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How to create career wins with 'on brand' LinkedIn posting

Posting with more Power on LinkedIn with Amanda Blesing Executive Coach.png

Have you ever shared something on LinkedIn, only to watch it  ………. fizzle?  

Nothing. Nada. No real engagement.  What the!?!

Maybe it was …..

  • the latest piece of research on leadership or gender equity, or

  • a high profile event highlight, or

  • a challenger piece to shine a light on an industry problem.

Then for some reason it goes no-where and you wonder what’s going on.  What’s worse, you watch while someone else’s far more lightweight content seems to do far better.



IT TAKES PRACTICE

I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.
— Mark Twain


My own posting and publishing journey began five years ago.  I was terrified of sharing my opinion on LinkedIn, so I didn’t say much at all. If I did, it was a sales pitch, or someone else’s idea.  My brand? My voice? My results? Non-existent.

There had to be another way.

I then worked with a ghost writer (Claire) to help me build my publishing muscle.  She took me fromwoeful to world class in just a few months and helped me find my voice. 

Since then I’ve consistently shared content to inspire executive women the globe over. This helped grow my confidence and I'm delighted to announce I have finished writing my 2nd book - this time on self promotion for executive women (Invisible to Invincible) due out September. 

Obviously I've learned a thing or two along the way and key is that if this is possible for me, it’s also possible for you - and just takes practice.


CONSISTENCY TRUMPS FREQUENCY & EVEN "VIRAL"


Brand building via posting and sharing content is not just for influencers and experts, and doesn’t happen overnight. While viral might be the holy grail of growth hacking ….  quietly, consistently, quality content in alignment with your career goals will deliver raises, recognition and better opportunities in the long run.  

For the purposes of this article let’s look at content and the 7 Ps of producing consistently good, on brand, quality content that will help advance your leadership career – with easily implementable tips and tricks from influencers and experts.

1. Proof reading is going to be your new best friend. Not just for typos. That’s a given. This proof reading is for checking that your post has impact.  Content with no impact simply sinks to the bottom and no-one ever sees it.  #prioritiseforimpact 

2. What’s your Purpose? Does your piece of content fit with your long term goals? Is it in alignment with your leadership brand? If not, how can you make it more so?  Purpose is one of the three pillars of self-promotion – and one of the secret ingredients that help depress the Modesty Norm for executive women.  Check your content for purpose before you press play – and you’ll feel far better about what you’re doing plus it will deliver more bang for your buck in the long run. #onbrandonpurpose 

3. Does your content Pop visually and/or conceptually? Does your first line or opening sentence stand out? Is it dramatic enough? Does the opening line or image convey emotion? Does it entice people in to want to read more?  Consider #hashtags, 🤣s, @name, questions or challenges.  

Don’t start with sentences such as – "I was attending the xxx event today and this is what I learned".Instead start with a strong statement about what you learned, and then explain that you were at the xxxx event and that was the key takeaway from the speaker.   

According to Microsoft, the human attention span has dropped from 12 seconds to 8 seconds (shorter than a gold fish).  Grab attention with a powerful opening line so people are keen to learn more.  #replaceblandwithbold 

4. Is your language Powerful enough? Turn up the volume by doing the following

  • don’t start sentences with "so", "and" or "just"

  • remove passive language and weasel words

  • ditch things that make it seem as though you don’t have an opinion or you are hedging you bets.

Instead, back yourself, your ideas and your perspective.  Challenger posts with a strong voice, no holds barred and no hedging your bets, get far better results both in terms of views and also with people reaching out to want to learn more.  #ownyourownawesome 

5. Is your post Personal enough? Where is the context? What’s your perspective? Where is your voice? Can the reader get to know you?  No more hiding behind -

  • too much jargon

  • annual report rhetoric

  • formal sounding language that doesn’t flow

Making meaning and sense making are what your audience are craving – that unique intersection between your expertise, your experience and the things you are most passionate about.   When you are able to layer in your personal perspective you’ll do far better.  #findyourvoice 

6. Does your post Persuade? Do you provide a rationale and evidence, that helps people see your point of view? Why should we care? Be sure to explain the obvious so people don’t have to work for it. According to research, persuasion is said to be one of the top 10 leadership skills required in 2025. Start practicing now.  #learntopersuade 

7. Is your post too Passive? Make it obvious how you need people to engage and take action (calls to action). LIKE/COMMENT/YOUR THOUGHTS - Remember engagement is where it’s at - you want people to engage, converse. to contribute. Not only does engagement provide social proof but the algorithm loves it too and your post will do better. Make it easy, if not compulsory, to engage. #eliminatepassive

CASE STUDY
One of my smart 'n savvy executive clients had been buried in her organisation for many years. No-one outside the giant corporate remembered she existed professionally any more. She started sharing consistently, on brand, in alignment with her new career goals, even tailoring her posting towards the roles she was applying for. I'm delighted to announce that after 6 months she landed a phenomenal role with relative ease. How do we know her LinkedIn posting helped?  Because the interview panel all went to her profile several times during the recruitment process to check out and engage with her activity. 

BYO  Chair with Amanda Blesing Executive Coach Women of Impact.png


Many of my executive clients are leveraging LinkedIn to build their confidence and leadership brand.  Several have been picked up by international publications, others have been invited to speak or been considered for career opportunities as a result of this work. Did you know your LinkedIn activity also contributes to Award judging decisions? With a plan and some practice you can create a winning strategy too.


