I got 6 questions this past week about using LinkedIn as a Business Tool and decided to put the questions and answers into both an article and in a YouTube video series.
I hope these questions and the answers are useful for you:
Question #1 – When should I update LinkedIn after I quit my job?
There is no one clear answer to this question.
I recommend you mark the job as ended when you are ready to do so.
If you are retiring, make this step a Celebration, maybe with friends and/or co-workers.
If you are moving to another job, make this change as soon as you can. If you are in business development or community engagement role you should make this change within a few days.
If you are unemployed and actively looking for a job, you may wait until you find that next great job. so make the change.
If you are leaving the job because the organization is toxic or a horrible place to work you want to not only mark the job as ended, you may also want to remove the job from your LinkedIn Profile. This depends on how long you worked there.
How quickly you mark the job as ended depends on your own situation.
However, plan to do this step as soon as you are ready. Don’t forget to do it.
Question #2 – What should I post to get noticed on LinkedIn?
The answer to this question depends on what you want to be noticed for?
Additionally, posting content is not the only way to get noticed.
Engaging on existing conversations (content) is a powerful way to be noticed.
If you want to be noticed as an authority in your industry, you should be posting content and engaging on content that is relevant to the industry and meaningful to those you want to notice you.
If you want to be noticed as a community advocate, you should be posting and engaging on content that is relevant to your community.
Being clear on who you want to be noticed by is vital for you to determine what content to use.
What you post must be highly relevant and of interest to your target audience. You should minimize posting content that is all about you and/or your business.
This is similar to going to networking events in person. If every time you show up you are handing out your brochures and business cards in time the people in the networking events will begin to turn their backs on you.
Show up regularly with good, useful, interesting stories about others, the industry, community, etc, and they will accept a story now and then about your business.
Don’t post the same types of content every time you show up on LinkedIn. Mix it up. Different people want to ‘consume’ different types of content. Videos, articles, links to good & relevant content you find online, short posts, images, and documents are all good types of content to use.
If you can’t create your own content, consider having someone help you to create content that creates interest in your target audience.
Question #3 – Should a Company be on LinkedIn with their Company Name?
Not every company needs to have a Company Page on LinkedIn.
However, no Company should use a personal LinkedIn Profile to show up on LinkedIn. Personal Profiles are for human beings.
If a company wants to be represented on LinkedIn beyond their employee’s LinkedIn Profiles, they should create a LinkedIn Company Page and plan on feeding it.
A well-built LinkedIn Company Page focused on the company’s target audience can become an additional branding and even lead generation tool.
However, this takes work.
You must do the following:
Create the page content highly focused on your target audience, not all about the business. This is not an About web page that we see on company websites. The target audience wants to know how the company can serve them.
Regularly provide content that is relevant and useful to your target audience. Again, they don’t want to see posts that say your company has the best widgets ever. They want to discover how your widgets are helpful to them.
Additionally, the content you share on your LinkedIn Company Page can be about the industry, your community, your target audience, and other interesting stories.
Every now and then the content can be about your growing and developing team, your business, and your products.
Remember to write the content in context to your target audience.
Question #4 – How long should a LinkedIn Post be for maximum views?
A LinkedIn post can have as many as 3000 characters.
A LinkedIn post can also have up to 9 images on it.
You can have a document, a video, and/or a link to online content in a LinkedIn post as well.
Lots of authors know how to write content that appeals to their target audience and keeps them interested in reading.
Unfortunately, this is not a skill most LinkedIn Members have.
Christopher Chang wrote an article in December 2021 on this topic. where he mentioned relevant, actionable, interesting, fun, intriguing, inspiration as content types that get the best views. He did not indicate post length as an important attribute of these types of posts.
Dominick Sorrentino wrote an article in January 2022 on the 5 different LinkedIn Post types (text, native video, blogs, third party, photos/graphics). Regarding text only he also did not mention the length of the post, however, he did speak to including relevant hashtags, keeping the sentences short and meaningful, and using a conversational tone that shows your audience you are accessible and sincere.
