Episode 153: Kevin D. Turner – The Difference Between Personal Blanding vs Personal Branding
Kevin D. Turner, a career coach and managing partner of TNT brand strategist, joins our resident host Bob Woods to teach us the difference between personal Blanding vs personal branding and why we should stop personal Blanding.
Listen as he shared how we can build personal branding the right way. There are things in our career history that we have done but we don’t want to be known for. Know how you want to move forward and where you’re going, not what you’ve done, and start building your personal branding.
Discover the one thing that you can do right now to really take full advantage of LinkedIn and start building that relationship.
Kevin D. Turner 00:00
To me, there is no selling in social. If you do social right, the sale comes to you. That, to me, is the best way to do it. And building those relationships, the internet, places like LinkedIn have given us such an opportunity to not only get a build up, but to have a global reach, and to be able to kind of create opportunity and build relationships with people, and they fall in love with you and they go, “You know what, Bob, I want to buy from you.” and they come to you and they say, “This is what I want from you.” That’s a much better sale than trying to push something down somebody’s throat while you’re trying to build a relationship with them. So I always detach the two, right? It’s not social selling, it’s social that ends up bringing a sale to you.
Welcome to the Making Sales Social podcast, featuring the top voices in sales, marketing, and business. Join Brynne Tillman and me, Bob Woods, as we each bring you the best tips and strategies our guests are teaching their clients, so you can leverage them for your own virtual and social selling. Enjoy the show.
Bob Woods 01:12
Today on Making Sales Social, my guest is Kevin D. Turner, who is managing partner of TNT brand strategist. Ken is a technology and business focused organizational and Personal Brand Builder with a ton of expertise in visioneering, communications, culture building and creating disruptive advantages. He’s recognized for insightful talent development and cultivating high performance teams globally, while profitably managing branding and growing organizations.
Kevin is a full out communicator too, as I like to say, he basically handles everything you can throw at him when it comes to communications from organizational and personal branding, to full brand strategy development, from all kinds of work and LinkedIn profiles and business pages to actual resumes. And from corporate training and public speaking on LinkedIn to career and corporate transition services, and lots of other things that could fill this podcast episode in and of itself. So with that, thanks for joining us today, Kevin, we appreciate you taking some time.
Kevin D. Turner 02:15
Bob, I truly appreciate the opportunity to be here. Love what you do, love what you say and I think we’re gonna have fun today.
Bob Woods 02:22
I guarantee that we’re gonna have fun today. Although if we don’t have fun, I don’t know how people would take advantage of that guarantee. So, our first traditional question and I think you’re in an especially good place to answer this is, what does making sales social mean to you?
Kevin D. Turner 02:42
You know what, it’s a great question because I always have people talk about social selling, right. And to me, there is no selling in social. If you do social right the sale comes to you. That, to me, is the best way to do it. And building those relationships, you know, the internet, places like LinkedIn have given us such an opportunity to not only get a build up, but to have a global reach, and to be able to kind of create opportunity and build relationships with people and they fall in love with you and they go, “You know what, Bob, I want to buy from you.” Let me check out what you’re doing and they come to you and they say, “This is what I want from you.” That’s a much better sale than trying to push something down somebody’s throat while you’re trying to build a relationship with them. So I always detach the two, right? It’s not social selling, it’s social, that ends up bringing a sale to you.
Bob Woods 03:38
That’s a real interesting concept there. And I especially like what you said when it comes to relationship building, because I still think that there are salespeople out there who just don’t care about relationships, and I mean, making sales social, I mean, really does help in that relationship building. I mean, because people sell to people, right?
Kevin D. Turner 04:01
Oh, yeah, absolutely! And that’s what we want to buy from people we like, right, that we understand them. We were talking earlier about, like it’s the Go Giver, Bob Burg , right. “know, like and trust.” It’s who we buy from, that’s who we refer people to. And to me, that’s, you know, an incredibly valuable lesson I learned early on and so I’m always appreciative to Bob.