YOUR THOUGHTS?  Have you had a win with your LinkedIn posting and publishing? Or are you simply  getting nada, nothing ...... a fizzle? Drop me a note and let me know

#executivewomen #leadingwomen #LookOutCSuiteHereSheComes 

Share if you dare, to inspire another woman somewhere!


 
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

The key to Videoing like a LinkedIn Ninja

The key to Videoing like a LinkedIn Ninja.png

How to Video like a LinkedIn Ninja - and did video really kill the LinkedIn star?

When I first started videoing, I was 🤮 dreadful.

Not just a little bit awful; I was truly catastrophic.
So much so that -

  • I'd do 10–20 takes to get one short clip

  • I'd be umming, ahhing and stumbling over words that normally came easily plus

  • I'd often forget my place right at the killer point and have to start again.

“A picture is worth a thousand words........and a video is worth a thousand pictures!”
— Ankala V Subbarao

Most of those initial clips never saw the light of day! And here's hoping they never will 🤣😂🤭

So, how did so many other people look so good, so fast? I couldn’t work it out and this kept me second guessing myself.

When LinkedIn launched video, it seemed like everyone jumped on the band wagon, and with recent technology advancements, video is far easier and quicker to produce than writing a blog.

According to research, on average, users spend around 5–6 hours consuming video content daily (yes, you read that right). Plus this figure is only set to increase, rapidly, as we become more time poor, consuming content between the cracks of our professional and personal lives.

So what happened? What did I learn that made it easier and helped me get better?

Learning #1 - Stop trying to prove myself. I was trying to be too intellectual. This came from that deep seated worry that I'm not really good enough. I'm not unusual. Research and anecdotal evidence says that when women start their self-promotion game, we often try and over prove ourselves. Unfortunately, this came through on camera with me packing too much information in and using language that was far too academic. But once I pulled on my big girl pants, and dosed myself with a shot of confidence, I naturally did better ... and it shows.

Learning #2 - Stop trying to be perfect yet expect progress. I learned to give myself permission to be bad at the start and to respect the journey. Some things fall into place much easier with less of a learning curve but maybe not video. Just like learning to do a headstand, you wouldn’t expect to do one in your first yoga class.

If you want to try using video to self-promote on LinkedIn, Facebook or Instagram, but are feeling a bit anxious. Or maybe you want to add video into your mix for addressing remote staff or creating content for the intranet at work, but worry you’ll shoot yourself in the foot, here are five practical tips that might help you tackle your video self-promotion strategy more confidently.

  1. Don't over complicate it. Pick one idea and speak to that. Just one simple idea. It could be answering one common question from your audience or one common problem that you know how to solve from which your audience may benefit. Consider a piece of a project that your audience might be interested in or an idea from a book that changed your life. Whatever the topic, pick one and save the rest for another day.

  2. Have a conversation. Use language as though you were chatting with a professional friend. I call it BBQ language—it’s as though you had friends over for a BBQ and you’re talking about your work. You wouldn’t use jargon or a bunch of annual report rhetoric, unless you want their eyes to glaze over. You’d personalise it; use real language, real context with real stories.

  3. Brief is best. People are time poor. Most people won't even watch more than 1 minute. Attention spans are short (and getting shorter). Make it easy for yourself - and your audience.

  4. Smile. I was so nervous about the video that I was forgetting to smile. Yet when you smile, it comes through in your voice; you connect better and find everyone enjoys the video more.

  5. Look at the lens. Look at the actual camera lens. Hard to find on the phone sometimes. This small thing was an absolute game changer. Put a dot, a piece of blue tack, anything, near the lens and look directly at that.

    So the question remains - did video really kill the LinkedIn star?

    Only if she dies of embarrassment!

Amanda_Blesing_Executive_Coach_Executive_Branding.jpg

And get in touch if you want help with building your executive brand!

#executiveimpact #LookOutCSuiteHereSheComes #selfpromotionmatters

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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

Amanda’s 11 Step LinkedIn Ninja Posting/Publishing Process Guaranteed to Build Your Brand

How to Post and Publish like a LinkedIn Ninja -  11 Steps.png
  1. Draft an idea for a Post or Published article - just have a crack at getting fingers to keyboard, pen to paper, words out of your head and onto a page. Sometimes I’m totally surprised by the material that comes out of my subconscious just waiting to be written and published. After all, the secret to getting things done is to get started.

  2. Let it sit for a day or two to settle before going back in to edit - just like you would with rising dough or bread

  3. Decide on style - What style post/article will it be? Will it be text only? Have you got an action shot of you? a video? or other media that might add interest factor? (no bland stock images thanks!)

  4. Identify 10 potential people in your network who may have something to add to the conversation. Don’t reach out to them yet.

  5. Finalise your Post/Article - edit then proof-read with view to how others will react to it. You can always test it with a friend.

  6. Check for the 6 Ps of LinkedIn Proof-reading

    • What’s your Purpose? Does this fit with your long term goals? Is it branded or in alignment with your brand? If not, how can you make it more so?

