Social media

Episode 6 Transcript: Social Media Therapy: Overcoming The Awkward and Vulnerable Feelings That Can Come With Posting

00:02

Welcome to episode number six of the Financial Finesse podcast. I’m Cathy Curtis, host of this podcast and owner of Curtis Financial Planning, a financial advisory firm specializing in the finances of independent women. My guest today is Courtney McQuaid. We are going to talk about social media. And specifically, those vulnerable feelings you get when you go to post something. We all experience it, but there are ways to overcome it. And Courtney is uniquely qualified to talk about this, and I’m going to take a moment to read her bio. Courtney’s a recognized social media expert and has over 20 years of experience in the financial services industry. Courtney creates and implements transformative compliant social media strategies to teach individuals and organizations how to reach their target audiences and uncover untapped opportunities through social media. She builds confidence in her clients and counsels them through the awkward and emotional vulnerabilities that can come with posting on social media with a bespoke strategy to inspire and encourage growth. Right now, Courtney is a communications manager for Integrated Partners, a 7.3 billion hybrid RIA, and a social media consultant at City Wire USA. Hi, Courtney. So happy to have you on my podcast.

01:38

Thank you. It’s great to be here.

01:40

How are you doing today? Good, good. Good. I’m excited. Let’s get into this great conversation. I love social media. And I know you do too. And I just have a couple quick start off questions and wonders. Why do you think that for some people, it seems easy to be authentic and vulnerable when they’re posting and for others, it’s just a complete struggle and they don’t even know where to begin?

02:12

That’s a great question. You know, I, I can’t actually say for sure because everybody’s different. I think for some people, it just comes naturally. Maybe they’re just more open people, and they’re comfortable with the technology and the idea of social media.

02:29

Some aren’t.

02:31

Some people I’ve met are fantastic speakers. They can get on a stage in front of hundreds of people. But then when it comes to social media, they suddenly feel a little nervous, a little awkward, a little insecure. And maybe it’s because it’s the idea of it being out there to the universe permanently. I don’t know. But every everybody’s different.

02:57

Yeah, that’s a really good point. About being out there to the universe permanently. Because it becomes a public record. When you tweet or post something on Facebook, and we know it can never go away. Right? And I also think there’s something to do with this vulnerability issue. And this fear of exposure, that you’re going to say something stupid, people are gonna laugh at you. They’re not gonna think you’re witty enough or smart enough. I think there’s a little bit of that. And it’s almost like real life. Right? We feel that way in real life, too. And, yeah, and it gets exacerbated a little bit on social media, especially if you’re always comparing yourself to somebody that you think does it better than you.

03:55

Yeah, definitely. And, you know, there’s also that feeling of oh, I feel a little narcissistic. Everybody looked at me. Why does anybody care what I have to say? You know, am I being too pushy? Yeah. And so one of the ways I try to work through that with my clients is comparing it to how it really works in real life. So for example, I had one person tell me well, that he made a post, and a lot of people were commenting on it. And he wasn’t sure if he should reply back to the comments or not. And I said, well, think of it this way. If you’re walking down the street downtown, headed to an appointment to see a client, and you see a colleague walking toward you. And he or she stopped you for a minute to say hi and say, hey, congratulations on that award. Would you just keep your mouth shut? Smile and keep walking? Right. Do you say thank you, or do you say thank you? And he said, oh, okay, I get it. I get it. So he went back to his LinkedIn post and thanked people for their Congratulations. In their comments. So social media is designed to be social. It’s just like networking in real life, but online. So trying to think of it that way I think really helps people begin to get the idea for it and the feel for it.

05:16

That’s a really good point, it becomes like a conversation then instead of a one on one, feed, it dies. And the more you think of it as a conversation, probably the more successful you’re going to be.

05:32

Absolutely, absolutely. It just takes getting some used to, you know, one of my best tips for everybody if you’re unsure about it, is just to try to make LinkedIn or whichever social media platform you feel most comfortable with. Try and make it part of your daily routine. Put in your calendar 10 minutes every day, to just simply scroll your home feed. You don’t have to do anything. Just scroll your home feed, see what other people are saying, see how other people are using it. Make sure that you are connected with your target audience. And make sure that you’re connected with some of your colleagues that might do the same work that you do. I mean, I primarily work with advisors. But this advice can port over into any industry.

06:21

Really, let me ask you a question that you brought up something really important, that target audience term. So before you start using social media, and while you’re using it, you really should have your target audience in your mind, right? Absolutely. So you’re focused. It’s not just random conversation. How do you suggest someone go about doing that and also connecting getting followers from their target audience?

06:53

Sure. Well, there’s a couple of ways to do it. First of all, you want to do your due diligence, find out where your target audience are. And sometimes it’s on more than one platform. If you are targeting small business owners, depends on what they are selling. But more often than not, they happen to be on Facebook, and probably some on LinkedIn as well. So you’d want to use a combination of LinkedIn and Facebook. Retirees or pre retirees tend to love Facebook, but then some are also on LinkedIn. So you have to just do your due diligence, find out where your target audience is, and then post content that they want to read, that they want to see. What is it that they’re wanting, you don’t want to post selling your services, why you should hire me. I mean, maybe once in a while. You want to talk about what value you offer. But I know for me when I first began working with an asset management firm back in 2012, I was so disheartened looking for social media information geared toward asset managers, I only worked with financial advisors. So back in 2012, I ran for this asset manager, I’m thinking, gosh, how can I make this unique and I was researching all over the web, it was very difficult to find something geared toward asset managers. And so finally, I came across this FinTech company called Kurtosis. I had no idea what they did, what their product was that they sold, but they gave such great information about social media marketing for asset managers. I just I lived on their blog for months. And after learning so much from their educational information, finally, I took a moment to try and figure out well, what do they do, what value do they offer? And it turns out that they offer digital Fun Fact sheets for asset managers. So I was their perfect target audience. And they drew me in with content that they knew I would want. Never once were they selling their services, they knew what me their target audience would want. Right?

09:06

Okay, that makes sense. But it also sounds kind of intimidating for someone first starting out and really not knowing what their first through 10 posts should be. So what’s your advice to that total newbie? They open well, a Twitter account, and they start wanting to post.

09:30

Well, again, it would be part of doing your research and so to even take it a step back further, you don’t want to just start posting without a plan, right? Okay, number one, build, build out your social media strategy, and doing your due diligence, finding out where your target audience is, which platforms to work on, and what content that they want is all part of building out that social media strategy. I would suggest getting together with a coworker or other people in your team, sitting down together, making a list of potential topics and if possible, survey your target audience. If you already have existing clients, ask them what they might want to learn more about, ask them what intrigues them. Something that my friend Justin Castelli always tells his advisors that he works with is this, sit down and think about what are the common questions that your clients ask you in client meetings? There are your topics right there. Mm hmm. And then the next step would be to create your content.