LinkedIn is a human to human social networking site. It is the world’s largest professional networking platform.
LinkedIn Members expect to be networking with a single human being when they are engaging with a LinkedIn Profile. The messaging, invites, posts, comments, replies, are all assumed to be from and by a single human being.
I have experienced LinkedIn Members who have others manage their LinkedIn activity. The invites and messaging are from virtual assistants or people on their staff. Once we connect the tone of the conversation changes when the actual human associated with the account shows up. For many, including myself, this is not what we expect or want when engaging with anyone on LinkedIn.
Note, if LinkedIn discovers you are sharing your LinkedIn Profile with another it is not unlikely that your account will be shut down. This is another reason I do not recommend using LinkedIn in this manner.
Question #6 – How do I read unsent Messages on LinkedIn?
This is another version of a similar question I get often. Thus, I decided to answer this one.
There are possibly two scenarios to this question.
#1 – How do I read my draft LinkedIn messages?
There is no draft folder for LinkedIn messages. If you start a message and then begin to navigate away from the unsent message, LinkedIn will ask you if you want to cancel navigating away or discard the message. If the page refreshes you lose the message that you started.
#2 – How do I read unsent messages that I have not received yet?
Like every other messaging platform, you will never see the draft message another person, in this case, a LinkedIn Member is writing until they hit the send button.
In LinkedIn Messaging there are options to view UnRead, Archived and even Spam messaged. However, there is no draft or view an unsent message intended for you.
Here is the full YouTube video answer to all of these questions. You’ll find the Table of Contents in the Description Box
My 2022 Word of the Year is a sign of the transition that has begun in my life and business.
The word I have chosen as my Word of the Year for 2022 is “No.”
No is a powerful word. It’s also an important life and business tool.
I realize why I need to say no to others who ask me to do things that are beyond my interest, concern, or responsibility.
Yet, I also need to say no to myself as I consider doing things I know are not appropriate or necessary for me to do.
I understand the importance of saying no to activities that can hurt me or damage the relationships I have with the important people in my life or damage the brand of my business. I no longer climb trees and I will continue to say no to the throngs of women who try to seduce me (ok, that last part is all in my mind).
I understand the importance of saying no to spending money that I don’t really need to spend. This year, for the first time ever we bought a used car instead of a brand new car. It has turned out to be a great buy. I’m also no longer interested in buying a motorcycle or a boat.
I’ve become better at saying no to spending time on tasks that I really don’t have to do. I no longer have the desire to rebuild a classic car, change the oil in my car, or for me to replace the windows in our home.
I’m learning to say no to consuming excessive foods & drinks. Although this Christmas I made the best Southern Mac-N-Cheese ever, I only had 1 serving. I am also managing my beer intake much better as I frequently say no to the kegerator as I walk by it.
I’m learning to say no to giving up too early on projects I have committed to, that I really need to complete, in a timely manner. Just this week I completed a bunch of honey-do tasks that I kept ignoring and I am proud of myself that I got this article written before the end of the year.
I’m learning to say no to ignoring good books that I said I should read, but have not gotten to. I now have three books on my end table that I am reading, instead of jumping on Netflix after dinner every day. One of these books is “essentialism, The Disciplined Pursuit of Less. I’m eager to read this book.”
Being more purposeful at saying no to time-sucking activities is providing me more time to spend with family and friends. Rebecca and I spent a week in Maryland helping her parents recently when I would previously rather have been working on new YouTube videos.
This week I called a dozen people I have not talked to in years because I previously allowed myself to be consumed by unnecessary time-sucking activities. These calls were rewarding in many ways, mostly strengthening my relationships with these people.
Although our business is all about social media, I have begun to say no to jumping on social media all day long. I’ve already deleted my Snapchat and Clubhouse accounts. I have also deleted the NCWiseguy persona I created on Facebook, Twitter, Google, and the associated blog. It was fun while it lasted, but it has become a distraction and had to go.
