22 Jul Guest: Heather Doering & How to Build a Brand on LinkedIn
My guest on today’s episode is Heather Doering, the Owner & President of Ace Strategies. Heather is able to throw a LinkedIn Lifeline to professionals who struggle with maximizing the power of the platform to build strong relationships and personal brands. Heather is an active member of of her local Chamber of Commerce (which awarded Ace Strategies the 2019 Small Business of the Year), is on the advisory board of the Workforce Alliance Initiative, chairs the Federal Reserve Bank’s Money Smart FemPreneur Summit, and loves living in metro Detroit. She also owns IN3 Network, which provides education and support to women entrepreneurs.
Key topics we cover:
✔️ Properly harnessing the power and potential of LinkedIn.
✔️ Building your own brand– be it personal or professional.
✔️ Top mistakes to avoid / things that harm your credibility.
✔️ Who likes to be hit with an immediate sales pitch after connecting? NO ONE.
✔️ The importance of becoming the trusted advisor or expert.
Transcribed by Otter.ai
Hello, hello and welcome to today’s episode of the Causey Consulting podcast. I’m your host Sara Causey and I’m also the owner of Causey Consulting, which you can find online anytime, at CauseyConsultingLLC.com. excited for my guest today Heather Doering. Heather is people passionate and chooses to embrace each day as a new adventure. Her Company A strategies throws a LinkedIn lifeline to professionals who struggle with maximizing the power of the platform to build strong relationships and personal brands. Heather is an active member of her local Chamber of Commerce, which awarded a strategies the 2019 Small Business of the Year. She’s on the advisory board of the workforce Alliance and initiative chairs the Federal Reserve Bank’s Money Smart fempreneur summit and loves living in Metro Detroit. She also owns iron three network which provides education and support to women entrepreneurs. Heather is a mom of two amazing young men and an awesome but sometimes pesky dog. She enjoys reading, working out Saturday mornings at Eastern Market and spending time with the love of her life, her family and great friends. Well that sounds pretty awesome, Heather, I’m glad you’re here today. Thanks so much, Sara. I’d love to know more about your own entrepreneurial journey. So tell us how did you get started? Yeah, you know, thanks for asking. So my journey started many years ago when I didn’t even know it was a journey. I wanted to stay home with my kids when they were little. And I started dabbling in direct sales and got I realized pretty quickly I’m kind of good at this. You know, I built a team we won national awards. We got to do the amazing trips. And then I went through a divorce about 10 years ago. And at that time, I’d been out of the workforce for, gosh, probably 10 1112 years and thought, you know, I can go back to work making virtually nothing or I can continue on this this journey because I really wanted to still be home with my kids and opened my first company and found out after about 18 months, I had no idea how to market or monetize. Oh, yes. Yeah, you need to do those things that are to grow. And so I spent a couple years and really do deeply into learning. How do you market What does that look like? And then through that, that experience, I realized that many small business owners were being you know, they were just you know, trying to survive, right? We were wearing so many different hats and and they didn’t know what solutions were a good fit for them. And and you know, at that point, that was when all the technological stuff was really coming to the forefront and you know, you need to be you need to be on 75 social platforms, you need to be doing that. And how do you know what, what’s the right fit for you. So that’s how my company started. And just like many companies over time, as technology has advanced, so has the need to specialize. And I have a passion for LinkedIn. And because it’s not a social network, where you typically find out that your neighbor’s dog threw up last night, because while that’s a bad thing, it’s not really relevant to my life. So I dove into LinkedIn and I knew in my heart of hearts that my ideal clients were on there, but I had again, no idea how to find them. I thought, who cares what I have to say, How do you know I’m connected with all my friends? How’s that going to help me? And so once again, I dove in and spent about a year really, really getting good at LinkedIn and people started noticing and they’re like, Well, can you help me with this and then that ended up blossoming this whole stream of business that that is our primary focus. Awesome. Yeah, I think it’s interesting that you mentioned, you know, 75, different social platforms, it is easy to get this sense of overwhelm with all the technology and all the tools out there. And I think it’s interesting how you’ve developed a LinkedIn specific program. So I’d love to hear more about why you’ve niched in to LinkedIn specifically and the benefits that you’ve you’ve seen it do for people. Yeah. So, you know, initially that I picked LinkedIn because I couldn’t pick multiple platforms. What I’ve learned over time is, you really don’t need to master more than one, maybe two of those platforms in it. And the way that you determine what that looks like for you is, what are your social media goals? And where do those people hang out? So for me, my people hang out on LinkedIn, and they’re on other platforms too, but they’re not on other platforms to do business. So for me It started out as a selfish journey, right? I wanted clients and, and but then as we we started to develop the processes and the systems that we’re using. It became much more relevant to to business and people who are, we’re in more of a b2b business, you know, business to business company. LinkedIn is the number one social platform for those relationships. With so many people being either out of work entirely because of the pandemic and looking for a new job, or the increasing numbers of people who are taking that entrepreneurial plunge and saying, I don’t want to go back to a job, I want to build up a professional brand and set a shingle out and work for myself. What advice would you give to people whether they’re building a personal brand to be noticed by recruiters or HR professionals or whether they’re building a professional brand because they want to run their own company? What kind of advice would you give about that journey of building a real brand on LinkedIn. Yeah, you know, so much of it starts with your profile, that’s typically the first place people are going to go to, to learn more about you. So from that perspective, and I won’t get into all the ins and outs of building a really strong profile, but my couple top tips for that would be, of course, professional picture, right. And