Back to Basics Tuesdays, Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Back to basics Tuesday: #LinkedIn’s “commercial use” search limit

LIcommercialuselimit

The scenario: You don’t subscribe to LinkedIn (neither do I) and you are engaged in a large search.

Perhaps you are job hunting, casting a large net. Perhaps a client has asked you to help and you see LinkedIn as a great tool to accomplish the task. Perhaps you are on the team to identify a board director for your nonprofit and you are inundated with candidates to vet.

And then you get it: the dreaded commercial use limit message from LinkedIn: a warning you are approaching the end of your month’s allotment of free searches, and then you breach it, then you have to subscribe.

Not to worry!

If you are near the end of the calendar month, your imposed limit drops away at midnight Pacific time on the first day of the new month. Just pick up where you left off.

Or if that is not feasible, subscribe for one month at the lowest level subscription and mark your calendar to advise LinkedIn a few days before the monthly subscription renews that you want to cancel.

Just don’t forget to do that. I speak to so many people who forgot and have paid for a subscription they didn’t need for months, years. LinkedIn will not remind you, but your credit card company will routinely process the payment. And don’t get suckered into the less-expensive-per-month annual subscription, because it’s not refundable, in whole or in part. Period.

Here’s the Help Center page with full details on this topic.

Note what counts and does not count to the search limit (from that same page):

Specific activities that contribute to the limit include:

  • Searching for LinkedIn profiles on LinkedIn.com and mobile.
  • Browsing LinkedIn profiles using the People Also Viewed section located on the right rail of a profile.

These activities do not count toward the limit:

  • Searching profiles by name using the search box located at the top of every page on LinkedIn.com
  • Browsing your 1st-degree connections from the connections page.
  • Searching for jobs on the jobs page.

Now you know. 

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Yes, there’s B2C and B2B but do you know about P2P? (with a #Linkedin twist, of course!)

onion-4000599_1920There’s B2C and B2B, to be sure, although I have long suspected professional-to-professional marketing (P2P) was a separate genus, and over the years I became increasingly conscious and aware of it. I see in in TV ads, I hear it in business networking conversations, I read about it online, on LinkedIn as well.

First, to be complete, you already know what B2C is.

So, how is P2P different than B2B?

B2B can be seen in those aspects of marketing and delivering a product or service, from one company to another, in the process of developing or compiling the end result, a product or service. That sounds like factory assembly, and it can be the accumulation of the kits that go into the end product: all those middleman services that eventually comprise the end product. And it can be the companies who supply their product or service to another’s end result. Think: why wine is so expensive, or hiring a contractor to renovate your house.

P2P follows another track: the delivery of the cerebral, professional service components that make it easier for a professional decisionmaker to analyze, render, convey, understand, use, and attain the end result. In 2 words, intellectual assembly, peer to peer.

Am I splitting X2X hairs? Perhaps, but in today’s increasingly complex and surging techno-savvy gig world where there are experts in everything, the end result forming a professional opinion or service often made up of smaller contributions from consulting experts, the sum of whose expertise adds fuller value to the professional who is rendering the end opinion. Layers make the onion, much like expert witnesses testifying their technical expertise to help the jury or judge understand the complexities in order to make a fair, informed decision.

Examples:

  • LinkedIn coaching helping a consultant become better searchable as a valued, specialized consultant to a specific audience.
  • An author’s book on networking best practices, which when added to other soft skills training at a sales consultancy, will allow the better training to wow their clientele. new ways to slay the market dragon.
  • A speech coach/”dress for success” consultant rolled into one, brought in to train a specialized group in their elevator pitches and enhance first impressions, as they plan their strategy for a political comference.

These examples are not classically B2C, as in the assembly-of-components sense, but additive processes of professionals making other professionals better at their job(s), from another expert in their chosen field to make others in a different field: the goal being  to become more effective, professionally,

That’s P2P.

My P2P universe is filled with trusted colleagues whose invisible shingles hang out from home offices or rented seats in a shared workspace. They are modest, amazing world-class experts in their field, generous to offer their view to help explain a complex concept. We network with each other around monthly meetings to enhance the group’s collaborative effort. I participate in forums of  competitors collaborating together (“coopetition” as I call it). You can’t touch our thought process, but you sure can feel the energy and optimism from them.

