The Modern CPA Success Show: Episode 66
In this episode, Jamie Nau, our host and Summit CPA's Director of Accounting, and Adam Hale, our COO and Co-founder, sit down with Vision Board Media's Founder & Owner, Donna Serdula, to talk about LinkedIn as a networking platform for professionals, its benefits for your personal brand and for your business. She will provide relevant tips and tricks you can follow to grow your account and to find success in this social media space.
Jamie Nau: Hello everybody, welcome to today's show. I’m very excited about today's topic. We're going to talk about an area that is a pretty common topic, at least from other CPAs I talked to. I'm really excited to have Donna Serdula here. So, Donna, welcome to the show.
Donna Serdula: Hey Jamie, thank you so much for having me.
Jamie Nau: And once again, we’re joined by Adam.
Adam Hale: Good morning.
Jamie Nau: All right, Donna. So I kind of did a little bit of a preview there, but I know prior to talking about this, we're going to talk about LinkedIn. So give us a little bit of your background and how you're connected to LinkedIn.
Donna Serdula: Sure. So I have a company, it's called Vision Board Media, and we work with executives, entrepreneurs, and professionals from all over the world, and we help them brand themselves on LinkedIn. And it was something that I noticed years ago.
I started my business in 2009; back then, it was something that I was seeing all the time, which was, people weren't filling out their profile and missing opportunities. They were just copying and pasting an old out-of-date resume. And I thought, there's a need for a service to help people tell their story, but do it in an optimized way so they can collide with opportunity.
And that's when I hung out the shingle. Since then, we've worked with over 6,000 executives and entrepreneurs from all over the world. I have over 20 writers on my team, and we're making a difference everyday.
Adam Hale: Wow. Yeah. LinkedIn is huge for us as well. We never went down the paid social media path, so we've always done organic stuff.
And then, recently over the last couple of years, we really focused pretty heavily on social media, and I'd throw LinkedIn in there. And from a professional organization standpoint, that's probably number one as far as that goes, but I agree. It's like one of those things where it’ll be interesting (and I've got like a million questions for you), because I've done my part.
I filled out my LinkedIn. I have a couple thousand connections, and anytime I do connect with people, I try to be very selective. And then, I try to reach out to them.
And a lot of times, it'll be accompanied by an invite to my calendar because it's one of those things, a lot of times, it's very hollow whenever you're like, “Hey, I'd like to connect and join your network.”
I mean, the one cool thing is, I guess, on one end they get the feed, which you'll probably talk to us about. But I do like to, at least, genuinely know the person, if I can.
Donna Serdula: Well, it's a different world now. I mean, back in the early days of LinkedIn, if you wanted to see a person's updates, if you wanted to really interact with them, you had to be connected. Now, they have the ability to follow.
So, it's not as important, right? You can actually say, “Yeah, I want my network to be a little tighter. I want it to be strong. And I want to make sure that when I do connect, I'm forging a deeper relationship with them.”
Jamie Nau: So, would you say that's one of the keys to LinkedIn? I mean, is that how you recommend people using it? To have a tier network and really use the following? Or is there really no “one shoe size fits” all?
Donna Serdula: It's different for everyone. I have a methodology; I call it SOAR. SOAR to success on LinkedIn and soar is an acronym. It stands for Strategize, Optimize, Amplify, and Relate. And if you do that consistently, you're going to find amazing success on LinkedIn. But that first part is, you have to strategically really understand why you're on LinkedIn.
Some people are on it for job search. And they're going to have a totally different way of using it than a person who's on it as perhaps a sole proprietor, an entrepreneur, who's looking for business development and prospecting, which is different than that executive who is doing it because they really want to showcase their expertise, and they're doing it for reputation management and branding.
Right? So, everyone's path can be a little different. For myself, I speak, I do these podcasts, and it's hard for me to have that connect button out there. Because you have a 30,000 limit, and it's easy to hit that limit. Believe it or not.
So, you have to turn on that creator mode, and you want to put out that follow button because that works better for those people who are showcasing their expertise. But for a business owner, it might be a little different. They might say, “I want to turn up in a lot of searches. When I collide with a lot of opportunities, the bigger my network, and the more networks I'm in, the more opportunities I have to turn up on more searches.”
Jamie Nau: So how many people do you work with that have started the strategy, but then it's changed while you're working with them? Because I can see someone being in that first stage, where you say, “Okay, I'm really just looking for a job.”
