Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Inspiring you to remain visible

You need to publish on LinkedIn or perish into oblivion.

Yes, activity raises awareness. With your quality insight, your value comes through, and then you are more memorable.

This is not a quantity/numbers game. It is a quality-of- observations game.

And because there is a mysterious algorithm involved, it’s still a gamble, with no guarantees everyone you are connected to will see every quality post or comment you add.

But in the long run, and this is a long game, the more you add high quality, the more likely your readers and connections and followers will refer you when they get a request “do you know someone who…” and that’s when you want your name and the memory of great observations you added to the global LinkedIn conversation to bubble right to the top.

Where do you find something to comment on? From materials others have written (external material heading below) or your own personal commentary (internal comments heading below)?

External material: Find your reliable sources of great material that you read regularly and curate the best of them into a comment, with its URL, to append on a post. Add your insight and commentary on that material with “I think this article is spot-on because {…}” or “I was particularly taken with how the author’s comments dovetail with my work in LinkedIn profile development and urge you to implement her ideas.”

End with a call to action such as “Does this apply to your business and why” or “Have you had success solving this problem and how?” and so on.

External material can also include riffs off someone else’s material in the posted conversation that you think is worthy of its own post, but I think it is honorable to cite them with an “@” in front of the originator’s name to bring this to their attention and that of their connections, as a token of appreciation.

Internal comments: What are you working on that needs to be displayed, such as “Putting final touches on a presentation to a group of South African and Swazi entrepreneurs to help them in best LinkedIn practices” or “I am seeing a trend in {…} and I wanted to get a read on whether you are too. And if so, could you add some examples how you have used this concept effectively?” Again, end with a call to action “Register now as space is limited to 50 in the zoom room” or “How has your work changed along the same lines as my comments here, so we call all learn from each other?”

Finally, the frequency of posting is a function of how often you have meaningful commentary and quality observations to share. Feel no pressure to post multiple times or even once daily. Only when you have something valuable to share.

Some days there may be great stuff you want to post immediately, perhaps multiple times that day; but if appropriate, why not meter that need to share right away and pace these other quality observations out over a few days? Or create a serialized set of posts (one of 3, for example) to keep the daily anticipation going, so readers can follow your set of posts from the beginning to the end?

In all cases, keep asking and feeding the conversation.

Post your professional curiosity and demonstrate your insightful expertise around the global watercooler of LinkedIn. Never let the well go dry, else no one will thirst for you, then you seem to have dried up and disappeared.

Tomorrow: a guest blog post from Cheryl Dixon, communications expert and professor, on content creation. Much to learn from her post, I guarantee it!

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

All tied up, in a good way

I have worked with clients who struggled to explain their why. And some have more than one business and that makes things even more complicated, because a few, or several, whys are confusing to a casual reader.

So today when a former client and I reconnected to chat, he told me a story of a client of his who after reviewing his LinkedIn profile remarked, “You are so accomplished.”

Indeed he is, with a few business pursuits simultaneously, yet in different industries. Each has a string telling of its birth, development, growth, and maturation. No two are alike yet he’s same person shepherding each business and its related string into a giant multicolored bow, all tied up and beautiful.

And as I reminded him, his entrepreneurial life will evolve in mysterious ways, wherever it takes him, so that bow can be untied, and retied in a new way with another string or one less string.

Your career is a giftbox with a huge rain-bow of experience on top. Tie the strings of your career narrative story together for the LinkedIn reader to marvel at your accomplishments too.

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Back to basics Tuesday: Help, I need somebody

dirty notebook office internet
Photo by Tara Winstead on Pexels.com

How do you get help on LinkedIn the fastest way? Consult the Help Center on LinkedIn. Click the tiny round dot containing your headshot picture, found at the top right of any LinkedIn screen. Instant (nearly) gratification on a myriad of topics).

But what to do if that’s not providing you the answer you seek? Well, it may seem odd, but the next-fastest way to get help is by tweeting to @LinkedInHelp. Yes, you read that correctly, tweeting.

