Tag Archives: LinkedIn

What Have You Done For Me Lately?

Have you ever had a client praise you for your good works and outcomes and then, within weeks or months, decide to end your working agreement? Have you ever brought in positive measurable results in a job only to have, shortly thereafter, your employment terminated?

Circumstances change. Budgets get reassessed. Ownerships/partnerships are revised. Measurable results can go south. Clients/employers find candidates they think can do the job better. Or cheaper.

In 2016, more than at any point in my lifetime, it is a “what have you done for me lately?” world in business. A college basketball coach takes leads a team to two straight conference titles. He wins awards! Heaping accolades roll in! Then he has two losing seasons. Goodbye, coach!

I have lost jobs when I was performing at my best and delivering strong measurable results, but my superiors thought someone else could do the job better. (OR just as well, for much less money.)

It happens. Unless your parents own the company or you have an ownership stake, you can be bounced from any gig. Even if, just recently, you were golden. How should you deal with this uncertainty?

  1. Perform at a high level always. Don’t coast.
  2. Make sure the person or persons you report to are aware of all the good outcomes you deliver. Don’t assume they know.
  3. Note that even if you do good work, consultants, corporate types and fellow managers can suggest to your boss/client that your talents may not be as valuable as earlier believed.
  4. Celebrate your wins as they occur. Next time the outcomes may not be so rosy.
  5. Always be thinking about your next work situation. When someone extends a feeler, don’t brush it off. Listen and ask questions. There may be something better out there for you now.
  6. Keep your resume, portfolio and LinkedIn profile updated. You may be, as Sinatra sings, “ridin’ high in April, shot down in May.”
  7. Negotiate employment contracts carefully. Many are one-sided, favoring the employer/client. Make sure there are protections for you in the deal, just in case.
  8. If you are an “HCE” (highly compensated employee), be aware that you may be particularly vulnerable when budgets are slashed.
  9. Don’t get overly attached emotionally to any job. Things change.
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16 Things To Know For ’16

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  1. It’s great to have lots of Twitter followers, Facebook friends and LinkedIn endorsers. But a good credit rating beats all three.
  2. Despite Southwest Airlines’ longtime claim that “your miles never expire,” mine expired last year.
  3. Never ever drive through (or even around) Atlanta if you can avoid it. Ever.
  4. Best media advice I’ve heard lately came from radio meetings in Nashville: “Infuse everything you do with FOMO.” (Fear Of Missing Out.)
  5. An organization that delivers hilariously entertaining TV spots may engage in sleazy business practices. (Sorry for being necessarily vague on this one.)
  6. My number one news source is Twitter.
  7. Using the term “startup” in reference to your business generally gets you attention, even if your business is selling life insurance.
  8. Some people think it’s okay to end a 7-year business relationship via text message.
  9. The adverb is not your friend. (Writing tip from Stephen King.)
  10. A Discover Card ad offering double rewards for new cardholders contained the line “no limits and no catches” but the tag at the end of the spot said, “limitations apply.” So… which is it?
  11. “Inspired by true events” does not make a movie better than one that’s total fiction.
  12. A St. Louis area business that advertised regularly in local print media for three decades ran NO print ads in 2015… and their revenues increased.
  13. A black and white photo often has stronger impact than a color pic.
  14. Whole Foods does not take checks.
  15. Sometimes I’d prefer to READ your story in an online article instead of watching a video about it.
  16. Your strict adherence to political correctness may cause you to shake your head at times, but it beats having to apologize for a communications boner. Um, mistake.

 

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Remember Me? I Knew You Back In The Day!

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Does this ever happen to you? A person walks up to you and starts talking as if you know him or her. You can’t remember the person. Or even worse, you vaguely remember, but don’t recall where you met or how you know the person—was it at church, your kid’s school, the gym, a party, a conference, a BNI meeting, a sales call?

Does it ever happen that you are that guy or woman who says, “Hey, nice to see you! It’s been a while!” And the other person responds with a blank stare.

I’ve been on both sides of these encounters. I’ve flipped through that virtual Rolodex in my mind on several occasions only to find that there’s no card with the person’s info. And I’ve shared precise details of events to jar the recollections of these folks who’ve erased me from their memory banks.

