Back to Basics Tuesdays, Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Back to Basics Tuesday: how to message someone you are not connected with


(The names are deleted to protect the not-so-innocent).

Recently I dealt with a miserable customer service experience: I signed up for an online service that I need and was double charged. No way to speak by phone so I was relegated to email hell to resolve this, or try to.

BTW, I received a canned email from the president of the company welcoming me as a valued new client. I kept the name of the president JIC.

Over the course of 4 business days, I was in email contact with multiple people in customer service, each time making no progress towards a refund. They kept repeating the same canned responses, as if they had just arrived on the scene to fix the issue. No evidence they read any of the previous emails I had sent to outline the history of what had happened to that point.  I even replied to the president’s welcome email, but it was returned undeliverable as a closed email box.

Hmmmm….I was not getting that warm, fuzzy feeling that this is going to be a great service for me…

However, after a lot of evaluation of this service vs. its competitors, I still want it but think that only they can resolve this duplicate payment, so the monthly invoicing is corrected going forward. A credit card chargeback is not going to help until I have exhausted all avenues to get my account patched up. And you know I’m savvy about credit card chargebacks, right?

So I used my noodle, tried communicating with him via LinkedIn, the business currency of communication.

No surprise, huh?

I searched his {“name” “and” “company name”} on LinkedIn since his name is very  common (I speak passable Boolean too!).

Luckily, he’s a second level connection through someone I do not know well enough to drag into this as a favor. A bit of a dead end there; not impossible, but I can hold this in my proverbial pocket for a last-ditch effort another time if I need to.

But…I noticed on LinkedIn the president and I are members in the same LinkedIn Group, so I went to the Group page, searched for him there, found his listing, and messaged him as a privilege from our mutual association with the Group.

Yes, you can do that too.

Me to him, person-to-person, asking for him to intervene, in a business-like manner, on LinkedIn.

Long story short, you can message anyone on LinkedIn if you share a similar group, even if you are not directly 1st level connected to him/her, and you don’t want to use an InMail.


From this saga perhaps you learned a new way to approach people in an alternative LinkedIn way you had not known about previously.

I didn’t give up and wiggle like a wet noodle.

I used a teaspoon from my special sauce of LinkedIn best practices.



Today's LinkedIn Nugget

I’ll eat what he’s eating

No, not a spoof on “When Harry Met Sally,” but an image of all us paleopreneurs eating from the same catch of the day: from the hunt for more new business. I’ve written about this topic before. Yes, a different focus this time, but the topic is primal. Perhaps you’d like to sink your teeth into it:

Two (or more) paleopreneurs can share the goodies from the catch. Often bringing in fellow experts to collaborate with is twice/thrice/more the creative fun.

In a recent episode from my e-payments sublife, a long-time client asked my amazing (!) webdeveloper and me to an open-ended conference call with three of their top brass. The goal: to hatch a new theme for their next fundraiser, which has to be virtual, instead of in-person as was had held in the past.

One question and answer volley which I will never forget:

Their Executive Director: “Have you had much experience with other clients providing virtual fundraising in this pandemic?”

My colleague, nonplussed: “All our fundraising programming for you and our other clients always has occurred virtually, right?”

BINGO! He nailed it.

I added some example websites and some other marketing ideas that they ate up.

As it happens with this client, one idea germinated into another idea and from their voices and emails, they were visibly pleased with the outcome. Of course there is more to discuss and explore, and we are in the thick of the hunt for implementing more ideas.

Like the old Verizon ad with tech experts reeling down into the scene to help out, I have so many other trusted, vetted players involved in this relationship, and they drop in or out as needed, or they stay tuned in to provide best-in-class service throughout.

They have to, their paleopreneurial sustenance depends on it.

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Guest blogger Debbie Wemyss on “Your Mindset Matters”

guest blogBlogmaster’s note: Debbie and I hit it off immediately in a Zoom pow-wow of global LinkedIn experts. Subsequent calls and emails cemented our “coopetition,” a healthy and enjoyable way to have access to other experts and tap into the communal expertise we need to achieve together. Thanks for this blog contribution, my way of sharing your expertise with my readers. 