Bob Woods 04:23
Yeah, definitely. Yeah, yeah. And we’ve actually had him on the podcast and he’s a friend of the company and everything so you know. Yeah, yeah. I mean, if we could we would all build the altars to Bob and all…
So speaking of making sales social. I mean, this whole thing around selling and using social to me I see as a big step in the evolution of sales and specifically in that all important initial contact with a potential prospect you know, we’ve gone from door knocking, to cold calling sprinkled in some do a lot of marketing. And now some of us, unfortunately, not enough of us. But some of us are using social, in our case, LinkedIn to start those sales conversations. Some have called it a revolution, though, which side? Do you think you land on evolution or revolution?
Kevin D. Turner 05:14
I think it’s a little bit of both. I had an experience very early on in my career, I worked for Sony Corporation for about 13 years, and started in marketing, branding, into sales. And one of the things that they always teach you at Sony, and it’s a very Japanese principle is “Potential customers are like, you should treat them like guests in your home” right? You lay everything out, you show them where everything is, you make them feel comfortable, you make them want to stay with you. And you know, through that building of that relationship process and treating them like guests in your home, they then become, you know, really the potential customer that you want them to be the one that asks you to sell to them.
And that’s I think, you know, for me, I was lucky to get that early on and I always embraced it, and was able to use that throughout my career. And I think it’s wonderful and many people are now kind of picking up on this, you know, this concept, right? It was very natural. And we fought those who put the pressure on us right to say, “Well, you got to make X amount of phone calls, cold phone calls, cold knocking, cold this, cold that, cold emails.” And that didn’t work, right. Some of them finally came around when you showed them that there’s a different way, and a better way.
And what is amazing to me, too, is when you build customers, in that sense, they send people to you, they have their own sales funnel. And you know what, there’s nothing better than somebody else telling you, “If you’re going to do this, you gotta do it with Bob, because Bob knows what he’s doing.“ You could say that all day and all night, Bob, but nobody’s really going to believe you because you’re selling. If somebody’s doing it for you, it has a huge advantage. And if you do social in the right sense of building those sales, those clients and customers, those relationships, that’s what happens, that pipeline really, really, really ramps up and it comes to you. So I think that’s a huge advantage.
Bob Woods 07:11
That’s nice. Yeah, yeah, so I guess, so I guess social selling and, you know, making sales social is kind of Japanese or Zen like, almost I mean, I think that that’s kind of a pretty decent logically to take. And one that I like too actually. It’s very different but at the same time, it genuinely and authentically builds relationships, quite frankly, the way that you would build any relationship, like you said, with your house example, too. I mean, you’re talking about guests coming into a house, we’re kind of doing that in social as well.
Kevin D. Turner 07:45
Absolutely! And if you are, you’re inviting them into your home, you’re inviting them into your life. And you know, that’s why you’ve seen so much change on LinkedIn, LinkedIn used to look like people’s basic resumes, right. And now it’s a little more friendly, it’s a little more open, there’s a little more conversation there, there’s a little more, and you don’t have to go personal, right? You don’t have to give him away all the secrets in your life but you can do personality really well. And personality makes you a human. And that’s one of the big changes I’ve seen over the years on LinkedIn is things are becoming more human, people are becoming more likeable, you know? I love to see that.
Bob Woods 08:20
Yeah, yeah. Yeah, that is amazing. So that’s actually a perfect bridge to kind of the next little chunk of things that I’d like to talk about. And that has to do with personal branding, which personal branding, of course involves putting your personality out there too. So I think that this is a great transition.
So one of the phrases that I absolutely love that I wish I would have thought of and if you haven’t trademarked it yet, you should trademark it pretty quickly here is you say to stay away from personal Blanding, as opposed to personal branding, just to make sure our listeners actually get that and like I said, it’s a brilliant term.
You and I agree on the big time importance of someone’s LinkedIn profile, which is kind of like a house going back to what you were saying before. We at Social Sales Link, we talked about it seems like hourly, about just how important the profile is. I mean, it really is that important. So tell me, why do you think the profile is so important? We’ve gotten into that a little bit already, but especially for salespeople?
Kevin D. Turner 09:24
you know, and it goes back to that whole term of personal blanding, right? And that personal blanding, which is trademark. The whole concept behind that is people have a tendency in every profile I look at when somebody says my “LinkedIn is not working for me.” right? Every single one of those people that you look at their profile, and what they’ve done is they’ve thrown everything that they can ever think about that they’ve ever done into the profile thinking, will everybody will be able to come in, find a couple pieces they like and they’ll be able to understand me. That’s personal Blanding. That is the intentional or maybe unintentional demarketing of oneself, right?