then, if you have that awful, terrible, LinkedIn, constellation background, you may not know that you can do this, but you can change that out and create a custom, a custom banner image that can if if you’re in the job seeking world, maybe it’s a picture of the skyline of your city, or maybe it’s your favorite quote, if you’re a business owner, maybe it’s got some of your your business branding in there. So it’s really thinking and looking, you know, thinking about what is it that’s best going to exemplify me so change up a banner image, and then also in your summary section, with the about section. Where you’re you’re telling people about about you, oftentimes, we see that more of a laundry list of everything that you’ve ever accomplished in life. And those are good and wonderful things. That’s the place where you start to build these personal relationships and start to make emotional connections with people. So tell your story. And really, even if you’re job seeking, that’s a great, great opportunity to, to let recruiters and HR people get a feel for who you are. And so that would be, you know, from the profile perspective, what I would encourage and then from the content and posting perspective, a lot of times we fall into this, this mindset of we know so much great information and we just want to throw it out into Well, I’m saying nobody cares. Think about what would look at everything that you put out into the universe through the lenses if this was coming at me, would this be something that resonates? Would this be something that I would respond to as the sun thing that makes me feel good. And if it doesn’t really think about your phrasing or or, you know, how to how to position things so that it’s relevant to people beyond yourself. So for example, for all of our clients, we always we do a weekly quote, right? We make these great graphics, we brand them, we introduced the quote, It has nothing to do with their core business. But quotes are things that people like. So that’s a good, that’s a good personal brand builder. I think it’s, it’s interesting, what you’re saying about, is it relevant? How does it make people feel because I know it makes me crazy when I see people who I know they’re talented, highly engaged, intelligent professionals, but they’re posting things that sound like something from a textbook or a college lecture that you might have had to sit through in school, and it’s like, oh, no, like, no, nobody’s gonna sit through a 10 minute lecture where it sounds like the professor has come in to inform them of all this dry content. Which leads me to my question for you of what are some of the top mistakes I’m sure you see a lot, because you’re an expert in this arena. But if you had to maybe identify the top two or three mistakes that you see people making on LinkedIn, you know that frankly, could be costing them business or it could be costing them a new job. What would you say that those are? Yeah, I would say, for the costing the business piece of it. My number one is when you reach out to form a new connection with somebody and they accept your connection request. absolutely, positively do not son back that vomitus seven paragraph email about how amazing and wonderful you are and if they don’t call you today, their life is gonna end Yes, you know what it’s not. And again, filter that through the lens. If that was coming at you. Do you like receiving those? Maybe if you do, you’ll keep sending them but most of us don’t. Right? So how is it that you can add value back to somebody instantly. To build a relationship, LinkedIn, like all social platforms, was designed to build a specific type of community and in Lincoln’s case at the business community, it wasn’t designed to be a, you know, a shark tank where you do your sales pitch. Mm hmm. So from a business perspective, I think that’s the number one mistake I see is that people don’t take the time to start to build those relationships. And then from a you know, from from people who are seeking that next great opportunity is you’re thinking about the types of content that you’re going to be posting habit be things that are that are not only reflective of your intelligence, but reflective of your personality and how you view the world and things that are positive. You know, because we think sometimes it doesn’t really matter what we post people don’t may not may or may not see it, but you can, somebody can go into your profile, look at the last 15 posts and in about a two minute period and really get a good feel for who you are. So as as recruiters an HR professionals are, are checking you out, make sure that what you’re putting out there is really positioning you and in a great light. Well said, I would love to know more about who your ideal client is if someone is listening to the broadcast today, and what you’re saying is resonating with them, who is the ideal client that you’re ultimately looking to help? Yeah, thanks for asking that. So our ideal client is typically somebody who is in that business to business space. And they, it could be maybe they’ve come from a pretty high level, corporate position, and they’re now hanging their shingle as a consultant or you know, a professional on their own or it could be somebody who’s maybe in sales, who can’t sell the way that they’ve always sold before because of the time in which we find ourselves and they often struggle with maybe not having those quote unquote right connections to build strong results. For all networks and to meet their potential clients, and they also really struggle with building that strong, powerful personal brands, because at the end of the day, you know, we all want to be seen as thought leaders as, as, you know, trusted advisors as innovators. And so they struggle with how do you do that, but they’re not sure how to how to fill that space. So those are those are really good clients for us. If someone fits that profile, and they’re listening today, and they want to get in contact with you, where is the best place to go online to find you? Yes, so they can go to our website, which is KickAceStrategies.com. Kick ace – I like it. When we rebranded a strategies was being held hostage. My tagline has always been ignite your business and Kick Ace work. Well, I like it very much. I think it’s cheeky and cute. It’s fun and I like it. Thank you. Well, Heather, I know that you’re busy. I know you have some things teed up to do after this recording. So I really appreciate you taking time out of your day to talk with us about LinkedIn. Thank you so much there I appreciate the opportunity. Once again, my guest today was Heather Doering of Ace Strategies, which you can find online at KickAceStrategies.com. If you enjoyed today’s episode, please share it. If you haven’t already, please take the time to subscribe to this podcast and leave a review for us on iTunes. Bye for now.