How do you know if you are being authentic?


This article was inspired by my LinkedIn connection Rebecca Bell, who posted an update about the case of self-proclaimed titles, like ‘Thought Leader’, 'Influencer’ or ‘Visionary’.

See the post below.

The discussion has been fascinating and you can see how many likes and comments are clocking up on this topic, it really has never-ending opinions.

This topic has touched a nerve with many and it’s making me wonder why do we try and big ourselves up so much. Is it because we need that recognition to feel good about ourselves? Is it because the world around us has conditioned us to claim titles for ourselves, so we can be seen by others as important and they will believe in us?

Most of us have heard the saying ‘people buy people first’ and that means someone has to be in your company, face to face (or at least a video call) before this can take place. But because we now spend most of our time in the digital world, the non-physical, we are making up our own non-sense titles to impress and be bought by our connections and sometimes to manipulate search results too. 

Have you ever heard anyone at a networking meeting say. Hello my name is Michael and I’m a visionary or I’m a thought leader or I’m an influencer. Probably not. Recently I was invited to connect to someone who calls themselves a 'Business Maven'. Who encouraged him/her to use this title to suggest that they are maybe better than you or me, better qualified than anyone else to be an expert in the world of business?

A better description, title or headline for any of us would be:

'Have learnt everything I know from others and therefore thank you to all for the great lessons'. 

Because when we came into this world, we knew diddly-squat, nothing, absolutely nothing. Everything and I mean everything we know we had to learn from others. Sure we put our own spin on it and we create some amazing technology because we may think of a different approach to others, but really every tiny bit of knowledge we own, someone gave it to us.

So let's be more humble, grateful for what we know and NEVER proclaim that we are better than anyone else, NEVER!


Employee! Do you see any value in being on LinkedIn?

I’m curious, if you are an employee, i.e. not a business owner, do you see any value in being on LinkedIn beyond it being just your CV (Resumé)? Have fun by looking up that word (Resumé), because the internet has no idea how to spell that and neither do I!

Since I’ve been training professionals in how to get the most from LinkedIn, I’ve noticed overwhelmingly that the largest disbelievers are those that are employed and not business owners. Business owners are totally different, they understand and appreciate the power of a professional network like LinkedIn, the need to grow it and leverage that network.

The only time an employee feels they need to improve their LinkedIn profile, grow their network and be more active on LinkedIn is when they are out of a job or they are looking to move careers.

Employees are not the only ones, employers don’t get it either. If they did understand LinkedIn’s potential power they would include LinkedIn as one of their employees’ roles and objectives. They make the mistake of believing too that LinkedIn is a CV (Resume) platform. I don’t blame them though, LinkedIn still makes over 60% of their revenue from talent solutions, the hidden recruitment engine only available to those that pay handsomely for the privilege.

Anyway, employers and it’s employees need to take LinkedIn seriously for two massively big and simple reasons.

Brand consistency and Customer loyalty.

When potential customers search out company employees your brand would benefit hugely from well crafted employee profiles, great personal and business stories and brand consistency. 

LinkedIn Company Icon (when no company page)

LinkedIn Company Icon (when no company page)

Some companies still don’t have a company page and those that do, its employees don’t know how to connect their job experience section to those company pages. Probably THE most basic of requirements on an employee LinkedIn profile. If you just see the grey building image on your profile, then you haven’t connected to your organisation’s company page, if there is one.

Job experience with logo pulled in from company page.

Job experience with logo pulled in from company page.

It’s a simple error to fix, the organisation has to create a company page and the employee needs to edit their profile to locate the company page and pull the logo into their job experience section.



Finally then, we’ve all come across the saying;

‘What gets measured, gets done’. Discussing your employee’s LinkedIn profile as part of their objectives will be a great way to ensure that everyone in the organisation improves their profile for the benefit of themselves, as well as the company’s brand. 

If the employee just spends 20-minutes per day developing their profile and being active on LinkedIn, it will make a massive difference to the organisation's brand reputation and overall recognition. 

In a previous article I suggested ways in which anyone can be active on LinkedIn in just 20-minutes per day. Take the 20-minute per day challenge now!

Employee! Help your employer and get your LinkedIn profile looking great.

Employer! Help your employees by adding LinkedIn to their roles and responsibilities and have it as part of their key quarterly objectives.

Wishing you massive success.


Are you aware how disappointing you are?

@LinkedIn & @gapingvoid

@LinkedIn & @gapingvoid

As a consumer, I genuinely want to help the companies I buy from. Sometimes it comes out as criticism, but there is always a genuine intention to assist. Sometimes they just don't listen until you give them more direct and sometimes hurtful feedback. Take LinkedIn for example. I have been giving them feedback for years now on their customer service. I have even resorted to writing about it. You can find my articles here and here.

When you want to give feedback to brands and companies and nobody takes you seriously your love for them dies a tiny bit every time until one day you may turn around and say enough is enough. It's like the whole world falls in all at once, but it never did happen all at once, it happens a little bit at a time, usually over a long period of time. 

My wife and I stayed at a recent venue for a short retreat and when checking out, I wanted to give the receptionist, whose sole duty there was to check people out, some feedback on a couple of things during our stay.  Her answer was not unsympathetic but she answered by saying to include our comments on the feedback form, which would be emailed to us. Needless to say the feedback form was very impersonal, no place to add your own personal details and just one generic box to add comments. My love for them died a tiny bit. Not huge but it did hurt a little and whilst I could have been a raving fan, I'm now just a fan. It won't take many more incongruent experiences for me to no longer be a fan.

