Monthly Archives: July 2013

How to use LinkedIn to Build A Great Network

Lately I have been helping clients with something I call Greatness Strategies. Simply put, these strategies are a number of actions that, when taken together, move us from being good to great. Networking chiefly to help other people achieve their goals is a tactic we employ as part of a Greatness Strategy.


Great Networking

Many of my clients thought of LinkedIn as merely an online tool; however it can greatly benefit our face-to-face networking.  Here are three strategies I continue to use with my clients because it makes their networking great.

1. Meet Great People: Review LinkedIn Profiles

Before your networking event review the guest list then look up the LinkedIn profiles of people you want to meet. The best way to impress someone is to know about them and take an interest; the information gleaned from the profile can accelerate the process. Get LinkedIn mobile for your smart phone for instant access.

Key Tip: Remember this look up thing goes both ways so keep your profile updated.

2. Make Great Impressions: Read LinkedIn Content

Networking is all about making the right impression — and well-versed people make great impressions. If you haven’t noticed, LinkedIn is more than just profiles. It has become a content powerhouse, hosting insightful business-oriented blogs, video, and slide shares from really smart people from around the world.  The next time you are stuck in the coffee line whip out your smart phone and check out the content available on LinkedIn.  Most content is quick and easy to read. Typically you can finish an article by the time you get to the head of the line.

Key Tip: Use your idle time to keep informed and follow thought leaders (including me)  on LinkedIn

3. Keep Great Contact: Stay In Touch with LinkedIn

Within 24 hours of a networking event send the people that you met a LinkedIn invitation. I strongly urge you not to send the generic invite, but rather write a few lines recapping the conversation you had. Now that they are in your network LinkedIn has developed several handy reminders to help you keep in touch easily. I advise my clients to perform these quick and easy activities daily to keep in touch.

Key Tip: Use LinkedIn to turn your contacts into valuable relationships

The Bottom Line: Great Relationships takes Great Work   

brother interviewFor me networking is all about meeting great people that I can do great things for – and they can do great things for me, too.  However, all this greatness does not happen without great work.  LinkedIn can assist in some of that work — setting up opportunities for the greatest networking tool of all – conversations.


Start the Great Work with LinkedIn Simplified

If you are looking to do great things with your network, I would be pleased to help you achieve your goals.  My seminar, LinkedIn Simplified is designed to give you the tools to take your networking to the next level.


Linked Simplified Seminar

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Cambria Suites Pittsburgh Downtown at Consol Energy Center

1320 Center Avenue

Pittsburgh, PA 15219

 Register Now

 Beginners LinkedIn Simplified Seminar

 $99.00 ● September 18, 9:00 AM – 12:00 Noon

 Advanced LinkedIn Simplified Seminar

 $99.00 ● September 18, 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM

 General LinkedIn Simplified Seminar

$99.00 ● September 18, 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Would you like our LinkedIn Coaching Team to hold a seminar in your city?

 Contact Marben Bland 608 358 1309





The 8 Biggest Mistakes People Make On LinkedIn

LinkedIn BlueLinkedIn is a wonderful tool for connecting with people worldwide.  However, the benefits of LinkedIn is often wiped-out by simple mistakes, here are 8 biggest blunders people make on LinkedIn.

1. You don’t have a clear purpose for being on LinkedIn

Clarity – Why I am doing this?  Will it drive a better experience?

2. You are not connected to influencers…recruiters, colleagues, customers

Or barley anyone else…

3. You don’t have a profile photo

Or it’s so bad your driver’s license photo is of better quality

4. Your headline is boring and generic

Or worse, it has typos

5. Your profile does not have the right key words

So you are not showing up in searches

6. Your profile is not public

So no one is able to see you

7. Your profile is perfect but you are not a thought leader

Thought leadership will take your profile to new heights

8. You have not received professional coaching

With over 200 million customers, hiring managers, colleagues and people with the potential to help you get to where you want to be, LinkedIn has become the global professional statement of record. So what image are your projecting? What impressions are you making? If you are not certain and if you care about your career – take the time and get some professional coaching.

 LinkedIn Simplified Seminar

Hands On Professional Coaching

If you have made any of these eight mistakes you owe it to yourself and your career to get professional coaching. Bring your laptop, your ideas and questions for a three-hour hands-on seminar where you will receive valuable professional coaching designed to unleash the power of your LinkedIn profile.