    • Does it Pop? Does your first line or opening sentence stand out? Is it dramatic enough? Does it have enough emotion? Does it entice people in to want to read more? (consider # 🤣 questions or challenges)

    • Is your language or idea Powerful enough? Can you amplify that more? Don’t start sentences with So, And. Remove passive language, weasel words or things that make it seem as though you don’t have an opinion and are hedging you bets.

    • Is your post Personalised enough? Where is the context? What’s your perspective? Are you using too much jargon? Does it make you seem human?

    • Does it Persuade? Do you provide a rationale & evidence, that would help people see your point of view? Be sure to explain the obvious so people don’t have to work for it.

    • Is it too Passive? Make it obvious how you need people to engage and take action (calls to action). Remember engagement is the gold - you want people to engage. Not only is it “social proof” but the algorithm loves it too. Make it easy/compulsory to engage.

  7. Consider your hashtags in advance - 3 to 5 at max. Why? To get them into popular news feeds on LinkedIn, consider who your ideal reader is and what #feeds they read, what your own branding is, or any words you want to pop in the 1st x 2 lines.

  8. Work out a good time to Post/Publish - i.e. when you have at least 30 mins available to Sweat the Post to get it running and when you know there will also be room for natural organic read rate (i.e. more people on LinkedIn)

  9. Post/Publish - note: when publishing, you need to have a pithy, catchy and short summary of your post, with a few hashtags when you publics. Consider drafting something in advance.

  10. Then Sweat the Post or Article - no more “build it and they will come”. No more relying on luck or happy accident. Take responsibility for the success of your post. If you don’t have 30 mins available at a good time to post, find another time to do it. What does this mean?

    • Send to your 10 experts who will have an opinion - “Hi (Brian), just wrote something for LinkedIn (insert Link). Would love your opinion to get the conversation going. A thumbs up or comment would be great. Happy to return the favour for you another day. Cheers - your name”

    • Share in any relevant groups you’re a member of - contextualise as you share

    • Consultants - share to your own company page

    • Comment back to any comments that others make within the 1st two hours. Consider asking questions to keep the conversation live for longer

    • Ongoing commenting back, at the 6 hour mark then daily with a few responses each day. PRO TIP - don’t comment back on everything all in one hit after the initial 2 hours. Spread it out over a few days to keep your post/article running longer

  11. Track your results - likes, comments, reshares. Consider also, did the post or article increase the number of views your profile got? Keep a record so you can measure progress or refine the process as required.

Once again - don’t leave success up  to luck or happy accident. Make it a fait accompli instead.

#executivewomen #leadingwomen #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 win with your professional photo shoot

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We all know that people make split second judgments (4 seconds or less).  With CVs and recruitment moving more and more to online platforms like LinkedIn, your photo is one of the things that really matters.  It's a door opener, a trust and credibility builder, and has the potential to add 10s of 1000s of $$ onto your earnings over the course of your career. 

You never get a second chance to make a first impression

The flip side is also true. A bad photo keeps you missing out time and time again, for opportunities that you never even got to hear about. And never will.  

There's an old saying "dress for the job you want, not the job you have". The same goes for your professional headshot.  Your photo should position you for the role of your dreams, and not be something you were lucky to cut out from the previous year's Xmas party snaps. 

My US Celebrity Photoshoot

Four years ago I had my first professional photoshoot done. I was in the USA attending a speaker training week with Michael Port and he had brought a celebrity speaker photographer onsite for us to take advantage of.  It was an eye opening experience to say the least!  David (photographer) was hilarious with his "yeah baby, work it" comments bouncing off the walls as we posed and draped uncomfortably (we had been warned). But the results were phenomenal and we all felt a million bucks! In fact, I'm still using the shots he took then, and would do it again in a heartbeat if I got the chance.

I know many of my clients still feel uncomfortable with this idea. That it's somehow big-noting yourself at worst and unnecessary at best.   So to help feel more comfortable and to make the most of your next photoshoot, here are my nine tips for executive women and busy experts with big, hairy, audacious career goals.

I love the person I’ve become, because I fought to become her
— Kaci Diane

 

Nine Nifty Notes for Preparing for a Successful Photoshoot!


1. Think “successful leader” and “future personal brand” in your industry as you prepare - the role you want, not the role you have.  If you're aiming for a leadership role in a mining company, wear a suit, not the fluro. If you're aiming for a leadership role in education, dress yourself appropriately again. Ask yourself "What do the leaders in my industry typically wear on a good day?"  

2. Bring a change of jacket (or have a top which you could wear with a jacket or without) so you an get advice (and perspective) about what works best. This also means you can have two different looks in your allotted time slot. Head and shoulders is all that's required for LinkedIn.

Amanda_Blesing_Professional_photo

3. Don't be afraid of wearing colour - avoid all black and charcoal gray is definitely out for most women.  Note my own photo has a black jacket but I have a white top underneath for a bit of a highlight. If I had my shoot again (and I will) I'll definitely be adding some colour or highlights. 

4. Show your throat - don't wear a high neckline or collar. According to research this signifies trust. I guess the exception to the rule here would be if you were interviewing for a ski resort where the turtle neck is ubiquitous with style.

5. Aim for a V neckline shape - so if you are wearing a round/square top, pop a structured jacket over the top. The current shape of the LinkedIn photo window doesn't flatter the round neckline much, plus the stereotypes around leadership lend themselves to a more V shaped neckline.