Brands and companies across the board struggle with this. I do understand, nowadays comments can be flying in from all directions. In the old days the only way you received customer feedback was when they were directly opposite you or you received a letter of complaint.  There was no mistaking how that feedback would be received. Now the comments can arrive in at least a dozen different ways and actually they will never find their way directly to you. They just exist in the cloud and potential customers find them, read them and decide their action. 

We are wired to think negatively or rather we have a survival instinct. This means that when we read negative reviews about a brand or company, we take them seriously. Even if it's just about food, which as we all know is highly subjective. Our primitive brain assumes that if the food is bad we could die, so we will avoid it at all costs. Yes people can get food poisoning however, I personally don't see that many stories of people dyeing in restaurants. When we absorb reviews about places to sleep, we too believe that we could end up feeling threatened in some way. Our physical or mental health could be under threat. 

I do get it, brands and companies lose customers every single day and it's natural to do so. You buy your loaf of bread from one outlet one day and then maybe some other outlet the next. And this is because very few brands and companies really think through the whole buyer's journey, from reading reviews, seeing their network's comments, adverts, the physical buying experience online and offline and the follow-up. How many times do you get a call from your baker to ask you if you were happy with your loaf today?  Not that many right?  It's just an extreme metaphor to make the point.

As the image suggests, true engagement is something you feel!

What's your view? Answers on a postcard or in the comments field below will do nicely!

LinkedIn created a brilliant eBook with my favourite illustrator. @gapingvoid (Hugh Macleod) creates the most amazing messages through his illustrations. Read more about him and @gapingvoid here: (

Regularly I will share one of the articles and illustrations from the eBook and give you my opinion, interpretation, insight and my meaning.


#contentmarketing #content #socialmedia #engagement #marketing #socialselling #sales #empathy #distraction #purpose #relevance #customerservice #help #feedback #reviews

Online is great and talking is even better. Everyone's ultimate goal in business and life is to make real connections, where you meet someone face to face. Before that meeting a conversation is the ultimate icebreaker. I value my LinkedIn connections and realise that I don't really know you or what your goals are and how I might facilitate or support those goals.  Feel free to click through and book a call with me

Are you guilty of using the ‘sheep dip’ approach?


 I am sorry to say, I'm guilty!

It's not that I'm not wishing to be super personal and to engage with one person at a time and appeal to their specific goals and aspirations.

The truth is there are just not enough hours in the day to engage with every new connection request and every new follower at a level that I would ideally like. So some automation is inevitable. I'm still experimenting too and have already adjustedsome things.

I'm not using autobots as such, but I am manually adding new connections to my CRM and an automated process and messaging them with the same template message. And no, I don't feel great about it, but it's working at the moment.

My goal is to be engaging and strike up a conversation, share some valuable content and information that is free and at the same time being careful not to pitch anything. Its totally not my intention to do any kind of pitching. Eventually I'd like to have a conversation, which I call a discovery call. And that again is to provide some value, not to pitch.

I have carefully designed this process after weeks of testing it and receiving some deeper level of engagement with new connections, especially on LinkedIn. Anywhere else it's much harder to do. Email is still one of our default go to apps each morning. I know it's Facebook for most too.

I state very clearly in my auto emails that my purpose is to engage at a deeper level and invite recipients to unsubscribe if they wish to and indeed some do, but not as many as I had originally expected. Maybe one every 2-3 weeks.

I do receive a fair bit of engagement from these new connections and I also notice a lot don't. I'm surprised because they asked to connect with me in the majority of cases, at least 95% of them are incoming requests. Usually with no reason given for wishing to connect by the way.

The real engagement occurs when after a few touch points, which are a combination of engaging with their profiles and sharing some content and information, you manage to get agreement for a discovery call. When you are able to engage in a conversation with your connections, more clarity about who they are and what their goals are means that you can start to look out for clues and understand better how they'd like you to engage with them in the future. Over the years I've come to realise that this is by far the best method.

The goal always is to end up having a conversation. I believe by phone and usually Skype with video is best. I'd like to try other methods too, like Facebook messenger with video, although having tried it twice, it's still a bit unstable.

If you'd like to skip all the automation and go straight to a discovery call then by all means go for it and head over here,

in the meantime let me know how you're feeling about my automation and by all means share your ideas and strategies that are working for you? 

LinkedIn created a brilliant eBook with my favourite illustrator. @gapingvoid (Hugh Macleod) creates the most amazing messages through his illustrations. Read more about him and@gapingvoidhere: (

Occasionally I will share one of the articles and illustrations from the eBook and give you my opinion, interpretation, insight and my meaning.


#contentmarketing #content #socialmedia #engagement #marketing #socialselling #sales #empathy #distraction #purpose #relevance #trust #love #mastodon #why #linkedinlectures

Online is great and talking is even better. Everyone's ultimate goal in business and life is to make real connections, where you meet someone face to face. Before that meeting a conversation is the ultimate icebreaker. I value my LinkedIn connections and realise that I don't really know you or what your goals are and how I might facilitate or support those goals. Feel free to click through and book a call with me ( I have blocked out only Fridays each week, excluding holidays, for calls. Hope to speak with you soon.

LinkedIn Business Growth Bootcamp 27 - 31 March 2017

I will be covering 'search' on LinkedIn and Sales Navigator

I will be covering 'search' on LinkedIn and Sales Navigator

I am delighted to be taking part in a 5-day long bootcamp with 24 other LinkedIn Coaches, Experts and Trainers from across the globe.  We have all been interviewed by Adèle McLay who hosts all the experts to reveal their top tips, insights and techniques for mastering LinkedIn.

