Today's LinkedIn Nugget

One last observation at the end of the year

2017-2018iconIt’s a challenge to write something every business day, and be relevant to my readers.

Everyday life has a way of inspiring me to see things in a new light, find a LinkedIn twist and opine on it.

Some days are easier than others. Sometimes I can lay down a week’s worth in advance, all in one sitting, and schedule them out as a series. Often you can see the light on in my office at 600 or 630am as I am pounding out that day’s 800am blog installment.

I have published 1036 posts here so far (including this one). Yes, WordPress allows me to research them. These are the top blog posts of all time on connect2collaborate, and as an aside, I re-read them myself and feel they may just be worth a review:

  1. Character Limits on LinkedIn
  2. Re-ordering Your Publications on LinkedIn
  3. Birthdates and Marital Status on LinkedIn
  4. What To Wear To My LinkedIn Headshot Photo Shoot?
  5. Have We Met? Do We Know Each Other?
  6. and as a bonus, a guest blog from friend and colleague Dina Eisenberg: Become a Reality Star Thanks To LinkedIn

Thanks to the guest bloggers this past year.

Thanks for your readership and commentary. 

So as I dim the blog light for 2017, I wish you a happy, bright holiday (however you celebrate) and healthy, prosperous new year 2018.

I will be back on January 2nd.

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Today's LinkedIn Nugget

One more observation on the end of the year

reflectIn looking back on the year, some people count their revenues at the end of the year. Some reflect on their successes. Others appreciate their family and friends. And many feel the reward, psychically.

Some talk about it. Some write about it. Some smile inwardly.

This has a been a very good year: my book has opened many new doors for me, being invited to speak at ever more stand-out organizations, coaching ever more senior level clients, adding well-regarded companies/firms who want my group training, and of course, the support of friends and family in all of the above.

The challenge of building a business in a noisy world is exciting. The other day a colleague called to tell me he was starting a consulting business and had a one year assignment from a well-known client already. He was bursting with enthusiasm. I welcomed him to the rollercoaster ride of the consultant.

Daily I think back on how I am able to meet, cajole, and monetize my work.

It’s a ride indeed. Mostly it’s an adrenaline rush. Yes, there are disappointments. But the overwhelming majority of the time, things are meant to be and what goes around comes around.

Like the speaking session I booked for June 2018 in which the incoming president of the association had heard me speak 6 years ago and watched me via LinkedIn, waiting until the time was right to approach me and hire me.

Like the guy I never met who heard of my work, hired me to coach him and referred me to another company to fill a need they had and train their sales force.

Like the woman who had me teach a select group at her company after reading a LinkedIn Post a few months ago.

I network, it’s in my DNA (and my company name).

Or said another way, my network is my net worth. I can’t enumerate the value. I just know it is huge.

Is yours? Make it so in 2018, as a resolution, if I may suggest one.

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

The shape of things to come

past_present_futureI wish I could see the future.

Or be in 2 places at once.

Or contribute to world peace.

Or help make a true difference to others. No I am not running for CNN’s Hero of the Year. I don’t even come close!

But I can wish and try.

And in my actions I can periodically see or hear the target’s relief.

In my own way I contribute to small advances in business and offer tiny acts of kindness, just by being myself. Yes, I do receive heartfelt thank-yous. I hope that statement doesn’t seem too self-serving. But is it very rewarding.

As I think back on my 2017 business and personal activities I feel I have made a difference to some fine people who matter to me.

Perhaps that included you.

I choose to surround myself with great friends and colleagues. I refer business to the cream of the crop. In waves, some rise to the occasion and other recede, only to come forth again, when asked or needed, or voluntarily.

If I was helpful in any way to you:

  • in a blog post
  • in an educational session
  • as my coaching client, or
  • in my other business pursuits if I helped you get paid faster, smarter and with better control,

then I have achieved my most rewarding goal for the year.

I hope you feel the same way towards the people you touched in the past year. 

And I look forward to continuing the same, if not, better, in the coming year.

(Note: There will be 2 more blog posts this year, tomorrow and Friday, and then the blog boss gave me next week off.)

 

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Have I reached the LinkedIn professional to whom I am connecting?

ernestineRemember Ernestine the snorting switchboard operator on Rowan and Martin’s Laugh In? Lily Tomlin played her so well. One of her many memorable lines was “Have I reached the party to whom I am speaking?”

Such an obviously foolish question, but we laughed at her every week back then.

I laugh now, well not really, whenever I receive a boiler-plate-default-language-LinkedIn-connection-request.

I feel much like I am speaking to Ernestine placing a phone call, “Have I reached you and would you connect to me on LinkedIn based on this simple request?” I wonder why I am being asked that obvious but silly question. I marvel at why, with such little effort and care, anyone would assume I would connect, as if that seems interesting enough for me to want to know more.

So thanks for the laughs, Ernestine, from the last century. This century the majority of invitations I receive to connect on LinkedIn make me shake my head at the business insanity and impersonal laziness of how we expect others to magically see the benefit of connecting to us without even trying to impress.

The upside? Reader, rise above the common denominator. Be memorable by giving context and offer how you can help the targeted connection.

Isn’t that just like beginning a normal business phone call: introducing yourself with a smart intro and what you hope to accomplish? It should be. Don’t be like Ernestine.

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Colorize your career story on #LinkedIn

colorstepsSome readers of your profile read your Experience section from the top down (most recent position first).

Others may read from the bottom up, tracing your rise from your earliest position to where you are today so they get the breadth of your knowledge and expertise.

