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The importance of Linkedin

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Jim Blue

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Today's guest is Peggy Dau, the founder and managing partner for MAD Perspectives LLC, a consultancy providing management consulting and social media empowerment services to technology sector companies, and LinkedIn Consulting Services to individuals.  She brings unique insight to her clients in developing communications strategies aligned with business goals.  Peggy enjoyed 24 years working in various customer facing roles, locally and globally, for Hewlett-Packard Company.

Join Jim and Peggy in a discussion about the importance of Linkedin, why it is referred to as the professional social network, and some valuable tips on how it should be used,


 

Transcript

0:12 Introduction

Welcome to the Keeping Technology Simple Radio Program. Jim Blue, your host, is a corporate executive that takes the mystery out of tech and now president of www.bluetutor.com, Jim Blue.

0:36 Jim Blue

And this is Jim Blue, the bluetutor, and this is the program that keeps technology simple. My goal is to take the fear out of tech. Last week, we had a guest on our show, Tamar Russell, who talked about on how social media has helped her in the development of her business on an ongoing basis. And we've talked in previous shows with several people that have gone through career transition and talked about the importance of the different social media programs and how they relate to their businesses, but in particular, LinkedIn, which really is the "professional social network" that's out there and the fact that one needs to be very, very proactive in using LinkedIn, not just throwing information up there and waiting for people to come to you, but it's a true networking tool and I feel very, very fortunate to have with me a guest today who is very, very knowledgeable about LinkedIn, has many, many clients that she has talked LinkedIn to. Her name is Peggy Dau, the founder and managing partner for MAD Perspectives, a consultancy providing management consulting and social media empowerment services to technology sector companies and LinkedIn Consulting Services to individuals. She brings unique insight to her clients in developing communication strategies aligned with business goals and the reason for that is that Peggy enjoyed 24 years in various customer facing roles locally and globally for Hewlett-Packard and has seen a lot of technologies come and go and she's had her own business now for a couple of years after leaving Hewlett-Packard and has relied very, very heavily on LinkedIn to expand and to keep in touch with many of her clients that are not only here in the United States, but on a global basis, relationships that you do develop over a number of years, particularly with a company like Hewlett-Packard.

2:37 Jim Blue

First of all, welcome to the show Peggy. I'm glad you took the time for what I know is a very busy schedule to join me today

2:44 Peggy Dau

Hi, Jim. Thanks so much for asking me to join you. It's gonna be a lot of fun to talk about LinkedIn and how social media can help individuals and companies as they transition in this crazy internet age.

2:56 Jim Blue

Well, the interesting thing is we've unfortunately have just 30 minutes and you and I can probably end up talking about this for hours, if not days. It's such a large subject, but I guess my first question to you would be how is the internet, and in particular social media, contributed to the growth of your business? I talked very briefly about the fact that it was very, very important for you as it is to most business people to not only continue the networking process but to be proactive.

3:25 Peggy Dau

Absolutely. It's interesting. As I was preparing to leave HP, I knew I was gonna be starting this business and I knew the first thing I had to do honestly was to have a website. It really just as kind of a placeholder and as a validation that, yes, I do have a business because in this day and age, everybody expects to be able to find information about you on the internet. The thing is that the website itself is not enough today. Social media has become such a prevalent force in our lives and people these days put them on Twitter and they're on LinkedIn, and while I was still at HP, I had joined LinkedIn and I kind of use it as a bare minimum. I used it as a way to kind of keep track on my role a bit instead of having to hold on to business cards for years and years and years or scan them into some kind of database and whatnot. I could be at a meeting, at a conference or whatever and I could go home and I could go on LinkedIn and I can get connected to these people and stay connected, and I didn't really do much with my profile. I put the bare minimum information up there. I'm Peggy Dau. I worked at Hewlett--Packard. I've done these different roles at HP. I was educated here, that bare minimum of information so that people knew that I existed. As I was leaving HP in 2009, social media was expanding. It was really becoming a tool that was I could see being used by businesses and we all thought in the business to consumer spaces. So, JetBlue tweeting about the late airlines, hotels offering specials, consumer product companies talking about their products and starting to create pages on Facebook and things like that, but I really looked at it like from the business professionals who have worked in kind of a business-to-business environment, how would social media help them as a business and there I was. I mean, I was my own test case to be perfectly honest and I realized that what LinkedIn allowed me to do when I no longer had this kind of email network at my company is I knew what was going on with people.

