Critics of LinkedIn Endorsements or People Who Should Switch to Decaf.

Lately, I’ve been reading from people who are ripping heavily on LinkedIn for the new Endorsements feature, which enables one to endorse a colleague for certain characteristics they’ve listed. You can list in the neighborhood of 50 or so traits that someone can endorse you for.

The argument is that:

1) Endorsements take away from someone supplying Recommendations

2) They’re not of real value

3) LinkedIn is trying to be more like Facebook with their own version of a “Like” button

Only one of those has any possible validity and that’s only because I haven’t talked at length with the people at LinkedIn to know what’s in their brains.

Let’s take the first issue. If I ask someone for a Recommendation, they’re going to give it. Recommendations aren’t hard. Around 3-5 sentences should do it. If you really have a hard time writing 3-5 sentences about someone who has provided you exceptional service, I have questions about your ability to conduct business at all. It must not be important for you to write emails, letters or any other kind of communication. Because really, it’s only a nice note that’s needed here. You don’t have to write “War and Peace.” It’s the fact you are sharing a positive statement about someone. That’s it.

The point of me saying this is that if they’re asked explicitly and your service is good, few if any are going to say, “I’ll just give them an Endorsement instead.” What they will do if they’re not explicitly asked for a Recommendation – and if you’re good – is give you an Endorsement. Like me, you may have some Endorsements from some people who you’ve never even worked with. Some will say that’s a flaw and makes Endorsements less than authentic.

Sorry, is a bad thing if you’re a social media marketer to have many people endorse you for Blogging? No. Are you going to reject their endorsement? No. That’s stupid. And that’s the point some critics are missing. There are at times different sets of people who give Endorsements vs. the set of people who give Recommendations. The latter is often a person who has greater intimacy and knowledge of your services, the former is not. But Endorsements give the acquaintance an avenue they never had before. If you think that this means you can somehow game the system with having 100 people Endorse you, you’re giving far too much weight to this function.

Great for Our “At A Glance” World

I have a buddy who is so good at what he does, he has over 80 Recommendations. That’s certainly impressive and he’s earned every one of them. But do you want to know something? There’s no way in the world I’m going to read every one of them. It’s actually a deterrent to me reading much else in his profile after a while because fatigue sets in. You scroll and scroll and scroll and…we get it. Lots of people like you.

On the other hand, if I look at his Endorsements, I can get an ideal snapshot for what he does best. It’s not an accident that we’re often endorsed for the things we’re most known for. So anyone can check out his Endorsements, see what he’s strongest with and move on. If we didn’t have Endorsements, it would be more daunting for some of us to go through Recommendations alone. Let’s face it. We’re in a world of short attention spans. We need to get it quickly and now. Endorsements help us absorb one’s strengths in a few seconds rather than reading too much. You go to my page, you see Social Media Marketing, Creative Direction, Blogging, Copywriting, Content Marketing, etc. right away thanks to Endorsements. You get that that’s my thing. My core strengths. Easy enough, right?

The LinkedIn version of the “Like.”

Was the Endorsement feature absolutely necessary for LinkedIn to create? Let’s put it this way – do you find the Facebook “Like” button necessary? To me, I have a sense of what the Like button is and isn’t. I know it’s not hard to “Like” anything. It’s not a rousing endorsement. It doesn’t tell the whole story. It’s a little click of minimal commitment. That’s it. Nothing more, nothing less and maybe some people noticed you Liked something along the way.

I have the same perspective about Endorsements. Does it have as much weight as someone going in-depth in a Recommendation about their challenges and how much they enjoyed working with me? Of course not. In that instance, they’re giving me a real semi-case study. The other avenue doesn’t. But is having another way for someone to express a positive sentiment about me a bad thing? Nah. That’s sort of looking a gift horse in the mouth if you ask me. It is what it is – a light thumbs-up. Which is better than no thumbs-up.

Better yet, Endorsements serves an “intro” section of sorts before we get into the other sections. Which makes it all the more important to put more energy into beefing up everything else in your profile. What video, eBooks, articles and PowerPoints can you attach to your summaries? Why do you have any hangups about asking for a Recommendation from someone you worked with 7 years ago (the relationship was good back then, wasn’t it?). These are the big credibility builders. And the elements that often get neglected.

Now, if you want to get into the true benefit to LinkedIn in competing with other tools?

