If you need ANY other reason, after watching this 3min16sec video, to better tell your career story on LinkedIn, to be more memorable and thus competitive as a job seeker or prospective business partner, you’re in a heap of trouble.
Ditch the boring, factoid-resumey LInkedIn profile and write from the gut.
Tell your rich story: lawyers, nonprofit pros, baby boomers seeking an encore career, entrepreneurs, new business owners, politicans, anyone serious about making it in today’s business world.
Someone had to plan and build this iconic Vermont covered bridge.
Someone else had to get a road to and from it.
A lot of someones contributed.
You had the confidence to take advantage of this convenience to go from light, through darkness, back to light again, over the river.
Your career journey, as only you can tell it on LinkedIn, is composed of a lot of someones you met, had an influence on you, whom you may never meet again, yet you want to stay in touch. And they want to keep contact with you too.
Perhaps you should can call on them to add their color commentary on your work.
Your career journey is so much more vibrant when these contributors relate a story or anecdote from a time past where you proved yourself especially well.
They can tell that story for you. You can jog their memory, ask them to write a recommendation, and bring the reader of your profile over the river to the other side to make you a most compelling candidate to hire.
A recommendation by others who say how well you do your why is a process.
Start it. Build the classic bridge and cover it with comments on why you, from the POV of others.
In the heat of the summer?
In the heat of the moment?
In the heat of the argument?
In the heat of the battle?
Passion is what we use to differentiate ourselves in our written and oral marketing as entrepreneurs. We believe in our service offering or our product and defend it to the nth degree.
When that passion comes through to your prospective client, they join your point of view, and it is incumbent on you to deliver and/or repair whatever goes wrong (because it will!) to make it right again, as promised.
Moving through the list of “the heat of”s that starts this post, in no particular order, it’s hot in the Northeast USA, the heat of the summer, and we just came off a heatwave that commanded a lot of press and created a lot of discomfort.
A client is mistaken about some assumptions he made about my services, although clearly articulated in the proposal and in the application for my services, yet he is not thinking straight or business-like about the ways I am trying to educate him and the efforts I have made to appease him. Is it the weather? Probably not.
In the heat of his email argument, to which I am defending my actions and service quality, he made some allegations that are not true, despite past emails about the topic at hand. Clearly, he has not absorbed the facts laid out before and is not doing so now. The heat of the moment is getting the better of him. And perhaps me.
I believe passionately that I provide expert client service in all that I do. I document, explain, reexplain, provide source documentation, all that I would expect others to do for me in the same situation, but the other side of the desk.
It does not always work. Depending on the receiver, his or her filters get the message jumbled, in the heat of the battle.
Yet there is another “heat of” that I try to convey. The heat of the passion I have for why I do what I do. It’s been repeated back to me by others in a phone call, after a talk I give, in my coaching and training, and responses to my LinkedIn profile.
It’s why an old boss and I will reacquaint after 18 years and meet over coffee because she follows my passion in my LinkedIn updates.
It’s why someone called the other day, after being connected to her for 8 years without much direct contact, to offer me an opportunity to quote on some business.
It’s why I do what I do.
Do you tell your “why” and do you explain it well in everything you do (LinkedIn profile included) so there is minimal negative “heat of” and as much positive “cool of” in your work passion?
Be honest. In the heat of business dealings, often passion leads us, hopefully to gain ground together.
(I know a few of you will not like this post–if you perceive it’s aimed at you, well, be honest, you know why.)
The answer to this adpated tongue-twister riddle: not very good ones, if any.
LinkedIn is not a numbers game.
Yes, connection requests come to you, from lonely people in far corners of the earth, seemingly without reason, but are they any good if you, yourself, are largely lazy on LinkedIn?
You cry that there’s no ROI for you on LinkedIn. ROI is the ratio of return on investment, not just a financial statistic, but your investment of time, quality and effort on LinkedIn that when short-sheeted, makes you look dull, lifeless, boring.
Who wants to engage in serious and rewarding business opportunities with your type of person? If anyone, he/she will not be a very helpful or valuable connection, right? No return, of course.
If you insist on doing the same thing over and over again, at least stop complaining.
Think about it: would you do business with you, based on what you portray on LinkedIn?
That’s me in the picture. I will get off my soapbox now.
Most of you do not feed LinkedIn without being prompted, I know. That’s one of my jobs…
You do not volunteer to help others and share knowledge, your own or others’ work you come across. But you should. That’s one of your jobs….
I am the one pushing you to do that. More often. It’s my spreading my view that LinkedIn is not a spectator sport. It is not to sipped from; rather, it is to savored for its many flavors and enjoyed for its possibilities. Perhaps gulped or taken intravenously.
That’s you being voluntold, by me, (a new term I came across in a networking group meeting).
The context was a banker who was advised he had a new, increased role, but not compensated for the additional responsibility or travel hassle. That’s being corporate banking “voluntold.”
