EP 27 // I'm still a Reluctant Thought Leader - How I Leverage LinkedIn

Ep 27

This episode of the Open Door Conversations Podcast is for those who are serious about growing their brand in 2022. While a lot of people may have goals of reaching new highs, without leveraging social media, it will be hard to grow. Whether you are using social media but are not consistent, or maybe you are shy and reluctant, hopefully, this episode will help inspire you to build awesome things this year.

In today’s episode, Akua shares her approach to Linkedin. She gives great tips and talks about the things she’s learned through her experiences in her own business and also what she learned by working with her clients. There are many different reasons why brands should be on LinkedIn, and Akua walks through all of them. While some may be hesitant to utilize this platform after listening to this episode, you will learn why this social media tool can help bring you major success!

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What's Covered in this Episode About Thought Leadership

What LinkedIn can help you with

  • Find new opportunities like speaking engagements, interviews, training, and workshops.
  • Stay on top of trends
  • Share experiences/lessons
  • Make meaningful connections
  • Have honest conversations in a safe space

And it won’t….

  • Take too much of your time.
  • Work if you outsource all of the work

Quotes from this Episode of Open Door Conversations

  • "I never thought I'd be here, I never thought I'd be doing what I'm doing. I never thought I'd be leveraging social media for my business." - Akua Nyame-Mensah

    "LinkedIn and leveraging social media can be done in a very efficient, effective way, and can be done in a way that protects your energy." - Akua Nyame-Mensah

  • "Your feed should be showing you and feeding you with opportunities, ideas, and inspiration and potential clients." - Akua Nyame-Mensah

  • "I've gotten a tonne of opportunities through LinkedIn, I might even found you, you might have found my podcast through LinkedIn. And I am incredibly grateful for that." - Akua Nyame-Mensah

Mentioned in I'm still a Reluctant Thought Leader - How I Leverage LinkedIn

Get to Know the Host of the Open Door Conversations Podcast

Learn more about your host, Akua Nyame-Mensah.

Akua is a certified executive and leadership coach, recognized learning and organizational development facilitator, speaker, and former startup executive. 

Since 2018, she has had the opportunity to partner with amazing organizations, from high-growth startups to multinational brands all around the world, to maximize people, performance, and profit.  Outside of her coaching and corporate speaking engagements, she is a regular mentor, coach, and judge for various entrepreneurship-focused organizations.

Stay in touch with Akua Nyame-Mensah, Leadership & Culture Advisor:

  • Read about Akua’s services if you’d like to learn more about how you can hire her to help you strengthen your organization’s culture.

  • Complete her contact form to jump on a call.

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Here’s the transcript for episode 27 about Being a Reluctant Networker