That’s a whole other story. If I think Endorsements ramps up the functionality of LinkedIn and makes it that much better of a tool, the answer is I don’t. For all intents and purposes, it’s a fluffy section. It doesn’t rock my world or change the game. Kind of how I feel about the LinkedIn redesigned layout, which is perhaps cleaner but isn’t profoundly better. Does it make it identify prospects better, communicate with others more efficiently, find the best communities and encourage greater interaction, etc.? That’s what LinkedIn could do better.

And if it’s not careful, Google Plus will nibble away at it, bit by bit.

5 ways you aren’t using LinkedIn (but should)

Create a profile. Ask people to connect with you. Update your account with new info.

Technically speaking, it may mean you’re on LinkedIn. But it isn’t really making LinkedIn work for you.

These three steps represent the basic, passive approach that the majority of businesspeople take once they join LinkedIn. In fact, some people don’t even get that far, merely entering the basics into a profile and leaving it as is for months at a time.

Which is a lost opportunity, considering the vast potential and promise it holds, particularly for entrepreneurs

“LinkedIn is the most effective business development tool since the advent of the cellular phone,” says Steve Fretzin, president of Sales Results, a national sales training firm. “In a time when gatekeepers and voicemail have all but eradicated the sales professional, inside connections are sometimes the only way through the door.”

That means entrepreneurs willing to dial it up a notch or two to switch their passive LinkedIn presence into a much more active one can be found more often, prospect for business more productively, leverage their network better and engage in true relationship building.

How? By using these five lesser-used but far more active tactics to power up your presence on LinkedIn:

#1: Rev up your recommendation acquisitions

By themselves, adding recommendations may seem passive, but I’m speaking more of the way in which you view and pursue them. Sure, you probably ask for a recommendation now and then. But every client/strategic partner/employer you have or have ever had a positive outcome with should represent a recommendation on LinkedIn. That’s right. Every single one. After all, shouldn’t someone who has benefited from your services want to say good things about you? Of course they should. This is perhaps the most underutilized feature of LinkedIn.

What’s more, recommendations may be more effective than anything else on your profile, according to Mr. Fretzin.

“A good analogy is how people choose a restaurant these days. We’re living in a time when people are more likely to trust the opinions of someone on Yelp or Urbanspoon than a critic’s review,” he said. “Similarly, on LinkedIn, we’d rather read the recommendations of others than only hearing what the person we are researching has to say. Why? Because we’d rather listen to people who are like us.”

#2: Are they looking at you? Then seize the moment.

When you upgrade to a LinkedIn Premium account, you can see all the people who have looked at your profile as opposed to only the most recent, which you see in the free version. What’s the advantage here? Without being creepy about it (“I saw you were looking at me!”), this represents an opportunity for potential follow-up as chances are good that person has some intent in looking for someone in your field or as a strategic partner.

#3: Optimize your profile for your target

Another advantage of LinkedIn Premium? You can see the search terms people are using to find your profile, which enables you to tailor your profile to incorporate the most popular terms. This goes beyond just tweaking your profile for the sake of appearing in search. It’s taking an active role in seeing how a specific set of search terms resonate with a specific set of people you want to attract more of.

#4: Search smarter and faster

Besides optimizing your profile to be found more easily, the other side of the search equation is in searching for your ideal prospect faster without restrictions. The Premium level enables you to save serious time by quickly zeroing in on prospects based on criteria such as seniority, company size, function, groups and more.

#5: Maximize activity with a warmer introduction

How often are you asked for an introduction to someone in your network?

How often do you ask a connection to introduce you to someone in their network.

Not much? You’re not alone. By themselves, cocktail hour networking and morning coffee chats may seem productive, but one of the biggest mistakes Mr. Fretzin sees people make is when they equate increased networking activity with progress – and becoming frustrated when relationships stall. A third-party introduction via LinkedIn can change that dynamic.

“The typical networker is only 10 percent effective at obtaining a quality introduction from someone they meet through networking,” Mr. Fretzin said. “Ninety percent of the time, people are just meeting people for meeting people’s sake. LinkedIn can take networking to another level when you leverage past or existing clients to get introduced to that person’s network at a high level.”

I’ll contend there are certain areas with LinkedIn that could allow for far more of a true business dashboard that incorporates a CRM, complete social networking, video conferencing and more. If and when it ever gets to that point, look out.

