Find your sweet spot for effective and strategic networking

If you are like many people, the thought of heading out to networking events gives you the heebie jeebies.  It's far easier to find great reasons not to go! 

  • "I've got too much work"
  • "I need to pick up the kids"
  • "I'm tired/it's raining/it's cold"
  • "I don't drink and networking events always involve alcohol"
  • "I just stand in the corner and feel stupid anyway"
  • "I'm one of the only women and feel uncomfortable"- or perhaps
  • "I've been to lots of women's only functions but the quality of the networking is not at the right level for my career"

I hear you.  Finding the right time, the right place, the right audience and the right network can be challenging.

But don't let that stop you.

Research tells us that those who have great networks are the ones getting ahead far easier.  

You might remember last month me sharing Shawn Achor's recent research on the benefits of attending Womens Conferences - where attending (and implementing)

  • Doubled your chances of getting a promotion and
  • Tripled your chances of receiving a raise of 10% or more.

I personally also recommend mixed gender networking events in the mix, because as someone who has hosted more conferences that most people have had hot dinners, I've witnessed heaps of manoeuvring, partnership creation and opportunities opening up for attendees who got out of their comfort zone and networked. Bold, hairy, audacious moves to the rescue! 
 

But wait, there's more!
 

Just last week, HBR published an article that stated that CEOs with diverse networks create higher firm value.

"Diversely networked CEOs generated an approximately sixteenfold firm market value increase relative to their compensation." ~ HBR, April 2010

Yes that's right. Diverse networks - breadth, not necessarily depth. 

Put that together with what is already well known - that "firms with better-connected CEOs can obtain cheaper financing, and firms with well-connected board directors see better performance"and you begin to see that networking is not just great for you and your career, it's also great for the divisions you lead and the organisations you work for.
 

Picture this ....


At one end of the networking spectrum there is Nigella No-friends. She's busy. Give Nigella something to do, and she does it. Well! 

Nigella is incredibly conscientious, diligent, works hard, and pushes the proverbial uphill. She is reliable and available - and doesn't have time or energy to invest in strategic networking.

Then at the other end of the spectrum is Garry (name changed to protect the innocent).

Now Garry is the CFO of an ASX listed organisation and I affectionately name him Gantt Chart Garry. Because he takes the notion of strategic networking to a whole next level by running a Gantt Chart on his professional networking activity. Not only does he schedule his activity over several years but he also ranks his network on their net worth, how helpful they have been, and tracking where and when he last saw them, what was discussed and how helpful they may be in the future.

Oh my.

Yes he exists.

And yes, he is incredibly successful in his career.

And if the research on the value of strategic networking is true, then he is also incredibly valuable in the C-suite of the organisations he works for. This approach helps him deliver better results.

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Networking counts


Now I'm not saying for a minute that we all need to go out and set up a CRM or Gantt Chart for our networking strategy. 

There's probably not a lot of room in that approach for emotional intelligence, intuition and ad hoc encounters.

But somewhere in between Nigella and Garry, there is a strategy or plan that's right for you. 

A sweet spot that enables you to balance a heavy workload, family obligations, your career and leadership aspirations along with your discomfort with networking.

And ... that's why I love LinkedIn so much. But that's a story for another day! 

► So what helpful tactics have you found to get out of your comfort zone help you network more effectively? 
► Drop me an email and let me know what works for you. Because your ideas might be just the thing that help someone else springboard more effectively in the future!

Feel like your leadership journey has stalled? Email ablesing@amandablesing.com to set up a 30 min one on one to learn more. Helping clients shift from feeling invisible to becoming invincible in just 12 months

Where are you your own worst enemy?

When I set up my own consultancy, I simply wanted to replace my salary plus craft a career on my own terms.

Now, after almost four years, I've -

  • spoken at heaps of conferences
  • been interviewed multiple times on radio 
  • been featured by News Corp, The Age and a raft of other high profile publications
  • written a book (with a 2nd in the pipeline)
  • inspired 100's of women to go out & win raises and/or promotions and
  • helped many more to tackle BHAGS well outside their comfort zone.

Plus my consultancy is going gang busters, beyond my wildest dreams.

 Want help to become a Woman of Impact?

Want help to become a Woman of Impact?

The problem? I was my own biggest doubter.

"Who on earth was I to aim so high?"

I’m not alone. Research tells us that women start businesses with lower financial targets, frequently aiming merely to replace our salary.