Kind of setting oneself as “Jack and Jill of all trades.” right? rest that sentence is master. Nobody hires masters of none unless you’re running a convent, right? So don’t do it. You know, think about it, there are things in our career histories that we have done and maybe we did them exceptionally well, that we don’t want to be known for. We don’t want to make it our move forward. That’s how we’re getting our branding set, is what moves us forward? What do we want them to know? It is the truth but it’s not the whole truth.
I was very involved in startups or venture capital. And one of the things I could do really well, was payroll, and taxes before there was software. That’s pre century. And I did it really well and you know, what, if you do it, all right, nobody says thank you, Bob, because you paid them for what they did. You get it wrong and they knock on your door on Friday night. It happened once, in four years, because it was such a misery to do, it’s difficult, and I’ve decided you will never see that in any of my branding presentations.
So if you go to my profile, you won’t find a counting tax, payroll, any of that kind of stuff, even though I get it really well, it’s not my move forward. Part of building that brand is to really let them know what you do and what you’re passionate about. And it should focus on where you’re going, not just what you’ve done, right. But what you’ve done is the proof that you can get to where you’re going and all that brought into the brand. But the profile itself is just that. It’s the first chance that anybody who is interested in you has to learn about you. So if you haven’t refined it, then I always say refined because you can’t create a brand, right, you can refine a brand, it has to be there, there has to be some basis for it, right? Otherwise, it’s not really a brand, it’s a lie. But to refine, it helps those people come and then see who you really are, what you can do, what your values are that you bring to the table, and how that can potentially benefit the relationship.
And if people aren’t doing that, on that LinkedIn profile, they’ve lost a huge opportunity. And it’s usually the first thing people forget to do, right? They get right into, I’m going to throw some content out there, I’m going to start commenting, I’m going to start hosting live events, I’m gonna do audio, and they’ll come in, they’ll come to my profile, and they’ll be able to figure out the “Master of None” thing, right? They’ll figure it out and they’ll do whatever business they want to do with me. Get the profile right first, know who you are, know what your values are, what you bring to the table and also what people want. That’s another thing, you bring it to the table and nobody wants it. That’s really not a good part of your brand.
Bob Woods 12:49
Yeah and then also speaking to what your audience of prospects , whatever you want to call them, what they want to hear as well because if you’re just publishing stuff that you want to talk about, and nobody, like you said, no one else wants to talk about it, then while you’re doing it, you really need to make sure that everything that you do starting in your profile, speaks to whatever audience it is a prospects that you want to attract.
Kevin D. Turner 13:21
Absolutely! And you know, knowing that audience is critical. And I hear that a lot and I work with a lot of sales people and one of the things that they’re always proud of is, you know, “Most profitable territory,” “Most profitable this…” You know, when a customer now looks at Bob’s profile, and that’s all it says is “profit, profit, profit.” I’m thinking, “Bob, the price you gave me isn’t good enough because I know you’re the most profitable guy. So I’m gonna ask you for a better price.”
know, your audience, if you’re selling, don’t tell them about how much profit you make. Tell them how much you improve their lives, when they buy your product, tell them another part of the story but you got to know the audience first, right. And I don’t think people really think about that. They think about sometimes what internally within their company is awarded and rewarded and that becomes the LinkedIn profile but that’s potentially not going to help them sell or build relationships that come and ask for the sale. So know that audience, it’s really important and people forget.
Bob Woods 14:20
So let’s continue with the profile for a little bit. So let’s go under the hood or the bonnet, if you’re overseas, of the LinkedIn profile and just talk about just a couple of real specific things. What do you think are the most important elements of the profile for a salesperson?
Kevin D. Turner 14:38
You know, I think number one is the profile picture, right? It’s got to represent you today because if they’re staring at that, and they’re building a relationship with that, and you show up and that pictures from 15 years ago, right, yeah, it was one of those glamor shots, right, and you show up and the only thing in the back of their mind is what truck ran over Bob today, right?. They might not even be able to express it. If I’ve got a beard, if I shaved my beard off, I can go to a meeting and 95% of the people won’t know the difference but they’ll know something is different and their trust factor with me will drop. I would say, “By the way, I shaved my beard.” Make sure it represents you.
