Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Back to Basics Tuesday: Message in a Bottle

“My name is Diego, I am an Attorney here in Madrid, Spain.I want to let you know that I have a good transaction that will benefit the both of us”

Force fields up. I am not acting upon a blind message from an unknown person enticing me.

Nope.

If you received this message, you would trash it too.

Similarly, think of any boilerplate connection request you send someone to connect with you on LinkedIn the same way.

Like a message in a bottle, the sender is still languishing on his desert island, the message has probably expired, or expired himself. Alone, needy, too little, too late, too pathetic.

Just don’t.

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

3 strikes and you’re out

I was approached, out of the blue, by a woman in the Midwest looking for LinkedIn coaching for her new business.

I looked at her profile. It was OK enough, but deficient in the usual ways I coach others to tell their “why.”

Third level connected to me so no one to ask about her. Decent website.

We agreed to, and I set up an initial zoom conversation. She never replied to accept my scheduling invitation but that’s not necessarily a bad omen, as I find. Many people do not commit as professionally as I would like, unfortunately.

I got stood up.

Later: “I was with a tax advisor and I’ll have to schedule a time with you probably a week out like Monday. Im kinda booked out tight.”

OK, that taxed my patience. No “Sorry, my mistake. Let me own it. I’ll schedule with you.” Not feeling right. But with a good website and anemic LinkedIn profile I could make a difference for her, so I followed a professional process. I gave her the benefit of the doubt although the doubt part was surging.

I scheduled another time, no reply to my invite again and yes, got stood up. Email: “Marc I am sorry I blew a tire yesterday trying to pull off the road yesterday for a fire truck because the person next to me didn’t understand that you pull into the right lane. It kinda threw my whole day off.”

Yes, and deflated my schedule too, although I did multitask out a great thank-you email to a referral partner while I zoom waited (again) for her to show. Dead time can be used wisely…

One last time, from me: “That’s 2x we missed. Shoot me some times Thursday or Friday this week that work for you and I will try once more with you.” She responded and we scheduled once more.

“Why am I subjecting myself to this?” the lizard brain in my head is screaming. I really try so hard to anticipate others’ issues that I am not seeing or privy to and not jump to conclusions on anyone. Try to be professional and patient. Try, I said.

Back on zoom, I arrived a couple of minutes early waiting for her….at the 15-minutes-late point I left. But in the meantime I put some finishing touches on a proposal I had been working on, benefitting people who value my time and experience.

Not her.

3 strikes.

You’re out! You lost the inning and the game.

Photo credit: adapted from https://i.imgflip.com/1prrgm.jpg

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

My annual Thanksgiving observations (5 of 5)


I write this reflection every year on the LinkedIn changes and themes I deem most worthy of my comment. Any day’s a good day to give thanks, but this Thanksgiving 2021, hopefully at the tail end of the pandemic, I’ve accumulated these top 10 things to be thankful for (with optimism for 2022):

  • Deservedly, thank you to all of my 3514 connections and 21,544 followers for professional conversation and your encouragement that my thought leadership makes a difference, when you offer advice and answers when I ask, for reading my postings, comments, and shared material. You’ve made me rank among the top 5% of 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 2022!

I wish you all a bountiful, restful, healthy, and happy Thanksgiving.

Blogmaster’s note: I’ll take Thursday and Friday off and see you back here next Monday 29Nov21.

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

My annual Thanksgiving observations (4 of 5)

I write this reflection every year on the LinkedIn changes and themes I deem most worthy of my comment. Any day’s a good day to give thanks, but this Thanksgiving 2021, hopefully at the tail end of the pandemic, I’ve accumulated these top 10 things to be thankful for (with optimism for 2022):

  • Thanks, LinkedIn, for providing me the background and speaking points to have been a guest on 12 podcasts this year, and to start my own in January 2022, entitled Encore! You 2.0 under the Vitalcy.com banner, interviewing boomers and beyond who have successfully and gratefully changed careers at their peak working years and how they did it.
  • Thanks LinkedIn, for enabling me to advise others on project-oriented consulting, a European river boat cruise and two rebranding projects, perhaps another to follow. Beyond 1:1 coaching and group training, this is the third leg of my business endeavor, and one I really enjoy. Who knows what’s next?

Blogmaster’s note: For the next few days I will add 2 more each day and take Thursday and Friday off.

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

My annual Thanksgiving observations (3 of 5)

I write this reflection every year on the LinkedIn changes and themes I deem most worthy of my comment. Any day’s a good day to give thanks, but this Thanksgiving 2021, hopefully at the tail end of the pandemic, I’ve accumulated these top 10 things to be thankful for (with optimism for 2022):

  • I am not a fan of the newest graphical user interface in November but will learn to deal with it. Thank you, LinkedIn, for the slight refreshment but 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 next changes?
  • Thanks, everyone for continuing to keep the discussion on LinkedIn nontoxic and nonpolitical in this very bipolar political climate. Let’s call out harassment and inappropriate posts. It’s a credit to our professional community that we maintain such high quality and appropriate business conduct in the global LinkedIn conversation.

