Mel Savage Executive Coaching
The Highly Valued Leader Podcast - CAREER Planning

Episode 8 – Amplify Your LinkedIn Profile

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Episode 8 - Amplify Your LinkedIn Profile
Summary

Hold onto your hats, because we’re stepping into the LinkedIn realm, and let me tell you, your profile? It’s the heart of the game. So if you haven’t looked at your profile for a while, then this episode is your wake-up call.

And I’m bringing in an expert today to help us out.  Someone who really knows LinkedIn inside and out.

Meet Karen Yankovich, the Social Media Strategist and bona fide LinkedIn Evangelist. When you hear her in this episode, that title won’t just make sense, it’ll be crystal clear. Karen’s all about LinkedIn, she’s got this contagious passion for it, and she’s spilling the beans on how it can supercharge your career or business.

If you’re looking for a specific freebie or tool mentioned in this podcast, you can visit https://melsavage.com/free to access additional free training tools designed to help you become a highly valued leader.

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Hello there. It’s so great to have you back. You’re listening to the Career Reset podcast and today, we’re talking about LinkedIn. 

I don’t know about you but I have a love-hate relationship with LinkedIn that I’m trying to repair. LinkedIn is the portal for creating career connections and you need to be on it. There’s just no two ways about it. There’s no other service out there that comes close to what LinkedIn does in terms of providing an overview of who you are, and what you can do, providing you a channel to create really meaningful connections, and helping you find new connections that you need to find in your career. 

So LinkedIn is a pretty lucrative tool if you want to use it that way. It’s going to help you build your career outside of your current organization. And if you keep listening to me at all so far, you know that I’m very passionate about every single person having a career plan that goes beyond their current organization. LinkedIn is a great channel for you to expand your connections outside of where you work right now. To that end, LinkedIn is good for so many things beyond the profile. 

The profile is the foundation. If you haven’t looked at your profile for a while, then this is going to be the podcast for you. Because LinkedIn is always changing, you need to keep looking at your profile. It doesn’t mean you have to dive deep into your profile every month. I would say, personally, every quarter or so, you want to check in on your profile and see if there’s an opportunity to add value to it beyond the other things that you can do on LinkedIn.

I’ll be honest. Even though I’m giving you that advice, I’m not the best at LinkedIn. Although I will say I have changed my profile probably twice already this year, so I’m ready for another change. My profile right now is okay, it’s good, but I know there’s a lot of room for improvement so I am bringing in an expert today to help us out. Someone who really knows LinkedIn inside and out. 

My guest today is Karen Yankovich, who is a social media strategist and a LinkedIn expert. In fact, I would say she is someone who is more passionate about LinkedIn than anyone I’ve ever met. She actually calls herself a LinkedIn evangelist. When you listen to this episode, you will see why she calls herself that because she is. 

She is super passionate about LinkedIn and everything it can do to help you with your career and your business. She herself has built a multi-six-figure business by focusing specifically on how LinkedIn can help grow their businesses and obviously, she’s used it to help her grow hers. She’s also the host of the podcast Good Girls Get Rich and how people can use LinkedIn to help grow their own businesses. 

If you like what you hear today and you want to connect with her podcast, then go check it out at the show notes at thecareerreset.com/08. I will put a link in there for you to her podcast and to her website. 

I certainly took advantage of our conversation because based on this discussion with Karen, I’m completely revamping my LinkedIn profile. There’s always room for improvement. And I learned so much today that I’m definitely going in and making those improvements right away while they’re fresh in my mind. Karen and I really did cover a lot of territory in this podcast.

So sit back and enjoy it. If you want a synopsis, then again, head over to the show notes. I’m going to do a quick synopsis of the key takeaways from the podcast. Enough of the preamble, let’s get to the interview.

Mel Savage: Welcome Karen. It’s great to have you here. Thanks for joining us on this podcast today. 

Karen Yankovich: I’m so excited to be here today. Thanks for having me. 

Mel Savage: I’m so excited that you’re here because I could use some LinkedIn help, too. I know a lot of my listeners could and I feel so lucky to have you here today. 

