Category Archives: linkedin

Innovation Training and More From LinkedIn

LinkedinLearn innovation, group creativity, and much more at, a division of LinkedIn. Check out these courses with a 10 day free trial:

1. Business Innovation Fundamentals: Innovation propels companies forward. It's an unlimited source of new growth and can give businesses a distinct competitive advantage. Learn how to innovate at your own business using Systematic Inventive Thinking, a method based on five techniques that allow you to innovate on demand. Topics include:

  •     What is innovation?
  •     Understanding the myths about creativity and barriers to innovation
  •     Understanding the characteristics of innovative products and services
  •     Using the five techniques of Systematic Inventive Thinking
  •     Creating new services and processes at work
  •     Running innovation workshops
  •     Involving customers in innovation
  •     Mastering innovative thinking

2. Understanding Consumer Behavior: Consumer behavior is all about the way people buy and use products and services. Understanding consumer behavior can help you be more effective at marketing, design, product development, and every other initiative that impacts your customers. You'll learn how consumer behaviors such as motivation, appetite for risk, personality, attitude, and perception, as well as feedback from friends and family, impact buying decisions. It discusses how individual consumers as well as organizations buy products and services, and how you can connect with them after a purchase.

3. Managing Team Creativity: Do you ever think, "I'm just not that creative"? You're not alone. But companies increasingly expect their employees to think about problems in new ways and devise unexpected solutions. The good news is that creativity is not a gift, but a skill that can be developed over time. Learn nine simple tips to boost your creative output at work and learn how to think about the world in a different way, break problems down into manageable parts, divide and conquer a problem, and evaluate ideas systematically.

4. Marketing Fundamentals: Whether you're rebuilding your marketing program from the ground up or leading the first campaign of your career, this course will help you lay the foundation for a successful marketing endeavor. This course explains marketing's role in an organization; provides frameworks for analyzing a business, its customers, and its competitors; and shows how to develop a successful marketing strategy and use that strategy to inform everything from pricing to promotion.

You'll also learn to address tactical challenges and present the plan to get buy-in throughout an organization, from the C-suite to the sales team, as well as use the marketing plan to guide outside agencies and vendors. Finally, you'll learn how to launch the campaign and measure its performance. Topics include:

  •     Marketing in an organization
  •     Assembling the team
  •     Creating the marketing plan
  •     Analyzing your products, customers, and market
  •     Segmenting customers
  •     Creating a value proposition
  •     Developing a strategy
  •     Setting goals
  •     Setting prices
  •     Using social media
  •     Presenting your plan to leadership

5. Improving Your Judgement: Want to make better decisions at work? In this short course, you'll learn ways to confront your hardwired cognitive biases, in order to make good decisions and exercise more balanced, sound judgment. Topic include:

  • The base rate bias
  • The confirmation bias
  • The availability bias
  • The hindsight bias
  • The overconfidence bias
  • The sunk cost bias

6. Branding Fundamentals: Get a framework for branding, and learn how to develop and launch a brand and measure its success. This course explains how to define and position a brand and communicate the brand effectively internally, to employees, and externally, via social media, PR, advertising, packaging, and other channels. It explains how to measure brand performance in categories such as authenticity, relevance, differentiation, consistency, presence, and understanding. The course concludes with solid steps for periodically reviewing the brand and its effectiveness, especially when there are significant changes that could impact the brand. Topics include:

  •     Identifying your core values and drivers
  •     Linking your business model to the brand
  •     Identifying customers
  •     Developing your brand promise
  •     Expressing brand identity
  •     Creating a brand book
  •     Expressing brand in social channels, through advertising, and in packaging
  •     Measuring brand performance

7. Writing a Marketing Plan: A solid roadmap makes any marketing effort more successful. This course will help business professionals write and leverage great marketing plans. Learn how to assemble a team to create the plan, analyze an existing market, and break down the plan's components into focused sections. It offers advice on how best to present and leverage the plan throughout an organization. Topics include:

  •     Planning for a marketing campaign
  •     Writing the situation analysis
  •     Writing the strategic, tactical, and budget sections of the plan
  •     Leveraging your plan


5 Reasons I Didn’t Connect With You On LinkedIn

linkedinI might not be as famous as Robert Scoble or Pete Cashmore but I do get my share of LinkedIn requests and one should, as with most social networks, be a little discerning about who you connect with. Maybe its not as important on Twitter or Facebook, but on LinkedIn, I think your circles definitely make a big difference. As such, there are some red flags which I use to determine pretty quickly (at last count I get over 50 requests to connect a day) in order to determine whether or not I’ll agree to connect with you. If that sounds imperious, so be it. We should all be discerning with our connections, don’t you agree? Maybe this kind of thinking is controversial and exclusive. You tell me. Even though some of the stuff below is pretty basic, I still get it.

  1. A photo. C’mon people. It’s 2014, and pretty much EVERY phone has a camera in it. I still get requests from people with no picture. Why is that? My immediate thought is: what are they hiding? Why don’t they have a picture there? Are they too new? If you ask me – no one should bother – and maybe even LinkedIn should make this a requirements – that you can’t initiate any connections unless you have a profile picture uploaded.
  2. A crappy photo. Your photo should be a more or less professional shot with just you in the picture. Pictures with your significant other are awesome for Facebook  – I share my Facebook pic with my wife so we have the same picture. Plus, please make it a portrait close up of your face! I see all these pictures where people are standing in a room or something and I can barely see you. Plenty of times when I go to meet people who I’ve never met before I check out their LinkedIn profile so I know what they look like. I’ll bet I’m not the only one. If someone is late to a meeting with you, it may be that they couldn’t recognize you from your LinkedIn profile. Again, an easy fix, or seriously, get a professional portrait done. If you live in the Bay Area, my wife is an awesome photographer and can do your pic for you. Just email me and we’ll set something up for you.
  3. A practically empty bio. Please people. Maybe this should be a more blanket statement “Before you try to connect with anyone on LinkedIn, make your profile as complete as possible” Yes, that means spending time getting a great photo done, completing all of your job history, all of your education, everything you do, then working backwards to write yourself a killer bio.
  4. Your title is “Sales” or “Business Development”. I know why you’re connecting with me, dude. You want to sell me something. I get that. And I don’t blanket not connect with you just because you’re in sales. It really depends on your whole picture, your whole bio, everything that you represent. If you’ve don’e something cool in your past or currently, I’ll connect with you. But don’t just try and pitch me right away. Build the relationship first. Then, maybe, if you’re stuff if great, I’ll buy from you and or refer you to someone else. But you have to have more than a one line bio and a title and no picture.
  5. For a bonus point: put your email address at the bottom of your bio. It makes it easier for me to ask you why you are interested in connecting with me BEFORE I do it.

So think before you connect:

  1. Does my pic look awesome? Would someone recognize me from it?
  2. Is my bio the best it can be?
  3. Is my profile complete?
  4. Is my email address in my bio?
  5. And finally :  put yourself in my shoes, if you were me, would I connect with you?


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