After four months in voluntary quarantine, I have had plenty of time to reflect. The start of the pandemic caused immediate changes to my personal and professional priorities. Once I felt my family was safe with the choices they had made, my attention turned to my business which was on the cusp of celebrating 9 years of growth. The daily headlines began to tell a story that no one welcomed or wanted to hear. As the virus continued its relentless attack and cases multiplied, the erosion on our economy began its descent. I was staring down a multitude of observations and decisions needed to be made. Not to mention the incredible emotional impact that was going on all around us.

We often hear how your thoughts can direct your life. Some believe that and some do not. I was a late bloomer and it took almost 2 years of unemployment at age 57 to learn the truth of that simple statement. I became a true follower of the Law of Attraction and know full well that, indeed, your mindset does matter. I witnessed, first-hand, some of my friends lamenting that their businesses could not possibly survive the impact we all saw coming. And, sadly, they were right. I heard the word ‘fail’ and the phrase ‘I can’t’ and ‘it’s not possible’ way too often. It was then that my self-imposed quarantine became a bit more prominent. I chose empathy toward those associates, but I also chose to think differently of my own future. And that meant a focused mindset not easily influenced by others. Masks and Zoom meetings aside, I started to limit my interactions.

I put some hard thought into ‘how can we help’ our clients rather than ‘how long can we last’. I announced to my staff that I thought we could not only work through this major disruption but also offer a little hope along the way. The plan, to date, is working. I began to do something I would never have considered a year ago. And my staff, their hours, and their pay has remained intact. Am I blessed? You bet. And I know my mindset matters.

Now, more than ever, it is imperative to stay in touch with your clients and prospects. Empathy is everything! They need to know you care. Business will not ‘return to normal’ anytime soon and everyone needs to survive. Use LinkedIn to stay in front of your network in a sensitive manner. Use your posts, articles, featured section, groups, activity, and LinkedIn Pages to your best advantage. Keep building your pipeline with prospects but be very, very careful not to pitch. Build your relationships now… and harvest the fruits of your labor later. A favorite client calls it ‘the bullwhip effect’ – nurture now and be top of mind later when they are ready to buy. How can you help your network? Do you think your mindset matters?


Debbie Wemyss, Founder
DW Consulting Solutions LLC

A New Englander, Debbie Wemyss (weemz) currently lives in South Florida having enjoyed a 35yr career in PR, marketing, and fundraising for corporations and nonprofits. She Founded DW Consulting Solutions LLC in 2011 to fill a void in social media offering expert coaching on using LinkedIn as a powerful branding and marketing tool. DWCS now offers customized LinkedIn Coaching for Corporations, Individual Professionals, Professionals in Transition in addition to Live Webinars and Speaking Engagements worldwide. An active Board Member of the Alliance of Women Executives (AWE), Ms. Wemyss also donates coaching webinars to the students of Becker College in Worcester, MA, her alma mater. She is an avid fan of saltwater, sand, and golf courses. Disclaimer: Neither Debbie Wemyss or DW Consulting Solutions LLC is affiliated with or endorsed by LinkedIn® Corporation.


Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Call me down. Just call me something.

problem-2731501_1920I tend to like to push the envelope. I am after all, an entrepreneur.

I try to be thoughtful and yet fun. I am also a professional.

I show some over-zealous energy sometimes, but that self-advertisement is not always successful.

So I have a LinkedIn-related story:

A few weeks ago, I posted something in a LinkedIn Group that the manager was not happy about, as he called it, being too sales-y, about my business. Heck, if I can’t market  my services in a group to peers in the group, who can?

I was disappointed but rolled with it. He took it down. That’s his role.

But without previously-delimited parameters, it was not clear what was right and what was not-so-right to do. Yup, I can be over-the-top in my exuberance and he was not clear what parameters were placed on the Group, so I think we both had some ‘splainin’ to do.

Of course, without pre-set parameters, the mind and fingers wandered on the keyboard, pushing to shamelessly self-market.

We e-kissed and e-made up, of course.

Today he complimented me in front of other networking colleagues for my work quality.