This event is FREE for the whole week.  Plan in some time to watch as many of the Bootcamp as you can as I know you will get some amazing value from it.

I will be covering the topic of search inside LinkedIn and Sales Navigator, a massively valuable tool to exploit if you know how.

Make sure you sign-up to learn as much as you can for FREE to get your LinkedIn process up and running for getting exposure to more leads and business opportunities.

Sign-up via:

Here's my Mind Map of all the areas that I will be covering.

@stayingaliveuk - LinkedIn and Sales Navigator search topics

@stayingaliveuk - LinkedIn and Sales Navigator search topics

Here is a link to a twitter list featuring all the coaches, experts and trainers.

Promotional poster detailing all the profile photos of all the LinkedIn coaches, experts and trainers.

Promotional poster detailing all the profile photos of all the LinkedIn coaches, experts and trainers.

Do you contemplate and consider carefully the content you create, curate and share?

Social Media encourages all to be spontaneous, to share something instantly and above all to be expectant of the reactions that we may receive as a result. 

So why do we need to contemplate and consider carefully the content we create every single day?

Because in doing so you are sharing with the world who you are, what you believe in, how you wish to be seen and above all how you wish to be judged. When we decide to be active on Social Media, we are developing and portraying ourselves as a ‘Personal Brand’. Yes indeed all of us are now ‘Brands’, so you better take that responsibility seriously.

As most of us on here (written for LinkedIn) are business professionals, either employed or running our own businesses, our companies are using marketing strategies and tactics to be seen and to encourage buyers to purchase from us. You know the saying, ‘buyers buy you first’.

This is where ‘Content Marketing’ as a strategy comes into play. If ‘Content Marketing’ does indeed cost 62% less than traditional marketing then this must be very attractive to all of us. I've never done any traditional marketing, as I've always believed it was too expensive for a very small business like myself. And maybe I'm not that good yet at ‘Content Marketing’ either as I haven't experienced the true benefits yet. But then again how do I truly know, because I'm not measuring it that well either. I must do more on both fronts. 

There are so many platforms these days to publish your content to.

I'm experimenting by using the following channels.

  1. My own blog. Receives very little interaction, although It’s a must these days, everyone needs to have their own hosted blog with its own domain.
  2. LinkedIn Publishing. A feature that was started for business influencers and then rolled out to the majority of members. Had massive traction in its early days and nowadays publishers hardly receive any likes or comments, unless you send your article to your contacts and ask them to like, comment and share. A strategy being promoted by many LinkedIn experts.
  3. Medium. Personally I believe the most exciting platform around today.
  4. Facebook notes. Only in the past few weeks have I started to experiment with it.
  5. Apple News. Publishes directly via my blog.

These channels are probably more than enough to be sharing original content on. And yes I do duplicate and no I'm not al all worried how I may get penalised by Google as a result, which some SEO professionals might suggest. 

How about you? What are you using to create, curate and share content across the Social Web?

LinkedIn created a brilliant eBook with my favourite illustrator. @gapingvoid (Hugh Macleod) creates the most amazing messages through his illustrations. Read more about him and @gapingvoid here:

Regularly I will share one of the articles and illustrations from the eBook and give you my opinion, interpretation, insight and my meaning.

@stayingaliveuk 🚀

#contentmarketing #content #socialmedia #engagement #marketing #socialselling

Online is great and talking is even better. Everyone’s ultimate goal in business and life is to make real connections, where you meet someone face to face. Before that meeting a conversation is the ultimate icebreaker. I value my LinkedIn connections and realise that I don’t really know you or what your goals are and how I might facilitate or support those goals. Feel free to click through and book a call with me. I have blocked out only Fridays each week, excluding holidays, for calls. Hope to speak with you soon.

Originally published on Medium

The New LinkedIn vs the Old LinkedIn

LinkedIn, is about the change.  I thought it would be good to show you the upcoming differences.   If you are using the LinkedIn mobile app, you will be pleased to learn that it's very close in user interface to the app.  At long last!

Have you been on a 'CONTENT' diet yet?

If you haven't already, I am sure you have contemplated it.  The name has a nice ring to it as well 'Digital Detox'.  There are now millions of self-proclaimed addicts to digital content. Soon to be billions.  And there are plenty of us that are in denial as well.

I want to make sure you have some facts to begin with.

Brandwatch shared some mind-blowing stats in March 2016. Here are just a few.

And you can find even more stats here:

In years to come, all those content spewing platforms will be asking us our preferences.  Once they know our preferences they will only serve up those bits of content we have asked for. No more no less.  Unfortunately this means that we have to make a decision.  What do we really need to see on a daily basis?  Not what we want to see but what we need to see.  

There is a big difference, because as an addict we have many wants and we have to slowly wean ourselves off a lot of the content that we are already addicted to.  

The trouble with all of us, we are constantly in FOMO, 'fear of missing out'.  That's why we are addicted.  If you want to learn why, read my article, 'Do Social Networks Sell Drugs'.

By watching the video below you will also learn what the Internet is doing to our brains. 

LinkedIn created a brilliant eBook with my favourite illustrator. @gapingvoid (Hugh Macleod) creates the most amazing messages through his illustrations. Read more about him and @gapingvoid here:

Each week I will share one of the articles and illustrations from the eBook and give you my opinion, insight and meaning of the words and illustrations.


Have you ever compared Facebook groups vs LinkedIn groups? [Infographic]

When LinkedIn changed their groups at the end of 2015, there was outrage by the group managers and moderators. LinkedIn had gone one step too far in trying to make groups more accessible to more people. Result?  A lot of groups folded, moved to Facebook.