Karen Yankovich: That’s what I love to talk about. Any chance I have to talk about it, anytime somebody hands me a microphone and says, ‘Let’s talk about LinkedIn.’ I’m usually there. 

Mel Savage: That’s amazing that you niche down just to LinkedIn. There’s so much there to be able to leverage on LinkedIn. 

Karen Yankovich: You’re right. But I will say that one of the things I really talk about most is niching in. Because if somebody is looking for a social media speaker, 200 names get thrown out. But if somebody is saying they’re looking for a LinkedIn speaker, 10 people say, ‘You need to call Karen.’ And that is the beauty of niching down even on LinkedIn. 

It’s not just a LinkedIn thing, it’s a digital marketing thing. Even more so on LinkedIn, niching down is really one of the ways that you can very quickly grow your credibility, your income, and your profitability.

Mel Savage: Right. It’s really great advice and it’s something I know that a lot of entrepreneurs, particularly online entrepreneurs struggle with as well. Of course, that really helps you when you’re niching down to get really specific on your LinkedIn profile as well.

Karen Yankovich: Exactly. Again, don’t be afraid to do that because every person might think you are not for them because you niched down and now that they’re not in your world, five people are going to say they’ve been waiting for that and reach out to you. So for every person you lose, you’re going to get five more. 

I use realtors as an example. If you’re a realtor and there are 30 in your town. If somebody comes to me and says they need a realtor, I would be like, ‘I have 30 people, I probably know 20 of them. I don’t know who to give you.’ But if I know that you specialize in helping people get into their first home, like first home buyers, then I’m going to go if somebody says, ‘Karen, my son’s looking to move into your town, do you have a realtor recommendation?’

I’m going to be, ‘There are 20 great realtors, but you need to call Sally because Sally specializes in first homeowners.’ That’s what’s gonna make you stand out from everyone else. That’s one of the first things that I think you need to think about when you’re creating a great LinkedIn strategy as well. 

Mel Savage: It’s not just for entrepreneurs. I would say even with your corporate career, people have been known for something and deciding what you want people to say about you and know about you when you’re not in the room. I always say it’s one of the biggest things you need to decide for yourself when you’re building your career. 

Karen Yankovich: Absolutely. The more you can niche down, frankly, the more money you’re going to make because you become a specialist. If somebody’s a doctor, you’re making a lot of money. If somebody is a cardiologist, you’re making more money. If someone’s a heart surgeon, you’re making even more money than that. But if you’re a left ventricle specialist, you’re killing it. You’re driving a Maserati. So that’s you. We all want to be left ventricle specialists. 

We’re creating our branding because whether we’re looking for a job, whether with our career or clients, it is what makes us. When I was a social media expert, I had to keep up with Instagram or Twitter. You’re a jack-of-all-trades but you’re not really that good. Now, it is so nice to just say I have no idea what’s going on with Instagram. I could just focus on what’s happening on LinkedIn. It’s such a beautiful thing in my career as well.

Mel Savage: I would say to the listeners, even if you don’t know what that is today, it’s okay to start a bit broader. But to always be thinking about how you want to niche down and where you want to specialize based on what makes you feel strong and what you end up being excited about when you’re doing it or when you’re talking about it, for instance. I can certainly feel your excitement when you talk about LinkedIn. 

Karen Yankovich: Here’s the thing, I can be so much more confident with it because I don’t have to spread myself so thin. I agree with you Mel. When you’re starting to think about it, think about what is it that you talk about when somebody comes to you and asks you a question and you totally don’t even want to answer it because that’s not your specialty. 

What is it that you’re like, ‘Hold on, let’s think about this.’ That’s where I want you to be. What lights you up? And start talking more about that and putting yourself, placing yourself in the aura of that, in the world of that. Then you’ll start to see that it really is what your thing is. Here’s the beautiful thing, if it’s not, you can change. It’s not etched in stone anywhere.

Mel Savage: That’s right. That’s the beauty part. For LinkedIn, there are so many things you can do with this platform. I know today we’re going to talk about profiles, but maybe you could talk a little bit about just broadly beyond profiles. What are some things you can leverage LinkedIn for? 

