Wonder how to succeed on LinkedIn? It’s amazing how many people fail to do the basics right.
It’s not that hard, but #LinkedIn success is so important in order for you to find that ideal job, become a gig worker, pivot a career, be a thought leader, start a business or, whatever.
Make no mistake, people are going to size you up based on your #LinkedInProfile and your activity (or lack thereof). It’s also critical for successful #networking. To help you crush it on LinkedIn is Dr. Natial Wiechowski who, along with her clients, consistently succeed on LinkedIn.
Besides being a LinkedIn trainer and instructor, Natalia is a globally renowned personal branding coach (having proven it by her own unparalleled success in practicing what she preaches) best-selling author…speaker…and edutainer.
Connect with Natalia at https://thinknatalia.com/
Follow her on LinkedIn at: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nataliawiechowski/
Receive your FREE New Way Forward Get Starting Guide: https://NewWayFWD.com/
#NewWayForward will help you pivot, transition, transform and launch yourself to a life that is more fulfilling and right for you.
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Podcast Transcript: How to Succeed on LinkedIn
Dr. Natalia Wiechowski: Linkedin is like a 24/7 online networking party by putting out the work and investing the energy and the love and the creativity into designing a beautiful personal brand that is adequately reflected online on your LinkedIn profile. You are opening doors to thousands of career and business opportunities. So the human factor is incredibly important if you use content to show that you’re professional and skilled, but you also let your human factor shine through. You want a lawyer in my dear,
Paul Long: Helping you find your New Way Forward to the best years of your life. This is a new way forward podcast with your host, Paul Long.
Paul Long: You know, just think about 20 30 years ago saying, Hey, I got a way for you to easily connect with millions of people and track down and find or connect with the four or five people who are critical to your success, or that one person who’s going to hire you, you’d say, Sign me up. Well, what I just described is LinkedIn. And yet it’s stunning how few people either fully utilize it or utilize it properly in order to achieve their goals, such as finding a job or being self-employed, successfully gig worker or to start a business, be an entrepreneur or start a movement, or be a thought leader. It’s all there. You just got to use it right and how to use it right. The fundamentals that so many people miss. Well, I have a solution for you, and it comes in the form of this interview. And Dr. Natalia Rochinski. Besides being a LinkedIn trainer and instructor, Natalia is globally renowned personal branding coach. And by the way, she’s been successful. By practicing what she preaches and some of what she preaches, she’s going to be sharing with you in this interview. She’s also a best selling author, speaker and entertainer. So get out a pen and paper or your device. In other words, take notes because what Natalia is going to walk you through is really fundamental and a huge success factor in terms of you achieving your new way forward. So from a
Paul Long: Very fundamental standpoint. How do I need to look at LinkedIn and what I need to do with it in the big picture and then we’ll dive into the details.
Dr. Natalia Wiechowski: Hmm. A friend of mine, Mikayla Alexis, she once said that LinkedIn is like a 24 seven online networking party or networking event, and it takes place seven days a week, literally almost anywhere on this planet. There are a few countries that block the access, so you don’t have access to it, but it literally is a a virtual networking event. The biggest place where people meet online if they want to talk about career, about finding staff or talent, looking for a job, generating leads, connecting with potential friends, mentors, clients, creating content, building a brand. So LinkedIn is literally the go to platform for grown ups or for people who are serious about growing in their career, connecting with like minded people and making a difference. So literally the easiest way to start is to sign up. It’s free of cost. You can set up your account literally within three and a half minutes and then start playing with it. So I would then start with a profile, but we’ll talk about the strategy in a few seconds.
Paul Long: Yeah, but that is a really good point. I mean, when you think about. Twenty five, thirty years ago, nothing like this existed. How would you be able to connect with so many people and. Let’s start with the fact that it’s it’s critical to portray yourself in what you’ve done and what kind of value you offer, it’s not just putting your resume on there. There’s some really critical things so that people know about your core, but it also gives you the ability for people to kind of get a sense of who you are and that those people, by the way, could be your future employer. If you’re looking for a job or if you’ve gotten into gig working and you want to be a freelancer or contractor, people are going to check you out on LinkedIn. So let’s talk with the fundamentals, the basics, your home page, your picture, your things like that. Go.