Ask your question as a direct tweet message to them and give as much information with any URLs needed so they can understand what you are asking, the best way you can show it. It may take a few hours or even a couple of days, or anything in between, but you will get a human response and that can begin a conversation that will eventually resolve your issue.

Yes, tweet for help on LinkedIn. Isn’t social media a crazy puzzle?

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Do your homework to ace a new relationship

The get-to-know-you call with the newest member in my networking group did not start well at all. Before the call’s designated time, I had already perused her resume-y LinkedIn profile and had some collaborative ideas and observations, to be offered if asked.

Right away she led the chat (OK, someone had to) and jumped in by asking me what type of work I do–oh boy–I knew this was not going to be fun.

She had not taken a few seconds to review my background or LinkedIn profile. But wait, she offered to meet me and she scheduled the zoom chat. If I had the time, she should have too, it just takes a few seconds to quickly read and absorb the field of work we are both in. From there, who knows where we could go?

Start a healthy habit of researching those you come in contact with. This is so easily accomplished by searching them on LinkedIn, reading their profile, and finding common ground. And it takes next to no time!

So I suggest here, my dear reader, before you attend educational sessions or agree to zoom or meet someone, take the time to do your homework and learn what they offer, and better appreciate their “why they do what they do” in their own words, on their LinkedIn profile.

How else, and where else can you so quickly gain a respect for their credentialing to teach you something new? Or find whom you know in common? Or what they have published, or observe the tenor of what they comment on in LinkedIn, or have been awarded by peers, or where they teach, or where they worked before, etc.?

All to find common ground. Then the conversation springboards from there.

Do your homework. Sprinkle in your new knowledge about them in the conversation. They will appreciate your thoughfulness and effort.

Approaching a networking target ice cold is often not a harbinger of a warm relationship to be formed in the future.

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Comments make for conversation

After you post something on LinkedIn, do you double back later to see who commented? Do you thank them for their thoughts by adding your comment to theirs?

Today it is largely electronic interaction, using keystroked words for your thoughts to be dispersed globally over the internet. You do not know who will see your comment, where they are, what they do, why they do it, and can only hope you have made a difference in that/those life/lives when they read your thoughts.

Worth the effort? I say yes.

If you see a colleague commenting, join in and make it a conversation. Raise your viewpoints, respectfully disagree and tell why, or pat them on the electronic back for an idea you had never recognized.

Add your why to theirs. It’s how we grow, how we adjust to new concepts, how we improve ourselves. We need each other’s input and no better place to place it than LinkedIn.

Please be conversant.

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Light at the end of yet one more tunnel

Entrepreneurial life is a series of above- and underground passages. Some have light, others do not, but in either situation, they must be traversed. And you are always emerging form the dark to the light, or at least I hope you are.

These pictures are from the tunnel under Baltimore, and we were lucky to catch them without any other car or truck to obstruct our view. The path is not always so empty, with speedbumps and roadblocks and noise and traffic to distract. Yet we still want to plan for and avoid, even if not guaranteed. Eventually, we emerge, on the other side, and better-traveled for it, and closer to our destination.

Keep going on, although it can seem dim, or even dark. Like dim in avoiding renovating your LinkedIn profile, or finishing that procrastinated project, or making that tough phone call.

Just get to the end, and emerge, move on to the next road not-yet-travelled…

There may not be any GPS, or map, just the pavement beneath you, so take the present route and get there. And beyond.

It’s a ride, a trek, a climb, a journey. Make LinkedIn your career narrative.

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

e-hugs

Send them.

In a pandemic world, it’s the most practical and safest way to find the right words, customized to them from you, to pat someone on their electronic back for a job well done, wish them continued success in a new job position, congratulate them on an achievement…whatever words it takes to make them feel the love.

Notice I did not say click an emoticon. I said use the right words.

Reply to requests for help, or refer a trusted colleague. Use words to tell how the connection can help both parties and let them go to it. Willingly connect 2 people who can work off each other to mutual improvement.