I'm noticing each day that Facebook are doing many things right, so I decided to examine the major functionalities and compare them on each platform.

I thought I would create an infographic.  Superman (Facebook) vs Batman (LinkedIn).

Points are awarded merely based on the amount of functionality options that exist on each platform. 

There is no doubt that Facebook has a significant advantage over LinkedIn in many areas and it makes it a far better and more enjoyable experience for the user and the manager.

Every business needs to have a Facebook group and indeed there are 620 million Facebook groups already in existence, compared to the very small 2 million on LinkedIn.

I hope you enjoy the infographic.  I would love to hear your comments and opinion on groups?


data about the no of Facebook groups dates back to 2010

Attention is a Currency

LinkedIn created a brilliant eBook with my favourite illustrator. @gapingvoid (Hugh Macleod) creates the most amazing messages through his illustrations. Read more about him and @gapingvoid here:

Each week I will share one of the articles and illustrations from the eBook and give you my opinion, insight and meaning of the words and illustrations.

Let's do the first one, which is actually the cover and a very important one.

The sentence I'd like to examine a bit closer is;

“Why now is the time to invest in digital experiences that matter.” 

Well, my consideration here is about ensuring that we start examining our digital time spent by ensuring that we only receive information and data we actually need.

And for marketers, which I can include myself in, we should be ensuring that we know our target audience (avatars) and share with them relevant information and data that will expand their knowledge, plus improve and speed up their decision making process.

Hence the ’matter’.

Now it's your turn. I'd love to hear your views and opinion about that sentence.

To assist you further you may wish to download a couple of eBooks via:

Or share all your comments via Twitter @stayingaliveuk

Image credits: @gapingvoid and @linkedin

What are your KPI’s for Microsoft & LinkedIn's marriage?

Now that we’re all over the shock of this surprise partnership and have looked at the justification both Satya Nadella and Jeff Weiner have so beautifully crafted in their slide deck (see below), we can start developing our own KPI’s to hold both Satya and Jeff to account and ensure they deliver to their promises.

So often do we hear heads of large corporates promise the world to us as consumers of their product, leaving us disappointed and disillusioned in the process when they don't deliver their promises.  So let's hold them to account.

Both companies have something we can not live without these days, but they aren’t really held to account by us are they?   The stock market holds them to account and here lies the problem.  Public companies exist to satisfy their shareholders. Forget about the hype and wonderful stories they spin about customers and employees. They are just fiction. Shareholders count, period.

Right,  so I have started my own list of KPI’s and I would love to hear yours too, please feel free to add yours in the comment field below.

  1. LinkedIn UI: The LinkedIn user interface and menu navigation is in desperate need of updating. It has to emulate the mobile experience much closer. I’ve seen some design evidence inside the slide deck, so it can’t be that far away.  Timeframe: By end of July 2016
  2. Regular SkypeEvery LinkedIn member will be able to add Skype on their profile (a space already exists) and it will integrate all your contacts who have Skype inside the Skype address book*, allowing you to instant message or video call one to one or group call right inside LinkedIn.  Timeframe: August 2016
  3. Skype for business: I have used Skype for business and it’s completely different compared to the regular Skype you may have sitting on your desktop. This feature has been long overdue inside LinkedIn and I highlighted this in a post last year. This needs to be made available to all LinkedIn premium members as soon as possible.  Timeframe: By end of September 2016
  4. Inviting and accepting invites: This might have nothing to do with Microsoft, but I am hoping when their engineers start examining workflows, they might uncover a workflow that is completely broken. This whole process needs to be overhauled, including creating a clear dedicated section inside LinkedIn for your network (similar to mobile) and a forced situation whereby you have to write a personalised invitation every single time. Timeframe: October 2016
  5. Microsoft Dynamics CRM: CRM has been a major issue for LinkedIn. There are parts that can work like CRM, but the dots are not joined up, so it remained as a bit of a maybe-run CRM. A CRM needs data and LinkedIn can provide that. All LinkedIn premium members need to be given a Dynamics CRM account as part of their package, integrated probably with Sales Navigator.  Timeframe: November 2016
  6. Yammer: LinkedIn attempted to create some sort of messaging system, but have failed miserably. Yammer was the first corporate social network, which unfortunately got bought by Microsoft and is available to enterprise clients now, never to be seen in the public domain again.  In order to compete with Slack, there is the perfect opportunity to integrate Yammer inside LinkedIn for all paying and non-paying members.  Timeframe: December 2016

These are my 6 KPI’s for the next 6 months or maybe you can call them wishes for the Microsoft & LinkedIn marriage.

Now share yours below.  Keep in touch via: @stayingaliveuk or email me or chat via +44 (0)7866 471596

* I have been testing Skype by the way and found that Microsoft Account allows you to import your LinkedIn contacts or so I thought. See below screenshot of the error message I got! Tried about 8 times, without success.

Here is a video of the full announcement of Microsoft's acquisition of LinkedIn, including a short interview with Satya and Jeff followed by the investors call on Monday 13th June, 2016.



Are you still receiving TOO MANY LinkedIn Emails?


On July 27, 2015, LinkedIn announced that they were reducing the amount of emails they would be sending to members. 

As a consequence they also stopped the daily email, which summarised Job Changes, Birthdays and Career Anniversaries. And in the months following all emails that are sent by LinkedIn have gone through a steady change in layout and branding. I have to say for the better. However I am still receiving lots of them each day and each week. How about you?

let’s have a closer look at this.

