Why LinkedIn Matters For Your Business and Personal Brand

Hi there!

How you use LinkedIn can increase your ability to connect with others on a more personal level. Knowing how to take advantage of those capabilities gives you a leg up.

Some of this weeks episode highlights are:
12:35 People often are looking for templates to help you know what to say when you reach out. But when it comes to one on one personal business relationships, you can't boil that down to a template.
18:33 Passion is contagious - If you are passionate about what you are doing, you will attract others who are passionate about their work as well!
25:26 Of all social media platforms, the 750 million on LinkedIn are the most educated, informed, and affluent.

--- Full Raw Transcription of Podcast Below ---

Sandra Long (00:00):
The best way to warm people up is to care about them, know about them, talk about them. Absolutely. Love it!

Introduction (00:11):
Welcome to the SideHustle Lounge. If you're looking for flexible ways to earn income, grow your mindset, and live the lifestyle you've always dreamed of, you are in the right place. So lower the lights. Grab your favorite beverage and join your host. Founder of NotaryCoach.com and Amazon bestselling author of Sign and Thrive: How To Make Six Figures As A Mobile Notary And Loan Signing Agent, Bill Soroka.

Bill Soroka (00:45):
Cheers. Welcome to our guest today. Sandra Long. Sandra is a LinkedIn expert. She's a speaker, she's a best-selling author, and she's also co-author of a book with me called ""Supercharge Your Notary Business With LinkedIn."" And today, we're talking about why LinkedIn matters for your business and personal branding. Sandra, thank you so much for joining me on the new podcast.

Sandra Long (01:10):
Hey Bill, I am so excited to be here.

Bill Soroka (01:14):
I love whenever we get together and can geek out on something that we are totally passionate about. You know, I'm passionate about my business, you're passionate about yours and they come together so well. LinkedIn has been such a game changer in my business. You know, I've shared my story where I have like 26 different business ventures that failed or didn't work out. And this notary business there's mobile notary and loan signing business has been an epic success for me. And part of that was kind of pulling my head out of my rear end, getting focused, adapting, or adopting morning routines and daily habits that I called my daily do's. And those were 10 habits that I did every single day to cultivate relationships that led to a multiple six figure business venture for me and eight of those 10 daily do'sI could do utilizing LinkedIn.

Bill Soroka (02:15):
So LinkedIn was a critical tool in my my toolbox of success. And I love that you and I have connected on this. I love how passionate you are about this. Your leading expert on LinkedIn traveling are before the pandemic traveling, speaking of fortune 500 companies, helping people really dial in their profile and start the connection process and cultivating relationships. So one of the questions that we get all the time, Sandra and you and I do live calls a lot with notaries and other people in other industries is why should LinkedIn be the place I go? Why would we use LinkedIn in the first place?

Sandra Long (02:57):
Well, such a great question and it, the starting point, and I love that your story. Your story, I think, really resonates with so many people that you you're really authentic. And you talk about the fact that you have these failures and what seemed to turn everything around was your new habits. And the fact is a big part of your new habits was involved with relationship building, right, and reaching people and having like a systematic approach to, you know, how you brand yourself and how you connect with people. So it's such a great like story of exactly what to illustrate the power of LinkedIn and every single person, no matter what industry, whether you work for a corporation and you have a side business, or whether you're juggling multiple businesses, you know, people will connect with you on LinkedIn. They'll make their, get their impression of you. You know, that's where they form that opinion. And certainly staying top of mind, like all of those opportunities are there. And you definitely harness that when you, when you talk about your morning routine, which I love.

Bill Soroka (04:08):
Yeah. And that's exactly right. LinkedIn allowed me to, to stay in touch and engaged with people. So I even when I wasn't necessarily reaching out to sell myself or sell my services, I could support people. So I wouldn't be quote unquote, that guy, right. That only reached out to sell something. It allowed me to interact, to comment, to like, to share, to bring value to them so that we could form a relationship. And then when the time was right, I could, I could pitch my services. I can say, Hey, I think I could help you here. Or Hey, how can we help each other? How can I support you in your business is one of the best questions I learned how to ask.