Dr. Natalia Wiechowski: So let’s start a few steps before that, people nowadays, I mean, people were always curious, but what would they do nowadays? They use the search engine to find more information about when you have a LinkedIn profile and it’s public, then the likely is that I’m going to find your LinkedIn profile on the first search engine results page and also within the first three entries is ridiculously high, which means you get a lot of free publicity or a lot of free visibility. And guess what? There are companies out there who pay ten thousands of dollars, hundreds, thousands of dollars to land on the first search engine results page. Ok, fine. Now people ended up on your LinkedIn profile. What do you do with it? A lot of individuals, as you said, they think that LinkedIn is kind of like an online CV. Guess what? It’s not. It is more than that for me. If you’re let’s say, if you’re home in the tech field or on digital marketing, see it as a web page or a second landing page or or or a sales letter, right? If you say, man, don’t understand your, I’ll tell you what I mean. Ok, let’s break it down for me. Your LinkedIn profile is nothing else than a shop window.
Dr. Natalia Wiechowski: So imagine you are where I grew up. When we didn’t have malls like malls, they exist now. But then we have this really cute roads, let’s say, in an old town and we had we have trees and then shop up the shop to shop or maybe cafe after restaurant or whatever. So you walking down this beautiful road with your friends and you’re talking and talk about whatever what’s new and you’re like, Oh, whoa, whoa, whoa. Wait, what happened? And you, you look back and you see this beautifully designed shop window and you look back to your friend and you look at the window and look at your friends and you say, Can we just go in there just for a second because they’re new? And I just to please. So you walk into that store and you’re amazed by what you see the way, how it looks like the user experience. Maybe you can touch things. You can taste things. Maybe the maybe the brochures, maybe they’re posters. Maybe there’s great music. Maybe there’s great smell. So this is the impression that I want you to create with your LinkedIn profile. I want you to be welcoming. I want it to be a source for others. I want people to get to know you like you and trust you.
Dr. Natalia Wiechowski: I want to read about you. I want to read about your story. I want to read about your professional stuff. I want to read about the quirks that you have. I want to build a relationship with you. If you can fascinate people with just your profile, if they spend more than 30 seconds, if you can hook them with the first impression and then they spend time there, they read an article that they watch a video and maybe which presentation that you’ve uploaded, you’ve won the game. They will take the URL off your post and maybe share it with somebody or maybe write a message, maybe connect with you. That person could be your future employer. That person could just send you a message saying, I just love what you do. You’re so cool. At the moment. We don’t have a vacancy, but I made sure I reach out to you and when we hire you next time. So just just in quotation marks by putting out the work and investing the energy and the love and the creativity into designing a beautiful personal brand that is adequately reflected online on your LinkedIn profile, you are opening doors to thousands of career and business opportunities,
Paul Long: And like so many things, there’s the right way to do it and there’s a wrong way to do it. And by the way, I’ll give the characterization. You know, whether you’re needing to do this and do your personal branding, which is again just letting people know that you exist in what you are. And if you haven’t already seen it, I invite you to our other interview, which goes into personal branding. That whether you’re looking for a job, whether you’re looking for sales, whether you want to be a gig worker or an entrepreneur, whatever you need to connect with people and the very first thing to your point is just that they’re going to look on LinkedIn. In the case of a job or so, many other things to. I’ve got I’ve got a stack this high of other people who are looking for that job. What’s going to make you stand out from those people and that’s doing the LinkedIn thing right and also showing who you are. So it starts with, for instance, even and this is just the way it is. This is the way the humans are. That first impression and that first impression is your picture.
Dr. Natalia Wiechowski: Photo Yeah, absolutely. I mean, nowadays, with all my respect, yes, it would be fantastic if you hired a professional photographer. But if you don’t have the money or if you don’t want to do it for whatever reason, well, the majority of us have smartphones nowadays. You know, these mobile phones, they could take pictures and with the right light, which can be natural sunlight. You ask a friend to literally take the phone and hit the the photo button 30 times. I can promise you there will be one picture that looks nice, that looks representative because I want to see a picture that shows you in a professional yet approachable human way. Fantastic. So we upload this beautiful picture without sunglasses, without caps, without the spouse, without kids, without cats, without alcohol, without cigarettes. I think that’s everything that I’ve seen, which was slightly cuckoo. All right.