10:31

Okay, well, you know, this type of social media strategy doesn’t sound vulnerable at all. It’s like, this is a well thought out, pre-planned strategy. So you could go on the platforms and start posting. So when you’re working with people, what makes them still feel hesitant about starting?

10:58

Well, I think it’s like any creator. When you first get ready to actually make that post, a lot of times are thinking, well, what do I say? Is this gonna sound dumb? Are they gonna like it? You know, it’s really feeling like you’re putting it out there permanently almost like shooting your video. You know, I still get a little nervous. I was a little nervous before we did this. Yeah, it’s etched in stone, in fact, you know, it’s also not age related, which I think a lot of people think that. I had a friend just last week, about 30 years old, and lives on Instagram and Tiktok, who asked me for advice on how to post something on LinkedIn, because she rarely ever posts on LinkedIn and she suddenly got very nervous. So you know, I think it just takes experience, doing it regularly, trying to switch your mind to think about how it relates to these into real life. You know, what would you say if you were at a networking event? What If you were having a client event and your clients were there, and they were asking you questions, think of it that way, because you’re just putting it out there digitally. You know what the right thing is to say in real life? Right? So you can have confidence in the fact that you’re going to know what the right thing is to say, when you post on social media. Of course, there’s certain strategies for the way you word your posts, which we can get into if you want to.

12:29

Yeah, talk about that a little bit. What is a strategy? I’m still learning.

12:34

Well, when you’re talking to people one on one, you have more of their attention and it’s easier to maybe tell a bit more of a story. When you’re on social media. You’ll notice as people scroll through their home feeds, it’s not necessarily a one on one conversation. It’s you’re putting information out there into the public, and you’re hoping it catches your target audience’s attention, right. So as you scroll through your home feed, how do you get through that deluge of information? How do you get your post to stand out to make somebody want to stop and read it? So when you’re writing your hook, as I call it, I always say, trying to put your main point at the very beginning of your sentence, the very first few words. Everybody has ADD, you know, we just have information overload. And I’ve seen some people begin their hooks with something along the lines of last week, I had the pleasure of speaking with world renowned for that, and already you’ve lost the people, right? Because what’s in it for me? So whatever the particular topic is, you just want to get to that point, you know, five top tips and five top tax tips for small business owners and then you can say that I learned from my conversation with you know, this well-known CPA or whatever it was.

13:59

The number tip thing really catches people’s eye, right? The five number tips, best ideas and that, or like my target audiences is single independent women. And I might start a post bag lady syndrome, how to overcome it. Whereas where it hooks them in instead of, are you single? Or I don’t know something more mundane. You just want to get their attention.

14:28

Exactly what are their pain points? And what value do you offer to help solve for those pain points? That’s what everybody wants, you know?

14:39

Yeah. So when you’re working with a client, and they’re telling you oh, I don’t, I don’t get social media. I mean, I’ve had colleagues tell me, I think social media is stupid. You know, they go on for a while and they’re trying to get it. Get the rhythm. Understand it and they just don’t. Yeah, yeah, I should that person that just I hear that.

15:09

I hear it all the time. And first of all, you have to want to do it and you have to understand the value. So I oftentimes share success stories with my clients. Every year, for the last six years, Putnam has put out an advisor survey asking them how they use social media for their business. And if you want to Google it, and you take a look at this, you will see the growth and the amount of success that advisors have had over the last six, seven years, that Putnam has put out this survey. It’s really, really powerful. And that’s just for our industry. But for any industry in general. The statistics are there, it’s grown. So I try to show success stories and show the numbers and then it just goes back to what I said originally. Try to make social media part of your daily routine, just 10 minutes a day. Each morning, when you check your email, scroll your home feeds, check your notifications, start to get a feel for it, see what the current trends are. And over time you begin to get comfortable, then start with one post and see what the reaction is. And keep at it. It’s kind of like a slow drip campaign. So you just have to keep doing it. And over time you get comfortable. And once you see the results, then it’ll definitely inspire you to want to do more. But there’s a ton of people told me they think it’s a waste of time. And then 99% of the time those people end up coming around. I guarantee it. Well, I

16:46

started using social media in 2008. So you could say I’m sort of a veteran of the medium of it has been. You are a pioneer. Yeah. It’s been amazing for me, brought me so many opportunities above and beyond prospecting for clients, just connections and people I’ve hired and you know, you know, presentations, I’ve been able to make all kinds of things. But you know, back when I started, I didn’t have a strategy. I was trying to build my brand, because it’s great for brand building right, getting your message out there. But I just started having conversations with people and it was so exciting when people started to follow me and engage with me and you get hooked. And I think if you can get beyond that fear stage and get started, like you said 99% of the people are going to love it and find some benefits about it. There’s another little angle I want to talk about with social media and this is once you get more advanced in it is, is finding your true voice like really being yourself open vulnerable on these platforms. And I mean, this is hard to do in real life, right. But what I found is the people that are the most authentic, are the most popular. They have the most followers they have the most people want to hear what they have to say. That’s not an easy thing to do.

18:26

It’s not, it’s not and that’s why those people get so many followers, I think because all of us who are a little more nervous, maybe a little bit more shy to actually let it all out like that actually give a firm opinion on something that might make some people mad or that others might disagree with. We admire those people. So because deep down we wish, maybe there’s a part of us that wishes they could do that. So it makes us want to follow them and watch them and hear what they have to say. Now everybody has a different style. And so what some people might feel comfortable putting out there, you might not. And that’s totally okay. That’s also part of this getting used to social media and what to say and what you feel comfortable with. And your comfort level will change. I, you know, I’ve historically been more worried about my clients’ social media than my own. Until last year, I thought, gosh, I better really get more active on Twitter. I need to start posting more for myself and engage with our FinTech community. And suddenly, I felt nervous, and I felt awkward and I wasn’t quite sure what to say. I know who I am. I feel like I know. But I felt weird and it’s taken, you know, over a year, but now I feel much more comfortable chit chatting on Twitter. I’ve built up a nice group of Twitter friends, our fin tech community. I’ve met so many great people really through Twitter. Yeah. Which is really, really cool. And thanks to Leslie Marshall over at Morningstar.

20:09

But just met so many. I met Leslie

20:11

Leslie years ago, like, probably 2009/10 because of Twitter.

20:18

So did I.

20:19

Yeah.

20:20

Leslie gave me advice on Twitter when I was at that asset management firm.

20:24

Right. You know, I noticed I think I started noticing you on Twitter about a year ago. So that’s probably when you started to really get into your own on Twitter, right. Like you said, you stopped thinking about your client. Well, you of course, you’re still thinking about your clients, but you will. Yeah, yeah. You’re developing your own presence. Yeah.