6. Blend the feminine with the masculine - a structured masculine business shirt is also not recommended for most women pitching into leadership - blend the masculine with the feminine (structure & flow/yin & yang).

7. Accessorise with your role (and stereotypes) in mind - a little jewellery is perfect but nothing too dominating. The focus is on you, your leadership cred and building connection.

8. KISS - Steer clear of too much patterning or clutter. It can be distracting. It's you we want to get to know.

9. Makeup is highly recommended - and dress your hair before you go. Although, obviously you can use the facilities onsite if you need.  Don't forget to ask the photographer to photoshop your pick of the images. Blemishes, spots, flyaway hair etc can all be managed for a price. If the celebrities do it, why can't you? 
 

Bonus tip #10  -  Be a poser - Angle yourself so your shoulders are on a diagonal, you are looking back at the camera and smiling. Smiling is great, likability is important. Don't be a afraid to try a range of poses. The pose that felt the most awkward  and uncomfortable for me, was the one I ended up liking the best.  It's not stupid. It's not egotistical. Everyone is a different shape and we all have different goals, so different poses suit different people.

My personal favourite is the arm folded/crossed. It works for me and has worked for a few of my clients.   

Check out Helen , Nuala and Kathryn in their before and after shots.  Phenomenal. (Well done to each of them!) 

Helen Mandziejewski pre photoshoot

Helen Mandziejewski pre photoshoot

Nuala Ward pre photoshoot

Nuala Ward pre photoshoot

Thanks to Helen Mandziejewski

Thanks to Helen Mandziejewski

Thanks to Nuala Ward for sharing

Thanks to Nuala Ward for sharing

Kathryn Vosper pre photoshoot

Kathryn Vosper pre photoshoot

Thanks to Kathryn Vosper for sharing

Thanks to Kathryn Vosper for sharing

 
Here are a couple of great examples for your to check out on LinkedIn.  
 

BEFORE YOU GO - Women of Impact go on tour!

We're heading back on Retreat to Palm Cove in 2019    Limited places as ensuring the right mix of people are in the room is important to the success of the event.

If you're interested in learning more about the program, drop us a note. Click on the button to register your interest and we'll send you the pricing and details.

  • Super Early Bird rates to 14 February

  • Early Bird Pricing to 30 June 2019.

  • Email to learn more

 

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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

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

 

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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

How to Be a LinkedIn Ninja - 10 levels

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  • Still unsure about how LinkedIn really works?
  • Need help letting go of your training wheels and getting more confident on the platform?
  • Just maybe you need to aim for LinkedIn Ninja status - executing bold, audacious LinkedIn connection, engagement and positioning tactics with grace and effortless ease.

Here are some typical LinkedIn profile types and behaviours to avoid so you gain mastery more easily.

Which profile type are you?

1. The Naysayer – totally in denial about the platform. You refuse to sign up for the platform, and criticise/judge those who do actively engage.

As unbelievable as this sounds, there are people out there who have yet to buy the LinkedIn dream. But as you’re reading this on LinkedIn I’m guessing you aren’t one of them!

What would I say to those who haven’t bought the dream yet? Social selling is a skill that is becoming increasingly more important. With flexible working arrangements, remote teams and globalisation of customer bases and followings, you definitely need to be able to persuade, influence and sell you and your ideas, both face to face AND online. LinkedIn is a great training ground and enables you to do this efficiently, smartly and affordably. Be there or be square. Don’t miss the boat.

2. The Loser - you have less than 100 connections, you’ve never heard of the 500+ connections unwritten ground rule and it’s obvious you’d really rather not be on LinkedIn.

Time to switch up your thinking. Start strategically connecting on a weekly basis – up, sideways and down – and with your future career goals in mind. Also, don’t forget to sync your mobile and/or your email device as a quick hack. Crack that 500+ barrier sooner rather than later.

3. The Near Enough is Good Enough - your profile pic is a selfie, or a glamour shot, or it looks like you cut your significant other out of the photo in a rush, and any of your LinkedIn activity is by happy accident rather than by design.

If you think of LinkedIn as a high end department store window display, that might help. In that window display you want to have next season's fashions on show. Not last season’s stock or end of line run-outs.

So how does that impact your LinkedIn profile? Your profile pic needs to be you on a good (and professional) day at the very least. And if you’re really serious about this, do invest in a photo-shoot done by a professional with your aspirational career goals in mind. Your profile needs to be pitched for the job you want, not the one you have.

4. The Behind the Times - you think of your profile purely as an online CV, and not even a very good one at that, and you’re playing a passive waiting game

A few years back the pundits were predicting that LinkedIn would replace the CV. And we’re seeing that right now, with some organisations providing interview panels with LinkedIn profiles only, not CVs, to help with candidate selection.

However, as the candidate, LinkedIn also enables you to demonstrate so much more than a regular CV, with the three tools of Executive Branding - presence, personal branding and positioning. For those aiming for LinkedIn Ninja status, go beyond the notion that LinkedIn is an online CV and focus more on carving out a powerful Executive Brand instead.

5. The Cheer Squad - you limit your involvement to random 'thumbs up' and 'great article' comments, and you wistfully observe others who are more confident expressing their opinion.

