And if you care to review it on Amazon, that would be appreciated too!

Your support has meant a lot to me and I thank you very much.

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

I almost threw you out of my session

exit

Skeptics and non-believers, you are welcome to attend my session to learn something new and better yourselves. That’s part of my evangelist brand: helping others see the LinkedIn light.

Only once I had to publicly ask someone to leave the room. That was a long time ago. I was warned by the group that hired me that there were some tough cookies in the room. Right in the front row, and very early on in my presentation, I saw a face scowling and eyes rolling, defensive body language, and a lot of head shaking, and then came the out-of-context questions: “Why do I have to do this? How do you know this will work for me?”

I politely asked her to sit and listen and perhaps pick up just one tidbit that might help her, or to depart: her choice. She did not leave, ultimately, and behaved maturely thereafter.

I can put up with quite a bit when I present.

But when an attendee closes his/her mind and makes others who want to learn uncomfortable, and if that attendee does not hear the others correcting, shushing, and admonishing, I am one step from asking the intruder to please leave my session.

Then the other day it nearly happened again: someone in my session for underemployed boomers grumbled that LinkedIn was too much work for no reward. Her 10-year old LinkedIn profile was adequate. She scowled when I suggested we show our years of graduation, even if that meant her age might be estimable. Layer on that, that she voiced her doubt that recruiters were even on LinkedIn.

Grumble. Grumble. Grumble. Deny. Deny. Deny.

“Fine,” I thought, “stay under-employed:”

  • I will not waste your time or make the other attendees who want to gain and advance have to feel your negative energy. There’s enough deer-in-the-headlights-mentality in a room of under-employed boomers as it is!
  • So I politely replied: if you want my help, listen and absorb.
  • I went further to comment that LinkedIn is completely different from 10 years ago. Heck, anything 7 months old on LinkedIn (when the desktop user interface changed) is antiquated and being petrified is penalizing the owner with an archaic profile.
  • And yes, a LinkedIn profile renovation takes work–a lot–and the process I recommended might even be cathartic and help better formulate thoughts for more effective interviewing.
  • And just so we are clear, HR pros love LinkedIn, so you had better strongly consider that into your equation of working with recruiters and hiring managers to succeed.
  • Your copy-paste-resume-as a-profile? Readers will click away from your page and never come back. Recruiters will move on to smarter-looking candidates and never consider you again. Job referrers will demur. You will languish, under-employed.
  • Your attitude? Please don’t come back to the next session with that mindset. You certainly seemed to be content wallowing in the primordial mud you sunk into 10 years ago.
  • Your self-image? Now you need a job NOW, so what are going to do about it?

OR (and preferably):

  • Learn from my verbal and written materials, and renovate that antique profile and take my advice, as much as you can.
  • Use the handout and my oral commentary as your guide.
  • Come back to the next session accepting the revelation that the forefront of 21st century job seeking includes LinkedIn, a power tool in your self-branding toolbox as a job candidate.

Your choice.

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

The lost, slow art of conversation

164226_10200407894994061_531772970_nYes, a century ago the elite studied how to converse. There was no texting or blogging or social media back then.

News flowed slowly from the source, often covered by newspaper a few days old by the time it was read.

Today we live in the immediate time zone. Nanoseconds divide old news and news moves like lightning. Attention spans are fleeting. And likewise, the world changes so quickly.  I have been saying lately that today’s issues are so different than that of the one before it.

Take some time to reassess your conversational style of “speaking” to your reader on LinkedIn. Make a change from the bullet-pointed resume and use your vocabulary and whole sentences in short paragraphs to make yourself understood.

Color your words with graphics or better, video.

Yes, on LinkedIn your profile is a one-sided conversation, but a far better one than your competition’s.

Make it easy to contact you in the method of communication that the initiator prefers, not the one you always expect.

Leave your call to action at the end. Yes, one conversation spurs on another, and then business ensues.

