3 Tips for Using LinkedIn to Get a Job

Recently, I was asked what a person can do on LinkedIn to better their chances of getting hired.
I’m more experienced with using LinkedIn to prospect, get sales, and market brands. It’s been over two years since I looked for a job.
Applying what I know about LinkedIn marketing for brands and businesses, the following are 3 tips I shared with her for improving her LinkedIn presence and using it as a tool to network into finding the right career. It comes down three important ingredients, which I call the three P’s: People, Post, and Profile
Besides, applying for jobs:

1. People  

DM all of your connections. We all make connections here, but how many of them do you actually reach out and talk to?

In her case, she has nearly 1,000 connections. Message them and offer them value before asking for anything. See if there are ways you can help them. You’ve all heard that it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. So true, in today’s age. Establishing relationships with people is a key part of making progress in any career.

2. Post

Post content every day or at least every week. People get super annoyed at this one. “But I’m so busy!” you wail. But, in a competitive job market, you can’t afford NOT to put yourself out there, share things of value, and differentiate yourself.

Sharing valuable content — even if it’s just your take on a piece of content someone else made — makes you a resource for people, demonstrates expertise, establishes credibility and initiates conversation.

Post short written LinkedIn updates, LinkedIn videos, and LinkedIn articles (i.e. your blog). In a competitive job market, you must get used to doing this work. Otherwise, risk losing the job to someone else who is willing to do it. We must all become personal brands and thought leaders to some extent, even if we rather remain anonymous.

3. Profile

Last, but not least, optimize your LinkedIn profile. For a job seeker, this is most important.

Make sure your bio is sterling and captivating. Include the most up-to-date, relevant info in your resume. I’d even recommend hiring a resume coach. Have a good photo (Literally Google ways to optimize LinkedIn profile and photo).

And, most importantly, feature examples and case studies of your work. As an employer, I’m more interested in seeing what you can do for me right now than reading your resume listing past accomplishments.

So, network with people, post content, and optimize your profile.
Is there anything I left out here that you would advise someone using LinkedIn to get a job? Granted, it’s not something I have as much experience with, so any and all tips are welcome and appreciated. I’ll even include them and give you credit!
Thanks!
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Going from Night Owl to Morning Person

How did the biggest night owl turn into a morning lark?

I’ve had problems going to sleep for as long as I can remember.

It was hard to turn my ADHD brain off at night. Between endless amounts of thoughts and my need for constant stimulation — TV, computer, smartphone, it was very hard to settle down.

Of course, I’d always have to pay the price in the morning. Naturally, the morning wasn’t something I enjoyed. I was anything but a morning person. I wore night owl proudly as part of my identity.

Becoming a freelance content writer did not help to change those habits. Rather, it legitimatized them. “Some people just aren’t morning people!” I’d say.

Most days, I’d wake up when I wanted to and work until late, eating whatever and exercising practically never. Sometimes I stayed in pjs & crocs.

I think everybody has to find what works for them. This is not to denigrate anyone’s choices.

But my old ways were not healthy for me physically.

For the past few weeks, I’ve forced myself to stick to a tight routine waking up around 6am, going to the gym, and starting my calls and meetings around 8:30. I work until around 7pm and then I force myself to unwind with a book or a show.

While the adjustment was hard, I’ve grown to love it. After changing my habits and developing a routine, I feel that I am far more equipped to build the marketing agency of my dreams.

And, I still write, but now I usually write in the morning. I relish my morning “me” time. I look forward to it. The quiet and the solitude. The joy of knowing I have a whole day ahead of me. It’s when I do my best writing and my ideas pour out like water. Never in a hundred years did I think I’d say that, but it’s true.

I have finally become…*gulp* a morning person, and I couldn’t be happier.

How to Get on My Bad Side: My Personal List of Traits and Behaviors that Annoy Me

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In business and in life, we have to deal with all types of people like it or not.

I think one of the most challenging yet rewarding parts of being an entrepreneur is that I am forced on a daily basis to grow, improve my EQ, suck it up, eat s***, and break past my personal limitations.

I am constantly trying to expand my threshold of what I can tolerate while simultaneously learning to drop or avoid people or situations that can negatively impact me or my business.

Learning to walk that tightrope of figuring out what you need to learn to deal with and what you need to stop putting up with is, perhaps, the greatest challenge of all.

I thought it would be a fun little exercise to draw up a list of traits and behaviors I can’t stand.

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I’m not sure yet what constructive purpose this exercise serves, but it does help me identify the things that trigger me negatively and it felt good to get it all out on paper.

