Today's LinkedIn Nugget

A day to myself

Friday morning, mid-November. 915am. Late for me to be writing but this sentiment’s in me, yearning to get out: I get a day the day to myself.

Earlier, I put the other chores behind me: exercise, banking and bookkeeping, emails, client follow-up, LinkedIn posts, morning pod contribution and its responsive commentary back and forth.

I can, or not, peek at my LinkedIn Home page. I can easily get too involved there: but today I will purposely only curate some reading I intend to do later in the day, share, comment to my connections. Yes even for me a limited LinkedIn respite is welcome, once in a while.

The day is mine. Almost a full day to enjoy, even to close shop early for the day if I want to. I hope you can too.

I plan to get out of the office at 230 and go to the beach for a change of scenery for an hour. That’s my only assignment today. I like it. (Pano photo above added later than this was written, it was just so beautiful!)

I’ll call a few colleagues to catch up, without worrying about the timing of the next preset Zoom session appointment.

I wrote this blog post, and others for the coming days. I can play a couple of short games on the NY Times puzzle page in between. Both are my type of fun.

I told a friend yesterday I was eagerly anticipating a day with nothing planned to which he retorted, “I would not tell too many people that.”

I just did.

It doesn’t make me look weak or poor. I earned it. I worked hard to be able to take this time. Perhaps you can manage this too.

It’s actually good for the head, heart, and soul.

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Evaluating your value; valuing your evaluation

I am seeing a move towards small entrepreneurial businesses pricing their services with Black Friday discounts. Ugh.

We are not Walmart (thankfully!).

Last holiday season I needed a new laptop and saw a great price there, went to the store early one morning after seeing it in stock online, and found that they never had it and never will.

Needless to say I was peeved.

From that point I swore that the Black Friday bait-and-switch game was not something I would ever engage in again. It just feels slimy IMHO, more like empty-the-warehouse, than a great price on a hot product.

On the flip side, neither would I ever offer Black Friday LinkedIn coaching pricing to my clients. They are getting the same mental value from me a month before, and a month after, Black Friday, as that week itself.

So let’s not play “let’s make a deal” or enter into the mind game of “pay me what you think I am worth.”

If you have to think that hard about the value of what I am offering you relative to telling your career narrative and be amazing-er than the competition, it’s not going to work well, for either of us.

Value is a perception, of the offeror to the offeree. And vice versa. One side is always naturally suspect of the other. There are too many variables for certainty.

I honed the value of what I offer. My proposal is customized and detailed, like the curriculum of a college course. You need to want to take advantage of that value proposition I offer, as you hear me articulate it, with the passion I naturally  use in my conversation with you to qualify you, just like you are qualifying me.

Then we recognize each other’s half in the value proposition equation. I deliver. And then some, I am told. That’s why so many clients write LinkedIn recommendations of me, or serve as references, or refer me to others. Not bragging; it’s the truth.

Both sides have to work at the success it will evoke, but they enter the arrangement when they “get” the value concept that is offered.

It’s a carefully driven two-way street down LinkedIn Avenue, not a mad Black Friday break-the-doors-down shopping spree.

Evaluate how you deliver your value; value how you are evaluated. 

Serialized Posts, Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Top 10 LinkedIn things to be thankful for (part 4 of 4)

I write this reflection every year on the LinkedIn changes and themes I deem most worthy of comment. Any day is a good day to give thanks but this Thanksgiving 2020 in the middle of a pandemic, I have accumulated these top 10 things to be thankful for (and I hope you agree):

8. Thanks LinkedIn, for providing me another opportunity to educate, this time, a joint venture with Mike Mittleman, a career coach, in the form of a 4+ hour online video course to help recent-college graduates find that all-important career job faster. Psst–this may just solve your need to find a unique holiday present–zero calories and it won’t be regifted–and it will help the recipient with a lifetime’s career success. Sound like a great gift?

9. Deservedly, thank all of my 3,318 connections for professional conversation and encouragement that my though leadership makes a difference when you offer advice and answers when I ask.

10. And finally, a huge shout-out thank you is due for a 259% annual growth in my followers, now up to 19,023, for reading my postings, comments, and shared material. You’ve made me rank among the top 5 global LinkedIn coaches in terms of growth in followership.