Karen Yankovich: You can leverage it for pretty much anything. But when I work with people, it’s almost like a three-pillar strategy. The first piece is the profile because you have to stand out from the crowd. You do have to show up differently than everybody else, or you’re just not going to get the good. But then the next piece of it is building your network proactively. 

We’re often very reactive and as our influence grows and our visibility grows, of course, we’re going to get more connection requests and that’s digital marketing at its finest. That’s what we want to be happening. But at the same time, I want you to be proactively building your network, who are 10 people. If you saw them on your calendar, you’d be dancing around your house saying, ‘I cannot believe it gets taught to these people.’ 

I want you to be proactively reaching out and connecting to them. The third piece of it is beyond that connection, actually getting on the phone with these people, looking for opportunities to chat with them and talk to them. That’s basically what you can do. 

What I think people overlook when they think about LinkedIn is they look at it like it’s a resume. And a resume is who you used to be. Your LinkedIn profile is who you are becoming. It’s you positioning yourself as the person you want to be, like dressing for the job you want. 

So really thinking about that and creating what you want to be known as and what would light you up if people started to think of you like this and start to step into that and start to do that work now. Even if you have to volunteer some of your time to be that person now, start being that person. 

That’s really the biggest mindset shift that I think people need when they’re working on their LinkedIn profiles. It’s to stop thinking of it as something that’s tactical and practical and all of the tests and start thinking about it as an amazing resource that can not only have you positioned the way you want the world to see you, but also maybe be an open door to who knows. 

Mel Savage: Absolutely. And your career plan should. When I talk to my clients, I’m like, ‘Your career plan really needs to talk about what you want to be. What are you trying to put this up to be beyond your job right now?’ 

And that helps you expand outside of your nine-to-five, building connections, going out, and doing things that you wouldn’t normally do if you were just staying within the confines of your current job. And LinkedIn to your point is that as well, it’s your opportunity to also do that and to amplify that. 

Karen Yankovich: Yes. Even when you’re looking at it from a tactical standpoint, the experience section doesn’t say jobs. This is experience. If there’s something that you want to be and right now your job doesn’t really support that, go volunteer and do it somewhere. Now you can start talking about that experience. 

Maybe you’re on the board of directors of a nonprofit. That shows that people have confidence in you and that you have leadership ability. I want to steal that on LinkedIn. I want you to build the story behind all of the companies and titles on your resume. That’s what I want to see on your LinkedIn profile because that makes you interesting and intriguing and you want to do business with people that are interesting and intriguing. 

Mel Savage: I love it. So let’s come back to something you said. I love when you talked about your LinkedIn profile is who you want to be, not who you were in the past. Though a lot of my listeners are corporate-type people versus entrepreneurs, although there are both. What do you see a lot of in terms of LinkedIn profiles? What are some of the opportunities that you see for people who are already in position and have a LinkedIn profile? 

Karen Yankovich: First of all, people who are already in a position and have a LinkedIn profile and just want to maybe create a stronger personal brand for themselves. Maybe it will open more doors for them within their existing company that they work for, open up new opportunities, or maybe just introduce people to them that could make them have even better relationships around the work they’re currently doing. 

It takes me back to not writing your LinkedIn profile like a resume. Nobody really cares about you. They care about what you can do for them. You can tell me that you are in project management and you’ve got your certification and all the things around that. Or you can tell me about the projects that you love watching. 

Maybe you’re a project manager in construction and it’s a school and the first time you see the kids coming through the doors that you just imagined two years ago. That’s what lights you up. That tells me a story about you, that it’s not just a job for you, that you’ve got emotion around this. What I see missing a lot in the corporate space is that people are writing it very tactically as opposed to from an emotional standpoint. 

When you’re starting to talk about the stories that come from the work that you do, the successes you’ve seen, that you’re telling me about you, which are making it about me. If I’m looking to hire a project manager to bring my next building from dream to reality, I love that I’m talking to somebody who is telling me about her passion for bringing things from a dream to reality. 

Not just somebody who has the right things to check off on their resume, the right certifications and tools. You can put all that in the experience section. But in your About section, tell me about all of that. I think that that’s not happening enough in the corporate space. 

