Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Professional passion: I second that emotion!

If you do not have abundant passion for what you do,

oh hear me solopreneurs, entrepreneurs, multipreneurs,

you had better practice, refine, and commit your “why” to writing (ahem, LinkedIn!) and accent it in your verbal delivery, because no one else will ever say it as well as you do.

Six months ago after our first brief e-intro in a breakout room, we secured our LinkedIn connection, then last week we were reunited in a breakout room again, mutually recognizing our good fortune. Quoted below, he is 3 time zones away, 3000 miles away in Vancouver, BC; yes, far away, but we are very close in mindset.

I kicked off via Linkedin message:

What a pleasure to see and speak with you again and pick up where we left off.

He replied:

Really enjoy you and your energy and vibe.

We agreed to, and just set up, a one-to-one zoom call. I am looking forward to this.

Mutual passion is felt, not measured. It’s an emotional differentiator.

Not so much what words you say, but it’s how well you say it, how your intonation and verve make you relatable, relevant, memorable, as you ping on their mental radar screen.

Networkers get together regularly to add another layer to the onion (or other metaphor of your choosing) that constitutes a growing relationship. For some of mine, it’s weekly, others less so, but we pick up where we left off and broaden to the connection.

For my Canadian colleague and me, it’s yet another layer to be added.

Professional passion in your work shrinks the distances (physical or mental) between us.

And adds layers to the onion.


Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Poetry in motion

On Inauguration Day when I was smitten by @AmandaGorman‘s poem, I posted my impressions on LinkedIn out of sheer elation and joy, and no surprise, the reactions back to me were amazing.

And the good karma keeps on coming, from people who are not even following me. I guess I struck a nerve.

I also see a lot (!) of views. Good.

I see a lot of gestures, as in “likes,” “thumbs up,” and “applauses”–and you know my opinion about that. Better than views.

However, I am gratified at the large number of thoughtful and appreciative comments. Best of all!

Always strive to demonstrate your “best.” Tell me and others whose posts you appreciate what you are thinking. Not just that you are thinking.

In words, please, tell “why” this meant something to you.

Thank you all. 

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Attention hairdressers in Ghana! And LinkedIn!

Is it possible that a single industry, in a single country, all the same gender and similar airbrushed facial features, has coordinated an all-out assault on my LinkedIn inbox to connect to me?

Are there that many hairdressers in Ghana with 2 connections? Who attended NYU?

I tried to end this full-frontal attack. Last fall, everything I spoke of here seemed to make it stop: report and block.

Then I was offered the richness of connecting to Bitcoin traders in the Arabian peninsula, the obnoxious SEO gurus in India googled me their promises to raise my visibility, and desperately sales-y charlatans InMailed me to buy something I don’t need ever, in total disregard for what I do.

Now the hairdressers in Ghana combed LinkedIn, are back teasing me, dyeing to meet me, and making me bristle. I need to part with them all.

And LinkedIn, can you please find a smart tech way to stop this? Like adding an account  setting to repel connection requests from a certain country, or from anyone with less than 100 connections?

Or do I have to continue to report them to you and block all of them? Isn’t this a waste of all our time and energy? C’mon LinkedIn, listen to a veteran of the bot-war please? 

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Back to Basics Tuesday: “But how do we write that kickass LinkedIn profile?”

There’s an echo in here.

Your LinkedIn profile is a business presentation.

I repeat:

Your LinkedIn profile is a business presentation.

As close to perfection as you can express it. A few principles:

  • Write in whole sentences, please. Bulletized factoids are resume material, not a LinkedIn career narrative.
  • Use “I” as the pronoun. Never third-person. Ever.
  • Use the right verb tense based on the situation:
    • present tense for the Headline, About and current job(s) in your Experience, current roles in Volunteer section, current Honors and Awards, etc. and
    • past tense for anything in your career past.
  • Use healthy, strong, intelligent verbs (not: has, was, made, did). Review this link for (just!) 185 power verbs, offered to my readers and training audiences frequently, and well-appreciated from the feedback I get.
  • Be clear, concise, honest, and ethical in your claims about yourself.
  • Tell your “why.”  But you know that, right? If you don’t, you are not ready to write your profile.

Then get an honest member of your closest entourage to read your new draft profile for quality and clarity. Make them promise to be honest in their assessment. Accept new ideas for improvement and change.

Finally, accumulate skill endorsements and high-quality, recent recommendations that counsel the reader: you see his/her statements of “why”? Well, let me tell you how well he/she does that “why.”

Plan, execute, tweak, and amend as you change. You are changing, so embrace it and address it in your profile.

The above is the answer to a bald question in a recent Zoom session asking me how to do everything I was advising them to do?

Write, rewrite, and re-re-write again.

Make it your masterpiece!

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

What part of “no thanks” is not clear?

The other afternoon a connection request came my way. No idea what she wanted even with a personalized note.

I reviewed the profile. Equally amorphous. In fact, really vague. But I wondered, “What’s going on here?” I am not sure if something in it was bothering me, or just tempting my curiosity.

So I replied to the connection request, “How can I help you?”

In seconds, the reply, “blah blah blah, I want to sell you this because you need it.”

If I needed it, I’ll make that decision and I definitely don’t.

So I put on my curmudgeonly LinkedIn coach hat and replied,

LinkedIn coaches have a rule: do not sell me before you know me well. Suggest you follow it. No thanks.

And then she replied telling me I was wrong.

That was wrong. So I blocked her. Onward.

Since when is “no thanks” not NO? 

