Finer Points, LinkedIn Tips and Techniques, Today's LinkedIn Nugget

We change our voices

In the middle of decluttering, while going through old record albums, I thumbed through some that belonged to my father. There it was, a 78 vinyl record of my paternal family members welcoming my father home from World War 2.

From what I read online, it was usual to record directly onto a blank record disk on a portable machine at a welcome home party of family and friends. My father’s was Sunday, February 17, 1946 in the Bronx, after his tour of duty on Morotai Island in the South Pacific.

That’s 76 years since this record was probably ever played.

Luckily I can still play 78s. And I recorded both sides of the disk to my iphone VoiceMemos app, to share with my brothers and pass along to their children who remember my father.

For the first time in my life I heard my grandfather’s voice; he died when I was very young. Names and inside jokes from family friends and neighbors were alien to me. Only one voice was immediately familiar, just as I remember it. But not my father’s, or my grandmother’s. My brother remarked the same.

I guess the record preserved their much younger voices forever, and my memory still retained theirs. One difference, their voices had changed as they grew older.

So I started to think that we do change voices as we age, but not only in pitch, bass, or treble as I learned from the 78, but in maturity, choice of words, depth of insight, and speech timing.

And in our memories.

In 1946 a 78 was the means of leaving your voice for posterity. Today we have dozens of media to do so. It’s not the hardware or the software, but the quality of the words you leave behind for later generations–how we formulate what we say and I suppose how it sounds.

I do miss my father’s and grandmother’s voices. Yes, I got nostalgic, perhaps weepy here, but my thoughts are intended to be worth recording here for later reference or on any social medium.

Let’s hope our words stay accessible, our thoughts memorable, and our ideals meaningful beyond the test of time.

Just not once every 76 years please.

Finer Points, Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Pestering is not in my LinkedIn skills

I am making a request:

Can we all be just a little bit more honest with each other and reply to the proposals you asked me for: with a yes, or a no?

Or simply reply to my email asking for a zoom meeting: yes or no thanks?

Or stop saying that you have this or that happening and I should come back in the spring?

Entrepreneurism is like fishing, yes, as every contact with a prospect biting is a rosy possibility, but I will start cutting bait more readily.

Prospect, your radio silence can be interpreted as:

  1. Never seeing my email which happens to many people deluged with spam.
  2. Or ignoring me for lack of respect or your professionalism.
  3. Your office burned down (it’s happened!)
  4. Or finally, because you enjoy the sport of putting vendors through the paces.

I’m over soliciting and imploring and reminding and asking once again.

I am hunting, not foraging to subsist.

But the offenders are probably not reading me here anyway.

After I wrote this, I noticed LinkedIn’s Sales Blog ran an article titled “4 Surefire Signs It’s Time to Walk Away from a Prospect” that complements my frustration points, with their valid educational pointers.

I am still learning.

I think a healthy conversation can surround this issue. In words.

What do you do when the prospect seems to vaporize?

Back to Basics Tuesdays, Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Back to basics Tuesday: Who can I ask?

There’s a vast body of knowledge on LinkedIn, in the Help function, that is available to you, 24x7x365.

Always up to date, straight from the LinkedIn horse’s mouth!

Never sick, never sleeping, never on vacation. Although the usual suspects you’re inclined to ask the same questions may be.

And it’s easy to use and contextual, meaning you put in enough pertinent keywords in the search bar in Help and it replies with 5 or more replies that may just fit the bill.

Some even have links in the answers to give you access to deeper nuances or other aspects, from which you can learn.

So when a client asks me a “how to” question, I reply with a “lookie here” link in my answer. Point gently made.

Please use the Help function.

Job Search, Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Great Resignation, greater retelling

Dorie Clark‘s 2013 book, Reinventing You, has never been so timely. When she was interviewed recently for a few nuggety minutes about the Great Resignation essentials of self-reinvention, I noted some take-aways:

  1. Consider Capital R reinvention and/or lower case r reinvention,

2. Test the hypothesis of wanting to change to a new role and try it on for size, and

3. Then at about minute 4 in the interview…she said it, like I’ve been saying here all along:

Control the narrative around your reinvention.

Retell your pathway to the reader/listener/viewer. You have to.

Yes, folks, and from my own career experience, remaking myself from banker to corporate officer, to e-payments entrepreneur, to self-branding advocate, to book author, and soon to podcaster (the latter 4 all at once!) and let me tell you: it’s not what you say, but how well you say it.

Consider these essential steps:

  • Plan your narrative. That means a few rewrites and tweaks.
  • Practice your elevator pitch.
  • Write a great website.
  • Speak to the right audience on social media.
  • Don’t get stuck in having to tell it chronologically, when it might be more effective to tell your story functionally, if that works best to make your points.