The other component of that, and I see this so often is people take these direct shots, right? What you would normally take for a driver’s license or passport picture, that is dangerous. ID theft is big right now and it’s easy to steal a profile picture. So don’t do a direct shot. Now you don’t have to be extreme like me, I’m a little cheeky. I’m like the laundry company that did the laundry sign upside down, right? Because it stands up, I’ve got an extreme view but if you just turn your face just a hair, so I can only see one year, yep, right? That connect, and is not usable, to make fake IDs. So you know, you still gotta make eye contact and then body language is critical in that photo, believe it or not, if you’re turned over this way, you’ll be looking in towards the end of the profile. If you turn the other way, you’re looking out of the profile and there is a three times difference in connectivity between those two shoulder processes.
So out of the profile, you’d look disinterested, I’d pop on your page. That’s what hits the back of my psyche, right that Bob’s not interested. He’s leaving already. I just got here, the other, Bob’s interested. What works in real life works on LinkedIn, what doesn’t work in real life doesn’t work on LinkedIn. So if you go to a networking meeting, everybody is exactly equal, right? They all look the same, they all the same, they are the same. You walk into that room, three of them are walking away from you. Three are walking towards you. Who do you talk to? Probably the ones walking towards you right?
So we got to start thinking about these things and all the components on the profile, we should look at that and say, “how would that look in a magazine or in a television ad?” “Where are those elements that I can pick up off advertising in general, so that I can build my presentation to have the most impact?” Same thing, if you find a magazine somewhere with a car ad in it, and the people were running away from the car, you probably wouldn’t buy it? You know, be aware of these things. But that first piece, that profile picture begins the process of us becoming a human and it follows us everywhere we go on LinkedIn.
Bob Woods 17:32
Yep. Yeah, I used to call it the “LinkedIn stalker” before stalker got to be a really bad word. But I mean, but yeah, it does. It literally follows you ever I call it the “LinkedIn shadow” nowadays because it does, it follows you everywhere.
Kevin D. Turner 17:47
Absolutely! And then the next piece of that is that headline. That headline is attached to that picture. So when you comment, when you post, when you do anything on LinkedIn, that’s there, and depending on what you’re doing, some of that line will show and some of it well, right. If you’re in the audio room, it’s gonna be about the first 21 spaces, right? On a post is somewhere around 44 coordinates. (Bob: Yeah. 40 to 50 depending) we save spaces because an “i” a small “i” takes up less room than a capital W right? So up two spaces is always a good way to look at that . There’s no perfect measurement.
But that’s critical and you’ve got to set a tone within that first couple of words in there that make you somebody that somebody wants to talk to, right? Personalize it, put the value on the table, let them find interest in it very quickly. Now, you still have up to 230 spaces, and believe it or not, it does have a huge SEO impact. So you can fill the rest of that line, maybe half of that space with words that’s gonna help you be found, right? Always look at it in the sense is it too much? Does it look a little junky right? Because it is a visual process as well but don’t waste it. Don’t leave yourself a “title at company.” That’s Blanding “title at Company.” Right? Unless you are the CEO of Coca-Cola and then you can get away with title and company. The rest of us are on a different boat.
Bob Woods 19:15
Right, yeah. Especially if you put down something like “account executive at blah, blah, blah…” I mean, because to me, unfortunately, there is still that negative stereotype of salespeople out there. And if someone knows right away that you’re a salesperson, most are just going to be like, Oh, no way, I’m going to do anything with this person, you know. So I mean, you know, it’s an unfortunate stereotype, but it’s still out there. So I mean, they really construct that the way that Kevin does it, and the way that we do it here is you know, really to capture people’s attention, let them know who you are, what it is you do and how you can help them and leave titles for the experience section.
So, what do you think is the most overLooked part of the profile that really hurts salespeople? And I have my own answer to this, I just want to see if ours match and I actually hope they don’t match because I want to hear another part besides my own.