 At only $99.00 LinkedIn Simplified is Three Hours Packed with Value

  • Size is limited to 20 to assure “hands on” instruction
  • World class instruction from the highly-experienced “LinkedIn Ninja”
  • Tailored to meet your needs pick which seminar fits best beginner, general, or advance
  • Free one hour private post-seminar personal coaching session for all attendees

 Linked Simplified Seminar

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Cambria Suites Pittsburgh Downtown at Consol Energy Center

1320 Center Avenue

Pittsburgh, PA 15219

 Register Now

 Beginners LinkedIn Simplified Seminar

 $99.00 ● September 18, 9:00 AM – 12:00 Noon

 Advanced LinkedIn Simplified Seminar

 $99.00 ● September 18, 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM

 General LinkedIn Simplified Seminar

$99.00 ● September 18, 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Would you like our LinkedIn Coaching Team to hold a seminar in your city?

 Contact Marben Bland 608 358 1309



The Gospel According To James – Lebron James

LBJ on The MoveNow that that he has won his second NBA Championship Lebron James is without question the greatest basketball player currently playing in the world.

Four Pillars of Greatness

Studying Lebron James reveals a path to greatness consistent with what I call the four pillars of greatness. These pillars are not confined to superstars of the NBA; I believe that all of us have greatness within us. The real question is how we harvest them to make ourselves truly great in God’s eyes. So the purpose of this post is to examine the pillars that makes Lebron James great and to challenge us to cultivate the greatness that lies within.

1. God-Given Ability

LBJ Fist PumpAt 6’8”, 250-lb. Lebron James is an impressive physical specimen and a gifted athlete. He is one of the few players in the world that can play all five positions efficiently. Plus, he usually draws the assignment of guarding the opposing team’s best player.

God has also given us an impressive set of skills and abilities. Galatians 5:22-23 outlines the God-given ability that each of us receives in gifts known as “The Fruits of The Spirit” …the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

Key Point: Greatness in our lives is realized when we are using our God given abilities to His glory.

2. Hard Work

LBJ Head BandLebron James has the reputation of not only being the best player in the world, but the hardest worker in basketball. James full commitment coupled with preparation and focus has enabled him to lead his teams to victory.

Jesus has the reputation of working hard for us; as the son of God, He could take it easy on His royal throne but as He told the disciples during the Last Supper, He is our servant these are His words: “In this world the kings and great men lord it over their people, yet they are called ‘friends of the people.’ 26 But among you it will be different. Those who are the greatest among you should take the lowest rank, and the leader should be like a servant. 27 Who is more important, the one who sits at the table or the one who serves? The one who sits at the table, of course. But not here! For I am among you as one who serves.” Luke 22:25-27

Key Point:  Jesus wants our reputation to be one of service, placing the needs of others before our own.

3. A Plan

Lebron James’ plan is to remain in control of his emotions.  Think about it. Lebron James is emotionally impacted from every source imaginable — the press, teammates, coaches, family and friends — and undoubtedly has thoughts and feelings which are not always positive. However, he knows he is more than what he thinks or feels and is able to stick to his plan to control his emotions, staying focused on providing his best performance for the team.

Emotional control is a game plan that God wants for our lives.  Another James, the brother of Jesus provides us with the emotional control playbook when he says: Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.  Human
anger does not produce the righteousness God desires. – James 1: 19-20

Key Point: God can give us the strength and wisdom to think and listen before we speak and act.

4. You will be great – no matter what

Fear of failure can keep us from achieving greatness. Lebron James knows he must free himself from the fear of failure in order to perform at a high level. Although it is easier said than done, great athletes learn how to overcome fear – so they can attempt the game-winning shot, or hit the home run when the game is on the line.

God gives us the confidence to overcome the failures we all experience on our path to greatness. God sees the greatness in all of us and encourages us to be great through His word.  God saw greatness in the people of Israel when they could not see it themselves. Through the prophet Isaiah, God renewed the strength and the hope of greatness of a captured people.  “But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not grow faint.”

Key Point: God see greatness in us even when we can’t see it in ourselves.

The Bottom Line: Greatness is at hand.

LBJ & HardwareWe don’t have be rich and famous like Lebron James to be great. In fact true greatness is shown in the everyday acts of ordinary people using their God-given talents working hard in service to others. The gospel of Jesus Christ tells us that God will provide the way but we must follow His teachings – which are not the teachings of the world – to reveal the greatness that is in all of us.


How to Safeguard Your Online Identity with LinkedIn

confident-young-business-woman-250x250How much of your profile have you made public? Can others see that you’ve viewed their profile? Are you unsure of these answers?  If so perhaps it’s time to revisit your privacy settings.

Kristin Burnham who covers Social Networking for has written extensively about the privacy concerns that accompanies being active on LinkedIn.  I am pleased to present some of her thoughts in this post.