Most denizens of P2P don’t really brand market or advertise well, they rely on golden referrals for their brand marketing. As they should! And they should do better…(here it comes)…

This can be accomplished more effectively as another way to use LinkedIn: an exercise to concentrate our connection base, using our honed skills, to help offer our artistry better than the competition?

And isn’t P2P also improved in one way to be found on LinkedIn by another professional, a two-way street using many of the profile renovation techniques I have written about here? You know, the ones you have implemented from my suggestions to become more effective with your ever-nurturing connections?

connect2collaborate oh P2P community!

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Guest blog from Kristin Sinatra: “The Compass of YOU”

guest blogIt was kismet when I first met and got to know Kristin Sinatra, and that warm feeling is reinforced every time I interact with her. She is a friend, respected colleague, highly regarded by peers, industry  and community organizations, and on a personal note, she designed my 3 logos, and was a contributor of a case study in my latest book (which is coincidentally titled “You, Us, Them”). She shares openly and generously with me, for which I am thankful. I was very pleased she contributed this guest blog piece, for my, and for your benefit, to appreciate her wise viewpoint on this topic. I agree with her; be in charge of your present and future, because only you can do it! Thank you, Kristin, for your generosity, once again!


When someone tells you that “Everything happens for a reason,” do you smile and nod, feeling your heart warmed and future safeguarded in some way? Or do you wince and cringe in disagreement at their impossibly trite reasoning?

It’s a simple phrase to say – a failsafe explanation for the good, the bad, the ugly and very often for disappointment in life, like a failed opportunity, job or relationship.

We have to imagine that the millions of people who so naturally offer this explanation – especially to friends experiencing hardship or uncertainly – say it with sincerity. But why do they believe? What underlies their faith in this principle? Let’s take a step back and think about what these folks might really be trying to tell us – whether consciously or not.

Many believe the divine is at the heart of this principle, and that our lives are driven by a supernatural master plan – something bigger than ourselves. But it’s also possible to see ourselves as the driver behind the principle, fueled by a keen honing of classical conditioning, and a deeply personal collective of behaviors developed over a lifetime. Could it be that everything happens for a reason because our subconscious is at work in the best interest of our self-preservation?  If so, does this principle lie within the micro-level of signals we emit to those around us, directly begetting the results and responses we receive?

There are those who attribute this principle to intuition, placing an emphasis on one’s “gut feelings” as signs from beyond. Most agree you should trust your gut, but some would clarify that intuition is really instinct fueled by experience and expertise.

If we are to believe in this principle for any of the above reasons, or others unnamed, perhaps the catalyst to its validity is *us*. We can’t deny that our present circumstance is a collective result of all the decisions we’ve made, the things we’ve learned, and every single event we’ve experienced. When we think about life in this way, suddenly a simple sounding principle holds a bit more water than chalking one’s future up to fate or luck.

If you believe in this principle, and/or in trusting one’s “gut,” one thing is undeniable: You are the curator and compass of “you.” The definition of “you” encompasses your belief system, your behaviors, your attitude, your outlook, your values – yourself.

So when it comes to your “gut reaction” to an unanticipated LinkedIn connection invitation, listen to it. Select “accept” or “reject” based on your instinct and intuition, because chances are they’re backed by something real. You might just be forming a new relationship “for a reason.” A connection to a connection to an opportunity that may very well happen. Make it happen. Make everything happen for a reason.


kristinsinatraKristin Sinatra serves as Vice President of Marketing for Waveny LifeCare Network – a large nonprofit continuum of eldercare in New Canaan, Connecticut, where she directs all aspects of Waveny’s marketing operations.

A seasoned marketer, graphic designer, creative director and writer, Ms. Sinatra’s work has been recognized nationally for representing best practices in social media, and she was honored to lecture at Google Headquarters in 2014 on the evolution of healthcare marketing strategies and tactics in a progressively digital world.

In Ms. Sinatra’s 15 years of service with the Waveny organization, she has steadily initiated and implemented a comprehensive and responsive multi-pronged marketing strategy, and led a full organizational rebrand in 2013.