20:47

Yeah. Well, and the funny thing I think that really broke my nervousness was I’d written an article for City Wire RIA magazine, where I listed 10 RIAs to follow on Twitter. And that was kind of a hot topic that summer and I chose the 10 RIAs that I felt were most authentic and real. They didn’t have to have a million followers. But I saw them on Twitter. I’d never met them in real life. But the way that they came through was very authentic and they just seem like good people to me. So I listed these 10 people, and the magazine came out and one of them Nina O’Neill, tweeted, hey, thanks Courtney for featuring me. I’m so honored and she tagged the other nine advisors. Well, one of them Tyrone Ross said he responded and said, well, thanks Courtney. But you misspelled my last name. And because his name is Tyrone, middle initial V like Victor and then last name Ross with an R. And I don’t know why I just saw that the end for his last name. So I wrote it. This time was oh no, no, this is print magazines. I mean, they thought we fixed the web version. But here I am. I’m just getting comfortable with tweeting again, I write this article, I felt so good about it. And that had been Cathy, my heart went into mode. Oh my gosh. I thought, Oh my gosh, I want to die. And so I do. So to this, I didn’t really know what to say. So I just I responded to his tweet with the faceplant emoji, like, you know, yeah. And I said, oh, my gosh, I’m so sorry Tyrone. And he was really nice about it, of course. Oh, yeah.

22:35

Oh, you know,

22:38

print gets thrown out. So, you know,

22:43

naturally, but it actually turned into a happy accident like the painter Bob Ross’s because all the other advisors jumped in and they started making a joke about it. Oh, are we gonna call you Tyrone Voss now? Do you represent Voss water, and there were some pretty funny funny tweets that followed that I think all day long, probably 1000 tweets. Oh my god. But we had such a great time. It turned out to be so much fun, especially when the advisor sent me a case of Voss water.

23:16

That’s being vulnerable to mistakes. All those things don’t aren’t necessarily bad things right

23:25

now. Anyway, it was really a happy accident. And then when we all met in person, finally at a conference, we already felt like we knew each other. So that really, that really made it fun.

23:37

Okay, this is you just brought up another great, fantastic thing about social media, where you meet people online, and then when you finally meet them in real life, you feel like you’re friends already. And it’s just it’s actually easier to develop the relationship. Yeah,

23:54

it is. It’s really, really fun. In fact, I heard Nina O’Neill speak at a conference. And that’s what she said. She said, specifically when she meets clients for the first time or prospects. They all tell her that they feel like they already know her because of her social media presence, they know, she has two boys in baseball and it’s really it is a nice way of being able to build that comfort or like you said personal brand. Which, by the way, is the old school term for or is the new school term for the old school term reputation, right? Oh, yeah, personal brand’s, just the buzzword. And now you can build that reputation, aka personal brand through social media.

24:36

Right. So we’re gonna wrap up in a couple of minutes. So I wanted to make sure the audience gets like, your top three tips to being authentic and successful using social media and, you know, social media where it’s we keep saying this broad term, it’s actually a group of platforms that you post on, right? And one may be better than another for your purposes. So you might want to speak to that just a little bit too.

25:09

Sure, sure, sure. Well,

25:12

first of all, it depends on your bandwidth. And you don’t want to bite off more than you can chew. So if you’re really a newbie at social media, I suggest choosing one platform to begin with. But save your name, and your company name on all the platforms, even if you’re not using them right now, just because you don’t want somebody else to take that handle that username, like on Twitter, you have a Twitter handle, Facebook, your company name, and on your LinkedIn company page, even Pinterest, even on the platforms you think you’ll never use, just because they evolve so much. They change the way people use them. You know, in the beginning, nobody ever thought Instagram would be used for business but now it really is. So save your name and your company name across all the social media platforms just so that nobody else gets it, right. But if you’re really a newbie, choose one, if you think you can handle it, do two, which usually are Facebook and LinkedIn. Twitter is also a great way to network, check to see if your audience is there. But if not, it’s where the media is and PR, if that’s a goal for you, trying to get some PR interviews. And then just make sure you build out your strategy. Do your research, find out what’s involved in a strategy, you know, which is part of what we talked about before doing your due diligence so that you’re prepared, you have a content strategy, how often you’re going to post and you know what your target audience wants. And then really, it’s like, I call it nurturing your network. I think a lot of people call it that.

26:50

Every day going in and

26:52

being active, you can’t just post and disappear. You have to post, and you have to engage with your network. Comment on their posts, like their posts and be a part of the conversation. And of course, don’t forget to let everybody know you’re on social media. It always amazes me how many advisors take the time to build out their social media presence. But then they neglect to put their social media icons on their website, or their email campaigns, or in just talking to people, hey, by the way, are you on LinkedIn, let’s connect or, you know, have you followed my Facebook page. So make sure that people know that you’re there, the people that you’re speaking with directly, and that will help spread the word. Again, along with engaging and posting and commenting regularly.

27:43

Great. Those are awesome tips. I just have one other question for you. And that is, do you recommend people post themselves all the time, or use somebody else to post for them to schedule their posting events. What’s your thoughts

28:02

on that? That’s a great, that’s another great question. Um, listen, if you can do it all yourself, I highly recommend that because only you know, your connections and your audience the best. I’ve had people want me to manage their LinkedIn for them. And it just doesn’t work. It doesn’t come off as authentic. I can see what’s happening in their network, but I have no idea what kind of relationships they have with certain people. Maybe to a degree, maybe if I worked really closely with somebody, but it’s just never going to be the same. If you’re really busy, and you want somebody to help with the posting, okay, fine. Maybe they maybe you can do that. But you still have to go on there and engage every single day and respond to the comments and like the comments. It’s the only way to be truly successful, to be truly authentic. People can smell it a mile away. And while a few years ago, setting posts just can’t post me, it works, social media, the platforms themselves and the way we use it is evolving every day. And really, people are just being more and more authentic, and people getting sensitive, you’re not.

29:17

So if

29:19

you want to be successful, you got to be authentic.

29:21

Yeah, I’m saying that to more and more authenticity. So I guess that is the main theme of this podcast is, if you can strive to be as authentic as you can on social media, use it every day. 10 minutes is barely any time at all. Schedule it in first thing in the morning or in the evening before you close the day out. Right. Yeah. And hopefully have a strategy.

29:50

But yeah, you have to have a strategy.

29:53

Yeah. And it’s not too late to get a strategy right. Like I could have a new strategy right now. If I wanted to.

30:00

Oh, yeah, and that’s a great point. You know, Cathy, your strategy can evolve year after year. So you want to revisit it and it’s not a set it and forget it when you create your strategy, you need to go back to it, decide what’s been working, what’s not what you want to change or if your business goals change, so keep that strategy on hand and refer to it and updated as you need to.

