Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Intra-pandemic Trends on LinkedIn

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As mentioned here before, I belong to a Facebook group of LinkedIn coaches. Yes, that seems odd at first, and you may be asking ” why not a LinkedIn Group of LinkedIn coaches,” but where else can we have an independent-minded discussion forum that is not monitored by the lords of LinkedIn?

One coach in the Scotland asked early on a Saturday morning:

What has been your LinkedIn experience this year? Here in the north of Scotland, I noticed that people posted less as they had less to say. I was in that group. My business was already in transition and COVID slowed that change. I have noticed as I posted less I saw less new people in my feed. Back to posting daily and it does feel different. I have heard from others all over the world that their reach has dropped. What is your current experience of LinkedIn?

I replied:

Here in the USA I observe 2 countervailing trends:

1) I see more appreciative comments on shared posts that are personal in nature, such as pride in the professional accomplishments of one’s children, milestone family events, etc. that were once frowned upon in this business platform. Now in the pandemic age we seem to rally around and embrace our connections more for the events that mean the most to them. Perhaps we crave opening on the personal connections with the friends we see less.

2) And then on the flip side, too many clicked “likes” (like hits-and-runs) and not enough intelligently worded comments WHY they like something! I urge my clients to use words, not emojis!

If I see other interesting trends reported I will add them here. There’s bound to be some healthy conversation as this catches on among us coaches.

But most importantly, readers, what is your current experience on LinkedIn? What trends do you perceive since the onset of the pandemic?

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Drumroll please!

 

Every time I complete a new project and exhale that sigh of cleansing breath completion, I get the feeling I can’t believe what it took to get to this point: how the germ of an idea gestates and became a finished entity to be proud of. My level of quality. My pride of offering it to those in need. 

Already I felt that completion with my books (1 is in second edition in writing now), and today another e-course was released.

The posts are up on my social media, but ICYMI:

Drumroll…NOW AVAILABLE…so pleased to announce that Mike Mittleman, Career Coach and I have co-produced and released the definitive program for your recent college graduate to package him/herself to get that first all-important career job.

In 5-parts (1. resumes that work and get read, 2. cover letters that mean something and impress, 3. LinkedIn profiles that tell why you, 4. interview techniques to push past the competitors and 5. networking into the hidden job market) this 4+ hour video course is chock full of proven actionable ideas, templates, and other bonus material as we help bring the best out in every student unaccustomed to branding him/herself.

Now they can better compete in the #newnow job market.

Find out more: https://thebestinclass.thinkific.com/courses/program.

The labor of delivery by two middle aged guys was long, but it had to be perfect. Our need to help is urgent, as we see it.

Why?

Most grads in the Class of 2020 never made it to the career center on campus. And most thought the assistance was lame if they did manage to get there. 

They’ve been out of school for a few months. Little response to their applications or crickets even if they got the interview?

Yes. the competition is deep, with older workers interviewing for jobs they are over-qualified for, just for access to the benefits. 

We show how to stand out, get counted.  

There’s no more time for your son or daughter to loll around playing video games in their bedrooms in your house.

Mike and I know very well what’s going on in the job search. We are a dynamic duo with 30+ years’ experience and much to offer. We engage, advise, coach, and urge your young adult onward. Gift a bright future to your the grad with the self-worth that a great job brings.

Or if this is not for you. please share it with someone whose kid needs it. 

As I say, let’s make that grad a taxpayer! 

Again, the Landing Page to learn all about our offering is https://thebestinclass.thinkific.com/courses/program

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Nice move!

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Moving at the speed of sound, or light, if you can, is a good idea. Waiting for the pandemic to go away is not going to make you a mover and a shaker. You need to exude energy to attract others.

Yes, too much is dangerous and not enough is equally dangerous. You know the happy medium.

But what if the personality of the initiator of a call (nice move) on the phone, enthusiastic and looking to add to his vetted connections, singlehandedly reaching out to me, mismatches his LinkedIn profile, which I was reading while we spoke.

Worse, what if he was referred to me, rather than him calling me directly, and in reviewing his profile before I called, I found typos, syntax errors, repeated phrases, unclear narrative. I’d probably not call.

There’s that “disconnect” buzzer.

But he started the process so I will give him the chance, but others might not.

Then he “hit” me–he told me he needed help tying his LinkedIn profile to better match his personality and would welcome some help. Another call scheduled.

Nice move. The “disconnect” buzzer stopped buzzing.

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Not interested? Just tell me. I can handle it.

fog

But can you?

Can you be professionally honest and forthright enough to respond to my inquiry 2 weeks after I sent you a proposal, that proposal that you asked me for?

Can you reply to my email or phone call? Or should I pepper you with monthly follow-ups, jauntily worded?

You are creating a silent fog around yourself.

If this makes it easier, reply back with “Not now. I’ll let you know around {date}.” and I will respect that.

Or you can say you are inclined to sign but have a few concerns to discuss. Then we can come to a middle ground, within reason of course. Not like the woman who told me she only wanted to pay me 1/10th of what I proposed. Not that she had any financial hardship, she assured me.

But an echo reverberating, me asking again and again, is never going to give either of us the equation we need to move forward.

