Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Problems on #LinkedIn (part 1 of 3)

problem
A three part series: Problem, Analysis, Solution.

Problem: LinkedIn is not getting you inquiries. Think about how amazing (or not) you are you making yourself look.
Problem: You can’t express your inner core values and have topics (Management, Finance, 401k, etc.) instead of actual learned and honed skills showing in this very important area of your profile. Get out of your own way and think about why clients hire you. No one hires you for “Management” or “401k.”
Problem: You hate your job and can’t find another. Consider a wholesale rewrite of your career story on LinkedIn to complement your resume and give the hiring manager/recruiter something to spend time reading something different from the rest.
The problem: you have difficulty with self-expression. Your branding is generic-ized for fear of being different. Yet you need to be different to be recognized, appreciated, hired, memorable.
I hear all sorts of naysaying: LinkedIn is not helping you, it has no ROI, it’s a waste of time, you get no value added, you can’t say those things publicly for fear of seeming ego-centered, etc.
The problem is the perception, your complaints. Perhaps that problem is you. That lizard brain is slinking and slithering out again!
The solution is using a power tool like LinkedIn, but properly. Let’s analyze these problems further in tomorrow’s blog post.

To all of the above points, I was interviewed by Jane Beddall of Dovetail Resolutions in her podcast series “Crafting Solutions to Conflict” in which I shared some thoughts on effectively preventing and managing conflicts for my clients. Here’s the link to the podcast: https://simplecast.com/s/f39e11fd. 

I hope it helps you at some point, when you eventually need this information.
Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Preventing misunderstanding on #LinkedIn…and elsewhere; a series

traffic-lights-466950_1920We must be credible and concise on LinkedIn. It’s a business platform, after all.

Allowing misunderstood credentials, claiming the ability to reproduce the same miraculous results time after time, and vague language that can be misinterpreted: all of these must be carefully managed out of your profile, for clarity’s sake.

This is especially important for regulated industries, such as financial services, risk management and insurance, and closest to my heart, legal services. In the former two, there are compliance officers who determine what can and cannot be said; in the latter, ethics standards are set by bar associations.

Yet there will be misunderstanding. Yes, these can be managed by forethought. Yes, this is uncomfortable.

Then these issues need to be addressed, logically and factually, to show the other party how their perception(s) is/are not correct, or that they have been misled, and then insert the inspiration to resolve the issue, quickly and effectively.

But in some cases, the ensuing careful negotiation and education of your clients can be essential to successfully satisfying, and hopefully, retaining, the client under more respectful and honorable circumstances.

Yes, conflict when resolved can improve relationships.

I will expand on Problem/Analysis/Solution in the next 3 blog posts here.

To all of the above points, I was interviewed by Jane Beddall of Dovetail Resolutions in her podcast series “Crafting Solutions to Conflict” in which I shared some thoughts on effectively preventing and managing conflicts for my clients. Here’s the link to the podcast: https://simplecast.com/s/f39e11fd. 
I hope it helps you at some point, when you eventually need this information.
Today's LinkedIn Nugget

When #LinkedIn connections die: what the family can do

mourning-3064504_1920The other day was the work anniversary of a colleague. But he died a few weeks ago.

It was quite a sad reminder of his death to see his picture pop up on my news feed that day. He was so vibrant and inquisitive, a broad smile, always a good thing to say, with his English accent.

What should his family do to pull his LinkedIn profile from the platform?

I covered this topic a while ago in this blog and it seems to be worth repeating once in a while. Indeed, LinkedIn has a procedure to remove the profile.

Death is a fact of life, and business professional life too. 

 

 

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

One of the most important #LinkedIn ideas I can teach you

woman illustrating albert einstein formula
Photo by JESHOOTS.com on Pexels.com

Follow the thread of LinkedIn messages:

Jackie Jones (not her real name): Hi Marc, I just came across your profile, noticed 2 impressive connections we both share, and thought we might be able to assist each other. I hope you’ll accept my invitation to connect. -Jackie

Marc W. Halpert: Have we met?

How can I help you?

-Marc

Jackie: I reached out to you on the basis of us both being connected to John X and Sally Y and we’re both in coaching. LinkedIn is usually a 2 way street, isn’t it?

