There are a few things business owners do on LinkedIn that unwittingly and negatively affect their potential customer’s perception of them.

Unlike other social media platforms, earning the sale on LinkedIn is not as simple as posting an image of your product with a great price, and voila’! SALE!

It doesn’t work that way on most of the other applications, but that’s another conversation, altogether.

Much of the published LinkedIn-focused content typically invites you to try this thing or that thing in an effort to increase engagement, improve reach, and get you on the right path to your next customer.

But let’s look at another page in the LinkedIn business book and review a few things that may be standing as a barrier to that all important relationship leading to your next sale.

Your LinkedIn Personal Profile Is Incomplete

Remember the rule learned in your high school English class – “Presentation is everything”? 

The same applies to your LinkedIn Personal Profile. Presentation matters – FULL STOP. It informs your audience about your professionalism, your attention to detail, as well as your industry credibility. Potential customers come to your profile – which is your own little, mini website – and make quick judgments about who you are based on what they see, or not.

Visitors who go the extra mile to review your profile typically review a few things:

The Background Image

This ‘front and center’ piece of LinkedIn real estate on your profile can’t be missed. Neglecting it makes your space look incomplete, and makes you look like an amateur. Even if they aren’t “looking” for your background image, it’s literally the first thing on your profile. If it’s empty, they can’t help but notice.

Find or create an image that represents you or your business and fill this space!

Your Headline or Summary

Don’t leave your headline summary blank or generically tell people you’re a “CEO” – no one cares. A title doesn’t tell your potential customer/partner what you can do for them. This is your opportunity to tell the world why working with you is beneficial to their bottom line. Remember, it’s about them, not you.

Recommendations from Clients or Former Colleagues

If you don’t have recommendations on your profile, you’re missing the opportunity to let others step up to the mic and sing your praises. Now, since they’re down at the bottom of your profile, most people will never scroll down to read them. But, if they do, that means they’re at least a little interested and are vetting you and your business. How awful for you if they had nothing to see.

Just a quick side note: recommendations and skill endorsements are NOT the same thing. I’d recommend spending time getting recommendations as they carry more credibility than endorsements. ANYONE can endorse skills, even people you’ve never met. If someone takes the time to write a recommendation for another person’s profile, you can almost guarantee it’s valid. Who has time to write one for random people? Who wants to?

In the end, if you’re the CEO of a business consulting firm or a media group and I’m thinking of using your services, at a minimum I’d expect your profile to have ALL the things. When your profile has gaps, doubt in your credibility creeps in.

You’re Professional, But Not Relatable

I regularly see posts and/or discussions on how “unprofessional” Linkedin has become over the last few years. There’s an ongoing debate about what’s considered ‘acceptable’ content, with some adamant about certain posts that would be better suited for other apps.

Before you stand on your soapbox about whether this post or that post isn’t LinkedIn material, consider this: people begin to trust you if they feel they know you or your personal perspective on business or industry topics.

NOW HEAR THIS RECENT UPDATE – JULY 2023! LinkedIn has recently changed its algorithm to favor content related to what your profile states you do professionally. But, that doesn’t mean you have to be all the way buttoned up! You can still allow your audience to see a side of you they typically wouldn’t. I would recommend relating it to your business or industry in some way.

For example, did you recently attend a golf tournament with colleagues or clients? Let your audience know and show the evidence! Video and images are still the favorite mediums to stop the social media scroll.

Did you grow beautiful tomatoes in your garden? You can relate the time you spend in your garden to the flexibility that your work/industry/service provides. Or talk about that fact that your business colleague/partner/client sent you seeds from their last harvest and these tomatoes are the result.

See where I’m going with that? You can still show a personal side of yourself while relating it to your business AND being relatable to your audience.

Relatable = like. Like = trust. Trust = increased chances of business relationships. Don’t miss out.

Sending Generic and Impersonal Connection Requests

Thousands of connection requests are sent through LinkedIn everyday. I mean, they’re bouncing all over the place and most of them are basic, non-personalized notifications.

Now, there is nothing technically wrong with sending that kind of request. Quite frankly, LinkedIn makes it easy on both mobile app and desktop to simply click the “Connect” button and keep it moving.

But that kind of request won’t help you make an impression with your audience and peers. Does it take a bit longer to personalize each request? Yes, but the extra effort is worth it as it gets you noticed and gives the recipient something to consider. How do you personalize a request?

  • Mention that you have connections in common. If you truly know those common connections, mention them by name.
  • Mention the last blog/article they wrote or that they were featured in and tell them what you found interesting about it.
  • If you saw/heard them on a podcast or webinar, tell them when and where you heard them.

Need help crafting your own connection requests? Download your free LinkedIn Connection Request Swipe File.

You’re Pitching Your Product or Service in the Connection Request

The last one brings me to this next point. I truly feel like a broken record writing this one, because I’ve written it, created videos about it, and it still amazes me when I get one of these connection requests. 

So, here goes, again. The sales process on LinkedIn is THE LONG GAME. Most sales transactions are B2B and so there is much more thought, and sometimes more than one person, involved in the buying process. 

