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Consistency on LinkedIn (it’s ok to slack off).

Consistency on LinkedIn (it’s ok to slack off).

My first attempt at tackling LinkedIn with a plan was my “plan” to post each day. I heard you needed consistency on LinkedIn. Consistency is key and all that. Fast forward 9 years and you know what? Sure when I do post consistently on LinkedIn, I am more on people’s radar than when I don’t, but it is not as important as it seems.

When I don’t show up for 2-3 weeks… Because I am on holiday (yup, I take time off when on holidays) or because I got me a new 700-page novel and forget about the world around me… it is not the end of the world. It is not like when I don’t stick to the plan to show up consistently on LinkedIn all my hard work comes undone.

It is a bit like muscle memory. Fifteen years ago I was a total gym junkie. These days, I carry extra weight, have arthritis and whatever other excuses not to exercise beyond walking. But then I saw some step aerobics and started to get the itch. I dusted off my step, found a class on YouTube and you know what? I may not quite have the level of fitness to keep up, but the moves all still come to me without thinking. As that is half the battle won with step aerobics, it is easier for me than I thought to keep going and before you know it I had seriously increased my fitness level.

Being active on LinkedIn works the same way. Once you have a plan in place, a plan that works for you (there is a reason I do step aerobics and not Zumba) it takes a few weeks, for most people 3-6 weeks of following the plan. Some days you may have to make yourself show up. After a while though, showing up consistently on LinkedIn will become an effortless, natural and enjoyable part of your routine.

If you slacken off, sure you will drop a tad off people’s radar. Fortunately, as soon as you get the itch, get back on track, it is dead-easy to get front of people’s mind for your expertise again.

PS These days my plan does involve a bit more than regularly posting and hope for the best. Seems silly to keep it all to myself, so I’ve turned my strategy into a totally customisable blueprint for the people I work with.

 

👇 What is your plan when it comes to getting noticed, mentioned & remembered on LinkedIn? 👇

Posting on LinkedIn: Throwing content in a black hole?

Posting on LinkedIn: Throwing content in a black hole?

“When I post things that I believe are worthwhile for my target audience nothing happens. Feels like throwing things into a black hole.” This is one of the responses to my survey asking people how they feel about LinkedIn. Feels like throwing things into a black hole doesn’t sound motivating to continue your efforts, does it? I understand though, I’ve been there.

The first few years that I was active on LinkedIn I didn’t have a plan. Even more so, I didn’t know there was more to it than sharing all my wildly valuable knowledge with the world! At least I got that bit right, that LinkedIn is all about adding value to your network and beyond.

I got some likes, even the odd comment. Not much else. No new connection requests, no real conversation in the comments. Definitely no new clients.

To a point though, posting on LinkedIn is throwing it into a black hole and hoping for the best. A client of mine once went to a party at her old company. She texted me excitedly the next day. People came up to her starting conversations with her LinkedIn posts as a starting point. She had no idea these past colleagues were reading her posts, as they never liked or commented.

This situation is not unique. This is happening to all of us all the time. If you want to get even more eyeballs on your content, you will need engagement. When I read an interesting article in the paper, I am glad the paper drops on my mat each morning. I don’t bother to write to the editor to show my appreciation.

Online it is a lot easier to engage with the author (you) of interesting content though. It takes one click to like and less than 30 seconds to type and send a comment. This is where it becomes interesting. When someone comments on your post a few wheels are set in motion:

  1. People you are not connected with are shown your content on their timeline as (mutual connection) commented.
  2. You can share more expertise. Always respond to comments on your posts. At the bare minimum, say thank you. Ideally, though you use the opportunity to share another small nugget of your expertise. I can’t say it enough: “Always Add Value”.
  3. If your posts are focused on your main area of expertise and just 2-3 related (sub) topics, people will soon start to associate you with your expertise and mention you when a question is posted elsewhere.

Key to be noticed, mentioned & remembered on LinkedIn is engagement. A lot depends on the structure of your post. There are different formats and most of them work. It all depends on what you want to achieve as to which format works best for you.