When these opportunities present themselves to reconnect with those people with whom you had a passing acquaintance back in the day, jump at them and take a moment to trade updates. In today’s business world, when everyone’s job is on the line, when people are changing jobs and careers at a rapid pace, when anyone in sales is looking for new prospects, when who knows you is just as important as who you know, these people who knew you then may be good people to connect with again… now.

Typical scenarios: That stay at home mom you knew from the neighborhood pool in 1995 now runs a business that could use the software you’re selling. That banker whose kid played soccer on your daughter’s team in 2000 has just opened a restaurant and needs your social media consulting skill. That salesman you met at a church retreat in 1998 now runs a computer repair shop and yours is running slow. That woman you met at that scouting seminar in 2002 has recently inherited money and wonders if the investment product your company offers is right for her.

Once you take a moment to catch up, you may want to connect via LinkedIn or Facebook. As time permits, you may want to set up a meeting and compare notes about what’s going on in your lives and your careers now. As I have said more than once, what you’re doing now is more important than what you used to do. But people from your past can play a useful role in your future.

(This article was originally posted in March 2013.)

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So You’re Going To A Conference!

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Last week I attended a daylong marketing conference. I heard a few things I already knew but needed to be reminded about. Such as: mobile is big, video is big and LinkedIn is big. And respect for your customer is important. An impressive list of speakers shared statistics and stories in (mostly) entertaining presentations.

I picked up a few random tidbits: The FunToyzCollector channel on Youtube earned nearly $5M in 2014 with videos of toys being opened. Millennials care more about smart phones than driver’s licenses, according to research cited by one speaker. A good number of people would like to wear fleece-lined jeans, based on one analysis of Twitter posts.

I noted several suggestions: Focus on differentiation in your LinkedIn profile info. Post shorter versions of videos you share—“slice and dice,” to quote one presenter—in addition to the longer versions. If you use video in your marketing, set up a YouTube channel. And respond to comments (other than those from trolls) on your Youtube posts.

“Make your buyer the hero” was one speaker’s motto (and a good idea for any business owner). “Spend for learning” (instead of just for ROI) was one panelist’s suggestion for a portion of a marketing budget. Blog and email to your community at least weekly was another idea shared. Take advantage of the reasonably priced opportunity that Facebook offers to deliver your (paid) messages to your target.

As usual, the best part of conferences like last week’s is seeing old friends and associates and meeting new contacts. Sometimes you pick up good information or hot gossip from these conversations. Other times, it’s just good to see and be seen.

I always feel that if I can walk away from such a conference with a handful of actionable nuggets that may help me improve my efforts (along with a handful of business cards from people I might like to have a cup of coffee with), the event has been a success.

When you go to a conference, here are my suggestions:

  1. Arrive early. Get the “lay of the land.” Plan which sessions you want to attend.
  2. Sit near the front of the room for each session to hear and see better.
  3. Take notes. They will help you recall key points the speaker is making.
  4. Bring business cards and share them freely.
  5. Say thanks to the people who organize and administer these events. It can be quite a task!

 

 

 

 

 

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Popular or Avant-Garde?

In a world ruled by Facebook and Twitter, should you devote a lot of attention to other social media platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, Vine, Google +, LinkedIn, Tagged, etc., etc., etc.?

I say yes. Absolutely. Knowing how they work gives you an opportunity to share content in a different way and, in many cases, present it via links to… Facebook and Twitter!

For specific audiences and for specific needs, the “second tier” social networks can often beat Facebook and Twitter hands down. Your quest for place settings for a wedding reception can lead you to excellent results on Pinterest. Your search for your next job on LinkedIn connects you with people who are hiring (and people who know people who are hiring).

To me, the comparison between the more popular Facebook and Twitter and the others is like so many other situations in our lives where the easy choice is what’s most popular. But more enlightenment and satisfaction may come from the less popular choice.

I enjoyed Iron Man 3 (2013’s biggest movie), but my favorite movie so far this year is less-seen The Place Beyond the Pines. Pepperoni and mozzarella are all-time favorite pizza toppings, but the one made with pear, fig and gorgonzola can also be mighty tasty!