No one is buying from you just because you present what seems to be a great product or service. 

No one is scheduling meetings just because you hop in their DMs immediately after connecting with some form of, “I’ve reviewed your profile/company page/website and it looks like I/we might be able to help you blah, blah, blah and increase your blah, blah, blah. I would love to set up a Zoom meeting with you to show you how you can achieve this too! It’s free, no strings attached!”

It’s annoying and disingenuous. Is there a time to send a potential customer this type of direct message? YES! But it’s definitely NOT with or immediately after your connection request. People want to get to know and trust you before deciding to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars with you. Give it time.

You’re Only Using the Application to Promote Yourself

How many times have you been watching your favorite show and a commercial comes on that you’ve seen too many times? You roll your eyes and say through clenched teeth, “If that commercial comes on ONE MORE TIME!”.

This is how your audience feels if the only content you offer is self-promotion.

Your audience IS interested in getting to know you – the person behind the brand. But if all you’re saying is, “Look at me…look at my product, look at me…look at my product, look at me…”, they tune you out, unfollow you, never engage with your content, and quickly block any direct messages you send. 

PEOPLE AREN’T ON LINKEDIN TO BE SOLD. They’re on the app to learn and build industry relationships that can help them reach the next level. 

So, how can you help? How can you educate them? What information can you offer that they’ll appreciate? Remember, their time on the app is not at all about you. Foster trust with your connections as they perceive you as someone genuinely interested in providing value rather than solely promoting yourself.

There are many small things business owners can do to increase their LinkedIn currency. Small changes can have a major impact on how you’re perceived and how successful you are in building trust and productive relationships with potential clients.

If you need assistance building your profile or a monthly strategy, I’m happy to help! Let’s get on each other’s calendar!

LinkedIn: Your More Than Capable Business Partner

  • mannette
  • April 1st, 2022
" alt="">

Content updated April, 2022.

There’s so much more to this app than showcasing your past work experience!

“I’ve never really looked at LinkedIn.” 

“I’ve been told my business needs to be there, but…I just don’t know how it works.”

“Isn’t it just an online resume?”

I often hear these and similar refrains from business owners, potential clients, networking attendees, and…well, the list goes on and on.

LinkedIn seems to be this distant social media cousin that no one’s quite sure what to do with. Most people I talk to get into a good marketing groove with other applications like Instagram, Facebook, or even Tik Tok, but LinkedIn just isn’t a part of their conversations.

I’m here to open your eyes.

LinkedIn may not be the most popular social media tool, but don’t be fooled! Using LinkedIn for business can help you get noticed, generate leads, and build partnerships that take you to the next level!

There are more people on LinkedIn than you think

At least 775 million people use LinkedIn, and that number is expected to increase to 840 million by the end of the year.

If those numbers aren’t impressive enough, here’s another – in 2016, 40 million of them were high-level decision-makers. I can only imagine what that number will be by the end of 2022. 

LinkedIn is also the most used social media platform amongst Fortune 500 executives

This means that creating a profile and/or a business page on this application offers a great opportunity to market yourself, your product, or your service to the right people. 

These ‘right’ people are the all-important decision-makers that sign service agreements and get you paid.

They’re CEOs, Directors, Vice-Presidents, District or General Managers, and Principals of small to large businesses or corporations. They are the people that allocate money and determine who to spend it with.

Let’s say I told you about a great networking space, less than a 1 mile from your home, where the top 5 CEOs in your industry stopped by every single day to mingle, meet new people, find new business solutions, and maybe, make purchases. 

Would you make it your business to be there E-V-E-R-Y D-A-Y? Of course, you would!

Well, that’s LinkedIn.

With over 260 million business people logging in every month, there’s always SOMEONE available for you to connect with…SOMEONE looking for the product or service you offer.

So, here’s the takeaway from your last 2 minutes of reading. 

If you’re a business owner, especially in the business-to-business market, you NEED to have a presence on LinkedIn. If not, you’re missing a huge opportunity to grow your brand and your profit.

Take advantage of a space that’s not content-saturated

Only 1% of LinkedIn users log in and do more than make connections or like someone else’s posts in their feed. ONE PERCENT.


LinkedIn is similar to other social media applications in its ability to help you present yourself as an industry expert. There may be 120 businesses similar to yours on LinkedIn, but if you’re the only one actively providing valuable information and resources to a network, you stand out. 


If you’re in the hospitality industry, conventional wisdom tells you to connect with all of the general managers, directors of sales, revenue managers, and management company executives you can find. 

Most people would take just enough time to request or accept a few connections, then like, comment “Great post”,  or share an industry article they found once a month. 

There’s so much more to do! 

To make more of an impact, you might also consider sharing:

  • Tips on how to increase revenue during a slow season
  • Data on customer meetings expectations
  • Video of behind-the-scenes preparation for an upcoming event
  • Any of this information in an industry group

Simply having a login and profile isn’t making the most out of the application. Offering content gives you the opportunity to market your company and ideas alongside Fortune 500 companies sharing this very same space.