30:23

Okay, great. Is there anything else you would like our audience to know about you? Let’s go over your Twitter handles and things like that.

30:32

Oh, sure. Yeah, I’d love to connect with everybody on Twitter. My Twitter handle is @CourtMcQuade and I’m on LinkedIn. So definitely feel free to link in with me.

30:46

And I’m happy to help answer any questions.

30:49

Great. And by the way, I hardly ever say my Twitter handle on this podcast is @CathyCurtis. A personal tidbit. I know you have a favorite food that you talk about quite often. I want you to share. Yeah. Well, this started is

31:22

Go for it.

31:24

Oh gosh, when I fell in love with buffalo wings.

31:26

Yeah. It’s been a long love affair.

31:33

And if you do follow me on Twitter, this is something that you already know really well about me. So I often get into Twitter discussions about it. I can’t remember the first time I had buffalo wings. Exactly. So I think I just must have been born with the love. But I love to try different kinds of buffalo wings and my favorite kind of buffalo wings. I don’t want to try lemon pepper. I mean, I’d like lemon pepper. I like the other ones, but my very favorite is the old school. tangy orangey Buffalo Wing sauce.

32:05

And

32:06

I don’t like the bread, just a little bit crisp and kind of meaty. Right now I live in the San Francisco Bay area near you. But I can’t, I haven’t found great buffalo wings in this area so if anybody knows of any in the area, I want to hear about it. The best buffalo wings I’ve had to date is in Cave Creek, Arizona at a place called Harold’s Corral. Their buffalo wings are perfect for me, exactly what I want. And my secret dream is to set up a little vacation to Buffalo, New York, and go to Anchor Bar where they were first invented a long time ago.

32:44

Oh that’s

32:46

when quarantine’s over. Of course, yes.

32:49

Do you ever make them yourself?

32:52

I did once, it’s not the same. I’m not the best cook so I’d rather leave that.

32:59

I was gonna say when this COVID thing’s over I want to come over to your house and have buffalo wings with you, but maybe we’ll find a place in the Bay Area that has awesome buffalo wings like that.

33:11

I like that. I’ve been considering getting an air fryer to try my hand at that. Some of my Twitter friends have been telling me that the air fryer works really well for wings. So I might try that. And if I do, I’ll let you know how it goes.

33:24

Perfect. Great. I would love that. Okay, Courtney. Well, thank you so much for your time. I really enjoyed talking with you. Me too. Thank you

33:33

so much, Cathy. Okay,

33:35

bye. See you soon. Bye. All right.

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Episode 6: Social Media Therapy: Overcoming The Awkward and Vulnerable Feelings That Can Come With Posting

Communications Expert Courtney McQuade Breaks Down Social Media

Do you still feel vulnerable and unsure of yourself when posting on social media? Is imposter syndrome keeping you from even getting started? If so, you’re going to love this episode’s guest, Courtney McQuade, who shares her expert advice with me for overcoming the limiting beliefs so many of us have around social media and developing a successful and authentic social media strategy. 

Courtney is Communications Manager for Integrated Partners, a $7.3 billion hybrid RIA, and a social media consultant for Citywire USA. She has nearly a decade of experience helping financial advisors develop their social media strategies. In this episode, we discuss the fundamentals of developing an effective social media strategy, how to communicate on social media to get the best results, and why finding and using your authentic voice is so important for long-term success. And be sure to listen to the end, when we go off topic and Courtney shares her favorite spot in the U.S. for buffalo wings! 

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Episode 1: Life and Work During COVID-19

Get To Know Sally Kuhlman

In this episode I interview my long-time friend and a client of Curtis Financial Planning, Sally Kuhlman. Sally is the Director of National Programs for Beyond Differences, a non-profit organization that works to inspire students at all middle schools nationwide to end social isolation and create a culture of belonging for everyone. She is also the author of the blog Sally Around the Bay, where she shares her unique insights on a range of topics. 

Sally and I discuss adjusting to life during a pandemic and how we are finding balance while sheltering in place. Interestingly, writing has been therapeutic for both of us as we try to make sense of these strange and unprecedented times. We also discuss Sally’s book project Other Mothers, which shares the stories of women who became mothers through nontraditional routes. And of course, our conversation wouldn’t be complete without a good wine tip, which Sally delivers on early in the episode. 

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Episode 1 Transcript: Life and Work During COVID-19

00:03

Welcome to the Financial Finesse Podcast, where we’ll be discussing tips on how to handle your money and life with skill and style. Your host Cathy Curtis, CFP® has been helping make finance accessible and intriguing for women for almost 20 years. You’ll get savvy, actionable ideas, listening to her conversations with some of the coolest and smartest women on the planet. And now, here’s your host, Cathy Curtis.

00:38

Hi. I’m really excited to welcome Sally Kuhlman, the first guest on my new podcast. Sally and I’ve known each other since 2009. Or there abouts when we met on Facebook. And then we gravitated over to Twitter, and we’ve been friends ever since. Sally’s also a client of Curtis Financial Planning. Sally is one of the most joyful and soulful people I know. And I’m thrilled to be able to talk to her today. Currently, she’s working for Beyond Differences, which is a nonprofit based in Marin County that is all about social isolation and helping adolescents cope during their middle school years. It’s a really wonderful organization. And we’ll hear more about it. Sally is also a multi-talented person. She used to help small businesses, she’s great at project management, digital marketing, so many things. She also writes her own blog, Sally Around the Bay, and she started an autobiography, which we’re going to talk about a little bit later. So, before we get started, I want to welcome Sally and we’re going to, we’re at cocktail hour right now. So we both have a red wine that we’re drinking. So I want to say hi, Sally. And Cheers. And Sally, tell us about the wine you’re drinking right now. Okay, well

02:00

I’m happy to tell you about the wine. It’s a Pinot Noir. And it is actually made. Can you see this label? Eric Kent. It’s a boutique winery, UK friend of mine, and they feature artists on each label. So every type of wine has a different artist on the label. And then for instance, I’m reading the label right now it says retro whale calm that’s the name of this artist. So then you can go look up and learn about the artist and I

02:28

love it. I love that. It’s so cute. And they have so many cute bottles and

02:33

the wine is always good. It’s 100% I know when I’m getting wine from Air Canada, it’s

02:38

gonna be good. So even more it’s my favorite wine ever. So I’m gonna have to look at that. Definitely. Well, I’m drinking a wine called sin so which probably many of you don’t know. And the reason I’m not drinking Pinot is this particular winery Picchetti Winery down and actually Silicon Valley was out of their Pinot and they demanded this. I still prefer paid more. But that’s okay. I’m still going to enjoy my wine.