The key to successful utilization of the myriad of social networks is budgeting your time appropriately. You should fish where the fish are. While you grow your connections and share meaningful content on Instagram, Vine, etc., don’t forget that bigger things are likely still happening with Facebook and Twitter.

Another key is to be aware that everything is fluid and constantly evolving. What’s vital today may be passé next year. Myspace was big, then less relevant. (And it may come back, according to this news item.) Developers are always working on tweaks that may make their networks more important or… less so.

Stay curious. Check out the new. Hit Redbox for The Place Beyond the Pines (out on DVD 8/6/13). But as you dabble with the avant-garde, remember the value of the mainstream.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Do We Have Too Many Media Choices?

Have you ever been sent to the grocery store where you purchased exactly what you were asked to buy? But upon returning home, you are told you got the wrong thing. “I wanted the caffeine-free Diet Coke.”

Line extension is a wonderful thing for beloved products. With tweaks and variations, new versions are introduced. The reworked stuff requires more shelf space for the beloved product and may even push a competitor off the shelf. But the greater number of choices complicates our shopping experiences.

In so many aspects of our lives, we have an abundance of choices. Sometimes the options are overwhelming.

When you have a tidbit to share with friends and associates you can choose among Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Foursquare, Vine, Pinterest, Snapchat, LinkedIn, Google Plus, Tumblr and many others. Not to mention text messaging.

Chuck Klosterman, writing about Johnny Carson, called him “the last universally shared icon of modern popular culture.” For most of Carson’s run, Americans had three network choices on their TV’s, not the hundreds of channels we may now choose from. Not to mention all the internet options.

How do we deal with all the choices in the world of communication?

  1. If you can determine how and where your audience wants to get your content, go there. If not, go where there is the best chance of your message being received.
  2. Remember, it’s better to reach a smaller number of eager recipients (or likely customers) than a larger number of indifferent people.
  3. Try newer media outlets to see if they can be effective for your messaging needs. But don’t become enamored just because you personally like a particular channel. This includes new social media platforms and new outlets in traditional media.
  4. Know that you can’t reach everybody. Even when stars of a big movie guest on every TV talk show, many of us will miss them and their message.
  5. Listen to your peers, including competitors. If their product/service is getting response from, say, Pinterest, maybe you should be on Pinterest for your similar product/service.
  6. Monitor and measure.

Of the billions of choices you had today, thank you for giving this post a couple of minutes of your time!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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In Our Wired World, Is The Medium Still The Message?

A half-century ago, Marshall McLuhan wrote about the nature of various media. His philosophy put forth the idea that a medium—movies, TV, radio, live theatre, art, print—communicates in its own way, regardless of its content.

While I am a believer in the value of good content, there may be corresponding perceptions in 2013 regarding the various online media we use to communicate. If you obtain the same exact message, does it matter whether it comes from Facebook, as opposed to Twitter? If you are sent the exact same information via text message, as opposed to email, do you regard it differently?

Does a video you watch on Youtube have the same impact if it is viewed instead on a corporate or media outlet website? Do you judge a press release differently if you find it via search rather than in your email inbox? If a retailer has a sale, do you prefer to learn about it from a marketing email sent directly to you or from a display ad on their website?

Do you feel differently about blog posts that you subscribe to or seek out each day/week versus those you come to (as you may have come to this one today) via a link posted on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn? If you are turned on to content via aggregators, do you feel differently if you get a tidbit from, say, the Drudge Report rather than Google Reader, Huffington Post or Fark?

Are there web destinations that you would prefer to access via their smartphone apps rather than deal with their actual site in your laptop browser? If a company’s print ad directs you to its web content, are you more likely to go to a Facebook page than a company website?

If you are an active social media participant, how do you determine where and how to share, say, a restaurant experience? Do you go with Twitter, Facebook, FourSquare, Instagram, Yelp, Foodspotting, Untappd, Youtube or Vine? Or all of the above? With which would you prefer to learn of your friends’ eating and drinking activities?

While I still believe content is king, where and how you obtain the content can color your perceptions. Even in the online world that McLuhan did not live to see, the medium may still be at least part of the message.

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