This is particularly relevant to those in the business of creating a movement. Quite possibly The Cheer Squad activities provide a great training ground, but you’ll need to move onto commenting, sharing and publishing sooner rather than later, or your movement may end up being more of a ripple.

6. The Stalker - you passively read articles and view profiles in the background, maybe even with your identify hidden.

Given the importance of trust in building meaningful on and offline relationships, stalkerish behaviour will undermine trust. 

As Lao Tzu said

"He who does not trust enough will not be trusted."

Obviously there are some situations where protecting your identity is paramount. But in most circumstances, being more overt will help build trust more easily.

If you are in the business of leading, then as Jesse Lyn Stoner reminds us

"People follow leaders by choice. Without trust, at best you get compliance." 

7. The Now You See Me, Now You Don’t - where you are super active in fits and starts, but when work gets busy you are least in sight. You try anything once or twice but with no plan, no system and no strategy.

You’ve probably heard of visibility as part of a career strategy. This is where you need to ensure you are seen and heard by decision makers inside and outside the business to ensure your own career progression. Well it works the same online. In a nutshell, if people can’t see you, they’ll forget about you more easily. Remember the rule of thumb ‘consistency trumps frequency’, stick a weekly LinkedIn visibility appointment in your calendar and you’ll be fine.  

8. The Squeaky Wheel – you’re on a mission with a cause with articles you like, share and publish clearly articulating a problem set, but never offering solutions.

Just like the boy who cried wolf, you want to make sure that people stay tuned into what you have on offer. It’s great to critique, but even better if you can then back that up with painting a picture of the future that others will want to inhabit. Unpack your key messages in multiple ways, to ensure you don’t sound like a broken record. Share positive and aspirational messages also, to ensure you don’t get a reputation as as ‘The Department of No’.

9. The Dominator – where you dominate the feed morning, noon or night, leaving others wondering when you fit work in, and you yourself begin to wonder why your post engagement is dropping.

Stop being busy, start being strategic. Think about how someone already super successful in your industry would typically behave on LinkedIn and emulate. If people start believing that all you do is sit on LinkedIn all day, you’re defeating the purpose and appearing desperate rather than successful. Bashing someone over the head with an idea, won’t make them believe in it any faster. In a nutshell, entice people in and leave them wanting more.

10. The LinkedIn Ninja – aka Linked-Ninja - you have fine tuned your social selling abilities and execute them effectively, efficiently and with effortless ease. You understand that LinkedIn is predominantly about building engagement, trust and rapport, so all your efforts are nuanced, coordinated and graceful. By way of metrics you’ve got;

  • A top 1% viewed profile in both your industry AND in your network,
  • A social selling index of 90% (check it out www.linkedin.com/sales/ssi/)
  • 3000+ connections with a repeatable plan for both engaging with those connections and growing new connections in the direction of your goals
  • Your average viewing rate on shares = 3000+
  • Your thumbs up rate on shares averages 50+
  • You have an average of 300+ viewing/eyeball rate on articles published
  • Your activity is all branded or themed and in alignment with your long term goals
  • Most importantly, you have a game behind the game – a long term goal that you hope to achieve with LinkedIn as just one part of the plan. And for the LinkedIn Ninja you are achieving in all those other areas of your life as well.

It’s a wrap!

Don’t mistake the map for the territory. Person to person connection and networking should still make up a significant part of your plan.

And here's wishing for you to achieve LinkedIn Ninja status with ease.

Share if you dare! And help a friend achieve LinkedIn mastery more easily.

And here are a couple more articles you might also like

___________________________________________________

 

  • Amanda Blesing is a speaker, mentor, trainer and thinker on all things Executive Brand
  • She has accidental LinkedIn Ninja status and helps busy experts and executive women to avoid making the same mistakes that she did!
  • Sign up for weekly inspiration straight to your inbox www.amandablesing.com

 

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

 

 

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

8 Signs & Symptoms That You Have the Linkfluenza Virus

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If you're reading this, you already know that LinkedIn is incredibly 'in' right now for those wanting to fast track career progress. The platform not only allows you to put up a shop front window for 'brand you' that should keep you top of the pops 24/7 while you sleep, but it also enables you to make great connections, build relationships and position yourself while you are sitting at your desk pretending to work.

But we reckon that there is something sinister doing the rounds on the platform. Maybe it's the new roll out since Microsoft took over. Or maybe it's simply that the number of people signing up to LinkedIn is still growing exponentially and it's feeding the beast.

However, the signs are all there and the following is a collection of symptoms that we've lumped together that indicate one thing - and that's that you have caught a bad case of the dreaded Linkfluenza virus.

SIGNS & SYMPTOMS of LINKFLUENZA

If you tick yes to one or more of the below list then you'd better go see your doctor and get the antidote! ASAP.

  1. You spend more than one hour per day on LinkedIn when it's not your job and you worry when you simply don't have enough time in your day to do more

  2. You refresh your posts over and over again to check how many likes you have on your last share 
  3. You rate yourself and measure your own success by how many connections you have (or don't have)
  4. You get sent to LinkedIn jail every now and then when you are emailing people, and when you log back in LinkedIn asks you if you are a bot
  5. You know all the rules about keeping out (and getting out) of Linkedin jail because you've been there quite a few times!
  6. Your connections on Linkedin mean more to you than your real life business connections - or worse your family!
  7. You feel anxious and have withdrawal symptoms if you can't access LinkedIn for whatever reason
  8. You are always going in to see who has looked at your profile and you've been known to double check your own profile settings if you have no new profile views in a 24 hour period.

