Even Al Roker Gets Overwhelmed By LinkedIn

Posted by in Consulting, strategy

It’s true. Even Al Roker, the weatherman for NBC’s TODAY show, gets overwhelmed by LinkedIn.

Actually, on Dec 11, 2013, and during the very chatty 3rd hour of TODAY, a segment aired about the most overused words on LinkedIn. And in it, he shared that he finds LinkedIn “annoying” and “overused.” [VIDEO]

To be exact, first, he said he found the unsolicited invites from people he knew annoying and that they should just call him. And then, after Natalie (Morales) was finally able to read the list of the words in question, he piped in again saying he had another word to describe LinkedIn and it was, “really annoying.”

Being the super fan/user of LinkedIn that I am, I couldn’t believe it! Did he really not know that he could change his Settings to control the Communications within and from LinkedIn?  I sent out a tweet soon after hearing his negative critique of the world’s most popular business networking platform. Truth is, I was a bit stunned by the intensity of his disdain for LinkedIn in general and that he’d somewhat trash a public company so, um, publicly.

To my surprise, he (or one of his minions) replied to my tweet a few days later on Fri, Dec 13th, and then I replied to his tweet with a marked-up screen grab showing how he could change his settings (below, for convenience):

SandyJK schools Al Roker on his LinkedIn Settings

Click to view this screen grab larger

LinkedIn Settings to control invites

Click to enlarge

I also found some interesting tweets about it from Dec 12th:

A few tweets about Al Roker's LinkedIn blast

What do you think? Did he overdo it or is he just a n00b and without a clear understanding of how he can manage his presence on the platform? Do you think I should offer to appear on the show and give him a LinkedIn Hacks session? (I’m all in!)

Please copy, paste and tweet this if you think I should pitch them:

@TODAYshow you need to invite “LinkedIn Ninja” @sandyjk on to do a #LinkedIn Hacks session w/ @alroker She can definitely help him!

Or, just click the text below and a tweet (that you can still edit) will be generated for you!

Tweet: @TODAYshow you need to invite “LinkedIn Ninja” @sandyjk on to do a #LinkedIn Hacks session w/ @alroker She can definitely help him!

Please let me know if you have any questions about these Settings or want to take advantage of my Dec ’13 promotion to save $50 on a 2 hr personalized LinkedIn learning session with yours truly. We can focus on your profile, Settings, Company Page or even Groups, whatever you’d like.

Here’s the link to secure the special pricing today!

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Time for Your Leave Behind List for 2013

Posted by in strategy

It’s officially time to start making a list of the things you’d like to leave behind in 2013!

As I shared a few years ago, my husband and I adopted a very helpful year-end tradition that has proven to be both effective and fun.

For us, and other folks that aren’t fans of a new years resolution list, making a list of the things we’d like to leave behind from 2013 allows us to create space for the things we really want to have in our lives in the New Year.

We usually start our lists over the Thanksgiving Day weekend and then add to them up until New Year’s Eve. We’re a little late getting our lists started this year, but there’s still plenty of time!

Burn your leave behind list in a bonfire this year!One note to the newbies, be sure you can print your leave behind list, and then late on Dec 31st, say a little “goodbye” to your entire list and do something dramatic with it like burn it in your fireplace, flush it down the toilet, tear it up and bury it in the sand at the beach or in the dirt in the woods or somewhere other than your backyard (it’ll still be “around” if you do that).

And in case you need an example, I’ve decided to share some things from mine below.

Some of my “left behinds” from prior lists:

Feeling obligated to do things that I just don’t feel 100% good or positive about

Driving instead of riding my bike to do local errands

Vampires (“…people that feed on negativity, on shooting down ideas and most of all, on extinguishing your desire to make things better.” For more on this see Seth Godin’s recent post.)

Buying things that we can easily just borrow from others

My sweet tooth

Hit and runs (read more about this in my book)

Hope these give you a sense of some things that might be worth leaving behind and you consider giving a list like this a try for 2013. :-)

Wishing you a very happy 2014!Enjoy the holidays and here’s to a very HAPPY 2014!

P.S. I couldn’t come up with a decent rhyme for this year, but if you can, please feel free to share it in Comments.

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3 Simple Steps to Get Started With a Company Page on LinkedIn

Posted by in Consulting, networking, strategy

Company pages on LinkedIn aren’t just for companies like Cisco, Chase or Facebook. And if you haven’t added a company page for your business on LinkedIn you’re missing out.

