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).

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Rake it in

Around here. the leaves cascade down as the season changes.

Old leaves discarded, trees go into hibernation, leaf blowers bellow. Trucks rumble, full of crunch brown leaves, off to the town recycling center to compost for use next year.

Some say leave the leaves. Some like me feel a certain self-satisfaction when they are completely off my property, a clean lawn to show. It doesn’t last long, though. Leaves blow in with every wind. They aggregate in certain usual places ever year, and remain there under rain, sleet, and snow and once again are cleared away in anticipation of rebirth in the spring.

Your experience ebbs and flows similarly. It flows into your past work, you rake it together into a pile and clear it away for use another day and bits and pieces remain to be used and cleared away again.

Feel complete from the experience you gained from your work. Use its beneficial learning today and again in your future. Tell us how your past provides your present success and further contributes to your future.

Rake it in.

Why do you do what you do?

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Are business cards a pandemic relic?

Recall your high school English lit class, reading Dickens, and the scenes where suitors would present a calling card at the door to visit with their love interest?

Or was that mentioned in the Cliff Notes? You do not have to answer that…

Well, I still have a few thousand business cards for my various companies, boxed, on a shelf, and I don’t think anyone uses them anymore.

Besides they mention other ancient details, like a PO box and a fax number I once used. No need to send anything there and the sender be stymied.

We can so easily attach our full contact details on an email, in a text, QR code, and yes, on LinkedIn for all to see.

Up to date and tested for accuracy as a link. Yes, test all your links in your LinkedIn profile. Be sure they work.

Allow a suitable caller, or emailer or texter, to pay you a visit and woo you.

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Hiding in plain sight

person holding green vegetables

On LinkedIn, sort-of.

I am (in)famous for going to the freezer in my garage, asked to look for something and after several frozen minutes, unable to find it. Even with what shelf it is on.

Then my eagle-eyed wife goes to retrieve it and in nanoseconds finds it.

It was right where I told you to look. Oh, hiding from me, to her in plain sight.

The other day I received a referral to contact someone who needs my LinkedIn coaching. Happy to. A name mentioned in the email to me (not to both of us); company name too, so easy to find on LinkedIn search as a result.

Contact details? Email address or phone number? Nope, other than a company website URL.

I dutifully went to the “contact us” on her website and then, and all too common these days, was presented with only an online form to fill out, to be contacted back with re my inquiry.

Not going there. Too risky to leave a public message in a company for what may perhaps be a private reason. What if it’s perceived she is looking for a new job? Should I be more discrete than engaging in an open-ended “contact us” message?

So I doubled back to the referrer with a warm thank you and a request for the email address of the referree, so we can start the mating ritual of my brand of LinkedIn coaching customized to her specific needs, whatever hers may be.

How can I contact her since she is hiding in plain sight?

Moral of the story: Provide all methods of contacting you on LinkedIn, or risk the searcher leaving your profile with his or her hands up in frustration, which you have to admit is not a good way to open a relationship without even exchanging a word.

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Back to basics Tuesday: make each connection request meaningful

a deliverywoman knocking on the door

Someone mentions a name and you find their profile on LinkedIn. You are fascinated with their work and expression. You want to connect.

But wait, from the recipient’s view, who’s that knocking on their LinkedIn door and what do they want?

They don’t know you. You are not welcome until you state the purpose of your visit.

How do get their attention, enough to consider you, so you can pursue your request to connect?

That just happened to me. A name came across my Notifications wanting to connect. No information on his part, except the standard bland Linkedin connection request language. From far away. In another industry. No context. And I have no idea who he is or why he is asking. So with no recognition on my part, I am probably going to reject him outright.

But for the sake of this back-to-basics blog post, I sent back a message “How can I help you?” and then came his reply, an excerpt I am quoting here: “I meant to include a note with my connection request but somehow it sent without it.”

LinkedIn hardly did this on its own.

So why didn’t he identify himself and our mutual friend that in the first place and save us both the effort? Before and after that quote I sensed his sincerity and that he just did not know the process to make a LinkedIn connection request more meaningful by adding a note.

That’s OK we all have to learn to tame the LinkedIn beast. I can solve that for him going forward.

My advice: make connections requests meaningful to the intended target by fully identifying any or all of these w-questions: who, what, where, when, –and especially why–to give context and the reason for the connection.

Who are you? What’s in it for the recipient/the requester? When did we meet? Where? Bonus points for: why should I consider you? And how we are connected (outside of LinkedIn) via a mutual friend. Yes, I know “how” is not a w-question…

So here’s how you open the conversation to answer the w-questions above and resolve any mysteries that will likely get you ignored or rejected:

  1. Go to the requester’s LinkedIn profile page. Review it and see whom you know in common, what you share in mutual interests, etc. That can form the basis for your connection request.
  2. If warranted, proceed to click the blue “connect” button in the topmost pane of their profile.
  3. A white box opens to allow you to click a blue button to send the connection request——- STOP!
  4. Resist that and click the other white “add a note” button.
  5. Now, in 300 characters including spaces, identify yourself in your request and make the target person feel more at ease with your reason(s) to connect. Mention names, companies, ideas, industry interests, whatever you have in common. Make it a marketing opportunity by you to get the other person to know you a bit.
  6. Finally, don’t be surprised if they connect with you automatically, which I discourage. See my other past blog posts on that topic.
  7. They may ask for a phone call or a zoom chat to make this a real conversation, not an exchange of electronic sound bites. I encourage that.
  8. Most importantly, remember how to do this and make it routine.

Never ask for a connection without a reason (or a few) why.

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

On renaming today

We used to observe Columbus Day the second Monday of October. But with historical reference to the atrocities leveled on indigenous peoples in America, it’s more politically correct and morally sensitive to provide original inhabitants of this land with a rightfully earned national holiday of their own. Today is officially renamed.

Thinking more broadly, let’s make every day one to embrace the wide diversity we bring to the proverbial table, express our common perceptions, share our personalities, and celebrate our differences.

{Segue…} so let’s make the LinkedIn experience we share broad and deeper, ever richer as we find common ground to nurture our customs together.

Yes, let’s express self-identity and business persona on LinkedIn, in your personal and company profiles, with comments, posts, articles, all within our shared community guidelines.

It only makes you even more attractive, enhances our world view and image of you as a prospective partner, and better incorporates all of us into our ongoing global positive conversation on LinkedIn.

Let’s.

Happy Indigenous Peoples Day.