Kevin D. Turner 20:11
And maybe I’m unfair, because I’ve got two of them. Can I do two of them? Is that allowed or do I have to pick my top one? Okay, I think the two that people neglect or don’t do right are the background banner, or background photos, LinkedIn folks and the about summary, right? Those two sections, I don’t think people do well. Most of the profiles, I go see, they’ve left the three shades of gray default, right? You got the background banner, what that tells people 24/7, 365, right is “I accept the default, I didn’t know you could do it. I’m not a real big, you know, I’m not really into LinkedIn” It doesn’t help but that background banner, if done correctly, can do a couple of things.
If you’re worried about your company thinking you’re on LinkedIn, because you’re looking for another job, create a company specific profile background banner, right. So that it shows loyalty to the company, reduces the red flags at work. and here’s the nice part about it, it’s a double edged sword in your advantage is, you are actually more attractive to recruiters when you create the company part of your brand because recruiters are paid anywhere from 10 to 50% of your first year salary as their potential bonus, right? They’re paid to steal you away from the competition.
So the more loyal you look, the more the recruiter wants to talk to you and the more they use that in the introduction, they’ll tell that company “Hey, look, because of our relationship with Bob, (and they only spent five minutes on the phone with you) right, but because we’re in relationship with Bob, we can convince him to come in but look at his profile. Bob is all about his company. So you better take care of Bob, when he gets there.” ultimately means pay Bob better so I can get a bigger bonus, right?
Bob Woods 21:51
Yeah, all of that. Yeah, and then the other thing that I like, which I come across, sometimes when I do profiles for salespeople is that sometimes they’re actually concerned that they don’t want to be leading with their company so much, because they’re kind of thinking, you know, “I don’t want to be here for the rest of my life.” I tell them that that’s wrong because when you do show loyalty, that’s actually a sales point for the next company that hires you, because they know that you’re going to be just as loyal to them as you are to your current company and I even had one person come back to me and said, “Bob, you’re right, I got this new job. One of the things that they liked was that I showed loyalty.”
Kevin D. Turner 22:33
Absolutely. It’s a huge piece of your brand, and it should be incorporated in there, right? You know, you can be in there and you can even show, you know, components of the products that you sell, all those things are great and they do have that extra benefit to somebody who’s looking to bring you in as “Wow, we want somebody who will do that for us as well.” It’s just like going to an interview and talking bad about your last employer, right? If you’re not saying anything on LinkedIn, about your employer, you’re technically digitally talking bad about him, right? Like I don’t really want to be here, it comes across pretty quickly when you don’t involve them in part of the branding of that profile. So always bring it in.
Now, that leads us I guess, right into the About Section, right that used to be called summary. I call it About Summary because I hold on to some things. That’s a critical component, right? And you know, the first few lines, if you don’t get it, right, just like a post, they’re not going to open, “see more, “right? So you got to get your things, you got to capture them, there’s got to be a hook in there. Something that gets them excited, you know, so that they go, “Ooh, I want to read more of that.”
Now, the one thing that people forget, and I see it all the time in the Summary, is that the way we read is not the old school way of opening the big book, and you got a full page of text. We can do that when we have the book opener, mine switches its wiring but on the internet we can only take little chunks, right. Three, four lines, and any more, it’s too long, didn’t read, right, I skip it, I go past it. So three or four lines, I always like bringing in a few bulleted emoji, kind of bulleted, you know, very, very sharp bullets very short right underneath that to kind of give some top accomplishments, right.
So that first section might be something about you that tells them why they want to get to know you, get to do business with you potentially. And then you go into some of these big things that you’ve done throughout your career. And one of the things I love to use, whenever I use bullets on an internet based kind of presentation, you use the flying F pattern. That means the first bullet is the longest, the last bullet is the shortest and everything is in descending order. That’s called a flying F. It was perfected in spam, email, and nobody likes spammers but you got to admit spammers are good at what they do.
What they found out is that when you use that pattern, 95% of the people will read all the bullets. When you leave a staggered pattern short, long, long, short, only 15% of the people will read all the bullets. And the concept is you read the first one, it’s not even a line long. And you see the second one, “Oh, that’s a shorter one” and they keep getting shorter, like, “I can do that” that’s in the back of your mind. So you end up reading all the bullets. It doesn’t matter that they’re not in order of impressiveness, because you’re gonna get them all done and so we can learn things even from bad characters sometimes but that, to me, is important.