5:27 Peggy Dau

I could see, okay here's where they're working. If they left HP, I knew that they have left HP, and I started using that as my own little kind of business development tool. Oh, so and so left HP, went to X company, because I was a solo entrepreneur. It'll be hard for me to do business directly with HP, but if they went to another company, they knew me. They knew my history. They knew my track record. [Crosstalk]

5:49 Jim Blue

So you prefer to let people know when you were not only at HP but soon as you left if I'm not mistaken...

5:58 Peggy Dau

Yeah.

5:59 Jim Blue

LinkedIn became a very, very important vehicle for you to be able to reach out to these people much quicker than the letters and phone calls would be.

6:05 Peggy Dau

Absolutely. Because you can actually send an email within the body of LinkedIn to your contacts. I mean, it's much better if you work -- you can advise them to connect to you, but people can certainly reject those connections. I mean, I still -- there is one particular individual who has invited me to link to him about three or four times. I unfortunately don't trust this individual so I have elected not to link to him -- personal reasons, all business related by the way -- but what I found it was like "Oh! What are you doing?" You moved to this company. Let me tell you what I'm doing. Maybe there are ways we can work together, or I would see somebody who had moved and I lost track of, I check in on what they were doing and I'd see they were in an industry where I thought we might have synergies where I can provide lead -- provide business leads to them and they to provide business leads to me. So it became a -- it's part of my everyday practice now to see what's going on, on LinkedIn, and the thing to note is that you have a profile and that profile can be your best friend or can be your enemy. It's your enemy when it doesn't say anything about you. So, it was really important to make sure your profile not only talks about the jobs that you have had, but actually talks about the value you provide to your customers and what I mean by value is what do you do to make your customer's business life better? If you want...

7:28 Jim Blue

Let me ask you something, Peggy.

7:29 Peggy Dau

Yeah. Go ahead.

7:30 Jim Blue

Because you'd touched upon something very important. Do you offer services to people which would involve making sure that that profile is the right profile? It's a little bit different than a resume. A lot of people, and I've always recommended to people even in my own practice to get some help with respect to setting up the right type of resume and I know that profile has to be really formulated in a certain way to really draw people to you and for you to be able to tell people what they are.

8:02 Peggy Dau

Absolutely. Yeah, I do help people with their profile, and the way that I do that is we actually have a conversation about how their career has evolved and how like different shifts in their career came about because how those shifts came about often tell a lot about a person and what their real key interests are, the things that they like to do versus the things they can do, but also when how they relate in whatever job they do, be they an administrative assistant, a high level executive, a business development manager, a sales guy, a technologist. Everybody makes choices in their career and that's how our career evolves. I mean, the choices may be accidental choices and they may be very intentional choices, but in understanding that, truly interesting in the process that people actually understand more about themselves, but it allows me to write a profile that actually reflects who they are today, but how they got there and almost like what is their attitude towards doing business because people want to do business with people like themselves. So, whatever that is, if you're an intense person, you kind of wanna be surrounded by that intensity. If you're very customer centered and there always customers come first, you wanna work with somebody that also prioritizes customers. So it's just really about helping people understand you better and then also reveals in this whole world of the internet, keywords. Keywords are important when we search on Google. Keywords are important when you're describing yourself in LinkedIn because if you are in the job market and people are searching for you just as your searching for the right job, they're gonna look at keywords. They may be looking for somebody that has a background in developing and Hadoop, which is one of the languages very relevant in social technologies arena, or maybe doing it more traditionally to be able to code in Java. I come from a technology background, so I think in technology analogies. It's very hard.