Tell me “yes.” Great–let’s get started!

Tell me “maybe,” and why. I am empathetic if need be.

Tell me “no.” I can handle it. I have been handling rejection and acceptance too, for 19 years.

Tell me something. You’d ask the same from your prospects if the role was reversed.

Right?

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Back to Basics Tuesday: content sharing

content-is-king-1132266_1920Content I shared the other day on LinkedIn, from LinkedIn itself, a rarity for me, was a pretty a good take on the topic of shared content, and it gained hundreds of views, a few comments, but one question asked there struck me, which I will share, from a marketing specialist:

What are your thoughts on using LinkedIn articles vs a traditional blog {as shared content}?

My reply:
Today's LinkedIn Nugget

I guess that’s why they call it the blues

pyrenees-351266_1920Blue: it conjures up rhapsodies of gorgeous music. lugubrious songs about low moods, and conversely open sky, deep water, songs about velvet and suede shoes: ah, many things.

And as I sat yesterday in an outdoors socially-distant concert by the great blues pianist Mark Naftalin, I now see the blues as more than sad sack music that laments no-job-no-money or “my baby left me.” So much more when played well and richly! Bravo!

I too play with color, in my work, primarily it’s the creativity I get to practice in designing slides for a presentation; whether the background or the font color, blue seems to sit best with my audiences because it is crisp and legible. It is uplifting (despite the music genre) and it’s my favorite color.

Or it’s the color of the words I choose to convey my thoughts. It’s for you, from me.

So I admit, I am biased towards rich blues.

Yet the feeling of being blue sometimes wafts around entrepreneurs who are stuck, perhaps drowning in the deep blue sea of rejection or droplets of business that evaporated. Some creative people I know are especially slow in the pandemic such that their business dried up (another color blue that is dispersed so finely we cannot see it, only feel it.)

Yet blue ink on contracts will regenerate, and though our face masks may also be blue, we will find a way to e-hug and elongate our relationships over time. I am optimistic and I hope you are too.

Right, no LinkedIn tie in…I do get blue in the face about the topic sometimes here…You deserve a break once in a while.

How blue (or not) do you feel? How do you get out of a rut?

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Guest Blogger Tony Martignetti’s in the house today!

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Sometimes I get to collaborate with some great people, but too infrequently. One of those is Tony Martignetti, speaking on his radio show 3 times, most recently 2 years ago when my LinkedIn book for nonprofit professionals hit the shelves. He contacted me recently to help publicize Planned Giving Accelerator, his newest innovation for nonprofits, so I invited him to tell you his perspective about the new endeavor. Please encourage your favorite nonprofits to speak and learn about planned giving from Tony. Speaking to him is always a treat. Now Tony has the floor:

When we think about practical uses for LinkedIn, stewarding donors who might make a gift to your nonprofit in their wills likely isn’t at the top of many peoples’ lists.

But it’s on mine.

For over 20 years, I’ve been helping nonprofits build Planned Giving programs, which encourage donors to consider donating a portion of their estates through their wills.

What I’ve found is that the most effective Planned Giving efforts center around sustained multi-channel marketing. And one of the most unsung channels is LinkedIn.

But before we dive into why LinkedIn, specifically, is a great tool for Planned Giving fundraisers, let’s pan out a bit and talk about what Planned Giving is – and why it’s often overlooked.

Most financially successful nonprofits aren’t funded exclusively through annual giving programs or grants.

They also have a secret weapon: Planned Giving.

These savvy nonprofits have learned that they can achieve long-term financial strength through planned gifts — primarily bequests left in the wills of donors who believe strongly in their work.

If you manage a small- or mid-size nonprofit, just one planned gift can change your financial trajectory. Even better, if you devote sufficient time and energy to building and marketing a Planned Giving program, you’ll accrue multiple gifts that can help support your mission and values for decades and generations to come.

That’s because the average charitable bequest is around $35,000 — and often runs much higher.

I’ve worked with nonprofits that have received commitments in the millions. But 5- and 6-figure bequests are quite common.

Unfortunately, many nonprofits hold Planned Giving at arm’s length because of its perceived complexity.

Sure, there are a number of different Planned Giving vehicles, some of which appear to require an advanced law degree to decipher. But starting your Planned Giving program isn’t difficult and doesn’t require expertise.

I strongly advise nonprofits who are new to Planned Giving to start simply. Rather than trying to market hard-to-understand methods like charitable lead unitrusts (you don’t want to know!), encourage your donors to make a simple bequest.

Most of your donors won’t think to include your organization in their wills unless you ask them.

So ask.

And use a variety of mediums — your website, direct mail, email, social media, and multimedia — to market your program.

That’s where LinkedIn comes in.

You’ll definitely want to include messaging on your website and in direct-mail and email campaigns. But if you’re doing those things only – and not leveraging LinkedIn — you’re likely missing out.

I strongly encourage fundraisers to cross-post their articles about the value of Planned Giving through LinkedIn – and to make sure that there are posts about your Planned Giving program on your nonprofit’s LinkedIn page.

LinkedIn can also serve as a great network for acknowledging those who have made Planned Giving pledges (provided, of course, they want public acknowledgement).

