I recently went viral on LinkedIn, getting over one million views and 10,000 likes on a single post.

I knew the post would do well, but it not this well! However I know why it resonated with others so much.

In this program on November 10 at 12:30pm ET, I will share with you how I did it and how you can too using a similar strategy.

I’ll also discuss how you can build a strong presence on LinkedIn as a subject matter expert and thought leader that can lead to professional opportunities of all kinds.

There are a limited number of available spots for this program.

 

Unfollow. Delete. Block. Repeat.

Who follows you and who you follow on social media is completely in your hands.

You have total control over who has access to you on social media and what you see. And you should curate and edit as necessary.

I recently did a social media follower cleanse/purge – I do this periodically. This is another way of social distancing for me.

I removed anyone who I haven’t talked to in years, who I don’t know well personally, who I didn’t feel was supportive, who commented negatively on a post of mine or who don’t share the same values as me.

I also removed someone who was mean to me on social media recently. She reached out to me to ask why, so I told her. I have no guilt about doing so. I have zero tolerance for mean girl behavior.

If they don’t lift you up, cut them out.

If they don’t make you feel good or add some thing to your life, remove them.

Think quality over quantity always.

In an age of hyperconnectivity, it’s common to virtually connect with people we don’t know well. Sometimes those connections can be positive. Other times, they’re unnecessary and don’t serve us.

It’s important to ensure that your social feeds are what you want them to be. You are in control of who has access to every and anything about you.

You are not required to stay connected with anyone. Period.

Clearing out connections can make more room in your newsfeed for people whose updates you actually want to see, a more rewarding way to use social media.

It is perfectly normal for connections with others to change over time.

I want my social media feeds to be filled with positive interactions, social support and social connectedness.

If you aren’t ready to delete someone from social media, you can unfollow/mute them, which hides their posts. Don’t worry, they aren’t notified of this action.

I highly encourage the personal social media edit. Who’s with me on this?

Subscribe to my email newsletter to learn more about social media and content.

Watch this video to learn more about enhancing your digital well-being.

October is National Women’s Small Business Month, a time to promote, support and discover all the amazing women-led businesses around us.

It also encourages more women to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams.

Entrepreneurship is on the rise, especially among women. The number of female-owned businesses has increased by 114% over the last two decades, and there are currently 12.3 million women-led businesses in the U.S.

But as impressive as these statistics are, there’s still work to be done.

While women make up nearly 51% of the population only 42% of U.S. businesses are owned by them.

Despite all the progress we’ve made, female entrepreneurs continue to face a number of hurdles that men don’t.

Women Who Wow has featured a lot of small women business owners who inspire me every day. You can read their stories here.

How can you support women small businesses? Use them and tell others about them.

Women who have them can share their stories of how they got to where they are, which can inspire others to pursue their dreams.

And finally mention your favorite small women-owned businesses in the comments below to raise awareness about them.

No matter what your employer says, you are not part of a “family.”

You are an employee – most times, an “at-will employee” who can be terminated or replaced at any time.

Your workplace isn’t your family and it’s important to remember that your employer does not owe you anything and may not always look out for your best interests. That’s why YOU need to.

Saying that your place of employment is a “family” also can make employees feel they need to show an extraordinary amount of commitment and loyalty, which can undermine their work/life balance and give them a false sense of security.

While work can be a place where you have warm, supportive relationships with your co-workers and genuinely care about each other, they’re not family so be careful what you share with them.

Also keep your spidey sense up to tell if a co-worker is actually undermining you, a mean girl or gunning for your job. Unfortunately not all of your colleagues want you to succeed.

Most people are out for themselves.

In addition, pay close attention to the culture and any red flags you see when interviewing.

Do your due diligence — don’t just take your interviewer’s word on the culture. Read every single Glassdoor review. Talk to people who have worked there to learn about what it’s really like to work there.

And if they use the word “family,” take it with a grain of salt.

This is business, not family, no matter what your employer says.

That means that you stay really clear about the fact that it’s okay to look out for yourself and advocate for yourself.

This is a candidate market right now (it’s the Great Resignation) – and you have the upper hand. Don’t forget it.

National Paralegal Day is October 23, a day that honors the work of paralegals and legal assistants in law offices throughout the United States.

Why does it matter to you?

You need paralegals.

And you should create a social media post thanking your paralegals as well as do something internally to show your gratitude.

Appreciation equals motivation.

It shows paralegals that their roles as assistants, researchers and interviewers all matter, and the work doesn’t go unnoticed. Appreciation promotes better work.

So what are you going to do for National Paralegal Day to celebrate those who do the legal research (and mountains of paperwork) that enables your firm to function?

You can easily create an image in Canva like I did here and use the hashtag below.

Here is some sample text you can use (please customize it).

October 23 is #NationalParalegalDay – a day to celebrate all of our hardworking paralegals who help us ensure that every client’s interaction with our firm exceeds expectations. Thank you today and every day!

Remember treat your paralegals (and all employees) well every day of the year. Not just on a hashtag holiday.