03:05

Well, then I’m going to introduce you to Eric Kent because seriously Pinot’s their specialty and they’re local. And you will love them. Oh, great. You know what,

03:13

I’m definitely going to buy some. I really like to support local people, food producers, especially right now in this crazy time we’re in where people can’t go visit wineries, they can’t shop at their favorite stores. It’s just crushing this small business and so anything I can do to support you send me that. Um, so speaking of that, this is a great, great segue. I want to know how you are dealing with this strange time we’re in and coping with work and home and just generally, how are you feeling during the pandemic and COVID-19 and how is it affecting you?

03:52

Hmm, that’s a very big question. I am I’m very lucky. I still have my job, which I love, and I’m able to do it remotely. We all are. So we’ve been spending a lot of time on zoom together. And but we’re moving forward. So that is great. I have to say I’m coping pretty well, but it’s been a bit of a roller coaster, sometimes I get sad. Other times, I’m just so grateful I can work from home and that I have my own home office. And, and then I also try to limit my intake of the news because when I spend too much time on social media or reading the news. It kind of brings me down really quick because there’s a lot of horrible stuff happening, but um,

04:39

yep, just taking it one day at a time. You know, I’ve been reading some of your posts. Um, well, I always read your posts, but I noticed one of them that really struck me recently was that you were a little surprised about how much the media does not honor the people that have died from COVID, like it it’s all about the politics of COVID you know, and I feel the same way and I feel so bad about that. And I surmise that, and you did too, that maybe it’s because of the mix leadership we have going on right now in the States. I don’t know if you want to add anything about that not to get too political. But yeah,

05:21

no, I’m not gonna get political. I think a lot of it is because of our leadership. But a lot of the responses I got privately and publicly were people just can’t handle it right now. It’s too much. Yeah. And so I get that, like, I almost felt maybe I was a little insensitive because some people are going through some really intense times economically, or they’ve lost people. And the public mourning. I mean, last time I looked, it’s over 90,000 people in this country. We can’t even come when that public mourning right now. I guess. It’s, I don’t even know what to say. I feel like I need that like seeing those videos and learning about these people’s lives, but maybe not everybody’s ready yet to deal and I understand that,

06:01

yeah, it is pretty shocking and tragic. And it’s so new to us now that that’s a really good point that it doesn’t mean that they’re not feeling about it. It’s more the way of coping about it.

06:12

I think people have to categorize they’re like, right now, I just got to deal with my immediate situation. And I will deal with that later is kind of I think, what’s happening, but what gets to me is all the political rants and that the lack of the comprehension of what it’s not just about who’s running for president or who’s not, it’s too tense. So that gets to me. And that’s what triggers a

06:33

lot of my posts. Yeah, no, I, I can see that I agree with you. So speaking about work. I know you work for a nonprofit. And I want you to tell us about that, because it’s a really cool and interesting nonprofit. And I know because I’m involved in some nonprofits as well that nonprofits raise most of their money through live fundraising events. And it can be sometimes a third to a half of a nonprofit budget. I’m assuming that’s right. To Beyond Differences as well. And I know they just did a virtual fundraiser. So just give us a little how is like there and how is everyone coping with this new reality of raising funds for your good work?

07:15

Let’s see well, right. We had our annual gala scheduled on it was supposed to be on April 23. And so we went on lockdown before that, as you know, we were already big into the plans and everything. So we had to have that really quick and stop everything. And it is about a third of our operating budget. So that was a very big decision to make, but it was the right one and we made it right away early when we showed up. And then we came up with the idea to have a virtual gala actually, our founder, came up with the idea and I was thinking that sounds ridiculous. Who wants to go to a virtual gala? And she was right and people came, we had almost 300 people sign up and I actually did not look at the numbers. This just happened on Friday night. But at one point when I was logged on, I saw about 200 people at least. And then a lot of them were in couples. So people came and it was amazing event. So thank you to everybody who came

08:16

how many people usually come to the live event?

08:19

I believe it’s 250 to 300. Oh,

08:24

you got a good turnout. Virtually. I was there. I was. I witnessed it. I thought it was very cool. And it seemed like you hit your fundraising goal, and

08:36

we did hit our fundraising goal. And that is not what our goal was. That night is not a third of our operating budget. But we you know, we changed it for the current situation. But we exceeded our fundraising goal for the night and we are so grateful because we have so many loyal supporters and they all showed up.

08:52

Oh, that’s great. And so when I left the video, you were like 101,000 raised what it is.

09:00

And last I know I’m not actually on the events team. So I was observing like you, but when I left, it was at 116,000. And I was like, I know and I believe more have come in over the weekend. I’ve kind of been not looking at my emails, but sort of looking at them. So yeah, it’s been amazing. And it went flawless. So I’m really impressed with my colleagues pulled off.

09:23

Yeah, it went really well, because I’ve been on some zoom things, you know, people not using it before and it can be a bad scene.

09:32

And they pulled that together in about two weeks the learning curve. My colleagues were like going to webinars figuring out how to do it. And they, I’m blown away by how they did it and I were you on when Michael Franti presented and he said, No. Oh, you missed that part. Yeah. Oh, that was amazing. I posted it on Facebook. You can see the video but he did a performance for us. It was beautiful.

09:55

Oh, here it was without the duo, the man

10:00

Was there my son?

10:01

Yeah, sorry, I didn’t catch the name, but I was there. It was a beautiful day. But that was really lovely. You know, and also our SF mayor who I really admire, I think she’s handling this whole thing. her speech was very

10:13

moving. And it’s right now during this Coronavirus time hearing a leader to speak eloquently and with compassion is, is huge.

10:21

Yeah, for sure. So, let’s step back a minute. Tell me in your words, what Beyond Differences is about because I mentioned it when I introduced you, but I’d love to hear you talk about it.

10:33

Okay, Beyond Differences, and our mission is to end social isolation in middle school and create a culture of belonging. You know, most adults can look back at middle school and remember, it wasn’t, wasn’t probably wasn’t the best experience. And we want to change that because middle school doesn’t have to be a bad experience. And so that’s, that’s what our focus is and we provide free curriculum and resources to teachers all over the United States and they just need to sign up. And we actually ship them materials. And we have a bunch of online materials too. And we have teachers and schools in all 50 states participating.

11:11

That’s incredible. And how old is the nonprofit?

11:14

This is our 10-year anniversary. So that was, it was sad to have to give up our gala was going to be a very big fan. Oh, yeah.

11:23

So you’re director of national programs, so you’re responsible for all those schools, right. And as I’m the

11:31

point of communication, and I talk to over 6,000 teachers on a regular basis, and I also do online community, like all the social media and a lot of the communications too.

11:43

And I know you’ve been doing that kind of work for years, because when I met you, you were like social media queen. And so I’m sure you’re even better at all of that now, and do you think that’s one of the reasons that you’re so effective at what you do because you have that skill set. Or is it something else?

