Are your LinkedIn Skills Up To Snuff?

4 02 2011

LinkedIn rolled out another new feature this week and I found it worth more than a few minutes of my time. It’s called LinkedIn Skills, and within LinkedIn’s powerful social networking tool, you can now conduct a search and produce a unique page on a specific skill.

You’ll soon see if it appears whether the skills list on your profile is up to snuff compared to other people in your industry or market. I recommend using these insights to make some edits to your profile and/or perhaps reconsider how you are positioning yourself. (Contact me if you need help with this!)

Basically, you can type in any string and get a snapshot of that skill within LinkedIn’s database of 90 million (and counting) profiles. A search on “Online Marketing” is below and you can watch a short You Tube video on this new feature HERE.

Online Marketing search string on LinkedIn Skills

Online Marketing Skills on LinkedIn

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Learning to Love LinkedIn Tip #10

29 11 2010

My #10 and final tip for 2010?

Read this blog post titled, “20 LinkedIn Case Studies for Personal Branding” from Kyle Lacy. I spotted it on the Personal Branding Blog. I’m grateful that Kyle culled these stories and saved me the trouble! I think my favorite is #11 because it mentions that Jeff Ragovin of Buddy Media “..found success with quality not quantity.”

I’m certain reading this motivating post will generate some new ideas for career as well as business development activities for the new year. Enjoy! P.S. If you need help developing a strategy for applying any of these to your 2011 goals just email me!

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Learning to Love LinkedIn Tip #8

9 07 2010

When I worked on-site in a business and market development role for a client in 2008 I had 2 monitors on my desk. The first had Outlook and a browser open with tabs for Salesforce.com, Gmail, and whatever else I was focused on at the time. The other monitor had another open browser with a tab open to LinkedIn all day, every day.

I used LinkedIn to prepare for every conference or cold call I had or made, and just as often I used it to look up someone that had called me, or because I can type with more than two fingers, even as they were calling me if their name came up in the caller ID window.

I saved time and acquired knowledge by doing this, and since time is money and knowledge is power, I highly recommend using LinkedIn to research prospective clients, company executives, vendor reps, folks involved in the hiring process for your next dream job or the people that might be sitting in on your agency’s next pitch meeting.

More often than not, you can get the names of these folks in advance because the person that has invited you wants the meeting to be as successful as possible for all parties involved, so they’ll usually send that info along if you ask for it. Sometimes, if the person setting the meeting or call is truly invested in you or your company’s solution, they will just offer this info up, but other times they wait for YOU to ASK, and if you don’t, it will become a little black mark next to your name or the company you represent. Seriously.

Clearly, doing this type of research (homework!) gives you an edge and enables you to find common ground with an individual or even potential areas of similar interest or future collaboration. And, yes, I even look up new Twitter followers (@sandyjk) via LinkedIn. 🙂

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Learning to Love LinkedIn Tip #7

21 06 2010

Maybe it’s the many years I spent in market research and/or business intelligence that made me so data driven, but I rarely react to anything without doing some research first.

Where do I start? I use LinkedIn to conduct research on almost everything and everyone. Whether it’s a new prospective client, someone I met at a networking event, a highly recommended recruiter, a company I never heard of, or a potential new hiring manager, my go-to place is more often than not LinkedIn. Sure you can Google folks or companies as well, but I save a lot of time, and gain many more insights, by going to LinkedIn first.

I even use LinkedIn’s Answers feature to search for information/answers on topics I am already curious about because in many cases the question and corresponding answers are already in there.

LinkedIn Answers Search box on BellaDomain.comAnd yes, you’ll usually have to sort through plenty of thinly disguised self-promotional answers (I always prefer when people just admit doing this), but you will find some intelligent responses from all types of experts on LinkedIn, and it’s definitely worth your time to do a quick search there.

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Study shares 6 essential skills for a strong professional network

20 05 2010

Are you building the 6 essential skills associated with having a strong professional network?

In my book,“I’m at a Networking Event–Now What???”, I site a study that comes from the folks at Upwardly Mobile Inc. and the Graziadio School of Business Management at Pepperdine University. They conducted a study on the habits of what they call, “elite networkers” and their behaviors as they relate to networking in general.

The 6 skills they identified are:

1.    Maintain ongoing contact with key network members
2.    Proactively build relationships with mentors and advisors
3.    Identify, research and add new connections to your network
4.    Get meaningful introductions to key contacts important to your career success
5.    Proactively create connections within your network
6.    Evolve relationships from “contacts” into close connections

Couldn’t agree more with this list and encourage all to aspire to be mindful of these behaviors every single day. Please share this list with others too! 🙂

Download the effective networker study HERE.

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Are you on the National No Brain Picking list?

6 04 2010

Are you a consultant or a service provider? How many non-billable brain picking sessions did you sit through so far this year? Or, on the flip side, how many brains did you try to pick for free in Q1 of 2010? I think we should start a National Do Not Brain Pick registry and I want to be on it.