Below is a list of all the emails that LinkedIn currently sends to us (well, most of them that I received):

  1. Invitation to connect, standard template invitation.
  2. Invitation to connect, personalised invitation.
  3. [Person's name], has accepted your invitation.
  4. Invitation awaiting your response.
  5. Email message notification.
  6. Messages you've missed.
  7. Unread messages.
  8. Open profile messages.
  9. [Person's name], mentions you.
  10. What's new with your posts. Providing you are publishing on Pulse.
  11. New endorsements waiting. These are endorsements extra to the ones you have already listed. (Note: Only click through if you wish to add them to your skills list).
  12. Connections have endorsed you. These are against your existing skills list.
  13. Your connections have been mentioned in the news.
  14. Updates from Pulse. These would be based on your channel preferences, including posts by your connections.
  15. Groups trending discussions. Based on how many groups you belong to, you could be receiving several each day/week, unless you have switched off the email digest setting for that group.
  16. Congratulations on your new job.
  17. Someone has commented on your photo.
  18. Group comments in response to your discussion post.
  19. Latest leads (Sales Navigator only).
  20. Your account updates (Sales Navigator only)

Did I miss any?  Yes I probably did. Do please let me know if you have some that I didn't mention and send me a screenshot. Thank you!

how you can reduce the amount of emails you're getting from LinkedIn.

This advice is only valid if you've got the LinkedIn app. Nowadays we interact most of our time on mobile inside our social networks and I highly recommend that you spend more time on the LinkedIn app and that way you can stay up to date without being bombarded by emails.

Please watch the video to fully appreciate the changes you need to make in your settings inside LinkedIn. You can make these changes either on the desktop or inside the LinkedIn app.

Here is the full list of push notification on mobile LinkedIn app (iOS iPhone and iPad). You will see that this will provide you with more that enough information on mobile, instead of receiving all those individual emails. Click on the image to enlarge it further, but better still just go on your app and view it me>settings>communications>push notifications.

If you have any questions at all, feel free to reach out via @stayingaliveuk

Did you know you could sync your Calendar with LinkedIn's App? (iOS Tutorial)

IMG_1735 2.jpg

Prepare, review and follow up on all your meetings using the LinkedIn app, even though you might not even be connected yet.

The LinkedIn app, released in the Autumn of 2015, has received a fairly significant update that has gone almost unnoticed.

If you have appointments in your calendar with either 1st or 2nd level connections and you have their email address in your Calendar, LinkedIn will locate them for you and serve up reminder cards in your 'My Network' tab. Note: The email must be a match on their LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn members often add their personal email as their primary not their business one. If you are in that camp you may wish to amend that.

Here are some text instructions for enabling the feature, which is very simple indeed. Below that there are some screen shots to accompany each action.  I have also recorded a video to walk you through it step by step.

  1. Tap the Me tab in the navigation bar of the app.
  2. Tap the Settings icon.
  3. Tap Sync Calendar.
  4. Tap Sync your calendar to confirm. 
  5. To remove calendar sources, follow the above steps and switch the sync calendar toggle to the left.
  6. There are also some real live examples of actual appointments from my calendar (or diary in the UK!), 'prep for your meeting tomorrow', 'prep for today's meeting' and 'you met with [connection's name and yesterday's date]. The last one prompts you to send a follow up email as well.

If you have any questions or queries reach out and I will be happy to answer them.

Twitter: @stayingaliveuk


Is LinkedIn on your Job Description?

You own your LinkedIn page, it is not owned by your employer,  even though you might use it whilst at work. 

However your employer must encourage you to use your LinkedIn every single day.


Because you are helping your employer to get noticed. And if you are helping your employer to get noticed, they may benefit from social exposure and word of mouth recommendation, which in turn means more sales and job security for you and your colleagues.

Most LinkedIn profiles are left to gather dust, showing poor profile photos, badly written headlines and summaries and a sparse experience section. As well as an incongruent list of skills and insignificant educational achievements. 

That’s why employers MUST add LinkedIn to your job description and train you to create a great profile and to use it each and every single day.

My mantra is ’LinkedIn 20-minutes per day’. Even before you open your email.

But what do you do there every single day? Well here are 7 things you can be doing in your 20-minutes per day.

  1. Grow your connections. The more connections you have the easier it will be to connect with potential buyers of your employer’s products and services. Connecting to colleagues is a must, so is past fellow students, teachers, professors and yes even family, including your Mum (Mom) and Dad.
  2. Send personal invitations, not the standard ‘LinkedIn’ boiler plate invitation. It really sucks when you do that. You are basically saying, I don’t really care about you, but I want to connect with you.
  3. Send personalised thank you emails for those who have taken the time to click the accept button. It’s just polite to do so.
  4. Share an update, which could be an interesting article you’ve read on Pulse (LinkedIn’s news channel) or a simple status update about your efforts at your employer. Be mindful and careful about posting unauthorised company news though.
  5. Read your home newsfeed and like, comment or share interesting posts by your connections.
  6. Make sure you join industry and client groups on LinkedIn. Be actively discussing, commenting and liking. Avoid posting your company blog or news, boring!
  7. Write recommendations for your colleagues, suppliers and clients. Also endorse their listed skills.

A lot of people commute to work by train. You can do these 20-minute activities on your mobile. LinkedIn’s mobile app has been getting better and is still improving and soon most of us will be more active on the LinkedIn app compared to the desktop.

And remember you don’t have to do all these activities every single day. You can just do a few each day, the important thing is consistency and making sure you form a habit. After all you have a habit of reading your emails each day and often first thing each day, maybe even before you get out of bed. You might as well make it a LinkedIn habit each and every day. 

Just 20-minutes per day!

And in case you are totally maxed out during the day, I am sure you have 20-minutes in the evening, when the kids have gone to bed and you are watching mindless TV.

