Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Back to basics Tuesday: customized pronouns on LinkedIn

On July 13th in this blog I advised you that you can select the pronoun set that best describes you.

But I wanted to re-visit that post since I glossed over a unique way you can self identify your pronoun, beyond gender-based “he/him” or “she/her” or “they/them.”

I failed to focus on your choice of “custom.”

I first noticed a colleague use “nonbinary” to self-define. Score one for other nonbinary people who overcome archaic norms in our world.

I could custom-add “passionate” or “evangelist” but I think that’s a little too much: one may give the wrong impression and the other may offend deeply religious believers.

I am not sure how to customize my pronouns, but will certainly accept your suggestions.

For yourself, you may want to solicit advice from your entourage as well.

Or not.

Never miss an opportunity to professionally self-define on LinkedIn, especially if they have opened it up so you can custom-develop something as central to why and who you are as pronouns. And in the case of my fellow nonlinear thinking folk, newly available self-descriptors.

Or not.

It’s your (expanded) choice.

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Turn off and tune out, aka report and block

Do you honestly think that your initial contact with me should be asking for a sale?

Have you lost your senses?

Perhaps if someone is too quick to connect, didn’t vet the one asking to connect, or misrepresented themselves, and then they try to “sell you,” they really botched it. So did you. It takes 2.

Another one for the books:

Today I received an unsolicited InMail saying I was chosen from an elite group to attend a convention of breast implant surgeons. Gasp, didn’t they really did a good job scouring their database? he asked sarcastically.

When I replied asking them to remove me from their list, the sales schtick started. As I ran for LinkedIn cover, they kept messaging me. I had to block and report them.

Don’t try to sell anyone, and don’t accept being sold to by anyone, unless you know them well. Period.

The Block and Report functions were designed for abuses!

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

I can get very animated talking about LinkedIn

Often a prospect tells me they hear my passion about what I do in my voice and intonation as I explain how I can help them and why I do what I do.

So when I met Suzie and Neil Israel of Sketchology Studios, I knew I wanted…no make that needed…an animation, as an appetizer, ahead of the first phone or zoom call to introduce my personalized coaching work.

Make them hunger for more, right?

And after my several tries recording my spoken part in the sound-muffling claustrophobia of my clothes closet (their pragmatic idea) into my iphone, and the real voices of colleagues Kimberly Rice and Casey Berman (in their own closets!), my 2 animator-wizards came up with this and I could not be happier.

Many thanks are due to my inner tribe for their sneak-peek critiques, generous help: great friends, clients, and tech gurus (you knw who you are!) to make the 1 minute 24 second final video what it is today.

Stay tuned: I will get animated about my group training offerings next, then my newest third leg of the stool LinkedIn event marketing, then a 30-second Creator Mode intro to be clicked behind my Linkedin profile headshot.

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

How much is too, too real?

OK, a sensitive topic.

Yesterday I saw a post on LinkedIn that made me look away in horror.

It was too, too much.

Someone posted a video of a child with such bad burns that she was missing most of both hands and had a grossly scarred face.

Was the intention to catch our attention, startle, and/or upset? Or to gather donations for her rehabilitation and healing. No mention of the latter, so the former was the intent.

It was posted wrongly, I say, and I will insist that belongs on another social media platform, not LinkedIn.

Choose which, just not there.

Conversely and perversely, it reminded me of the saccharine puppy-and-kitten LinkedIn-bombing that we had here a few years ago, cute and cuddly, but so incorrect for this platform. And I also spoke up then.

Please, let’s use this platform to further business acumen and advance professional knowledge and contribute to the global conversation, not for our own personal agenda, so far outside regular business.

Please use business-sense and discretion.

You may disagree with me, that’s OK.

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

It’s a deep dive: rebranding yourself and your company

My newest client is a CEO of a startup who is already rebranding his business.

He not only changed the name of his company, but the thrust of his offer to help others (associated, but streamlined), and his logo.

He has approached me to help him and that’s a project I look forward to diving into.

He is sharing this deeper dive with me, above and beyond his need to properly market this on LinkedIn, so I can be his diving coach. At least to coordinate with his PR and marketing punch list and integrate the communications he wishes to place on LinkedIn.

Diving coach? Yes, anyone can land in the water off a diving board, but it’s the technique and graceful balance that makes your dive a “10” vs. a (belly) flop. Anyone can do a cannonball, splashy and rough, but it’s the training and confidence-building that permits you to dare to perfect a “front-four-and-a-half,” the most difficult dive in the world. Because your prospects and colleagues are watching you, rooting for you, they want to see you succeed. But you can’t do it all yourself.

