The next Women Who Wows is Eva Wisnik, the founder of Wisnik Career Enterprises. I’ve known Eva for nearly 20 years now – almost as long as I’ve been in the legal industry. I’ve always been so impressed with Eva in terms of how she helps others who are not only looking for their next job, but she provides expert career advice, time management tips and helps professionals of all levels become their best professional selves. I always learn something from her. She is also incredibly kind and has always been more than willing to listen and give advice.

Get to know more about Eva in this Women Who Wow feature.

What do you love most about your work? 

This month marks 25 years since I launched Wisnik Career Enterprises, Inc. and it’s been an amazing journey! I am most grateful for my clients. Having placed close to 1,000 professionals, I am deeply proud of the trust-filled relationships I’ve built. Our business is based on others thinking of us for new opportunities—job openings and trainings—as well as referring us great talent to place. There are candidates I placed right out of college that are now directors. Helping others to succeed drives me every day! 

What advice would you give young women who want to succeed in the workplace? 

I spent a significant amount of time during the pandemic writing a book for college students and recent grads. Your Fairy Job Mentor’s Secrets for Success draws from the lessons I learned from failing early in my own career, coupled with what I have witnessed as a recruiter for investment banks as well as major law firms. 

In this book I provide information, insights and inspiration to help this new generation of professionals create successful careers and fulfilling lives. Three things I advise are: 

  • Take one brave action every day. This could include asking a potential career advisor for coffee or your boss for feedback. Brave actions, not just working hard and being smart, breed confidence and success.
  • There are no failures, just opportunities to learn and grow. I got fired from my first job out of Barnard for a Wall Street bank and had a painful experience working as a recruiter for Lehman Brothers (I felt like I was living the Wolf of Wall Street movie). These early experiences taught me who I am and what the musts are in my career and led me to my dream job.
  • Invest in your professional relationships. Over the past 30+ years as a recruiter, I have observed how companies and law firms disappear. The only job security we really have exists from the trusted relationships we build. I highly recommend that young women find multiple career advisors, as opposed to just one mentor. Most important stay in touch with the professionals you meet when you don’t need anything from them, and I promise you that they will be there when you do need them! 

 What do you wish you could tell your younger self?

I came to the United States as a refugee with only my immediate family at the age of five. We were expelled from Communist Poland. I grew up believing that living in America is a huge privilege and felt an enormous pressure to succeed; otherwise I would be wasting all the opportunities I had.

My parents survived the Holocaust and only had an 8th grade education, so I felt compelled to get into a good college, work for prestigious firms, earn a graduate degree (I got an MBA at Fordham) and to “make it” in the U.S. To be honest, I was driven by a fear of failure and need to prove that I was good enough. I wish I could tell my younger self that success is an inner game and that I would exceed all my goals if I would just shut down that inner critic in my mind and focus on contributing my unique talents and serving others.

Life doesn’t have to be as hard as I believed growing up and the goal is not just success but fulfillment. Once I figured this out, I felt compelled to write my book so other young people didn’t have to suffer as much as I did, and the pandemic was the perfect time!

The way you format your LinkedIn posts is just as important as what you say.

You have just 1300 characters to get the attention of your audience so use them wisely!

For example, don’t write long, dense paragraphs. People skim content especially online.

Instead, break up your information into short paragraphs like this.

Use paragraph breaks, bullets and numbers when you can to help the reader as they scan the post.

Always write with your audience in mind. For lawyers that means no defined terms. No formal language. Don’t skip two spaces between sentences. And above all don’t capitalize the word Firm.

Don’t mass tag people in your posts thinking they will engage with them more. In fact you’ll do the opposite, which is annoy them. Only tag people in your posts who are directly associated with them.

Place all hashtags at the end of your post. It’s hard to read the post when they’re interspersed in the body copy.

Use a maximum of 5 hashtags or LinkedIn can mark your post as spam.

FYI – LinkedIn penalizes posts with URL links because it wants people to stay on its site.

Remember easy-to-read, value-added content will bring you success on LinkedIn and help you build your brand as a thought leader!

Janet Petrillo manages the U.S. business development and marketing functions of global law firm Kennedys. Learn more about her and her career path in this installment of Women Who Wow.

What do you love most about what you do?