Marc: Jackie, I teach this all the time and it’s really important: networking is like someone coming to your front door: you’re not going to invite anyone inside unless there is a good reason, hence my second question.

I suggest you adhere to what LinkedIn suggests as well: get to know your intended connection invitees first.

In this case, our mutual connections with John and Sally are not a determining factor.

My policy is to connect to people I have done business with and get to know well. As a result, I will respectfully decline your invitation.

Thanks, Marc

There, I had to say it. While it’s not pleasant to receive a turn-down, nor do I relish sending one, I try to deliver it professionally.

Don’t be a promiscuous linker. Know your connections well. This is not quantum physics. It’s common sense.

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Ice broken!

ice-746925_1920We were spinning our wheels, accomplishing little in weekly phone conference calls.

My idea (not that it’s so brilliant): meet in person.

Yes, it took more time for me to travel there, park, meet, and return, but it was an investment. Breaking ice with a new client is often a gamble but IMHO required: just some real human interaction to become accustomed to different independent styles. Imagine that!

All it took was a meeting IRL (in real life) rather than the easier way out, by phone or email.

We started by acknowledging we were connected to a great mutual colleague and by the end of the meeting we connected on LinkedIn, a token of continued conversation; far better than not, the ice broken with smooth sailing ahead.

Spontaneity, interaction, eye contact, body language, challenging questions with appropriate answers, and by the end of the session, the prospective client asked me to connect to him, and this new piece of business that started around a simple LinkedIn training session is blossoming into a really nice long-term project.

Use LinkedIn as a fulcrum. You have to get out sometimes and press the flesh too…

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Employees departures: LinkedIn actions employers should take

farewell-3258939_1920Ideally, employees are resources and credits to your company or nonprofit.

And they leave you sometimes: amicably or not-so.

Don’t forget that their headline and job experience need to reflect the conclusion of their employment with you. It’s easy and fast to do but often forgotten.

I know some companies require these changes are made with the employee as part of the exit interview.

You should check your company profile page to be sure the employees listed are still current employees there. If some stragglers remain, contact them through LinkedIn messaging to remove the “current” date on their job while with your firm and show their correct departure date.

If applicable, you want to remove them from the company’s Group page on LinkedIn, (your choice), and that should just about finalize the connectivity of them to you currently.

Of course, they are allowed to show their past work period with you, professionally explained and hopefully without any sensitive material showing (slide decks, samples of work, etc.)

Sometimes they just won’t cooperate, despite your asking them to make these changes after they have left your employ. LinkedIn has a procedure to facilitate this. If this sounds dramatic, it is, but “LinkedIn relies on the integrity of its members in providing true and accurate information in their accounts, and does not control or vet user-generated content for accuracy. Submitting a Notice will not necessarily result in the removal of the account or information.,” as the procedure webpage advises.

Alas and alack, parting is not always such sweet sorrow.

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Resist the demise of business etiquette

politeThe conversation around the networking breakfast table last week settled into a generalized disdain for how we entrepreneurs are treated. Not just big businesses jerking us around. This goes for how entrepreneurs treat fellows, on LinkedIn and elsewhere.

No reply once, and then no reply again on a second follow-up to an original email; no returned phone call once, twice, more times, to get something accomplished; no response to a proposal.

I always leave a message or email: “no is OK, maybe is better and yes is the best of them all, but when can we work together?” Then I can gauge my time and work for them and others.

If the answer is no, I ask where my proposal was deficient but rarely get the needed intelligence to consider if this is a trend to better reprice myself for the next project.

And  another thing…the one that really gets me: that phone call deliberately well after hours, putting the onus on me to call the person back as a follow up they place on me, the recipient; IMHO a cheap act by the initiator.

There are so many…the war stories swirled at the table.

So I ask rhetorically, what happened to polite business practice? Respect and concern? Replies? Mutual admiration that led to collaborative effort despite differences? Or is being honest too difficult, as in not being confident by directly replying “no thank you” to my query–I’ve had very few of those lately. is this a trend? I hope not.

This pandemic of uncaring seems to be the new norm. Yes, I get that it’s business, not personal, but it now seems acceptable to be aloof, distant, rude, impertinent, late to a meeting, or late meeting a deadline. Where does this emanate from? Whose ethos allows that?

Not me, not mine.