12:03

I think we complement each other at my organization like I have the social media skills that so I bring relationships online and carry them and it’s amazing there’s a lot happening on Beyond Differences online at all our social media sites and then our founders. You know, they’re amazing with the networking in person and we just we have wonderful supporters and relationships that I feel like they’re family actually all our supporters I’ve gotten to know everybody and it’s just wonderful.

12:33

Yeah, I know because you do have a lot of personal connection like local Bay Area people right but then you with what you do you reach a much bigger and national audience.

12:43

Right so I mean, I talk to all the teachers in all 50 states and then also on social media. Yeah, we reach everyone. It’s complicated, I have to say to do Beyond Differences’ social media, because usually when you’re a social media person like I was in the past, it was very focused like for you. For instance, for your business I would be if I were working for you, I would be focusing on women targeting women of a certain age and certain, you know, income trying to get that kind of client. But Beyond Differences, we have such a span we work with middle school students, we work with teenagers, we work with the dome runners we work with teachers will work with volunteers. So the social media has been, I’ve had to use my creative brain a lot to figure out how to not overwhelm everybody and talk to my whole audience.

13:29

Yeah, I know, nonprofit that’s tough because you there’s so many audiences and people involved, you’ve got your board, you’ve got the staff, you’ve got keyboard, right. You’ve got the donors, you’ve got the people you’re trying to reach. I think it’s it would be really, really challenging. The campaign’s that I love sorry. One of the campaigns I love that Beyond Differences does is No One Eats Alone. Your campaign and I know it’s not an annual thing now or

13:58

it’s annual. It’s every February It’s usually the Friday closest to Valentine’s Day. Okay, that was the founding program for this organization. And it’s because our organization is based on the life of Lily Rachel Smith, she’s the daughter of our founders. And she passed away when she was 15. And but before that when she was in middle school, she had a cranial facial situation called apert syndrome. And so she was isolated a lot. She wasn’t bullied, but she was kind of forgotten about like, nobody invited her to sit with her at lunch, and nobody invited her to parties, and she was just very lonely. And so after she passed away, her mother was reading her journals and talking with other classmates. And she discovered just

14:47

she talked to the classmates

14:48

are like, what could we do? Like they weren’t even aware, you know, you’re a seventh-grade girl. You’re not even aware that you’re ignoring someone you’re just worried about yourself. And so that’s how this organization started. A couple of those teams were her classmates wanting to volunteer and make sure it didn’t happen to anyone else. And so it grew from that. And that’s where No One Eats Alone came from because Lily always ate alone, and she’d like go into the bathroom and call her mom and begged her to come pick her up because she didn’t want to deal with the lunchroom.

15:15

That’s so sad. That’s the hardest time that what 12 to 13. And if you’re not a popular kid, or something goes wrong, like you break out and bad acne or your whole life just changes. Yeah.

15:31

Like, everyone feels different. Even the popular kids they’re putting on the front, but there’s still my who knows what’s happening in their home. So it’s, we found it. It’s like it’s everybody, not even the people, not just the people that look different. It’s everybody. I know, personal feeling.

15:47

Yeah, even kids that seem like they’re from stable homes as suicide rate is high, right. I mean, if there’s so much angst at that age, I don’t know if it’s, I’m sure it has something to do with hormone levels, but all the growing pains that you’re going through at that time? It’s so hard.

16:06

It’s a hard time in life. Yeah.

16:08

Did you, um, in your own personal experience? Were you drawn to this organization for any particular reason? Or was it as an opportunity that you just felt you wanted to be involved in?

16:22

And yeah, I was drawn to it for a personal reason. That’s kind of intense, but I’ll give you just a brief overview. When I was in high school. When I was in high school, my boyfriend took his own life to suicide. So um, that’s always kind of driven my career path. It’s, I made this decision when I was 17 years old that I want to work to help. Back then I was saying to prevent suicide, but you know, it’s way beyond that is like just to be there for humans that are feeling alone and let them know they’re not.

16:53

So you get a lot of personal satisfaction out of the work that you do.

16:58

I do and when I get really stressed out because there’s too much going on. And then I get a moment to spend time with the teenagers. It’s so nice. I like remember why I’m doing what I’m doing. And then I’m like, oh, yeah, this is what it is because I don’t work directly with the kids, my colleagues do. But when they come into the office, I get to interact with them. It really reminds me of what I’m doing. And then I get re

17:19

energized. Yeah, kids are so cool. I know. You kind of have a history of working with kids like you started out as a preschool teacher, right? Is it?

17:31

Your beginnings?

17:33

I did. When I moved to Marin County right after college. I end up the early 90s. I taught in Mill Valley at a preschool

17:41

and then I know you’ve raised three kids yourself. Right? Not by yourself. But yeah.

17:50

So yeah, I have a lot of kid experience.

17:53

And I’ve seen you with the kids even though you say you don’t work with them and I think you’re you do a really great job with them. I think it would be so much fun. And I’ve been to some of the events and the kids are so inspiring. And, and surprisingly, articulate and well-spoken at that age. And I think that just really draws people in to support what you’re doing. It’s really admirable. I love it.

18:18

Thank you. And that’s part of what we try to do is give students a voice because we need to start listening to the young ones, because they’re there. They’re the ones inheriting the world. And I feel like they’re smarter than us right now.

18:30

Yeah. Well, isn’t your whole board teenaged kids?

18:33

Yeah, we, we have an adult board of directors, but we also have a teen board of directors. And they’re very involved. And it’s a very big commitment, and they volunteer and we don’t just take anybody, you have to go through an application process and you have to really want to do it. You don’t do it because you want something for your job. You do it because you care. And so that’s why we get these amazing

18:52

kids. That’s great. Well, moving on. I’m going to go back to a little more personal topic, and it’s Something that you and I work on because I mentioned you’re a client at my firm and it’s about money. And just how would you describe like, what your relationship with money is at this point in your life?

19:16

My relationship with money, um,

19:20

I feel comfortable.

19:23

I’ve really worked on not stressing about money. I’m in a position where I’m employed and there’s money coming in. And I’m just trusting and trusting you and trusting the world that it’s all going to work out. I’ve really been trying to focus on just living in the present moment and I’m in anxiety about what’s going to happen when I retire. I’m aware I cannot afford to retire right now. But that’s okay, too. So yeah, that’s where I’m at. I see so many people around me in the same about equal love are more money having way more anxiety? And I just, I wish people didn’t feel that much anxiety around money.

20:07

Yeah, I know you’re you haven’t been one over the years to stress about the stock market too much. I think you’ve got a pretty good grasp on that. It’s volatile. You have to hang in there for the long haul. And I don’t get the panicky. And I remember I worked in finance for about three or four years too. So

20:30

yeah, they got me the world and understand it from the other side, too.

