Opportunity knocks 24 x 7 x 365. Even on rainy Mondays.
LinkedIn is an opportunity collector. But you have to show that you actively seek those opportunities. And you have to look really, really good in your LinkedIn profile to be seriously considered for them. You knew I would stress that!
No one reads your mind that well, so you have a few places to think about, and tell us, what you are seeking:
If you are a job seeker, notify recruiters:
Once you make the button green (turned “on”), you are taken to a screen to refine your interests and educate recruiters about you, for better opportunity matches.
2. LinkedIn Salary allows you to obtain job salary insights and understand the various factors that impact pay scales for your next position and make more informed career decisions. One client was very impressed with this intelligence when I showed him how much a newly created position should pay to attract the right candidates.
3. If you are an entrepreneur/consultant, let others know you are open to short-term projects and other gigs. LinkedIn ProFinder is largely not well-known as a professional services marketplace that lets others offer you freelance or independent work in your area of expertise. One client is so hooked on ProFinder that he frets that one day they might eliminate it, as LinkedIn is unpredictable in making its changes, as we saw last week!
4. If you are looking to volunteer at a nonprofit, find one that suits you. Volunteer.LinkedIn.com shows opportunities to use your expertise to either serve on a nonprofit board or offer pro bono work. Thank you for being generous with your time and knowledge.
My advice: be open to new ideas, opportunities and data to make informed decisions. Use LinkedIn well, all its components to advise us of the desired change you want to make..
Even if you didn’t know about these slightly-obscure LinkedIn functions.
Colleagues tell me they have some success using LinkedIn articles for their brand marketing. In a “catching-up” phone call, JP Laqueur told me how he hit a home run with his LinkedIn long-form article “Mission, Vision & Values are Dead (Or At Least Easily Forgotten)” in May 2017. I asked him to provide some background and ideas why this article was so popular: how this article came about and the results of his being perceptive and expressive to the global LinkedIn business community. Thanks, JP for contributing this guest blog piece!
For almost 15 years, we relied exclusively on personal networking to build our marketing consulting practice. During that time, I watched as others embraced new forms of digital marketing, blogging, V-logging and other forms of thought leadership, but always resisted the effort seeing it as “too time-consuming” and ”too hard to get noticed.” I didn’t want to be another one of those “content marketing guys” struggling to come up with something to say each week.
But, in January 2017, we decided to give it try. I had come to realize that over years of personal networking, I had handed out and collected thousands of business cards but had never stayed in front of those people in a disciplined manner. And since 100% of our business was referrals, it seemed content marketing would be the best way to do that.
Working with an outside consultant, we consolidated all our contacts from LinkedIn, address books and Constant Contact into a real CRM (InfusionSoft), and organized the first few dozen topics we could write about. I got into the rhythm of writing a blog post every other week, posting to our website, as an article in LinkedIn, and then sharing it with all the groups I had joined. At the end of each post was a link to some deeper “gated content” that required registration, so that we could capture leads and see with whom my writing was resonating.
One Saturday in April, I opened my editorial calendar and saw I was supposed to write a post on “Mission, Vision & Values.” I knew these were important statements to a company’s brand and culture, but I also knew they were widely ignored by today’s workforce and I didn’t want to write yet another article on “the difference between mission & vision” or “how to write a mission statement.” So, instead, I wrote this: Mission, Vision and Values are Dead!
And it went viral.
By the end of the summer it had been read over 75,000 times on LinkedIn alone and generated thousands of inbound registrations for additional information. It continues to grow (82,800 reads as of this writing), and has dramatically increased our followers on LinkedIn and the number of registrants in our database. This global exposure translated into thousands of views of our other posts, and allowed us to launch a whole new revenue channel in the form of an online product (a DIY workshop kit).
Many people have asked what caused the original post to go viral. I noticed that there were pockets of viewers in places around the globe like Scandinavia, the U.K., Brazil, and Middle East indicating that several second degree “connectors” or centers of influence must have forwarded or shared the post. But ultimately, I think it came down to two things: a willingness to “skewer a sacred cow” and the ability to offer a better model to replace it. Others have challenged Mission, Vision and Values but failed to offer an effective alternative. I think you need to do both in a provocative, yet thoughtful, manner.