So here’s the 20-day challenge for you. 

Let’s see if you can spend just 20-minutes per day on your LinkedIn for the next 20-days, so that you can start to form a habit.

And whilst you’re at it, share this article with your colleagues and the HR department. Let’s get them all thinking about this and consider including LinkedIn on everyone’s job description.

As an interim step you can ask your boss to add it to your objectives for the next 6 months, so you can both evaluate your performance for this. You know what they say; ’What gets measured, gets done’.

Let’s see which employers have the courage to add LinkedIn to job descriptions. And I’m not just talking about Sales and Marketing Professionals, I mean every single person in the company including the cleaner.

Wishing you massive success with your 20-day challenge and do let me know how you’ve got on.


Do you have questions about Social Selling and LinkedIn? - *Updated Weekly*

Top left: Brynne, Top right: Michael, Bottom left Ted, Bottom right Bob

Top left: Brynne, Top right: Michael, Bottom left Ted, Bottom right Bob

We (Michael de Groot, Bob Woods, Brynne Tillman and Ted Prodromou) hold a weekly Blab on the subject of Social Selling and LinkedIn. You can join us and get your questions answered. To join the Blab you will need a Twitter account.

Just visit to subscribe to the next upcoming episode.

Takes place weekly at 8am PST, 11am EST, 4pm BST (3pm GMT), 5pm CET

In the meantime you can always catch the previous episodes below as a YouTube video replay or a Mixcloud audio podcast.

For more in-depth discussion and free information;

  1. Follow our showcase page on LinkedIn:
  2. Join and contribute on our Slack Community Channel:
  3. Ask to join our Social Selling Discussion Forum.

Social Selling Wednesday Replay Playlist on YouTube

Social Selling Wednesday Replay Podcast on MixCloud

Does LinkedIn Help confuse you?

They say Robots are the future, but maybe they have already arrived at LinkedIn?

They say Robots are the future, but maybe they have already arrived at LinkedIn?

Well, I can confirm most definitely, I am totally and utterly confused with LinkedIn's Help. For years now I have received responses to my queries where the support team at LinkedIn, haven’t really got a clue what I am talking about.

Maybe it is me and the way I ask my questions is not clear enough?

I don’t know about you, but I find that all I seem to receive is a bunch of ‘template’ responses to try and close my ticket as soon as possible. In fact LinkedIn Help already closes the ticket, when they deem that my question has been answered satisfactorily by them. Most times I have to reopen the ticket to send a follow up response or question.

This brings me nicely on to my latest example, ‘The Reminder’.

This feature was introduced when LinkedIn had a major upgrade, released maybe a couple of years ago.

It allows any member to schedule a reminder on a connection’s profile. The reminder can be set for 1 day, 1 week, 1 month or recurring. A strange way of setting reminders by the way, normally you would specify a specific date. Anyway that’s the way it was set and is still the way it exists.

The 'Reminder' feature appears under the 'Relationship' tab, just under the Profile Header.

The 'Reminder' feature appears under the 'Relationship' tab, just under the Profile Header.

When this new feature was introduced, LinkedIn then also started to email us all a daily digest of our connection’s major activity, like a job change, a work anniversary and their birthday. If by any chance you had set a reminder, this would also arrive in the same email. Thereby listing all your reminders and you could take action on those. A great way to be reminded about your reminders don't you think?

In the past 12 months LinkedIn have changed their policy on the volume of email, because of some public criticism they had received.

I agree there was just far too much. However this has meant that they have done away with the 'Daily Digest' email, but you are still able to see your connection’s major activity under the ‘connections’ section and engage with your connection’s activity by sending them an email message, like or comment on their activity. You get daily new notifications on your mobile app too, although you can only message your connections to congratulate them, like and commenting at time of writing is not available on mobile. I won't bore you with the ’Connected app’ that was retired recently, which was created specifically for this purpose. 

Anyway, it now means that ‘The Reminder’ notification via email is missing in action. You no longer receive an email, because the ‘Daily Digest’ has been retired and it also doesn’t receive a flag, which would have been the most sensible thing to do, but it does appear under your ‘connections’ section (desktop), although you may have to keep expanding by clicking the ‘see more people to contact’ tab underneath the 9 cards that will show up.

Anyway I did know about the failure of this, but decided when I saw a forum thread on the subject to investigate further and ask LinkedIn Help the question about reminders.

Below is a screenshot of the thread of my email conversation exchange with them. In conclusion the reminder feature is no longer very useful, unless you are disciplined enough to view your connections page on a daily basis, just to check for reminders. 🙄

You’ll see from the email thread that support completely gets the wrong meaning of my question to begin with. Why? Answer: ’Template responses’. 

1.  The ’Reminder’ feature will probably be retired very soon. 
2.  LinkedIn Help agents are robots 🤖?

Wishing you success with LinkedIn's features. Just remember that one day those features may be rendered useless or retired, you just never know. Whether you are a paying premium member or not, it doesn't matter.

@stayingaliveuk 😎👍

Did you know LinkedIn has been removing features for years?

If you have been an active LinkedIn user for a number of years you might remember that LinkedIn removes features on a regular basis from their platform. At least one per year I would say.

Who remembers ‘Events’, ‘Polls’, ‘Reading Lists’ and many more retired features? And then there are features that just stop working without any warning, like 'Reminders', but that's another story altogether.

Share your favourite ones!

The reason sited always is that features are removed because they are not being used as much by members and therefore are retired to the internet abyss.

Below is an image of an email confirming their latest such action.

