Why I Do What I Do

Why I Do What I Do

On returning to Kuala Lumpur earlier this month, to facilitate an HR certification programme, I also ran a short Q&A session for the public on 9 August 2019. It was aimed at helping professionals to secure their dream job* and get noticed professionally using the LinkedIn platform.

Do you want to secure that dream job?
A Question/Answer Session with your host, Rowena Morais on 8 Aug 2019

Helping you build more influence

That session sits alongside some of my other activities including helping executives and businesses with LinkedIn profile makeovers, skype coaching calls and the Skillshare course I recently developed, Build Influence on LinkedIn.

Visibility – almost everyone is on LinkedIn. How much are you losing out on?

The reason I do all of this is because there is great value in LinkedIn.

There are many things that are outside your control but for the things which are, there are specific and measurable activities you can embark on which help you become more visible, achieve more, leverage what you have and much more. These are the things which I can help you with.

Who I support

Primarily, I support those who work in an office or professional environment whether these are entry-level or more senior executive roles. What I understand is that you have ideas within. Some of these are big, powerful ideas with the capacity for monumental impact. Others are smaller ideas which may require less effort but still provide value. You want these ideas to create an impact on the people you choose to share it with.

So why am I focusing on LinkedIn? To say it’s huge is an understatement.

With more than 562 million users, across 200 countries and territories worldwide, the platform is supported in 23 languages.  As a member for 12 years, my knowledge is based on my own experiences, learning the ins and outs of this platform.

It is the directory for business professionals today. The question to ask is not “Why should I consider using LinkedIn?” but rather “How am I losing out by not being on LinkedIn?”

Are these your challenges?

You want to gain more influence at the workplace and in the professional community you operate within. You want to be heard and have your thoughts valued. Even as you move from one job to another, you are primarily interested in putting forth your best effort. While everyone understands the formal nature of most leadership, the informal kind – becoming more influential – is what you most need help with.

Why would you care about this?

You’ll be able to delegate tasks to your team more effectively. You’ll make further inroads into your organisation’s chain of command not just downward but also upward and across. Becoming more influential is ultimately about getting things done without the need to wield authority. You’ll be motivating others on tough or risky projects.  You’ll be heard at strategic meetings. 

The thing is that, often, people struggle with building influence because of its more informal nature and the fact that it is relationship-based. Building influence also takes time –  there is no single guaranteed method to achieve this.

That said, I have explored a number of ways to build more influence and seen its impact – this is what I share with those who are keen to build more influence.

Leverage your efforts

You do not want to rely on outreach alone. You want to be open to being headhunted.  Consider developing a LinkedIn profile not just for the sake of having one but as the first step of many.

The idea is to move beyond simply having a presence towards actively learning about the ins and outs of the platform. Use it effectively to connect to other relevant people, to share what you know and have learned, to add value where you can, to look for jobs and more.

What are you trying to do by creating an effective LinkedIn profile? Three things:

  • you want to be noticed for the right reasons by potential employers, business partners, clients and prospects in your industry;
  • you want to leverage this platform to tell people who you are, what you specialise in and how serious you are about your work; and
  • you want to establish credibility through your credentials, your personal branding, the network you have built up and the content you publish.

Three things you can start with today

Let’s assume that you’re open to building more influence and that your primary concern now is how to start. Here are three ways in which you can begin your efforts on LinkedIn.

Step 1 – start by developing a clear concise digital profile. If you’ve already got a profile, ensure that all of the most important elements that need to be showcased are completed.

These include:

  • a background image;
  • a professional headshot ;
  • a compelling headline;
  • a succinct yet clear summary;
  • fleshed-out experience details emphasising accomplishments rather than responsibilities;
  • education;
  • all relevant accomplishments.

In accomplishments, you can showcase publications you have written for, patents developed, courses attended, projects you’re a part of, awards and honours received and more.

This is an intense and involved activity when you begin. However, once completed, it’s something you only periodically review and refresh when there are changes.

Step 2 –  build a digital network around yourself. This needs to be an ongoing activity. Your greatest challenge will be deciding who to reach out to, what messaging to craft that will be effective and the timeframe to dedicate to this activity consistently.

You develop and grow a network around you because, in doing so, you give yourself the best chance of success in building more influence. This needs to be a purposeful activity driven by specific goals rather than ad hoc, erratic or inconsistent tasks.  Understanding who you should connect to, who you want to support and then making the outreach take time.

This is important because, from experience, I’ve seen that the quality of interaction within LinkedIn is directly impacted by the quality of connections made. A purpose-built network is far superior because you will surround yourself with people appreciative of your work and who can help amplify your message.

Step three – develop a body of work. You are looking to capture the essence of your efforts and ideas in either a single or multiple repositories. These are tangible representations of your ideas represented in a variety of formats including writing.

Start today and let me know how you go with this. Let me also leave you with three powerful questions as a guide to next steps.

In relation to LinkedIn:

  1. What are two things you will stop doing?
  2. What are two things you will keep doing?
  3. What are two things you will start doing?

Love to hear your ideas in the comments.

*more photos from the session are published on my Facebook event page.

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If you need help with writing, getting published or building more influence, let’s talk.

Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels.

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