This is a guest post by Michelle Sandford from MicroSoft telling the story of how she tracks her rank and score on her way to online success.
I’ve always loved Linkedin. As someone working in tech, the idea of a CV – a static piece of paper that is out of date the minute it’s printed, is somewhat distasteful to me. I imagine mine buried in a stack of 200 other such documents, all black and white, Times New Roman, similar template, similar details. Indistinct.
But Linkedin was never like that, even from the start you could put a photo on it – which added some colour and personalised it. But now – it is so much more than a live résumé.
It’s the Articles that I love most. It used to be that you had to be someone famous to write Articles on Linkedin. You had to be “An Influencer” already. But now – anyone can do it, and I believe it is the articles more than anything else that have been building my Tribe.
In the beginning, I was a bit timid – afraid that people would read what I wrote and judge it unworthy. Now I realise that was foolish, because of course, when you start writing Articles no-one is reading them. But once you get into a habit, and are writing them once a month, or even better, once a week – you will start to build a following.
The other thing that I do, is I don’t try to come across as some mighty intellectual. I do not fill my articles with language designed to make myself sound smarter than those around me. I talk as I do in real life. I think many people find my manner child-like and somewhat endearing. But I know the simplicity of my language is what adds value to my blogs. Anyone can read what I write and understand it, it makes sense to them in the context of their lives. I’m not trying to be a “Thought Leader” by demonstrating my superiority to anyone. I am trying to make sense of all the crazy data and help the people around me through it.
Recently the guy who runs the Microsoft Social Selling Program told me that I was the number 1 Microsoft Social Seller in Australia and Number 3 in the world. He said with a tiny bit more engagement – commenting on other people’s posts, a few more connections – and I could become the Number 1 in the World! Which is interesting because I do not work in Sales, or even in Marketing. But I have the widest reach! I had a look at my own personal hero – Mark Russinovich – and he has 3,777,043 Followers. I have 2,510 Followers. How is it possible that I have a higher Influencer Score? The answer I think is that he doesn’t write Articles on Linkedin!
Now there are a lot of people who tell me that “Social media just isn’t my thing”, which I think is insane in this day and age. Social Media is free! I can engage with people across the world. I can build influence and connection while I sleep! There is a permanent record of my personal brand across the interwebs.
When I go to events or meet new customers – it is rare that someone hasn’t heard of me. Many of them will say “Wait, what is your surname? Hey, I Follow you on Linkedin!”. I do not need to establish credibility anymore, it’s been established in advance and I can go straight in to talking about more interesting stuff. It is a tremendous time saver. It’s a relationship accelerator. It’s a connector.
I am a little bit anxious in big crowds. I am afraid of using the telephone. I get imposter syndrome when introducing myself to executives. But I have built a Tribe on social media and they have my back. They make me strong. They make me credible. The world knows who I am without me having to “elevator-pitch” myself to everyone I meet. And it’s better. Way better. Why don’t you give it a try too?
Michelle Sandford is a Tedx Speaker, Tech Girl Superhero, Microsoftie and one of MCV’s 30 Most Influential Women in Games. She is the Vice Chair of the Australian Computer Society in Western Australia and she is currently the #2 Social Seller on Linkedin for Microsoft in the World! Follow her on Linkedin and on Twitter @msandfor and if you like video, check out her YouTube channel.
If you’d like to see your own social influence score head over to the Online Influencer Rise Board and sign up to join, each week you’ll receive an email with your score and rank as you track your own way to online success.
Rise can also be used to track and rank LinkedIn activity and SSI scores if your team have sales navigator licences, email us for more details.