My reaction to his really nice public compliment: pause, smile, (while muted) a mouthed thank you.

Others agreed with him; more thank-yous, and that warmth spread in me, the one you get inside knowing that despite the earlier faux pas, my work quality and earnest desire to help others was noticed, appreciated, and articulated.

I phoned him back later to thank him for his generosity.

Inwardly I laughed about the Group post. As a pro, I learned, and moved on. So did he.

All is well in the (LinkedIn) universe. For now.

Tomorrow: guest blogger Debbie Wemyss, LinkedIn guru of the Palm Beaches (and beyond!) and valued coopetor on “mindset is everything,” a great LinkedIn  perspective on our trying times.

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Lean into the wind

sailingFirst, hat tip to Brenda Meller, a fellow LinkedIn coach, for the title, as we podcasted the other day and this became a part of the discussion. Her recollection of her high school track coach advising her to “lean into the wind” was a colorful example of how important a story is to our perception of a challenging situation we met.

Whether that wind is a breeze or a gale, situations arise that make for rough sailing. We are all challenged by something, or some things.

If not, you are not keeping up with the times and the market. Or you could be doing a lot better and learning a lot more. Avoiding that lean into the wind is not what others expect from you.

They want you to go to bat for them, to keep on top of technology, to stay abreast of changes in market factors, to challenge the status quo on their behalf. They hire you to address a problem and fix it. They demand it and deserve it.

Your brand marketing should be demonstrating how you rose to the occasion, how you met adversity.  Recount stories that illustrate a dilemma and your resolution. Tell us because if you don’t, we will never know.

Let the beneficiary endorse your skills, or ask them to recommend you for your finesse in that anecdote.

Use all sections of your LinkedIn profile to reinforce themes of your career story using stories to show why you do what you do. The ride may have been rough, but a successful landing was the just reward.

Tell us why.


Back to Basics Tuesdays, Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Back to Basics Tuesday: copyrights on LinkedIn


Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

(The following not intended as legal advice.)

A question came to me from a colleague:

Your talk inspired me to begin writing professional essays and posting them on LinkedIn. Since you have put your writings there, I trust you know the answer to my primary question: Do I retain copyright to anything I post on LinkedIn?

I think many of you have wondered this at one time or another. I know I have. Even lawyers ask me this.

You retain the copyright to anything you post that is originally yours, such as long-form articles, as explained on the LinkedIn Help Desk:

Professionally speaking (again I am not giving legal advice), if you share, comment or post something that was originated by someone else, you should attribute it, and LinkedIn almost always shows the source and thumbnail from any website or article with a URL that you link to.

Be professional in all that you do.

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Ahem, are you related to Cher or Prince?


On a Zoom networking call full of people I had never met, I was at a distinct loss: some were not showing their full name!

Ahem, that’s the reason for networking, isn’t it: evaluating who you want to get to know further and knowing their name to be able to arrange to meet with them?

But as a visitor I was unable to know names of  about 20% of those with whom I was meeting. If they keyed their Zoom identity on their little screen block with their first name, why not their last name too?.

One block only had his company name. I’m all for company branding, but it belongs elsewhere.

How myopic, how disengaging, how dys-networking this all was, and then please describe to me: exactly how do you explain this lapse of attention to such as important detail as your whole name, such a disconnect of inter-connectivity?

Moral: make your whole name appear in your Zoom screen.  It’s pretty simple. (Look on Zoom’s FAQs). Use the chat function to copy and paste your contact details into allow all, or just one at a time, to see.

Then use LinkedIn better to be sure you don’t have to make up for lost time and researching your name identity.

Of course, you already know where to look!


Today's LinkedIn Nugget

More than stuck: petrified

architecture bones building city

Photo by Pixabay on

The call came in one evening: a friend needed help on her bare-bones and petrified LinkedIn profile. Her spouse urged her to call me, she admitted. I could tell in her voice she was not sure what she was asking for. Fear?

I hear “stuck” a lot.

I heard “afraid” after I send her a customized proposal to which she did not respond, and when I called to inquire, I heard that she can’t come to a decision to accept it, so let’s just  pend the proposal. Not good enough, I urged nicely; let’s explore this together.