Even when the business does do well, we pay ourselves a lesser salary and don't contribute to superannuation and other benefits as we should.

Typically we also express lower self-confidence, underestimate our expertise, which impacts most on us tackling future stretch opportunities.

Boom!

Why?

Because we’re (still) socialised to play nice, stay safe and be humble.

With the word “ambitious”, even in 2018, seen as pejorative. 

At some point, we all need to get out of our own way, not believe the small voice and to focus on what’s possible.

If other people can do it, so can you.

It’s your ability to keep striving despite self-doubt that’s key.

We need to reshape our own perception of how we view ourselves. We have to step up as women and take the lead.
— Beyoncé Knowles
Elevate_Your_Expectations_Amanda_Blesing_Feminine_Ambition_Leadership_Coach.jpg

So elevate your expectations then keep your eyes on the prize as you - 

  • back yourself
  • sell yourself and
  • express your expertise in language your constituent base values and understands. 

Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re categorically, unequivocally, absolutely right.

► Where have you been your own worst enemy & how did you overcome? 

#feminineambitionrocks #executivewomen #executivebranding #LookOutCSuiteHereSheComes


Feel like your leadership journey has stalled? Email ablesing@amandablesing.com to set up a 30 min one on one to learn more. Helping clients shift from feeling invisible to becoming invincible in just 12 months

How to get noticed (for the right reasons)

I didn’t know how to express my opinion on LinkedIn.

I was scared.

  • “What if I get it wrong?”
  • “What if I end up with trolls?”
  • “What if people don’t agree with me?“

When I found my sense of purpose ..... something surprising happened.

The more of an authentic position I took, the more my posts resonated, the more my clients and readers messaged me and …. the easier it all became.

Boom!

I realised that you don’t need to be right, to be the funniest or the best to express your opinion.

But you do need to be able to articulate your position.

Not simply regurgitate the opinion of others.

Why?

Let_Go_Busy_Right_Perfect_AmandaBlesing_Executive_Branding_Coach.jpg
  • People connect with people
  • People “buy” from people they like and identify with
  • Your unique perspective will resonate with your tribe

One of the most powerful opportunities for busy executives is to brand themselves via LinkedIn.

To help you stand out in a crowd and to ensure you are memorable even when you are head down backside up solving complex business problems.

So embrace your inner expert and work out -

  • What do you stand for?
  • Why is that important?

Then let go of busy, right and perfect … and give yourself permission to have your say.

>> Your thoughts? What’s helped you to express your opinion more confidently in meetings, on LinkedIn or other platforms?

#ExecutiveBranding #ExecutiveWomen #LookOutCSuiteHereSheComes #feminineambitionrocks

Feel like your leadership journey has stalled? Email ablesing@amandablesing.com to set up a 30 min one on one to learn more. Helping clients shift from feeling invisible to becoming invincible in just 12 months

Take charge of your own career narrative before it takes charge of you

There is a good chance that if you are not controlling your personal brand someone else is
— Erica Nicole Founder & CEO of YSF magazine

I couldn't agree more! 

Amanda_Blesing_Speaker_Women_In_Leadership_Executive_Branding_Mentor.jpg

We all have a brand:

  • whether we know it or not,
  • whether we like it or not,
  • whether we want one or not.

But most of us don’t realise we have the right, skills or authority to do something about it!

Of course you do. 

It’s your life, your career and your future. And to quote leadership expert, Avril Henry,

"no-one cares as much about your career as you do, so do something about it."

So it's up to you now.

Take charge of your career narrative, before it takes charge of you!

For those serious about standing out and getting noticed (for all the right reasons) there are a bunch of things you can do which you can start reading about in the link  https://lnkd.in/fTRbNJA

>> Great reading for a sleepy holiday weekend ☕️🐣📖

Vive la révolution! #ambitionrevolution #LookOutCSuiteHereSheComes #feminineambitionrocks #executivebranding

 

Photography courtesy of Luis Ferreiro 

 

Feel like your leadership journey has stalled? Email ablesing@amandablesing.com to set up a 30 min one on one to learn more. Helping clients shift from feeling invisible to becoming invincible in just 12 months

What's the value of a grown up gap year?

In Australia, a Gap Year is usually what teenagers do after high school and before university. It's seen as a rite of passage, coming of age and time to work out what you want to do, or be, when you grow up.