Sandra Long (04:50):
Well, you know, it's so great that you're saying this because when you, we all have experienced people that do you know, that are interacting on LinkedIn in a way that's really a turnoff. And exactly what you said is the way to approach it is to be that friend, to be that helpful expert, to be engaged, be interested in other people. And that is how you draw attracts people to you. And I love what I love what you're saying.

Bill Soroka (05:17):
Let's talk about that a little bit more. And I just had a recent scenario, whether in past, you too, but first let's talk about and let's blend these two, like how there is a way to connect that feeds the, or fuels the drain. And there's a way to connect that cuts people off. It just turns people off. As you mentioned, how does that work?

Sandra Long (05:39):
Yeah. Connecting is the, well, I should say, the, your profile setting up your profile is really the beginning or understanding your brands. But then immediately after that, it's building out a strategic network. And to me, that starts even before you connect it, starting with thinking, who should you connect with? So making sure you're, you are connecting with people that you know, or that you've known in your past. Those are going to be valuable opportunities for you to reconnect with because they already know you, they know you on some level and then it gets to your point is how do you actually do those invitations? And I'm a big believer in making the invitations personal and about that person, not about you. So if you, if I'm going to invite you to connect Bill, I want to look at your profile. I want to have some familiarity with who you are, maybe understand what we have in common, who we know together, what, you know, maybe I read some of your posts, things like that, so that when I am inviting you to connect, it is friendly. And it's about you. Now, of course, most of the time I'm inviting people to connect it's because I know them I've had a conversation. I've met them on zoom. We met at an event. And then the natural follow-up is to send a friendly connection requests saying that you enjoy meeting them, something like that, but it should be friendly and helpful. Right?

Bill Soroka (07:08):
I love that you take this approach. And this is super rare. I get tons of requests to connect on a daily basis. And I love that you personalize it to the relationship. So what do you say to people who don't do that? What do you say to people who just seem to click connect, connect, connect, connect, connect, and they don't add those personal messages that are per, like, personalized to that individual. What do you say to them?

Sandra Long (07:38):
Well, it's, first of all, if you just are sending an invite without a message, you know, it's faster, but it's a wasted opportunity because we're here to create an impression and to build a relationship, right? So why not use that amazing tool that a person will get to know you or get to know that you're interested in them, something that will resonate with them. So when you, you know, so that it's just a wasted opportunity. And then of course the other side of it are those messages that you get, which is like a connect and pitch, which are to me, a complete turnoff. I am going to delete that person. I'm not interested. If that's how they're approaching me, then that's not what I'm interested in. What do you do about that? When someone pitches you right away.

Bill Soroka (08:24):
So this is really interesting. I'm glad you brought it up and this is why I wanted to talk to you about, so it's a huge turnoff to me. And it's interesting too, because I, I really do appreciate very direct communication. Like I like warm, friendly. I like it up to be authentic. I like some personality and I like to get right to the point. And I don't like to be sold in the first message or even the second message sometimes because I feel, and this just recently happened. So Sandra, I'd love to hear your feedback on too. I had somebody reach out to me. They had a very nice personal message. Like, Hey, I see that you work with this organization. I think that's great. Let's connect. And I'm like, all right. He actually looked at my profile. He's got similar, you know, youth leadership and empowerment passions.

Bill Soroka (09:10):
So we connected. And the very first message was a, it sounded, I mean, it was very well written, but it was a canned sales approach designed for executives. And I was like, oh, I kind of, it's funny. Cause I kind of get my hopes up that this is going to be a new connection and that we're, you know, we're going to connect on this way and I'm thinking it's real and authentic, but then I get a sales pitch and I'm like, I'm not. So I feel that down there's, you know, it's, it's kinda, it feels almost naive and childish on my part, but that is part of who I am, you know? So I felt kind of let down, I'm like, ah, thanks. I'm not really looking for that right now. And then I got another message. Well, if you don't mind, if I ask why dah, dah, dah. And then he, and I was like, well, I'm just not looking for that right now. And then I got another one. And finally I just said, well, if I'm really honest about it, I do not have an appreciation for being pitched and sold to this early in a relationship. And the response was 'totally understand'. And that was it.

Bill Soroka (10:18):
So How would you feel about being that direct and actually sharing that? Do you think that's a misstep or is it okay to, to call somebody out?