9:54 Jim Blue

I think Java's company, that's where I come from.

9:57 Peggy Dau

There you go.

9:58 Jim Blue

Let me ask you a question if I may just interrupt for one second.

10:02 Peggy Dau

Yeah.

10:03 Jim Blue

There are two things that you've mentioned that are very important that I don't want to let slide. In the past, we used to be able to send people, and still can, resumes through email. We used to say look at my resume, do this, do that and whatever, and I noticed that what most people are doing now is that you want to know a lot about me, go to my LinkedIn profile which is significantly different than the profile that you put on the Facebook. There's no question about that.

10:29 Peggy Dau

Absolutely.

10:30 Jim Blue

But that becomes very important. And the other thing that you did mention briefly that I wrote a note about was the fact that you do have the ability to actually accept who you want your LinkedIn friend or what do you want to call them friend or contact to be and not, which I think is very, very important because one of the things that you want to be able to do is control who your network is. And I've had many friends, people that have tried to LinkedIn with me. Some people I had good business relationships with, some I didn't, and I've been very, very careful in terms of who I accepted in as a partner with me in LinkedIn. A very, very important point that you mentioned earlier.

11:13 Peggy Dau

Yeah. So, let's just talk about that for a second. The thing is, remember, your network is your professional network and so when you accept somebody into your network, they now have access.

11:24 Jim Blue

That's true.

11:24 Peggy Dau

So these are contacts that you've built up overtime and that you are the one that has the relationship with them and so I get -- sometimes, I think there are just people getting on LinkedIn and they do searches under certain keywords as I mentioned and they say, "Okay, I wanna get connected to everybody in the social media that has some kind of social media expertise," but if I get an invitation from somebody I don't know, I'm very concerned. Now, I can look at their profile and say, "Okay, maybe I just don't remember their name," which is not likely, but I can at least see where they come from. If I can't figure out any level of connection or any level of value from my network to be connected to that person, I don't accept the invitation. What had happened is that I did accept some invitations from people who were connected to other contacts of mine and then honestly, I felt like all they were doing was spamming me. They were constantly posting information or sending mails into my LinkedIn inbox trying to promote some service or some book or some this or some that and I was like you know what? I don't like this. I don't like the intent of what they're doing. I don't like being spammed. And you can unlink your connections if you don't like them.

12:40 Jim Blue

You know, that's very true.

12:40 Peggy Dau

So just like in Facebook, you can unfriend. You can unlink.

12:43 Jim Blue

Right. Right. I think that's a very important point to understand because LinkedIn is really meant to be yet another tool in your home marketing approach. Whether you are going to a career transition or starting up a company, whether you're looking for a job, whether you're looking for a business, etc. Peggy, we're gonna take a short break. We're going be back in a moment. When we come back, we're going to talk about what other social media tools you might be using to supplement what you do and I mean supplement what you do with LinkedIn and why LinkedIn is so important for business owners in particular. So, stick with us. We'll be back in the moment.

13:23 Peggy Dau

Yup. (Interlude)

14:04 Jim Blue

Well, we're back and today's guest is Peggy Dau, the founder and managing partner of MAD Perspectives. She started her company a couple of years ago and we are talking today about the value of LinkedIn and how it has helped her not only reach out to her contacts, but as a daily service that she uses to grow her business. And right before the break, we were talking about some of the things that she is recommending in terms of selecting who you want to be part of your network. I just want to stress the importance of being proactive when you are a LinkedIn user. You just can't sit there and just wait for the things to happen. It's just the way for you to be able to reach contacts much quicker than you have in the past. I asked right before the break, Peggy, about whether there are any other social media tools that you use to complement what you do with LinkedIn, and if someone who's just going out and starting a business, what should they be doing as far as LinkedIn is concerned in terms of profile? I know they've got groups there, etc. It is a loaded question, so I want to leave it open to you.