Like most things LinkedIn, the key is to be genuine and positive – and to honor connections and supporters who are making the ultimate giving decision.

__________________________________________

Tony Martignetti is the evangelist for Planned Giving. He’s been starting and growing Planned Giving programs since 1997. A former attorney, he’s now launched Planned Giving Accelerator, a membership community to create 1,000+ new Planned Giving programs in the U.S. It’s at PlannedGivingAccelerator.com and @PG_Accelerator.

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Artificial barriers

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We create artificial boundaries: internationally, nationally, regionally, municipally, and recently between people for health reasons. Nature doesn’t know or care where New York ends and Connecticut begins; these are human conventions.

But all along we demarcate other boundaries as we work: in my case as a book author, I write in chapters (and I am pleased the second edition of my book is coming along!), in blog posts I have themes by some days of the week, as in my Back to Basics Tuesdays and Guest Blogger Fridays, and finally on LinkedIn (in Groups, pods, connections, followers, and degrees of connection.

All are artificial and designed to create some order in life. Some way to differentiate one thing from another.

And I can divide time in ways that allocate befores, durings, and afters. I can evaluate cause and effect.

Two LinkedIn pods I have been invited to recently have been quite remarkable in increasing my connectivity to people I did not know until then; now we are ”tight,” astutely commenting on each other’s observations and encouraging each other to run faster, jump higher, metaphorically. After joining the pods, daily since then, I am nurtured by these good people.

Followers are recognizing my desire to provide quality observation and curated material to help them and recently I have entered the top 5 most-followed global LinkedIn coaches in percentage growth month to month. That honor is definitely a unique way to slice and dice the LinkedIn world, right?

If I help you here or on my other musings and thoughts on LinkedIn, then you fall into an artificial group of those I nurture vs. those I have not yet had the privilege.

Yes, I see beneficial yet artificial groupings everywhere.

Some create barriers, insurmountable, as in those who think LinkedIn is a waste of time, not worth the ROI, or never providing them what they sought from it; they are a grouping apart from 709 million who already do.

To which I say, LinkedIn the tool comes with a user’s manual. Understand how it works. Learn to use it well and the barriers will fall away, the intent of community around global business communication will be enhanced, and the effort will eventually pay off, but a power tool must be respected and maintained. Used incorrectly it can be dangerous or useless, the lament expressed above. Used well, it provides amazing results that would take far more manual effort otherwise.

Divide the world into those you nurture and those you have yet to meet so you can nurture. That artificial division will benefit you, and them as well. Perhaps more them.

Try it. Create consultative collections rather than physical barriers to overcome.

Tomorrow: guest blog piece by long-time friend and colleague Tony Martignetti on some exciting news, and if you don’t already know, he’s a professional who adds his own dose of excitement to all he does, and that’s a lot! 

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

“Aging Makes All the Difference”

agingcoaster2The last time I blogged about aging it was in the context of  allowing your writing to cool and gel (https://wp.me/pT2tC-6rL).

Backstory: It was last summer when we happened upon a farmer’s market in Vermont and a whiskey distiller was offering samples, so of course we obliged him, and with it he gave us a bar coaster with his logo and tagline, “Aging makes all the difference.”

As we all age, or I should say mature, our perspectives and earned wrinkles make all the difference. We see things differently, with thicker but better focused lenses, and we draw upon our experiences in our past to attack and vanquish problems of the present.

But aging came at me last evening in a different way. In a webinar I co-presented, I handled a question about best ways to handle age discrimination in the hiring marketplace.

Drawing on almost 9 years pro bono teaching experience to displaced baby boomers, I advised the 100+ people in the webinar to listen carefully for age discrimination or any part that sounds discriminatory and then honorably depart the hiring process with them.

Yes, walk away.

  1. Ageism’s illegal, but never stopped anyone from harboring such opinions, EXPRESSED overtly or between the lines.
  2. If the company practices any form of ageism, you don’t want to work there anyway.  Find the exit now before you become a pariah.

Find an employer who values your age, history, wrinkles, and wise perspective. Period.

There you will make your age make all the difference.

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Back to Basics Tuesday: catching up is hard to do

man s hand in shallow focus and grayscale photography
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With all due respect to Neil Sedaka, catching up is hard once you fall behind.

That means you shouldn’t let it happen. But it does. Human nature is to delay doing something you can’t bear to start and letting go of all else of less importance, when you prefer to be involved in something else of higher enjoyment on your agenda.

Think of the items you need to accomplish that keep being pushed to the bottom of the list.

For me, dead bottom of the list, is spending 1-hour decluttering my office. Professional organizers reading here, stop shaking your head. In my own defense, you probably defer renovating your LinkedIn profile and would rather neaten your desktop.

We all make decisions based on preferences. Yes. I’ll spend 15-minute increments reshuffling years-old papers on my desk or side table and move them to my file cabinet top or bookshelf. Yes, 15 minutes of writing a blog post or renovating someone’s LinkedIn profile is far more enjoyable to me. So is going to the dentist.

Not you?

That’s ok.

We both have some catching up to do in the items petrifying on our to-do lists.