If you’re not using visuals in your social media posts, you need to. Like right now.

Remember, visuals make your readers stop and pay attention. Your entire goal when creating content is to get people to “stop the scroll” on social. Visuals help you do that.

Without social media visuals, your content can fall flat and just doesn’t “pop” as much as it could if it had a compelling visual to highlight something in it.

There’s a reason why they say a picture is worth a thousand words!

Images resonate – they help your audience remember things.

They also enable you to better reinforce your brand and get your firm name in the market more in this competitive market.

Including images in your posts (remember to also include your logo!) makes your content (and your firm) more engaging, interactive, relatable and memorable, and can help attract new followers as well as keep your existing audiences interested in what you have to say.

All you need to do is upload the image(s) and logo(s) you want to use, choose either a pre-existing or blank template (I used the Twitter-sized one because it will fit perfectly on most social platforms used by professional service firms).

Canva also has Instagram sized templates as well as ads, brochures and many others.

Your job is to then play with moving around the graphic elements to create something visually arresting.

You can also add a headline and captions, and change the background color. If I can do it, I promise that you can do it too! This image took me 5 minutes to make and while it’s not perfect, it does the visual trick.

So download Canva on your phone and sign up on your desktop today and play around with it – it really is a wonderful and easy to use tool to help you take your design skills to the next level.

Let me know what you think!

Michelle Martinez Reyes is the Chief Relations Officer at Florida-based firm Kelley Kronenberg.

She previously served as the Chief Marketing Officer for Greenspoon Marder. She was under 40 when she first ascended to the C-Level amongst the AmLaw 200 and NLJ 300 ranks. She also worked as part of the marketing and business development teams for some of the largest firms in Florida and the U.S., including Hunton Andrews Kurth, Akerman, Holland & Knight and Greenberg Traurig.

She is actively involved in communities throughout South Florida and the U.S. Her sphere of influence has been built over the course of 25 years working across the country and internationally.

Michelle is a recognized executive most recently named “Corporate Latina Executive of the Year” by LatinaStyle, “People of the Year” and “Top Women in PR” by PR News, “Top Women in Communications” as a “Game-Changer” by Ragan Communications and PR Daily, “Women of Influence” by Lifestyle, “Most Prestigious Women” by South Florida Business & Wealth and named a “National Latino Leader” by the National Diversity Council. (Can we just say WOW!)

Learn more about her in this Women Who Wow profile.

What is the best career advice you’ve ever received?

Find good sponsors and mentors along your journey that will teach you, trust you, foster and support you, and ultimately help promote you. Very few people get to the top alone and stay there. When you’re on the climb, ego is not your amigo. Focus on constant growth and development alongside your allies and alliances. The driver in the game of business is ultimately money.

How has social media helped you build your business/brand?

Social media has been a game-changer for those of us in the big, wide world of marketing, business development and public relations. It’s like they gifted me a megaphone and let me have the mic on stage as the MC. All of my professional and board roles in the last 15 years have had some tie to social media, and so have many of my client relationships. It is a rocket ship towards access, communication and engagement.

What do you wish you could tell your younger self?

Talk less and listen more. Emotional intelligence is going to be critical to your journey and one of your most valuable tools in the toolbox…difficult to understand, learn, attain, sustain, evolve and control.

What is a surprising/fun fact about you?

I am a classically trained pianist with a formal music education over 10 years. I love being a musician but haven’t figured out how to monetize it yet.

Yes, I’m a music junkie and a former band nerd!

Connect with Michelle on LinkedIn.

In this video, I discuss the two things business professionals need to do on LinkedIn today.

What are they?

  1. Customize your profile URL.
  2. Upload an image in the cover image field.

Both of these are essential to optimizing your profile in today’s business world.

Learn more in the video and below:

Setting Up Your Custom LinkedIn Profile URL

Your default LinkedIn URL is long and full of numbers and other characters, which is not very user friendly or easily shared with your network. The main point of LinkedIn is giving others the ability to quickly and easily find and connect with you.

Having a custom LinkedIn URL also helps with SEO, on major search engines such as Google and Bing.

Setting up a custom URL requires turning on your LinkedIn public profile – this is what search engines scan – which helps you to be found organically.

Setting up a custom LinkedIn profile URL is easy to do – if your name is somewhat common, you may need to play around with it a bit to add in your middle initial or an “esq” or “cpa” because LinkedIn has more than 750 million users, many of whom have already set theirs up – here’s how your customized LinkedIn profile URL will look: http://www.linkedin.com/in/yourname

As LinkedIn notes, you can customize your public profile URL when you change what appears on your public profile.

Custom public profile URLs are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Members can only have one custom public profile URL at a time.

To change your public profile URL from your desktop:

  1. Click the Me icon at the top of your LinkedIn homepage.
  2. Click View profile.
  3. Click Edit public profile & URL on the right rail.
  4. Under Edit your custom URL in the right rail, click the Edit icon next to your public profile URL.

It’ll be an address that looks like www.linkedin.com/in/yourname.