Why? Prospects need to learn what led you to question your path, how did you conceptualize your reinvention, when did you pull the trigger, then what happened, and how have you realigned your path in your evolving reinvention?

Yes, your past makes your present and indicates your future. This is a journey. And it’s a self-actualizing, gut-wrenching roller coaster ride, with elation and despair, and everything in between, adjustments along the way, so you’d better be in control of explaining your actions, with rich words around each step.

And where can you publish your career story? Yup, LinkedIn.

Not by merely filling in the blanks with bland factoids, but by stretching the space allowed you to encompass your whole story, logically presented, and vividly memorable.

You need to ace that story, one that a casual reader who drops by will absorb quickly and leave with the desired impression of a gutsy and self-driven person they should want to do business with. You are amazing-er than the next best competitor.

Because as I always say, if you don’t tell it well right off the bat, someone else will interpret it (perhaps incorrectly) or tell it for you (if you earn their referral) yet it will NEVER be as good as your telling it yourself, so control the narrative: give them access your career story on your customized LinkedIn profile page, as you want to tell it to them, so they will want to know more.

Give the decision-maker the easiest-access place to read, listen. view your words and media as you want them to stick and motivate them to contact you. LinkedIn.

Keep them enthralled by posting regular updates there with your thought leadership nuggets.

I’m getting that book!

Finer Points, Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Clubbing myself over missing out on Clubhouse, until now

How could I have been so dense? Why didn’t I dip a toe into the Clubhouse pool earlier?

Well, not being one to fret over missed opportunity I tried it, and “Hey Mikey, he liked it!”

I am now regularly scheduling myself to listen (and participate–because you know me, I have to offer something…) to learn from my two esteemed colleagues

Diane DiResta, whom I met 18+ years ago, liked immediately, emulated her styler points, and all along admired her artfulness,

and

Scott Mason my brotherly muse (pun intended!) whom I met early virtually in the pandemic yet it feels like decades of close collaboration. We even met in person once, albeit for a short time.

How’s that for 2 introductions?

Diane and Scott (LinkedIn profiles here too) cohost a Clubhouse session aptly called “Confidence Clarity Charisma” every Friday (as in today!) at 1100am EST that delves into some really deep concepts surrounding listening, speaking, writing, and interpersonal communication.

I always leave with a patina of new understanding. And get exposed to bit more Greek mythology too…

I suggest you try them out.

Not a LinkedIn post today, but one about 2 people rocking Clubhouse.

Networking, Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Intercontinental contentment

In 2021 I greatly expanded my LinkedIn connections across the world.

It started with Australian Jurgen Strauss‘s InnovaBiz global meetup (and congrats to him on his 500th podcast, one of which I had the pleasure of being interviewed), where luck had me in two breakout rooms in a series of 2 meetups with Vancouver’s visionary who will connect the world’s great brains Maxine Cunningham. Max put me in a cohort together with three of the most wonderful people I regard as family: the most cerebral and philosophical web designer I ever met Gabe van Bergen (also Vancouver), and Johannesburg’s uniquely altruistic mentor to indigenous entrepreneurs Eugenie Drakes, and the colorful woman of vast wisdom from life experience bi-continental Yoka Brouwer, a library of insight unto herself.

I saw them interacting deeply (so I wanted in too) with Amsterdam’s multipotentialite oracle Perry Knoppert, who introduced me to Tel Aviv’s insightful and witty Inbal, and then Eugenie asked me to speak about LinkedIn to her cohort of South African and Zimbabwean budding entrepreneurs, and I introduced them to my inner entourage, and then…, and then…, and in my latest deskchair travel, last week I met Ghanaian William Plange, another entrepreneur with fire in his belly.

(And if I left anyone out, it’s unintentional! My heart swells when I think of my dozens of new colleagues around the world who comment on my comments and nurture my soul as I offer them a small piece of my brain daily.)

Look these people up on LinkedIn and you will see how fortunate I consider myself to be, as a result of learning from them. After all, where else in the world would I come across the idea of PechaKucha????

If you know me, you’re already aware I feed on interpersonal contact. Yes I miss in-person meetings. But zooming and whatsapp-ing with really bright stars across the world is equivalently fulfilling.

You will hear no complaints from me like “I’m zoomed out” and (did you know?) now you can zoom right from LinkedIn, so in a few clicks you can tune into the world’s best minds.

Connect to collaborate with these amazing friends.

Feed your own global conversation. It’s easy, if you want to, expanding your mental horizons, crossing time zones, leaping hemispheres, bridging national pride, respecting international date lines, even bumbling in second languages if you dare! And “todah rabbah” (thank you) to Inbal for tolerating my rusty Hebrew!

Readers, I say to you: be out and about, jump into the global idea exchange, get into the mix, even from your own desk!