15:13 Peggy Dau

Absolutely. Obviously, you need to have a complete and somewhat robust profile. I know it's really hard for a lot of people to write about themselves and there's just requirement within LinkedIn to kind of do a little bit of writing and defining a summary of who you are and reflecting your career experience. That's where I can help people. Sometimes, it's easy for somebody else to write about themselves.

15:36 Jim Blue

Always is.

15:37 Peggy Dau

In addition to that, it is super important as you mentioned the groups. So there are groups for everything, for every realm of business, for every type of company. If you would have been in the company, there is probably an alumni group or an employee group related to your company that you can be a member of. There are industry groups. There can be in the telecommunication sector, marketing, pharmaceuticals, financial services. There are groups for all of these different industries. There are groups to specific user communities. So like - one of the areas I called upon when I was at HP was telecommunications. There is a ton of subtechnologies that has been under telecommunications, and there are groups for all of that.

16:15 Jim Blue

You are suggesting that people look for groups, join groups, or even start groups, if I'm not mistaken.

16:22 Peggy Dau

Absolutely, absolutely. Because what they become is networking, specifically areas of your interest. So if you are job hunting, then being in groups of areas where you have experience, where you can communicate with others and ask and answer questions of people, post questions into these groups. You can answer questions. In fact, my best story is that I look like I was going to get a consulting gig with a client. I wasn't actually that familiar with their technology, so I posted a question in a group. I have got several answers. I had two phone calls including a face-to-face meeting, where a guy literally white boarded how the technology worked for me.

17:00 Jim Blue

What did you say?

17:01 Peggy Dau

So that when I check a proposal together for the client, I sounded much more intelligent than I had been two weeks prior.

17:08 Jim Blue

Well, not only that, but you can also go to your LinkedIn profile and instead of just spending God knows how much time going back and forth and having him check out who you are, everything is there. Your profile is there, your background is there, what your interests are, your clients are there...

17:23 Peggy Dau

Absolutely.

17:24 Jim Blue

It's really a tremendous vehicle for someone to check you out as well. It works the other way.

17:28 Peggy Dau

Absolutely. The only thing they can see is they can see your status update. So like Facebook, like Twitter, there is an opportunity within LinkedIn to post updates. Now, I use it. I do. I post updates almost everyday about things that are of interest to me, articles I've read that I think that my connections will be interested in the same. And I see that a lot of the articles I point, people do get included and people kind of constant aggregation blogs that they post on a daily basis. Well, I mean that's great. I'm glad I'm helping you get some information you need for your blogs and whatnot. I put a status update when my blog goes out. I put a status update out there if I'm travelling. So you can use -- there is different applications that you can use in collaboration with LinkedIn. One is TripIt, which says "I'm gonna be going to San Francisco," like that as an example. I use the Amazon application to update people on the business books that I'm reading. They don't need to know what I'm reading for pleasure. But it is interesting I think to understand what other people are reading from a business perspective. You can also -- your status updates can be shared on Twitter. Post once and go in two directions. And you have to think about who your audiences and whether that makes sense to do that exactly...

18:38 Jim Blue

That's when a group come in.

18:39 Peggy Dau

Well, that's kind of when the groups come in, but also like when you're communicating on any social network, it really is, even when you're deciding what social networks to use as both an individual and a business, it's about where are the people that you need to connect with? And that's the most important question to ask before you say, "Oh yeah. I need to be using Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn". For me, I really don't use Facebook for business. For my business, it's not the right place to be. I'm not saying it's not the right place for others. But it's really about who is your audience and where are they going to be and where are they going to learn about your business. For me, LinkedIn and Twitter are the key places. And then I also use a site called SlideShare which many folks are familiar with and many are not. But SlideShare is literally you can have like a PowerPoint Presentation and you can post it in SlideShare and you can tag it, and people can see some information that you have put together. So I have best practices for creating a social media strategy. I actually do have some information about using LinkedIn out there on SlideShare and you can search on your topic, you can search on your name, company, whatever. And there's a ton of information out there. So if you are transitioning as a career or individual, and you're trying to learn about the space issue, you're like, "Oh gosh, I've been so caught up in the corporate world, and I never really -- I don't understand social media." Go to SlideShare. I got to tell you, there's a ton of information out there that had them put together by some highly intelligent people. Far more intelligent even than myself, let's say who really is like live and breathe in the space and they put all their content out there on SlideShare. [Crosstalk]

20:08 Jim Blue

Yeah. What if SlideShare can be linked into the LinkedIn?