This list might also help me learn to watch out for these traits or become more patient and accepting when people display them. Maybe it will help me become more tolerant of people who exhibit these traits and learn who or what to avoid as well (in a business partner, romantic partner, client, friend etc.)

There is a belief that if something annoys you, you might have a little bit of that trait within yourself. Sometimes, that’s precisely the reason why it bothers you so much. If anything, this list can work as a mirror on myself help keep me in check so I can steer clear of being guilty of these behaviors.

It can also help me get a bird’s eye view on what annoys me so that I can grow as a person and learn to work with people who exhibit these traits. Some of these things are negotiable in some situations, but not in others.

In life and in business you have no choice but to deal with the good, the bad, the ugly, and the boring. While one thing might be intolerable in a friendship, you just might have to eat it in a business situation. And sometimes you need to know where to draw the line — even with clients and customers.

Without further adieu, if you really want to get under my skin in a bad way, here’s how to do it:

  • Know-it-alls
  • Pushiness
  • Unsolicited advice
  • Dismissiveness
  • Double standards
  • Not owning up or taking responsibility for one’s actions
  • Holier-than-thou attitudes
  • Whining and excessive complaining (kvetching)
  • Hypocrisy
  • Self-righteousness
  • Sense of entitlement
  • Boasting
  • Life-coaches with no real life experience or who are horrible at managing their own lives or business coaches who haven’t built a real business
  • Judging unfavorably
  • Manipulation
  • Attempts to control or silence me
  • Sticklers about petty or insignificant rules or other matters
  • Putting ideology or religion before fellow human beings
  • Social media complaining
  • People who talk over others
  • Being judged as bad because you curse or pepper your everyday speech with a little profanity here and there
  • Empty talk (e.g. talks of plans or things you’re going to do or things we are going to do together with no real effort to carry them out)
  • Asking for something without establishing a rapport or relationship first e.g. “Hi, nice to meet you. Are you interested in buying x?”
  • Interruptive advertising or solicitation
  • People who get angry at you when you’re under 3 minutes late (3-minute rule?)
  • People who get upset with you when you can’t talk to them the at moment they want to talk to you
  • Long, boring talks and speeches
  • Unscheduled phone calls from anyone who isn’t family or a close friend
    Frivolity
  • Not allowing me to make my point or counterargument after you just went off on me
  • Unjustified self aggrandizement
  • Ad hominem attacks which attack character rather than ideas
  • Arguments where the speaker/writer mistakes their own subjective opinion for fact when they are factually incorrect
  • Being judged by an unfair standard or one that the other person doesn’t hold for themselves
  • Defensiveness
  • Hot-headedness
  • Bullying
  • Gaslighting
  • Grandstanding
  • Taking advantage of others
  • People who will inevitably judge me in an unfavorable light for posting this list or call me out even though we all have a “list” and we are all guilty of judging others negatively at times, sometimes for behaviors we ourselves are guilty of, but most of us aren’t bold enough to talk about it or share it with the world

There are probably more and they may range from the comical slight annoyance to the intolerable, non-negotiable.

Do any of the things above annoy you too? Are you working on changing that and becoming more flexible on any of them? Do you exhibit any of these tendencies yourself?

What traits and behaviors are on your personal list of things that annoy you? Is your list too long? If your list is short, are you truly being honest with yourself? Are you guilty of some of the very things that you don’t like and how are you going to work on that?

Are any of the things on your list negotiable or would you put up with them if the situation calls for it?

Feel free to let me know in the comments!

Ideas for Content Are All Around Us

Ideas are all around us if we pay attention.

So often, people who want to build an online presence or develop a personal brand get stymied about what kind of content to create. The same goes for companies. They become trapped in what I’d call “Creator’s Block.”

The truth is content creation is not reinventing the wheel. Not every piece of content has to be totally original to stand out or add to the conversation. One might even argue that true originality doesn’t even exist. For example, you can do roundups of opinions from industry leaders. You can also curate content from around the web and provide your own spin or unique point of view alongside it.

Recently, I had the pleasure of interviewing Mark Schaeffer, a sought-after marketing consultant, blogger, and keynote speaker. In his latest book, Known The Handbook for Building and Unleashing Your Personal Brand in the Digital Age, Schaeffer says the best way to keep your content fresh is to “view your daily life through the lens of possible new content…My catalog of new ideas isn’t coming from a flash of personal insight or alien intelligence beaming into my head. It’s maintained through an awareness of my environment and developing a nose for news.”

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Don’t break your head thinking about what sort of content to create. Accustom yourself to pay greater attention to the world around you.  Everything from current events to daily occurrences in your personal and professional life contains ideas for your next blog post, article, video, or voice note.