Mel Savage: I want to make sure I understand this. Let’s say, I’m in marketing, my background is marketing. I was a marketing director at a big corporation and what I recommend to people is not to put what their job description was, tell me what you achieved, for points on your achievements when you’re talking about your work experience more specifically for the resume. 

But when it comes to your LinkedIn profile, are you saying not to put your achievements and list them under work experience, but make it more emotional? What do you mean exactly? 

Karen Yankovich: We absolutely want to see your achievements, but we want to see your achievements in a way, you can say, ‘I tripled my sales objective. I tripled my quota.’ That tells me a story. But if you could say, ‘I tripled my sales objective, and that allowed the company to do this or this or this.’ Now you’re showing me the impact of that. 

What happened when you tripled your sales objective? What did that do for the company? Because again, telling me that you tripled your sales objective, I love that. I want to hire you. What does that do for me? I get it. I know I can do the math. You triple your sales objective. You did your job times three. But if you say, ‘That allowed us to bring two more support people into a team that was desperately lacking in inside sales support.’ 

That tells me that you are a team player and you understood the goals of the company, not just that you made a lot of money for the company. Tell me a little bit about the things behind what you’re putting on your profile.

Mel Savage: To add more to the benefits of your achievements. When you get to the About section, what were you going to say specifically about how the About section can bring that emotion in that?

Karen Yankovich: First of all, I would say late summer 2019, that section was changed from Summary to About. In summary, it is cold and clinical. Like a summary of a book, takes the book and brings it down to a thousand words but About is more personal. LinkedIn is asking us to be more personal. They’re asking us, ‘Tell me about you.’ 

If you do have any entrepreneurs listening or if you know anything about digital marketing from a website perspective, very often, the About page on your website is the most viewed page because people are nosy, they want to know about you and tell them about you. I don’t need to know your personal details that you don’t want to share, but give me some human interesting type things. 

Tell me about your work experience there. Not like, ‘I went in at nine, I came at five, I was never late. I won this employee award.’ That’s good. If you have a picture of yourself holding that award, by all means, show the picture. But humanize it. Tell me about your passion behind what you did. I think that’s what’s lacking most in the corporate profiles. 

The other thing I think that people underestimate from the corporate perspective is maybe they overthink things. They feel like they have to put the title that was on their business card. There’s no LinkedIn police, nor am I asking you to make things up. I want you to think about what are people searching for that you want to come up with as the search result. 

Let’s say you are in corporate sales and you sell business phone systems or business voicemail systems or whatever. Your business card might say, Account Executive. But if you call yourself an Account Executive-Cisco Voicemail Specialist or Cisco Voicemail Evangelist or something, now you’re feeding a few extra keywords in there. So if somebody is going into LinkedIn and looking for somebody who’s a specialist in Cisco voicemail, your profile’s gonna come up. 

I want you to think a little bit more creatively way around what are people searching for on LinkedIn that you want to come up as the search result and use those words strategically throughout your profile.

Mel Savage: If we make it practical, I could say marketing director and then have one of those lines, marketing director innovative thinker. I don’t know.

Karen Yankovich: But again, who’s searching for innovative thinker? I’m pushing back on that. I want to make sure that you understand that we don’t want corporate speaking. I want what are people going to search for. They’re probably not searching for a CEO. They’re probably not searching for an account executive. They’re probably searching for a specialist of some kind. 

What are you a specialist in? Tell us what you’re a specialist in. Tell us what your company does. If you are in finance, let’s say that you’re in a finance company and I know that you have licenses, you finance people that say you can’t do a lot of this stuff, you can’t say a lot of this stuff. But if you say you’re a financial planner and you’ve got all these licenses and letters after your name, that’s great. But you and a million other people do. 

But if you say that you’re a financial planner and you help women over 50 create enough wealth to retire at 60, now I’m paying attention. If I look up a financial planner for women, you’re going to come up. It doesn’t mean you can’t help men, but you’re going to come up in those searches. That’s what I mean about niching down and leaning into the niches that you’re experts in. 

Mel Savage: So if I said marketing director-retail specialist, that’s more in line with what you’re talking about.

Karen Yankovich: Exactly. I met a woman recently. I was at a talk. She’s freelance, and this was our conversation: 

She was like, ‘I’ve just aged out of the market.’