But let’s not wait for that evolution before evolving ourselves – because by turning the typically passive presence on LinkedIn into a more active one, we won’t just be standing out from the majority. We’ll be more likely to transform mere “Connections” into real relationships.

And isn’t that what we’re there to do?

The Dumbest Thing You Can Do On LinkedIn

LinkedIn isn’t for racking up as many connections as possible and turning people into a pack of baseball trading cards. At its best, it’s a way for taking the next step in a business relationship, forging a strategic partnership, getting educated from a trustworthy resource and/or introducing two parties that could be a fit.

It can also be a great way to share blog posts, presentations, groups, associations and bolster your personal profile. Nothing wrong with that at all.

That should be at least enough to start with, right?

Good. So Don’t Do This:

A) Make a connection with someone
B) Spam them via private message with your self-promotional garbage as the first or only method of communicating.

It’s called relationship building. Getting to know someone. Even if I have a need for your product or service, you do not deserve to be called back by anyone if you send a blanket email as a first form of introduction that does not appear to address their needs. They just gave you permission to connect with them and you decide that that gives you license to push ad messages to them?

Just one question for anyone who makes practice of such a tactic: Are you kidding me with this?

We are entering a time that will only demand greater personalization.
One-on-one communication will rule the day even more.
Consequently, identifying the best targets in the interest of time will be in ever-greater demand.
And the companies that can leverage these tools to get to that more likely target to have a customized conversation will find themselves ahead of the game.

Meanwhile, their competitors will send one message to all of their LinkedIn followers all the time, pat themselves on the back for their supreme knowledge of social media and brag in networking settings about how they’re really utilizing LinkedIn to work their network.

Bullcrap.

You’re advertising your own stuff and not getting to know your audience. It’s easy. It’s also lazy and, for many, largely ineffective.

To be clear, I’m not saying to stop sending out e-newsletters or e-mails or other pieces of communication that go to many people at once. I’m saying if I never met you before in my life, that would not be an ideal way to first meet you. Agreed?

I’m working on an article with the help of Steve Fretzin from Sales Results on the best uses of LinkedIn, including methods that aren’t merely of the passive variety. I look forward to sharing it with you very shortly.

In the interim, when you make a connection with someone on LinkedIn, see if the possibility exists for you to have coffee, breakfast, lunch or a drink after work. If they’re remote, could it be a Skype call or phone call? I admittedly haven’t done this every time with every one of my connections, but I’m aiming to up the ratio to be far more personal. That way, when I do have something to invite them to, hopefully they’ll have had at least one touch where we understood more about one another.

Having 5000 connections means nothing if you don’t get to know them.

You Are Not Your Business Card.

There’s a question we all seem to get in networking situations – “What do you do?” Invariably, we answer with“I’m a (occupation) and I work for (company).”

I started thinking about how this defines so very little about why people find our personal brands memorable. We lead with what’s on our business card. But when people talk about you to others, what will they say?

Having just finished the excellent Guy Kawasaki book, “Enchantment,” I’ve realized that likability and trust make for a more compelling position than simply relying on where you work and what you do to bowl people over. Primarily because it shares so little of you as a person.

“He’s a great accountant.”
Not bad, I suppose. But I’ve heard the beginning and end of the whole story.

“The guy oozes talent and niceness from every pore. He made the process of working with him a complete and utter joy.”
Wow. I want to know more. Why was that process so enjoyable? Can I meet him? And by the way, wouldn’t we all want to be described in this way instead?

How does one get to a description like the second option?

A good place to start is to de-business card yourself. I don’t mean actually trashing them all but mentally learning to strip away the contents. All of it. The company. The title. The e-mail address. The phone number. Even the occupation itself.

Imagine all that going out the window. What’s left?

If you find yourself grasping for an answer, don’t feel bad. The first time I thought about this, I called myself a “content marketer” or “brand strategist.” But I knew I was so much more than that. So I became excited by the challenge of conveying myself as a brand and who I envisioned myself to be. This led me to consider the best places to express this personal brand:

Some good places to start:

Your LinkedIn Profile
So many people consider just the summary and work history of LinkedIn. But think about the applications you can add that convey other factors, like what you’re reading (Amazon Reading List), what your interests are (don’t just list the professional ones) and Groups (boards, country clubs, etc.). Assuming you’ve had positive connections, those Recommendations will inevitably help people see the side of you that’s a relationship builder – so don’t be afraid to ask colleagues and clients for them!