Be LinkedIn. Don’t miss the mind-bending global opportunity available to you.

Finer Points, Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Are you whipped up for the challenge?

bread food toast dawn

In the pre-pandemic days I used to challenge myself with “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) sessions. Believe me, there were times I wondered why on earth I did them, but in almost every case I emerged self-respecting, and the attendees told me they were greatly enriched.

Once or twice I was caught flat-footed with no idea how to answer a question but promised I would research it and report back. Which I did.

Often I was asked the same questions over and over again, like “is buying a LinkedIn subscription worthwhile?” “How do I say no to a connection request?” etc.

I always answered the questions based on my experience and made sure to ladle on a dollop of brand marketing savvy for the audience. After all, my answer is only as good as the benefit of experience you can actually apply with your new-found knowledge.

So I always felt mildly nervous in starting my AMAs and after awhile I found I was able to roll with the energy in the room. So much so that I have continued them weekly for a private group, and as LinkedIn changes and the sophistication of the attendees increases, I still find I am on top of my game.

How do you demonstrate being on top of yours?

Do you write, speak, teach, video, and how do you demonstrate your expertise?

We all have to be expert in something and showing it is a personal choice: not whether, but how, to do so.

Back to Basics Tuesdays, Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Back to basics Tuesday: knock, knock, who’s there?

A question came from a client:

Sometimes I get these invitations to connect from people I may not be interested in connecting or may be suspect of their business. What is the LinkedIn Etiquette about accepting invitations?

And in checking to see if I ever covered this topic in my blog, I found I answered the “what to do if you want to correctly make a connection request” part, but never addressed what to do if you receive one and how to handle it correctly.

So here goes, with a live example that I have in process right now:

If someone asks you to connect on LinkedIn, it registers on your “My Network” tab.

I have 2 inbound requests currently pending, 1 from W and 1 from S. We will concentrate on S for this blogpiece:

I can ignore S, or accept S as connection.

Always my advice: there’s some vetting for me to do before I connect.

So to start I click “See all 2” in the top right corner. It opens up another box:

For S, when I click “Message” under his name, I get the opportunity to either

1) key in my usual open-ended questions, “Have we met? How can I help you?” or

2) I can customize the message, depending on the situation

I think the 2 open-ended questions are professionally direct and honorable in many cases where there is no nexus.

But since I already know where S and I met, (or in other cases, via a connection who e-introduced us), I will always add a more personal message referring to names and any other clues where and when we met, and my suggested next steps:

The rest of this process takes varying amounts of time: awaiting a reply from S, my coordinating the zoom chat, and then hosting it.

You can always go back to review the last installment in the chain of messages and add to the conversation along the way, and remind them of the appointment the day before the scheduled chat.

Hint: Messages are searchable by keyword or name, immensely helpful especially if the messages started a while ago.

Ahead of the scheduled zoom chat, I’ll review S’s LinkedIn profile for clues to make it more productive, and hopefully he’ll do the same for mine. I said hopefully.

I am anticipating a great chat this week.

There you have it, another glimpse into the basics of making LinkedIn more effective to build what could just well be your next great connection for success.

I wish you well using this once, or hopefully, more often. Practice makes perfect.

Finer Points, Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Drumroll…my 2 most-viewed blogposts of 2021, IMHO worth repeating

tilt shift photo of acoustic drum set

Here it is, the one blog post that eclipsed all my others in 2021, and by a long-shot, with 1,882 views: how to stop receiving work anniversary notifications on LinkedIn.

And the runner-up: with 772 views: using and being bold, and italic, on your LinkedIn profile narrative. And I do appreciate your comments!

Glad you liked these.

More drumming in the days ahead in 2022.

LinkedIn Tips and Techniques, Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Big Ben can now chime in, why don’t you?

On New Year’s Eve 2022, at the crack of midnight, Big Ben rang again, after years of painstaking restoration repairing damage dating from the Nazi bombing of London in WW2 and decades of mechanical wear and tear.

Watch and listen to the familiar sound of a faithful icon, now back with us, newly witnessing history, going forth.

Why don’t you use this as a metaphorical reminder to chime in to the global professional conversation on LinkedIn?

And I suggest you do so with regularity, no not hourly like Ben, and not necessarily daily, but at least let us know you are out there, guiding us and adding quality, offering your unique perspective to enrich your connections via the LinkedIn conversation.

While the world is moving at lightning speed, be a constant. Restore your brand image by finding the time to make some useful, respectable, reliable sounds.

Even if you do not have something to say, attach an article or a post you read somewhere, and add a brief comment to tell us why this is important to you.

Tell us. Ring your bells.

Or be silent and forgotten.

Your choice.

I say be Big Ben-er, amazing-er, than last year.