Don't mistake the map for the territory. Linkedin is a cool and awesome business and networking tool. It's an even more powerful tool for those who have consultancies. But LinkedIn isn't life. And if you ticked yes to one or more of the above then we suggest that you'd better go out and get one (a real life that is). 

If you liked this article - please share!

And if you've identified any other signs or symptoms or maybe even a cure, please comment below. Let's help our fellow Linkfluenza sufferers sooner rather than later.

_________________________________________________________

Amanda_Blesing_Russell_Boon.jpg
  • This article was jointly written by Amanda Blesing and Russell Boon, both of whom have become accidental LinkedIn ninjas.
  • Hand on heart, we've each suffered from Linkfluenza at various stages.
  • Don't panic - it is treatable.

 

Liked this? Here are some more

 

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

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

The Seven Deadly Linked-Sins 

Following up our recent article on the Eight Signs and Symptoms of Linkfluenza, The Seven Deadly Linked-Sins spells out online LinkedIn behaviour that most everyday users loathe.

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For example, are you really an African Prince with USD $22MIL you desperately need to pop into a connection's bank account? Or are you merely tripping up because the platform is simply too tempting to resist and you're not sure of the unwritten ground rules? The devil is always in the detail, so do read on.

Either way, from time to time many of us have found ourselves succumbing to the lure of one of more of these Linked-Sins, whether by accident, design or over enthusiasm. So to help you navigate your way and become a better LinkedIn citizen, here is a list of sins in all their manifestations to keep you on the straight and narrow. 

  1. Lust - LinkedIn is not Tinder - commenting on appearances and profile pictures, sending creepy emails, dating requests, hook-up invites or offers of marriage is a definite no no. Do NOT be tempted. The Remove & Report Connection options are far too easy for recipients to find.
  2. Gluttony – More is never enough. Do you rate yourself by how many connections you have? Let's not forget that LinkedIn is an online platform and not real life. 10K connections does not make anyone a better spouse, parent, sibling or son/daughter or even corporate citizen. Don't mistake the map for the territory. To some extent the number of your connections doesn't matter, it's what you do with those connections that truly counts. So connection, conversation and engagement might be far better measures. Check out your LinkedIn social selling index www.linkedin.com/sales/ssi instead.
  3. Greed - adding your new connections to your email database without permission and sending them unsolicited emails. Not only does this breach privacy laws in most countries, it's plain and simply rude. Another sin that falls into this category might be that you've set up a IfTTT (If This Then That) auto responder and your new connections get a full on sales pitch within a nano second of accepting. Don't forget, on average it takes 9 or 10 pieces of communication before an interested customer might purchase. A sales pitch within a moment of connecting is a turnoff. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Unsubscribe, delete or disconnect are too easy for the recipient, and hard to recover from for the sender.
  4.  Sloth - not changing your employment / job title in a timely manner once you've left an organisation. After all, why put things off today when you could put them off tomorrow? Right? Perhaps you don't know how to change it so you leave it there because you still get added kudos by being linked to the brand. It might be tempting, but resist the lure. Remember your LinkedIn profile is selling you to your contacts and perhaps prospective employers. Letting the world see that you are lazy is not putting your best foot forward. Perhaps just as bad is the fact that your profile picture is still that scan of your high school yearbook but that’s now 20 years ago and those big shoulder pads or the paisley tie aren’t a good look.
  5. Wrath - ranting or snarky comments on LinkedIn, either as posts or in comments, frequently about issues not relevant to the platform such as religion, politics or sex. Life's too short. Remember, LinkedIn is an international forum and sometimes the rest of the planet isn’t interested in your conspiracy theories about your government... There are definitely other platforms more suitable for you to be driving those issues on. We’re sure the CIA, NSA or relevant authorities in your own country will be more than interested in your views. Enough said.
  6. Envy - more to the point we’re speaking p****** envy. In this case we’re talking, Profile Envy (copying other people’s profiles, even using other people's profile pics!). Profile envy can even lead to Premature Publication – ( where you've been super organised with creating content for sharing but get too excited and let loose on LinkedIn every few hours with an update or published article. ) This is wrong on so many levels because A. people switch off from your posts like the boy who cried wolf, B. people assume you have too much time on your hands (and therefore unsuccessful) because you're on LinkedIn all day every day and C. you have missed such a great opportunity to showcase your thought leadership over a longer period of time, and at the time when your highest prospect target audience is on. So, ditch the keeping up with the Jones’ mentality and do your own thing.
  7. Pride - claiming job titles higher/bigger/better than you truly have. Yes it happens. There are some people so addicted to exaggeration that they can't tell the truth without lying. And companies are wising up with policies and processes that now police how staff describe themselves when representing the organisation online.

Don't panic. If you identified with one or more of the above list, all is not lost. Forgiveness is at hand, redemption is nigh, and LinkedIn nirvana is only a few clicks away. Simply eliminate those behaviours sooner rather than later and get on with business of building and maintaining meaningful connections along with creating engaging online content again.

Finally, we know there are many, many more Linked-Sins that we've yet to encounter. So if you've identified any other Linked-Sins please comment below!