Sandra Long (10:25):
Okay. There's a lot in here. So really a good little example, which I think we've all faced. So first of all, you didn't do anything wrong by calling it out. I mean, I think I've seen people be very blunt I'm I I've called it out in a friendly way. But I would say most likely I'm going to be disconnecting from the person and the other thing, because they really are. It's just such a different, as you said, it's very deflating. You get this nice first message. And then all of a sudden they're pitching you. There's no interest in you. So the other thing, it sounds like the particular example you mentioned, it sounds like they were using automation and I really, really want to caution everyone about that. So there are tools out there that companies, a lot of little startup companies will create these tools.

Sandra Long (11:15):
They'll say, oh, you can automate your messages. You can send out 300 a day or whatever they'll say. And it creates what you experienced, where they get those messages that are all sequenced. Couple things about that. First of all, they're not allowed to be used by LinkedIn. And your LinkedIn is very, very serious about this. And I have, especially in the last few months, there are people that I know they've had their accounts shut down because they use this tool. And even, you know, so any time anyone offers you LinkedIn automation, anything to do with hosting or viewing profiles, you want to stay away from it. Even if the developer says, oh, it's fine. It's really putting your account at risk. The only type of automation that you can use properly that's accessible via LinkedIn is the kind where you get help with posting like a Hootsuite or something like that, where there is somewhat of an automation tool to posts. Otherwise don't use them. So it sounds like the person who sent you that, those messages and signed up for this and that's, that's what you experienced. It's such a turnoff, right? Yeah,

Bill Soroka (12:31):
It really is. And that's a really good point too. And I run into this a lot too when cause people are looking for templates, you know, when they, they just want to know what to say when you reach out and in a relationship in a one-on-one personal business relationship, there's not really a template. That way you can have a framework for kind of how a conversation goes, but people already know that you already know that you know how to have a conversation. You're just going to find a way to reach out.

Sandra Long (13:02):
Yeah. I mean, thinking about like, if you went to a networking event, can you imagine if you went there with a template in your head and you met someone and you said, and you start spitting out about your product. I mean, it would be such, it's the same thing. It's such a turnoff

Bill Soroka (13:16):
There's a disconnect between live networking and then social media or anything online, I think people have a put up a wall that there's a difference. And sure there are some obvious differences, but the relationship is a relationship. And I think there's rules to that, that we can follow that will service so well in the dream. And it has worked so well for me. And then on the other point of that too, I think whenever possible the fastest, you can take an online relationship offline. So after you've connected, you've messaged. And if they're local, if you can get a one-on-one meeting with somebody, whether that's a lunch, breakfast, power, coffee happy hours are always fun and actual networking events, something along those lines that can serve you.

Sandra Long (14:06):
I mean, really were it think about it as like a whole cohesive ecosystem because you're not just operating on LinkedIn. I love what you said, because you think about how does it work within the whole framework of how you engage with people. So thinking about if you are going to live events, converting all of those live connections, don't just grab the business card and leave, but make sure you're connecting with them after and following up. And then it's like a two-way street. So maybe you meet someone at an event. Maybe you meet someone I want to zoom call. Maybe you met, met them on Twitter or whatever it might be if you're really going to deepen relationships. Typically you want to be having a lot of friendly touch points with prospect, right? Yeah.

Bill Soroka (14:53):
As many opportunities for them to get to know you like you and trust you. Right. I love that. Can we talk a little bit about engagement and maybe even some content while we're absolutely.

Sandra Long (15:07):
It is engagement. It's not just it's funny because I think some people have the attitude that, oh, I just got a post, but engagement is even more important. So I'll let you take it from there.

Bill Soroka (15:20):
Well, so thank you and engagement for me. Again, one of my daily do's, one of those daily habits that I did every day is I would take I think what I call tickling or pinging 10 people from my prospect list for lack of a better word. I call it my ""Fab 100"". And it was just people that I wanted to support in their business. I wanted to be involved in what they were doing. I wanted us to work together. That was kind of what I was putting out there. So I would find their own posts. I would interact and engage with their posts. I would like them comment on them deeply, not just with one word, like this is great or anything like that. I mean, that absolutely works. But I tried to go a little deeper to show some understanding about what they were posting or some passion about what they were posting Lincoln into some of my own experiences, whatever that might be, and then share it.