And I’m like, ‘What do you mean?’ I always pushed out of that a little bit. 

‘I’m in fashion.’ 

‘All right, I can understand that at a certain age that could be an issue.’

‘Plus I’m in this unicorn world.’

What does that mean?’ 

‘My specialty is undergarments, specifically bras for full-figured women.’ 

‘That’s like my dream come true when you’re that specific on what you do. You have no idea. It doesn’t matter how old you are when you have that kind of a niche. Because you have the experience and they’re going to call you because you have a line and you’re going to expand it to more full-figured women. You own that market then.’

So that’s what I want you to do. I want you to think about what is it that people come to you for over and over because that’s what you are an expert in and lean into that and then start using those words on your profile.

Mel Savage: Let’s summarize so far what we’ve got. We’ve got a title that’s not just the title of the job that you have but also includes words that talk about what you specialize in and what your experience specializes in, whether that’s something that you’ve done or what you’re aspiring to be to some extent, as long as you’ve got some experience behind you.

Karen Yankovich: As long as you’re not making things up, as long as there’s some authenticity to it.

Mel Savage: Yes, absolutely. Then in the About section, it’s about bringing your personality to life. Talking about who you are, maybe your values, maybe a little bit about why you love what you love, a little bit more than just a clinical summary of what you do. And then we’ve got in the Work Experience section that talk about the achievements you’ve had and the impact those achievements you’ve had. 

Karen Yankovich: Yes. And make sure that you’re using all the characters that LinkedIn gives you because you want to be seeding LinkedIn. You want to be coming up. I will walk you through this verbally, but hopefully, your listeners can follow. If you go to your LinkedIn profile and scroll down a little bit, there’s a section there that says Dashboard. Everybody has that. You don’t have to have a premium version. 

There are three things. I don’t remember what the three things are, but all the way to the right is how many times you’ve come up in search appearances. So number one, you’re coming up in search appearances as anything other than zero there. So now you have the opportunity to look at that number and see if you can gamify it and see if you can make it grow. 

Because that’s coming up, these are not people that are putting your name and these are people that are looking for things that you do and your profile’s coming up. But what’s really cool is if you click that number, it actually opens up another interface. And if you scroll to the bottom of that, it tells you who your searchers work for, what they do, and then what keywords you were found for. 

You can’t micromanage that, but you can keep an eye on it. It changes every week. You can keep an eye on it to see if it’s starting to move in the right direction. And that happens with the kinds of activity you’re doing on LinkedIn, the kinds of things in your profile. And you can see that the number may be growing. That’s what I mean about taking control of your personal brand. 

Mel Savage: I’m all about taking control over here.

Karen Yankovich: And people are definitely checking you out. If you’re going into a meeting and there are five people in the meeting, you can be sure at least two of those people have pulled up your LinkedIn profile. 

Mel Savage: Absolutely. And I think you also said something just now about keywords. Even if you can see what keywords you are being found for, what keywords do you want to be found for? That’s a great place to start and make sure you’re peppering those throughout your summary, your work achievements, and depending on how important it is, even the title. 

So let’s talk about all this other stuff on your LinkedIn profile. There’s always things like Awards and Experiences and Volunteer and all this other stuff that’s on there. What do you recommend people focus on? 

Karen Yankovich: I think you need to think about what’s relevant. I wouldn’t worry too much about what’s right or wrong because there’s no right or wrong way to do it. I think if it feels relevant, like if you speak one language, don’t put that you speak one language because it’s not relevant. Everybody speaks one language. 

If you’ve done some really cool projects, include the projects. If you’ve been published and that does not have to be in a book, by the way, if you’ve been in a magazine or you’ve done a guest post for somebody or guest blog, that’s a publication, add that. Use those as you want. I wouldn’t overthink that. 

What I would think about are two sections that we haven’t talked about and that is Recommendations. Recommendations are so valuable. If you’re working on a project with somebody and they say, ‘It was such a pleasure to work with you, you made it so easy, blah, blah, blah.’ Your next move should be, ‘Would you mind popping that into my LinkedIn profile as a recommendation? That would be really helpful to me.’ 