👇 How do you feel about spending time on LinkedIn? 👇

 

Your LinkedIn Evolution

Your LinkedIn Evolution

Building sites and LinkedIn, what they got in common? A lot! I love living so close to the NDSM wharf district as it is a fun, creative and constantly evolving area. Just like Your LinkedIn Presence, right? Not sure how they match? Read on!

 

CONTINUALLY EVOLVING

Before they started building here, they laid the foundation, just like you laid your LinkedIn foundation. Your LinkedIn foundation was laid when you opened an account, filled in the blanks and connected to some people.

As you can see this building is nowhere near finished. Most LinkedIn profiles I see have jobs listed, but no descriptions. Or piss-poor descriptions. Boring blah blah about past responsibilities. LinkedIn profiles like unfinished buildings. Ideally, things continually grow, develop and evolve.

 

BRING YOUR PAST IN LINE WITH NOW

Write about the skills, experience, knowledge you gained that is relevant NOW. Build a trustworthy progression throughout your career that makes clients believe YOU are the right person to hire. Once upon a time, I worked in a shelter for women who suffered domestic violence. Instead of writing about my tasks and responsibilities, I highlight what contributed to my current training ability. Working with a group with a diverse social, economic and cultural background. 

ENGAGED NETWORK

Once the builders are done with this building, people will move in. Some will only nod at their neighbours in passing. Others will strike up a conversation. Get to know each other, turn this building into a community. This happens equally on LinkedIn. Some people will ignore their network, others will engage occasionally, perhaps clicking the default birthday “Congrats” message. Others take networking to the next level. Engaging, interacting, connecting … building a true network.

>>> How do you treat your LinkedIn connections? <<<

Show your expertise through authentic engagement on LinkedIn

Show your expertise through authentic engagement on LinkedIn

People often ask if they should consider a paid LinkedIn account. I counter their questions by asking: “are you using your free account to the max?” In this post you’ll learn about detailed and specific ways to search and engage on LinkedIn. Even if you don’t connect (yet) you can still engage on LinkedIn with interesting people.

1) START WITH A BOOLEAN EXPRESSION

If you are looking for an export manager, you don’t want all the results for export and all the results for manager. To search for this specific phrase you use “ “ around the words that need to stay together “export manager”. Only want export managers in the FMCG industry? Then you search for:

“export manager” AND (FMCG OR “fast moving consumer goods”)

Sounds complicated? Have a quick Google on “Boolean Expressions” to find out it is not all that tricky. The AND means your results need to include both the thing before and after the AND. The OR means as long as one or the other thing is found. By using ( ) we made it one thing after the AND. These things are called operators by geeks, mathematicians and other clever people.

2) USE THE FILTERS LINKEDIN OFFERS

You might want to narrow your search down to a certain location, industry or company. Scroll through the search results and open any LinkedIn profile that looks interesting.

3) CONNECT WITH THOSE YOU FEEL COMFORTABLE INVITING

Say something like: “Having relocated to The Netherlands, I researched my area of expertise: export manager. I came across your profile. I noticed (insert something from their profile) and wondered if you’d like to connect”.

Each person who accepts your invite needs a follow-up message. Thank them for accepting your request. Include one question related to your work, ask what they see as typical in that respect in the local/country working environment.

The ones that respond are the ones you contact again. Ask them if they are open to having a 20 min chat on the phone to talk to you about their role and company as you are trying to understand how your expertise may/may not fit in the Dutch … industry.

This not only gives you a targeted network it also lets people get to KNOW you.

4) MOVE ON TO ENGAGING WITH CONTENT

In the search field on LinkedIn, type words relevant to your expertise/industry. Then filter the results to ‘content’ instead of the default ‘people’. Again using Boolean expressions to make your search as relevant as possible.

Scroll through the results and anything you find truly interesting … comment on it. Comment in a manner that is a compliment to the original post AND shows some of your expertise at the same time. Do tag/mention the author of the post @theirname so they get notified. Especially if the author is not the person posting the article.

5) DO THIS DAILY AND SOON YOUR NETWORK WILL START TO NOTICE YOU

Since you made sure your network is full of relevant industry people, they will think of you when they hear of an opening. This strategy also applies when you are looking for clients instead of a new job.