Bill Soroka (16:15):
If it was appropriate on my own page, that's how I would engage with them. And then sometimes there was an opportunity they to private message. And one of my other favorite ways is to celebrate their wins with them. They the vice presidents of companies love to brag on their employees. So they'd posted on LinkedIn and I would participate in that. There would be they would post their employment needs and I would do, I would go above and beyond like number one, I love connecting people. That's just a passion of mine when they, I know this person needs this, I know this person needs that and they'll try to connect them. I know people are looking for employment all the time in my network. So I'm always taking that on and sharing that and broadcasting it as much as I can. So that's the kind of interaction I did to, to get my foot in the door and show that I'm here. This I'm part of the team. I'm win-win I mean that for them.

Sandra Long (17:11):
Yeah. Celebration is great. I mean, think about it. Any good news. That's what, that's, it's an opportunity to share it, to make a comment and there's good news everywhere. So it could just, like you said, it could be a company that's expanding. Some, some news you see about some team team development programs that companies with new products, it could be whatever that I love that you've got the ""Fab 100"", that's a really great way to focus on specific targeted people that you care about and really celebrate with them, their success. Maybe your friend wrote a book or got a new job or whatever it might be. Those are great things. And I love to also do what I call a gratitude posts, which is every single week, I have so much to be grateful for whether someone interviewed me on a podcast or I, someone referred me or there's just a lot of different, wonderful things happening. I try to be very conscious. What can I be grateful for this week? And how can I post about it or share that gratitude because it kind of ties in with a celebration it's kind of like the cousin of celebration is gratitude, right?

Bill Soroka (18:23):
Absolutely. There's always gratitude. And what I love, one of my favorite quotes now is that gratitude and complaint can not survive in the same sentence. So if you focus on gratitude, there's always something to talk about there and your passion. I would imagine that there's, we're in this work for a reason. We're passionate about something either it's the outcome and the goal that it's helping us achieve, or it's the actual work itself. There's always something to talk about as far as posts and interacting with others for that too. And passion's contagious. So if you are passionate about what you're doing, you are probably attracting others that are equally as passionate about,

Sandra Long (19:03):
Oh, absolutely. I love that. So

Bill Soroka (19:09):
Let's talk, let's blend that even more into the content. Cause LinkedIn gives us so many options for, for delivering value to our ideal customers. So can you maybe elaborate a little bit about what the content options are for them?

Sandra Long (19:23):
Oh, I love this question Bill. I love it. All right. So the framework here is that 80% of my time, I want to spend engaging with other, you know, other people, right? And then the 20%, which I might be creating content. I love the options and the options keep it growing. So we have a regular post, which you see in the home feed and that regular posts, you can add an image. You can add a link, right? You can add a documents. So those are all, and document posts are meaning a PDF or PowerPoint. We've only really had that for about a year and a half. And a lot of people aren't aware, that's a really nice post. You can write an article, which is like a long form blog article. You can do stories, which is on your mobile device. You can do video. Video can be data video. You can do LinkedIn live and you can do polls, which I love. So, you know, actually creating a poll. I don't even think I, I'm not even sure if I've mentioned them all, but just what's happened typically in the last year we've gotten a lot of new options. So just in the last say year, since really the beginning of the time from COVID polls came out, stories came out, they've expanded things to do with live. So it's been pretty exciting.

Bill Soroka (20:44):
Yeah. I can't wait. And like, so I just other day, I didn't realize you had to apply for the face or the LinkedIn live capability. So I just applied for that. And I'm really excited about that. Especially with the new changes that are coming out, where that live feed can run in your cover as a cover video. I'm really kind of excited. Yeah.

Sandra Long (21:05):
That's, it's actually gonna run as your background. Banner cover video is another new feature. That's going to be where your headshot.

Bill Soroka (21:13):
Wow. Yeah. See, there's so many cool things coming out.

Sandra Long (21:16):
Yeah. There's a lot of cool things and I think you'll be a perfect person for LinkedIn live because of all of your broadcasts. And they look for that. They look for someone like you, who, I mean, you've got your YouTube and you've got, you know, podcasts, all the different broadcasts. If you do, you'll be a perfect candidate to get LinkedIn live.