20:34

Right. You’re very fortunate because I think the scariest part for a lot of people is they don’t really understand it. And, and the media has this habit of freaking everybody out. And part of it is the 24 seven news cycle. They’ve got to talk about something all those hours and I think they make it seem sometimes worse than it really is. Mm hmm. And But so are you do you think you’re going to be happy working for one another? You like working? I like working I do. What do you envision your years when you’re not working to be like, or have you even thought about that yet?

21:16

I have thought about it. I mean, I ideally, I would like to work less. Because I do work for a tiny nonprofit that does really big things. I work a lot. But what I envisioned I was thinking about that, and I was thinking, I actually enjoy my life a lot. I would just like to have more time to do what I’m already doing. Like I I’m loving being home. I’m loving my garden. Yeah, I would if I didn’t work so much. I would write more. I like to write and, but I need time to write and, like, my blog would be way more thriving. I might actually, you know, write a book and put it out there because I realized I really love writing and I’m a really good

22:01

writer. You’re really that’s so interesting. I didn’t realize that about you that you would like to have more time to write. Um, I love your blog and I also read the start of your book, Other Mothers, right?

22:19

Yeah, I think I was calling Other Mothers. It kind of evolved, I actually wrote the whole book but then I stuck it on the shelf.

22:25

Okay, cuz I’m reading excerpts it seems like on your blog, you have the excerpts, I forget what platform I went to,

22:33

you know, and I’m all over the internet but for so I used to put on Sally Around the Bay and then I think I actually got the URL called Other Mothers and I started putting pieces of the book on there. And then I stopped because I just that’s the thing I stopped my writing because I work so I’m so like, I’m dedicated. I’m not complaining. It’s just there’s so much differences and so much need and people I care about that. I’ve kind of put myself on the side, and I and I missed that, but I

23:03

noticed you’re starting to write again. And so I’ve noticed this about myself during this time, too. I like you and really enjoying. I mean, believe me, I, this is a horrible time. And I feel so bad for so many people that are affected in a bad way. But for me, I’ve had to work at home. And I’m finding, I’m making room to do more of the things that I want to do, which is really exciting. And I noticed that you have written a couple of blog posts in the last couple of weeks and you worked for a long time. So maybe that’s one of the positive outcomes that’s gonna come out of this.

23:42

I definitely feel that. I feel like this is the time

23:45

I’m, I mean,

23:46

despite all the tragedy that we’re talking about, and the lack of mourning and awareness of but personally, I think this is a call for all of us to take a little time and reflect. Like, I don’t know about the rest of the world, but I know the Bay Area is like a rat race. And it was exhausting. And I was about to collapse. And I’m guessing I’m not the only one that was about to collapse. And just maybe that time that we were driving to work is where we’re finding time to write and be creative. Now it’s right. I don’t want to go back to the normal, I want a new normal and figure out what that new normal is for me. And I want everybody to figure that out. I mean, and this is not discounting all the unemployment and I know all that is horrible. So we do need to go back to people somehow being able to sustain themselves but for, for my personal situation. I’m not just sitting here waiting

24:37

for the doors to open, I can go back to my

24:39

life I want I want them grounded. I want to garden more. I want to write more. I want to do more, you know, and I just need to figure out the balance and also, I don’t know I’m really struggling personally right now with too much screen time.

24:55

Yeah, I don’t know

24:59

why they’re on zoom again. I know I’m on zoom all the time now to I don’t know how much more of that how many more hours we’ll be able to put on zoom.

25:09

I mean, and I’m actually this week I had so many zoom calls and events that I started having eye pain. I got really serious. I pained my eyes were on Friday, we had our gala, we had two other big events on zoom. I was icing my eyes in between events. It’s so stressful the screen is getting so this isn’t a sustainable way to live in.

25:30

Oh, it’s got into you have good I’ve noticed and I’m sitting on an exercise ball right now. Because when I’m sitting on a chair, my postures I don’t have a proper chair at home because that’s one of my problems, but I like sitting on

25:50

you’re silly. I checked my office I snuck in I have my mask on. I look like a burglar and I took my chair in my own personal chair and I was really missing, and I like was carrying on. Like, I look like I’m like stealing this China

26:03

mask on I’m carrying it.

26:07

But yeah, that’s important because we both of us have ergonomic chairs at work, but we don’t at home. So we’re sitting there on zoom all slumped over, you know, ruining our eyes and our posture. To your point about a new normal, um, and back to your books, I think this book, can you just talk about the book a little bit? It’s so well done the things I was reading. I love to see you finish that book. So

26:34

thank you. Um, I have to say the book worked like therapy for me. I started writing it right when the youngest child left for college. So it was an empty nest book. Um, and it’s called Other Mothers and I started interviewing women from all walks of life that weren’t your traditional mother. And because I’m not your traditional mother, so I was working on my own story because I’m married to a woman and she’s the biological mother. But I raised the kids with her, but always got discounted that I’m not the real mother. The bad now, but these kids are almost 30. So if you think about how it was 25-30 years ago, it was, it was a little rough. Um, and then I just started, I opened it up, and I met so many amazing women because I put it on social media call for women and I talked to so many women for various things. Maybe they adopted their child or they were an aunt raising their sister’s child because their sister died. I had all sorts of stories. And it was a beautiful experience. Yeah, it should be a book or if it should just be more blog posts. Because I’ve changed so much since I wrote that book. That was probably 10 years ago now. Oh my gosh, there’s you know,

27:48

it’s been that long.

27:50

One. Thank you because the youngest one is like married now. And so it was when she left for college so bad eight years ago, I think because she’s trying to Now so yeah,

28:01

see? Yeah, and it’d be interesting, maybe could turn it into a fiction novel or I don’t know. It’s just so I think so many women can relate to it on so much like me personally, I don’t have kids. And I still feel uncomfortable when someone asked me if I have kids and I say no. Um, and I feel almost shame still about it. Even though I’ve accepted a long time ago that that wasn’t meant to be for me. Um, it’s really hard. You think people think well, why don’t you have kids? What’s wrong with you? Don’t you like kids? So I can I can relate to that. Even though I’m not really, I’m not a mother.

28:42

Now, I remember talking to you about that.

28:44

Yeah.