Paul Long: So and it’s not it’s not a cropped out from a golf outing when I was with somebody where it’s a crop. It is dedicated high.
Dr. Natalia Wiechowski: Exactly, exactly right, because it’s presentation, I mean, if you buy your latest, whatever it is and your smartphone and your laptop, a new pair of jeans, if you buy anything. How do they present it to you? Do they just squash it or just throw it at you? No, they have designed a time to think about the packaging, to think about the user experience. What is the first impression that you want to have if the first impression is like, Aha! Well, fantastic. It is so much easier to impress than to correct the spoiled or messed up first impression. So let’s get that one right. We have a picture that September one, but then there is the background image and a lot of people, they don’t think about the background image in there, use a picture, hire a graphic designer on Upwork, or ask a neighbor or somebody that you know, I’m sure they’re going to do it for five bucks or 10 bucks. Or what maximum? 20, huh? So what is the industry that you’re working in into? What kind of box or draw can I put you in? Yes, I know you shouldn’t judge people who do it anyway. So if I can’t understand within three seconds what you do professionally, you’ve lost me, you’ve lost my attention.
Dr. Natalia Wiechowski: You just waste three seconds out of my life. I’ll be angry at the next person. But if you are approachable, we can picture if I see your background dimension, I think, Aha. Fantastic that people will. Continue reading. You have the headline what do you do for whom? What is the end result if you want to go one level further? How long does it take if you want to go one level further and we get the elevator pitch to the next level? What is your unique value proposition? Have a look at what other people do out there who are really good on LinkedIn? Well, maybe thought leaders in your industry and take it from there. I mean, then you make sure that you also mention the right city and country that you’re in because you I mean, imagine you just moved from L.A. to Chicago and you didn’t upload that on LinkedIn. That is an issue because you might be losing out on a lot of potential job opportunities because you’re simply located in the wrong direction, in the wrong city, on your profile. And there are so many small other aspects. But if we could get that one right, it will already make a huge difference.
Paul Long: Well, and then another thing the next step, too, is conveying who you are professionally from both a literal angle. I worked here with you, worked here. But well, let me put it to you this way. It’s not just a matter of copying and pasting your CV or résumé on there, right? You have to go farther than that. What is that farther?
Dr. Natalia Wiechowski: For me, I want to hear about your story. Do you have pictures of you presenting something? Do you have work samples? I mean, LinkedIn, the profile has so many different things that you can fill out. You can talk about your volunteer work, you can talk about your interests, you talk about projects, about publications, you can talk about further education, about education. You can use the info section to write even more about yourself. There is the there’s so there’s so many different ways how you can creatively express yourself. So if I were you, I would literally click on every button and see what happens when, when you when you click on it and the more, let’s say, accurate your LinkedIn profiles. And LinkedIn is pretty simple in the sense that there’s a bar and it says you start here and when you hear you have an all star profile. So whenever you fill out something LinkedIn says, you know, give me more. You’re doing great. By the way, you could also tell that out. Have you thought about that? So LinkedIn also gamified the whole process to make it easier for you? And guess what? There are so many free tutorials on LinkedIn Learning on YouTube about how to set up a LinkedIn profile. This information is out there for free, so please find a person that you resonate with and then turn it into a mini project. Don’t expect that you are logging into LinkedIn. I have 20 minutes now. I’m going to have a grandiose profile. No, you say two weeks. Three weeks, month one. Fantastic. But then you invest 10 or 15 minutes every day. And when you do that over a period of two or three four weeks, then eventually you’re going to have this incredible profile that is like a web page. Then step number two, we can go out and expand our network. Then in step three, we can go out there and create content and, well, everything else. This is done when the magic happens.
Paul Long: Yeah, yeah. And it’s a point of reinforcement. I’ll say to whomever you’re looking to connect with a potential employer or customer, or somebody to help you with your enterprise or or whatever the case is, keep your job, elevate your job, whatever. Those people are going to look at you on LinkedIn and the investment in the time and the effort, which isn’t that hard, and maybe you even do it and but but you can go online, you can go to Natalia’s site, you can learn so much from so many people on how to dial it in. And like when I said, you got that stack of competitors, how do you make the differentiator? Well, if you crush it and if you’re older and a lot of hiring managers say that the number one problem they have with hiring older people, it’s not just it’s that they’re not up to date. And as David Cooley, who is a career specialist with UCLA Anderson School of Management, says, you know, you also have to connect the dots and kind of prove to people, you know what your value to them is, not just, you know, what you’ve done, and that kind of leads into the second thing. So which is posting and using your posting abilities, whether it’s sharing an article or putting an idea out there, doing a video or whatever the heck it is. But being active on LinkedIn, not just here’s my site, I’m putting it in the closet. So let’s talk about that just just in and in a realistic get me started way, if you will.