LinkedIn – The “Safe Social Network”

LinkedIn BlueMany regard LinkedIn as the “safe” social network—there are no games that jeopardize your privacy and you aren’t posting incriminating photos of last weekend’s Halloween party. But that’s no reason to ignore the privacy and account settings that LinkedIn has in place.

You can find your list of settings by clicking on your picture on the top right of the screen and choosing Settings. This list includes profile settings, e-mail notifications, home page settings, personal information, privacy settings and more.

How much of your profile have you made public? Are all of your tweets being pushed to LinkedIn? Can others see that you’ve viewed their profile? If you’re unsure of these answers, take a look at the following five privacy settings and adjust them appropriately.

5 LinkedIn Privacy Settings You Need to Know

1. Public Profile

When your LinkedIn profile appears in public searches, how much of it can people see without logging in to LinkedIn themselves? That’s what the Public Profile settings tell you. By default, visitors have access to your entire profile—your picture, summary, current positions, education, website, groups and more.

If your intent is transparency, the full view is recommended. However if you’re not looking to disclose all of your information, go to the Profiles Settings section and update by unchecking the profile features that you don’t want displayed publicly. You can find this setting under the Profile Settings section.

The Public Profile settings section also has a feature similar to Facebook’s where you can make changes and view your public profile as others will see it.

2. Member Feed Visibility

Your personal feed on LinkedIn displays Network Updates from actions you’ve performed on LinkedIn. These might include an announcement when you update your work experience, join a group, add a new connection or post a recommendation to someone’s profile.

You can find this setting under Profile Settings. Member Feed Visibility gives you four settings to choose from. Your LinkedIn actions can be visible to everyone, only those people in your network, only your direct connections or nobody (which means your member feed won’t be displayed). If you prefer that your LinkedIn actions are private, choose one of the latter two settings.

3. Twitter Settings

LinkedIn and Twitter have a partnership that lets you tweet your LinkedIn status or stream your tweets to your LinkedIn profile. While this feature can be handy, you need to be careful: Generally, many experts advise that you should not send all your tweets to LinkedIn because not all of them might be business-appropriate.

To find out whether or not you are posting all of your Tweets to LinkedIn, choose Twitter Settings under the Profile Settings section. Here you can add or remove a Twitter account, choose whether or not you want to display your Twitter account on your LinkedIn profile and decide whether or not you want to share all your tweets or only the tweets that contain the #in hashtag. Here, you can also adjust how you want your tweets to appear (i.e. with a picture, title page and short description).

4. Profile Views

Located about halfway down your LinkedIn homepage on the right-hand side is the box “Who’s Viewed My Profile,” which gives you two statistics: how many times your profile has been viewed recently and how many times you have appeared in search results recently.

Clicking on this link will bring you to a page that displays vague statistics related to who has viewed your profile, such as “Someone at XYZ company,” “Someone in the technology/new media function in the Greater Boston Area” and “Vice President at XYZ company.”

Visit the Profile Views setting, found under the Privacy Settings section, if you want to adjust how you appear to others when you visit their profile.

You have three options: You can have your name and headline included (which also will display your picture and current title); you can be displayed anonymously with only profile characteristics such as your industry and title; or you can be invisible to the users you have viewed.

5. Authorized Applications

Last November, LinkedIn opened its APIs and launched the LinkedIn Platform, which lets developers integrate LinkedIn into their business applications and Websites.

Since then, you’ve probably tried some of these apps and granted sites access to your LinkedIn profile. You can find a list of these applications and partners under Authorized Applications in the Privacy Settings section, and remove them accordingly.

Removing the applications from this page will remove them from your LinkedIn home page, profile page and prevent any further access to your LinkedIn data. If you only want to remove them from your profile page, choose “Edit My Profile” and click the remove link next to the title of the application.

The same goes with the external Websites that you have granted access to your profile and network data: removing the access here will prevent them from accessing your LinkedIn data. If you want to re-enable them in the future, visit the Website and grant access again.

The Bottom Line: Your Privacy Strategy

In the post Know Your Purpose I discussed how to use LinkedIn to accomplishing your goals.  Deciding on a strategy to promote yourself in a way that can protect your privacy is critical to your successes.   So go ahead set your settings to a level of privacy that will accomplish your goals while maintaining your privacy.  Contact me at If you need help in creating that balance between privacy and public view.

Marben Bland is a Writer, Speaker and Strategist focused on working with emerging biotech and high tech companies. He writes the weekly How to be a LinkedIn Ninja blog, in addition to the Weekly Job Report and the Friday Commentary blog.  A popular speaker at trade shows and seminars Marben is available for strategic consulting engagements or speaking at your next event; give him a call today at 608.358.1309

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