Observe your surroundings with an eye and ear toward content opportunities. Keep a notepad handy or use the Notes app on your phone. If you don’t like write, make an audio recording. Jot down questions your clients or customers ask you. Play around with Google’s search bar and answer questions people frequently search. Take note of interesting things you read or hear. Catalog interesting or funny things that happen to you throughout your day. And, remember, things you might think are obvious might be new and interesting to others.

Pretty soon, you’ll probably store enough content ideas to fill up an entire month or two on your content calendar. Learn to find the story angles in your everyday life and tell those stories in a way that only you can tell them.

Why I Don’t Need to Go Anywhere or Do Anything

In an earlier post, I wrote about the benefits of travel for a freelancer. Now, I’m going to completely contradict myself.

While I do think it’s healthy to get out of one’s environment now and then, I spend the vast majority of time at home sitting in front of my laptop banging out blog posts and other pieces of written content like this one. Sure, it’s great to get up, go out for some fresh air, and recharge the batteries. But, if you’re happy where you are and doing what you’re doing, who says you need to travel to some far off destination?

The following Facebook status from legendary copywriter and author of The Copywriter’s Handbook, Bob Bly, made me laugh because I related to it so much:

“”The writer’s volume of accomplishment depends precisely on the ability to sit alone in a room,” said Susan Sontag. It’s yet another reason why I view travel as an unwholesome chore to be avoided at all costs, do not go to meetings, and infrequently leave my house. And I’m as happy as a clam.”

People tell me all the time that they cannot understand how I possibly stay in my apartment all day in front of my computer and maintain my sanity (arguable whether or not it’s been maintained). They have no comprehension how I can be happy doing that. And, yet I’m totally content.

This is probably why I never really understood the “digital nomad” lifestyle that so many writers and other freelance creatives romanticize. Sure, it’s cool to be able to work from anywhere and I relish that privilege, but I’ve traveled while working. It kind of sucks!

You have to constantly worry about where to get wifi, time zone differences can make deadlines and client communication problematic, and you have to pray you don’t suffer a technical issue in a country where they don’t speak your .native tongue. Plus, if you’re really working, you don’t have much time for sight-seeing and then you feel bad that you’re not taking advantage of what your destination has to offer. I’m fine just writing and working from home. There’s nothing “out there” I need to do right now.

I keep in-person meetings to a minimum, stay inside my apartment most of the day, and rarely travel despite its potential benefits.

Other people tell me they’d go crazy. I guess we writers are a weird breed of human and I’m alright with that.

My Interview with Jeffrey Gitomer – King of Sales

If you ever worked in sales, you’ve likely heard of Jeffrey Gitomer or come across one of his many color-coded books. An acclaimed public speaker, business trainer, and prolific writer, the self-proclaimed “King of Sales,” has authored over 25 books about sales, customer loyalty, and personal development, including The New York Times best-sellers, The Sales BibleThe Little Red Book of SellingThe Little Black Book of Connections, and The Little Gold Book of YES! Attitude.

Gitomer also has an extensive library of audio, video, and written content available online and delivers over 100 keynote speeches and seminars a year. He has served major corporate customers, such as Coca-Cola, D.R. Horton, Caterpillar, BMW, BNC Mortgage, Time Warner Cable, The Sports Authority, and Carlsberg beer. I contacted Jeffrey Gitomer to ask him for tips, tricks, and secrets to having success in sales and business.

Read the Interview Here

Why Quality Content Trumps Quantity Content

In a recent article on the Hubspot blog titled Marketers: This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things, Kipp Bodnar explains how marketers ruin everything.

Take email for example. In the mid to late 90s, people read most of their emails. Getting an email was exciting. When you heard the phrase, “You’ve got mail,” you actually cared. But, then marketers came along and clogged our inboxes up with spam and junk mail. Today, most emails are ignored or not even seen and the average email open ratefor an email marketing campaign in 2017 is just under 25%.

According to Bodnar, the same is now happening to content marketing. Content will be ruined for everyone if marketers don’t cool it. About 5 years ago, way back in 2012 when I started getting interested in marketing, content marketing was romanticized, as Bodnar puts it, as an “antidote to disruptive advertising and direct marketing.” After consumers started using technology to filter out email promotions and banner ads, such as ad block, “smart marketers started to create useful content designed help the consumer rather than sell them. If good and relevant, this content would find its way to the top of the search results page and, without costing the company anything in ad spend, deliver a compounding stream of incoming traffic.”

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