This particular feature, saving a profile to your contacts, which is being retired at the end of February 2016 is a handy little shortcut when you are searching for individuals that you wish to connect to.

You can (for now) save them to your contacts by clicking the star underneath the profile header or you can click the dropdown on search results and save them that way.  Especially handy when you have saved a favourite search for Lead Generation. See the images below on how this is allowed to be done currently. But not for long.

Maybe I’m a little suspicious.

I am a premium member and recently my premium account got a fantastic free upgrade. ‘Sales Navigator’.  A brilliant and very useful tool for Lead Generation and Social Selling. Really I mean it, it’s great and very useful. So now I don’t actually need to save anyone that I find on search to my contacts, I just add them to Sales Navigator and I am able to do much more with those profiles in Sales Navigator compared to the regular LinkedIn.

But there are lots of folks that are not on premium and have no intention of upgrading, but still would like to do some interesting stuff,  like saving and tagging people on LinkedIn without having Sales Navigator. 

Could this action by LinkedIn just be a ploy to promote Sales Navigator to us all?

I know, I know, actually not many of you realised you could do this anyway. I agree it isn’t very obvious at all and no-one actually advises you that you can do this, apart from LinkedIn Trainers.  And this is the reason, I guess, why LinkedIn are retiring it.

So my question to many of you is, ‘if you had known about this feature would you have used it or not?’

Be honest because this is like my straw poll to see what responses I get and maybe just maybe we can ask LinkedIn to reverse their decision. Now to help me,  please share this with your own network on LinkedInTwitter and Facebook.

Answer just 2 questions below.

I really appreciate your help with this.



Image credit: @gapingvoid

Are Your Suffering from 'Social Deafness'?

How many social networks do you belong to? The average person has five social network accounts and spends around 1 hour and 40 minutes browsing these networks every day, accounting for 28pc of the total time spent on the internet.

Probably a combination of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube and substituting with LinkedIn, Tumblr and Google+ (other Social Networks are available). However, most will be struggling to stay on top of them all.

It’s just too time consuming these days.

’Social Deafness’ is a phenomena that I'm describing as the reduction in our ability to take in all the social messages and content being pushed out on your social networks.

Before social media came along, our lives were already quite busy and we didn't ask for these networks to occupy our lives, but as these networks have grown and expanded it has become common place in the modern digital world for us to belong to many of them. Furthermore with the expansion of mobile computing, it’s become super easy to engage with your preferred networks through apps and on the web whilst on the move.

Much has been said about our addiction to these networks, but the addiction is not necessarily with our connections but more about what we as individuals can get out of these networks. When our connections, like, share, retweet, comment and repost, we feel loved. That feeling of love releases dopamine in the brain, which is highly addictive. We're then looking for the next hit, the next bit of engagement. I'm sure you have seen this play out on Facebook when your friends post comments that have left you wondering what's wrong with them. Comments like ’I'm feeling very annoyed’. Having no clue what they're annoyed about it causes you to ask the question and giving them some desired attention (love). Whether you think it's appropriate or not, this is current reality with social networks.

We're all looking for attention (love).

As we become more used to all the social media noise that's going on across social networks, we actually start tuning-out and developing what I call ’Social-Deafness'. It's just an abbreviation I’ve coined for describing how you are starting to ignore social media (network) noise. Even those cries for help are starting to be ignored, as we intuitively know that folks are in fact seeking attention. We all know the saying:

‘The girl (or boy) who cried WOLF’.

By the way it's not their fault, they are just copying what others are doing in their networks, noticing the attention others are getting and hoping for the same. Plus of course the networks keep emailing us telling us that we're missing out and really should be going back to our networks. Just try for 5 days to avoid one of your favourite networks and they will be in touch with you for sure.

They play on our instinct and a condition called FOMO = ‘Fear of missing out’.

When this ’Social-Deafness’ spreads across global social networks, it makes the job of marketing to us so much tougher for big brands and even Micro Enterprises. It’s much harder to get noticed and develop sustainable engagement.

This is why more and more folks are spending more and even more time publishing content to these networks hoping that something will stick and develop some sort of engagement at ’scale’ (a fashionable and trendy term used by LinkedIn management a lot!).

The only way to develop a sustainable engagement strategy is by bringing people on board one person at a time. The execution of that in reality is more time consuming and not always guaranteed, but the potential results are easier and more predictable.

The challenge is to build trust in your network over a sustained period of time, which will potentially support a level of conditioning in your connections’ brain to believe that they already know you. A feeling of trust that makes them think you've already met and they know so much about you already. This potentially (note there's no guarantee) means that when you contact them by email or even by phone they believe they are communicating with a long standing acquaintance.

This method is actually no different to what advertisers use by repeating their adverts regularly to you. Even if you think you're not paying that much attention to adverts they all go into your brain and over time you brain has been conditioned with a product or service. Ever come home from the supermarket with a product you didn't need it, had never bought previously and then wondered why you bought it?  Now you know what I mean.

Do you believe that you are suffering from ’Social Deafness’?

Have you managed to build trust with your connections on social networks and how did you make that happen?

Would love to know your perspective and your experience.

@stayingaliveuk - ’Share Your Story’


Will Social Selling create a global economic revival?

You will probably get bored of hearing that people do business with people they know, like and trust! Actually I believe a better sequence would be trust, know and like, because by using social channels and especially LinkedIn we have the perfect opportunity to build trust first. I know it doesn’t roll of the tongue as well, but in my humble opinion it has to come first each and every time.

But how can you build that trust

By being active and by being interesting and interested. With 400 million (and counting) professionals on LinkedIn it really has become super easy to find the exact and relevant contact (buyer) for you to get in front of.