Don't forget to help other Linked-Sinners to repent and redeem themselves as well, so they too can live long and prosper on the platform.  Please share ---- 

_________________________________________________________

 

Amanda Blesing & Russell Boon

Amanda Blesing & Russell Boon

  • This article was jointly written by Amanda Blesing and Russell Boon, both of whom have become accidental LinkedIn ninjas.
  • Hand on heart, we've each committed one or two of the Linked-Sins listed above and humbly beg your forgiveness.
  • Repentance and redemption are yours to access too. And LinkedIn nirvana might be just one click or share away.

 

 

 

 

Vive la révolution! #ambitionrevolution #LookOutCSuiteHereSheComes #feminineambition #executivebranding #personalbranding #standout #leadership #executivewomen #careerfutureproofing #decisionmaking

 

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

The cost of well meaning, poor advice for busy executives

Ask most people the best way to get a raise, a promotion or a better opportunity and chances are they’ll say: “Just go to more networking events!”

Or - “Just get more active on LinkedIn!”

Or - "Work hard! Volunteer for more projects! Cycle with the boss!”

Somehow it’s as if randomly working hard on a whole heap of stuff, something will somehow magically help you find your next perfect opportunity.

If you’ve ever tried that approach, I’m betting you paid the price in terms of feeling worn out, worn down and then falling back into the trap of doubting yourself again.

Rejection is exhausting. And so is well meaning, poor advice. When you don’t know how to discern the difference between great or poor advice, it’s no wonder people continue to play a waiting game.

You're likely already working hard enough, so it's time to work smarter instead. And my favorite piece of advice is, “Stop being busy, start being strategic".

So often people are working hard at the wrong thing. Working on the right thing is probably more important than working hard.
— Caterina Fake

And that’s what this article is all about today.


There was a blog I wrote a year or so ago about finding the sweet spot, applying the Goldilocks Principle and using the Minimum Effective Dose.  It’s still relevant today.

But if you don’t have time to read the blog, then simply ask yourself this one question every day ...

Less_Is_More_executive_career.jpg

“What’s the #1 thing I can do today that will move the dial on my goals?” 

Then just do it. Nothing more, nothing less.

Sometimes less truly is more, and leaves you feeling stronger, more certain and far more confident about your ability to make better decisions.

Hope is not a strategy and knowledge is no longer a form of power.  It’s what you do with both your hope and knowledge that truly makes a difference.

Remember - smart and savvy truly is the name of this game! 


Vive la révolution!  #ambitionrevolution #executivebrand

Expertise + strategic action = priceless

Email me if you have a strategic success story you want to share with me!

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

Effective & Efficient LinkedIn Formula for the Time Poor

One of the biggest issues I'm asked about is how to leverage LinkedIn effectively and with only a small amount of time. You've seen my profile and know that I went from 1k connections (acquired mostly by happy accident) in 2015 to almost 9k connections in 2017, mostly by strategic design, so it's a fair assumption I know quite a bit about LinkedIn. In fact, my livelihood depends on me knowing how to be effective and efficient on LinkedIn - so you'd be right.

But back to you -  with the end of financial year (EOFY) looming, I'm guessing that right now you are head down, bottom up, forgetting to fly the flag for brand you despite knowing you should. 

And while LinkedIn is definitely a far more strategic brand you flag flying option than Facebook, it can still be an absolute black hole when you don't really know what activities count. So to help you avoid the black hole of wasted time, or worse, becoming invisible inside and outside your business during the EOFY busy patch, here is my best advice.


Minimum Effective Dose

Do you remember some years ago when Tim Ferriss published the Four Hour Body? In the book he popularised the idea of the Minimum Effective Dose (the MED). The MED is the minimum amount you can do to achieve the required outcome - not too much, not too little, but just right. A bit like the Pareto Principle where you spend 20% of effort to achieve 80% of the result.

Well I believe you can apply the same on LinkedIn. Yes there will be times when you do more, but if you're about to hit up against the EOFY with major project deadlines along with KPIs for both you and your staff under review - then the MED is exactly what you need right now.

There are two things to do before you start - 

  1. Make a diary appointment with yourself once each week for just 15 minutes at a time when most of your ideal target market is likely to be on LinkedIn to do your LinkedIn MED work
  2. Then in that time, implement the 5:3:1 routine detailed below.


Quick and Easy LinkedIn Visibility Hack - as easy as 5:3:1


The focus of the 5:3:1 hack is tactical and practical with the goal to keep you visible and memorable for all the right reasons.  Remember that - visible and memorable for the right reasons. 

  • 5 - LIKE 5 things that others have shared such as articles/images, job changes or anniversaries that are aligned with your executive brand and/or from people you want to stay visible with
  • 3 - COMMENT on 3 items that people have shared in the main thread AND in groups. Make sure your comments are aligned with your executive brand or in groups where it's important you remain visible with
  • 1 - SHARE 1 article of your own (once again alighned with your executive brand) with a reflective comment about why this is important to your industry or to leadership more broadly.

Finally, it's important to note that the formula is based on the SWAG methodology (thanks Dan Klein)  - you know, the Scientific Wild Ass Guess methodology - balancing effort and impact.  Those activities that require more effort, if done right, can have greater impact so you need to do them less frequently. And those activities that require less effort, and are likely to have less of an impact, are more frequent.