Bill Soroka (21:35):
Yeah. That'll be interesting. I'll have to come up with some original content, but this is also what's triggering a question. I know there's people listening, thinking. All right. So maybe I could get bothered into LinkedIn. I mean, realistically guys, any kind of business you're in, there's a really good chance that your ideal customers are on LinkedIn, the decision makers in corporations, the professionals that you might be serving like attorneys, you know, we work a lot with escrow officers, branch managers of everything, any type of exact C-level executive. They're probably on LinkedIn. So this is, it can be a goldmine for your business. But Sandra, I know a lot of people struggle with, should they have a personal profile or should they just build a business profile? Can you quickly clarify the importance of the personal?

Sandra Long (22:27):
Yes. So the number one asset you have for your brands on LinkedIn is your personal profile. Now I know some people say, well, I want to really be here for business. Well, that's true, but it's still your number one asset. And so that personal profile should have everything about you. So you don't create multiple profiles. You don't create your profile that, you know, without your name, like I've seen some people sign up for LinkedIn and they put their business name on there. Like that's not allowed. You have to use your actual name and business is personal, right. Business relationships. So it is your personal profile. It's your number one asset. I do like the LinkedIn company pages if you have it business. But, and I do love the idea of, you know, creating that page and having a nice page and using that page. But it should not be the number one for most of us, right? It's really should be around your personal profile because that's where you're going to be connecting. That's where people are going to remember you. That's where the trust and the likeability comes in is with a personal profile.

Bill Soroka (23:38):
Absolutely. The if you're working in any kind of service industry, guys, people do business with people, not necessarily the company page, they're going to do business. I mean, if you're in a fingerprinting business or the notary business or the loan officer business, whatever it is, people can go anywhere for those products. The thing that differentiates you from others is very, oftentimes you, it's your personality. It's your unique experiences that you bring to the table. It's your passion behind it. They have got to see that you have to give them the ability to get to know you like you and trust you. If you're in this business and you have that obstacle where you don't want your face on social media, you don't want to manage this. You don't want to put the time and effort into building your own personal profile. I encourage you that take yourself on there, get over that it will pay off for you in this business. And it's critical, not just on LinkedIn, but any type of industry directory that you might be on. All of that is going to require this information. Linkedin just happens to give you a lot more room than some of these other directories. So you can really expand on and really use the language to sell yourself your services and your passion for your business.

Sandra Long (24:57):
Well, and that's a great point, Bill. I mean, yes, there's, there's other directors, but think about where your prospects are. Most of them are going to be on LinkedIn. So that's why I love the idea of that, that being your central first starting point. Exactly.

Bill Soroka (25:11):
And that just reminded me too, is LinkedIn has this huge user base. How many people are on LinkedIn now?

Sandra Long (25:20):
Well, yeah, I mean, it keeps growing. It's over 750 million right now

Bill Soroka (25:24):
750 million people on it. It has been around for, I just saw them celebrate a birthday, Sandra, but I can't remember, how many?

Sandra Long (25:31):
2003, so it's just celebrated 18 years. And so think about those 750 million people, Bill. Those are people. If you compare them to any other social media platform, they're the most educated and affluent people. And the most informed because people come on LinkedIn, not only to build connections, but they come on to learn professionally, learn about what's happening in their industry, right. Or what's happening with people they know. So those are the kinds of people that can afford to hire you for your side hustle, right? Because they are, they're going to be more affluent than the average person.

Bill Soroka (26:10):
And then that leads right into the search engine optimization component too. Linkedin has 18 years of building trust and relevance with the search engines. So when you search for somebody's name, if you search for a type of role or a position, there's a really good chance. You can try it on Google right now, search for anybody. There's a really good chance that their LinkedIn profile is going to be in the top five of those of those listings. So when you are optimized in your LinkedIn profile, you get a lot of searching or SEO weight on that too. So this is something that we should absolutely take. So seriously now, Sandra, did you have anything that you wanted to expand on with that before I move on to our kind of our final subject?

Sandra Long (26:57):
Well, yeah, just one thing on the SEO or just being found, having a skeleton profile will not help you that much. So if you just have, you know, your name and where you work and where you went to school, it's not going to give you the power. So you really want to fill in all the fields so that LinkedIn will display, it will be more optimized for search, whether someone's looking for you in Google or whether someone's looking for you in LinkedIn.