Having worked in the legal profession for more than 25 years, the one constant (and what keeps me energized) is the challenge of working with the lawyers. They’re smart, talented, autonomous, successful, critical thinkers. I simply love being around them! Every day my job is to move the needle on building the business – on almost any front I can. Though I am not a fee earner, I am a valued business advisor. And as a former partner in a consulting firm, this is a role I cherish.

What do you think is the key for success in a role like yours?

There are so many factors to success working in a law firm, but I would say first and foremost is being authentic. In being my authentic self, I am able to establish relationships with the attorneys and my business service colleagues that are based on trust and honesty. I have a strong desire to have an impact, and this is the only way I know how. Fortunately, it resonates in the professional service partnership environment. Ask anyone who knows me, I am a terrible liar!

Any advice to young women who want to succeed in the workplace?

It’s so important to understand from where a lawyer is coming and anticipate his/her/their response. Don’t be afraid to ask questions at the outset. I think sometimes women are hesitant to let their voice or opinions be heard. Truly understanding the lawyer’s needs will limit the number of times you might need to go back and forth on something. And putting yourself in their shoes also instills trust that you know the high standards they set for themselves and those set by their clients. So, bottom line is, while it’s essential to excel at the task, appreciate that there is so much else that is less tangible which can catapult your career if you take the time to see it.

While social distancing has made it more challenging to build relationships that will turn into referrals and new clients, it is more than easy to do so, thanks to social media, particularly LinkedIn.

LinkedIn enables you to stay top of mind, showcase your expertise and reconnect with your professional network.

Here are some tips for any business professional on how use LinkedIn for networking and branding, and hopefully turn connections into new business during social distancing and beyond.

  1. When you increase your LinkedIn connections by one person, you’re actually increasing your network by thousands. For every first degree connection you add to your LinkedIn network, you instantly gain hundreds of 2nd-degree connections and thousands of 3rd-degree connections. And, if one of your connections likes one of your posts, their connections have the potential to see that update. This is one reason why is it so important to actively add connections rather than to just sit back and accept connection requests from others.
  2. Become a member of key industry groups on LinkedIn where you can find like-minded professionals and share content that establishes you as a subject matter expert and expands your network. Perhaps most importantly, belonging to a group instantly grants you access to sending connection invites to every other member within that group.
  3. Request to join the alumni groups of any of your former places of employment and reconnect with former colleagues with whom you’ve lost touch who are also members of those groups. Each time you add a company to your list of prior jobs in your profile, you automatically follow that company but not its accompanying alumni group. So, you’ll need to manually find the corresponding alumni group and request membership.
  4. Also join the LinkedIn alumni groups of each educational institution you attended. Search for contacts through these groups and add them to your network. Make a list of individuals with whom you lost touch and once you connect with them, reach out to touch base – this is the perfect time to reestablish connections.
  5. Build online rapport and relationships by reposting the content, and liking and commenting on the status updates of VIP connections (clients, prospects, referral sources, etc.). Supporting others helps you build a strong network and stronger relationships.
  6. If you are on a group Zoom happy hour or networking event, note the participant list so you can connect with each person afterwards on LinkedIn.
  7. The Advanced Search tool on LinkedIn is another great way to strategically expand your network. Use LinkedIn filters to search by keyword, for example job title, location, company, school. Premium LinkedIn accounts enable you to conduct more searches, with wider search parameters and saved searches; however, you still can get some of these benefits with a free LinkedIn account.
  8. Staying top of mind is the key to success on LinkedIn. Provide status updates on a regular basis. It keeps you visible to the people in your network.
  9. Like and comment on LinkedIn posts that you think are valuable and share the posts with your connections and in your groups.
  10. Curate content from news sources you trust – this is a great way to ease the burden on having to create a piece of content. You can instead scour news sources such as the American Lawyer, Law360, Forbes, Fortune, the Harvard Business Review, Fast Company or the Huffington Post and add introductory content saying why you think it is valuable and expressing your point of view about the piece you’re sharing.
  11. Regularly write content that is valuable to your connections and share it on social media with brief introductory text on why they should read it. Highlight a few key points in your synopsis, use the @ sign to mention anyone in the post and always use an eye-catching visual and the right hashtags to accompany your post.
  12. Be generous – like and share others’ posts and congratulate others on their successes, especially your VIP connections. While they may not be ready to hire you at this moment, they will likely be in that position in the future. When they reach that point, you will be top of mind.
  13. Consider connecting with certain friends and family members. We often overlook mixing our personal and professional lives and oftentimes this is a source of potential business opportunities.
  14. Connect with anyone who engages with your content or content in which you’re mentioned.
  15. Connect with anyone who follows you. Note that a “follow” is different than connecting – an individual can choose to follow you (without connecting to you), depending on your settings, in order to receive your posts. I always take it a step further and invite someone to join my network if they’ve elected to follow me.
  16. Utilize the “People You May Know” feature. The more you use it and choose to connect with the potential connections it suggests for you (based on your connections’ connections, past education, employers, education and interests), the more targeted your future connection suggestions will be.

