When I was young I wanted to be an archeologist, or a scientist. I studied ancient Egypt and used to dig huge holes on my grandfathers farm looking for old stuff. My first science kit was an accident factory as I mixed compounds together and either watched them react to each other (sometimes violently) or look at the results under a microscope. In the end I became none of these things.
It wasn’t until I was 23 that I knew I wanted to be in tech. I didn’t know what I wanted to DO but I knew I wanted IN. I did get in and I started my career in sales.
It’s been 9 years since I became a LinkedIn member. I knew why I was joining but after becoming a member, setting up my profile and making some connections I didn’t know what to do next. I just knew that as a sales professional I wanted to bridge my job with the social revolution. It didn’t take me long to forge a new path. LinkedIn was the place I went to grow my professional reach, stay connected to professional contacts and gain valuable knowledge about my industry and the key players. I was hooked and it made me more successful.
4 years ago I stepped onto the scene to become a voice for sales professionals learning a new way of doing business. I took a chance at a marketing role because I felt I had something unique to offer. With some hard work social selling was broken out of obscurity. I was happy just creating educational content that other sales people got value from. I found that my understanding of social networks, a curiosity for new tools and the use of content marketing became a powerhouse for my professional brand and the company I worked for.
Then I got the opportunity of a lifetime. I was given the chance to take social selling mainstream. I really got [in] and LinkedIn became not only a platform I spoke about but became the platform I stood on. I helped build a content machine that produces daily articles on sales strategy, social selling and best practices. I did this while working with a team of sales professionals that are bringing the manifestation of social selling to a global workforce.
I’ve been privileged to speak to groups all over the world, I’ve been invited to talk with some of the biggest companies around about social selling, and become the face of a movement that has begun to reshape businesses all over the globe through the art of social selling.
If someone would have asked me 15 years ago if I would have thought this was possible I would have laughed. Working for the worlds largest professional social network and managing a content and social marketing team was not what I would have envisioned.
I inadvertently made my childhood dreams come true. My early passions for archeology and science have transformed into a single career of understanding human behavior, using basic elements to create a new process and helping people by creating the content that has made them successful using social networks.
Social selling and LinkedIn have transformed my career, opened up countless opportunities, I’ve built some amazing relationships along the way and starting next year I will take on a new challenge with the expectation that I will transform even further.
“Making a big life change is scary. But do you know what’s even scarier? Regrets.” – Unknown
LinkedIn’s culture is based on the Transformation of Self, Company and World. I have transformed thanks to LinkedIn’s leadership, now it’s time to work on the other two.
Starting in January I will be reporting to the Consumer Marketing group of LinkedIn to build and lead a team to create content that will help our members understand the best ways to use LinkedIn. From students to job seekers and small business owners to the corporate employee, my mission will be to share the best practices and supporting data that can help all of our members transform their dreams into reality by using LinkedIn.
I do not think this will be easy. Taking this new role was not an easy decision to make. I have become well known in the sales ecosystem and though it has taken a lot of hard work, it’s a comfortable place to be and I could continue this for the foreseeable future but I believe I can and should do more.
I believe LinkedIn has the ability to change lives. I am a data point of one but I read stories, get InMails and hear through my network that I am not alone in this belief.
People who proactively use LinkedIn shape their careers. From students looking for what university to go to, new graduates looking for their first dream jobs, or veterans transitioning from the military, LinkedIn is helping. Once in the workforce LinkedIn has the unique ability to transform careers by providing an amazing wealth of knowledge on how to be more successful.
From LinkedIn Influencers to other thought leaders, best practices are being shared on how to be better in the jobs you already have. There is one thing I hear time and time again that inspires me to take on this new challenge, step out of my comfort zone and will be the driving force behind the work that is to come.
“I’m on LinkedIn, now what?”
I would regret not taking this challenge on. It’s something that went through the rocking chair test I mentioned in an earlier post. I’ve spent the better part of 4 years answering this question for sales and marketing people. Now we are going to answer this for different audiences, I believe we can do this and once again using LinkedIn as the platform will help. The infrustructure is here and getting better everyday but knowing what you should be doing on LinkedIn to take advantage of the opportunities available is difficult. In the process I want to hear from all of you. Give me feedback, ask me questions, tell me your goals and let me build the content that will help light your path to success.