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A strong network is one of the most important tools you can have in your business arsenal. In fact, I believe in it so much I created an entire course teaching others how to build their dream network by maximizing their digital presence.
In this episode of Coffee With Kim, two of my students, Jeff Walsh and Mandy Bynum McLaughlin, joined me to discuss how their brands have accelerated after taking the course. Also, to share their perspective on all things LinkedIn, digital relationships turned real life, and the pros and cons social media has on the workplace.
It’s no secret that I love LinkedIn. Not only is it the oldest social media platform, but it’s also the only one that is crawled by Google. Meaning it shows up on the first page of results when someone searches your name. Needless to say, it’s crucial to have your profile in tip-top shape. I share seven ways to supercharge your LinkedIn profile here!
Before you meet someone for coffee, an interview, or a date you can check their LinkedIn profile to see if they’re legit. Also, Mandy and I agree Tik Tok, Instagram, and Pinterest will never replace LinkedIn. And, it surely won’t be where your boss goes to confirm whether to give you that promotion, award, or raise.
You better believe people are googling you before you meet! They may use Spokeo like Mandy or LinkedIn like me. The first thing they’re looking for is what you have in common, i.e. mutual friends, same schools, organizations, or jobs. The more people you know, the more others feel safe connecting with you.
The first step to making meaningful connections is keeping your profile up to date.
If you work at Microsoft and know 100 people there but are only connected with two of them online, an onlooker may think that’s not your real profile or that you’re lying. The same goes for common connections. So, if you regularly volunteer somewhere or have recently joined a new group, share it.
Have you heard the saying, ‘it’s hard to read the label when you’re inside the bottle’? I love it because it shows we are not objective about ourselves. Perfecting your digital presence should include getting an outside perspective.
Try these two methods to get started:
1. Crazy Egg – A program used to track mouse clicks on websites to know what visitors are attracted to vs what they avoid.
2. Profile Review – Having someone tell you what works or doesn’t to bring clarity.
We love online connections but we don’t want them to stay there. I was glad to hear Mandy and Jeff’s stories of relationships moving from digital to real life.
“I connected with Jason Feifer after he was on CWK and from that relationship, I got my first feature in Entrepreneur Magazine. Also, I recently got to meet Kim. The value of building relationships online is incredible,” Jeff shared.
Mandy said, “In corporate, you have a natural platform set up by the company. But, as an entrepreneur, you have to do that yourself. So, I focus on making connections and exchanging ideas with like minded people. Once you’ve built a solid relationship, meeting people you’ve been talking to online or over video isn’t like a blind date at all; it’s like you knew them all along.”
One thing Jeff, Mandy, and I all agree on is the importance of adding value to relationships on and offline.
Feeling challenged on how to do so? Jeff says, don’t be a “vampire” – being greedy for all you can get, or a “ghost” – lurking around, liking a post every once in a while. Add value by engaging regularly, following the people who inspire you, and staying up to date on the topics you care about with hashtags. Remember, the more you give, the more you’ll receive.
Mandy reaches for the repost feature. “I give people their flowers and repost their content especially when they’ve posted something I’ve been thinking about but didn’t have the language for.”
Some may say the new workforce has an unfair advantage because they are the first digital natives. In fact, most have had social media accounts for 10+ yrs and don’t know anything different. I was curious to know how Mandy and Jeff thought their experience would affect the workplace.
“In what I’ve seen, being agile on social media doesn’t set you up to have a clean inbox or mean you know when or how to call vs email vs text. At the same time, I love learning from the younger generation because they’re so efficient and they’re hustlers,“ shared Mandy.
Jeff explained HR and Marketing departments are changing quickly as the lines between what you do in the digital space and what you do at work are blurred.
We all agreed surrounding yourself with mentors older and younger makes a difference in how well you’ll do professionally.
It’s 2022, friends. We can’t help you with your resume anymore. Remember when I said folks are googling you? Recruiters are definitely in that number! Having a killer social media presence is now more integral to landing your dream job than a perfectly drafted resume. In fact, you could land an opportunity without even applying for it.
Mandy – Do a scrub of who you’re connected to and be intentional about what you want out of the digital space.
We’re continuing the conversation on putting your best foot forward with a lesson on digital first impressions! Just like in person, digital first impressions can make or break you. So, let’s dive into how to button up that online presence. RSVP here! Email any questions you’d like answered to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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