I hung up from the second phone call with an accomplished prospective coaching client, further explaining my approach to helping him renovate his LinkedIn profile.
He admits he needs it.
His worry: himself, mixed about being able to articulate what he is all about. Stuck.
I sent him this picture with the following verbal narrative (with some adaptation).
That feeling of stuck in not being able to fully tell why he is uniquely qualified–it is very common, especially among boomers, which he is. That’s ok. We can work on that.
He is internally fighting himself to let the real “him” out. He doesn’t do this type of writing well, although has been writing his entre career for others’ gain.
If I did it, he can too. So, I refocused him on “he, himself, and us.”
How is this part of “us”? I use LinkedIn for these a lot. You can easily do these LinkedIn things too:
endorse him for the skills he we know he portrays, from our observations and experience working with him. That’s easy.
recommend him for his unique abilities, recounting stories in which he demonstrated above-and-beyond efforts that impressed us, relating anecdotes to the reader, from the recommender’s POV; a little more work is involved than an endorsement, but he’s worth it.
recognize him with awards or honors.
offer to write a published article either mentioning him or actually writing it with him as a co-author, in any case, as a teammate/colleague worth recognizing.
We can let him demonstrate his part of “why” he does what he does, and as endorser/recommender we can say “how well” he does his “why.”
That’s he and him…and our part in his self-branding too.
I am listening to the biography of Robin Williams in the car. Christopher Reeve, his close friend, is quoted as saying the line in the title to him after he fell from his horse and was paralyzed.
Some people can just make you feel warm and fuzzy in their thoughtfulness, actions and words. Comedy is not necessary in this endeavor. Their aura makes you want to do more, do better, be superman/woman from some element in their persona.
Often we are out of touch with what “it” is.
We can ask others who will be honest, or try to extract it ourselves, taking a 30,000 foot view of our work, listening to a recording of a talk we gave, or watching a video of us in action.
You have that “something” too, and it’s just waiting for you to bring it out to the reader of your LinkedIn profile.
The rays of warmth from you will easily heat the hearts of everyone you come across.
I admit this blog post may sound nerdy/goofy/political on my part.
It is, in fact, inspired by the thought-provoking new documentary film “Won’t You Be My Neighbor” about the many gifts of Fred Rogers in his lifework as Mister Rodgers, and the overall lesson for all of us: young, in-between, and old(er).
The bottom line: I am dismayed how Washington’s present state of dysfunctional affairs has trickled down to everyday life. The daily activities and dialog in the capital is appalling, confrontational, mean. Very few hands extended across an aisle, no intentional change of mindset to lead to collaboration. Black and white, no shades of gray.
Political and moral dogma are all over our news, splitting families and friends. trickling into our conversations, then our daily interactions, and increasingly I see it enmeshed in our competitive business dealings.
What I see most: we don’t reply to emails rather than saying “no thank you.”
We ignore phone messages from people we know who need something, considering them as nuisances.
I am equally to blame. OK, there, I said it.
Friends, we need to re-learn some manners. Shake the dust off them.
I’ll go first.
If I dissed you, I send this blanket apology. It was not intentional.
If I don’t reply to an email or vmail, please remind me I failed you for the mere courtesy of a reply. I do try to follow up but sometimes I get stuck between the proverbial cracks.
I said I too was equally to blame.
Let’s all exhibit some respect and decency, even in uneasy times. Craft your LinkedIn profile to help you stand out from the lowest common denominator of the madding crowd.
The other evening I attended a jazz concert. The leader’s happiness infected his band of 3 excellent musicians.
Now I’ve seen a wholelot of live music and I have never seen such a happy band. These 4 played great music as a team and they smiled and laughed for the entire 2 hours they performed. I enjoyed them enjoying themselves.
It’s a lesson I intend to emulate: smile more as I work, help others smile too, show how I enjoy what I do, pass it along to you.
And since you cannot see me as you read this, be assured I am grinning happily ear-to-ear.
And I will learn to make this a natural part of what I do so in the future when you next see me present to the public and to private groups: part of my ikigai, my raison d’être, my “why” I do that I do. (Of course at this point my kids would be nervous that I will insert some Dad joke here. I couldn’t resist the temptation!).
I crafted my LinkedIn profile to reflect my personality, yet remain professional.
No, this is not a fake mask but a natural part of me, in this blog and everything I do.
Remember the cultural image of the exotic traveling salesman in Wild West movies and musicals?
Let’s modernize that to today: in your electronic emporium of trinkets, items from lands far away, and potent elixirs, do you attract prospective clients and customers?
If you are like me, you use every sensible method of marketing yourself. Some electronic, some not. Whatever it takes to make the reader poke his/her head under my tent and nose around. I want them to interact with me to get an impression of my brand.
But in social media you never know who looks at you because they can leave without a trace, unless you compel them to contact you for more information. And they won’t do that unless you show then something that’s truly interesting enough to move them to act.
That’s how you should approach the narrative in each section of your LinkedIn profile, renovating from your profile’s roof to the cellar, as needed (and it’s almost always needed!), then continuously entrance them and offer ongoing value as a colleague to your connections (articles to share, positive/ additive commentary, and original essays).
Be interesting and active please. No one does business with a wallflower.
Sometimes you just have to break away and pave your own path. Even if it’s just subtly different from the rest of your area/industry/peer group.
It takes self-confidence to offer an opinion, a view, or synthesize a lot of information into a new concept that others may need to know about.
Just positing it as an update is not enough. Yes, it’s faster, and easier, but readers might speculate that it’s just a bit too different.
They need convincing.
You can offer your viewpoint(s) and make your case in a long-form article to anyone and everyone on LinkedIn, all around the world, from your soapbox.
Composing a LinkedIn article takes some effort: use your best persuasive language, a great headline to attract attention, a background graphic. hashtags to draw attention to your topics, etc. to make your point.
Realize the average reader is attention-deprived, distracted by many competing images and noise, and needs to be thoroughly convinced.
Once others read it, share it, comment on it, and/or thank you, you’ll feel the reward. You might even do it again on another topic to share your ideas.
Offer your views to 575 million business professionals globally. Be a pathfinder.