Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Sticky situations

Everyone talks about booking new business, they’re sailing along smoothly.

Then a pandemic, an earthquake, or a tsunami, or worse, your business suffers a devastating blow: the wind dies completely in your once-full sails and you are stuck with everyone else, in an economic downturn.

Though you try to glide along in good times, you are in the midst of murky waters. You don’t even recall what you read or heard to do to extricate yourself from the economic slowdown. Then you remember, some marketing guru told you to keep branding yourself at all times, especially in good times, because you cannot predict when the bad times will hit, and as we have seen, it’s uncharted in recent history.

So you kick yourself and wish you had followed the advice but you didn’t. LinkedIn could have been the life preserver. But you failed to grab for it. You never thought you needed it.

How many times will you make the same mistake?

So went the conversation with a residential real estate agent: he didn’t need my expertise because the housing market is too hot right now. To which I added, “Hey, remember a few months ago when it was dead frozen? Could that happen again?”

Why yes, he said, but he has it covered. What was the cover? He would just live off his savings and wait it out.

No thought to making an impact on people on LinkedIn or other social media to make himself memorable. Not adding thought leadership to make the quality of his opinions and his voice heard above the noise, Just his blind hope that it is a short-lived downturn and referrals would get him by. Naive? Yes, I would say.

Surmountable? Absolutely, had he heeded my advice to keep marketing in headwinds and tail wings and never feel you missed the boat for being first out of the downturn.

Be consistent, foresighted, and market on LinkedIn all along, good waters or bad.

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

How do you mark milestones?

group of people having neon party

I am nigh upon 2000 blog posts here, a milestone I will reach sometime next week. Drip..drip..drip (intended here as the marketing terminology).

I just reached 20 years in business for myself. (Cue the sand passing in the hourglass.)

Well, I blog about many things and my personal efforts to make a difference for you are part of it, so I also post on LinkedIn because my entourage of readers and connections, respectively, are part of my success.

They know who they are. I cannot do anything alone. I rely on them, so I invite them to participate in my electronic reflective words of thanks.

If I am awarded or recognized, I share it on my profile in the Accomplishments section. Peer recognition is the best there is.

If I am published, recorded, podcasted, or presenting, I let you know. The hope is that you will recall my writing, interview, and/or posts the next time you are asked, “Hey, do you know anyone who gives a kick-ass LinkedIn presentation?” or “I need a LinkedIn coach, so who do you recommend highly?”

And you have to ask for, and give, referrals. It’s a two-way interchange.

Is it easy? Nope. Is it essential to success? Absolutely! Entrepreneurs have to talk about their accomplishments and milestone. They brand themselves that way. It’s expected.

Do you expand your brand with comments on successes and recognition?

If you don’t start slowly and build up to it.

If you do, keep tweaking the messaging until you find what works best and run with that ball.

This is not a spectator sport, but a participant one. Be an MVP in your own branding and in the minds of others. .

The milestones will come, one by one, and then you can spread the good news.

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

What’s your career narrative?

On overnight TV I heard (eyes a bit blurry) that a 4-year old soccer prodigy was signed to a professional team. That’s a rocket-fast trajectory for a career, don’t you think?

What if he later wants to become a nurse, an actor, a stay-at-home-dad, a nonprofit fundraiser, a {fill in the blank}? What are his parents thinking, other than dollar signs?

Well, he will have a rather two-dimensional straight line career story from age 4 to…let’s say…30.

So, I ask you, what is your career story?

Is it “lifer” as I call it (as in you are working in the same company or field today that you went to college or grad school)–I doubt it. That’s a fast-changing yet old-fashioned expectation in today’s internet world.

Or is it several mini-careers, you rolling in and out of various industries? Or is it a squiggle line of opportunities taken, paths explored, culminating in who you are today?

Why did you take those paths and what did you learn along the way? Time to reflect: you gained rich experience and marketable skills that make you the person you are. Tell us on your LinkedIn profile: make it your career narrative: why you, and why do you do what you do?

Then you will be a lot more attractive to clients than the competitor, having given yourself permission to be more insightful than you probably think you could be, now that you have the opportunity to tell your story. Just let the story bubble up and onto your LinkedIn profile. You can and should.

In your own words, tell us the story of your career to date, and where it might take us, with you, in the future.