NOTE: Please excuse any errors in this transcript; it was created using an AI tool. Akua Nyame-Mensah 0:07 Welcome to the open door podcast. My name is Akua Nyame-Mensah Chaos respond to Aqua. And I'm a certified executive and leadership coach recognised facilitator and former sort of leader that loves supporting reluctant buyer fighting and overwhelmed leaders. I've worked with them to help them clarify where they should focus their time, and energy each and every day so that they can love themselves, love their work, and ultimately love their life. If you're looking to learn leadership information and hear different perspectives, you are in the right place. My aim in this podcast is to help you see that one of the most productive and profitable things you can do is deeply understand yourself. Understand how you show up, understand how you thrive, and allow yourself to align everything in your work in your life, and in your business to support that, think of this podcast as your weekly opportunity to receive leadership support. And remember, there is no one right way to lead yourself or others. Thank you so much for taking the time to join me today. Let's get started. Hello, and welcome to this episode of the open door conversations podcast. I am really excited today because I'm going to be talking all about my approach to LinkedIn. And let me just tell you, I am a reluctant thought leader. All right, I never thought I would be here, I never thought I'd be doing what I'm doing. I never thought I'd be leveraging social media for my business. And I also never thought I'd have a podcast. So today, I'm gonna be telling you a little bit about why I think leveraging LinkedIn is so very important. And I'm also going to tell you a little bit about some of the work that I do with my clients that also want to leverage LinkedIn. So let's get into the episode when working with my clients and my leadership coaching, a lot of them really start by trying to Paint me a Picture or trying to help me understand their goals, understand their vision. And for so many of them, they want to build things. And I'm included also, in trying to paint this sort of vision and trying to live this sort of life or trying to build this type of business. They paint me a vision or they share goals of trying to reach more people of trying to build things bigger than themselves, and leveraging social media. And using your brand. Because you have a brand, whether or not you use it can be an incredibly helpful way to do that. So I just wanted to share just some thoughts around, you know, why leveraging social media, why having some level of a social media presence might be really important for you, especially if you're listening to this and sort of shaking your head and you're like, Nope, I don't have time for that. I don't have energy for that. Or even maybe saying things along the lines of okay, I'm too shy to be on LinkedIn. That's something that I say. And even with thinking about my social media journey, I'm still on this journey of trying to decide what I want to share and what I don't want to share. Or maybe you're saying that leveraging LinkedIn or social media is too overwhelming. Or last but not least, maybe you're leveraging social media in a very inconsistent way that actually really makes you feel bad, or makes you feel like you're missing out on something. So maybe sort of firefighting, leveraging LinkedIn or leveraging another social media channel. So I think that leveraging a platform like LinkedIn can really help you get your career or business to the next level. So let me just paint some, let me just paint a picture, right, because I've already sort of used that earlier on, let me just share some of the things that some of my clients have actually shared about why they want to create time and space for this because a lot of them come to me to help them think about how can they optimise their time? How can they make better use of their team? How can they show up better? How can they make sure they have more time for the things that they love, and thinking about leveraging social media can be a really great way to help you once again, accelerate your career or get your business to the next level. So I've had founder clients who really want to sort of step into that position of being a thought leader because they want to share news of their fundraising. They want to attract better employees, they want to celebrate their team or connect with potential investors. All right, I worked with a senior leader who specifically really wanted to connect with others. This person wanted to find mentors. They also wanted to read the news and sort of stay on top of trends. And a platform like LinkedIn is a great place to do that. I've worked with other executive leaders who want to find board opportunities or even give back by sharing their career experience and lessons. So that's something you can definitely do on LinkedIn. All right. Other leaders may be looking for new opportunities. And so for them, it's more important to have a pro will file or connect with recruiters and look up potential jobs. All right. And then last but not least, I also work with service providers. And a lot of times those are coaches, consultants who want new clients want new opportunities, they want speaking opportunities and workshops, right. And that's kind of how I leverage LinkedIn to a certain extent. So I've gotten a tonne of opportunities through LinkedIn, I might even found you, you might have found my podcast through LinkedIn. And I am incredibly grateful for that, right. And I can think off the top of my head, one particular one coffee chat. This was an individual who just posting things on LinkedIn, I saw it I got in touch and was able to support and work on that business for a bit. The last job I had was something that I was able to secure through LinkedIn, and a little bit of stalking, right podcast interviews, speaking opportunities, I recently just put in my name actually for a training. So really just recognising that LinkedIn and leveraging social media can be done in a very efficient, effective way, and can be done in a way that protects your energy. But I think what I also wanted to share and also wanted to make sure that you had a better understanding of was that your strategy to leverage these platforms can also change, right? So my strategy to use LinkedIn specifically, has changed, right. And that's something that I actually teach now, right. So I had a lot of people that were reaching out wanting to know how I was able to show up because they felt like I was very visible or always on. And as I mentioned before, I had lots of clients and still have clients that are thinking about leveraging social media to help build their brand. And I think that LinkedIn is the best way to do that. And I do think that sometimes LinkedIn really is one of the best ways to do that. So I