And then always have a call to action in there. Call to action isn’t, you know, “Buy my product” per se, right? It could be something more like “Be my friend and let’s talk about X, Y, and Z.” You can stimulate a relationship by saying, “These are my passions, I’d like to talk about personal blanding versus personal branding.” When people go, “Well, what is that? I want to know.” so have your call to action, if you can bring in your contact, if you feel comfortable doing that into the section but here’s the catcher.
So many people right now are scraping LinkedIn for every bit of contact and if you just put your regular email in there, it’s gonna get spammed, if you put your phone number in there, you’re probably gonna get calls you don’t want but if you represent them differently, and here’s the key, you parse your email. Mine starts with Kevin right, and I parse I put a space between the ampersand, I put another space TNT brand strategist.com, that is no longer an email because of the spaces between before and after the ampersand.
So a scraper won’t pick that up, because it would be bringing back junk so it’s told to have one stream with the at in the middle and the.com on the end, and that’s an email, bring that back to me, the other one gets away. The same thing on a phone number, if you use plus one dot, and then your area code plus one being us, there’s other for you know, plus 45, that kind of stuff. If you do that on the phone number, it won’t scrape your phone number because it doesn’t recognize the format.
So you can present without being kind of caught up in all the spam. If you ever think about Craigslist, they always write the words out, seven is written out seven and then there’s a number. That’s another way but that’s a little sloppy, I think you. You just have to vary it enough that you throw off these people who are scraping all the way through LinkedIn to find this stuff and to deliver spam to you whether it’s by phone or email, that’s a safe way to do it. Anybody else seeing that knows, I could copy Bob’s address, put it in my email, take the spaces out, and I can send you an email. That’s personal because you do, they got to that point.
Here’s one other component I love to use and I’ve used this for years. You can only accept invites that have your email. So if they didn’t read your about section, they didn’t get your email, they can’t invite you. So if you’re worried about getting invites all the time, that’s one way to kind of stop them. Now, believe it or not, you can even incorporate and I do this all the time and I’ve never gotten any bad spam out of this, you can incorporate things like your email, your phone number in your graphics, because they can’t be scraped. It takes a human to see it, and to call you but it makes it much more accessible and so smart people are doing it and I think it’s a great thing to do.
Bob Woods 28:22
Yeah, so many takeaways there. The “flying F” is yeah, I’m officially stealing that Kevin. I just, that’s fantastic!
Kevin D. Turner 28:35
Go look at my profile and you’ll see several flying F’s and they work.
Bob Woods 28:39
Nice. Nice. Nice. So, before we move on, I just want to hit on my most overlooked one really quick and that’s the featured section. So the featured section, I think, is overlooked for two reasons. One, because it doesn’t appear automatically, you have to go and search for it when you’re actually setting up your profile. So it’s not really obvious. The other thing is that it’s what we call a scroll stopper because it should be graphical, as people are scrolling down in your profile, they’re going to stop there. They’re going to read what is there.
So we encourage people to have educational content there about what it is you do that leads to your solution and not with your solution. And we’ve talked about this and many other podcasts and our posts and things like that. So I’m not going to go into it too much but I do think that that’s probably the most overlooked part because quite frankly, it’s so easy to overlook because you have to know about it and you have to know where to go in the profile and then you have to populate it.
Kevin D. Turner 29:44
One thing I always think about is the visuals in there, if you want to kind of cram down somebody’s throat that you are a team player right? All the time and you’ve got it and all your writing. Have some pictures of you being a team player, having your team on the ropes course. Pushing them up over the thing to get them over to the other side or giving out awards to your salespeople, or even to your customers, that’s being a team player, if you can visually put that in there. And they always say a picture’s worth 1000 words, right? Instead of you just claiming it now, you’re social proofing it and so I love that feature section to bring in some of those visuals, social proof on the branding components that you’re pushing out there, because not everybody believes what they read anymore.