And then, they've found that job and they've been there a couple of years and they've kind of moved into that, “Hey, I need to help this company I'm working for get business.”
And then, obviously that can keep going. Some people work great with that.
Donna Serdula: Yeah, it really does. I mean, sometimes it's almost funny how, when you showcase your best, you attract the best. And, I see this happening over and over and over again.
A lot of times people don't ever really think, “Okay, why am I doing this? Where am I going? How do I want to be perceived? What is my story?”
They have no real clarity. And when you have no clarity, you're not attracting anything specific. Right?
But as soon as we sit down, and we work with our clients and we start to get focused, we find that clarity. And, we find their story and really talk about, what do you love and where do you want to go? And let's stop aligning you to this past life. You know, these things that you did a long time ago that you don't want to do anymore. And let's really think about that future. It's crazy how the universe delivers. It's bizarre how that happens.
Adam Hale: You were talking about the executive and the branding and such, but what we do a lot of times is we work with other CPA firms and we help them navigate how to deliver VCFO services. Because that's a little bit of a niche. How do you work closely with clients on a regular basis and talk to them weekly?
Most of the time, in our profession, we're talking to folks once a year, maybe quarterly, or as they call–that kind of a thing. But this is a very proactive service. So it's a little bit different inside of that; we're always saying that you have to create demand for yourself and for your product.
And so we are really big into developing a niche; be the subject-matter expert in a particular area, those kinds of things.
And so the next question is always like, “You showed me how to do it. Now, where do I get my clients? So show me how to show you how to get all those folks in.”
And it's like, well, okay. I'm not a marketing person. I can tell you what we do, which is a ton of SEO and social media. But in terms of strategizing, the S of your stuff, what should somebody be thinking about whenever they want to start putting together a strategy? When should they come to somebody like you to help them kind of figure that up.
Donna Serdula: I think it's when you start to recognize that as you are out there creating the audience, as you are going to be selling, you are going to be interacting with external parties, people are going to be checking you out. Right?
They want to know who it is that they're going to be talking to. They want to know who checked them out or however it might be; who's speaking at that conference, whatever it may be. And, you want to make sure that there's always this strategy: you have to know your audience, you should know your keywords, you should know if a person's searching for you.
What words are they using? You want to know the hashtags. You want to have a really good, clear vision of the audience and what they need to know about you. You need that, but then you need to optimize.
You need to have a profile that tells that story that has the right keywords, so you can collide with the searches because there might be a lot of situations where there are companies out there that are looking for a person that provides those services.
And, by doing those keyword searches within LinkedIn, we want those profiles to pop up. And that's a really easy inbound type of lead, potentially, but you're not going to get found if your profile doesn't contain those keywords.
Adam Hale: Okay. So maybe I'm using my LinkedIn all wrong all these days. It just seems like I don't do a whole lot of searching on LinkedIn. I will sometimes if I'm looking for somebody that has a certain subject matter expert, so I guess that's not totally true, but for the most part, the feed and everything that I look at, it's kind of dialed in like Facebook and that kind of stuff these days.
A lot of that comes just from the connections and the people that I am following that I've already connected with. So, for instance, just to kind of put you on the spot and get a little technical, if I said, I want to work with dentists and those are the folks that obviously I build my profile up to speak into my background of working with dentists and how I do all that kind of stuff.
What other kinds of things should people be thinking about doing in order to reach that crowd?
Donna Serdula: I think the first thing is, definitely tell the story in your profile that you have this industry experience. This is your niche, your segment, and you have all this experience.
That's an important aspect. But then you want to go in and start to do searches. And you can go in and do advanced search and say, I want to talk to anyone who has a dentist or dentistry on their profile, or maybe listed as their current experience. And you only want to do it within this certain area. And then start to look and maybe see which ones really seem like a really good fit.
And if they're a good fit, what you can do is follow them. And then what you can do is, if they look like they're active on LinkedIn, not only do you follow them, but you hit that little star icon that's now on the upper right-hand corner of everyone's profile. If you're connected or you follow them, that turns on the alerts.
So whenever they do post, you get notified. Then as you're just going about your day, you'll see these notifications; maybe that dentist posted something on LinkedIn. You could immediately pop in there and comment, and you could start to forge a relationship with that person. And then maybe down the line in like a week or two, maybe you want to reach out and say, “Hey, I've really been enjoying your content.”