Building your online brand and network takes time – but I promise it’s well worth the effort especially now in this time of social distancing. LinkedIn will be the most important tool for business networking for the foreseeable future.

I see so many large law firms and every size firm in between – as well as individuals – not using hashtags at all or not using them correctly. This is likely why your posts don’t have many likes and why the same people like your posts over and over.

Hashtags amplify the reach of your content. Hashtags are trending and commonly used search terms on social platforms (a hashtag uses the # sign followed by the term, so for example #socialmedia).

Some users follow and search for content using hashtags and their usage is increasing across all social platforms.

Incorporating hashtags into your social strategy will enhance your ability to reach prospects, clients and other interested parties because individuals who are following or searching that hashtag may see your content even if they are not connected to you.

Use only 3 to 5 hashtags or LinkedIn will mark your post as spam. This is SO important. You can’t just stick in a bunch of hashtags into your post and think it will help your post get discovered. It will only make your post invisible.

Also, please don’t put the hashtags within the body of the post – so don’t do this:

#Hashtags are a very effective way of increasing your #visibility and building your #personalbrand on #socialmedia.

This is hard to read for many people. The hashtags should be at the end of your post and you should skip a line between the last line of the body copy of the post and your hashtags for readability.

The best way to find the right hashtag is to use the search functionality in the main search bar and type in a term to see how many followers it has. Too many followers will ensure your post will get lost as will using a hashtag with few followers. Just changing a letter or abbreviating it can make a huge difference in the number of followers of a hashtag.

The suggestions that come up when you type in a post aren’t always the best ones to use because they’re based on the context and not the number of followers a hashtag currently has. So many people rely on the words that come up when they type in a post, or they just put in the ones they think are best without doing research. And that’s not having a smart LinkedIn strategy.

Using hashtags helps with increasing visibility of your posts on LinkedIn, but it’s crucial to check the number of followers of a hashtag before you use it. Just changing a letter or abbreviating it can make a huge difference as noted above.

Don’t rely on the hashtag suggestions that LinkedIn provides, they’re based on content and AI – double check them first using the main search bar. There is no quick easy automated tool for this – YOU are the best resource.

Also remember that too many followers is not great because your content will get lost and too few followers is not great because no one will see it.

Look at this example to see how just a few characters can make a big difference when it comes to using hashtags on LinkedIn. Consider this a special gift for my intellectual property lawyer followers!

If you find yourself writing about the same topics, you should make a list of the top hashtags in that area so that you can copy and paste them. This will make your life much easier. Note that a hashtag will rarely lose followers but rather gain them.

I can’t stress the importance of researching permutations of hashtags before you use post them. You will see a huge difference in the discoverability of your content IF you take the time to do this!

I am not a huge fan of making up your own hashtags because that won’t help your content be discovered (these hashtags have a low number of followers if any at all). You always must click on the hashtag to see how many followers it has or you are not creating a strategic social strategy.

Hashtags are incredibly important on LinkedIn – start using them today!

Happy hashtagging.

I’m so glad I got to see my dad yesterday. He has the vaccine now, but it wasn’t easy for him to initially get it. My brother and my sister-in-law had to step in and help him get it.

Let’s just say that my dad is not so adept at using the Internet. My mom passed away five years ago this month from cancer, and she took care of everything. He’s been lost without her and dependent upon me and my brother to help him.

Many seniors are in the same boat and it puts them at a big disadvantage when it comes to signing up for an online appointment to get the vaccine. And they are the people who need it most.

The process is competitive and clearly favors those with advanced computer skills. That’s not to say that all seniors fall in the same category but many of them do. My dad is almost 80 and recently learned how to use social media and the internet.

There are a lot of reports about this in the media that say that many other seniors are also having trouble navigating the labyrinth of the Internet appointment vaccine system. This NPR article is a great resource. I hope something is done ASAP about helping seniors make vaccine appointments easier.