Or, here’s a radical idea, pick up the phone or schedule a zoom chat, and make it an ear-to-ear, or better, a face-to-face interaction.

As in the photo I took in Boston years ago indicates (sorry about the resolution but you get the idea), they are free of cost, but I will add: not freely given.

Spread your electronic warmth: reach out and e-hug someone who needs it, because we all do, now more so than ever.

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

No binging and purging allowed

No, it’s not what you think, although the mental image is not far off…I am referring here to people I have come across who finally get the “bug” to really work LinkedIn, go absolutely crazy: posting and commenting and renovating and adding multimedia, then stop.

{Cue the brakes screeching.}

Because after a week or two of hard core LinkedIn activity, they did not get the engagement that our instant gratification society expects. So they stop, frustrated. Cold turkey.

Folks, this is a long game, not a beauty content to be stuffed into a few hours. It takes months, years, decades.

But that time commitment should not stop you, because you poured body, mind, heart, and soul into the decades of your past career. So demonstrate on LinkedIn what you learned and perfected within that period of career development and how you will continue to invest in yourself. How your past experience makes you who you are today so clients and prospects will work with you in their, and your, futures. Past-present-future, right?

Time will tell, and you will persevere, so long as you consistently add value and quality to the professional community around you, so don’t drop dramatically and disappear dejectedly.

Think: long term. Yes, really long.

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

This is why you ask first

A connection request came in with a nice note thanking me for my LinkedIn observations in a podcast, which the connection requester (“him”) in the below conversation transcript) appreciated what I wanted the audience to learn.

So I looked to see who he was connected to, and contacted a mutual connection (“her” in the below conversation transcript) to establish a reference point from this trusted colleague: is he a good person for me to pursue a connection? I am glad I asked:

Me: Good Friday afternoon! {name of connection requester} has asked to connect to me based on our podcast chat. Do you know him? If you think I should connect, I will schedule a “meet me” with him to evaluate the fit. Need your input please. Good weekend, Marc

Her: Hi Marc! Good question, he is connected with me as well. He works for a startup and he loves to network. I can’t read him clearly, … having said that, I have some doubt on who he really is. Wow difficult question. Conclusion: I don’t know. I spoke with him on zoom. Very nice, but…

Me: Thanks. I’ll pass. Nicely…

Her: I understand! Thank you for asking!

{a few minutes later…}

Me to {connection requester}: Thanks for asking but I will respectfully decline. My policy is to only connect to people I got to know doing business with them so I will respectfully decline, but I do suggest you follow me on LinkedIn. That way you can see all my observations, writing, and thoughts, with a “Nugget” every business day. Thanks, Marc

Him (and this happens sometimes to validate professional respect for others): Thank you for your kind and clear message, Marc. It’s good to have your own rules and work along with that line. Of course, I respect that. Have a lovely weekend! Best regards.

Moral: Pre-qualify first, and then if warranted, vet your connection requests, please. Be professional.

As I like to say, don’t be a promiscuous linker. It’s not a good reputation to have….

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

It’s late September. Get renovating.

Less than 4 more months to year end.

Time to plan your yearend business goals. Including the ones that make you shudder with dread, like renovating your LinkedIn profile, like using LinkedIn for more original content, like being more visible with consistent quality.

I know you don’t like doing any of that. But borrowing from the TV ad for Shingrix, the shingles medication, no one cares if you like LinkedIn it or not. Using it well is expected, essential.

You have to start somewhere. Anywhere, just outline what you need to say, and say it well.

You owe it to yourself to be forthright and original, telling why you, in your digital marketing, and make LinkedIn a power tool in that toolbox.

Because if it appears you don’t care on LinkedIn, no one else will either. Prospects, referrals, people who find you in the search function on LinkedIn.

You’re in charge of your future. Plan out the changes you need to make to your LinkedIn profile. Set deadlines, be accountable to yourself, for your own benefit.

Procrastinating only plays into the hands of the competition. They have good profiles; why don’t you?

When to do this? Not next week or month or quarter or year.

NOW.