They know who you are because they've seen that you've interacted with them. And then maybe you send them that link, Adam, that you were talking about earlier and get them on the phone to talk.
Adam Hale: Okay. Yeah, I guess it could work the same way with other professionals, too, that are in kind of the same space to–not just your target audience, but maybe you find somebody that's doing a podcast something like that.
And you can say, “Hey, you're hitting the same audience that I work with. Maybe we can get together and talk or do whatever.” So make professional connections that way a little bit within that niche as well
Donna Serdula: Yeah. And that's the networking aspect of it–using LinkedIn as a way to connect and engage and interact with people.
I think for a long time, most LinkedIn users would log in and they would maybe silently scroll through that newsfeed. And they really weren't engaging. With that content, they were looking at it, but they weren't doing much with it. And the way the algorithm works now is, they want engagement.
And when a post gets a lot of engagement, that's when it gets that viral quality. It shows up on more people's feeds, and you get more eyeballs. So, even if you're not someone who's constantly posting, you don't really have to. I mean, you can actually just engage with the content that's already there.
And the way LinkedIn is working is, if you do look at your newsfeed, a lot of those posts that you're seeing that show up on that LinkedIn feed, you're seeing it, not because they're first degree connections, but because of first degree or a second degree connection interacted with it. So it's an interesting way of exploding out of your network into other people's networks to get noticed and seen.
Jamie Nau: So how long until we see LinkedIn videos as equal like they do in YouTube videos, like “hit the star button.” Right? Is that the next step?
Donna Serdula: I've been finding that, I haven't seen a lot of people talking about that star icon on their profiles. They put it out there just recently.
I mean, just a few weeks ago. But to me, it's this amazing functionality, a feature that we've been wanting for a long time. So I do think we're going to start seeing people say, “Hit that star button.”
Adam Hale: Okay. So that's not just in the premium account? That's on the baseline connections? Okay. Because I know the premium account has a lot of that other advanced stuff.
One of my funny stories, like a long time ago, and I'm not a Facebooker or any of that kind of stuff. I don't have Facebook. For the most part, I'm off the grid. But I've got LinkedIn. I just remember a long time ago I was going to interact with one post, and I did it on accident.
I was actually sending a message to my partner. It was a big post about some release of software, and I just trash talked the software really quickly. I didn't realize I was posting to the universe, and I was just like, “Yeah, I don't think so; way off base, like this doesn't do this anymore. Wow, they're totally wrong.”
I thought I was just messaging him and sharing the article to him, but I shared it to everybody. And then, all of a sudden, I just got like 50 comments right underneath that. Luckily, everybody agreed.
Oh, no, I just posted that to everybody.I had to go back and make sure that I didn’t say something totally unprovoked. Yeah. Luckily it was PG, and I was just like, oh, I don't know if I'm allowed to interact anymore.
Donna Serdula: But, that tells you something though, Adam, doesn't it? I think people like a level of vulnerability, a level of honesty.
You know, and I'm seeing within LinkedIn a huge shift. You know, at one time it was nothing but professional, career-oriented stuff. And, in some ways, it was a little boring, right?
Like you really didn't think, let me go on LinkedIn to waste some time; you want to go somewhere else where people are behaving badly.
I think with LinkedIn, and I think it was really the pandemic in my mind, that signaled this change; suddenly people are working from home. You don't have that water cooler where you could gather like you used to. You turn on Zoom, and suddenly people could see your bedroom behind you.
You kind of opened up a little bit more than we had in the past, and I think you're seeing that in the way people on LinkedIn are behaving. It's a little bit more personal. It's a little bit more vulnerable. It's a little bit more interesting and fun.
Jamie Nau: Yeah. I can agree that. The way I like to use LinkedIn, and maybe I'm abnormal here, is to me, it's a first impression.
So if I'm going to meet with a prospective client or I'm going to meet with someone that's trying to sell me something because I'm serious about it, the first place I'll go is their website, of course. But that's obviously very scripted and this is exactly who they are and what they do.
But then the second place I'd go is their LinkedIn. And if you go to Adam's LinkedIn, I'm sure you have comments buried now because he has videos of podcasts. He has videos of him doing Tiktok. He has articles. He has all of this like content out there that he's done. And so I get a pretty good first impression of Adam prior to going into that sales call.