20:12 Peggy Dau

Absolutely. As I create content -- and I don't have a lot on SlideShare at this point, but as I create content that I feel is relevant for the mass public, I put it out there and it's because I have this integration between LinkedIn and SlideShare, which is enabled by LinkedIn, it shows up in my LinkedIn as well, so increases the visibility.

20:33 Jim Blue

So you can actually post information about projects and show, have people take a look at some of the work that you've done on there. So like having a portfolio.

20:41 Peggy Dau

It is. It's like having a public portfolio, which is why, I mean, my kids have been a little cautious because of course I have a lot of nondisclosures with my clients.

20:49 Jim Blue

Right.

20:50 Peggy Dau

I try to put the generic information out there.

20:51 Jim Blue

But you can make it... exactly. You can make this generic. You can do whatever you want with it, but I think it's just another indication of how LinkedIn is really truly a professional tool for people and the fact that instead of focusing so much on the Facebook, I'm not ruling that out, but for business and professional people, who you and I are addressing, this is very, very critical, and again, I keep mentioning the word proactive, proactive, proactive, but that's really something that, people, we have to do. Peggy, we'll gonna take another short break. We'll be back in a moment. I want you to be able to tell our audience exactly some of the things that you do for your clients would you recommend, and we all know that it has to be specialized to their needs and no two people or two companies are alike. So, stick with us. We'll be back in a moment. (Interlude)

22:02 Jim Blue

We're back and our guest today is Peggy Dau, the founder and managing partner for MAD Perspectives, and we've been spending our time talking about LinkedIn and the fact that, and I know I have used this word a number of times, and I will continue to do it, you need to be very proactive, and Peggy is very, very helpful in terms of helping our listeners understand exactly what they should be doing in order to have LinkedIn really expand their network, etc. What suggestions Peggy would you have for someone that is starting from fresh? They have left corporate life as you did and as I did in the past, LinkedIn didn't exist when I left awhile ago, but in terms of getting up and running. We sort of told our listeners that LinkedIn is the place where they should be really starting, and I guess what you're really saying is you got to get your website up there, you got to get your profile there, you got to get your groups and determine what groups are right for you, what you should be doing, and my recommendation would be to get Peggy Dau up there to help me to do that.

23:10 Peggy Dau

I would be happy to help people. Absolutely.

23:11 Jim Blue

Exactly. So...

23:12 Peggy Dau

I mean, I've been doing it...

23:13 Jim Blue

Why don't you just suggest people how to get started?

23:15 Peggy Dau

Yeah. So, they need to think about what their professional story is. I mean, everything about media, when you think about this is part of social media, but the media industry is about telling stories. LinkedIn is about telling your professional story. So you need to kind of sit back and reflect on your career and you have to just think about what were some of the highlights and what were some of the low lights, because low lights were as revealing as the highlights. And they actually kind of show what you're really made of because how you dealt with adversity in your career is probably what draw certain actions in your life. Yes, you felt great about yourself when you are successful and either meeting quotas or meeting deadlines, or pulling off a key event or something like that, but the real test of us is when we have the bad times. So think about those things. Think about how they tell your story, about how you feel, what it is that you like to do and what you want to do going forward. And this is the hardest thing to ever answer, right, when somebody says "Where do you want to be in five years?" I don't actually know where I'll be in five years.

24:15 Jim Blue

Oh, boy. I love that question.