Blogmaster’s note: For the next few days I will add 2 more each day and take Thursday and Friday off.

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

My annual Thanksgiving observations (2 of 5)

I write this reflection every year on the LinkedIn changes and themes I deem most worthy of my comment. Any day’s a good day to give thanks, but this Thanksgiving 2021, hopefully at the tail end of the pandemic, I’ve accumulated these top 10 things to be thankful for (with optimism for 2022):

  • Thank you to all the guest bloggers, readers, commentators, and fans of my blog, where I reached my milestone 2000th (yes!) blogpost early this month! Receive a post about something-LinkedIn every weekday at 800am New York time by signing up for a LinkedIn Nugget on my website https://connect2collaborate.com/2021/.
  • In April 2021 I was rewarded to be able to hold the second edition of my book published by the American Bar Association, “LinkedIn Marketing Techniques for Law and Professional Practitioners,” with new chapters, appendices, 3 guest contributors, 50% more fresh material. Order on Amazon, B&N, or the ABA, in kindle or paper.

Blogmaster’s note: For the next few days I will add 2 more each day and take Thursday and Friday off.

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

My annual Thanksgiving observations (1 of 5)

I write this reflection every year on the LinkedIn changes and themes I deem most worthy of my comment. Any day’s a good day to give thanks, but this Thanksgiving 2021, hopefully at the tail end of the pandemic, I’ve accumulated these top 10 things to be thankful for (with optimism for 2022):

  • Thanks, LinkedIn, for providing a global workspace where almost 800 million (up from 722 million last year) professionals can share ideas, information, articles, and interact better every year. The past 2 years were 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 2022.
  • 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!

Blogmaster’s note: For the next few days I will add 2 more each day and take Thursday and Friday off.

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

The silent treatment

man in red polo shirt sitting near chalkboard

I can’t hear you on LinkedIn.

You are merely a spectator.

You don’t add comments to others’ posts.

You do not offer original thought to make yourself stand out.

You seem afraid to regularly tell us what you are thinking.

Doing.

Accomplishing.

Business you are winning.

New association with colleagues, clients, connections.

You think lazily giving “likes” and “thumbs up” and clapping hand “kudos” is enough.

Not why you liked, thumbs-upped, or kudoed. Use words, people! Your thoughts and observations.

And you complain that you don’t get anything back from LinkedIn?

Obviously, you cannot even hear yourself. Because you are tone-deaf to what LinkedIn is all about.

Passive behavior here can’t be good for new business. Or your brand. Or your street creds. You will eventually be forgotten and ignored for lack of participation.

Am I being too direct? You need tough love.

Can you hear me?

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Back to basics Tuesday: choose your words carefully on LinkedIn

stressed male worker covering mouth with hand against gray background

For weeks I was looking for, and finally found an article of clothing, which I ordered online from a large, global, highly reputable brand’s website (note use of adjectives).

Waiting patiently for a couple of weeks for notification it shipped, I finally received an impersonal machine-generated email confirming that I had cancelled the order.

Me? Uh, not quite.

The next day I called the customer service number, expecting to receive some.

They admitted that although they had previously accepted my order, now that item was actually out of stock, unknown if or when they would get more, so they could not fill it. “I am sorry,” I heard lamely repeated a few times. Ineffective.

But while I had them on the phone, I perused the item online, and voila! that item was in stock (a modern miracle) and I could order it. I asked them to place the order for me but honor the same price as the now-cancelled one since the price of the item had gone up.

I was placed on hold to get price approval and–you know where this is going–the call was disconnected. Even though I had already given them my contact details including my phone number, once in the order, and once on this phone call, they never called me back. 29 minutes wasted and I had gotten no where!

The next day I started over again, was promised by the person on the other end of the phone that the price needed to be approved by the now-out-of-the-office supervisor and I would get a callback upon approval and yes, this time I reconfirmed they had my number).

Did he ever call me back? Nope. 36 more minutes wasted!

Now, loaded for bear, I called again the next day in try #3 for that elusive customer service. “Oh yes, that price was approved and will be honored, and the item was shipped out already,” I was told as if this was obvious and why was I upset? No evidence of any of this online, I asked for all this to be emailed to me. Promptly received, but the final insult is that the subject line of the email was “Appeasement refund.”

Appeasement? Was that the right word? Was that adjective needed?

In each stumble along the way, each empty promise, they sparked my disdain and distrust. But the crowning use of “appeasement” is a word I think is inappropriate in the context of customer retention.