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Back to basics Tuesday: how to really write a beautiful LinkedIn article

No, this will not be a lesson in the steps how to write a LinkedIn article. That’s summarized in the LinkedIn Help Center here.

Rather, it will be an example for you to emulate, pull out once in a while when the mood strikes you, and reflect on, as you express your ideas in the best place on LinkedIn that allows you 40 thousands characters (not a typo!)–the Linkedin article.

I have written here about articles before: https://connect2collaborate.com/2018/09/18/pathfinding-on-linkedin-with-your-own-article/

So I want to twist the title above, I can tell you that the next link is is really HOW a master wrote an article-and you MUST read it, it’s so powerful and spellbinding that I had to share it with you!

The author is my friend’s son and I have to say, it’s a beaut!

Enjoy! Take style notes from this.

Share it with others who enjoy excellent writing.

That’s what I call learning by LinkedIn example, a little different orientation to today’s Back to Basics Tuesday post.

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Adapting to new gender pronouns at work

A few weeks ago I reported here that you can now identify yourself on your LinkedIn profile with preferred gender pronouns.

Many do. Some people have told me they are on the proverbial fence.

Even if you have not decided to specify your preferred pronouns, you need to be sensitive to others’ preferences.

Especially in the workplace.

Moreso when you enter others’ workplaces.

Yes, we are free to move around now and visits to clients and vendors are more acceptable. You are responsible for how you address others, especially when you are a guest.

This article from the Harvard Business Review will definitely help you visualize possible situations and be better prepared to address them, with the right pronoun usage, of course.

Be sensitive and accepting of others, especially how you speak of them, between the nouns and the verbs. Between the lines.

Among all of us.

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

But what if they only view your post, but not comment?

This came up in a recent “Ask Me Anything” session I held. I think it’s worth sharing with you here.

You posted something on LinkedIn and get a lot of views. Not many comments. But is that a success?

I believe a real success is posting something and generating a beneficial conversation around a topic others care about. That may be a few comments or a large number, but it’s the quality of the learning experience.

Not the number of click-views or lame comments with “thumbs ups.” What good do either do?

Not much. You neither know why they opened it or clicked the emoji.

Ho hum.

You are part of either of two scenarios:

If you are the originator of the much-viewed-and hardly-commented post:

Wait a few days and repost it, starting the new comment with “ICYMI, I posted this and while I was gratified with a large number of views. I’d really like to know what you thought of it, in words. Tell me why it meant something, how it makes your work better, what else you want to add. I open the post to your comments, beneficial to all.”

I bet that gets your readers’ creative juices flowing. Ask because most casual readers will not volunteer anything unless asked. And then when the discussion ensues, they will jump in once more, or a few more times.

If you are a reader of the post:

Take the initiative right away to be a contributing thought leader and put your opinions and vision out there. At least thank the originator for a provocative comment and explain why it was interesting to you. Go a step further, and monitor the conversation to dip back into it when it is appropriate for your point of view.

Advance the conversation one step further. Add the benefit of your experience, a tip or technique that has worked for you in the same context…something to complement your connection’s comment as a thank you for their contribution.


See how easily and quickly you can be a visible and respected contributor to the global watercooler of ideas and techniques that LinkedIn is? Try it a few times and I think it will become a new habit for you.

Habits lead to recognition and recognition leads to referrals and you know the rest of that story…

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Chicken : egg :: LinkedIn : networking (?)

Which coaching should come first, LinkedIn coaching or networking? That’s the question Rob Thomas and I were debating yesterday in our weekly chat.

Yes, we do laugh and cajole and tease. I am not sure who makes whom laugh first. But we do, a lot.

Rob is the networking guru you need to meet. His eagle eye on the right way to build an effective entourage is spot on. And he has a lot to offer, including being exceedingly generous in his introductions. That makes sense for a networker, right? But it’s the selfless quality of his introductions that makes him even more special!

Since he and I cross-refer a lot, we seem to be at this pivot point: who should a shared client work with first, him or me?

I guess the easy answer is to let the client decide, But it’s more than that. Some don’t know where to start.

Working with either of us is part of any entrepreneur’s self-discovery journey. We want you to be as successful as you can.

Does Rob’s coaching you (as you shape the elevator pitch introduction, the value-added marketing talk, the overall networking process) really help refine the points you need to make on your LinkedIn profile,

OR

Does refining your LinkedIn “why you do what you do” and looking amazing-er daily to eclipse the competition actually form the initial networking impression on a stranger, who could be your next BIG client, and make your networking efforts more effective?