When you have a Company Page set up on LinkedIn you can not only share news about and promote your business, you can create a way for those not quite ready to buy your product or service to stay informed without having to commit in any way whatsoever. Followers of your page don’t need to provide their email or “connect” formally. (And, yes, I know many of us want email addresses, but smart people know better than to fall for most email collection tactics).

There are 3 basic steps to get started:

  1. Create a company profile. Tell your company’s story and give customers, prospects, and job seekers a place to learn about your business, your employees, and your brand.
  2. Add a Products & Services tab. Catch the eye of prospective customers by featuring products, services, or anything else that would be relevant to your target audience.
  3. Spotlight customer recommendations. Invite customers to recommend your products or services. Recommendations provide an authentic endorsement, making it easy for prospective customers to feel confident about doing business with you.

Here’s video that covers the basics. Once your page is up you can start developing a “follower” community and begin building valuable relationships that just might translate into new clients if you keep your company page fresh and manage it effectively.

Keeping your page fresh can easily be done by making frequent Status Updates, so here’s a brief video that shows how to utilize Status Updates on your Company Page to share info and increase your visibility with members of your Follower network.

Bella Domain Media's LinkedIn Company Page

Click to enlarge

Click here to check out my Company Page for an example and please let me know if you have any questions or want to take advantage of my Dec ’13 promotion to save $50 on a 2 hr personalized LinkedIn learning session with yours truly. We can focus on your profile, Company Page or even Groups, whatever you’d like.

Here’s the link to secure the special pricing a personalized Mastering LinkedIn session today!

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LinkedIn Tip: A Contacts Work-around

Posted by in networking, strategy

LinkedIn is getting a lot of flak for the recent changes to Contacts, and seeing that there is always some hidden reason for the changes they make, I’m sure the changes are here to stay. Besides, for most of us, it’s still a free tool (since we haven’t upgraded), so you get what you pay for. ;)

And since seeing an alphabetic list of my contacts was still be a must for me, I did some digging and figured out that you can get around not being able to do so by going into Messages and acting as if you’re going to compose a message, but then click on the small “in” logo on the right (for the To: box) and you’ll still be able to see the list alphabetically and even sort by Geography or Industry.

Alphabetic listing of Contacts on LinkedIn


Hope this “hack” proves helpful to you, and if you’d like to learn more of my LinkedIn Hacks, or how to seriously leverage LinkedIn to achieve your goals, just click here.  (Special October ’13 offer for my Leveraging LinkedIn for Business or Career session: $50 off through Oct 31st, sessions through 12/31!)

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3 Things You Should Do On LinkedIn Sooner Rather Than Later

Posted by in Career, Consulting, strategy

After receiving such a positive response to my recent post covering the 10 things I do on LinkedIn® each and every week, I knew it was time to share a few more of what I refer to as basic “LinkedIn Hacks,” so here goes.

Have you spent anytime poking around your Settings on LinkedIn? Well, if you haven’t you should. There are quite a few things there that if you knew exactly what they meant, you would be toggling off a check box or two faster than can read this post.

One of the two most important things I do when I first start a one-on-one session with a new client is to go into Settings/Profile/Privacy Controls and turn off the “Turn on/off your activity updates” option. Why, you ask? If you’re going to go into your LinkedIn profile to make a whole bunch of edits, in most cases, you’ll want to turn off those updates so your network isn’t getting a few too many bits of unnecessary info about you in their LinkedIn stream. Here’s what it looks like:

Look for the Activity Broadcasts box in Settings

And I always recommend that my clients turn this back on just before they make their final major edit so that their polished new profile gets as many eyeballs as possible once it’s completed. Here’s what it looks like:

Remove the People Also Viewed box to keep people on your page

Now, take a look at the right-hand side of the profile above and look for the People Also Viewed box in the bottom corner. What you have to wonder is why would this person want to advertise the LinkedIn profiles of people who might be after the same job as she is or are competing for the same type of contract work? You can easily remove this box via Settings/Profile/Privacy Controls as well and I highly recommend doing it sooner rather than later.

It’s bad enough we appear to be stuck with the People Similar To box in the upper-right, but at least you can get rid of the People Also Viewed box and keep the distractions to a minimum when someone is checking out your profile page. LinkedIn is all about “being found” and why lose a visitor right after they find you?

Personally, I think LinkedIn should pay us to allow that box to appear on that page. However, what will likely happen down the road is that they’ll charge us for keeping the basic version without these type of “ads,” which is essentially what that box is and for your competitors no less.