However sometimes, we hit a certain age, and still feel like we don't know what we want to be when we grow up!

I'm happy to tell you, Gap Years are for grown ups too.

When we’re feeling a bit over it, like we need to throw in the towel, or that winning the lottery or that early retirement might be a nice option - why not take a Grown Up Gap Year instead?

I never do my best creative thinking in the face of too much stress, feeling worn out and with a narrow focus.  Most of my best ideas happen in the shower or when walking along the beach.  In fact, if you Google "do my best thinking in the shower" there are 24,100 entries. So I'm not alone!  

So why is it that we think we can make substantive career decisions when stressed and under pressure? 

Taking a strategic break might be the next best thing since sliced bread.

But - and there is always a big but - what happens if you're not wanted when you get back?

Maybe you're worried you won't be perceived as good enough, edgy enough, modern enough, young enough, ambitious enough to come back in with a bang and/or a springboard.

"Age bias is a problem for men and women, but women may face more subconscious discrimination" ~  Ellen Weinreb, Forbes, 2011

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Both sexism and agism are alive and well. But perhaps the opportunity to take time and embrace the 5 x R's (reflect, recalibrate, re-envisage, revitalise, redesign) might just be the thing that brings you back with more fire in your belly and rekindle your sense of direction and purpose once more. 

MANAGE THE RISK

If you do decide a Gap Year (or 3, 6 or 9 months) is for you, here are four risk mitigation strategies you want to put in place during your time off

  1. Take charge of the narrative, before it takes charge you - Reframe your break from apologetic to something to be proud of.  You may just find people are envious of your perceived bravery, your adventurousness and your willingness to back yourself.  As we all know, confidence (and honest over confidence) is very much admired.  Clients have even told me that their Gap Year adventures have become fascinating conversation points in interview and their perceived appetite for risk became the differentiator at final selection.
  2. Don’t simply disconnect entirely. After an initial break, reconnect with your old leadership/management team (grab a quarterly coffee, send articles of interest, drop an email, demonstrate you are interested, and interesting). Stay connected with your industry and sector more broadly (attend the odd event or conference, stay abreast of latest developments, put a strategic networking plan in place).
  3. Stay up to date – do some study in new areas (doesn’t have to be expensive), keep reading, listening to podcasts, watching curated video. And don't keep this learning a secret - be sure to let others know. Short courses at prestige universities are a great addition to your CV if you are in a position to afford them. Your results may even be better without the pressure of work deadlines looming at the same time.
  4. Stay visible on LinkedIn (or your professional social networking platform of choice) – once a week or so, share, comment, message with peers and your network on LinkedIn.  I recommend setting an appointment in your calendar

I've met people who have not only come back to work with a new enthusiasm, but have managed to recalibrate their finances while away so the pressure was off, plus come back into brand new exciting roles that were perceived as a promotion or a stretch and with an increase of salary at the same time.  That sounds like my kind of winning the lottery - and more likely.

Plus everyone you know will be envious of you. .

Why? Because things look different when you’re not looking down the barrel of stress, stretch targets and KPIs all the time.  You never know, you just might like it!

#grownupgapyear #perspective #revitalise #recalibrate #renew #rebrand #refresh

I’ve been absolutely terrified every moment of my life — and I’ve never let it keep me from doing a single thing I wanted to do.
— Georgia O’Keefe

Feeling like you're reliving Groundhog Day over and over again?   Maybe it's your time to truly work out what it is you want to be when you grow up!

Why not book in a 30 min one on one  phone call to learn how more?

1st in best dressed rules apply.

Stay strategic - after all, smart AND savvy is the name of this game 

 

Feel like your leadership journey has stalled? Email ablesing@amandablesing.com to set up a 30 min one on one to learn more. Helping clients shift from feeling invisible to becoming invincible in just 12 months

How a GSOH may just be a sign of a higher IQ

Yesterday on the tram I got caught laughing and chuckling out loud (chortle)

I was intrigued by a recent article on the link between humour & intelligence

Yes - funny people are allegedly smarter!!   ROFLOL 🤣😂

Researchers recently discovered that funny people have higher IQs than their less funny peers. Apparently it takes both cognitive & emotional ability to process and produce humour and that funny people have higher verbal and non-verbal intelligence, plus they score lower in mood disturbance and aggressiveness.