Bob Woods 30:31
Excellent, excellent stuff. So the next really big thing that at least I know you for, and I think you’re recognized by a lot of other people for doing this, as well, is you’ve taken it on yourself to be in my mind, the leader of documenting changes and improvements that linked in makes within its platform and this isn’t just for salespeople, this is just changes that are made. So anyone can take advantage of this. I’m just curious as to why you took on this big role and believe me, it’s big, because LinkedIn changes all the time.
Kevin D. Turner 31:07
You know, it’s because it’s a passion of mine. I love new features. And I love to try every single new feature. I don’t always use them after I try them but I want to try it out. And that’s the way everybody should look at this. You should look at new features. If it works for me, if I try it, and it works for me, I can continue with it. You don’t have to try everything. You don’t have to use everything, but you use what works for you and part of that was if I’m already doing this, why not share that information with everybody.
And then the other thing I do about it is sometimes I don’t find it first. Sometimes somebody else within my network finds it first. And I always sometimes take what information they have. They haven’t posted about it, I’ll create a post, but I always give them credit in the post. Yes, I give them credit in my new LinkedIn features article, we say found in the wild, right? Because there’s only so much I can find and you know, with a network that knows if I find something and I bring it to you, you’re gonna give me credit that works and you can’t do this alone.
Bob Woods 32:13
Yeah, yeah, no, there’s no way and it’s interesting you say that because I specifically have in my notes that I also liked that you give full credit for tips. So if I noticed that I think everyone notices that as well. And I think that speaks just so highly to what it is that you do, that you not only do it yourself, but you’re kind of an aggregator for everyone else and at the same time you’re giving credit. So I mean, Bravo for all that too.
Kevin D. Turner 32:38
There’s even times where I’m actually typing it up, right and documenting and somebody comes and goes, I found a new feature. I still give them credit. I usually send them “Hey, look, I was just working this out but because you came at the same time, and I hadn’t posted yet. I’m gonna add you in.”
Bob Woods 32:53
Yeah. That’s great.
Kevin D. Turner 32:55
And you know, it’s the right way to do things and you know…
Bob Woods 33:01
It is building relationships. That’s how you build really true quality relationships as well.
Kevin D. Turner 33:08
I agree. I agree.
Bob Woods 33:11
So I’ve got a quick follow-up to that. Do you have any thoughts into why LinkedIn does a… and I have used so many adjectives for this, and I’m trying to be kind, and I landed on, does such a not-so-great job of communicating its changes? I mean, my God, at least set up a change log at the very least or maybe you’re the change log? I don’t know but, you know, it’s like, Why do you think this is? Do you have any thoughts on that?
Kevin D. Turner 33:41
It’s fascinating. It is part of the culture of LinkedIn, I’ve actually talked to people inside LinkedIn, and there doesn’t exist inside LinkedIn, an actual list of the features as they’ve rolled out over the years. I created a timeline to start tracking and showing pictures of that and you can see the evolution of kind of where LinkedIn started, didn’t even have that for their employees.
Here’s the reason, the rollout of any feature, if you just grabbed that feature, and you rolled it out to everybody, probably half the time the site would blow up, go down for two days and everybody would be mad. So the way LinkedIn rolls out a product is it does it in normally a five wave process. It is randomized, which means sometimes you can be in the first wave, sometimes you’re in the fifth wave, sometimes you’re the third. You never know. So five randomized waves that increase in size, and during that process, they examine that they sometimes fix issues,. They sometimes improve the feature and sometimes during the middle of that discontinue it because it caused too much trouble, it wasn’t well received and that’s the rollout process.
Now those rollouts can take anywhere from 30, now to 120 days, if you go out there and you announced, “we’ve got a brand new feature,” and they could have announced, I think I broke scheduling three months ago that they were gonna go scheduling on LinkedIn and came out and said, “We got needed scheduling, all of us would be mad at LinkedIn because we don’t have it today. We’d be doing case help studies, we could’ve been doing… Yeah, we aren’t right. In our posts, they would create their own problem and then let’s say they found out it didn’t work and they took it away which happened.
That’s why I tell people, sometimes it’s not good to be in the first wave because I’ve actually been in the first wave of products that hit LinkedIn, that I spent a lot of time, loved it, and then they took it away, because it didn’t work for everybody and I lost all that work. One of them was, this was back around 2011. You could tag your contacts, and you could put notes in there, information about that contact, “Bob here, blah, blah, blah. Bob likes Manhattan Clam chowder, not New England” you can put your notes and when you pulled up Bob’s profile, you had a little bit to go on, which really helped. They pulled that and all those notes went away. All those tags, all those notes.