One of the word’s definitions in Merriam-Webster online is “a policy of appeasing an enemy or potential aggressor by making concessions.” Perhaps accurate in cold fact but not in the squishy marketing spirit of customer satisfaction, and certainly not worth further teasing a disgusted repeat customer, don’t you think?

A “we’re sorry for your inconvenience” email costs them the same (nothing) as an appeasement one and would have been a better choice of words and net effect.

Proper use and selection of words have a philosophic economy all their own, in every customer service case.

The LinkedIn moral? Use words throughout wisely.

Select adjectives (and verbs) for your LinkedIn profile. It’s not that you said it, but how well you say it in your recommendations, your posts, your articles, and/or your comments to others with forethought and proper usage. Appropriate usage. Leave out inferences when they add nothing but disbelief, distrust, dissuasion, to “dis” the reader.

The promise of a great experience with you as trusted advisor, intelligent consultant, and/or dependable supplier is your brand. It’s the mental plus emotional impact they think and feel being referred to you, hiring you, later recall working with you, and want to repeat that process again.

Not that you appease them as in you tolerate them and try to throw cold water on them to cool them down from boiling over…

Make them warmly “feel the love.” No water provided on LinkedIn, just what they read.

It’s a long process to earn your brand and book business, so leverage LinkedIn intelligently to reinforce reliability, relatability, and relevance.

And it’s a short process to lose business opportunities forever for words poorly chosen.

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Did you notice 8 changes on your #LinkedIn personal profile last week?

Yes, it’s LinkedIn-change-it-up time again.

Perhaps you already saw this on your profile, as of last Wednesday 10Nov21, or on others’ (and it will eventually come to you if not already). and only in the USA, so far.

Change is inevitable on LinkedIn. Rock with it!

And are there serious functional differences? Not really. But some improvements should be noted and you may have some tweaking to do to accommodate the best visual impact you can offer. And I am only covering the most important, those that you should take action. The rest are just different presentations of your existing information, but as you can see in the placard in the picture above, you cannot let your profile be anything but the best-est, amazing-est, eclipsing your competitor, so read on and make some changes to keep relevant.

(That should hook you!)

In no particular order or importance, but starting from the top of your profile, 8 newsworthy graphic interface changes occurred to be aware of and take advantage of:

  1. Your dashboard detail has been bisected to Analytics and Resources subsections and is easier to monitor, if anything. Be the best to play to your audience and manipulate some of the wording or images as a test of what resonated with them when you post.

2. Featured now shows 3 complete narrower panes (with the edge of the fourth showing to hint that you have more than 3), no longer 2 and a half wider ones (how absurd was that?!), and now more of your verbal description of each feature shows, so rewriting may be needed here too, for maximum interest effect.

3. Activity now shows your last 6 contributions, up from 4, with links to mentions, and yes, those pesky reaction emojis that I hate (luckily my connections seem not to be using smiley-faces, etc. in favor of using quality words as comments). And for those of us who work hard to add compelling graphics, they have shrunk in size. Oh well, I’ll still use them.

4. About: you have 4 full lines now above the “see more” crease, rather than 3. Use them all wisely. It may take some rewriting and tweaking to fill up all the lines with complete thoughts or phrases, but remember, this is a first impression and you want the reader to click “see more,” so make it count! Don’t allow a word to get cut in half! This section allows a certain number of printer spaces, i.e., an “m” is wider than an “l” so LinkedIn is not counting characters here but linear character spacing. Yes, I know it’s weird and this is the only place on LinkedIn that they do this….and perhaps the most important place on LinkedIn to gain reader buy-in, but work on this, hard, and yes it’s pesky but will serve you well, with some elbow grease as an investment!

5. Experience: 2 things going on here:

a) LinkedIn has condensed it down to 2 lines per job above the “see more,” so once again, rewriting may be advisable

and

b) if you attached multimedia to a particular job, the first 5 now show and the 6th is shaded out, indicating how many more can be seen, with a mouseclick.

6. Volunteer Experience is now called Volunteering (why–is this not experience?!) and now limits you to 2 lines before the “see more” crease, so rewriting your noble efforts to benefit society in this section may be required for the best impression of your altruism as well.

7. Recommendations: Each is now combined from the previous 2 columns to one; and LinkedIn no longer shows how many you have received or given at the top-they hid that at the bottom (where I suspect hardly anyone will look down that far and IMHO that’s a shame!)

Upshot: in sum, 8 changes, but keep in mind your continuing need to cater to readers’ short attention spans and use the best persuasive marketing language you can, to make a great first impression.

As I always say, you want them to fall in “like” with your LinkedIn profile, enough to contact you, so you can make them fall in “love” with you, and hire you.

In LinkedIn, it’s always something! Change is sometimes good.

And now’s a good time to take a fresh look at re-tweaking your profile anyway!