Other benefits - funny people are -

  • Nice to be around 
  • More self aware
  • More flexible & creative in our thinking and
  • Better at solving problems. 

Laugher also boosts your working memory.

Feedback tells me I’m a far better executive coach and public speaker when I remember to be funny and to laugh. Even though it seems counterintuitive.  But I'm more relaxed, more easily able to recall research and detail, and my stress response (when on stage) is far more manageable - ergo better result.

So instead of staying back late at the office

Maybe the smarter thing to do would be to head on out to see some comedy instead! 

You may just solve those complex business problems far more easily.

>> Your thoughts? Has laughter helped you be more successful? 

If you're interested in learning more, here's the article 

ROFLOL 🤣😂  🤣😂 

 

#feminineambitionrocks #leadingwomen #worksmarternotharder 

Feel like your leadership journey has stalled? Email ablesing@amandablesing.com to set up a 30 min one on one to learn more. Helping clients shift from feeling invisible to becoming invincible in just 12 months

Dress for the job you want, not the job you have - even on casual Friday!

Because internal promotions rarely happen as the result of an interview - despite what you imagine.

In a world that is increasingly focused on appearance and personal branding, your image counts just as much as your impact.

Trivial maybe, but true for many.

Women and men.

Dressing professionally, and well, indicates that you take yourself and your career seriously.

It demonstrates respect for each of your work environment, your craft or expertise, the people you work with and yourself.

It shows that you are professional and that you value your own contribution.

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Does this mean wearing exclusive labels to work every day?

No.

But it does mean elevating your standards so your future aspirations and your current self more easily intersect.

#elevateyourpitch #elevateyourstandards #elevateyourbrand #leadingwomen #executivebranding

Feel like your leadership journey has stalled? Email ablesing@amandablesing.com to set up a 30 min one on one to learn more. Helping clients shift from feeling invisible to becoming invincible in just 12 months

Are Women's Conferences Worth It?

Shawn Achor seems to think so!

(Vested interest: I’m in an airport lounge heading to speak at the Gartner Senior Women in Multinationals Retreat as I write this)

Back to Shawn - he was so challenged by the scepticism displayed by a fellow plane passenger that he conducted some research to test the theory.

In the year after connecting with peers at the Conference for Women -

  • the likelihood of receiving a promotion doubled 
  • attendees had triple the likelihood of a 10%+ pay increase 
  • 78% percent of them reported feeling “more optimistic about the future”

Other critical determiners from his own observations of 900 conferences included:

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  • a sense of social connection felt by the attendees
  • engaging sessions
  • leaders who role model & exemplify the qualities that the conference is attempting to instil
  • a memorable moment, and
  • a realistic assessment of the present with an optimistic look to the future.

My take? Put a few conferences designed for women into the mix - men included. Many of the journey stories and case studies are inspiring in their own right, and it might just lead to you winning the raise, promotion or recognition you truly deserve.

 

 

Feel like your leadership journey has stalled? Email ablesing@amandablesing.com to set up a 30 min one on one to learn more. Helping clients shift from feeling invisible to becoming invincible in just 12 months

Four Resignation Fails to Avoid at all Costs

Okay, we’ve all been there. Fallen out of love with a role for whatever reason, and then simply couldn’t wait to get out of the place.

But you never know what’s around the corner so it’s wise to handle your part in the equation with grace and poise.  

Just this month I heard two stories of women who had resigned to move onto other roles and at the last minute the new role was pulled.  Yes, the opportunity dried up right before it eventuated.

Stressful indeed.  

Fortunately for one, she was able to go back to her old company and they welcomed her back with open arms.

Which begs the questions -

"what if either of them had behaved in a less than gracious way?"  

So here are four resignation fails that you want to avoid at all costs - because you never really truly know what's just around the corner.

Fail #1: The Farewell Speech Roast - where the entire team gathers together to farewell you as you head onto shinier shores and all you do is make fun of or roast your former boss and colleagues in the process.  

The result?  That sacred bond of trust is burned.  Even if nothing bad happens such as the role being pulled, you never know if you may run across them again in a new situation or perhaps need them to act as referee.  Definitely pull your punches. This is not the time and place for frank and fearless honesty.

Fail #2: The Lazy Last Month on the Job - you take long lunches, let deadlines slide, you’re playing least in sight 50% of the time and when you are around it looks like all you do is lounge around corridors and go for coffee.