Bob Woods 36:14
We cried when that happened.
Kevin D. Turner 36:17
Although there was a warning but the purpose was it was supposed to be on the profile, right? And believe it or not, the reason they got rid of it is because it became the basis of Sales Navigator. Exactly, how do you sell Sales Navigator when you’ve already given away a great feature here? That’s why it disappeared. It took like a year before you saw it kind of reappear into Sales Navigator.
Those are some of the reasons why you don’t want to be first wave, third wave, sometimes better to be 5th wave, wait your turn. When you get it, it should be right. And, you know, it’s fun to be the first wave. Don’t go out there and rub people’s nose in it. That’s what I tell people, “If you’re first, share it, give the information you can. Don’t rub their nose in it. And you see that nanana Poopoo. I got it. You know, I’m better than you. LinkedIn loves me.” Yep. That’s all BS. You were randomly chosen. Nothing bestowed upon you.
Bob Woods 37:14
Oh, man. So we’ve talked about, like so much here, people’s heads are probably blowing up a little bit. Let’s do just a really quick, one thing you can do right now. So if you’ve been listening to all this, and you’re just feeling kind of inundated. What, in your opinion, is the one thing that someone can do right now to really take full advantage of LinkedIn.
Kevin D. Turner 37:33
I’d say get involved and get involved first with your current network. Reach out to them, check in with them, start following them, start commenting on their stuff. If they’re people you want to get to know, first, make sure that what you already know, or who you already know, you firm that up. That’s the first thing. And then you know, when you see people you want to know, follow them first, comment on what they place out there, and begin to build the relationship before you either ask to connect, or they ask you to connect. If you do it, right, they’re asking you to connect and again, that is kind of selling social, right?
Bob Woods 38:14
Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. So if people want to learn much, much more about you, although we’ve learned a lot already, I absolutely love that but if they want to learn about your offerings, where can they go?
Kevin D. Turner 38:28
Find me on LinkedIn, Kevin D. Turner, that middle initial in there is really important to find me because there’s a lot of Kevin Turners, and I actually got thrown off LinkedIn once for that and now I’m part of why you’re allowed to have middle names, because they wanted me to provide proof, right? They shut me down, provide proof that that was my name and on my driver’s license, it actually says Kevin, and then it writes out my Name, which I won’t tell you what the D stands for and Turner, and they had to say, “Okay, Kevin, D is your first name.” They didn’t like it because they said if it wasn’t on your driver’s license, or your passport, you cannot use it and I just said that’s my first name, Kevin D. And why can William B. Bill and I can’t be Kevin D.
Bob Woods 39:18
Kevin D. Turner 39:21
Now, they made me get rid of the unicorn. No. Now, there’s a funny story behind that, you know, Leah Turner, incorporated the unicorn into her name. They threw her in jail. She went and got her name legally changed to add the unicorn emoji and she came back to LinkedIn and LinkedIn had to accept it. So if you’re gonna add emojis, you’re gonna have to get your name legally changed. So pick the best emoji.
Bob Woods 39:55
You’re gonna have to do a little bit of work for that to happen.
Kevin D. Turner 40:00
Right formerly known.
Bob Woods 40:03
So if you want to learn more and engage with them, follow him first and then engage in some of this content, and then connect with him because the LinkedIn algorithm loves that kind of thing. So it you know, he’s got so much good stuff out there, including the best way to be up to date on changes that are happening with LinkedIn that we have now learned, you may or may not see right away, and if they decide to take it away, they decide but you know, all that stuff. So Kevin, thank you so much for joining us today. This, so much learned, I learned some stuff and it was just fantastic. Thank you very much today. Appreciated it.
Kevin D. Turner 40:46
I appreciate it. I enjoy it, and it’s just good to talk to you face to face. So I love that.
Bob Woods 40:52
Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. So I want to thank you for making this episode of Making Sales Social a part of your busy day and remember when you’re out and about, be sure to make your sales social.
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