Each of us are complex beings who are constantly evolving and growing. Here are 10 things that don’t define you as we each work toward better versions of ourselves.

  1. Your mistakes. Each of us is allowed to make mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes! We are human and mistakes are part of life. What defines us is how we pick ourselves up after making a mistake and admitting when we’ve made one. Every day is a new opportunity.
  2. Your bank account. How much money you have in the bank does not define your worth as a person. There are plenty of awful rich people in the world as well as wonderful poor people. Also, money doesn’t bring happiness to your life as some people might wish it did.
  3. Your Meyers Briggs test results. Your results will likely change over time. While these personality tests can help to give you insights about yourself, they are not perfect. Try not to define yourself by them or rationalize everything you do based on them. They have a finite amount of outcomes. Humans are much more complex beings than 16 permutations!
  4. Your educational background: Where you went to school and the grades you received doesn’t define who you are today. Whether you were a straight A student at an Ivy League school or a C student at a state school – we all have different learning styles and strengths. Your GPA doesn’t define your worth or your future potential to be successful. Never let anyone tell you otherwise.
  5. Your relationship status: Whether you are single, attached, divorced, never been married – your current relationship status does not define your worth. Period.
  6. Your job title. It doesn’t matter if you are a CEO, the mail clerk or a janitor. Treat everyone with respect. We are all human.
  7. Your zodiac sign. So, there’s nothing wrong in reading your horoscope (although I used to write the horoscopes for Redbook magazine as part of my first job out of college so take some of them with a grain of salt) but think about how much you base your definition of yourself on them. We are shaped by so much more than the time of the year we were born and what a vague horoscope blurb says.
  8. Getting fired. Most of us have been or will be fired at one point in our careers. This just happens. It does not mean that you will not be wildly successful down the line. It just means that things did not work out for you in that particular job. Don’t get all doomsday – put it into perspective and move on. Things will get better and you will look back on it as a learning experience – I promise as someone who has been there myself.
  9. Being bullied or the victim of mean girls. Unfortunately this kind of behavior happens at all stages of our lives and both personally and professionally. Here’s the thing – when people dislike you for no reason, know that it’s not always your energy – it’s theirs. It’s their insecurity and inferiority rearing its ugly head. Once you understand how much of it is projection, you’ll stop taking it as rejection and feel bad for the person who is attacking you. Depersonalize it and ignore it.

I hope these tips are helpful to you -life sure isn’t easy sometimes and there are many lessons we have to learn the hard way, but things often have a funny way of working out for the better. There’s even an important lesson learned in the bad things that happen to us.

 

The next woman who wows is Dallas-based Deborah McMurray, the founder and CEO of strategy, design, content and technology agency Content Pilot.

There are so many great things I want to say about Deborah. She is kind, smart, witty, funny, elegant, wise and humble. We were introduced through mutual friends in the legal marketing industry about 15 years ago, hit it off immediately and have remained close ever since. Whenever she is in New York City, we have a girls night out and catch up. She has given me great advice over the years both professionally and personally, and despite being a very busy CEO, always makes time for me. I’m lucky to have her in my life.

Learn more about Deborah below.

Why did you choose your profession? 

I chose only one profession and that was to be a professional classical flutist and conductor. When I decided to switch careers to business, I gravitated to what I thought was the most creative part of business, “marketing.” It was a circuitous path to end up in professional services marketing, and particularly my passion, strategy, design and technology – but I’ve never looked back!

What do you love most about what you do? 

Each day is a new day. Literally, no two days behave alike. Free-range thinkers do well in our environment. We require a lot of discipline and rigor when it comes to process and performance – but the core of all of it is creativity and innovative thinking. There is nothing more exhilarating than a blank piece of paper that starts to take shape.

Tell us about a woman you look up to and why.

I look up to my my mother, Muriel Joy Hanson, who died in 2008 at the age of 91. As a brilliant classical pianist and 50-year piano teacher, she taught me about perfectionism (which I’ve had to temper my entire life) and what being a survivor looks like. She was both a dreamer and a pragmatist and she sought joy wherever she could find it. Usually in friendship, food and travel. On her 90th birthday, she performed three 45-minute piano recitals for beloved friends, followers and admirers. Standing-room only at her party – we should all be that blessed.

Do you have a mentor? 