Use the application as an industry monitoring tool

LinkedIn also offers you the ability to keep an eye on influencers and industry changes. By connecting with or following industry leaders, you can maintain a grasp on hot topics and trends that can inform your content, in-person conversations, and business decisions. 

Let’s go back to the hospitality example above. If you’re interested in doing business with Marriott International, you might decide to follow the company page, as well as its CEO, Anthony Capuano.

This allows you to see what the company deems important and what the CEO is involved in. Has he been honored in any way? Did he give his own views on the future of the industry 20 years down the road?

In addition, LinkedIn has now fully vested in using hashtags to index content. So, you can also search and follow hashtags like #HotelTrends, #HotelRevenue, or even #AnthonyCapuano. Likewise, when you produce content and include hashtags, others can use them to find your posts or articles.

Linkedin can open your business to so many growth opportunities. But in order to take advantage, you’ve got to be there and be active.

Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are great! But LinkedIn, if utilized correctly, can work as your long-term, 24-hour, digital business partner!

Creating a social media or content marketing strategy If you’re looking for help in establishing your social media or content marketing strategy, let’s start with a conversation. We’d love to assist you in finding your digital voice to positively impact your overall business goals.

Social Media and Your Veterinary Practice – GROW!

  • MHoward
  • February 24th, 2021
Pet Mom with white dog" alt="">

Use social media to offer value, set expectations, and gain more customers

Pandemic life has most pet parents spending waaaaay more time with their fur babies than usual. They’re paying more attention to their pets and notice right away when things are a little off. It means that at some point, they’ll need to reach out to a veterinarian’s office for help.

Is your practice well-positioned on social media to be the veterinarian of choice?

“Why is your eye oozing like that?”

“You’re scratching way more than usual.”

“This is the third time you’ve rubbed your rump on my carpet today! What gives?!”

Pet parents have questions.

You’ve got answers, but how do you get them to trust that you’re the best source of information and the best vet option for them?

Creating a customer-centric social media strategy that bonds pet owners to you BEFORE THEY NEED YOU is the right play. This strategy invites them into your space to look around, get to know you, and gain trust, so your office is the first call when it’s time for an appointment.

Black labrador

What does your social media presence say about you?

Like any other service, veterinary customers begin their quest with a good, ‘ole Google search. They read reviews and ask friends or family members for referrals. But, I guarantee that at some point in those initial stages, they’ll head to social media to check out your practice. 

They want to feel good about your practice, the people, and what you represent.

  • Are the doctors any good? 
  • Do people seem to like the service and/or leave positive comments? 
  • Does your practice offer good, solid, valuable advice? 
  • Do you seem to have regular customers or just a few here and there? 
  • Do the employees look like they’re having fun and enjoying their work? Are they smiling at all? 

Your audience uses your social media presence to decide if they’ll take the chance of leaving their fur baby in your care. Pet parents come to that conclusion based on the content you post and how people respond to it. Your content showcases your expertise and helps them decide whether you can be trusted. They’re paying attention when you offer advice on:

  • Managing seasonal allergies
  • Better ways to brush their pet’s teeth
  • How often to bathe pets without leaving dry, itchy skin
  • When an injury needs an emergency hospital vs. a veterinarian appointment 

Well-planned and consistent content allows people to get a glimpse of your take on common issues and how you manage their concerns. Social media allows them the experience without being in the room.

Inquiring minds want to know who’s on your team

Vetting a practice isn’t just about the doctors, it’s about the entire team. 

Pet parents want to know they’ll be greeted by friendly desk staff, that the tech who’ll cut the dog’s nails knows what they’re doing, and that the iguana will be left in a safe space while waiting to be picked up. Social media is the perfect way to showcase your team and give customers a sense of who’s doing what at every stage of their pet’s visit.

A part of building comfort and trust is simply becoming familiar with names and faces they’ll recognize later. So, use social media to feature your employees.

  • Consider posting a video of a drop-off between a technician and pet owner that went really well
  • Show images of an employee comforting a pet who suffered a little anxiety being away from their owner. 
  • Feature a staff member dressed up for the season’s holiday 
  • It may be as simple as asking employees to introduce themselves in a quick video, reassuring customers that employees are great at what they do

Your team is your success. Let your audience see that!

Feature specific success stories – toot your own horn!

Every practice has a story or stories that make the team proud of what they do. Tell the world about the time your team nursed the rescue cat back to health, saved the litter of puppies from a bout with Parvo, or just loved on the 12-year-old goat that’s been treated at your practice since it was a kid.

Dog getting medicine with needle

Don’t hide your success stories! These shared experiences reassure potential customers that you know what you’re doing and can be trusted with their beloved family members. 

Side note: Don’t forget to ask permission from the pet parents before sharing their story and image with the world.

Social media is a two-way street

One of the best features of social media is the opportunity to interact with your audience on a regular basis. Unfortunately, businesses drop the ball and see it ONLY as a way to give out information.  Remember, social media is SOCIAL. Followers see it as a way to reach out and touch, if only briefly.