I always say, “my network is my net worth” and once again all of you made my work so enriching and rewarding this year. Thank you and onward to more LinkedIn evangelism in 2021! I wish you all a bountiful, healthy, and happy Thanksgiving.

Serialized Posts, Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Top 10 LinkedIn things to be thankful for (part 3 of 4)

I write this reflection every year on the LinkedIn changes and themes I deem most worthy of comment. Any day is a good day to give thanks but this Thanksgiving 2020 in the middle of a pandemic, I have accumulated these top 10 things to be thankful for (and I hope you agree):

5. I am not a fan of the new user interface but will learn to deal with it and thank you for the slight refreshment. You could have cleaned up some sections that are vague, or confusing, but change is good, I suppose. So again, I plead: LinkedIn, perhaps give us LinkedIn coaches/trainers a say in your changes?

6. Thanks, everyone for continuing to keep the discussion on LinkedIn nontoxic and nonpolitical in this very bipolar political climate. It’s a credit to our professional community that we maintain such high quality and appropriate business conduct in the global LinkedIn conversation.

7. Thanks, LinkedIn, for securing the platform, but can you do far better at blocking bots and annoying fake connection requests, with your arsenal of artificial intelligence capability in the Microsoft family?

Final three more tomorrow.

Serialized Posts, Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Top 10 LinkedIn things to be thankful for (part 2 of 4)

I write this reflection every year on the LinkedIn changes and themes I deem most worthy of comment. Any day is a good day to give thanks but this Thanksgiving 2020 in the middle of a pandemic, I have accumulated these top 10 things to be thankful for (and I hope you agree):

3. Thank you to all the guest bloggers, readers, commentators, and fans of my blog, where I reached my milestone 1750th blogpost early this month! Receive a post about something-LinkedIn every weekday at 800am New York time by signing up on my website.

4. This year I am thankful to have rewritten the second edition of my book for the American Bar Association, “LinkedIn Marketing Techniques for Law and Professional Practitioners,” due in the spring, with new chapters and so much fresh material. I appreciate the input from so many colleagues.

Three more tomorrow.

Serialized Posts, Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Top 10 LinkedIn things to be thankful for (part 1 of 4)

I write this reflection every year on the LinkedIn changes and themes I deem most worthy of comment. Any day is a good day to give thanks but this Thanksgiving 2020 in the middle of a pandemic, I have accumulated these top 10 things to be thankful for (and I hope you agree):

  1. Thanks, LinkedIn, for providing a global workspace where over 722 million (up from 645 million last year) professionals can share ideas, information, articles, and interact better every year. This year was highly challenging as a result of COVID. But the market remains deep and hungry to learn LinkedIn best practices, and the demand to educate professionals in all walks of life is strongly anticipated in 2021.
  2. Thanks for giving me an outlet for self-expressing “why me”as a potential business partner. I continue to refine how I use the pronoun “I” with power verbs, graphics, video, and gestures to show my true self, in my own words, thought, and style in a narrative format. Each year’s stories are quite memorable!

Two more Monday.

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

No (but thank you though)

I received a couple of offers to speak to groups of professionals about LinkedIn, unsolicited, last week.

I said no to both. They were not paying for my expertise.

Now before you condemn me for being high-and-mighty, saying “no thank you, though” is honest and enabling, something a mature businessperson has to earn and learn to say well.

I did give each asker ideas to provide themselves an opportunity to find a funder, sponsor, or other way to charge for the event and encourage each member bring a prospective member that have worked in the past for me, as a win-win for both parties to the transaction. Alas, that was not in the cards. They said no.

My colleague Todd Cherches has declared this month NO-vember in his long-form LinkedIn article that I recommend to you. I definitely agree with him, from which I quote:

The bottom line is that something has to give…before you have nothing left to give.

I possess a ton of meaningful and beneficial material. I love sharing it when I am recognized for the time and effort that went into mastering the thoughts I offer.

For another viewpoint, see a article that I refer others to all too frequently, aptly titled “No, you can’t pick my brain. It costs too much.”

Yes, there are ways to answer “no,” properly and professionally while you retain your polished brand image and self-respect. Yes, I was polite and honest as I said no thanks.