Bill Soroka (27:27):
Excellent suggestion. So let's talk about that a little bit more because I think one of the most disappointing circumstances I come across is a LinkedIn profile first with no profile picture. So I'd love for you to expand on that, but then second using that essay or the narrative section either as a simple or very simple, just resume or just not taking advantage of it at all, not telling a story. So can you expand on the importance of those two features?

Sandra Long (28:01):
Yes. So your brand is going to be impacted by the words and the language that you select as well as the visual and the most important two aspects. Well, actually there's three aspects that I'd say the most important, which is your headshot, your essay about essay, and then also your headline. So those three pieces I would put up as very important that oftentimes people miss. So you're your headshot. You want to have a great smile and you want to have it be, you know, your shoulders and up and current. I often see profiles that have headshots that look nothing like the person, maybe it was from 30 years ago or something. So have a great headshot. You'll feel really great and confident by having that. And then the next two pieces, the headline and the about essay. Those are the where you can use your words to create that impression.

Sandra Long (28:53):
And of course it should be accurate, but you're really bringing out what's most important about you. And especially, you know, this audience is a side hustle audience, right? So using your words to really position yourself, you could be someone who works at a company during the week and you have a side hustle on the weekends, right? So, or you could be someone who is juggling three different opportunities, right? You could be in any one of those. So the way you describe yourself is going to be really important. So that headline, which has expanded, this is another thing that happened over the last year of the pandemic is the headline is now a hundred additional characters. So it used to be, you could have basically like two lines, which is 120 characters, and now you can go to 220. So really think about how do you describe yourself?

Sandra Long (29:46):
That's an immediate impression people get of your headline. And then the about section, which is the essay. This is a huge missed opportunity because people, I don't know, they don't want to take the time. They think of it as a resume, but your prospects and clients, you know, why we wouldn't want to make it hard for them to figure out how you can help them. Let's, let's make it easy and really be, you know, be friendly, but share kind of your passion and how can you help your customers and how, especially if you're doing different side hustles, how does it all work together? Does that make sense, Bill?

Bill Soroka (30:23):
That's the key and it's our responsibility to do that. And I know for me in particular, I'm a multipotentialite serial entrepreneur. What does that mean? It means I have a lot of interests and all of my hobbies end up turning into businesses. That's just part of who I am. I embrace that now. Sometimes I've heard another term for this is multihyphenate meaning you've got all kinds of different roles and titles that you've taken on. And this, the headline is so critical for that. You know, sometimes that's all we see when we get these connection requests and I'm looking for relate-ability like, why does this person want to re like, why would, why would this relationship makes sense? And then if you include the personal note, that's even better. But then if I go into your profile and you're telling me a story about how, why you're passionate to help people like me and you blend your different careers or your different passions or your different businesses together into just because you're passionate or they all link. If you can connect the dots for me, then we're connecting and then I'm interested. I want to learn more about what it is that you're doing.

Sandra Long (31:37):
Well, sure. I mean, I love it. Like the idea of, you know, kind of giving yourself a headline that is bigger than just like all these little piece parts, because those little piece parts are going to confuse people. Well, he does this, he does that. It does this. He does that. What does he really do? And so by do it, like another example would be someone who is involved in a lot of creative activities. So instead of, you know, maybe you call yourself a creator, maybe you call yourself or communication expert. And within that, you've got the various different businesses that you help people with communications, right? So there's just different ways to think about yourself, not just that job you do. Like I do this job, I do that job. I do this job, but how do you really define it in a, in a, in a larger way. I

Bill Soroka (32:25):
Love that you brought this up too. We got a chance to talk to your, the members of your LinkedIn club earlier this week about this very topic. And sometimes it's real easy to get caught up is like, oh yes, this is what I do. This is the job that I have. Well, I invite you to pan up a little bit, pan up a lot more. If you need to, to show what's the bigger picture, what role are you feeling if you have, you know, I talk a lot about notaries, cause that's my world. But if you're a notary public and you're a fingerprinting expert and you're a wedding officiant and all, and you travel to make people or give people their time back, then you can come up with a title that's like mobile, personal mobile services, something along those lines that kind of, she chose like, holy cow, this is, this is somebody who's on the road, making my life easier. And they just happen to do all these different things for me. Every industry has a way to do that.

Sandra Long (33:23):
I love the example of personal mobile services. That's fantastic.