And that's, a lot of times, how I use LinkedIn. I know I need to talk to someone. I searched them in LinkedIn, and then I find out more about them.
Donna Serdula: Oh yeah. And what I like to do is, if someone approaches me and they're like, “Oh, I want to do business with you. We’re a big wig consulting agency and we're going to be able to do all this stuff for you.”
It's nice to go to LinkedIn, go to their company page, click on the employees and see that they have one person working with them.
Adam Hale: Oh, right. That's true.
We would've got busted a long time ago. We intentionally made Summit CPA Summit CPA because it’s just Jody and I, and we're like people won't know if there's two of us or 200 of us. But I guess if they would have checked out our LinkedIn profile, they would have been like, ‘oh, there's only two of them.’
Donna Serdula: Well, I mean, with some companies it's expected, but to me there are enough companies out there that are pretending. You know, they're cloaking what's true. There's others who are like “we are who we are,” and that's fine.
But I like that you can use LinkedIn to really dial in and get a better sense of who's there.Where do they work? You know, you just get a better taste.
Adam Hale: I think what I probably use it most for is doing the same kind of thing. Like if I'm trolling, it's usually not the articles and things of that nature that probably get you a little bit more prominence with it.
I'm usually looking at their work history whenever I look at people because I want to know where were they before they were here or before there.
And then, it's like, all of a sudden you might have a connection or be like, ‘oh, they're from there.’
So they probably know and get this person. And then also looking to see who their connections are, like shared connections.
That's always fun, too. And then of course you talked to him and it's like, ‘oh, you know Donna’
And they’re like, ‘who?’
It's like, ah, they were connected with you, and they're like, ah, I don't know what you're talking about. So that's the only bad thing; it definitely does feel like it needs to get a little bit more intimate from that standpoint.
That's why I've tried really hard over the last year or two to just be more selective with the folks that I do let into the network. I don't try to just get to, you know, 30,000 or whatever.
So, and again, I don't know if that's the best solution because you know what Jamie was talking about as well, and what you're talking about is, there's a personal responsibility there to interact and do those kinds of things. And of course you don't want to be inauthentic. But there are services out there, like yours, who, I assume would, you know, for the people that are super busy and can't give the time and attention to this as they should or could in order to kind of build this, how do you work with and help? How do people that either A, don't have the experience and confidence in doing it, or B don't have the time, how do they find resources to be able to help them kind of do a lot of this heavy lifting?
Donna Serdula: With my website, it's LinkedIn-makeover.com, and we've got tons of free resources.
We have a LinkedIn headline generator. We have this really awesome text creators. You can bold text on your profile and in posts and format it. So we've got tons of free stuff there. But where I'm going with this is, all of our services are listed. You can see a complete description and you can see the price points.
So it's one of those, I'm kind of a weird business owner in that regard. I'm transparent with that stuff. But you know, the way we work with our clients is, we always have different levels of service depending on what their needs are.
Some people come to us, and they're like, ‘I just need help branding. I just need help telling my story, having a strong profile and that's all I need.’
There's other people who say, ‘I need help to really not only understand my story, to write that story, but also, help me engage and understand how to use LinkedIn and give me that training and that support.’
So, it just depends on what their needs are, and we fit them into whichever service makes the most sense. But there is a huge need, and LinkedIn is just a fabulous platform. It's a platform that I really think more and more people should be paying attention to because oftentimes I think people think, ‘oh, let me get on LinkedIn because I need prospects, or let me get on LinkedIn because I need a job.’
They always go on LinkedIn because they need something. But, I really feel that you should just be on LinkedIn; just be present on LinkedIn. Know that it's there, pop in, interact, engage, network, and just have it there for your career, throughout your career and use it to interact and to network and to add value and to inspire and to motivate.
Give back and the funny thing that happens is, when you're doing it and you're actively engaged in it, the clients find you, the jobs find you. You're no longer having to look because you're out there and people are just colliding with you.
Jamie Nau: It's funny you say that because a lot of times, I guess I still have the old mindset when it comes to LinkedIn.
Like if one of our employees is updating their LinkedIn page, I'm like, ‘oh no, they just updated their job description and they're being a little more active on there. They must be looking for a job.’
Donna Serdula: Well, Jamie, I've seen a huge, huge, huge change in the marketplace in that regard. At one time, CEOs would come to us and say, ‘okay, Donna, make me look great on LinkedIn. I want to have my story out there. I really want to look at like an expert.’