Brand marketing for entrepreneurs “voluntold”: you have an additional market branding task (among your others) to make LinkedIn your primary education-sharing/soapbox-preaching /role-modelling/thought-leading/information-spreading-place.
Without being asked / cajoled / urged / reprimanded / ordered.
Just my own brand of suggesting….only if you want to look your best. If you don’t want to look your best, you’ve just been “voluntold” that you must!
I suggest you do too, if you qualify. It is being rolled out slowly, as with most new offerings.
If you are a small accounting or tax preparation firm, for example, this article will help. If you are not, extrapolate from the article and soon you will be asked to add this service to your profile, but you have to previously signed up, so start that process now.
With more than 3 million members, and millions of connections across more than 30,000 local communities, Alignable is the online network where small business owners across North America drive leads and prospects, generate referrals, land new business, build trusted relationships, and share great advice….Headquartered in Boston, Alignable was made public in 2014 and is venture-backed by Mayfield Fund, Recruit Strategic Partners, Saturn Partners, NextView Ventures and Lead Edge Capital.
By contrast, LinkedIn says it has 610 million members (yes, half of them are reported to be active, so that makes 305 million, >100x larger than Alignable), LinkedIn is global so it’s not constraining you only to North America (if that’s important to you), and LinkedIn spans all-sized businesses and professionals practices and nonprofits and individuals who are not just small businesses as does Alignable. LinkedIn is owned by Microsoft and you can just imagine the slick ways they are investing in this platform to integrate it to the rest of the MS suite (again, if that is important to you)…
Not to be unfair, if you like and benefit from Alignable, use it. Slice and dice your marketing time and effort, but I suggest in tandem with LinkedIn. (Similarly, you don’t just belong to one networking group, do you?)
Different audiences deserve different messaging. Be attentive to the readership to succeed in either.
But carpe ROI, where do you get the most bang for your brand marketing buck: LinkedIn or Alignable?
I was a space-race-smitten 14 year old kid when Neil Armstrong stepped on the moon 50 years ago tomorrow, July 20, 1969. It was THE huge, earth-shaking achievement of 1960s technology. It is forever etched in my memory.
I recall staring in amazement at the TV cabinet console, late at night, in a house my parents rented at the beach for the week. I will never forget Walter Cronkite’s adept coverage, with his wise commentary, sage insights, and facial expression of relief and amazement at the achievement, just like a 14 year old. The whole world saw it for the first time: a human walking, no hopping, on the moon!
Footsteps left indelibly, an American flag propped since there is no moon wind to flap in.
But what did it take to get him on the surface of the moon? Thousands of unsung heroes worked as a mighty team to bend science and technology to make his steps possible. Most will never be recognized. It started with JFK’s May 25, 1961 vision of the accomplishment before then end of the 1960s, and unfortunately, he never lived long enough to see it come to pass. This saga is so well documented by Douglas Brinkley in his book “American Moonshot.”
The LinkedIn tie-in, you ask? Where’s Marc going with this, you wonder? OK, I’ll tell you:
Your career-trajectory-to-date, as you tell it on LinkedIn, is a cooperative effort of your former and present colleagues, teachers, mentors, friends, competitors, vendors, and everyone with you who has had their intellect and skills rub off on you. And vice versa.
You are a bi-product of the experience, influencers, and knowledge you have accumulated. You are never finished in your journey.
From a mere orbiting monkey around the earth to placing seemingly-inexhaustible robots roaming on Mars, to landing explosives via a drone on an asteroid and collecting the debris to return for earthly study, in my lifetime NASA continues to conjure new dreams, then plan, execute, and crush the mental boundaries.
So can you. You morph every day, just a little less dramatically than launching a rocket and having it return to a landing pad in the ocean.
You learn from errors and dare to dream further.
You cautiously step in new territory as you progress.
You collect data and experience so others associated with you can progress with and beyond you.
Be a dreamer and pursue your audacious goal. Tell us as you progress. Make one small step along the way to that giant leap. And be sure to show us how you launched through the wild ride, on LinkedIn.
The life of a multipreneur means a rollercoaster ride of successes and disappointment, of tech glitches (yesterday’s blog post spoke about especially good examples), and quiet reflection on how to improve.
I have to be resilient. I have to be patient as I wait for a decision on a proposal, or three, or ten that are in limbo. I have to juggle the fine line of being anxious and being too lax and find the Goldilocks “just right” to nudge my contact to move the approval along.
And the deafening silence of “no response” is frustrating:
Is it because they are not ready?
Or that they moved on and don’t acknowledge that you are off the consideration list?
Or that they have other priorities that took precedence and do not share your exuberance to get the deal done?
Or anything is possible in between, including illness, death in the family, or vacation this time of year, that disrupts usual timelines?
Resilience needs to be bottled, stored, and popped open for those times when a swig of optimistic fortitude is in order. Yes, my fellow multi- and entrepreneurs, we must persevere. Resiliently!
No LinkedIn tie-in today, just musings on a topic we can all relate to. The boss said it was ok…
And wait til you see what I have for you tomorrow…