Dr. Natalia Wiechowski: Mm hmm. So a lot of people. That I work with recently are around, let’s say, the early 50s, mid 50s, and I realized that they’re ashamed because they don’t know what a hashtag is or they they don’t understand the enzyme. And I’m like, That’s so adorable, but it’s so cute. Why don’t we talk about it? Because I mean, there are a lot of things that I also don’t know that, you know, and instead of making it this, this huge taboo. Oh my god, I’m not capable of it. I’m not whatever. No, it’s just another skill that you can learn. So. Ok, now you learned what a hashtag is. Fantastic. Now let’s teach you how to publish a post so everything can be learned. So don’t feel any kind of shame or overwhelm if this is something that you didn’t grow up with because it is another era. That’s OK. And again, we’re all good at something, and we’re all not so great at other things. Fantastic. So now, as we’ve allowed ourselves to suck and to learn what’s the easiest way, the easiest way is to first comment on the posts of other people. So if there’s somebody that you really like and who creates nice comment, then leave a like or a heart or a clap clap or whatever and mention one or two three to three sentences. Either you answer the question or you share whatever you want to share. So this way you are going to realize how nice this is, how it works. You’re learning, you’re studying the content of other people, then you could instead, number two, repost the content or share already existing content.
Dr. Natalia Wiechowski: You read this beautiful article somewhere that you highly resonate with, so you take the link and you go into the publish feature and you paste that link and then you share two or three sentences. Why is that worth sharing or or why did I touch your heart? Or do you agree or you disagree? Or maybe what the project that you worked on in the past? And then in step number three, you can, at a certain stage, also create your own content. And Gary Vaynerchuk has this beautiful way of differentiating between document versus create. So if creating a symbol are huge, whatever for you, you can start with document. What does that mean? You go through life looking at things that you think are worth sharing and just share again two or three sentences. So today I was there. This is what I’ve learned. We have this call right now. Hey, let’s take a picture together. So you take people on a journey of your life. You document your life and your journey. Instead of having the expectation that you write this one thousand word article. Did you create this ten minutes perfectly produced VIDEO No step by step baby steps. Don’t start here. Start here. And whenever you realize it, say, OK, fine. Next step, let’s say fine. Next step. Apparently, the perfect rate to get out of your comfort zone is four percent. So start here. Not here.
Paul Long: That’s a great insight, and, you know, a couple of things that I’ve looked learned from you and it worked really well for me is in the first place being consistent about that, you know that I target X number of posts a week. I use Evernote, I love Evernote. You know, it was kind of a list keeping an article. And when I see an article that I really like, I’m going to share this someday. I click on my Evernote thing and I put it in a folder called to share. And so on that Wednesday when I want to post something at 11 o’clock in the morning Eastern Time. Oh yeah, and this is what struck me about it. You’re right. It’s easy. You’re sharing an opinion about something. The other beauty of it is, is that it keeps you up to date in your sector. The second thing I want to validate with you and you taught me this, and I’ve heard it from others too, but I first heard it from you. What’s that people you admire or want to be connected with? Like, you know, if you’re thinking, Oh, I’d really like to work at that company, for instance, if you start following and you can find top people, maybe the person you actually want to work for and you start following them and then you start commenting on thoughtfully commenting more than, Oh, that’s great, you know, but maybe just a little bit more. I really like your point about blah blah blah. You’re connecting with them without selling them, without saying, can you hire me and then go like this? And by the way, there are people who I want to get connected with or I want to do interviews and things of that sort. And.
Dr. Natalia Wiechowski: It works, it works. It works. Yes.
Paul Long: And so and so. Yeah. Tell me a little bit more about. You know, those thoughtful comments, because sometimes people will just, you know, like you want to share something and say, Oh, I really thought this was cool. You know, it’s like personal branding. It’s the authentic you. What about people who are maybe a little bit reluctant to share their thoughts and opinions on something? How do you overcome that?
