LinkedIn Tip of the Week

I recently posted this update on my LinkedIn.  “If you want to connect to someone you don’t know, DON’T use the auto-populate message. Tell me why you want to connect and personalize it. Give me a reason to say yes.”  I actually posted it twice because I wasn’t sure people saw it.  It then occurred to me that the people I wanted to see it, weren’t in my network and so they aren’t going to see my updates.

I continually get requests to connect from people I don’t know. They indicate they are “Friends” but we both know that isn’t true.  I make my email address very easy to find so this isn’t an impediment.  I want to connect and build my network.  I want to help others build theirs.  I am selective about saying yes.  No matter what box someone checks though, I hate getting the auto populated message that LinkedIn provides.  Did I say hate?  Yes, I HATE it.  It shows me that you have nothing more to say, you don’t take an extra 20 seconds to introduce yourself, you just want to take advantage of my network.  Here’s an analogy- imagine someone walking up to you at a cocktail party and rather than saying hello, shaking your hand and introducing themselves, they reach into your pocket/purse and take your wallet.  Yes, that may be a bit of a stretch, but it makes sense, doesn’t it?

So, slow down.  Give me a reason to accept your invitation.  Maybe, just maybe, there is a relationship to be built and cultivated.


Graduated Magna cum Latte

Your LinkedIn brand represents a significant part your professional brand. What do you want the world to know about you?  What do you represent?

My friend David sent me a profile that had this – “Graduated Magna cum Latte” under Education.  We were both in total disbelief.  We laughed and wondered if this person had graduated from the University of Starbucks.  So I did a search on LinkedIn for the exact phrase and found several other profiles with the same representation.  Seriously, could someone have graduated magna cum laude and never learned how to spell?

Are these people embellishing their profile?  Probably.
Are they also embellishing their resume? Again, probably.

Another friend of mine says “how you do something is how you do everything.”  In other words, if you cheat on one aspect of your life, you are a cheater in other aspects too.

Several years ago, when I worked for a Fortune 500 company, I found with unfortunate frequency that people lied about having a Masters Degree.  The jobs I was recruiting for at the time didn’t require a Masters.  The candidates I was trying to hire would have gotten the job anyway.  When we found out by a simple background check that the candidate had lied, we rescinded the offer.  A lie is a lie.

If you graduated magna cum latte, there are only 3 possibilties-

  1. You’re lying
  2. You’re not the brightest bulb in the pack
  3. Both

Branding 101


                    BAR       OPEN


I point out what the sign says because it isn’t easy to read, not only in the picture, but imagine yourself driving by this historic hotel in the mountains of Colorado.  Would you even notice that they had were serving food?

Even for the locals or occasional locals (we have a cabin not too far and are always looking for a place to eat in town), the hotel has been closed for a couple of years at least.  The new owners renovated and re-opened around Memorial Day but the restaurant has remained closed over the summer – what would have been their busy season. 

As we drove by this weekend, our last weekend for the season (we close our cabin in the winter, no water, no heat) we did a double take.  We had to stop and snap this photo. 

Either they didn’t want anyone to really notice that they were now serving food or the marketing and advertising was an afterthought!  Obviously the BAR being OPEN was a priority.  But the FOOD was not. Now I haven’t gone into the Bar in the evenings so it could be a happening scene, but when I went in to ask about the FOOD, it was dead in there, at lunchtime.  This is a tough town to make money and make a small business into a success but come on- at least try! 

If you are going to pour money into launching a brand, how are you going to promote your brand?  If you aren’t an expert, there are lots of people out there anxious to help.  A permanent marker in your teenagers hand, probably isn’t the best tactic!

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