4 Ways to Stay Top of Mind on LinkedIn

1. Sharing valuable and insightful content

“Top of mind” was one of the points I tried to drive home during the social selling training at our National Sales Conference.  It’s one thing to have a complete LinkedIn profile; it’s another to provide insights to your network with content and engage them in conversation.  But you have to be careful not to assume that “top of mind” means constantly posting crap just to stay visible.  There’s nothing worse than annoying your network.  Be relevant and practice constraint (there are apps that can help with that but more on that later).


A few days ago I noticed that LinkedIn has added a new feature on their home page labeled “Who’s Viewed Your Updates.”  This is an exciting new feature because it shows you how many people have seen your update and it allows you to analyze what information your network really wants to see.  That’s powerful information and best of all it’s available for free (detailed insights  are available for premium accounts)!



2. Like, comment and share others’ content

Content is only one part of helping you stay top of mind.  You have to be active by liking and sharing others’ content as well.  My personal rule of thumb is to keep 80% of my likes, shares, and comments specific to my industry and reserve 20% for all other interests. 

3. Endorse and recommend

Regardless of whether you love or hate the feature, endorsements can be a great tool not only as a “feel good” but to also remind someone of your existence. But I must caution you, do not do it just do it and only endorse people for things that you can honestly back up with a true recommendation.  This is why a recommendation is more powerful.  Recommend past colleagues, current colleagues, and customers.  Help others be viewed as experts and rock stars in their field.

4. Set what others see when you’ve viewed their profile to public

There are pros and cons to setting your profile view to public and for the longest time I hid behind the wall of anonymity.  Staying anonymous allowed me to view others’ profiles without their knowledge of who I was and in my past role it was a good way to screen candidates prior to their interview with our company.  Now my profile is set to public and I wouldn’t have it any other way.  This feature allows you to see who has viewed your profile but even more importantly, it allows others to see that you have viewed theirs. 

People do business with people they know, like, and trust.  Sharing content and staying active on social networks helps build your personal brand and helps you stand out as the Subject Matter Expert (SME) amongst a sea of others who do not bring value to their customers and networks.

And remember, it’s not all about you.  Give to give, not give to get.  Your activity should be 90% about others and 10% about you or your company.


Curating Tools:

Some days the relevant content floodgates open up and all you want to do is post it all at once to your networks.  Don’t.  Pick out several gems and post them at different times during the day (again, not all at once).  Save the others for when the waters run dry. 

My favorite tool for curating content for a slow day is Scoop.it.  The free account allows you to have five different boards and you can push the article directly to LinkedIn from the site.  A premium account gives you ten boards as well as the ability to schedule posts.

Feedly is another great tool to keep all your RSS feeds in one place and allows you to share directly with your network.  Feedly is also tied to Buffer, an app that allows users to schedule posts. 

These tools allow you to stay top of mind even when you’re away.

The Secret to a Strong Branding Message

The article, The Secret to a Strong Branding Message? Focus, popped up in my LinkedIn feed early this morning.  It's as if the LinkedIn angels knew that I was about to get off track and pick the five things I'm best at and run with it.  "Not so fast," they said, "pick ONE!"

My favorite line is about sacrifice: 

Positioning is the art of sacrifice -- of sacrificing the things you could be to uncover the one thing you should be.

You can't  be all things to all people so how do you position yourself?  The author suggests the following:

  1. Create a core message that has an emotional and a rational side so that you can connect with people's hearts and minds.
  2. The message needs to be believable. 
  3. The core message needs to be relevant to a group of potential customers.  One must also ensure that there's a market opportunity, i.e. setting up a lemonade stand on Mars with no potential customers to purchase the lemonade.
  4. Keep it simple. 


Read the whole article here.

What is your personal branding message?  

Focus: The Start-Up of Me

I can tell you, to the day, when I bought the book, what I was doing and where I was going.  I was having an identity crisis specific to my career.  My list of skills and accomplishments took up multiple pages and they spanned different areas of expertise. 

The reason for my identity crisis: lack of focus.  I’ve never sat down to identify the handful of things that I was not only good at but also passionate about.

What is the value that I could bring to the table? 

Sure, I’m hardworking and loyal, a perfectionist to the point of an occasional OCD moment.  But so is everyone else.  There’s drive and then there are unique set of skills and networks that truly make someone valuable.   Like a company selling a product with unique features and benefits with exclusive networks of distribution.

I never finished the book but the first couple of chapters got my wheels turning.  A few months later, I was introduced to social selling and personal branding.  The puzzle pieces started to fall into place and it became clear to me: it was time to treat myself as a business and create a plan.

A personal brand is a constant work-in-progress.  

Rome was not build in a day and continues to evolve to this day. 

I’m constantly learning… by reading, networking, and doing.  It’s the only way.

My roadmap is charted in pencil because spending too much time planning is a waste of precious time I could be experimenting, taking risks, and learning from my mistakes.