A relationship is born, and after years, trusted colleagues share each other’s happy news.

That sweet relationship’s as old as the hills and every bit as sweet in 2017 as it was in 1917. Be conversant, about yourself.

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Tech successes, and temporarily not

tech frustrationTwenty years ago before there was anything called LinkedIn, NASA launched a school bus-sized plutonium-powered wonder called Cassini to explore Saturn: its moons and rings and designed it to eventually to crash into the planet when its power supply was expended.

It took 7 years to get there, itself an amazing feat. For 13 years it operated flawlessly and sent us thousands of truly amazing photos, some of the best can be seen here.

And right on schedule, it plunged to burn up in Saturn’s noxious atmosphere never to be heard or seen again. Good bye old reliable.

Ah, technology of the 1990s at its finest!

These days I teach LinkedIn, another tech achievement, but it’s often not as consistent or intrepid as Cassini.

The other day in prepping on site before a presentation I attempted to log into my LinkedIn account and use two-step verification, only to be unable to log in. Each code they texted me failed to work and expired before I could finish keying it in. Yikes! Trying not to be too obvious, I relied exclusively on my slides (sometimes even projecting slides is a tech challenge!) and did without live access to LinkedIn.

No one knew except me and I vowed to check on it the next day. Knowing these things happen–not being able to log in, a section missing completely when it was there the day before, or not working properly making me unable to make edits in some section–I presume the gnomes in LinkedIn were playing with the code and keeping me out while they doctored the service.

The good news is that it almost always works fine the next day, as was the two-step authentication situation. Not just exactly at the time I need it!

And while I get used to offering the explanation/excuse “they must be playing with it today and I swear it worked yesterday!,” I do find it exasperating to have to worry a bit if the section I want to display will work, or be there at all at any time.

I even participate in a chat group of other LinkedIn evangelists who lament the same things over and over again happen to them… so perhaps a newly underemployed NASA scientist or two, fresh off the Cassini project, can add continuous quality control to LinkedIn.

Just sayin’…

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Your un-comfort zone

I admit, as a LinkedIn evangelist, I really like to take people out of their comfort zone.

I am not a sadist. challengeI merely challenge them to think harder, deeper, and more inwardly, about those values and virtues they bring to the market(s) they compete in.

In other words, not what they do, but why they do what they do, and it’s up to them how they express it to brand themselves.

I assign homework in between personal coaching sessions and challenge my clients to write a lot of new quality narrative to tweak with my help, as they further self-define.

I leave my public session attendees with renewed enthusiasm and creativity to think about themselves as an item on a store shelf, wanting to be considered, selected, and purchased, again and again, with brand loyalty.

I know I make some people uncomfortable talking about themselves,  after decades of being told not to. It’s a hard habit to break, but a vitally necessary skill to do well in today’s social media world.

I love when I hear back, as I often do, that those I touch “have a lot of work to do.”

And do it.

Now please get to work! 

 

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

At every session I teach this…

soapboxLast week I “met” hundreds of people at 3 events I spoke at.

At each session I teach, and I’ve been doing this for years, I always explain the fact that you must ask someone to connect on LinkedIn with a personalized message giving the context in which you met, and especially how you can help them.

And I tell them if you do not do this and I do not see the context immediately, I will not reply.

And after each one of the sessions I can count on one or more connection requests using the boilerplate, drab, boring, no-context, nonhelpful “Please connect with me on LinkedIn.”

They are compliments to me, but someone was asleep at the switch. I do not connect to people I have not gotten to know in business.

LinkedIn agrees with me, although you may not.

Indeed after one of  last week’s sessions a woman came up to me to apologize for asking me to connect in the middle of my presentation before I mentioned my admonition. She looked so remorseful and thanked me for teaching her something so easy and important.

The next day after another session, there it was, another impersonal connection request. So whoever you are and wherever I spoke to you, this blog post is dedicated to you.