I know I’ve written about this before, and even referenced Matt Youngquist’s spot-on post about banning the phrase “pick your brain,” but based on what I’ve experienced, witnessed and heard during the first quarter of 2010, not that many people are getting the message. One of my favorite quotes Matt shares in his blog post is from Jeffrey Gitomer, “People call me all the time and ask to buy my lunch so they can pick my brain. My response is: ‘I have a $1000 an hour brain-picking fee, so I’ll buy your lunch!’ That stops all the bloodsuckers.”
No More Brain Picking! a SandyJK & Victor Pascual collaboration
And then in Kevin Dugan’s popular blog post titled, “Can I pick your brain?” he states, “Sending someone a note asking to pick their brain is the equivalent of saying you want them to work for free.”

If you are a consultant or a service provider you are no doubt all too often faced with the brain picking request. And, maybe, if you’re lucky, the other party will at least offer to buy your coffee or drink, or occasionally lunch. However, more often than not, you’ll only receive a “Thanks for meeting with me.”

In my book, “I’m at a Networking Event–Now What???” I write about the etiquette around follow-up meeting requests after meeting new people. I strongly encourage folks to show their gratitude for the meeting by, at the very least, offering to buy the other person’s cup of coffee, and have since added to my workshops that if they already have something to drink or they decline, when you go up to buy your latte, buy a $5 gift card and give it to them with a smile and say, “Thanks so much for making time to meet with me and I really want your next coffee to be on me.”

But, back to the brain picking sessions…..as Matt asks, “Do you even know folks who charge only $3.50 an hour for their expertise?” I don’t, and wouldn’t take advice from them if that was the highest value they placed on their intellectual capital.

Sometimes it’s much worse for me as both a consultant, service provider, and having a reputation as an “idea person” and “connector,” because more often than not, most folks I’m barely acquainted with think nothing of asking me to:

a) make an introduction to a highly valuable (potentially lucrative to them) relationship (notice I didn’t say “contact”) that I’ve worked years to develop, maintain and typically protect (which is why their target and I have a relationship, and are not just “acquaintances”), without acknowledging the value, size or real agenda of the ask. Usually, it’s that they want to pitch them on their services or sell them their product and generate revenue (money) from the new connection.

b) meet for coffee because they want to “pick your brain” (PYB) about how to start using social media in their business, effectively and cheaply promote their new site, network effectively at an industry association event, which companies to pitch their service or product to, review their site content for relevancy, the list goes on.

The things listed above are classic business development, marketing or networking strategy activities and are things I making my living doing, so why would someone ask me to do these things for free (or a cup of coffee)?! At the very least, it would be nice if they ASKED ME what I currently needed help with first or suggested some kind of equitable trade we could do in exchange for the pieces of brain matter or social capital they intended to acquire from me. For example, would I ask my mechanic to change my oil without offering him my credit card or maybe a website content refresh? Do I ask my accountant to file my annual LLC paperwork without expecting an invoice or at least offering to set up a Fan page on Facebook for her small practice?

Nicole Jordan writes about “Classic PYB behavior” in her blog post titled, “No. You can’t pick my brain.” She asks, “Would you ask a lawyer to coffee to “pick his brain?” and accurately states that, “Creative ideas and connections are the real currency in this digital economy,” and observes that “Strategic and creative counsel is one of the most under-monetized aspects of being in the communications and marketing business.” She’s right and I’m going to start doing as she suggests:

From now on, and especially for people who I do not know well (you know who you are): I will tell them I am happy to meet, that I am flattered they asked, and that because my time is extremely valuable I don’t do these PYB (or “sounding board”) sessions for free.

Nicole also shared that, “Most of the time I’ve said this, they’ve understood and honored it.  The ones that got a little ruffled, are the ones who will suck you dry and likely leave you paying for your own coffee. And theirs. Run. Fast.” Beep Beep!

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Why a Climate Policy Primer?

29 04 2009

Because crafting a comprehensive climate bill will be on the table in the coming weeks as our elected officials in WDC start debating climate policy legislation, President Obama no doubt knew that he needed to break it down in simple terms in his Earth Day speech for Congress, as well as the masses. Clearly, it’s critical that our elected officials thoroughly understand what’s involved, and, if you, like me, don’t want to just hope for the best on this, why not send them something to help educate them?

What you ask? Thanks to the SVP event we attended last night, that was hosted by Aaron Fairchild of G2B Ventures, I have just the thing….

The brilliant folks at Sightline Institute already wrote, and have made available, a handy Climate Policy Primer doc you can download via the link below for forwarding to your state representatives. It’s called, “Cap and Trade 101: A Climate Policy Primer.”  Check it out and please spread the word!

Download:

cap-trade_101_climate_policy_primer

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