Do behave professionally and at the very least, give the impression of remaining engaged.  If you’re lucky enough to be walked (and yes you do need to prepare for that) then this simply won't matter. But if you give your notice period, or longer, then you need to act in a professional manner the entire time. Elvis may have left the building but people are still judging your last weeks in the role.  And you simply never know.

Fail #3: The Resignation Letter Lambast -This is not the time to lambast the company in writing about all the things you think they did wrong.

Handle with care.   Keep it short, sweet and to the facts. If there is an issue that needs dealing with, get professional advice from Fair Work Australia or a legal professional.  After all, the person who cares most about your career is you. So look after it.

Fail #4: And finally - The Social Media Spray.   Going out in blaze of glory on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn with messages in your final days such as “Farewell B*tches - can’t wait to get out of here!” may seem funny at the time, but is simply NOT appropriate.  DO NOT EVER be tempted.

I’ve heard of one instance where the perpetrator’s old colleagues were her friends on Facebook and they were really offended with the negative inferences about them in three or four unprofessional posts and shares. Unfortunately for her, the new role was pulled and she then needed the support of her offended colleagues. Worse, a friend thought the "farewell B's" share was funny so reshared the original post, and the post went far further than originally imagined!

Keep a lid on it. While these posts might seem funny at the time, in an industry or profession that’s small, you just never know when you are going to come across your old boss/peers again.

So how do you handle your resignation?

Raechelle McLean LinkedIn resignation email Screenshot 2017-10-08 16.25.55.png

Professionally. With grace, poise and .... even more professionalism. 

Celebrate your (and the team's) achievements while you were in the role.

Give credit where credit is due.

And wish everyone all the best with their future endeavours.

If you must continue the resignation via social media - take a leaf out of Raechelle McLean's very public resignation note on LinkedIn.

See Raechelle's fabulous and highly popular LinkedIn resignation note below!

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Raechelle's tips?

  • Never bag the company.
  • If you cannot say something nice then say nothing - don't become an unnecessary target.
  • Australia is SMALL...someone always knows someone, so remain professional.
  • And finally be kind....you ALWAYS learn something in a role, even in a role that wasn't your ideal

Feel like your leadership journey has stalled? Email ablesing@amandablesing.com to set up a 30 min one on one to learn more. Helping clients shift from feeling invisible to becoming invincible in just 12 months

How men can help women flourish in the workplace

Organisations that don’t have women on the leadership team are plain and simply leaving money on the table and yet many women still struggle to make it through the talent pipeline to the top. Male managers can help but many don't know what to do differently while avoiding criticism from others and having their own career penalised.

As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others
— Bill Gates

If men are interested in helping female talent to flourish more effectively, there are some easy practices to champion and adopt that will help.  Here are six ideas to keep handy, that truly make a difference.

1. Ensure that women get a voice at the table, instead of being spoken over, dismissed or bypassed.    In a 2014 study from George Washington University we learned that when men were talking with women, they interrupted 33% more often than when they were talking with men. So instead of being part of the problem, establish systems that break the cycle. Why not deploy a fair airtime to share in meetings policy so everyone has a voice? And if a woman does speak up, but her idea is dismissed or brushed over, systematically draw attention back to the idea with a "Great idea Gloria, could you explain more?"  Note to female readers: you can do this for each other too (Julie Bishop style).

2. Don't be afraid of mentoring women. Did you know that women are 54% less likely to have a sponsor and 24% less likely to get advice from senior leaders?  The latest research from LeanIn and McKinsey sheds quite a bit of light on informal mentoring. 

According the WSJ article Don't Avoid Women, Mentor Them "Mentors show women the ropes and help us navigate office politics. They introduce us to decision-makers who help us get high-profile assignments. So much of what gets you noticed at work is who you know and who sings your praises." 

If you are worried about taking a female colleague to drinks or dinner, suggest a breakfast or coffee meeting instead. 

3. Include women in informal networking situations - one of the biggest issues I'm asked about by women in masculine dominated industries is "What should I do when all the guys do is want to go to the football, play golf, go cycling or to the bar after work?"  

Never assume that women don't want to do those things, or that all men want to do those things either. Make sure that there are a range of informal networkings situations where everyone is included.

One of my female clients who works in a male dominated industry sometimes finds out AFTER the fact that the guys all went to the football on Saturday and she didn't get an invite. She loves football and also knows they talk about work at those events. Make sure everyone gets the invite and knows they are truly welcome.