And then I would say, you know what? You're looking to recruit better talent. You want to find better partnerships. You want investors. Why don't we look at your employees’ profiles, and let's optimize them as well.
And back then it was, if we make them look good, they'll get poached. But it's changed. I can't tell you how many companies are calling me, even small companies, and they say, ‘I know that my employees are being looked at by potential partners and clients and prospects, media opportunities. And they look like they're looking. And I don't want them to look like they're looking; help me create profiles that have our messaging, our company messaging; let's make them look like they're the rock stars that they are because they're my number one assets. And having them out there, I'm going to attract better everything.’
So it's been a real flip of a switch.
Jamie Nau: That's really interesting. Let's go into the specifics of the accounting world now. So, I know we've been talking in general terms. I'm a little curious about the accounting customers you work with versus the other customers you work with.
What differences are you seeing? And then, what ways do you feel like you can help them more than maybe some of your other clients?
Donna Serdula: You know, my accounting clients are very left-brained, and the writing part, even filling out our questionnaire and telling their story, there's always a bit of a struggle.
I think it's the left brain aspect; they're good with the numbers, but when it comes to telling that type of enthralling story, it's hard for them. So,I feel like that's where we can, we really help.
It's being able to talk and understand, “Why are you doing this? What do you stand for? How do you help in other ways? What differentiates you?”
Talking through this, sometimes they're amazed at the story that's there. It's already there. They just didn't even see it. They didn't even recognize their strengths because they sit so close; they couldn't see it in any defined, focused way.
And so, I think in that regard, it's telling a much more robust, much more intriguing, much more interesting, compelling story so that it has the keywords that are going to turn up and search.
People look at it and they feel really good about that individual. They have this confidence they're going to get that traction that they're looking for and their phone rings.
Adam Hale: Is that kind of a “one and done” kind of a project with that stuff? Or how does that evolve and get maintenance? What's the cadence of that maintenance look like of that storytelling?
I mean, outside of obviously, what I think I hear you talking about is the initial profile and all that kind of stuff, but then it's got to be augmented, I assume, by like relevant articles and podcasts and YouTube videos and other things that you're doing to kind of support what you're talking about. Is that how you kind of maintain it and keep that up?
Donna Serdula: We train our clients on how to update and some do come back and say, “Hey, can you do this for me?”
I don't put people on a subscription; ultimately when they're ready for an update, they come back to us. So it's, I know it's a sort of a contrary way of doing things now.
I mean, everyone wants everyone on a monthly subscription service, and I look at it as, let's get that foundation set. Let's tell that story. Let's show you how to do it.
And then, I'll shoot out some emails reminding, “Hey, it's been a few months. It's been a few years.” But when they come back, they come back and that's when we revamped for them, and we have those returning clients services.
Jamie Nau: So then, an initial meeting with them or with your initial project with them, do you give them advice on keeping the site updated? Because one of the things that I think is really important is lean into your strengths when it comes to LinkedIn. So if our marketing lady came to me and said, “Jamie, can you write an article about this?”
It would probably take me six months to write because I would over think it; I worry about my grammar. I would just be checking it and reading it and doing all this stuff. But if she came to me and said, “Hey, can you record a two-minute video talking about this?” I would have it done in five minutes because that's where I feel most comfortable.
I think I would find that to be super important as to lean into where you're comfortable, and for some people, it might just be linking articles; you find an article you like because you love to read, just put a link on that to your LinkedIn. Is that something that you'd recommend? Or how do you get them to keep their pages?
Donna Serdula: To me, there's two aspects; there's the profile. and it's making sure that it doesn't age. It doesn't get totally out of date. And it's that reminder of “pop in there and talk about what just recently happened; what have you learned? What are you doing? What accomplishments do you have?”
So there's that. And then there's the feed, the posting. And I really love that idea of leaning into your strengths. On the other side though, Jamie, I think it's worth stating that the LinkedIn algorithm is very, very picky.
And if all you do is share other people's posts, you're never going to get a lot of traction because those posts don't do well. So, if you're finding yourself like, “oh, I like what this person posted, I'm just going to hit the share button because that's easy.”
And then you're scratching your head and wondering, “why am I not getting likes?”