Bill Soroka (33:28):
I might have to jump on that. Get that .com real quick. Yeah, it's good. Really good. Now, since we're talking about different ventures and how this stuff happened, Sandra I've been, I've always been a little curious because you are a LinkedIn expert, but you weren't born a LinkedIn expert. So I wondered if you'd be willing to share considering that you are the first person to do a TEDx talk on the power of LinkedIn and community. I wonder, how did you get involved in LinkedIn? What made you say yeah. Linkedin is where it's at. I'm going to be the expert on that.

Sandra Long (34:08):
Well, I was a very early adopter. I joined LinkedIn in 2005 and I remember it because those, I think I've read about it in the newspaper back. That was back when we actually had newspapers. No, really. We used to have newspapers and I read about it was, it was a startup and they were talking about the startup and I, I got on it and really, of course, lots developed since then. But for me, I originally went on there because thinking that there's be career opportunities, right. Different career options. So I had a very wonderful sales career for many, many years. And I ended up finding that I didn't really change my careers, except I moved around internally within this large company, but I used it to learn about people and I could find people, I could learn a little bit about their background. And to me, that research was gold because it meant that I could have a better conversation because I knew a little bit about them before that I had no way to find out where they went to school or maybe where they used to work or who we had in common.

Sandra Long (35:20):
But now when I got on the phone or when I went to a meeting, I felt like I could have a warmer start to a conversation. So I started doing that. And then over time I just developed my natural interest in it. And profiles have changed a lot. And everything about the platform has changed dramatically since 2005, but I just went on that ride. And then I found was that the large company that I was working with working or many of my friends from the company colleagues would ask me, can you help me with LinkedIn? They were seeing it was becoming more relevant for salespeople, for business people. So I was helping people, just, just, just helping them. And then I started my business in 2013 because there was so much demand. Like so many people were interested in learning how to do it better. In fact, that's the one quality I'll say for most LinkedIn users. So no matter who you are, if you feel like you're a beginner, you're really not alone because most people feel that way. And so that's what I kind of jumped into in 2013. And then I did the TEDx in 2019 and started writing books about it. And it's been fantastic for me.

Bill Soroka (36:34):
I love that story. I mean, it really is having the courage to jump into something new, learn it, seeing an opportunity and taking it and are the way you used. Linkedin is exactly how I used LinkedIn in my daily dues. And I've talked about this a little bit in my book, ""Signed and Thrive"". I know. I talk about how your first book ""LinkedIn for Personal Branding, the Ultimate Guide"" changed my life. It changed how I used LinkedIn and it really enhanced my game, but that's exactly what I would do. I would, I use LinkedIn to research the people on my ""Fab 100"" lists. So I could find thing, find a way to connect with them that was allowed for a different conversation than most people do. Because most people who are reaching out to introduce themselves, talk about themselves the entire time.

Bill Soroka (37:27):
And all they talk about is this template ID format that is selling their services. So my conversation's got to be different. I could talk about them. I could talk about whatever they're celebrating their goals, whatever they're sharing on LinkedIn, where they went to school, if it was, if I could relate to it anyway, that's what I was talking about. And one of my biggest fears, it still is a very uncomfortable thing for me is cold calls. And one of the businesses that I tanked was a business that needed cold calls. I all I had to do, I would have made millions of dollars if I could have gotten over my fear of making cold calls to luxury homeowners, to create vacation rentals out of their homes. But I was so terrified of that, that I literally, I think I made one phone call in the six years that I owned that business. I had that much fear around it. So I knew when I became well, when I decided to take on my mobile notary business, I knew I had to find a way to get business without making cold calls. And the way I did that was to warm up and LinkedIn allowed me to do that. And that's how I was able to thrive. Yes,

Sandra Long (38:41):
Totally, totally. It is. The best way to warm people up is to care about them. Know about them. Talk about them. Absolutely love it.

Bill Soroka (38:50):
Sandra... Thank you so much for sharing. Again, so much of your expertise, but also a little bit about your origin story, how you came to be the LinkedIn expert that you are. I love that we have connected. So thank you so much for all of your support and being here for our audience today.

Sandra Long (39:07):
Thanks Bill. This was really fun. It's always fun talking to you, Bill.

Bill Soroka (39:10):
Likewise. All right, we'll catch you next time.

- Bill


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