4. Never assume - there is an old saying that "assumption make an ass out of UME".  As per the above, never assume that someone wouldn't want to travel due to family reasons or responsibilities. Never assume that someone wouldn't want to commute.  Just because you wouldn't want something doesn't mean that others wouldn't want it. You never know what's going on in someone's life and they may just have a work around that's a better solution.  Ask or offer anyway.

5. Don't be afraid to question practices that do lead to exclusion - such as business travel. Australians have a love affair with business travel. We're addicted to it. But does it drive better performance? During the GFC many organisations in Australia put severe limitations on travel with great effect.  It's not just women who may have problems being away from home when they have child care or family responsibilities. Many men want to participate more in this as well.  While your frequent flyer balance might not look so good, your workplace and business results are likely to be better with more inclusive policies anyway.

6. Stand up for what's right - If a visiting speaker or consultant cracks a sexist joke - don't feel obliged to laugh and be sure to let them know the those sorts of comments are not appropriate in this workplace. 

In summary, the practices suggested above are good for all. Women are equally as socialised, biased and prone to stereotyped assumptions as men. I encourage female managers and leaders to implement some or all of these ideas as well.

 

There is no Mars and Venus, but in fact we are allies here on planet earth and our interests are the same.
— Michael Kimmel

Feel like your leadership journey has stalled? Email ablesing@amandablesing.com to set up a 30 min one on one to learn more. Helping clients shift from feeling invisible to becoming invincible in just 12 months

Seven New Insights for those Building their Brand on LinkedIn

ALERT - RECENT CHANGES on LINKEDIN

Virality - the art and science of getting a post to go viral or trend via social media.

"I'm not a marketer, so why should I care?" ....... I hear you ask.

What get's seen and engaged with by many is what -

  • influences our decision making,
  • helps us form your opinions, and
  • drives our beliefs and behaviours

And if you're in the business of leading, influencing others or making a difference, you'll want be both seen and heard on platforms where your people are.

Does that always mean it's the best content that's seen? No. But the sharer knew (or accidentally tripped over) some of the rules of engagement, to make sure their content was seen and engaged with by many.

It's all subjective anyway. One person's share that (only gets) gets 10K views, maybe another persons viral or trending share.  So remember, it's not the size that matters, it's what you do with it that counts - how you leverage, take advantage of or re-utilise that same thinking, that really makes a difference.

Take charge of the narrative before it takes charge of you

If you're going to spend any time utilising LinkedIn why not take charge of the narrative before it takes charge of you?

The below seven key tips were in response to several of my clients who have been sharing content for a while to build their brand, but receiving minimal engagement.  

My goal?  To help us ALL get more bang for our buck when building a brand via sharing and creating content (posting, sharing, publishing) on LinkedIn.

1. The first line of your post/share/article (or headline) is CRITICAL for grabbing attention and enticing people in.  While clickbait headlines or first lines is probably not your thing, nor would it necessarily enhance your executive brand, do spend time on that opening line.

One of my more successful viral posts had initially been drafted with the 2nd sentence 1st (see right).  

However after a few days of letting it settle in draft form .... "boom"! All of a sudden I could see that a line in the middle of my post ("my financial situation sucked") was far more attention grabbing.

So I moved that one line up and ....... it made all the difference.  

One successful LinkedIn writers say he spends as much time (if not double) on the headline or opening line alone, as he does on the article itself.  

So my recommendation? Draft your share/post/article/content then let it rest - like dough rising.  Then go back to it the next day and/or test with colleagues via email and see if that helps. Don't hide your light under a bushel. Make sure your great content/insight/perspective gains maximum exposure.

2. Share at a time when there is opportunity for organic read rate

As with all social media platforms, LinkedIn has algorithms designed to assess the quality, safety and engagement quotient of your content.  Therefore the feed only shows your shares to about 10% of your network initially (a focus group of sorts). Imagine if not many of your 1st and 2nd connections are online at the time you share?  Your share will simply sink to the bottom of the feed and go nowhere.

A sneaky Saturday share that did really well. THANKS!  Key ingredients? Humour and surprise.

Plus you'll feel like it was a waste of time.  

My suggestion? Learn the rules re timing, test them, then break them with your 1st and 2nd degree connections in mind. 