Whether managed by the practice manager, intern, or social media manager, there should be someone delegated to respond to questions, comments, or concerns on all social media platforms. If questions aren’t answered or comments are ignored, this signals to your audience that you may be just as unattentive if they have questions or concerns as a customer. 

Be sure that whoever manages your accounts have smartphone notifications turned on for each platform so they know when content responses are received. When that’s not possible or might be a distraction during the workday, schedule time at least twice per day to check platforms for comments or inquiries.

Your practice doesn’t have a social media presence just yet? You’re missing out! Consider putting the medium to use ASAP! If you have accounts but don’t do much with them, you’re missing out on an entirely new customer base that’s waiting to hear what you have to say.

Come get these Black stock image jewels!

  • mannette
  • June 16th, 2020
Black Stock Images" alt="">

Representation matters.

It just does. It matters in how you view yourself. It matters in how the world perceives you. It matters in how your audience views your product, service, and your company. 

How many of you remember…

…counting the number of Black people you saw in a Coke commercial or the number of times you saw a Black family on an episode of Richard Dawson’s Family Feud? How about counting the number of Black people you saw on a Saturday morning episode of American Bandstand because after watching Soul Train, you were still in a dancing mood, so you headed over to that other network to see what musical group was on and to see if you recog…wait…no…who are these people? Never mind.

Author's pic as child
Me and my Black doll…somewhere around 1976 or ’77?

Anyway, in 2020, we still live in a world where White is the default in marketing and advertising imagery. This is clearly evident for small to mid-sized marketers attempting, on small budgets, to find images that help communicate and represent their brand. Many stock image sites either lack relevant images of Black people or the ones they offer are so cheesy or aged that it’s just painful to search through. There have been a few times I’ve decided to go without an image because the pickings were laughable.

Thank goodness Black photographers and creatives took this issue into their own hands and created spaces to house real, elegant, relevant, every day, ‘make me wanna’ buy some of your stuff’ images of us. Cause yeah, Black folk pose in the street, drink tea, dig our toes in the sand, hug our Daddies, eat ice cream, walk our dogs, smoke cigarettes (I mean really…stop that), hang out with our friends, type on our laptops, open Christmas presents, and look gazingly into the sun, too.

These sites feature images that honor the way we see ourselves, through our own gaze, instead of relying on the perspective of ‘other’.

Larger, more popular sites finally caught a clue and expanded their offerings, giving us even more options to choose from. Some of their images are still questionable, but hey…baby steps, I guess.

Take a look at the top 5 list I’ve compiled and get what you need! If you need more, download this stock image resource guide.

Oh! None of these sites have paid me to feature them, soooo…

nappy – This site offers lots of images in shades of brown from folk all over the African diaspora. It’s a beautiful thing! Everything on this site is free. Find an image and download it.

Images courtesy of

CreateHER Stock – Founded by creative Neosha Gardner, this site is loaded with images perfect for your product, service, blog, or website. There’s a collection of over 3000+ free images (after offering your email) called The Stockpile. If you need more extensive offerings, you can pay to play for as little as $10 per month. 

You can also get unlimited access and unlimited downloads for $99 annually. That’s a pretty darn good deal!

Images courtesy of

eye for ebony – This is another site offered up by a group of creatives that saw a need and decided to act. Led by LaShonda Brown, EFE provides $25 bundles of 25 lifestyle photos, including “Yoga”, “T-Shirt Mockups”, “In Love”, “Blogger”, and more. You can try a few images for free by signing up for their newsletter with your email address.

Father’s Day is coming up…check out the “Father & Son” bundle!

Images courtesy of

Pexels – I’ve used this site for several years, but sometimes was less than impressed with their offerings for people of color. But lately, they’ve upped their game and it’s lovely!

About a week ago, I posted content thanking online design and publishing platform, Canva, for increasing the number of African American images available. After digging a little deeper, I’ve discovered that Canva acquired Pexels and Pixabay, which would explain the sudden onslaught of beautiful, brown images. They also offer stock videos, so please take a look!

Images courtesy of Pexels/Canva

Black illustrations – Sometimes an image just won’t do the trick. There are times you need an illustration, customized or not, to adequately portray brand, product, or service. There are a few free packages for download, but others come with a nominal fee and are well worth it.

Illustrations courtesy of

When you begin checking out these options, you’ll undoubtedly find some of the photos across multiple sites, and that’s okay! However, each site has its own dynamic and multidimensional flavor, just like Black people. So, get yourself a cup of coffee or tea, pick up your laptop or smartphone, or tablet, and get to work curating fantastic images of color for your creative projects!

There are just a few sites I’ve come across and used over the years. If you’d like the full list, download it here.

Women’s History Month is a great time to not only review our fabulous past, but to also take a look at where we’re headed.

Podcasts are the perfect place to start focusing on what’s happening NOW!

They’ve taken over as the digital media resource ‘du jour’. And why not? Podcasts let you hear great perspectives on a myriad of topics while staying focused on those things you need to get done. That could be working out, driving to work, grocery shopping, or writing this blog…you get what I’m saying.