28:46

I’m thinking the whole book and you and me and everybody else. It’s kind of relates to my work now. It’s like, I felt very isolated. Like I was doing a mommy role and driving the kids to school and the other moms like didn’t talk to me. They’re like, what is she a babysitter and lesbian I don’t know, it was like, there’s chitter chatter and, and it was very unaccepting. And back then the school databases didn’t even have room for me there was room for mom and dad. And so like, when they’re looking up at those little school phone books to schedule a playdate, and my

29:16

name wasn’t even there. And, yeah, it’s so hard because I know from the women I know, that are mothers, the community of other mothers is so important, because it’s so hard to raise from young kids. And you want to talk to other people and have a community around. It was

29:33

I remember me, it was very lonely because I didn’t have that support, like, and you’re going through stress of raising kids. I mean, I created that support. I have to say when I made friends like you and all our other friends that we met through Twitter and stuff, I found a community, but I didn’t have that community of moms when they were little. It was very low. Only and I also have my own shame because it was like, you know, the whole gay thing. So that was I could do it again now I would do it differently and I wouldn’t carry my own shame I just be like this is it you know if you can deal your problem not mine, I was so apologetic when I was younger, and I was very,

30:13

what I love about yourself and that’s what makes you, you. You’ve been through all that so much more than a lot of us have had to be because of the who you are and the life choices and the things that happen to you. And I think it makes you a better person. You have so much joy so much to give other people and so it didn’t I mean, I’m sure it was extremely painful at that time. But look at you now. What can I say?

30:41

You’re so nice.

30:44

Well, I think that is a great note to end this conversation on unless you want to tell us anything else or have anything else to share. I just enjoyed this so much. And thank you for being my first guest and I know people will really enjoy hearing about you, and I hope I didn’t leave anything out.

31:02

I don’t know if you have anything else, but I think we covered a lot and this was super fun.

31:07

It was fun. Thank you. So let’s have a toast. Thank you. Here’s to your Sunday evening. Hopefully I can gracefully exit this a zoom call without too much trouble.

31:25

Bye Sally. Bye.

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Women And Money: Primp Your LinkedIn Profile

Manage the Brand That is You.

Kim Kochaver
Kim Kochaver
Last night, I hosted a LinkedIn workshop at my home for members of the Hatch Network a modern business school for entrepreneurial women. Our guest speaker was Kim Kochaver, a Trade Marketing Manager for LinkedIn.

Kim gave a fast-paced, gem-filled presentation on how to nurture your LinkedIn profile, build your network and then leverage it. Because many of the women in the room were LinkedIn neophytes, we spent most of the time on primping profiles, which is what I will share with you in this post.

Why should LinkedIn be important to you?
Because 60 million other professionals are using it. It is THE social media site for business networking. And most importantly, (as Kim stated so effectively last night) it is a growing phenomenon that our career or business success depends on managing our own personal brand. LinkedIn gives you an excellent platform to do just this.

Start managing your personal brand with an optimized profile.
Above all, Linked in is a site meant for doing business and making professional connections. The profile layout is straightforward and simple with fields to let people know who you are, what you do, your professional  memberships and interests. The following are a  few tips to help you set up an effective, professional profile (click on “settings” in the upper right corner of the your LinkedIn homepage to start editing). Definitely post a picture of yourself.

Choose a head-shot style picture. This is not the place for a picture of you on a beach in Mexico. If you can afford it, hire a professional to take a head shot. You can use it many other places.

Write a summary that is brief and interesting. Write it in paragraph form, not bulleted like a resume. Cutting and pasting your resume is probably not a good idea – do you find resumes interesting reading material? Highlight your specialties… Choose the experience or personal qualities that most represent your brand. If you don’t like to write about yourself, enlist the help of a professional writer/editor to help you.

Choose a custom Public Profile URL.  Kim recommends using your name since your employer or business could change. You will always be you. For example, my URL is http://www.linkedin.com/in/cathycurtis

Choose custom names for your websites by ignoring the default “my website”, “my blog” and choose “other.” By choosing other you can name your links whatever you like. Another great tip: rotate your links and websites depending on what you want your contacts to know about you. For example, Kim has a website link called Get LinkedIn’s Audience Stats and Follow Kim on Twitter.

Edit your Public Profile. The default public profile is too basic. At least include your picture, headline, summary, specialties, websites and interests. If you peak a viewer’s interest the more likely it is they will go on to read your full profile increasing your chances for a connection.

Use the Network Updates box to promote yourself and your business. Some ideas for effectively using this feature: post new blogs you have written; post event info, let your contacts know about special projects you are working on related to your business or job, if you are openly job hunting, let people know here. Network updates is a great tool to remind your network of what you are up to on a regular basis.

Take Advantage of LinkedIn Applications
LinkedIn has added several applications and there are more to come. Here are a few that are easy and fun to use and further the goal of building your personal brand:

Reading List by Amazon:   You are what you read?  Let your contacts know more about you by what you read. You can post your reading list and write recommendations for books you like.

My Travel by TripIt, Inc:  Fill in details of your upcoming trips. The application then let’s you know who lives or works in that area or if one of your connections is travelling there too. Think about the opportunities to meet business contacts while on the road?  Or solicit helpful comments about places you are going?

WordPress: This automatically syncs your wordpress blog posts with your LinkedIn profile. Expand your readership and contact list.

Tweets: Integrates your twitter account with LinkedIn and allows you to choose tweets for posting on LinkedIn.

SlideShare Presentations:  If you are particularly proud of a presentation you have created, you can now share with your connections. This is an effective way to highlight your particular knowledge or expertise and show off your slide-making skills. Think about the opportunities for connections with potential clients or employers!

Once you get your profile primped up to perfection, you can step up your network building activities and then start to leverage your network. In closing last night, Kim challenged us all to log-on to LinkedIn and spend a couple of hours carefully going through every section under “settings’:  Profile settings, email notifications, home page settings, RSS settings, groups, personal info, privacy settings and my network. There are many important choices within these sections that you won’t want to miss.

I’ve primped my profile, have you?

Primp your LinkedIn Profile:  Your Brand is Depending on You.

Do you want to manage your money (and life!) better?

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I Will Teach You to Tweet – Women in Consulting Twitter Panel in San Francisco

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Get Twitterized at the Sir Frances Drake Hotel
Twitterize your business at the Sir Frances Drake Hotel / Sept. 23 5:30 pm!

Hi everyone! Public appearance alert. I’m honored to be part of a distinguished panel dishing about all things Twitter at a Women in Consulting event at the Sir Francis Drake Hotel. This is coming up soon and I wanted to make sure you know all the details.

What:   Tips, Tools and Tricks to Make Twitter Work for Your Consulting Business.
Where: Sir Francis Drake Hotel, Second Floor, 450 Powell St. San Francisco, CA.
When:  Wednesday Sept. 23, 2009 5:30 – 7:30pm
Who:    My fellow panelists are Nancy Friedman chief wordworker at Wordworking.com, and Irene Koehler, founder of Almost Savvy

Irene and Nancy are leading lights in the Twitterverse so you really should attend to hear what they have to say.
Eats: Light appetizers.

If you would like to register for this event, please go here>> See you there!
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Curtis Financial Planning