A member of Phi Beta Kappa, Ms. Sinatra is a Summa Cum Laude graduate of the University of Connecticut.

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

No thanks, I’ll make that decision myself

restaurant-690975_1920I get a lot of offers to have someone write my blog for me or boost my SEO, unsolicited. Many are from people out of the country with no apparent knowledge of my fields of business–I know, I look at their LinkedIn profiles. In fact I received two today, the same spam message to two of my email boxes.

This type of guerilla reconnaissance penetration into my “territory” feels empty, cheap, just like the other beef I have with unsubstantiated requests to connect to total strangers on LinkedIn.

Yes, both are an assault to business etiquette and professional sensibility, at least how I see it. I can choose my own vendors without them coming at me daily, unsolicited.

So to all of you who want to do my webdevelopment work or explode my SEO results better than I or my chosen expert can, no thanks. I have already blocked you. And to the rest who continue to demonstrate how lonely they are and want to meet strangers like me in the LinkedIn blind date mixing bowl, no thanks, don’t even bother. I ignored or wrote back to you professionally.

I can satisfy my insatiable appetite to express myself.

I can source great professional connections to nurture. I give them 51 to their 49 at a minimum.

LinkedIn is not a cafeteria, open to all to fill trays with piles of mediocre food they quickly choose in a line.

Rather, it is fine dining, on restaurant row, by those who savor the art of the experience and appreciate conversation with great company.

I’ll make that business nutrition decision myself.

 

 

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

#Linkedin as a glorified open mic? You’re not using it right!

carrotsA few weeks ago a business friend admitted he doesn’t use social media, including LinkedIn, because it is “a glorified open mic.”

Taken aback, perhaps he forgot what I do–not just for a living but as a major portion of my self-branding and marketing my services–I countered,  “Do you have enough business?”

You know he had to honestly answer that he could always have more. Who couldn’t?

Then I asked how he gets his business and the harangue started about the cost of search engine marketing, the ROI of advertising, how he hates networking, all falling on my now deaf ears.

It reminded me of a joke I told in this blog once. (Actually my son told it in an elementary school talent show comedy standup routine and I always chuckle at that memory and this joke.) Hence the illustration above.

So I challenged him: renovate your LinkedIn and other social media profiles, pump your brand in those venues, ask others to refer and share your expertise with their connections, act like a mature entrepreneur and a up-and-rising business. NOW!

The response will not be immediate, I counseled, There will not be a rush to your door. It takes consistent images and prose to create a brand. Then I offered him this article that I feature in my slides when I speak to groups. I think he will benefit from it and I hope you will too.

You are a brand. Not feeding the brand will cause it to wither. Fresh nutrients will make it prosper. Tell us, smartly: why you.

More succinctly, in business to be absent on LinkedIn is to disappear.

Back to Basics Tuesdays, Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Back to basics Tuesday: how can I see connection requests I have not yet replied to?

questionsA real good question came to me from a woman in one of my past corporate training sessions, as you can see in the title above.

The answer I sent her:

You can see any unreplied invitations that you received by clicking the My Network icon at the dark green bar at the top of the LinkedIn homepage.

1

Then you click “manage all” at the top of the invitations box.

2

Then the next page defaults to the invitations you have received and only shows those you have not yet replied to; in my case 2 are in the hopper.

3

The ones you already accepted are added to My Network if you agree to connect, or deleted if you decide not to.

Great question. Somewhat hidden way to see this on LinkedIn. 

Keep asking me these how-to’s and I’ll answer them on Tuesdays.

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Basking in the warmth of collegial friendship

glow“Learn something,” my father would exhort us before we left for school every morning. As a kid I recoiled at this daily repetition of his wisdom.

But maybe he had something there, maybe he was just ahead of his time, from the echoes of his voice I hear, in my experience as an entrepreneur.

I am still learning everyday: in my office, as I visit a client, when I vet new colleagues at an event, or at a talk I give, or even when I converse in any format with a member of my professional “entourage.”

And I intend to never stop learning from my actions, research, mistakes, experience.

You see, networking was not a “thing” when I went to school, although we all subliminally practiced it daily as we accumulated friends.