You probably need some coaching. Like I am doing for the European river boat cruise the luxury travel planner offers. Like I can do for you.

Beyond my now 12 years’ LinkedIn 1:1 coaching and Linkedin group training, I am offering open-ended event marketing for your special project. A welcome challenge for me and a rousing success for you, together to land it perfectly.

And as I advise my clients who use Inmail to get attention, if this does not apply to you, please pass this along to someone else who can benefit from my perspective and consulting advice.

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Back to basics Tuesday: is it the real me or 2 someones?

The other day I had several people look at my profile but not disclose their names or identities, as the case may be.

I am not worried about being looked at, but I wondered what-the-stealth?

I perused my Settings and Privacy on LinkedIn and saw that with a click of a button, I could be any of three different people:

But why hide who I am?

We have caller ID, right? Our electronic identity follows us everywhere we go online, so why does LinkedIn allow me to slink around as “Someone at GW Business School”, which I was in 1977-79 but not for a few decades since? Besides, that’s misleading, as a matter of fact.

And worse, why “Anonymous LinkedIn Member” which I share with 774 million others (and counting!)?

Just because LinkedIn allows you to, doesn’t mean you have to use it!

Even if I am a job seeker in the Great Resignation, my name and reputation is my net worth and my past experience and accumulated skills have to bear it out.

Besides, if this Resignation is so Great, your boss is probably looking for a new position too.

Don’t be sneaky. Unless you are a secret agent, and then that’s probably not in Headline, About section, or among your jobs on your Experience section.

Be yourself, proud to show your name.

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Coming in midstream

Ever feel you entered a story, TV show, or conversation already in progress, and need to be briefed just to catch up?

That’s how I felt with a recent LinkedIn profile I started reading. I realized they left out the first part: where did they come from to make them who they are today? Why should I tie my future to their past and present?

They were thinking it was not important. Or not thinking at all.

Well, I don’t know about you, but I hire based on demonstrated experience. I make assumptions based on the information they provide about they came from, what they learned along the way, how they express themselves now, and how they can help me in the future.

And I will quickly move on to another candidate when someone confuses me or leaves out such important background. What else would they leave out in the work they would be doing for me or for a referral partner?

Said another way, don’t let a reader think they are starting at chapter 5 of your career narrative when they have not been following along with your experience and skillset in each of chapters 1 to 4!

Tell your story.

Would you buy from you if you had to decide, based on what you present in your LinkedIn profile?

No? Perhaps you need to rewrite it…

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Guest blogger Mark Iorio’s content suited him well enough to break new ground on LinkedIn

Blogger’s note: Mark Iorio, Managing Partner, BCAT Partners, “gets” the power of the visual image to tell a story and spreads his content on LinkedIn and on other media. This story he tells surprised him and he learned a lesson that he shares with us here. He invited me to be on his TV show soon and I returned the favor of having him address us here. Thanks, Mark!

My business partner and I have come up with an interesting method of aligning teams of people with a purpose. Although that is not a novel idea, the methodology we use is different. I’m sure you’re familiar with the expression “think outside the box.”

It’s a metaphor that means to “think differently or look at something from a new perspective,” and even though the expression is a little worn out, it carries a vitally important message. Where thinking outside the box has a real-world application is in overcoming the difficulties encountered when you wish to convey your thought process to employees of a well-organized company.

The problem is what might be termed their “conventional wisdom”—the fact that most people think in a linear fashion or in a somewhat methodical, corporate way that restricts their thought processes.

The good news is that you have allies–others who are interested in a new perspective or concept. But, how to find them? Thankfully, there are communities of like-minded thinkers who are trying to make the world a better place, and one positive aspect of social media sharing is that you can find them online. I have frequently found creative organizers who are talking about the alignment of people with a purpose or brand and company culture on LinkedIn. Their response to a message is nearly always positive.

I suspect this happens primarily because most who want to advance a new perspective to organizations want to talk about how to do that with others who think like they do. You can try to communicate with metaphors and analogies all day long, but until you find a person who completely understands your more creative thought process, it’s likely to go unnoticed.

I have found LinkedIn to be one of the most useful networking platforms ever for this purpose. I connected recently on the platform with someone who wrote a blog post about silo thinking in businesses and marriages. Even though this gentleman happens to be a veterinarian, he understands how to break silos down to better communicate in any relationship or team.

