Before the pandemic, in the golden days of personal appearances in front of a crowd, I tested myself: I came to the event with no prepared slides and no agenda. I came to answer questions, “Ask Me Anything.”

AMA.

The first time I was terrified. What if I got stumped (and I did, but promised to reply to the group the next day with the answer.) Getting stumped was not so bad. I learned and they did too, a win-win. I was just being human, not encyclopedic.

Metaphorically, like all good experience cards in my back pocket, I could play that card again the next time I needed to answer a similar question.

And I have.

In the pandemic, I reprised my AMAs this time on zoom. And for one networking group I am active in, I offer a 45-minute AMA every Thursday. You have to be a member to attend my session, and this strategy of freely offering my knowledge and thoughts to use best brand market yourself on LinkedIn has served me well: I get to meet and collaborate with many of the networking group’s members I might never have rubbed elbows with.

I am pleased to say we have a weekly core group of attendees who come to learn and converse on the topic, with others dropping by sporadically. I appreciate all their support, and you know who you are if you are reading me here.

Yes, the AMAs can get repetitious, as not everyone knows every answer and often it takes multiple Q&As repeated from week to week for the topic to fully appreciate.

And then I had a brainstorm!

Reverse the process.

Share my screen of a selected LinkedIn profile to ask them (the group) anything, ATA how it could be improved.

ATA at an AMA!

They pointed out a number of ways the profile could be improved, from their, and prodding them from my POV, how they also saw things amiss that I missed.

Why is that important?

As I closed the session, I asked, “Now what did you learn today–that you need to work on in your profile?” and cycled one to the other, around the zoom room.

The experiment was a success; they were analytical in their suggestions on the shared screen and remarkably retrospective about what they need to work on their profiles.

That showed me they absorbed concepts I have been suggesting. Best of all, they seemed to have fun with the change of pace and perspective.

And I did too.

Who said thinking hard about using LinkedIn for self brand marketing cannot be fun?