Sound easy? It is! And then when you find yourself with more time you can play a bigger game.


Does 5:3:1 work for a consultant?
 

Absolutely, if you're a consultant and you find yourself overwhelmed with work, you can do the same but I'd recommend making a diary appointment with yourself 3 x per week instead of just once.  Plus I'd recommend that you Publish/Post one article per week in addition to sharing.   

Your goal? To get your LinkedIn profile working for you 24/7 while you sleep until such time as you find yourself with more time to spend, then be sure to go ahead and do more.

Effective&efficient


Effective AND efficient every time


Remember, anything is better than nothing, and an easy system or process that you do, is far better than a perfect system or process that you never do. But a 5:3:1 social media formula for being visible at the right time, right place, with the right audience, and the right key messages is both efficient AND effective.

Have fun with this! And let me know how you go.

Remember - smart and savvy truly is the name of this game! 
Vive la révolution!  #ambitionrevolution #executivebrand

Email me if you have a LinkedIn expert status success story you want to share with me.

Or get in touch if you need a help with unpacking and selling your expert status brand more skilfully.

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

LinkedIn Lurv for Executive Women

Today's theme and fun title - "LinkedIn lurv for the ladies" - with 7 great reasons why you need to get on board sooner rather than later.

And no, despite the title, this is not a sleazy post, but once again designed to help you get all your career and consulting tools lined up and pointed in the right direction.

CEO social engagement is a reputational must today. Business leaders are increasingly turning to digital platforms to share their company story, reach broader networks of stakeholders and join online conversations where their company is already being talked about. CEOs who don’t embrace online communications risk being left behind.
— Leslie Gaines-Ross, Chief Reputation Strategist, Weber Shandwick

And the same goes for anyone with C-suite aspirations.

If you¹re like most, you set up a LinkedIn account at some point in the mid-late 2000s, then promptly forgot about it. Maybe you gussied it up a little with your last job change, or you leave it to your Executive Assistant to manage, but most people are totally underestimating things and quite simply, leaving money and opportunity on the table.


Five typical LinkedIn profile brands

Typical profile brands include:

  1. The Near Enough is Good Enough - your profile pic is a selfie, or a glamour shot, or it looks like you cut your significant other out of the photo in a rush
  2. The Loser - you have less than 100 connections and have never heard of the 500+ connections unwritten ground rule
  3. Behind the Times - you think of your profile purely as an online CV and not even a very good one at that
  4. The Cheer Squad - you limit your involvement to random 'thumbs up' and 'great article' comments, or
  5. The Stalker - you passively read articles and view profiles in the background, maybe even with your identify hidden.

If you identified with any of the above categories then you are definitely missing out.

Success stories

Just this month two of my clients created dream role opportunities with decision makers by proactive emailing in LinkedIn.

Last month one of my clients landed a role as CEO of a conglomerate group which started with an introduction via LinkedIn.

And last week I was tallying the overseas speaking opportunities that had come to me via LinkedIn and just supposing I accepted them all, I could buy an around the world ticket with invitations to speak in Japan, India, USA, Canada, UK, Singapore and New Zealand. All via LinkedIn.

Critically for my clients, their profiles set them up for success before they even reached out to ask for meetings - with their future leadership brand front and centre.

Facts you need to know

  • Fact 1: LinkedIn is the world¹s largest and most powerful social network for professionals.
  • Fact 2: It has 500+ million members in 200 countries, and two new members join each second.
  • Fact 3: LinkedIn is also taking the job seeking world by storm enabling companies and candidates to connect directly.
  • Fact 4: For consultants it¹s acknowledged as the best, easiest and most effective place online to find new clients.
  • Fact 5: Microsoft recently bought LinkedIn and are investing heavily so it's only going to become more powerful moving forward.
  • Fact 6: LinkedIn remains the biggest on-ramp for CEOs and C-suite execs to get onboard with social media (2016 Social CEO Report)
  • Fact 7: However, data demonstrates that men are confidently and visibly dominating the platform and women are missing the boat yet again. And we can't blame anyone for this but ourselves for this.

So what can executive women do?

Learn to love LinkedIn. And if you can't love it, learn to leverage it smartly. Take advantage of the significant networking and positioning benefits the platform provides.

Late to the party doesn't mean all is lost. In fact, if you're really only getting going now, you won't be dealing with all the confusion of recent platform changes after the Microsoft takeover.

Yes, gender bias, socialisation and stereotypes have some part to play, but we need to step up into this new medium and regain ground. And because women have a tendency to underestimate and downplay their own strengths and future performance - your own profile should make you feel a bit intimidated (FIGJAMLP).

Quite simply, it's not too late. Learn the rules, get comfortable with the platform and then strategically and skilfully navigate between the flags of bias and perception to sell brand you.

After all, if this is where it's all going to be happening in the future, then you need to get on board before it's too late.

Why? Because business, community and government needs smart 'n savvy women leading.

Feminine Leadership Super Powers + LinkedIn Strategy = Priceless

Plus, you’re worth it.

Vive la révolution!  #ambitionrevolution #feminineambition #executivebrand


Email me if you have a LinkedIn success story you want to share.

Or get in touch if you need a help with unpacking and selling your leadership brand more skilfully.

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