If the prospect accepts, although hesitant, that’s a positive leap forward. Everyone is hesitant to talk about themselves.

If they demur, more persuasion may be needed, not the time for a heavy sales effort, but with reasoning and patience, I make the case to commit to get “unstuck.”

Fear is paralyzing. Rational conversation and interactive conversation may make being “stuck” evaporate into a hopeful start to our coaching endeavors together.

We part good friends and colleagues.

Extinction on LinkedIn may yet be spared once again.

{Blogger’s note: In a similar story, he hired me yesterday after a year of conversation, sessions scheduled. I’m ready; he must learn and improve, he said, so that’s a great starting point.}

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Thanks, I needed that!


I do not always have inspiration when I start writing a blog piece. I often come unprepared to try to be relevant and meaningful each time.

Perhaps I try to overachieve to satisfy an internal desire to be helpful to my readers. In all cases, I will not waste your time.

I try to add something we can all relate to, experience, adjust to, something newly presented.

Once again, I arrive at my desk at 6:30 am on a Monday, aware that I have at least a week’s worth of blog posts to review, draft, and perfect.

But I am not sure I can be beneficial right now.

There’s a reason. It’s not me. It’s not you. It’s the need to scream into an abyss to cope healthily with my world and business.

No, I am not desperate; I’ll make it better.

Yes, I can be optimistically, realistically, metaphysically just myself and many of you know me that way. Definitely imperfect.

At a recent zoom networking meeting, I delivered an oratorio that went nowhere.  The topic was controversial. I knew what I wanted to say but the thoughts came out so fast as to be rambling. It was like sitting down to write a blog piece without an agenda. But in  the zoom meeting, there’s no editing or rearranging the sentences to be more coherent. The words came out “on the record.”

For a while I felt inwardly terrible. I had to process my error. I felt I let my colleagues down, just not my best moment. Not because I said anything wrong or insensitive or inconsiderate, at least that I recall, just jumbled.  But I know I could have/should have been better, my self-imposed standard.

Like I hold you to a higher standard of planning, outlining, drafting, editing, publishing,  and then later tweaking your LinkedIn persona.

Alas, not every blog post here is a nugget of gold; sometimes it’s a bit shiny but still pedestrian. In the case of the zoom comments, the topic was so dense, so supercharged that I had nothing valuable, malleable or refineable beyond its weight in the conversation.

Is this a cleansing of sorts (assuming you as a reader were witness to that zoom call)?

Was this faux pas I committed something we entrepreneurs all encounter: not being  routinely, uniformly, insatiably a “giver” to those I care to surround myself?

Is it OK to be substandard once in a while? Yes, like on the zoom call, and perhaps you think that here as well.

I write because it its cathartic, as in this post. I write because I have something to impart.  We all need a power washing once in a while.

There, I “came clean” and feel better already.

Comments encouraged.

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Extra! Extra! #LinkedIn Headline: now we can read more about you!

new headline 220Had to post this earlier than my usual 800 am. 220 is the new 120.

Yes, folks, finally, LinkedIn just gave us all an additional 100 characters in our Headline.  Used to be capped at 120, now 220. Yes, you read it here. That’s headline news. All your LinkedIn news that’s fit to print.

Ahem, LinkedIn did not report this, they kinda-sorta-whisperingly-snuck it in, rolling it out. Typical.

Yes, now you can tell a whole lot more to entice a reader to want to know more about you. to read further into your profile!

I see it on my desktop, on my iPhone, iPad (and I assume it’s coming someday soon on Android devices as a fellow guru has told me he doesn’t have it on his yet). No tricky, secret handshake work-arounds any more! So if you listened to my most recent LinkedIn Live interview with Brenda Meller in which I gave “illicit “instructions how to make your Headline exceed the 120 characters, you can ignore that part (but not the rest!)

My headline is above, 220 characters including spaces, and I suggest you start planning what you want to say on yours. As you can see, I savor every valuable pixel of LinkedIn real estate to tell the career story of why I do what I do.

This extra Headline space is especially helpful for all you multipreneurs out there too.

I urge you to take advantage of this gift.