And it's because you shared within the LinkedIn algorithm. Yeah, it's very low. So what you'd want to do is instead, maybe comment and say, “Hey, that's a great, wonderful article. Really love it.”
Then, click the article and share the article directly. So, you're not sharing the other person's posts, but you're sharing that article. And then, you could do a hot tip and, and call out the person and say,” Hey, thanks so much for originally sharing this information.”
If you do tag a person in a post, they better come back and comment. If they don't comment, boom, that post is going to go right down the toilet.
So that's the other thing. If you do tag a person, that's another little crazy quirk about the LinkedIn algorithm, make sure that if you tag a person in a post, maybe message them or call them and say, “Hey, I just tagged you. Can you please make sure?
Jamie Nau: I think it goes back to what Adam said earlier. And I think this is just listening to Adam talk here. This is a mistake I've made with my LinkedIn over the last couple of years; if someone reaches out to me and it sounds like something I might be interested in. I just accept it. I think my LinkedIn network has grown, but the number of people I actually know on there has probably gone way down.
I think Adam probably has much better luck on that. Where if someone were to share something, he actually knows that person and has a true connection with them. And they probably would comment versus me.
If it’s a person who has connected with me through LinkedIn once, and asking if I'm going to relink their comment. And it's like, who is this again? I haven't never talked to them before.
Adam Hale: So I think she's saying you can comment. And create that relationship after the fact. So it doesn't have to be even on the front end; it's like, go ahead and accept it. And instead of sharing it, just say, “Hey, awesome article, great point about this or that.”
And then what you're saying, Donna, what I heard you say is, then you’ve got to hope that they reply back. Otherwise, it's not as effective.
Donna Serdula: Right. So if a person shares an article, and you like the article, don't just share the post; click on the article, find the original URL, and post that URL to the article directly. And then, in that post, you can tag that person who had originally shared it, just because that's nice.
Jamie Nau: “Thanks, Donna, for sharing this.”
I’m sharing what you already shared and then hopefully you comment below it.
“No problem, Jamie. Glad you liked it.”
And then, it becomes a high-visibility post.
Donna Serdula: That right there is the money.
Adam Hale: So, 30 minutes in, you got your golden nugget. So if you've hung on this long, you just nailed it right there.
So that's awesome. And so, just to be clear, and I know this is a little bit of a cheat, so take this how you want, but just saying, technically, you would offer that as a service as well? Like helping to troll somebody's LinkedIn for them and help them kind of get some of that stuff out? I mean, do you do that in coordination with them? Do you do that for them? How does that work?
Donna Serdula: You know what, I would love to offer that service. It's not an easy one to offer. And, we do train people. I work with a few high-level executives and I do that for them. But for most people, it's not something you can truly outsource. I mean, you can try to outsource it.
You could find someone in India to do it for five bucks an hour, and then they're posting the exact same link every day. You know, it's hard to outsource in an authentic manner. That’s what I find.
Adam Hale: I agree. I mean, I think that would be difficult. I think that's why I was curious because I think it could be accomplished maybe by somebody that was on your team.
You know, that kind of was running alongside you and doing those kinds of things, but, yeah, it'd be hard for somebody that doesn't know you well, doesn't know what you're doing extremely well to comment, post, share, and do things like that.
Donna Serdula: And, here's the thing. I don't believe, I mean, it's not that I don't believe it. I know this as a fact. You don't have to be active on LinkedIn every day. You don't have to post every day. Mic drop.
Yes, if you want to be a huge influencer, you know, Gary Vaynerchuk. Yes, absolutely. All right. My advice does not extend to him. But, to an average person, an average professional, if you post once a week, that's amazing. If you post once every two weeks, then you're doing so much better than the vast majority of people out there.
I mean, LinkedIn recently released stats that said, less than 1% of their monthly users actually create content. Less than 1%. But what this should tell you though, low barrier of entry, right?
Some low-hanging fruit there, guys. If you are that one person who decides to post, and again, I'm not telling you to post every day, but if you post once a week with an interesting article that you found or some advice that you came upon or something that happened that you think is interesting and worthy of sharing. Then, maybe you popped back in every couple of days and you just engage with the content that's on your feed. That right there is massive, and it's totally doable, even for an extremely busy professional.
Jamie Nau: I think at the very least, hopefully everybody listening to this podcast has opened up their LinkedIn page and looked at their profile, looked at what they're putting out there and come up with one or two changes they can make.