focus on LinkedIn specifically, because that's where I feel the safest to be completely honest. And so the programme that I have built is really all about sort of making the most of LinkedIn and I share tonnes and tonnes of resources checklist, I share everything that I do specifically on LinkedIn, and I give you all the tools that I use. But at the end of the day, I also create space for us to have conversation. So you're making sure that you are coming up with approaches that really resonate with you. And I'm sure a lot of you once again, are listening to this and are like, well, this is something that I can offload, right. This is something I can give to somebody else. But you actually can't offload your personal brand to someone else. Right, you really do have to start with creating this. And I think that that's one of the reasons why I've been able to find people to support me, because I've taken a bit of time to really think about how do I want to show up? How do I want to leverage social media? And what are some of the things that I want to share? You really can't offload your personal brand to someone else. And so if you are sort of mindlessly struggling, you know, scrolling through social media, or scrolling through LinkedIn, and recently, I actually found out about this approach, which is called Doom scrolling, which I thought was really interesting. So are you anxious and stressed scrolling through social media? You know, and I'm not saying that, you know, all the time that you spend on social media needs to be productive. That's an important thing to share as well. But personally, I try to be intentional when I use social media and specifically LinkedIn, because I can find that it can be very overwhelming, or it can start to sort of consume more time than I want it to consume. Right. And that is actually the biggest objection that I hear right that I don't have the time, I don't have the energy to figure it all out, which is why I created my LinkedIn programme. But when it comes to thinking about one of the most transformative, I don't know if this is the right word, but one of the most transformative parts of my programme is actually where I talk a bit about how you can do things on LinkedIn within a very short period of time and actually have a tremendous impact, right? So we're always really thinking about how can we spend time on these platforms, but not have it take over our lives? And I think that this one thing that I'm going to share about how I leverage LinkedIn, especially as someone who is sometimes or who used to be incredibly reluctant to leverage the platform, right? So if you're saying to yourself, like, I don't like putting myself out there, I don't want to create contents. You know, I don't even really want people to know that I'm here, right? This might be a really great way for you to start leveraging LinkedIn in a way that is incredibly easy and won't take up too much of your time. And so this is where I want to share, right, what I think is one of the best modules within my programme, and that's all about optimising your feet. Right. So if I was to tell you the number one thing that you could do on LinkedIn, whether you are overwhelmed, whether your reluctance or whether you feel like you're firefighting, so you don't have a sustainable approach to leveraging the platform. The number one thing I think that you should do is optimise your feet. And let me tell you a little bit why I think this is important. If you're someone who feels like they don't have a lot of time, it is so much better for you to show up on a platform where you're constantly being You fed things that are relevant to you and are things that you actually want to engage with, right? So what we consume on social media in terms of our feed, and what we're seeing is just as important as what we put out there. Okay, I think it, it actually might be even more important, because there's probably a lot of you listening to this that are like, Well, I just consume, I just look, I just see what other people are doing. So it's really important that you're showing yourself, right, and that you're choosing things to see, right, you aren't showing the algorithm or teaching the algorithm, what you want to see. And there's a lot of really interesting studies about this. And this is something that I see myself, but like, while I'm wasting time scrolling through content that's not relevant. And sometimes that even will start comparing myself to others, right. And I have other clients who've also been like, well, I don't like going onto LinkedIn, because you know, the platform or the feed is overwhelming or annoying or full of things that I don't want. But what you can actually do is optimise your feed, right. So once again, that it's feeding you the things that you want to see. So these are some ways that you might be showing up. If you feel like LinkedIn isn't necessarily a safe space, or you maybe haven't taken the time or don't know, right, maybe this is something even new to you about how to show up or how to leverage LinkedIn. So if you're allowing your feed to overwhelm you or upset you, or you tell yourself, I never go on LinkedIn, because I don't want to see the feed. This might be, I think, some really interesting information for you. If you feel like you're just liking engaging with content, just because right? If you don't have a genuine interest or connection to what's being shared, right, this also might be something for you to think a little bit more about, like, how can I make sure the content that's coming to my feet, and I literally will do this right? I even did this today? Like, I'll go on my feed, and I'll be like, what are the first things I see, typically, it's things that I actually want to see. And it's from people that I actually enjoy engaging with their content. So I'm building real relationships, I'm really engaging with stuff that I actually enjoy. And I also think that some of my ideal decision makers, or my ideal clients will enjoy as well, right. So I'm not just liking engaging, just cuz I'm doing it because it feels good. And I like what I see. And I want other people to see it. So also recognising that the way you engage with the platform will also have an impact on what your connections See, as well, right? If I like something, some of my connections will see that I like it. Another thing that might be happening, if you don't take the time to optimise your feed is you like allow that feed right to trigger you, right. And it's not showing you the opportunities or content that you actually want to engage in, right, which is something that I mentioned a little bit before. So really just recognising that if any of those things resonated, that you can actually do something about it right. So it's not going to be 100%, right, because there is an algorithm and like, there's all sorts of things happening. But you can teach the