  • Do your home work. Assess and understand your network.
  • Remember, you're not (necessarily) a marketer selling a product, you're a busy executive creating a leadership brand for yourself. So what works for you and your unique network may not fit the rules that marketers with products follow.
  • Share when your people are on so that you can harness an organic read rate.  
  • I find lunchtime Monday to Wednesday excellent right now. Others say quite the reverse (see graphic below)
  • Every now and then I'll share on a Friday or Saturday with something humorous or emotive AND it does well - see right.
  • Remember too, it's seasonal - and effected by weather, public holidays, news worthy events etc just like anything.  
  • One of my clients shares regularly on leadership on a Saturday and that works for her, yet not according to the experts
 Is there a best time to share on LinkedIn? Learn the rules and break them according to your own network  https://simplymeasured.com/blog/best-time-to-post-on-linkedin/ - courtesy Simply Measured

Is there a best time to share on LinkedIn? Learn the rules and break them according to your own network  https://simplymeasured.com/blog/best-time-to-post-on-linkedin/ - courtesy Simply Measured

3. Don't hide your light under a bushel of cryptic language, or by not explaining the obvious.   Put what you want people to know in the status update box. Summarise the article or post in less than 1300 characters (if a status update), or 750 - 1000 words (if an article), so that people get the key points without having to work too hard for it. Give, give, give before asking them to do something.  

 Head on into LinkedIn to read more

Head on into LinkedIn to read more

See the 6 Insights share to the right? A summary of the entire six insights are listed in the post itself, not buried in a link.

Do the work for your audience so they don't have to do the work themselves and this helps build trust.

  • Remember MOST people are skimming while on mobile devices (57% LI traffic is mobile).
  • Remember Gary V - give, give, give, ask? (jab jab jab punch. You want to be generous with your content, insights and information so that people gain maximum impact from your shares.
Your interpretation, contextualisation and summary is what people are looking for and what will set you apart. That’s part of your brand.

 

4. Keep your language punchy and concise.

Short sentences.

Easy to read.

Essential.

Remember - 57% users on mobile devices and this is set going to continue to grow.

5. Put an extra line return in before any instructions. Make them stand out.

Such as -

► Detailed article in the 1st comment

► Comment below with your #1 career advice

I'm not a huge fan of emoticons and symbols but if that is the currency of your target market then use them. If your target market is more corporate then stick with corporate bullet points and symbology. 

6. "Video killed the LinkedIn article star" - if you are good at video, or are learning how to do video, now is the time.

Since the recent demise of Pulse on LinkedIn the long form article has lost much of it's potential to 'go viral'. This doesn't mean not do long form articles. They contribute to SSI rankings plus help you craft well thought out arguments. They are searchable via Google and frequently Google ranks LI articles higher than it will your own web or blog site.

Key suggestion:  If you are fortunate enough to have a service that has video don't be shy. Get on camera and start creating and sharing content.

7. And FINALLY - change is inevitable. The only constant is change. Deal with it.

LinkedIn is going hammer and tongs with updates at the moment. The forums are all awash with the algorithm changes plus technical glitches. Just keep on keeping on, until you learn more. Remember if something isn't working for you, it doesn't mean nothing is going to work or that the end of the world is nigh. Keep investigating, tweaking and adjusting to find what works for you right now. And even this will change in time. 

Key suggestions right now? Mix it up.
Mix up the types of ways you share.

  • some images
  • some long form published articles
  • some video
  • some links
  • some text only

Don't be paranoid about it. But do keep that in mind for the next few months.

Over to you all!!   Looking forward to seeing you create your own brand and following on LinkedIn

#LinkedInlove #LinkedInLessons #LinkedInlife

Vive la révolution! #ambitionrevolution #LookOutCSuiteHereSheComes #feminineambition #success #career #executivebranding #personalbrand #standout #leadership  #executivewomen #careerfutureproofing


I'm committed to helping my clients win the promotions, raises and recognition they truly deserve. And LinkedIn is a perfect executive brand building tool that you can leverage - for free. All it take is time and focus, and you can break free of what ever pigeon hole you may find yourself stuck in.

 Using LinkedIn to create a movement, not a ripple

Using LinkedIn to create a movement, not a ripple

Liked this? Read more

This article is part of my brand building series to help my clients create a movement, not a ripple. If you'd like to learn more, drop me an email below.