I think this has been a great episode. I know I'm going to do that exact thing once we pop up off here. So I'm gonna go check my LinkedIn profile.
Donna Serdula: Yeah. I'll give a real quick tip. Okay. So those of you who are looking at your profile, two quick things.
Adam Hale: Ah, I thought you were going to pick on Jamie’s.
Donna Serdula: No, I’ m not looking at Jamie’s. When we look at your background image, and if it's kind of grayish green and striped, it means you didn't upload a background. Get something up there, something that illustrates your brand, maybe your company logo; puts something up there.
The other thing is, look at your profile picture and make sure it looks nice. I mean, that's social media 101, but still consistently, it's typically pretty bad. So adjust that. And then, look at your headline. The headline, the default headline is your current title and your current company.
But what kind of headline is that? That doesn't compel anyone to want to learn more or read more about you, and that headline follows you. So no matter what you're doing on LinkedIn, it's there. It's right there next to your picture, your name, there's your headline. So you want it to be engaging and attractive.
So, visit my website, and access my LinkedIn headline generator. It's this online app; it's totally free. You just hit a couple of buttons, enter a couple adjectives, a couple of nouns, and it spits out a really great-looking headline. You can copy it, you paste it in there. You're going to get more views. You're gonna get more hits and more opportunities.
Jamie Nau: I can tell by Adam's eyes when you were talking there, he was my LinkedIn page.
Adam Hale: No, I was actually looking at mine. I was pulling it up, trying to get the thing to load as you were talking, I'm like, is that on there? Is that a check check?
I don't know about that. I mean, my picture is a caricature. so I don't know if that's professional enough for you, Donna.
Donna Serdula: Oh, there it is. Well, you know what?
Adam Hale: Oh, here we go. Did you see the look on her face? So if you're just listening, the look that Donna just gave me after she apparently just looked at my LinkedIn was like, “No good.”
Jamie Nau: Yeah.
Donna Serdula: Well, LinkedIn states in its terms of usage, it can't be a cartoon character. It can't be a logo. It has to be a photograph.
Donna Serdula: I have to tell you, I think you're better looking than this.
Adam Hale: I don't get that very often at all, so I will take that. So that's why the caricature always on there, so we got to work on that then. We will definitely be talking soon, Donna.
Jamie Nau: Awesome. Like I said, I think this was a really great podcast, and I know I've gotten a lot out of it. So I'm going to give you one last shot here, final thoughts or final tips for our listeners. And then we'll end this.
Donna Serdula: Final tip, I would say make sure you have LinkedIn on your mobile device; put it on your phone. Make sure you've got that in there.
When you're out and about, or maybe you're watching TV, and your thumb starts to move toward the Instagram icon, say, “stop, stop! I'm going to click on LinkedIn for a change.”
Open LinkedIn and scroll through. I mean, at the very least, just scroll through and challenge yourself to interact with three posts, Comment or like; don't share because you're not going to get any traction that way. But, comment and like, and I think you'll find that if you do that with some regularity, you make sure your profile looks good, you got that great headline. LinkedIn is suddenly going to make a lot more sense.
Jamie Nau: Great. That's a great tip. Adam, how about you?
Adam Hale: Call Donna. Check out our website. I think once people figure out what they're doing, it always comes back to ‘now, how do I find people?’
And so marketing is a big question that we get asked all the time. And I do think that social media obviously is becoming more and more a part of that. And LinkedIn as a professional is important, and it has gotten a lot cooler and a lot more effective over the last couple of years. So, I have seen big things happening with it.
So I know there's flasher stuff right now that people are using, but I've been really impressed with what LinkedIn is doing and I agree, to set up a shop there is going to be really important. So it's worth the effort.
Donna Serdula: I think when you look at TikTok and you look at the reels on Instagram, a lot of us are adults, and we just don't want to be pointing at bubbles and dancing around. It's not what we want to do.
LinkedIn is where you can go and be an adult and feel a little bit more comfortable, and you can have some really good relationships and some fruitful ones.
Jamie Nau: That definitely sold me. Cause I do not like recording TikTok for someone. I feel so awkward doing it. It's not fun.
Adam Hale: The dance moves and the bobbing head.
Donna Serdula: People are like looking at your face going, “I bet he's dead inside.”
Jamie Nau: Yeah, definitely appreciate having you on the show.
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