Whether you’re looking for business advice, need help destressing, or maybe just want to hear a great conversation between friends, there’s something for you!

That being said, here’s my contribution to Women’s History Month! 

I’ve compiled a small list of Black women-created podcasts covering the gamut of topics from entrepreneurial encouragement to recognizing the importance of self-care in your mental health.

So, scan the list. Check out a few episodes of each one and see if you find one that makes you giggle a little or think more deeply.


Carol Sankar – The Confidence Factor

I first became aware of Carol Sankar a couple of years ago when I ran across an article she’d written for Forbes Magazine, “Why Don’t More Women Negotiate?”. 

Well, that title got my attention, ‘cause honey give me my money! 

I started searching out more information and began following her on a couple of platforms.

Turns out, she has a podcast called The Confidence Factor. It’s appropriately named after her company, The Confidence Factor for Women in Leadership, built to educate, influence, and empower women in the c-suite. 

Why this podcast? What makes Carol Sankar’s podcasts interesting are the lessons she weaves throughout her personal anecdotes. They’re loaded with thoughtful and sometimes funny stories shared of the journey building her business. In the midst of this Women’s History Month, her perspective is needed. Listen up! 

Speak Easy with She` Jones

If you’re like me, you’ve received social media notifications from a family member, friend or acquaintance announcing their new podcast. Some of them are great…and this is one of them!

She`, her husband Carlos, and other guests discuss some of the same topics on her “SpeakEasy with She` Jones” podcast that you’d talk about with your own family and friends. Is social media ruining relationships? Are PWIs better than HBCUs? Why did Snoop Dogg handle the whole ‘Gayle’ thing the way he did (and why is Bill Cosby speaking on anything…from jail)? 

I love the informal tone of the interactions. It makes you feel like you’re hanging out with friends or family you haven’t talked to in a while. There are truly some laugh out loud moments!

Why this podcast? It’s just a good, easy conversation that you might have with friends, sitting around and sipping wine on a Friday night. After dealing with all the things you do within a week, it’s cool to just kick back and shoot the sh** for a little while. 

Sit back and have a chill conversation with She`.

Elayne Fluker – Support Is Sexy

I’m always on the search for women who make a habit of uplifting other women in business. The entrepreneurship journey is NOT easy and sometimes you just need to know that someone understands. So it’s no surprise that it was the name of her podcast that really caught my eye. Not the “sexy”, but the “support”.

If you’ve ever gone down the road of small-business ownership, no further explanation is needed.

In her Support is Sexy podcast, Elayne interviews women whose stories cover a wide range. There’s one guest whose life experiences led her to open a global hotel, though that just didn’t seem to be her original path. She interviews another who used hard-knock life experiences to support the forward movement of other women.

Then there’s a very personal episode where Elayne admits sitting in a room of other successful women…and that doggone self-doubt came creeping in, making her question her own value when compared to theirs. Ouch! Been there, done that!

Why this podcast? No matter how successful your business, every female entrepreneur needs to know someone feels her pain and Elayne gets that. Sometimes, hearing incredible stories of success or insight can give you just the right amount of motivation to keep you on your own path of discovery.

Discovering Strength with Erin Myers

Self-care. It’s the buzz phrase of the day, and with good reason. We are a nation of overworked, under-rested, and just overall stressed out and ever-chasing-happy folk. Did I cover it all? Probably not, but hang with me for a moment.

Erin Myers tackles these challenges through the prism of her faith. With her Discovering Strength podcast, she uses her faith and experience with personal challenges as an inspiration to those others. She specifically talks about how her battles with abuse, divorce, childhood trauma, and “motherwounds” have taken their toll. But she uses those same battles to help others overcome and prosper.

One of my favorite episodes is part of her Reset and Refresh Series entitled, “What’s that prayer life look like?”

Why this podcast? When I need a pick-me-up, a word of encouragement, or a word from the Most High as encouragement, I can depend on Erin to shine a light in that direction.

Now, if you’re like me, you won’t have time to check them all out or listen to your favorite podcaster more than once a week. But, do yourself a favor and reap the personal benefits of taking in the light of at least one.

Check out Monica’s recent blog on getting better results on the LinkedIn platform! You can also connect with or follow her on LinkedIn or Facebook.

I’ve previously written about people who ONLY use LinkedIn as an online resume, and how that’s a very limited way to view and use the application. It bears repeating that, used strategically, LinkedIn can help bolster your subject matter expert status and share your insight with potential partners and paying clients. 

My advice remains the same – be active and engaged.

However, in regular conversations with current and potential clients, I’ve noticed a trend. For many,  what passes for ‘engagement’ isn’t truly…engagement. When completing my usual onboarding reconnaissance for people who tell me they’re relatively active on the site, I quickly realize our definitions of ‘active’ and ‘engagement’ don’t line up.

Let me explain. 

If you’ve made the decision to ramp up your LinkedIn engagement in 2020, yay you! But please… clearly define what that means. Engagement is NOT spending 20 minutes a day scrolling through your feed, finding posts that pique your interest, and hitting the “Like” button. I mean, the ‘Like” is appreciated, but how have you really engaged in a meaningful way that will add to that particular conversation or impact a thought process? What connection did you make, literally and figuratively, with that half-second act?