Dr. Natalia Wiechowski: Mm-hmm. Maybe start with topics or content that is safe, so maybe it’s not religion, politics, gender, diet, climate change, all of these things are very, very big. So why don’t we start with stuff that is easy or that is simple? People love, absolutely love. Behind the scenes. So if there is anything that I, as an external person wouldn’t see, take a picture of that. So I got reminded of a beautiful post of a gentleman. When I worked on a project with Coca-Cola, I worked on the employer and branding flower branding, our employee advocacy program, Coca-Cola, with their top C-level management. And there was this gentleman who was traveling and ate in this hotel room. I think there wasn’t a proper table or the table was too short. So he found an ironing board and he could adjust the ironing board and it would put it very high and put his laptop that we have this board meeting and was presenting and and everybody thought, Yeah, I was so impressive. That’s great, right? And then because he’s an awesome guy. He just took a picture behind the scenes of his laptop on this ironing board in the hotel and said, Well, I just had a super fantastic fancy board meeting and everybody was so impressed.
Dr. Natalia Wiechowski: And this is how it looked like. And people were like, Oh my goodness, and they could connect to it because almost everybody has been in in such a situation. So that is a simple start. Or when you’re reading a book and you love the book, just take a picture of yourself with a book or take a picture of the book with a nice backdrop. Somewhere when you’re maybe sitting in a park, maybe you’re you’re sitting by the river, maybe you’re you’re just in this beautiful café and you have this book and you have your cappuccino or your cup of tea. You just take a picture of that. Say that you’re reading this book and you love it. Because or your biggest insight from this book is what book are you reading at the moment? These posts are always, always, always loved, and it’s it’s it’s so sad. So just do it well.
Paul Long: And by the way, that that begs the other question, too of like, we’ve been talking specifically about LinkedIn, but I’m sure a lot of people are wondering, OK, well, should I be on Facebook? Should I be on Twitter? Should I be on Instagram? Should I be on TikTok and things of that sort? What’s your advice as to what social platforms? I mean, all of those take a lot of time. And I know in my world, especially with video the format you got 16 nine, you got nine, 16, you got one. You got do five versions. How do you pick what platforms? You should be going for.
Dr. Natalia Wiechowski: So I think again, it was Tony Robbins who said, you should know what I will butcher it, but the core idea was stop shooting on yourself. There is no shirt. There’s only you’re allowed to and you can understand what your goal is. So in the context of our interview, what I understood is the goal is to find a new job or to find a new gig or to find your clients as a freelancer. Nice. So once we know that fantastic, where do these people spend their time? Who is your target audience? We need to understand that. And the majority of cases, I assume that most probably are not going to be hired by a 16 year old or by 15 year old. Yes, there are incredible entrepreneurs out there and companies that are led by 15 and 16 year olds. And if this is your dream employer, well, then maybe spend time on a platform like Instagram or TikTok. Fantastic. And for the majority of people, that will not be true, and they maybe want to work in a bigger company or in a corporate environment. And again, LinkedIn is the platform out there when it comes to being professional or careers. There’s no other career related platform like LinkedIn out there. So when it comes to job search, with all my respect, forget all of the other platforms just fully focus on LinkedIn instead of being a mediocre everywhere or being everywhere. Just forget about that. Use it privately, or don’t use it at all. Pose and put all of your energy into LinkedIn into optimizing your profile into being active there. And yeah, that will trust me. That is, you’re going to use your energy and time and money wiser by just putting all of your love and attention into that. So spreading yourself, then getting frustrated because nobody expects you to be a social media agency or to be everywhere on social media net, especially not with a target of finding a job. Focus on LinkedIn. Forget the rest and
Paul Long: Take it from there. And by the way, you really raised a good point. It’s not unlike public speaking where the audience is rooting for you. Everybody’s afraid of making a slip up or something, and it’s the same thing in this. You’re doing it, you’re automatically admired for it. And people are looking for more ways to lie to like you and agree with you than not. And you’re going to have people out there who do snarky things. That’s their problem. It has nothing to do with you in your statement. So I mean, that’s a good point. Ok, before we come to your top three keys, the three things you must do and you want to keep in mind to the exclusion of all else. Tell me how people can get in touch with you and also talk about your incredible book that’s up there on the show and how we can get.