And, lastly, if your Inbox keeps getting filled with unwanted InMails for things you don’t want or need, just wander over to Settings again, but this time look for Communications. There you’ll find, Turn on/off partner InMail. You can also turn off these solicitations/distractions by unchecking the boxes. See below:

InMails for partners of LinkedIn - find in Settings/Communications


Hope these “hacks” prove helpful to you, and if you’d like to learn more of my LinkedIn Hacks, or how to seriously leverage LinkedIn to achieve your goals, just click here.

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5 Questions With: Branding Guru, Maria Ross of Red Slice

Posted by in Consulting, networking, strategy

BDM's 5Qs

Welcome to “5 Questions With,” a new series from Bella Domain Media. This interview style post will be published every other month and I’m so excited to bring you the very first interview!

During my travels and throughout my career, I’ve been lucky enough to meet some of the smartest, talented and inspiring people, and Maria Ross of Red Slice, is one of my favorites. I met her about 3 years ago on the way to a networking lunch when we started chatting each other up in the elevator. We became biz collaborators and friends and I hope you enjoy this fun and candid interview with her. She has a great brand story herself and I’m certain you’ll even pick up a few tips about defining your own brand promise.

Maria's Branding Basics book

And please don’t forget to enter the raffle at the end of this post to win a copy of Maria’s first book, “Branding Basics for Small Business: How to Create an Irresistible Brand on Any Budget.”

1.                   If there were “one thing” that most people don’t get about branding, what would that one thing be?

Most people fail to see that branding is much more than just a logo. Your brand is the impression you want your business to have, the essence or core of what you’re all about. What do you want people to think or associate with you when they see your name or logo? Saks Fifth Avenue and Walmart have very different brands, focused on different strengths targeted to different audiences. If you think of it more like “reputation” you’ll be much closer to understanding what brand truly encompasses.

2.                   What does someone need to understand to do branding well?

They need to understand that brand is communicated in more ways than just visually. Brand is conveyed in three important ways: visually, verbally and experientially. People always tend to think of the logo or colors or packaging, which is just the visual component. You also have opportunities to communicate your brand verbally, through your messaging, the tone of your copy or even your elevator pitch. And then, where the rubber hits the road, experientially. Now that you’ve promised me a certain brand visually and verbally, do you deliver? What is actually like to do business with you and does it align to what I’ve been promised?

3.                   Of all the information you shared, what is most important?

Brand is more than just your logo. It’s not just how you look, but what you say and what it’s like to do business with you.

4.            Was there ever a moment when you had an “aha!” around branding your own business and suddenly it all made sense? If so, will you share this with us?

Sure…I initially had trouble combining all my passions under one brand umbrella: marketing expert, writer, actress. But then I simply did what I do for my clients and found the overarching theme that ties all those interests together, which for me is storytelling. I refocused my brand to be more about storytelling, whether for a client’s business, on the page or on the stage and suddenly, I was able to speak to more aspects and resonate with people in a very unique and differentiated way!

5.            When you picture how all this information fits together, what comes to mind?

As mentioned above, my brand is evolving beyond just business and marketing topics to be one of telling impactful stories. I’m still serving entrepreneurs, rock stars, and change makers  – essentially, people on a mission to act –  but with a slight spin on content and offerings. To me branding IS storytelling, and you can’t be a good brand strategist if you can’t unearth good stories! So beyond just pure business topics, Red Slice is all about “stories, advice & strategies to ignite your brand & delight your mind.”  It’s not just about a business’  brand but what can ignite the soul of the person behind that brand? I strive to create content that educates and motivates these go-getters to craft their own irresistible story in order to reach their goals. Whether that’s launching a new business, writing the epic novel or amplifying a cause, it’s all about helping them believe in and find their own irresistible story!

Thanks so much, Maria!

To win a copy of Maria’s excellent book enter the raffle and then just click to Tweet to receive a few extra entries. Drawing starts Fri, Sept 20, 2013! (Winner will be announced before noon on Fri, Sept 27th.)

Maria Ross of Red Slice

About Maria Ross:
Maria is a consultant, author and speaker who believes cash flow and creativity are not mutually exclusive. As chief brand strategist and creator of Red Slice, she blogs weekly and advises start-ups, solopreneurs and small to midsize growth companies on how to craft irresistible brands. Maria is the author of Branding Basics for Small Business and her humorous and heartfelt memoir Rebooting My Brain. Spark a conversation with Maria @redslice or join her Facebook tribe at

BTW, you can get help with your own brand via Maria’s Brand Bootcamp just by clicking the image below. Check it out — she really knows her stuff!

Red Slice's Indie Brand Bootcamp Program - get it today!

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