Not much, if any.

So, what should you do?

When a post impacts you in a way that inspires you to ‘like’ it, that means you’ve surely had a thought about the content, however brief that thought may have been. So, go to the comments section and inform your tribe of that thought. It’s okay. You can do it…there’s no right or wrong answer. It’s a discussion. It’s a conversation. It’s ENGAGEMENT.

Let’s say the post REALLY resonated and gave you pause. Share the post and give even more details on your thoughts. Tell your audience why this subject is important to you. Communicate your past experiences with this topic. Let them know why you agree or disagree with the previous commentary. Tell people what you think…they’re interested to know.

Your layoff can produce life!

  • mannette
  • July 22nd, 2019
" alt="">

Your layoff can produce life!

“I’m here to tell you that your position has been eliminated…”


I really don’t remember much of what he said after that.

Termination was the last thing on my mind that Monday in March several years ago. I NEVER imagined that the area manager, unexpectedly zipping through the property early that morning, was THERE – FOR – ME. ??

If you’ve ever been laid off, you know how surreal it can be in those first few moments immediately after. Somehow, you’ve got to gather yourself, get up from the chair, and walk through your now-former place of employment without falling on your face.

Good luck with that.

One week before the layoffs. Ignorance is bliss!
Notice my work badge hanging in the background.

So, now what? My recently, but happily-divorced, brand-new mother-self wasn’t quite sure what to do. That job gave me stability after divorce and, until that moment, I hadn’t worried about money. In the blink of an eye, it all changed. To make matters worse, I hadn’t seen it coming. 

I had a child to care for and bills to pay! I had a mortgage to maintain! How was this supposed to work?

image of the author and her child.
Her first Halloween a few months after she was born.
I’d rushed from work to spend it with her.

After the sting wore off, a realization set in. A self-assessment was long overdue. Big decisions were looming and I had to be honest about who my ‘work self’ was.

Here’s what I came to terms with. 

I’m easily restless. Doing the same job over and over again aggravates me. It sucks the life and joy out of my day. Running on a schedule and punching a clock for someone else is just painful. So, while the layoff was a shock to the system, it wasn’t completely unwelcome.

I was ready for something new and I saw a HUGE opportunity. 

Options, Options, Options

I’d wanted to work for myself for a very long time. I dreamed and daydreamed about it and the itch just wouldn’t go away.

I’ve tried several ventures over the years, but I remember at one point trying to sell Mary Kay Coooos-metics. Imagine trying to sell makeup when you just really don’t care about makeup. ???

That doesn’t work too well and it most definitely didn’t work for me.

It did, however, give me a taste of working by my own rules, in my own time, and striving to reach my own goals! 


So, a few weeks later, while sitting in the kitchen feeding my then two-year-old and contemplating next steps, I made a decision to change my focus.

Why not help people just like me?

I pivoted into a totally different industry and began helping business owners build their online presence. I started by designing small business websites and quickly moved to teach entrepreneurs how social media integrated with their sites to increase business. 

That led to my love of social media. This new digital phenomenon was great from a personal perspective, and I also saw how it could help small business owners thrive in ways they couldn’t before. It opened doors for entrepreneurs who didn’t have a budget for magazine, newspaper, and television ads.

Now, small business owners can get their product or service in front of thousands of potential customers…for $10! Before social media, even an ad in the local city or county newspaper could run you $500!

As for me, it allowed me to thrive in a space and place I’d created for myself. It felt wonderful, crazy, scary, overwhelming, and peaceful all at the same time.

I found purpose in helping other small business owners build their own online space in the social mediasphere.

Author at various networking events.
I’m not where I want to be, but the journey
getting there has been incredible!
The people I’ve met and the
opportunities I’ve been offered – AWESOME!

Entrepreneurship can be tough, euphoric, and tear-inducing.

Calling it overwhelming is an understatement.

We’ve got 20 things to do in one day… every day, and sometimes we need help.

Allowing someone else to manage the pieces we aren’t so good at or just don’t have time for allows us to thrive.

So, if you need help finding your social media ‘space’, connect with me.

I can help you create and implement a strategy and free up your time to focus on other parts of your business.

Send me a message or schedule a time to talk

Let’s get this done!

Linkedin has proven itself to be a great tool and resource for building business relationships. It can connect you with past colleagues, introduce new connections, and offer industry insights from experts and influencers. Sounds like the apps “About Us” page, doesn’t it.

Well, here’s what’s also true. From a purely social media perspective, LinkedIn has left us hanging. In many respects, it lags behind its social media counterparts in implementing relevant innovation. It can leave users frustrated and perpetually searching out ways to do one thing or another, only to realize that the app doesn’t do one thing or another.

Don’t get me wrong – LinkedIn’s use and value are undeniable! But there are some definite head-scratching sticking points.