Feel like your leadership journey has stalled? Email ablesing@amandablesing.com to set up a 30 min one on one to learn more. Helping clients shift from feeling invisible to becoming invincible in just 12 months

Social Influence & Social Persuasion - New Leadership Expertise

My big word for the year is IMPACT. As such, this blog is part of my 'client branding series' designed to give clients an extra advantage. 

The article in the link below is particularly useful if you want to proactively, strategically and deliberately promote your Executive Brand via LinkedIn. And the Gold Standard of Executive Branded is definitely deliberate, proactive and strategic - along with being future focused. More on that below.

Is bigger better?  

The average CEO has 930 connections on LinkedIn. A well connected, future focused, socially apt C-suite executive has many more. And given that social persuasion, social influencing and personal brand are now defined as new areas of leadership expertise, being perceived as well connected will imply some level of competency. 

However, bigger is not always useful if your engagement level is low (i.e. no-one engages with what you share). But at a cursory glance, it's one of those 'social proof' metrics - 'You have lots of connections ergo you must know what you are talking about'. And you never get a second chance to make a first impression.

THE FUTURE OF WORK

Future_of_Leadership_Executive_Branding_Amanda_Blesing_Executive_Women.jpg

According to Stephane Kasriel, CEO, Upwork, and co-chair of the World Economic Forum, Council on the Future of Work, Gender and Education, the majority of work in the future will be freelance. Portfolio type careers will be the norm. Almost 50% of millennials are now freelancing anyway and some of the biggest companies are seeing this as a great opportunity to attract talent.

So what does this mean? If you have consultancy, freelance or leadership aspirations then mastery of Social Persuasion tactics and personal branding will be the differentiator that sets you apart, and having a larger audience to engage with will definitely help as you

  • back yourself, sell yourself and articulate your expertise in language that employers/hirers value and understand.
  • learn to stand out in a competitive marketplace, for all the right reasons.
  • let go of hiding your light under a bushel and expecting others to tap you on the shoulder.
  • self promote in a way that beats the bias

And executive branding and LinkedIn can help you do just that. 

CHANGES ARE INEVITABLE

LinkedIn is going hammer and tongs with updates at the moment. The forums are awash with algorithm changes, technical glitches and more.  This is not the first time, nor will it be the last time. Change is inevitable and the pace is likely to become even more rapid.

At time of writing there are issues with invitations, changes to the way posts are assessed and buggy issues with messaging.

Where this is likely to impact you is in creating engagement with your shares.  So if engagement rates do drop don't give up. 

Keep investigating, tweaking and adjusting to work out a repeatable plan that helps you position yourself, engage with others, showcase your thought leadership so you stand out from the crowd more easily.

Here is a link to my latest advice for clients on LinkedIn. The insights came from a small group who attended my January 2018 LinkedIn Mastery Workshop. 

Seven New Insights for those Building their Brand on LinkedIn - Read more

 

CURIOUS ABOUT FUTURE LINKEDIN MASTERY WORKSHOPS?

I ran a LinkedIn Mastery workshop in January 2018 in Melbourne for a group of consultants to help them get more bang for their buck when self promoting and marketing on LinkedIn.  I now have a waiting list for others interested in attending a workshop in each of Sydney and Brisbane. Another workshop in Melbourne is also in the pipeline. 

LinkedIn_for_Executive_Branding_Amanda_Blesing_Create_A_Movement_Women.jpg

Ideal for those who -

  • have leadership aspirations and want to master the art of social engagement before it gets too late
  • are consultants or freelancers who need to create a pull strategy to draw in potential B2B clients
  • feel like they are hitting their head against a brick wall, because "nothing works anymore!" 
  • are curious about the latest tactics and impact of algorithm changes in 2017

If you would like to be added to the list, drop me an email with your contact details and location. 

Let's create a movement, not a ripple!

Have a fabulous February.


Vive la révolution! #ambitionrevolution #LookOutCSuiteHereSheComes #feminineambition #success #career #executivebranding #personalbrand #standout #leadership  #executivewomen #careerfutureproofing #LinkedInLove #LinkedInLife #LinkedInMastery #LinkedIn

 

Liked this? Read more

This article is part of my brand building series to help my clients create a movement, not a ripple. If you'd like to learn more, drop me an email below.

 

 

Feel like your leadership journey has stalled? Email ablesing@amandablesing.com to set up a 30 min one on one to learn more. Helping clients shift from feeling invisible to becoming invincible in just 12 months