And a little luck doesn’t hurt either!
JP Laqueur is the Chief Connector at BrandFoundations. The firm helps organizations unlock the value of their two biggest intangible assets: brand and culture. Sought out by private equity sponsors and purpose-driven CEOs – especially those rapidly pivoting, growing or transforming as a result of M&A – BrandFoundations develops powerful brand stories that energize a company’s culture, create competitive separation, and enhance exit valuation. See his LinkedIn profile linkedin.com/in/jplaqueur
I am leaking a few details about my upcoming book, “You, Us, Them: LinkedIn Marketing Concepts for Nonprofit Professionals Who Really Want to Make a Difference,” not because leaks are acceptable (except in Washington) but because “drip marketing” is a great tactic to keep enthusiasm high and interest piqued, in the spirit of full disclosure.
I had the luxury of working with three experts in their well-recognized nonprofits who have been increasingly successful in using LinkedIn for brand marketing:
I gave an “open mike” session the other day. It’s one in which I have no presentation; I just take questions from the audience and roll with whatever they ask and what they need to know. It’s a challenge and fun, and the audiences seem to like it.
About a quarter of the way through my hour-long session, an attorney (we introduced ourselves before I started speaking) asked why he needed LinkedIn in the first place. He said he was busy enough.
That’s happened before. As the LinkedIn evangelist, my job is to convert non believers. I explained that incremental business comes from LinkedIn, even if your referral base is so wide and deep.
What never struck him apparently, as I answered him, is that a person receiving your name in a referral will look you up on LinkedIn first before considering you in the first place.
Or they never contact you, something that we can never quantify.
I am fortunate. I get to meet and train/coach amazing people in all walks of life.
Before I met them, some just couldn’t get out of their own way, so they walked hesitatingly through life.
Or some couldn’t walk very well at all, stuck in a rut or portraying a dull posture in their business life.
Just perhaps the coaching client didn’t know where or how to say it on social media, on LinkedIn, or where on their LinkedIn profile to fit it. They needed me to map this for them. Then they have learned how to continue to add compelling narrative to their career journey.
After we work together, they walk straighter than others, in a straight line or as upright as I can get them. Head up with their eyes wider open. Then they are “amazing-er” than before, as I like to say.
It’s all mental, developmental. It’s coach-able, curable.
They just need to be reoriented, reengineered, renovated.
It’s my challenge to help others say what they earlier could not say at all , or could not say well. And to say it concisely, so business readers in all walks of life consider them as business partners.
Because people look at your LinkedIn profile quickly, there’s little time for them to become impressed enough to consider you. And if they are not impressed, they move on even quicker.
The acid test of my effect on them? Their referrals.
Walking further out the concentric circles of warm referral business, it’s a skeptical prospective client who may ask for examples of client profiles I have coached in the past, and after review of the referenced profiles, he or she likely signs with me. It’s my walk-the-walk.
And I am pleased to say, with my clients, I walk straighter in professional life as a result. They tell me of successes that have resulted.
You may not have noticed this yet, or it may not have come to your profile yet, but it will soon. Among the other changes to your profile I spoke about in this blog, LinkedIn is grouping your skills on your profile.
You didn’t need to do anything; no skill required. LinkedIn did it for you.
But this change they made means you want to review your skills section and probably make some adjustments, and that is a decision you need to think through.
The skills category groups are:
top skills (only 3 allowed and they are indicated by the blue push-pin)
languages (N/A for me)
I am not aware of a way to rename these group headings. If I find out how, you know I will advise you here.
You can easily move a skill from one group to another by using your left muse button and holding it over the 4 small horizontal lines associated with the skill and dragging it up or down to the right grouping.
And you can reorder skills within a category grouping too.
PS You must have more than three skills listed in your Skills section for your skills to be categorized. Everyone must have more than 3 skills, and I urge you to find a way to self-reflect and list at least 23!