In other words, what comes first or best: learning the secret sauces of networking or renovating your LinkedIn profile, when both in tandem are essential to “pitch” you well?

I like to think of networking and LinkedIn as having a tennis coach: anyone can actually hit a tennis ball with a racquet. But it’s how you hit it, your form, the psychology, the etiquette, that make coaching in either subject that Rob and I teach the art that it is. Then it’s up to you to practice to be confident to play and win a point. And from there, win a game, a set, a match, a tournament.

But which first, LinkedIn or networking?

Yes, the age-old chicken-and-the-egg, the-cart-before-the-horse argument, dear reader, so what do you think is the proper order? And why? (Tell us in words, not emojis please).

Said another way, Rob and I can be your tag team, but who gets tagged first?

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Echoes of last week’s business cards post

I do receive comments on my blog posts, but not quite so many as the messages back to me on this topic. For the record, I appreciate the feedback, because it can get somewhat lonely posting every day, but I am not complaining.

This topic was risky for me and I anticipated some commentary.

ICYMI last week: https://connect2collaborate.com/2021/10/14/are-business-cards-a-pandemic-relic/ on this blog and https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6854385384286154752/ on LinkedIn.}

That’s a good thing and I encourage more of this type of repartee. And the pivot:

Just like me, you can be provocative with new ideas on your Linkedin posts and await the reverb.

Or better, as a catalyst, you can ask for it by adding these types of comments to the end of your post (on any topic):

  • What do you think?
  • Have you experienced this?
  • How have you handled this type of situation?
  • Who’s with me?
  • Where did I go wrong?
  • How would you handle this?
  • etc.

So if you read an article and want to share it, or if you have an opinion of your own or want to tap the collective wisdom of your connections, put it out there on LinkedIn.

Ask for comments, and comment back to make it a conversation.

LinkedIn is the global water cooler of business professionals, so let’s make the best use of it. Ask for input.

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Back to basics Tuesday: step out in front of a background banner

If the above graphic appears behind your name on your LinkedIn profile picture, it shows you do not care that much.

How else can anyone get any mental image of why you do what you do, without spending time reading (and I am making an assumption here) an equally uninspiring profile narrative?

Fix it, now.

See this article and chose from its suggested options. Or get creative and design a new one of your own.

I did.

You can and should show your actions in your field. You owe it to yourself.

Millions of other pros did.

Ahem, your competitor(s) did too.

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

She actually did what she said she would do!

Customer service, or lack thereof, these days has become a pile of empty promises and blames. I am always wondering what happened to the golden rules of the customer being handled right and feel lik.

1.”It’s not us, it’s our computer’s billing error.” Hello? Who’s in charge here, a human or a chip?

2. a) “No, once we bill you, we cannot fix the error. We’ll mail you a check.” Right…and 2. b) I call again, “where’s that check?” I wait longer.

3. Them: “you must’ve done that because our system cannot.” Me: “No. I clicked the online button.” Them: “Sorry sir, that’s impossible.” Me: “Argggh. Just fix it!

So at a certain cell phone company after 4 months’ time, 13 hours of time spent on hold, reexplaining the history to 8 different CS people in varying levels of seniority, (yes I keep count) until a certain Lisa, I described the history again and restarted the correction process each time anew, but wait…Lisa cared, quickly diagnosed the issues, took steps to fix the mess the others created, promised to call back when she had proof her changes actually “took,” and she did call me back on the day and time she has promised.

Then yesterday when the monthly bill was finally available, she patiently went over the changes with me to be sure I was satisfied, and I was….finally.

No dear reader, in customer service the end should never justify the means. But it does today. No one on the other end of the line cares about wasted hours, just getting, for example, my cable service back up with no care why it keeps going down, them on to the next CS call.

My strenuously admonishing all along the way, asking to be moved up the management chain in multiple communication media did nothing but create multiple ineffective interventions, no managerial resolution to an internally-generated mess, each time someone intervened to try to fix it, only mucked (I said mucked) up further: alas, this is the current state of the dark art of CS.

Until yesterday she did what she said she would do–a glimmer of hope out there in CS Land.

I wish she were on LinkedIn so I could give her a recommendation for her yeoman (actually yeo-woman) accomplishments on my behalf. Thanks Lisa (if that’s really your name).