Blog
I can’t say enough about how a blog will help you develop an original voice that’s helpful, humble and eager to share content. Building credibility is important, but the reward isn’t in trying to be an all-knowing authority that never gets a response. The reward is in inspiring conversation that grows beyond a post and takes on a life of its own (all the while, the positive attributes of bringing a “community” together are credited back to you).

Twitter
People are feeling you out to see if you’re someone worth following. Here lies an opportunity to prove your thought leadership and show your passions on a topic unique to your industry that extends far outside just “what you do” and “who you work for.” One tool I like to use to add depth and context to my tweets is PeerIndex. The broader my PeerIndex “topic fingerprint,” the more it overlaps nearby related topics and the more I tend to garner interest. For example, if you tweet about a new piece of technology, you may expand your authority by conveying how that technology has implications for media or science rather than commenting purely on whether or not you like it.

YouTube
It takes some practice to get comfortable in front of the camera, but if you do, it can go a long way toward someone visualizing taking a meeting with you. As you do engage in YouTube videos, however, I encourage you not to picture yourself merely as “VP of…” Again, think above and beyond your current status and instead picture yourself as a leader, resource, a helpful ally in a peer’s search to find answers. Think of how transparent you can be on a topic that stirs your passions. Then keep a schedule of when you can consistently record and upload videos.

We’d all like to think we’ll be at an employer that makes us happy for quite some time – and perhaps we will be. But even so, developing your personal brand beyond what your business card says you are enables you to define yourself as something so much more than a title and occupation – a likable, trustworthy personal brand that people can’t get enough of.

(This post originally ran in PersonalBrandingBlog.com)

SEO trumps social on driving traffic? Not so fast.

A post today in Crain’s comes from an SEOer who claims that SEO is what drives traffic above all else, not social media.

I certainly don’t disagree with him on the power of search engine optimization to be a big traffic driver, but I’ve got at least one case study that says social media can be a primary traffic driver, even over SEO: My own.

First and foremost, let me add one gigantic disclaimer: Everybody’s website and blog is different, with different audiences that behave in various ways. Some people are more searchers and have a great idea of what they’re looking for. Some don’t and stumble upon something they like, then share it with others.

My audience is a little more of the second variety. They find a post of mine, hopefully like it and share it. This isn’t to say my SEO isn’t good because it is. It’s to say that my results from social media have been even better. How so? I’ll list my top traffic drivers over the last 90 days, as thankfully with your help, this blog has continued to go up and up in readership. So for that, I sincerely thank you. Now to the list:

#1 Traffic Driver: Facebook
For me, Facebook is by far the best referrer of traffic to this blog. It’s not even close. It’s like Mark Zuckerberg called up a bunch of fans of mine, put them in a semi-trailer and drove them to my site. Then he turned around and did it again the next day.

Facebook isn’t just tops in referring people to my site but in share-ability of posts.

#2 Traffic Driver: LinkedIn
Again, this is where you need to pay attention to where your audience “hangs out” online. While it seems obvious, I really have to wonder if people factor this into their equation. It’s why I cringe whenever someone says, “You need to be on _____(insert site here)” without ever sitting down with the customer and getting a feel for who their primary target is. Not just demographic stuff but real behavioral targeting. Would you give a potential bride any old wedding dress off the rack without talking to her, getting to know what she likes, understanding what her budget is and taking her measurements before you know what you can recommend? Since many in my audience are businesspeople, it’s no surprise that LinkedIn is a popular place for referring traffic and sharing posts.

It’s right around here that my search engine optimization traffic comes in as a #3 referrer for various terms used. It’s very close with LinkedIn, but L.I. does edge out my traffic from Google slightly. Even so, Facebook crushes it – almost triple the amount of referring for all search engine terms.

Again, before you run into your boss’ office saying, “we need to be on Facebook and LinkedIn” remember that this is the way MY audience is behaving. Yours may be completely different and very search engine oriented.

Other strong Traffic Drivers: E-mail and Inbound links

Behind these three but still very valuable to me in terms of traffic are e-mail and inbound links. You know e-mail, that supposedly ancient method that continues to keep on giving. When a company has interest in a post and wants to share it, they may or may not be a company where social media is widely used. So the next best path is, naturally, e-mail. I’ve had many posts shared this way with traffic coming back to the blog. After Facebook, e-mail is the second highest way my posts are shared among others.