And I might add, askers can be more cognizant that our knowledge base as consultants in skills needed in this pandemic marketplace is neither acquired overnight nor via informal hobbying. This is our profession. It is not offered over coffee or casually. It is agreed in a formal contract, professionally presented, and followed-up for ancillary business.

So to round off this discussion, do I like saying no? No.

Do I want to turn people down who can benefit from my perspective on my favorite topic? No.

But should I respect my hard-earned stripes as a consultant, blogger, author, speaker, trainer, coach?

That answer is not “no.”


Today's LinkedIn Nugget

The icing on the cookie

I don’t often speak about my credit card business in the context of my LinkedIn work, and yes, this a LinkedIn blog, but it’s all a part of me, so here goes, and I’ll ask you to oblige me this once:

I successfully won a chargeback on a credit card sale of the video course I worked on with my business partner for speedier employment for recent college grads, using LinkedIn among other tools. Experience to share, but wait, there’s a speed bump….

In this saga it seems Dad thought he could trick the system:

  • get the video course for his son by purchasing it from his PC,
  • and we personally thanked him by email and
  • he replied via email that his son was excited to start our program, also on his PC and
  • then he claimed he never bought it to his credit card company and
  • he charged it back to us, and
  • then he closed the credit card. Think that’s a dead end? Nope.
  • what Dad didn’t know was he left cookie crumbs all along with his IP address in each of the above steps so I was able to document he had indeed purchased it, emailed us back to acknowledge the sale, and he also charged us back from the same IP address.

I made the case made with the cookie crumbs he left behind hm, with lots of icing.

Good things come to those who 1) prepare, 2) perspire, and 3) persevere. I don’t know about you, but I work for my revenue; it does not just come knocking at my door. And when I earn it and someone defrauds me, I fight like hell to get it back: for the money and for my own self-worth.

Moral of the story: as you work, you show why you know your craft, every time you practice it, you improve it every day, so staying visibly active will nurture those who recognize your value, rewarding you as much as you reward them back. Find ways to relate your work ethic in your LinkedIn profile by telling your why and having endorsers and recommenders tell how well you do your why.

Earn it.

That is, if you want to succeed and respect yourself.

Back to Basics Tuesdays, Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Back to Basics Tuesday: the Oxford comma: mind your P’s, Q’s, and R’s!

I am about to get nerdy here. To my friends, fellow blog readers, and grammar geeks:

I urge you to read, evaluate, and adopt consistent usage of the Oxford comma on your LinkedIn profile.

Not to use it every so often, or irregularly, or in one section but not another.

Because? Well, people evaluate your LinkedIn profile, make an impression, and can get really granular, like noticing typos, or spotting inconsistencies, or worse, discarding you as a contender, a prospect, or a partner because of lack of attention to detail. You are always, ever, and constantly being evaluated for your attention to detail.

As you can see in this article, court cases can be decided on the Oxford comma.

Make your case, be consistent in your message, and contemporary in your grammar, style, and syntax.

Please, please, and please use the yellow pencil above.

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

#MarcRocksLinkedIn and so can you

No, this will not be a self-aggrandizing blog post on my LinkedIn exploits.

However, it will be a blogpost asking you to consider creating your own personal hashtag on LinkedIn. Select carefully, think it through. Create it. Use it every day.

Mine is #marcrockslinkedin except when I use it, to downplay the “crock” between “#Mar” and “slinkedin” I capitalize the three words into #MarcRocksLinkedIn. More personal hashtags to come.

You may be wondering why even create a personalized hashtag?

  • Because I can, and because it calls attention to the thought leadership I work on daily to gain the imagination and heighten the LinkedIn experience for so many who need to learn what I can offer.
  • Secondly because you should step apart from the crowd and pathfind your own way.
  • Finally, because you can, and you should adventure in your own self-imagery, so why not give it a try?

Be sure to use it. Right now I have to remind my self to use it but that will soon become easy and regular with time and usage. 

If you’d like, please follow my hashtag. As you can see in the graphic, one is the loneliest number.

And use 6-10 other hashtags in your posts to gain notice among people who would not normally know about you, so they can follow you and one day, after they have made that amazing-er impression of you vs. anyone else in your space, they need your help.

I’m putting the “social” back into social media, one post at a time. one hashtag at a time too!