I made a number of adjustments on mine. For example, upon reviewing the inserted graphic from my profile (above), I noticed my skill in social networking was better placed in “industry knowledge,” rather than in “other skills.” Simple change made.
You should review and move you skills around too.
Perception of your skill set is very important in our markets and you want to put your very best foot, or feet, forward. I am not sure a casual reader will look at “other skills” very readily, so think about the reader’s perception of your profile in this exercise.
I always say we are each held responsible in our work for the details that clients do not want to worry about. We are hired or retained to educate, keep the best situation going, and instinctively preclude any issues or misunderstandings.
I often lecture and coach clients on ways to do better than the competition, using real life examples of errors or problems that an “eye off the ball” can cause. It works to make my point.
It’s very much how you come across on LinkedIn to the casual reader. (You knew I would say that!)
It’s part of the peace-of-mind branding we strive for as an entrepreneur, CPA, consultant, or in this case, attorney.
Below is an example of a website for a restaurant an attorney (or any politician!) would probably not want to visit.
Beware typos and unclear language, incorrect usage, poor syntax, and condemning impressions.
I can’t make this stuff up, folks!
PS I did email them to advise them to make a change to their website. Nothing done as yet.
Have you ever offered your help, expecting nothing in return except a thank you for your added expertise, only to be rejected? Well, not overtly, but rejection with silence?
Even if it was freely offered, and offered free?
Rejection is part of the roller coaster of being entrepreneur, and as a multipreneur perhaps I feel it, or see a reply of “I am going another direction,” more often, but it still stings.
Such was the case a couple of months ago when on a neighborhood chat room, aside from the usual chatter of selling extra furniture and asking for a reputable plumber who actually shows up, a soon-to-be-published author asked if there was anyone who could consult on social media for his upcoming book. I offered as we spoke on the phone, giving well-earned experiential free advice and sent a proposal to promote the book on LinkedIn, at his request.
I followed up.
Today I see he is asking again.
Perhaps he is ready now, after an unforeseen production delay, or something in life that got in his way of publishing the book.
So I will offer my help again.
It is better to give than receive.
Wish me a reply, at least, of “no thank you,” or better, “let’s continue where we left off.”
This past weekend I attended a music concert in a world-class, acoustically engineered auditorium in a public library.
It’s always amazing to me how the concept of a library has changed from a book repository to a public entertainment center.
You can borrow knitting needles, museum passes, swap heirloom seeds, take out CD books and movie DVDs, attend a recently released movie screening, create a 3D printed item, publish a paperback book, learn a million crafts, and get an education on just about any topic there. I attend a tai chi class at one. Oh, and you can still borrow books too.
The audience changed the old-fashioned concept of a public library. They demanded more, and variety, and it is important to note, they no longer were merely satisfied with reading for gaining information and creating entertainment.
The concert I attended featured a master guitar player touring from San Francisco, who after introducing a song, moved the microphone away to play but in front of her face, until an audience member called out (nicely), “Move the mike so we can see your face.” to which she remarked, “This is what I love about East Coast audiences. On the West Coast, (gesturing accordingly,) they would be moving up, down, side to side, but never ask me out loud to move the mike.”
Oh so true. Each audience (and she is right about East Coast vs. other location audiences) has a personality and a “feel.” If I speak in a public venue, I pre-review some of the LinkedIn profiles of the registered attendees, try to mix a bit with the crowd when they first come in, to feel the pulse, and ask, “What brings you here today?” What do you want to learn?” “How do have you success on LinkedIn?”
If I write to an audience, in this blog or elsewhere online, I review the subscribers. I ask for comments, which come to me in various ways. I try to hone in on what is newsworthy, unique in my own perspective, and not found elsewhere, to make my writing relevant. I offer guest blog spots. I mix it up.
I have an audience. You are it.
You have one too.
So ask yourself, do you fashion your profile to attract the reader or do they leave, yawning and never to return? Unfortunately you may never know. This is a binary opportunity: be heard or be ignored.