And most still get it completely wrong, because most of what I see and experience on social media and especially LinkedIn are promotional posts (adverts) and impersonal invitations to connect. 

Definitely not ’interesting’ and not ’interested’.

If we have a desire to see global economic revival on the planet then you need to start changing your behaviour on social media, especially LinkedIn and take a few minutes out of your busy day to think through and formulate a detailed strategy.

Here are just 3 quick things you can adopt to move in the right direction and set the right intention.

  1. Decide specifically and in incredible detail your ideal buyer (client). Identify the industry sector, the location, their seniority, their age, personal ambitions (assumed), interests, skills, sports team and anything else that will assist you to narrow down a shortlist of individuals. You have to become laser targeted. Being general is so from the previous century.
  2. Develop search and alert criteria on google, twitter and LinkedIn to explore and potentially uncover the individuals that match up with your ’ideal buyer’ profile. Keep looking daily, weekly, monthly until you become totally absorbed with who that person is, so much so that you can understand and predict their behaviour. LinkedIn is totally the best network to do much of this on, especially now with their Sales Navigator tool. It has never been a better time right now to access data for your research.
  3. Develop and curate appropriate and great content that will be super interesting to your ‘ideal buyer’. Over time you will develop a reputation for sharing great and ‘interesting’ content and your network will start to realise and appreciate that you are the person they are interested in learning from.

In addition LinkedIn have just released the ’Social Selling Index’ for every English speaking LinkedIn member. Have a look at my index below. You can see that this is a great measurement tool to help you and your teams drive forward and develop ’trust’ on LinkedIn. A better title would probably be the ’trust’ index.

Go ahead and grab your index via

I have also shared below details of how the index is calculated, which confirms that by being active and developing the right strategy you will develop more trust. Trust leads to interest, interest leads to a conversation, a conversation leads to a meeting and a meeting leads to business.

"Taken from LinkedIn's Sales Navigator support section as at August 2015"

"Taken from LinkedIn's Sales Navigator support section as at August 2015"

Just imagine if LinkedIn professionals focussed on getting their index higher they automatically will be seen more, develop more trusting relationships on LinkedIn, gain greater exposure and develop more opportunities.

Now just think for a moment, if just 1% of the 400 million LinkedIn members adopted a great professional approach for developing their network, do you think this would make a difference to the economic prosperity of individuals around the world?

By you and I changing the way we behave on social channels, especially on LinkedIn, I believe we would collectively have a major impact on the global economy. Not just by developing better and closer relationships with our networks but also by growing our enterprises, whether we are micro, small, medium or a large enterprise. 

Now it's your turn.  Please share below what your views are on Social Selling, Trust and the Global Economy. I'd love to hear your stories.

In Social Selling, Building Trust Starts before You Connect

Learn how thorough research and honest communication can build trust with buyers, with these social selling tips from Staying Alive UK’s Michael de Groot.


This blogpost was first published by LinkedIn Sales Solutions on the 13th August 2015 and is part of a blogpost series to promote the eBook '33 Social Selling Success Tips', which was curated and published by Michael de Groot (that's me!) in 2014 and re-purposed by LinkedIn.

The first person who said “patience is a virtue” probably wasn’t in sales. For salespeople, patience can be costly. Waiting to respond to a trigger event or failing to follow up to a prospect’s question can cost the sale. There’s an understandable desire for hustle, whether you’re a sales leader or a sales manager.

But we must be careful that a lack of patience doesn’t make us take shortcuts that lose potential buyers. One part of the sales process you should never rush is the research phase before you reach out to a prospect for the first time. Thorough research arms you with the information you need to make a connection request that builds trust.

People buy from people they know, like, and trust. Before they get to know you and come to like you, buyers will be evaluating whether they can trust you. Here are two steps you can take to build trust before you connect.

1.  Research

Do your research first on the individual and the company. Follow the company on LinkedIn and research any articles where your potential buyer could be mentioned or featured. Check industry news sites for mentions and of course LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator could do the heavy lifting for you in terms by finding relevant company news.

There are two very useful ways that you can keep track of your buyers without making it obvious to them. In Twitter, you can create a private list and add Twitter handles to your buyer list. You will be able to see what buyers are tweeting about to give you an insight to their interests and industry specific articles or opinions. In LinkedIn, you can save someone to your contacts without making a connection request. When you save them, add a tag that will let you filter your contacts for each account. This allows you to do more research on them and find commonalities in their profile, their tweets, or their shares.


2.  Be Direct

Once you have done your research and built a relevant, compelling case for making contact, then you can send a connection request.

For the best chance of a response, show your trustworthiness by being upfront about why you’re asking to connect. Let the prospect know what led you to reach out to them, and what you would like them to do next.

With a LinkedIn connection request, you will know 100% for sure whether or not your request is accepted. Your prospect will receive reminders from your invitation at least 3 times to either accept your connection request or click ignore. I would leave the request open for 3 weeks to see if they accept. If not, remove them from your connections database as a lost potential and focus your energy elsewhere.

In the fast-paced sales environment, it’s important to remind ourselves to slow down when we need to. Take the time to build trust with a prospect before you connect, and that time investment may pay off in a better sales relationship.

For more actionable social selling insights from experts in the profession, download 33 Social Selling Tips by Social Selling Thought Leaders.

Editor’s Note: In this series, we feature quick and tactical social selling tips from thought leaders in the profession. This installment features trust-building advice from social selling tips Michael de Groot, Social Selling Director for Staying Alive (UK) Ltd who collaborated with other social selling trainers and originally produced the social selling tips eBook.