LinkedIn has been the best way for us to communicate with new groups of people looking to help align their Brand and Culture. Some of our successes have been through tips and keys that we’ve posted on LinkedIn that have been quite helpful for organizations to abide by.

Honestly though, the best successes I’ve ever had on LinkedIn have been when I post something that connects with the audience in a very authentic and non-threatening way. I recently purchased a new custom cobalt blue suit, and the fitting took place on one of my television shows on RVN Television. When the suit came in, I was asked to try it on in the studio on live television and the photographer shot some still photographs that I posted on LinkedIn. I have never received so many positive comments and views with anything else when I posted on LinkedIn for the past decade.

It was incredible that something so benign and fun could create such a stir, but it did. The lesson to be learned is that just like in any instance, people do not want to be sold something. There are much more interested when your post is approachable, authentic, and fun.

What did I get out of the post? I believe more than anything, it was about engagement and hearing from people that I haven’t spoken to in many years. Beyond that? Who knows! It may have caught someone’s eye who may want to appear on one of my TV shows, engage me for business consulting, or just simply connect with me on LinkedIn. Either way, I learned a valuable lesson about brand marketing and how successful it could be when used properly on LinkedIn.

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Mark Iorio is a highly accomplished Brand and Culture executive with a quick understanding of business challenges leading to insightful problem-solving solutions. He is an executive with a demonstrated track record of generating new business for a wide range of industries including software, educational institutions, financial services, healthcare, pharmaceutical and marketing firms.

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Repurposing content

Photo by Raphael Renter on Unsplash

Yesterday I showed you a simple schematic to evaluate how your LinkedIn content will best resonate with readers or listeners.

Today I want to go a step further and suggest you use those concepts and repurpose older content. Shine it up with a new, perfect patina to appeal to former, current, and future readers.

Months (or years) ago, you slaved over a piece and it was perfect, so you posted it. Ah, but it had a short shelf life on LinkedIn, like a snowflake in a snowstorm, and yet you believe it’s still relevant, perhaps even more so now that a certain event or news item has broken. So, why not bring it back to life?

A few ideas:

  • Reprise it with “ICYMI” in front of the post. Copy the older post and add a sentence at the end for the reader to see it in a new context.
  • Reword the post (a fresh look is always valuable) and refer to the original link to an article written by someone else, in a new way (just test that link to be sure it’s still valid).
  • Recast the post and this time use different hashtags at the end.
  • Same as above, but invoke the names of selected colleagues who you want to prod to reply with @ in front of their names.
  • End an older post with a new call to action: anything from a optimistic “Given pandemic changes in our economy, what do you expect after we emerge?” to a simple “I’d be interested in your perceptions,” or something in-between
  • And finally if that doesn’t get them chatting online, you can really stick your neck out (you already did just by posting anyhow), so be brave and add: “I was sure you would want to opine on this and yet I saw little interaction. C’mon folks, what’s top on your mind in this matter?” Guilt is a wonderful catalyst…

Have fun with this, experiment, dust off that old post, and give it a new reason to make you shine in the eyes of your readers, followers, and connections on LinkedIn. Be relevant to be memorable and referable.

That’s the goal, right?

Tomorrow: a guest blog post by Mark Iorio, in which he relates a LinkedIn story that “suited” his aim to spread his valuable content!

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Content to add content

I have a number of clients and colleagues who rarely post on LinkedIn. “No one would be interested in my perspective.” “I don’t know what to say that has not been already.” “I hate writing.”

Bah! If you do not publish here you will be forgotten. You do not want that.

Said a better way, being open and relied on as a provider of high-quality content, as often as you have something to add to the mix, which should be fairly frequently if you are indeed an expert in your field worthy of hiring, will make you relatable, relevant, referable. You want that.

Sometimes you receive inspiration from what others introduce you to. In this case, my new colleague and networking friend Cheryl Dixon, strategic communications consultant and professor at Columbia University, showed some fascinating material in a recent meeting and I thought so highly of it that I took it in, thought further about it, added to it, and present it to you to consider as well, through my LinkedIn lens. Thanks Cheryl!

I hope you gain some new inspiration in your daily business journeys that releases your pent-up content machine:

  • Strive to add to the global conversation on LinkedIn
  • Offer your perspective, professional expertise, and thought leadership
  • Know you are helping others in your PLN (personal learning network)
  • Make a noble contribution to the global professional knowledge base.

Be content to add new content, quality over quantity, but with reliable frequency as well, on LinkedIn.