The other day, I took a good look at my skills and expertise and organized them into three buckets: marketing, management, and sales.  Then I listed the specific skills and areas of expertise in the buckets where they belong. 

This is what it looks like:


Social Media
Content Management  
Content Curation
Inbound Marketing



Project Management
Event Planning
Event Management




Social Selling
New Business Development
Key Account Management



My next goal is to dive deeper into each bullet point, one blog post at a time.


Why it is Important to Google Yourself

It’s important to Google yourself so today I Googled myself for the first time in a long time.  And guess what?!  I dominate the “Kseniya Martin Charlotte” search.  The first page is mine! It wasn’t always like that.  I used to joke that I am a ballerina and a famous singer because my maiden name is pretty common; there are a bunch of Kseniya Yakovleva’s out there!

So why is it important?  Today, it’s all about online presence and your personal brand.  And, it’s particularly important if…

…you are looking for a job.  Employers are no longer looking at just your resume and calling your referral sources that you provided them.  No, they’re checking to see who you are as a person, if what you put on your resume matches to whatever it is they find online, and if you’re a responsible citizen.  They want to see if you’re the right fit for their organization.  Give them the opportunity to see who you are.  Be honest.

For example: my company is looking for a marketing intern.  It didn’t take me long to find social media profiles for most of the candidates that submitted their resumes.  One of the candidates had some colorful language that was racists and ageist (to name a few) in his Twitter feed.   He never received a call from us.

…you are aspiring to be a leading expert in your niche.  If people Google either you or a topic you’re an expert in, you want to show up.  Google’s little spiders (or is it pandas?) search the web constantly; do what you can to be on the first result page (and there’s a thousand and one ways of doing that).

…you ran out of or forgot your business cards.  Let’s say you’re at a party or a networking event and you don’t have your business cards on you.  What do you do?!  You should be comfortable enough to tell someone to Google you.  The first two results for me are the two social networks that I’m most active on.  It’s safe to say you will easily reach me on either LinkedIn or Twitter.

Why You Should Google Yourself

There are other important reasons why you should Google yourself, like privacy and safety.  Personal information such as where you live and work can be used against you, especially if you use GPS based apps such as Foursquare to tell everyone where you are at all times.

So what happens if you Google yourself and you find some unfavorable content?  You clean it up (and create a lot of favorable content).  If it’s Facebook, make sure you have the highest level of privacy settings.  You may also want to check your friends’ privacy settings as well, especially if you’re tagged in any of their photos or you’ve written some questionable things on their wall.  We were all once young and stupid and that may or may not have been captured on camera and posted on Facebook, or MySpace.  Young and stupid may have been a decade ago but that picture is still there, tagged and public, to be seen by your current or future employer and your customers.  Untag the photo or, better yet, ask your friend to remove it completely.  If cleaning up some accounts may seem like an arduous task, delete and start new.  I have had Facebook since February 2005 and with the introduction of timeline I have been able to relive last seven years of my life.  I don’t want you to relive it with me… this is why I now have a new Facebook account.

You can also buy Google AdWords to lead people to the sites you want them to see when they Google you.  But more on that on another day.

There’s nothing vain about Googling yourself.  This song IS about you.  It’s like checking your credit score to see if there are any false reports.  This is your opportunity to take your Personal Brand to the next level by getting rid of things that may weigh you down from achieving new heights.  So Google yourself silly, see what you can find!

P.S. If this all freaks you out, check out WikiHow’s instructions on How to UnGoogle Yourself .

The Big Push

The big push to get my professional personal brand out there, loud and proud, came this past Tuesday when I participated in a webinar lead by Corporate Executive Board.  The topic was Social Selling, something that I have not had a lot of exposure to and was excited to learn more about the topic. After a couple of slides, Jill Rowley (the Eloqua EloQueen) came on the line and I was immediately sold… on her.  She said a lot of things that resonated with me and in turn I blew up her up Twitter notifications because I wanted to capture as much as possible.  Not only did I learn about how sales reps can use social media but also how to build your personal brand.

[Click on  the image to see more.]

I have a personal brand already, but not on a “professional” one.  It’s how I’ve learned what I know about social media to date.  Like Jill, I’m on my smart phone, checking tweets, instagrams, pinning, etc. when I first wake up, when I have a moment at lunch, and then throughout the evening and right before I go to bed.  Jill also said that she doesn’t believe in work/life balance because she just lives her life.  This made a few of my colleagues cringe but she’s right.  Work doesn’t feel like work when you’re doing something you love.  Loving what you do makes a huge difference.  I love social media, I love creating content, I love being a part of this wonderful brave new world.

If you're a member of Corporate Executive Board, you can check out the webinar here.

…and out of hundreds of people on the webinar, my Q&A question was the first to be answered.  Way to make a person feel special!

Jill – thank you for being who you are and being the final push for me to get this “personal branding party” started.

What was your big push or “aha” moment to start building your personal brand?  How did you do it?

Also, check out Dave Cutler’sstory on how he went from fired to hired and Eloqua’s Grange Guide  (eBook) to building your personal brand.