Native Video

So, let’s just start with the obvious – native video. We’ve been hoping for it, wishing LinkedIn would get with the program and create the option that has quickly become the norm for other platforms. We’ve been reading and hearing about its pending arrival, lamenting its power to everyone who’ll listen. Native video is ‘the’ thing to increase engagement, and make you the cool kid on your connection block.

And then, it happened! It was rolled out to a select few in August 2017 and all was well with the world – except that it wasn’t.

It’s January 2018 and my timeline is consistently filled with connections wondering when they’ll get the native video option. I’m always surprised by the comments since I received access really early on. I wasn’t super active on the app at the time, but knew, and still know, many active users who are waiting. The comments inevitably lead to more questions – “Did iPhone users get it before Android?”, “Did premium users get it before others?”, “Did U.S. users have access before the rest of the world?”, and “Maybe they launched it on the west coast first”.  Who knows!

I reached out to LinkedIn to ask the “who gets it first” question but received the canned “We’re working to release it to everyone soon” response.

Company Pages

While the company pages feature continues to increase in significance to the business community, it lacks a few basic, but key features important to companies attempting to increase awareness and engagement on this platform.

Again, let’s start with the obvious – native video is not available on company pages. Now, this may not be a big deal for larger companies with access to large marketing and production budgets. But for the small business owner working to get traction and basic awareness that their page even exists, increased engagement from native video can mean everything.

Now, this next limitation is a bit mind-boggling and I just truly don’t understand why it is what it is. With LinkedIn Company Pages, there is no way, on desktop or mobile, to edit your posts.

Let that sink in for a moment.

How many times, either personally or professionally, have you had to go back and edit something you’ve posted? If you’re like me, ALL THE TIME. Unfortunately, LinkedIn Company Pages doesn’t give you the opportunity to do so. Misspell something, want to add a tag, or simply add a sentence to your already lovely post? You’ll need to delete what you’ve already posted and start all over again.  I don’t know what else to say about this, other than I just don’t understand why this simple option isn’t available. Come on, Linkedin. Help us out.

Another company page issue is the lack of messaging ability. So, a potential customer comes to your company page, like what they see, are really interested in your product or service, and want to reach out to get more information. Well, outside of clicking a company provided email link to connect externally or leaving the app for the company’s webpage, they can’t. Not that connecting externally is a bad thing, as business owners ultimately want to drive website traffic. However, isn’t LinkedIn’s goal to keep as much traffic as possible on the app?

According to some industry experts, messaging apps and/or functionality will be the technology most useful in reaching, marketing to, and communicating with customers in 2018. In October 2017, ZDNet contributor Liam Tung wrote about the smart messaging feature that’s now available. This is great for quickly communicating from your personal profile, although I would love to be able to personally choose available response options.

I’d be happy with just having basic messaging functionality between companies and the public, but with this feature being the next ‘big’ thing, I can only hope LinkedIn quickly upgrades availability and functionality.


What happened to the vibrant community that was LinkedIn Groups?  They used to be such a huge part of the LinkedIn app, but now they’ve been relegated to obscurity under the ‘Work’ tab, on desktop and can only be found through search on mobile.

I’ve read points attributing the loss of Groups’ significance to many things, including a few from Social Business Psychologist JD Gershbein. He’s considered everything from LinkedIn internal controls like SWAM (this concept, by the way, is a real head-scratcher), to the increase of knowledge information that can be received right on the personal profile wall.

Whatever the case, I’m hoping that things turn around for Groups. It was, and should be revived as, a great platform of true connection and concentrated industry knowledge sharing.

LinkedIn has been my application of choice lately and I look forward to spending lots more time getting to know the features beneficial to myself and clients. I’m hoping LinkedIn will power through and introduce more timely, and basic, options so we can take advantage of the latest and greatest professionally, as we do personally.

Give your strategy a checkup from the neck up! 

Can you believe half the year is almost over? You’ve been implementing your social media strategy for almost 9 months.

How’s it going?

If you haven’t tackled it already time to review those platform analytics to determine how well your strategy is working.  After all, you’re not posting all that content just to post something, right?

If you are, we need to talk.

Audit Your Achievements!

Most small business owners have heard of a social media audit, but most don’t really know what it is, nor have they ever completed one. No worries! Here’s a quick explanation.

An audit is a complete review of your social media presence. It gives you the opportunity to take a look at what’s working or not, what revisions are needed, and what strategy may need to be nixed altogether. While you should complete a social media audit at least once a quarter, now is the perfect time to take a snapshot of your performance and the impact on your business.

A few questions to consider when reviewing your performance numbers are:

  • Have you achieved the number of followers desired?
  • Have you published the amount of content you originally scheduled?
  • Have your posts received the engagement you were looking for?
  • Is your content driving enough traffic to your website??

Your platform insights and analytics tools can help you determine what’s happening.

Keep in mind that you can only view performance data for Facebook and Instagram if they’ve been converted to business accounts. Twitter allows analytics for everyone.


To check your Facebook content results, go to the “Insights” tab at the top of your business page.