24:17 Peggy Dau

Yeah, right? It's not so much about where you want to be in five years. But as you think about your career, what were your personal measures of success? What made you feel good about your career? Was it interacting with people? Was it interacting with customers? Was it the chase? I mean, a lot of sales people, it's really about the chase. It's really about the lining with their customer need and understanding that need and building on, going relationships for technologies, right? It's about taking technology and making it do something it never did before, creating a piece of technology that nobody ever thought of. So, there's different things that make people successful or really make them thrive. So, you need to think about those things. But then it really needs to sit down, start go through that again, just get on LinkedIn to start with and start connecting to your Rolodex of contacts. If you have somebody in your Rolodex and you don't know where you met them, maybe you don't need to be connected to them.

25:14 Jim Blue

Look him up.

25:16 Peggy Dau

Look him up, see where they are -- exactly. Check out the groups, absolutely do that, and don't forget you can actually search for jobs on LinkedIn. There is a job area and you can see how you're connected to that job. Let's say you want to go work at HP, so that's my alma mater. So, you want to go work at HP. Who do you know that worked at HP that can tell you about the work environment at that company? What the management style is? What the culture is? What the pay models actually look like? Is it a good place to work? And honestly, I left for my own reasons, but yeah, it is a good place to work.

25:52 Jim Blue

Well, there's no question about that, and I know a lot of the people that I have worked with, they recommend doing that. Peggy, unfortunately, we only have a couple of minutes to go and I would like you to share with our listeners a little bit about your company, and in particular how to reach you?

26:08 Peggy Dau

Sure. So my company, MAD Perspectives, was really born out of my feeling that when you're working on business strategies and communication strategies, that everybody has a different perspective. So, the challenge is to get all those perspectives aligned, and I actually have a cohesive strategy and then in your supporting tactics. So, I do provide management consulting to technology companies to help them figure out how they're going to take advantage of all these social media and various collaboration and communication tools for whatever reason. So, it could be for marketing sales, customer support, whatever. At the same time though, I really am fascinated by how people's careers evolve. So, I do individual consulting on helping people set up their LinkedIn profiles. And that is really for me to work with them and help them remember how their career evolved. Most people don't really take the time to sit down and remember that.

27:04 Jim Blue

And the other thing is, is that you are global. You don't have to be in a local area. It doesn't matter where you've been.

27:08 Peggy Dau

No. That's it. Yeah. So I'm just going to say really quick. I finished projects for 40 individuals, globally based, did it all on the phone and by email and whatnot. It worked out fantastically. All the individuals were highly, highly thrilled that I actually helped them get their profiles sorted because they don't have the time to do it themselves. So I can be reached at peggy@madperspectives.com or you can give me call at 203-218-6503.

27:34 Jim Blue

And I think the important thing, Peggy, is that everyone is different. There's no cookie cutter approach. We do listen to our customers first, and it really doesn't matter where you are on a global basis.

27:46 Peggy Dau

That's right.

27:47 Jim Blue

And the beauty of what Peggy does is that she can work with you even while you're travelling. If you're gonna have a business trip coming up, it doesn't mean you can't do that. I want to thank you Peggy for joining us. I think this has been very helpful and I know we could probably go on and on, and we probably should plan on doing this again. So, I wanna thank you for joining us.

28:06 Peggy Dau

Wonderful. Thank you, Jim.

28:07 Jim Blue

And perhaps we'll talk to you some time in the future. Have a good day.

28:10 Peggy Dau

Wonderful. Thank you.

28:12 Jim Blue

This has been Jim Blue, the bluetutor, and you have been listening to the Keeping Technology Simple radio program. If you enjoy the program, tell your friends. We will be here every week to help you understand the relevant technology issues of the day. To reach me after the show, the phone number is 917-921-4518, or you could reach me by email at jblue@bluetutor.com. And don't forget that you can download my white paper on how to set up a home office, and how to become a true mobile warrior by going to my website which is www.bluetutor.com and registering. Remember, when it comes to technology, there is nothing to fear but fear itself. See you next week.

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