  1. Type the last part of your new custom URL in the text box.
  2. Click Save.

Here’s how to change your public profile URL on your mobile device:

  1. Tap your profile picture.
  2. Scroll to the Contact and Personal Info section and tap the Edit icon.
  3. On the Edit contact info page, tap on your personal Profile URL. You’ll be redirected to the Public profile settings page.
  4. Under the Edit URL section, tap the Edit icon next to your public profile URL.
  5. Type the last part of your new custom URL in the text box.

A few things to note:

  • Your custom URL can have 5-30 letters or numbers. Don’t use spaces, symbols or special characters.
  • LinkedIn recommends using a variation of your name and/or your professional brand since you’ll share this URL with people, so they can find your LinkedIn profile.
    Some job applications may also ask you for your LinkedIn profile URL. It’s a good idea to add it to your resume as well.
  • The customizable part of the URL is case insensitive. This means using JohnSmith, johnsmith, or johnSmith will all point to the same profile.
  • If the URL you want isn’t available, please select a different one. They can’t make custom URLs available to members upon request.
  • You can change your URL up to five times within six months. Once you have changed your URL for the fifth time, you won’t be able to change it for another six months. Changing your URL several times may make it hard for people to find you.

I recommend doing a firmwide analysis of each employee’s LinkedIn URL and then do a training/handout to explain how your employees can customize it themselves. Then have them add it to their email signatures, pitches, business cards, website bios, basically everywhere your face or name appears, your LinkedIn URL should appear as well.

It’s easy to change your custom LinkedIn profile URL – do it today.

Customizing Your LinkedIn Cover/Background Image

It’s really important to have a custom background image on your LinkedIn profile today. It’s a free and easy way to brand yourself and because it takes up so much space on your profile, it is a place where you can be bold and stand out.

And most importantly, photos help tell stories – in this case your career story. This is prime career-building real estate. Use it or lose the opportunity to tell your story visually and set yourself apart from others.

Choosing a unique image is a great way to help you stand out from the crowd. Your background photo is a way to show off your brand and your personality.

Your LinkedIn cover photo can help  connections and hiring managers get a sense of your personal brand and get to know you better.

So what should you post as your cover image? I use Canva.com and create custom images with these ideas in mind:

  • Use a photo that represents your field
  • Use a picture of your city’s skyline
  • Use a photo of your company’s logo/branding
  • Use an image of something that represents your company
  • Use a picture of your professional community, clients or employees
  • Use a photo of your workspace
  • Use a quote that inspires you
  • Use an image of an award or accomplishment
  • Use an abstract image
  • Use a collage of images

The image I used with this post is my LinkedIn cover image. I used my Bitmoji in various poses to explain what I do – it’s meant to be a little quirky (like me) and visual.

What works for someone else for a LinkedIn cover image might not work for you, but that’s okay. That’s what makes each of us unique.

As you probably already know, you cannot simply find the perfect photo on a Google image search, download it and add it as your cover photo.

There are copyright and licensing laws against this, and in order to use these photos, you’d have to obtain permission and then provide credit to the sources. But there are plenty of free stock photo websites you can utilize to find the perfect image such as Unsplash and Pixabay.

Please make sure the image you use is right-sized – so 1584 width by 396 height pixels.

Your background photo appears behind your profile photo in the introduction section on your profile. If you don’t customize it, your photo will be a gray shadowy box.

The cover image is also a lot of prime real estate – don’t let it go to waste!

To add a background photo:

  • Click the Me icon at the top of your LinkedIn homepage.
  • Click View profile.
  • Click the Camera icon on the upper right corner of your introduction section.
  • Click Upload photo to select an image from your computer, and click Open.
  • Click Apply.
  • The photo will upload automatically.

To reposition, delete or change a background photo:

  1. Click the Me icon at the top of your LinkedIn homepage.
  2. Click View profile.
  3. Click on the background photo and choose one of the following options:
    • Reposition to drag and reposition the image (option available on the image itself).
    • Delete photo to remove the image.
    • Change photo to change the current background photo.

Try customizing your LinkedIn header image today –  a picture really is worth 1,000 words in this case. Canva really makes it easy.

I see so many people post content on social media that is self-promotional and all about themselves. Here’s why that’s a big mistake and a more effective alternative approach.

Supporting and promoting others – such as your colleagues, former colleagues, clients, referrals, mentors and peers is easy and well worth the time and effort.

Your connections don’t want to read posts about all of your great accomplishments and successes every day.

Build this into your weekly marketing strategy.

Keep a calendar of the people you want to highlight and jot down notes about them.

Here’s how you can do it and in the process build stronger relationships that will benefit you.

  • Like/share/comment on their social media posts
  • Encourage others to follow them and let people know why you think their content is valuable
  • Congratulate them on their successes
  • Refer someone their way when there’s an opportunity that may be a fit

Promoting others helps you promote yourself and is the right thing to do.

So think about how you can pay it forward to others.

How can you shine a spotlight on individuals in your network? How can you better support them?

This is one of the fastest ways to build your network and a group of people who will support you.

Learn more in this video.