Ninety-nine out of a hundred times, they wish they’d thought it at first, they’re happy to do that. Now you’re also starting to build real credibility, not just when somebody asks you for references, they know you hand-picked them. But when you can say, ‘Go to my LinkedIn profile, there’s 20 there. You can feel free to contact any of those people.’ 

Not only do they know that there are people that you send them to, but they can click through their profiles to see how credible they are. That is really powerful in creating a brand. The other thing is those endorsements, those skills that you were used to be endorsed by people you don’t know for things you don’t do, LinkedIn is getting better at that. You can reorder them. You can pull the three you want to be to be your top skills to the top. 

That also feeds your keywords. So make sure those are keywords. Make sure all of your keywords are chosen as things there that skills that you’re an expert in and be really generous with endorsing other people because what happens is that people tend to endorse you back. Now you’re feeding those keywords even more and LinkedIn’s bringing your profile up even more. 

The beautiful thing about everything we’ve talked about so far, Mel is, it’s almost all of it, like 90% of it is all done upfront. This is not going to take up all of your time all day long, all week long every week. It’s like I need to spend a couple of days or a couple of hours to do something to get this all done upfront so that I can now leverage it and move forward. 

Mel Savage: Let’s go back to recommendations for a second. Is there a right number per job? Is there a right number overall? What do you recommend to people? 

Karen Yankovich: No. The more, the better. I don’t think there’s a right number at all. Why not get as many as you can? I think it’s really powerful. There is a built-in ask for a recommendation, which you certainly can use, but also be strategic about who you’re recommending. 

Use this as an example. I can go in later and write a recommendation and say, ‘I was on Mel’s podcast and she was such a great host, blah, blah, blah.’ And then you’re going to look at it and go, ‘Damn, I have to write a recommendation to Karen that she was a good guest.’ So think about that. Think about who have you worked with. Even on a micro level, it doesn’t have to be that you’re not going to get a recommendation from me unless you’ve at least done something to earn it. 

If you got a free PDF from somebody and you got so much value out of that, you can go in and write recommendations for those people. Be generous with giving recommendations. That tends to bring them to you as well. If it’s very lopsided, like mailings and recommendations from lopsided on speaking because I do a lot of speaking and I often joke like, ‘Feel free to write me one if you need practice.’ I have a lot of recommendations for that. 

Sometimes I have to reach out to some of my clients and say, ‘Could you do me a favor and rub your recommendation on LinkedIn because I need a little bit more juice on this part of my business.’ And they’re always happy to do it. So don’t hesitate to do that. Especially if you can provide them value or maybe write them one in return. 

Mel Savage: Sometimes I’ve seen this work with even reference letters, like, ‘I’ll write it for you and you can tell me if you like it and then just post it.’ If that’s what it takes because there are a lot of people who are busy, they want to do it, and their hearts are in the right place. They just don’t get around to doing it.

Karen Yankovich: Yes. Absolutely. I would do it on an individual-case basis. Somebody had asked me one time to put it in my course. If you have five recommendations that all say the same thing, they cancel each other out. They all need to be personalized. But absolutely, write it and give them some suggestions on things they want to say. 

Frankly, if you want a recommendation from me, you know better than I do. What’s valuable to you? If I’m not comfortable saying something you said, I’ll edit it take that out, and put something else in. 

Mel Savage: So recommendations as much as you can, ongoing. And then skill sets, you can be endorsed for your skills. So you said you could prioritize them in terms of what you want to be known for. Definitely, I’m going in to do that cause I haven’t been into my LinkedIn profile. 

And the About thing is really exciting, too. I’m going to go and change that as well. So excited about that. Is there anything else that you think people really, when you’re looking at profiles could really focus on doing better? 

Karen Yankovich: I think we’ve covered so much. Especially for your corporate career people, I want to remind them that there are so many ways to leverage LinkedIn and your LinkedIn profile that may not necessarily be job-related. Who writes in the media about the kinds of things that you’re an expert in? Why are you building relationships with them? Are you going to your local online magazine in your field going into the search bar and typing in what you’re an expert in? 