Facebook Insights lets you review information specific to your business page like:

  • Post impressions – The number times your post was shown in someone’s timeline
  • Page and posts reach – The number of unique viewers who viewed the post or page
  • Page and posts engagement – The number of clicks, likes, shares, or comments on the post or page


Instagram analytics is also available for business accounts, but can only be accessed through the mobile app. From mobile profile page, you’ll notice the analytics icon, which looks like a line graph,  at the top of the page.

You can review measurements important to your business, such as:

  • The number of followers you’ve added this week over the last
  • The demographicsc  of those followers
    • Percentage of men vs. women
    • Age range
    • Follower location
  • Engagement for each specific post (Likes, comments, impressions, reach, etc.)


Twitter also has a great analytics tool that can be used to chart your course. This tool allows you to see:

  • Your top tweets over a self-selected range of time
  • Your follower demographics, based on
    • Interest
    • Household income
    • Age range
    • Even the type of TV they watch

Most social media apps have some form of analytics. Use the data to determine the success of the strategy you created at the beginning of the year. Is it working for you? If so, great! Do more of the same! If not, take a step back and make the needed adjustments.

Not sure what those adjustments are? Connect with me. I can help!

Edited and September 13, 2018.

The Best Social Media Target Audience You Never Noticed

  • mannette
  • April 27th, 2017
" alt="">

Social media marketers are constantly trying to find the best way to reach potential customers. If you listen to the plethora of online ‘experts’, you’d think millennials were the target market of the century. They’re the tech savvy generation born and raised in the digital world. Surely they understand and navigate online activity more easily than everyone else, right? But, are they really the group that’ll whip out their wallet…or Apple/Android Pay and spend money with you?

NEWS FLASH! That honor belongs to Generation X.

Generation who?

I belong to Generation X. We are the smallest generation, born between the mid 60’s and early 80’s, and only number about 65 million to millennials’ 83 million. I was born in an age when TVs didn’t have remotes, cell phones didn’t exist, and wearing a seatbelt was only a suggestion. As far as technology is concerned, my college years were spent walking to the campus computer lab to sign up for a time to use the word processor. Rarely did anyone have personal computers in the early 90’s. Well, that one girl down the hall did, but she got tired of everybody knocking on her door during finals’ week.

Fast forward 25 years. Gen Xers have adapted to and embraced the world of technology! On any given day, our eyes are glued to laptops and tablets and smartphones – just like everyone else. And boy do we love our technology! According to a Nielson Social Media Report published this year, Gen Xers spend more time on social media than any other generation! They spend almost 7 hours on social media per week, as compared to Millennials’ 6 hours and Boomers’ four.

Hello! Can anybody hear us?!

Why, then, do marketers ignore Gen Xers and leapfrog their marketing efforts from Baby Boomers to Millennials? Some marketers claim its simple math. According to a 2016 Adweek piece, boomers and millennials get the most attention because they have the largest demographic. Again, while Gen X is 65 million strong, that’s small change compared to boomers’ and millennials’ 74.9 and 75.4 million, respectively. Others think it’s the middle child syndrome. Gen X’ers are bookended by two significant ‘revolutions’. Most Xers don’t remember the Civil Rights Movement or Vietnam from their boomer parents’ generation, and they aren’t the poster children for the digital age, either. For many marketers, these factors make it more difficult to define who they are, since there’s the accepted perception that there is nothing to make them unique. Instead of trying to figure out how to market to this multi-dimensional generation, they’ve been largely ignored by most.

Generation X spends money!

While they aren’t the largest generation, 65 million wallets are nothing to sneeze at. But, outside of just their demographic number, there are a few things that should make marketers sit up and take notice.

According to the same Nielson report, medium social media users are defined as anyone who spends 1-2 hours on social media per day. Remember, Generation X spends almost 7 hours on social media per week. Here are a few stats to get you thinking:

  1. 80% of online purchases are completed by medium social media users. Looking at the data, these users are a pretty even combination of millennials…and GENERATION X.
  2. In the past 12 months, 48% of medium social media users who made online purchases spent money for clothing, 33% purchased books, and 27% purchased airline tickets.
  3. With Generation X spending more time on social media than any others, marketers have more of an opportunity to reach  and sell to them.

Do your homework to understand!

Even with all of this data, you’ve got to understand more than just the numbers. Gen Xers have more disposable income to spread around. Millennials are generally focused on growing income and trying to determine their next career move. Boomers are in or contemplating retirement, so they may pull back the reigns a bit on spending. Gen Xers, in general, are in a stage of life where work is stable, salaries are stable, retirement accounts are stable, and they can afford to spend and splurge a little.

While Xers adapted to the digital world, they are more than comfortable with online shopping. They’ll still pack up the family and head to the mall or outlet to shop, but they are just as likely to put their feet up and search online for that leather jacket they can finally afford.

BONUS: Gen Xers tend to be more loyal than other generations. Translation:If they like your product, they’ll come back again and make additional purchases. Sales 101: current customers typically spend more money than new ones. Make sense?

So, don’t overlook the generation with money to spend by following the crowd or trends! Gen Xers may not be the ‘it’ generation, but have the dollars you’re trying to get.