Networking was not respected by my bosses when I worked in corporate America while I secretly used it to find a new job, both by writing articles for professional print magazines and by refining my public speaking skills at conferences.

It was not an art that I thought I needed to practice further when I started out on my own, but I quickly learned to make it paramount for finding new business, via warm, qualified referrals, not statistics kept or “dancecards” in regimented franchised networking groups.

Recently networking has become more an educational science, and two great colleagues, Rob Thomas and Andrea Nierenberg, have written the wisdom of  their experience into excellent book and book respectively, about this practice (not mentioning them in any order!). So learn from them to practice your networking often. Then you too will reap these examples of others’ care and nurturing, as seen from my recent experiences:

  • A few weeks ago a good friend and mentor introduced me to her colleague whom he had qualified, needing my LinkedIn help, but when we three met I was repulsed by the force field of the intended’s lack of interest. The introducer was embarassed and later thought she needed to, take me to lunch. That atonement was certainly unnecessary, but we both turned our time together into another opportunity to help each other further meet new clients, with our co-earned referral and respect.
  • The other day when a special colleague extended herself to help me out with something I needed and could not find, I reveled in the warmth of his offer to allow me to benefit from a subscription he uses. Yes, that’s the feeling that people truly care, and he was one of the rare ones to give me more than a flick of the “like” key; he comments, and shares, and offers it freely.
  • And last week, I was invited to join an esteemed group of professionals who are respected by a great colleague, a nascent master mind group in formation. I was rewarded with her including me, a sign of respect for my work for her organization.

To all three of them, and to the rest of you who have been so generous, I feel the warmth on my face and in my heart and I thank you.

Of course, use LinkedIn as one conduit, a power currency of contact; but also do meet, converse, eat together, interact, and give more than you receive and you will be amazed at what goes around comes around.

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Rejection but not dejection

rollercoaster_blurBabe Ruth struck out a lot more than once. Great world leaders endure disappointment as they rise to meet challenges.

I am neither a Babe Ruth nor a world leader. But I receive a “no thank you” or “radio silence” in situations I think are “in the bag” from time to time: optimism meeting realism.

Luckily I get more enthusiastic yeses than nos. I choose to put my positive energy into the clients who opted for my yes column.

The other day, after contacting a prospect a few times for a status update, I received his polite “no thank you.” It hurt for a moment and then I told myself I must move on.

Later that day I got a “we can’t wait” for a proposal for the new client. And I completed another project for an existing client who keeps “coming back to our well to drink.” And a client told me on the phone she appreciated all that I was doing for their small organization.

One part rejection. Three parts appreciation. That’s a multipreneurial recipe I can live with.

Yes, rejection is part of the roller coaster of entrepreneurship. If it comes too frequently, perhaps a resetting of your business operating system is needed to clarify the blur. If it comes once in a while, embrace it as a natural part of consulting life that we must learn to deal with.

Look backwards to right your past errors (and I may add here it’s not always you–it can be the prospect who just is not ready or realistic). 

Reader, there’s no time for self-ruinous negative energy spent on dejection. Your prospects and clients are perceptive in your physical and verbal delivery, how you feel about yourself and your services. No one dances with a wall flower, as I like to say.

Pick yourself up and keep moving upwards. Always improve your performance objectives for your new fans.

Hang on and ride that roller coaster with me, ok?

________________________________________

I’ll take tomorrow off for the holiday and wish you a pleasant long holiday weekend.

Next week we have a guest blog from a marketing expert who was featured in an interview in my nonprofit book, Kristin Sinatra.

It’s going to be a good one, if I know her!

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

What I learned one day in a room full of 45 female politicos

WCSYalepano

As mentioned earlier in this blog, I taught an hourlong (OK I went a few minutes over) LinkedIn session at The Women’s Campaign School at Yale University this past Saturday. I spent the entire day with them and learned new ideas and concepts that will last far longer!

I was the only male in the room, at least after the political science professor from a local university left; he brought some female students from his class to attend. (PS he is a new connection, a highly esteemed colleague of the founder of WCS, and in my conversation with him, my type of nurturing person; after all, he organized and supported his students to attend on a damp, dreary Saturday morning!).