In my case, I type in the word ‘LinkedIn’ and anybody who writes about LinkedIn, I’m gonna want to connect with them. I want them in my world. If you are the employee for the company that’s getting quoted in magazines and newspapers and being interviewed on podcasts for the things you’re expert at, it immediately elevates your brand. And it’s so easy because the media is 24/7 now. Journalists need news 24/7. They need us. 

So when you’ve done the work on the profile, I want you to think big when you’re building your network. Think beyond. I’m old enough to remember the gatekeeper. Like if you’re in sales, you have to get through the gatekeeper. Now you don’t have to get to the gatekeeper anymore. We can go top-down. So think big. Do it. Don’t annoy people. Provide them value. 

If you want to connect with a journalist in your area who is a well-known journalist, schmooze them, and share their articles. Say, ‘You guys all need to listen to this interview by this guy.’ Then connect with them and provide value to them and they’re gonna accept your connection request and potentially now, you’re on their radar. Maybe you can get some of that media juice as well. And that is hugely valuable. 

That’s another thing I think is overlooked a lot in the corporate market. The value of showing up as an expert. It could be your trade journals. It doesn’t have to be NDC. But don’t make them sick about it. It absolutely can be NBC as well. I’ve seen it happen, time and time again. 

Mel Savage: I haven’t done a lot of public speaking, but I applied for a TEDx and I got it. So, why not? Just apply. You don’t have to start at the bottom just because you haven’t done something. I’ve done public speaking but not more in my corporate life. Do whatever you want to do. Apply for it, try for it. 

I think the headline of what you’re saying is yes, your profile’s important. Yes, you want to make sense. Take some time, a few hours to make sure that you set the foundation for that. But utilizing LinkedIn on an ongoing basis can really help you build your overall career. 

Karen Yankovich: Absolutely. If the profile’s not done, none of this other stuff is going to work. So you’ve got to do the profile stuff. Because if you look like everyone else, you’re not going to stand out. But if you don’t look like everyone else you really create a space for yourself in the world and stand out. 

It was just referred to me recently, somebody said something like it’s a chicken and egg thing. You think that they were hired as a speaker because they’ve got influence, but really they’ve got influence because they were standing on the stage as a speaker. So what you’ve got to do is create the influence for yourself and then the gigs will come.

Mel Savage: So build the foundation as you’re saying, and then use LinkedIn. I definitely don’t use it to network enough and it’s something that’s on my mind and something that I’m making a priority in this last quarter of the year to start really doing that. 

But not only reaching out to potential people that you want to be connected to become like an influencer in your industry by connecting with people that you haven’t seen in a while, reaching out, getting top of mind with the right people in your industry. Writing articles on LinkedIn is easy. Just 500 words on something you believe in. 

But what I always say to people too is, ‘Go into your point if in your industry, if there’s a trade publication there, everyone’s always looking for content.’ Write a few things. Share it on LinkedIn. Show that you are an influencer in your industry. 

Karen Yankovich: Yes, absolutely. When you’re thinking about connecting, think about the next conference you’re going to. Are there speakers you’re going there to see? Connect with them ahead of time and say, ‘Hey, I’m looking forward to seeing your talk at the blah, blah, blah conference next month.’ 

I’m a speaker. I probably get in front of tens of thousands of people every year and it happened. I teach LinkedIn for heaven’s sake and I think I might get five LinkedIn connection requests a year based on that. People saying, ‘Hey, I’m looking forward to hearing your talk.’ When you go to that conference, you’re multiplying the value of it because you’re showing up already building relationships with some of the most influential people there. 

Mel Savage: Yes. And if you’re a speaker, why not connect with the other speakers as well so you expand your network that way as well? 

There are so many ways to use LinkedIn. I always say my big message to people is about taking control of your career. Being forefront, being proactive versus passive about your career. I’m someone who’s taking control of my career and LinkedIn is one of my tools to do that. I know it’s not the same all the time, but how much time should I spend on LinkedIn every week? 

Karen Yankovich: You have to take the time upfront to create the profile and the strategy. But then if you put a half hour on your calendar a couple of times a week, you’re going to be calling me up in a couple of months, why didn’t I do this sooner? Not that much time. It’s literally about being consistent about connecting with people and I’m talking about five to 10 people a week, not a hundred people. I don’t want you spamming people. 