Not in the traditional sense. I have countless mentors who are experts in certain things that I want to learn (or that I’ll never learn, but for which I want more than a superficial understanding). Most of my mentors have no idea they are one for me. And many of my mentors don’t know who I am.

Any advice to young women who want to succeed in the workplace? 

Focus less on being observed and more on being observant. Our culture is too “all about me” in my book. If you focus on being a contributor to something extraordinary, the attention will come. You’ll have earned it.

What do you wish you could tell your younger self? 

Dig deeper to find the authentic you. You think you’ve got it? Nope, you don’t – dig deeper still.

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

“Be yourself.” My 4th-grade teacher wrote this in my yearbook when I was 9 and I had no idea what she meant. It took me decades and a lot of therapy to figure out where she was headed with that comment.

How do you achieve work/life balance? 

I mostly don’t. I work A LOT. Partly because I volunteer a lot and say “YES” a lot. It’s not my Content Pilot work, but I routinely take on stretch assignments to raise money for favorite causes/charities, chair events or give back in important ways to LMA. To excel and make remarkable things happen, it takes a fervent desire to make a difference. That is the common thread between my work and my play – a passion to make a difference.

How has social media helped you build your brand? 

I love to write, share stories and points of view – it’s given me a platform to authentically elevate above the banal, the fray and take the high road. Those who follow me know that I work hard to stay out of the mud.

Which woman most inspires you and why? 

The women who inspire me most are those who were courageous can-doers against all odds. The first global celebration of International Women’s Day was March 8, 1911 – just imagine the astoundingly accomplished women we need to remember and honor through history – in science, the arts, music, medicine, literature, sports, the law, aviation and astronomy . . . the list is as long as time itself.

What do you think is the key for success in a role like yours? 

I am a voracious learner, a quick study, I never think I have all the answers and I truly enjoy collaborating and working with others. And I want to have FUN. Most of us work way too hard not to have FUN. Oh – and I love what I do. I really do.

The next women who wows is  Emily Griesing.

Emily is a Co-Owner and the Chief Strategy Officer at Bossible, a marketing and business development consultancy for entrepreneurs, professionals, small businesses and diverse businesses. She advises clients on how to create and amplify a unique brand voice in order to stand out, reach their target audience and scale their businesses. She builds and executes custom marketing plans that help clients grow as thought leaders, gain exposure in their industries and develop new business.

Emily specializes in marketing to Millennial and Generation Z cohorts and has experience working with clients in a wide range of industries including arts and entertainment, consumer products, finance, health and wellness, leadership consulting, legal, lifestyle, media and technology, non-profits and real estate.

Emily is also the Marketing Manager at Griesing Law, LLC – a firm founded by her mother – where she promotes the capabilities of the Firm and the team of attorneys through various marketing and business development efforts. She is the recipient of Family Business Magazine’s NextGens to Watch, awarded to accomplished young people who represent the second through the sixth generations of family businesses. Emily writes and speaks on topics related to marketing and business development, corporate culture and entrepreneurship for various business outlets.

Learn more about Emily. Continue Reading Women Who Wow: Emily Griesing

Here are some ideas that you can implement to increase the visibility and the power of your social media posts and presence.

  • Build a strong LinkedIn profile highlighting who you really are and your strengths so that when people look at your profile – which they will! – yours is up to par and optimized
  • Post consistently – this is a must do in order to effectively build your brand and start getting noticed on LinkedIn. The algorithm also favors people who post several times per week.
  • Share an inspiring story or lesson learned with your connections.
  • Build an editorial/content calendar to help manage your posts.
  • Share your content at the right time (during commuting hours and lunchtime).
  • Be a content collector and a creator.
  • Use compelling visuals to bring your posts to life.
  • Create a hashtag strategy for each post (keep a list of relevant hashtags by topic).
  • Repurpose your content across channels (but adjust the language and tone for the medium).
  • Maximize every webinar/conference and create a top takeaways piece.
  • Use a combination of evergreen and timely posts.
  • Try a powerful mix of earned and owned media.
  • Sprinkle in hashtag holidays and other milestones to fill in content gaps.
  • Strengthen relationships by promoting the successes of others.
  • Use a mix of mediums to engage with your target audience (video, thought leadership, podcasts, etc.).
  • Try paid social to spotlight key posts.
  • Always think show versus tell – let your content speak for itself – you should never have to sell yourself or your services if your content is doing its job!

I hope these tips are helpful!