Inbound links have been kind to me as well. I’m referring to sites that picked up my posts and linked back to my site in their own posts. If those sites have high traffic themselves, I get high traffic. This is practically tied with e-mail for refer-ability.

Of course, as the tools of social media are always evolving, I’ll be interested to see how Google Plus plays into the mix as I revisit this list over the next month and quarter. I only expect it to gain more traction over time.

The point of sharing all this is simply that in the case I’ve just outlined to you, both social and SEO are working together to play a fundamental role in increasing traffic and sharing for me. The audience data tells me so. To suggest one or the other is always the go-to method for people is a blanket statement that doesn’t often apply. For some, SEO may be #1 and for others, social may be #1. But rare is the case where both shouldn’t be high on your list. They certainly are on mine.

Every social media cocktail needs a beer chaser.

By now you’ve probably been bombarded with enough posts elsewhere on Google Plus, so you’ll be glad to know this isn’t one more of them. Because what I’m writing about has wider implications than just one tool. It has to do where your entire brand lives in the social media realm.

I’ve come to the conclusion that clearly in terms of social media we should all be on TumblrGoogTwitBookTube.

Sorry for the confusion, but I think others with their behaviors and proclamations of late are just as confusing.

I’ve had it with those who feel another social media tool has to die so that another may live. Maybe it’s the rush to be proclaimed as a prophet of some sort, but it’s bogus. Actually, to be more accurate, it’s dangerous brand strategy and it risks burning the relationships you’ve cultivated.

I really have to marvel at people who are writing about how they are leaving their current outposts because something else has come along that’s far superior.

“We were on Facebook but we’re moving everything to Tumblr.”
“We were on WordPress but we’re going over to GooglePlus. Follow us there!”

Dumb, dumb, dumb.

They’re missing the point of how their own fans and followers use social media, which is to say that we almost never put all our energy toward one channel.

We have a hub and then, many times, we have at least a secondary channel. The most common example I’ve witnessed of this is Facebook for personal relationships, LinkedIn for business relationships. Or LinkedIn/Facebook as primary hub, Twitter as a 2nd, lesser visited destination.

It’s kind of like a favorite of restaurant of mine that serves a Bloody Mary with a beer chaser of Miller Lite during Sunday brunch – every good primary hub deserves a secondary accompaniment. Much like the primary and secondary ways we consume social media. Or “Hubs” and “Outposts.”

It’s downright rare for us to spend 100% of our time in one place and that’s more than OK. Yet, every single time a new tool comes along like Google Plus, it has to be the Killer of something else. It was the Facebook Killer, the Twitter Killer and the LinkedIn Killer.

Nope. I’m not buying it.

Why can’t we research, experiment and explore? I spend the majority of my time on WordPress, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Not only because it’s what I’m comfortable with at the moment but more importantly, it’s where the people I have relationships with and potential clients are spending their time online. With Google Plus being new, I’ve done my due diligence to check it out because like many other people, I was curious. If enough of my audience is there – and stays there – I’ll deepen my commitment (I wouldn’t get hung up on the 10 million people who signed up for it until we see the staying power months from now).

I remember a much simpler time when we only debated in absolutes between “digital” media and “traditional” media. 

Which was seriously only a couple years ago.

Now, just as social media is gaining credibility in the boardroom as a viable option for marketing budgets – yes, I believe we’re moving past that point – we’re going to complicate matters and confuse them by saying, “No, don’t go here anymore, you want to put all your energy over here.”

“But I thought you said Facebook was equivalent to the 3rd or 4th largest country in the world.”

“Yeah, I did, but it’s on its way out. You want to be on Tumblr. You can do so much more with it.”

“But our audience is in their 40’s. Isn’t that a tool more popular with Gen Y right now?”

“It’s OK. They’ll come around to it.”

Sure. But they’re not all there right now. So it’s more sensible to dip my toes in that water before jumping in with reckless abandon.

This may sound like you shouldn’t be flexible, but I’m actually championing for greater mobility.

Far before this thing called the Internet and social media came along, advertising agencies who had intelligent planners knew that their audience probably watched TV, listened to the radio and read certain magazines. They didn’t tell companies to put 100% of their marketing budgets in one medium.

We shouldn’t be telling people that now.

What I’m hearing is the equivalent of someone not only telling a marketer to put all their money in TV, but all their money in one channel like ABC. That doesn’t sound like good advice, right?