I shall prevail in my quest to restore our gentility. Nevertheless, I persist (thank you Elizabeth Warren).

To get a new perspective, a better handle on being nicer, read the book “Wonder” to learn about the virtues of being decent and caring to others and emulate the author’s precepts (you will find out why I chose that word from the book) and let’s rise above the mean of the meanies.

Join me please? Would you spread this around too? Thank you.

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Choose the right multimedia to strut your stuff on #LinkedIn

tpzThe old Tappan Zee Bridge (aka Mario Cuomo Bridge) over New York’s Hudson River was demolished last Tuesday after 63 years’ service, now that a new twin bridge was finally completed.

I am fascinated by demolition, regressing to the little boy in me, perhaps.

But I was in the car when the demolition was scheduled, knowing a lot of people waited in the cold to see it, delayed for some reason, as I listened to the news radio coverage live. Anticipation…

And then BOOM! on the car speakers.

That was it, engineered destruction, with the color commentary of newscasters to describe the shock waves they felt and what it looked like, but words were nothing like the video to witness it.

Radio for a visual event?

And that got me thinking: are you using the right multimedia on your LinkedIn profile to properly and effective demonstrate your capabilities? 

Word, oral or written, just are not as impactful (yes, a word) as audio, which is ok, or video, certainly better, but audio+video combined is the best of them all.

Consider (in no particular order):

  • The architect who redesigns office space to free up badly-needed square footage can say he does a good job, but before-during-after photos showing the neatness of his continual work are far better.
  • The nonprofit that truly appreciated a training session you gave, so much so that they felt that a big group thank you photo of many happy faces made more sense.  You can use on your profile and share as an update. (Hint: good time to ask for a recommendation!)
  • The consultant who literally saved a client’s marketing persona can record a video of the gushingly happy professional expressing how wonderful the experience was with the reputation expert. The desired conclusion brought vindication from a false allegation that could have ruined the professional. That emotion and relief are so much better in vocal intonation, facial expression, and body language than mere written recommendation. (Hint: also ask for a recommendation to complement the video; cross-refer them).
  • And what recently happened to me, a client who felt I went above-and-beyond and exuberantly re-wrote and vastly improved an earlier recommendation she had once given me, a true surprise based on what happened the other day.

You have the AV tools, and LinkedIn is very accepting of them all, so choose the best among them for the situation and for the right purpose. Use language, audio, pictures, color, and/or video well and it/they will reward you very well in return.

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Digital immigrants and digital natives

digital immigrants, digital nativesNo, I’m not taking a political position here, but rather recognizing a cultural one.

I heard those 2 terms on the radio in a business report the other day. Perhaps I am late to the party, but I was unfamiliar with these names until now.

Wikipedia divides the universe into two:

“The term digital native describes a person that grows up in the digital age, rather than acquiring familiarity with digital systems as an adult, as a digital immigrant.”

{Ahem, digital immigrants might recognize the obvious grammar error of using “that” and not “who” in this quote. Digital natives will likely not.}

Thus, digital immigrants, chronologically gifted like me, were those born before the dawn of the internet.

Said another way, digital natives are those who never knew of rolodexes, rotary phones, black and white TV, and telephone party lines. They grew up in an online world of database management, VOIP, cable news, and mobile phones, all devouring data and time and attention.

My experience in public speaking about the merits of LinkedIn definitely has me bobbing and weaving among people from both digital birthspheres, sometimes in the same room, a few technophobes who seem young enough to be digital natives, and frequently, digital immigrants whose work has developed them to masters of the digital universe. For case studies on the latter, see Janet Granger’s book “Digital Influence for Baby Boomers.”

No real LinkedIn divide is more obvious to me than the way digital natives use LinkedIn on a mobile phone and differentiate themselves from digital immigrants who only abide LinkedIn in its weakened version on a tiny screen, yet prefer it offering more on a larger desktop screen. Not a vision issue, a content and control preference. Suit yourself. Just be fluent in LinkedIn, in either dialect.

This generational denominator reminds me of a LinkedIn session I gave to a group of young professionals and at the end, the last question was more a cultural commentary. He summed my session up with a memorable comment “for an old guy you know your technical stuff.”

If I have repeated that story in this blog before, forgive this digital immigrant whose memory hard drive may need defragging, OK?