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Lynnaire Johnson is guest blogging now, tomorrow

Blogger’s note: I met Lynnaire Johnson, a fellow highly-followed LinkedIn coach, when she initiated the connection. Not that I am shy, but as you will read below, NZ’ers are beyond welcoming, and she was a delight to zoom with one afternoon, which was her tomorrow morning (how’s that for mixing up tenses and time zones?). We struck a great connection and I look forward to more conversations.
I offered her a Friday guest blog spot to educate us. I give you Lynnaire, Saturday, as in tomorrow!

When people first learn that I live in New Zealand, they often ask if it all looks like the scenery in Lord of the Rings? (Answer: no, but a lot does.)

Then they ask if we are part of Australia? (Only as much as Canada is part of the US.)

Tucked away at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, we are 5000 kilometres closer to Antarctica than we are to New York. Which makes us very isolated indeed. (And, no, there are no polar bears. There aren’t any at Antarctica either, just penguins.)

At this distance from anywhere you could be forgiven for thinking that we are not an advanced nation. But that wouldn’t be correct, either.

We were the first country in the world to give women the vote (1893) and our current prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, became the world’s youngest female head of government (37) when she was elected in 2017. The first man to reach the top of Mt Everest was our own Sir Edmund Hillary. We also gave you actor Russell Crowe – although Australia does like to pretend he’s theirs – and of course, LOTR movie creator Peter Jackson hails from here.

Being so far from anywhere, New Zealanders (commonly called Kiwis – oh yes, we gave you that fruit, too), love to travel. Which is ironic as the name comes from our flightless native bird. It’s fair to say we are nomadic in that respect. Or rather, we were. But not any longer, for the moment anyway.

As we are not a nation to give up easily, we have become online nomads. Instead of travelling to foreign countries to meet new people, we meet online. And an excellent channel for that, for businesspeople, is LinkedIn.

I have been on the platform since 2008 but only in 2020 did my network suddenly widen to all corners of the globe. I am now connected to and have had meaningful conversations with people on every continent, even as far away as Iceland.

Along with this sudden expansion of my LinkedIn horizons has come the realisation of the importance of building relationships on LinkedIn. I knew it in theory, but the practical reinforcement has awakened me to a whole new world.

We may not be able to meet people in person – although my chances of getting to Iceland even before the travel restrictions were zero – but there are no restrictions on meeting on Zoom. And now that LinkedIn offers a direct link to Zoom to set up meetings, it is even easier.

This combination of circumstances – a pandemic coupled with technology advances – has wrought considerable change in the way we interact. Before, we might have been wary of meeting with someone we didn’t know on Zoom because we feared they might want to sell to us. Now, we casually Zoom with complete strangers because we are all missing the human connections we previously took for granted.

If you have not considered the wealth of opportunity at your LinkedIn fingertips or explored it very far, let me encourage you to do so. My experience is that you will make new friends, learn about different countries and cultures, improve your industry knowledge and perhaps even do business with your connections. You will never know what possibilities are out there unless you begin the conversation.

If you’re unsure about this, start with me. I’m a friendly Kiwi who loves to talk with people from all over. Send me a LinkedIn connection invite mentioning you saw this post and let’s begin that conversation. What do you have to lose?

Lynnaire Johnston is a LinkedIn strategist and trainer from New Zealand, where she is ranked No.1 in her field. She has been a broadcaster and editor, and in 2020 wrote Link∙Ability, 4 powerful strategies to maximise your LinkedIn success (available at all online bookstores). She works with individuals and businesses internationally to help them achieve their professional goals using LinkedIn.

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

And you expect to sell me with this???

Direct, ladies and gents, from real life and the you-can’t-make-this-stuff-up department:

My name is Marc with a “c.”

Not like this:

You see, my name has been misspelled all my life.

I am used to it but…really, I am amazed every time.

Or all those boilerplate LinkedIn connection requests I get, where they just fail to address me by name, that also astonishes me. Like “hey you, be my new best business friend” with no reason or purpose, no care taken, from people who should know a lot better like this one and so many more like it:

And if (rarely) they even send a note to me, many are with my name spelled wrong.

Lonely. Ill-conceived. Sloppy.

I received a spam advertisement in my email, at the very bottom of this blog post (no peeking!), personally addressed to Mr. (Mrs.) March.

{Cue sound of shaking my head and rattling of loose parts inside}.

I suggest being a little more careful in addressing each other correctly, with names spelled correctly.

We have LinkedIn and google to refer to get the right spelling, and gender, so let’s use them. And you can get a lot more information there to customize to me, than just my (misspelled) name.

Certainly if you want to sell me, do not marketblast like this because, well, just because it’s well, sloppy. I don’t do sloppy.

Ready? Drumroll….

This week’s championship impersonal personalized marketing fail:

Tomorrow: a guest blogger from a long distance away!


Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Back to Basics Wednesday (not Tuesday) : why is it hard to contact you?

When I receive an initial contact via LinkedIn, I want to assess how serious the person is about their business.

Like you I look at the banner, then the headshot, then the headline. If I am engaged that far, I might look at their contact info. If.

And then the brakes screech. No email address, and likely no phone number, and almost always no personalized LinkedIn URL.

Headshaking I say to myself, “I guess they don’t want to be contacted.”

That means I have to work harder to find this information elsewhere. I may be OK doing that, but I’ll bet you other readers who are not so motivated took off to another profile, probably that of your competitor, because you made them work too hard to contact you.

Now you don’t want that, do you?

So key a mobile number (so you can get texts) and an email address into your contact info ASAP so you won’t have a DOA Linkedin profile.

It will take you about 5 seconds to add these, about the amount of time the reader of your profile would decide to shut your profile down.

5 seconds. Whoosh.