Well, telling a brand to go “all in” on one social media channel is probably along the same lines of competence.

We should be telling people to diversify and plan based on what we have gathered about the way their audience has, is and will behave. If social media is a component of their brand strategy – which it is – we should be treating it as such by diversifying our percentages of time spent on various channels rather than flipping off the light switch while people are still in the room talking.

I’m not suggesting that you should spend time on a dying channel or a channel that’s not reflective of your audience. That would be silly. What I am suggesting is that you should add social media channels rather than burn bridges. We can still be pioneers and sherpas of social media while being true to how our brand’s followers are living today. Then, if and when it appears that either the channel is on its way down for the count or that your audience is steadily trickling away from that channel, you make a move to change your commitment to it. From “primary” to “secondary” to “non-existent” if you have to.

So it’s OK to suggest when appropriate that we should take a hard look at spending time on a new channel because that’s where we believe based on research and conversations that this is where our audience will be headed. We’d be doing a disservice not to communicate this.

It’s just that when you build up a following on any medium, it’s something that’s not only taken time on your part but is a serious investment made on the people who have chosen to follow you that should never be taken for granted.

Sometimes I wonder if brands and gurus remember that before they torch the old place.

I found my Klout on Empire Avenue while staring at the PeerIndex.

The other day, someone bought 200 shares of me. I was flattered, but would’ve been even more excited had it been real money. Still, the virtual game that measures your influence, Empire Avenue, had shown that in my brief period of time on it, my shares were going up and up. Mind you, I’m not really sure what the algorithm was for this other than the fact that I’d participated in several social media outlets including Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, all while doing a blog post.

Hey, driving up your simulated shares is hard work.

Meanwhile, I noticed that my Klout score was similarly going up and up. Normally, I would be very excited by this, except for a few things.

There are people in my industry who I look up to who I can’t imagine having less real “clout” than me yet have less Klout than me. I’ve enjoyed reading Bart Cleveland for years as an AdAge columnist along with his work at McKee Wallwork Cleveland. I’ve admired the work of David Oakley at BooneOakley – frankly, I am looking up at them in a balanced world, not the other way around in a Klout world.

The second quibble I have is that while it says I am influential about social media and social entrepreneurship (OK, I’ve written about those plenty, I’ll buy that), Klout also says that I’m influential about, of all things, Groupon. I wrote about Groupon in one blog post in my life. Unless that was a hell of a post, I don’t see how that’s possible.

The third issue with Klout is that, unless I’m off, the system can be potentially gamed. If you like someone and are influenced by them, you can give them a “+K” to their Klout rating. Which sounds fine and good until I convince 20 of my closest friends to get together and Klout our scores into the stratosphere.

Meanwhile, over at PeerIndex, I have a similar issue with the influentials as I do with Klout. I’m a humble man and there are some peers that are ranking lower than me that just shouldn’t. My score is fine enough, trending higher and nothing to sneeze at. Kind of like my Klout score. At least here I can tell it’s from a combination of Audience, Authority and Activity. So I know which “A” to work on most.

What to believe? Who to believe? Are these tools helping or hurting?

I think I have the answer – you have to take these “measures of influence” for what they are – the best methods we currently have to measure social media capital that have room for improvement. Better than nothing? Yes. I would not ignore or blindly dismiss them. They do have meaning. They are a fair measure of activity, reach, etc. And like most other tools, they will probably be replaced by something more efficient and accurate, if these tools can’t tweek themselves fast enough.

But don’t get so wrapped up in your score that you can’t stop looking at your Klout, Empire Avenue share price and PeerIndex rating. I’m not proud to admit it, but I was doing just that when I first signed up. The worst thing you can do is say to yourself, “Oh heavens to Betsy, my reach isn’t far enough, what do I do?”

Breathe. Relax. These are algorithms that need work and will get better. Embrace the technological steps forward for what they are and realize there are slight imperfections – hey, Google’s algorithm isn’t perfect, but I’ll bet you still used it to search today, didn’t you?

Meanwhile, focus on what you CAN control:
Creating great content regularly and interacting with people who matter to you most on the channels where they “live.”
I believe when you concentrate on that consistently, the rest will hopefully take care of itself anyway when it comes to influence.

Of course, if this post influenced you and you’d like to throw a few “+K” to DanOnBranding or buy a bunch of shares….ah, never mind.