So what did I learn? More than a few things:

  1. I was reminded (in a nice way) by the other speakers that the world is not fair to women, but I knew that, but not specifically from their POV. Many in the room were sensitized to new methods to reject, adapt, and adjust gender bias and its divisive politics today into positive forces in their campaigns.
  2. The female public speaking coach explained how women create scenarios and say things that make them vulnerable, like starting a sentence with “I just…”, or up-talking a comment as if they are uncertain.  Or “you know” intermingled in a strong statement. (Not only women, but men do this too…just listen to TV news analysts.)
  3. I heard stories how a campaign can expose, up-end, or overrun personal lives, and that a candidate must be prepared to remedy the issue first (get rehab, unlearn bad habits), and then weather campaign demands on themselves, their spouse, children, and other relatives. I was reminded of chapters on this subject in Michelle Obama’s autobiography and on what seems to be a realistic depiction on a fictional political family in the TV series “This Is Us.”
  4. It reinforced gender-neutral comments I like to make in my own sessions: look and be clearly approachable, be clear and correct in everything you say. Use “I” and power verbs. Fix mistakes quickly.
  5. You are never off duty. There was a story of a local elected official who was in the grocery store who callously handled a question from a constituent, and as a result of what must have been quite a few such fumbles, by distancing herself from constituents, this may have contributed to her losing her own next election.
  6. Problem solvers should run for office; those who shirk solving even minor issues should not seek office, as it’s inevitable to receive phone calls at odd hours to listen to complaints. In my town the mayor personally replies to all emails and remembers you when you later speak to him personally about the same topic. That’s a gift that takes much practice to make perfect; making a single voter feel personally connected to you is an oh-so rare skill these days.
  7. Be one step ahead just in case, with a Plan B, as something will always happen that you did not expect, so be ready to pivot confidently to convert good from bad. That’s also a gift that requires clairvoyant forethought. It emanates from experience, but applied “on the run.”
  8. Have a compelling message, the “why you” that I harp on in this blog all the time. Enough said on that, but the other two speakers also shared my perfect Vulcan mind-meld on this.
  9. Have a tribe around you. This is a big part of success in business and personal life, and on LinkedIn, and yes, in political campaigns. I certainly agree that we need to energize, enable, and delegate to great people to conduct some of the rally around us. It takes a lot of work to incent them to give up personal time and energy for you. Marinate them with your own special sauce: your vision, personal ideals, and thought leadership.
  10. And finally, (and I learned a lot more than 10 things!) speak with confidence and practice. Always enter the room smiling and greeting.

Bonus: one big take-away I always remind myself, especially after that day: be the ears on the other end of your voice: do I  believe what I am hearing from this person, do I identify with that person in some integral way, do I want this person to carry my needs and concerns as my representative?

This day-long class, in which I offered my hour’s thoughts, rewarded me in multiple higher ways to:

  • reopen my eyes to those who do not fit into a societal stereotypical “usual” molds,
  • honestly address those who do not initially believe what I want to impart,
  • stimulate those who never considered LinkedIn as remotely valuable in a campaign, and
  • thank those who invited me, copresented, and welcomed me in as a minority within their room.

If strangers’ heads are nodding as you speak to them, you are making an impact, male or female, Dem or Republican, LinkedIn “heathen” or believer. I left the room knowing I had the desired effect, received thank-you-I-have-my-work-cut-out-for-me emails and a few invitations to speak elsewhere to other groups.

Mission accomplished: I learned and I taught and believe we all benefit.

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Oh pu-leeez, must we?

thumbdown mental

As if we are not Facebook-y enough with the recent changes, last week LinkedIn added the emoticons below as their attempt at “a thoughtful approach to designing these reactions.”

Ugh.

The LinkedIn blog piece yesterday announcing this “improvement” is here.

Are business professionals supposed to lazily toss out emoticons and other symbols or can we just use words, like the highly educated professionals we are?

This is not an improvement, LinkedIn. I suggest you spend resources making it easier to use otherwise so more people actually want to use it more than once a month.

Dumbing it down is not what we want or need. We speak and write in words, not symbols, in business. There, I said what I feel. I feel better now. No smiley face from me.