Dr. Natalia Wiechowski: So I’ve written a book called Personal Branding with LinkedIn, do you think Natalia method, you can get it on Amazon. My team and I, we’ve put in a lot of time and energy into it. So if you’re new to the idea of personal branding, if you’re new to the idea of LinkedIn, you’re going to love it. If you implement everything in that book, it’s a no brainer you’re going to succeed and stand out. If you also want to learn a little bit more about my story of how I really was there feeling sorry for myself and where I am right now. That might also inspire you a little bit. So that’s number one point one. The second part is connect with me either on LinkedIn because I’m a LinkedIn marketing unicorn. That’s my favorite platform. If you’re not on LinkedIn yet, you can also connect with me on Instagram.
Paul Long: Great. And I’ll have the links down in the show notes before and I testified in the book. I mean, the book you make it easy. You make it easy by the book. The investment is like pennies. It’s like finding it, you know, on the street. It’s it’s it’s it’s that affordable and it really helps. So with that said. If there were three key things that I need to do and keep doing in order to succeed, to achieve what I’m trying to achieve via LinkedIn, what are the three keys? And if you want to go more, that’s fine. What are the three keys I must do?
Dr. Natalia Wiechowski: No. First of all, optimize a LinkedIn profile if you don’t have an optimized, clear, sharp LinkedIn profile that helps people understand who you are and what you do. Everything else is just going to be a waste of time, so please optimize your LinkedIn profile and stick number one in step number two to make sure that you expand your network, connect with people that you already know that you want to know. Colleagues, friends, industry influencers, content creators invite people into your network. Ideally, you send a personalized message how you do that again? Return here. It’s not rocket science, but you’re going to find a template in there. And then step number three, start being active, stop consuming content and turn into a content creator. And that will help you stand out from the grey masses because this is what we’re doing. We are giving our best to show people who we are what we do to prove through our content that we don’t only talk, but we walk the talk that we are there, that we’re good, what we stand for, what we believe in. And guess what? People work with people and organizations or big companies or corporations and our people and we we will always choose people that we like, know and trust and resonate with people who are yes. I mean, it’s a given that you technically skilled and that you have the knowledge. But what is even more important is, can I spend an afternoon with that individual? Can I be on an airplane with that person? Or will I have the feeling of, Oh my god, I just want to shoot myself? They’re so boring. Can you? Can you have a barbecue together? So do. Human factor is incredibly important if you use content to show that you’re professional and skilled, but you also let your human factor shine through. You want a lawyer in my dear?
Paul Long: Oh yes, that is so true. And by the way, that portends to our other interview, which I invite you to see on the way forward with Natalia on the fundamentals of personal branding, which is your message which is conveying Here’s who I exist, and here’s who I honestly and authentically am and a chance to get to know you. And real quickly. Getting a LinkedIn premium, I mean, I need it, I don’t it’s it’s not cheap, but I have high value in it. What you’re what your real quick take on paying for LinkedIn Premium?
Dr. Natalia Wiechowski: Mm hmm. Well, first of all, there are many different versions, if you’re looking for a job, I would recommend that you go for a career premium, which is more affordable than sales navigator or business premium. And if you, for example, a veteran, then I think you get one year of a free subscription to LinkedIn. So that could also be interesting. So have a look at it. I would recommend it because you have more than a handful of features that make the whole search function so much easier
Paul Long: Now, and it allows you to connect with people who typically aren’t just wide open to connections. And that’s how it’s helpful for me because I’m trying to reach influencers and people that story and that that that’s really helpful. Natalia, as always. Absolutely fantastic. Again, I will attest to everything that Natalia says because I’ve used it and I’ve applied it successfully, and she is a living example of it because she did it and she succeeded. So thank you ever so much.
Dr. Natalia Wiechowski: Oh, thank you so much for all it is. It’s always a pleasure to work with you.
Paul Long: If you like this, there’s a lot more on YouTube. Also, there’s even more on new way forward. That’s new way fwt. There you can subscribe. You’ll get a free newsletter regularly, you’ll get special updates and you’ll get a free download to help you step by step. Get going on your new way forward.
How to Succeed on LinkedIn