Either way, and since you have no control over the direction, consider rewriting your experience story to serve both audiences to portray the full picture of

why you do what you

and

how you do it.

Adding a little color, like adding a story for context and embedding quotes from clients to prove your point, help make you more memorable. Of course you have use the pronoun “I” and the right power verbs too to speak to the reader.

Black and white resume-y bullet points are so last-century.

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Is your phone number on your #LinkedIn profile?

phoneIt saddens me how electronically impersonal we have become. The sound of the human voice conveys so much more than words on a screen do.

You get tone and inflection and nuance with voice. You get vague or perhaps misinterpreted meaning with just visible words. Bold face fonts, italicizing, and capitalizing words don’t offer much help either, not as much as the rise and fall in your voice.

“Marc’s blogging his ideas–isn’t that just the same impersonal-ity?” you must be wondering.

Well, it is, in a way, but I offered a more personal voice-recorded version of every blog post for a while, only to find out no one (!) opened them to hear me read you my blog installments. So I stopped.

So how many times did your phone ring today? Mine? Not often. But I did reach out to touch quite a few someones, because the phone is a much more efficient tool and method of communication than email or text. The idea is to use each method of communication for the right intended purpose.

There will be times a reader of your LinkedIn profile will want to discuss something with you on the phone, or a colleague wants to speak about a topic, and they use LinkedIn to find your number.

If your number is missing from your Contact and Personal Information section (top right of your profile), you have effectively stymied the ability to discuss and denied the need to converse, and worse, lost an opportunity. On the contrary, if your number is on your profile, the expediency of a quick conversation to work out some snarl or just to hear a friendly voice is optimized.

Today a very smart consultant/coach I spoke on the phone to declined to put his phone number on his profile. I reasoned with him and he wouldn’t budge. His phone number isn’t on his website either. Not happening.

Then to you who are happening, consider showing your mobile number so you can receive voice calls as well as texts. Or at least an office number.

Please?

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Top 10.5 #LinkedIn profile fails

top10point5

  1. You didn’t catch the typos, misspellings, substandard grammar (oh my)
  2. You have no banner over top your 10-year-old Headshot; yours looks like the side of a medium blue geodesic dome (that’s 1.5 fails by the way)
  3. Your Headline shows your title and company name only (gulp)
  4. You have not personalized your LinkedIn URL (sound of reader’s eyes rolling)
  5. You copied-and-pasted your resume, thinking it makes you sound like a great business partner (ahem!)
  6. Your Intro describes your company (probably copied off your website), not you; and just perhaps your company profile page says the exact same (uh oh)
  7. You don’t know all your connections / don’t routinely sort some of them out (yikes!)
  8. Endorsers don’t know you directly for your skills, yet you allow it on your profile (get cracking)
  9. a. You do not have enough, or have anemic/old recommendations and b. You don’t give recommendations to those who deserve them (c’mon!)
  10. The verbs in your profile are limited to: “have,” “made,” “was,” and “did” (elementary school my dear Watson!)

In sum, and now be honest here, you wouldn’t connect to yourself, if you really read your own profile!

Tough love time. Fix these NOW.

Look amazing-er.

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

#LinkedIn for…ahem…talent research

chinagermanylinkedinYes, LinkedIn is in the news but not quite for the purposes originally intended…the Chinese espionage community recognized LinkedIn as a great tool for looking up German bureaucrats and enlisting them to spy, and where did they start?

By offering to connect to them, I suppose.

Morale of the story: don’t connect to random people you don’t know or cannot meet or get to know. 

Keep your LinkedIn profile clean and be associated with people in whose company you want to be seen. Period.

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Is your #LinkedIn profile colorful?

coloroftheyear2016-7The 2017 color of the year…drumroll…is Ultra Violet.

Last year’s was a lovely shade of green.

Designers thrive on this drama, pleasing the eye, stimulating the mind, and rousing the soul.

Does your LinkedIn profile tell “why you” with all the color you can muster?

Not mustard but muster. (Sorry for the off-color pun.)

You have to appeal to the reader of your profile, in as many of their and senses as you can.

How?

By adding graphic representations of your work to complement the words you choose in your profile (PDFs, slide decks, audio or podcasts, and of course, video, my fave).

Then it’s not just black words on a white background trying to get them to nibble. It’s sight, sound, all shades of color…to make them hungrier.

Be colorful-er, be amazing-er, be interesting-er, than your competition.

Be memorable-est.

 

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Your path to a clearer #LinkedIn profile

shovEL_snowMetaphorically, I enjoy shoveling snow. Not physically but cerebrally.

Yes, I own a monster snow blower, the biggest on my block, I may add in a macho bragging way, vs. my neighbors who hand shovel and grumble, or wait for their plow guy to do the job.

I enjoy the accomplishment of clearing all the snow away.

The first snow came early this year (Saturday) with leaves still on the ground and driveway. White and clean, with a sparkle of sunlight glistening, it’s beautiful.

But this covering must be snow-blowered (a verb?) and/or shoveled to show the real surface. Underneath the snowpack, the blacktop driveway and the slate sidewalk await being revealed to melt and dry.

Metaphorically again, your persona and brand get dusted and covered with the detritus  and inarticulate words we use to show what we do and who we did it for, rather than why we do what we do, as we perceive our past, present, and future, so periodically your profile needs to be freshened: uncovered and the “stuff” blown away.

In the quiet time during the holidays, wherever and whenever you find it, shovel off the covering to reveal a more crystallized, brilliant “you”–tell us why you excel and allow endorsements and recommendations as icing from others who can add accent.