Five to 10 people a week, as warm as you possibly can, Make that connection. Cherry pick. Don’t connect with people that aren’t going to be of huge value to you. If you belong to a chamber of commerce, go through the directory. Find the five or 10 people who could totally blow up your career and connect with them and say, ‘Hey, we’re both members of the chamber.’ Nice, warm connection. 

You’ll probably get them on the phone soon. Don’t connect with everybody. Be really specific. It doesn’t take that long. What’s happened to me and what happens to most of my private clients is at some point when you get active there, my LinkedIn inbox, I’m on that more than I’m on my actual email inbox because it’s all where the businesses are. It’s hugely valuable.

Mel Savage: That’s amazing. I really need to dig into LinkedIn. Let’s say I’m starting, not from scratch, but I want to redo what I’ve got. I’m ready to take LinkedIn seriously. Where should I start? 

Karen Yankovich: Start with your profile and luckily, I’ve got lots of free support for that. I have a podcast called Good Girls Get Rich. There are lots of episodes on Good Girls Get Rich about different sections of your profile. 

Mel Savage: I’ll link that in the show notes as well. Now, if I’m someone who’s ready with my profile and I’m ready to take the next step in terms of how to leverage LinkedIn, what can you recommend?

Karen Yankovich: Connect with me and I’m happy to give you a quick little strategy session. We’ve got strategy packages anywhere from an hour to a couple of months where we work with people to help them put a plan in place. But really the next piece of it is the strategy. It is about that micro-targeted connecting and following up on those connections to actually get on the phone with them. 

Depending on the length of time I get to work with people, my goal is always to have them have one of those clients by the time we’re done with our engagement. Because I think once you learn how to do it, you can keep doing it. So it’s really about putting a strategy in place, tweaking a strategy until you land that client or that job or that media placement. And then, now you know how to do it again.

Mel Savage: You’ve already got the skill set. That’s fantastic. I think people underestimate the power of LinkedIn and when it comes to taking control of your career, I’m so jazzed about LinkedIn right now. It’s all I think about. I’m going to be reaching out to you too for a little bit of support.

Karen Yankovich: You can always connect with me. I’d love for you to connect with me. Tell me you heard me on the show. If you want me to take a look at your profile, and give you some feedback, let me know. I don’t give feedback to everyone who connects with me. So tell me in the connection request that you’d like a little feedback, that you heard me on this show. I’m happy to do that as well.

Mel Savage: Oh Karen, that’s amazing. Thank you so much for that. Any last brilliant quick tips or anything that you want to share with anyone before we close down on this? 

Karen Yankovich: Other than I want you to be in a place when you’re creating all of this. I want you to be in a place where like you’re feeling a little bit like, ‘Can I really say this about myself?’ When you’re there, that’s when you hit save. If it’s easy to hit save, then you probably haven’t gotten strong enough to tell the world how amazing you are. 

Mel Savage: That’s right. If it’s too easy, you’re not pushing yourself hard enough.

Karen Yankovich: Exactly. I want you to live outside your comfort zone. 

Mel Savage: That’s the trick in life, isn’t it? It’s a trick in life and it’s the trick in LinkedIn. Well, thank you so much. I really appreciate this.

Karen Yankovich: My pleasure. It was fun to be here with you. 

Mel Savage: All right, good. Thanks so much, Karen. I’ll talk to you soon.

What did I tell you? Wasn’t that amazing? Is she an evangelist for LinkedIn or what? Definitely someone who is super passionate about what she does. I’ve learned so much from this particular interview. I hope you did, too. Leave any questions that you have in the show notes. And again, the address for the show notes is thecareerreset.com/08. Head over and check out Karen’s podcast too. I’m definitely heading over there because there’s a lot that I could do with networking, but I know she talks a lot about that on her podcast as well. 

That’s it for this week. Thank you so much for joining me and I will see you next time. Bye for now.

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Mel Savage

I have 20+ years working as a leader in the corporate world. I know what you need to do. And I combine that with four years of training as a cognitive behavioral coach. I know how to help you naturally think like the leader you want to be.
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