Being more deliberate at saying no is also giving me more time to look at our business as a component of my life and to evaluate what is really important and what we should change. After a lot of research and consideration, we added a new YouTube Channel to the business. I am committed to growing it over the next few years as I now have more time available to do so. Saying no to the right stuff is a good thing.
Are you afraid to say no? I used to be. I had that FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) problem.
Are you saying no to requests, activities, time sucks that you really should say no to? Learn to do this more and it can have a positive impact on your life and business.
I have begun to be more purposeful at using the word no to minimize time-sucking activities that I need to say no to.
I am sure my 2022 and beyond will be richer in relationships and business success as I practice using the word no with purpose and intention.
You know I am your LinkedIn Strategist, Trainer & Coach. I have been doing this work since 2009 and I continue to do this work with no hesitation. Using LinkedIn as a Business Tool is important for all of us who are in business development and client relations roles.
However, I have the bandwidth to build another division of Burriss Consulting, Inc in an effort to help business professionals in other ways.
I have started a division providing Strategy, Training & Coaching on using Google Workspace and Gmail as business tools.
Google Workspace and even to some degree Gmail, are powerful business tools. Most users only get a fraction of the value from their accounts, mostly just using the email and maybe the contacts features.
As with LinkedIn, since 2009 I have been using Google Workspace and today I run my entire business through Google Workspace using these Google Tools:
Email – Totally turned off MS Outlook.
Contacts – I have over 5000 live contacts today.
Calendar – I live by my calendar and have it integrated with Calendly, Zoom & even PayPal.
Drive – I collaborate with my business partners with shared folders.
Docs – No more MS Word as I have written 5 ebooks and all of my classes in Docs.
Sheets – No more Excel and I have numeorus collaborative sheets I use every day.
Forms – I collect client and podcast show data automatically.
Slides – No more Prezi or PowerPoint. And, I loved Prezi, but Google Slides is all I need.
Google Alerts – I track when my name shows up and it helps me uncover copyright violations of my content.
Google Trends – This is a powerful marketing tool.
Google Analytics – I use this to monitor my online content analytics
Google Chrome – it’s far more than just a web browser.
Google Groups – I have a set of Groups for the organizations I work with.
Google Photos – I backup my iphone photos here. A great sharing format.
Google YouTube – Is the #2 Search site on the internet. I now have 3 channels.
A LinkedIn Profile has numerous predefined areas for us to populate with information that tells our target audience who we are, what we have done, and what we do today.
However, not everything we have done or do easily fits into these predefined sections of LinkedIn Profile.
Here are a few examples to consider:
Tutoring – often we think of this as a form of education. But sometimes this could be work. If you tutored someone else for more than a week or two, maybe you want add it as an experience entry. Include the improvement the person you tutored achieved from their work with you. This could be seen as a training skill to some business owners and hiring managers.
Family Home Care – I hear of this as a distraction to many from the typical career achievements. However, this could be an experience entry where you show your project management skills, budgeting, time management, mentoring, organization skills, etc. Look deeply into the work did and think beyond family home care.
At Home Schooling – Many of those who have provided this service their students did not look at it much beyond the title. Again, consider PM skills, organization, training, mentoring, scheduling, etc. etc.
Running a ‘Side Hustle’ or at home business – I know lots of people who have Ebay, Etsy, Facebook Market Place, Craigs List, small sign businesses, niche photography businesses, even people who purchase abandoned storage units and resell the contents. The skills used to do these jobs can be very useful to hiring managers, if you can present the skills you used and developed while doing this work.
When looking at your experiences consider, what skills did you use in these experiences?
Often you have to dig deep and look at the experiences differently than you are inclined to do.
All of the experiences we have play a role in our professional development in ways we never imagined. Tell these stories on your LinkedIn Profile, where relevant and useful to build your brand.
Look at your volunteer activities in different ways.
Look at the courses you have taken over the years, in different ways.
Do the same for your overall education experiences, publications you have written, certifications you have achieved, the people you have worked with, and on, and on.
Being able to tell the relevant stories as best as you can often positions you as a better resource or candidate than the others.