6) RULE OF THUMB FOR POSTING, COMMENTING & SHARING ON LINKEDIN

Notice I didn’t mention like? Likes are pointless in establishing your position as an expert on. A like makes people guess why you liked it and deprives you of the opportunity to share a tidbit of your expertise. Stay on brand (your area of expertise) 80% of the time like or comment to be nice to someone no more than 10% and also stay within 10% max of engaging off topic.

7) IT DOESN’T HAVE TO TAKE UP HALF YOUR DAY

With a bit of focus, you only need 10 min a day. Clients who applied this strategy for as little as 10 min 3 times a week reported results after two weeks.

>>> What is your strategy for reaching the right people on LinkedIn? <<<

 

 

Tag your new LinkedIn connection, even if they stand in front of you.

Tag your new LinkedIn connection, even if they stand in front of you.

Tags as such no longer exist on LinkedIn. Only in Sales Navigator and I am not paying for that, are you? In this post you’ll learn a quick workaround to ‘tag’ new connections. This way, if they reach out to you next month or in 3 years time, you can quickly refresh your memory about where you met. Even what you talked about if you wish.

DO YOU THINK I REMEMBER EVERY PERSON THAT I MEET?

I wish! One week I attended a networking event and someone asked me: “Have you got your phone?” I ehmed a bit. They asked: “Or don’t you want to connect?”

Got out my phone, opened LinkedIn. I typed in the person’s name, took a few extra steps and typed: “Great meeting you at such-and-such event.” Person said there was no need for it, we were standing right there together.

I’D LOVE TO REMEMBER EVERY LINKEDIN CONNECTION

Truth is, unlike Mike on “Suits” I don’t have a photographic memory.

I spent 5 days at a conference, chatted to over 100 people, even if only for a few minutes. Then I spoke at a meeting where two networking groups joined forces. Followed by the networking event I mentioned. Hate to disappoint you, but I do not remember every one of you brilliant people.

Especially when you look nothing like your profile picture!

Got myself a new client who introduced himself by saying: “I am so-and-so’s dad”. I thought so-and-so was at the combined event. Looked her up, turns out we met at the conference. Thank goodness for messages and personalised invites.
The person who asked me to connect on the spot? They accepted my invite A WEEK LATER. Ghee wiz I would not have known them from a bar of soap had I not had the personal note with the invite.

>>> How do you remember where and when you met?<<<

 

 

 

LET’S TALK ABOUT AUTHENTICITY AND LINKEDIN

LET’S TALK ABOUT AUTHENTICITY AND LINKEDIN

Last week I delivered training at an organisation whose values align with mine. They hired me for my knowledge AND because they knew we’d be a good cultural fit.

How did they know that?

Because what you see is what you get. I am no different on #LinkedIn then I am in real life. I am casual, direct, funny (some might disagree) and compassionate.

This is what I teach. It is ok for people to run a mile when they read your profile.

These people are not a good match to work with.

Use your LinkedIn Presence as a natural filter to attract the clients, employers, employees, partners that are a match made in heaving (on LinkedIn really).

I can work with people who drink coffee, even if I don’t. You don’t have to like my kind of music. We must share our values though.

If your values mean certain language is perceived disrespectful, that is totally cool. It doesn’t mean I have to change who I am. It doesn’t mean you have to accept my manner of speaking. It just means we are not meant to work together. Thanks to the PM I received today, I got all inspired to write this post.

Stand Out to Fit In

Fancy you score your all time dream job, only to find out you are miserable every day because you don’t fit in the company culture. Or you attract a client who wants to hire you for BIG money, but you don’t feel any joy being around that person (putting it mildly here).

By adding just enough personality to your LinkedIn Presence you will only attract people that are a brilliant fit.

Find the boundaries and decide on which side to stay

By all means, don’t go over your boundaries. I work for myself and mainly from home so I am writing this late at night in my PJs. You may not be in a role where you can do that. What you can do, is present yourself on LinkedIn as your authentic self within the limits of what is acceptable in the workplace you want to be part of.


>>> Lets chat about this, please share your thoughts in the comments<<<