LinkedIn algorithm to a certain extent about the content that you like, the content that you don't want to see, and write the content that might be incredibly useful for you. So what you really need to think about or start to ask yourself, right is what do I see? What do I want to see more of right? That might be one of the questions that you ask yourself, or what do I want to see less of right? So I really would recommend that you take this time, right? So right now, if you're at your computer, if you're on your phone, listening to this, open up LinkedIn or open up honestly, any social media platform that you use, you can probably do this to some extent, right. And I want you to ensure that your feed is showing you the opportunities, the people, right the pages, the companies that you want to see, your feed should be showing you right and feeding you with opportunities, ideas, and inspiration and potential clients. So you want to make sure that you're removing the people, companies or hashtags that don't resonate with you. All right. And so once you've gotten to that point where you have some idea of what you want to see more of, and a part of that might be if you're a service provider, right? What are what are my clients looking at? Right? What are some of the things that they're going to look at, right? If you're a founder? What are some of the investors that might be sort of on LinkedIn? What are they following? Who are they? What are they potentially look like? Okay, if you're someone who's looking for another opportunity, maybe you want to be following specific types of industry leaders, and really just recognising that you can really customise this for you based on how you want to show up and based on what's important to you. Okay, so you might be asking yourself, if you want to take a little bit, you know, a little bit further is like, Okay, what group should I be in? What group should I remove myself from? If you're in groups, right? What hashtags should I be following? So that's something that you can do on your feed? What hashtags should you remove? Okay, what people should you be following? What people should you stop following? Alright, what company should you be following? What company should you stop following? Right? So really just recognising that that is how you'll start to be able to shape how you want that environment to look like starting to curate that environment. And what will happen is that as you start to engage with things LinkedIn will start Have start to provide you suggestions and really try to curate your feed so that it's showing up in a way that resonates with you. Once again, it's not 100%. But what you'll start to see is more of the people that you like engaging with. And then the things that you don't want to see, you can delete it, right? You can unfollow, you can what else can you do? You can delete, you can unfollow, you can share something, if you like it, you can engage in like something if you like it, you can comment. If you like it, you can also comment if you dislike it as well. And you can also report right, so I think there is a reporting function, not that you would do that, necessarily, but I guess if you strongly feel like something is I don't know against the law, or like really discriminatory, I guess you could also report so you really have the power to shape what you see to a certain extent. And you also have the power to decide how you engage with social media. So if you do decide that you want to spend some time on this platform, I really would recommend that you take the time to be intentional with it. And you really start to shape the platform, and really start to shape the algorithm and what it's feeding you. Right. So you have to teach the algorithm what you want to see through your engagement. And you have the ability to remove and reduce what you don't want to see. Right. So to continue to use this imagery so that the feed is feeding you with opportunities and content that you actually want to engage with. All right. So from my perspective, and I've come a really long way, on my, you know, LinkedIn journey on my personal branding journey on my journey of leveraging social media. And I'm still on that journey. Like I said, like, there's some things I'm still not ready to do. I was actually talking to my podcast manager today. And we were just talking about, like, you know, how much of our lives are we willing to share. And I was just like, Yeah, I'm still not ready to share a lot. Like there's a lot of these things that other people are maybe willing to do, and I'm happy for them to do it, and I follow them. And I probably watch them doing it. But I'm not necessarily willing to do it. So recognising that you also get to choose your boundaries. And you get to choose what you're willing to share and what you're willing to not share as well. So ultimately, you actually have some power, some sort of power. And if you decide to engage with some of these bigger platforms, you do have the power to make sure that LinkedIn especially doesn't feel weird or doesn't feel slimy, or doesn't feel bad. Alright, so that's, I think, all I wanted to share in this podcast episode, just sharing a little bit more about sort of my approach to leveraging LinkedIn or leveraging social media and thinking a little bit more about personal branding, if you are interested in learning a little bit more about how I do this with my clients. And so funnily enough, I even provide my one on one clients access to this programme. But if you're interested in sort of thinking about how this might work for you, or how you could potentially leverage this, you know, I would just recommend that you reach out or you can take a look at the show notes, where I will put first and foremost my 15 minute checklist, where I talk all about, it's just a very simple, straightforward checklist, where I share things that you can do on LinkedIn, that don't include creating any content, because I know for a lot of people that I work with, and this is something that I struggled with as well, I was like, I don't want to create content. So it is possible for you to leverage LinkedIn, very similar to what I shared about how to optimise your feed, where you're seeing things that you want to see and opportunities that you want to see, you can do the same with other things and in other ways. So this, you know, this checklist, I think, is just a really great resource because it gives you that opportunity to think about where do I really want to spend my time and energy and also will help you, you know, secure that next opportunity, whether it's a speaking engagement or a client in a bit of a different way, right. So it's, it's, I think, a really unique approach to thinking about how to leverage LinkedIn. And then of course, I also have my, my LinkedIn programme the weightlessness up. And it's really the only programme designed for that busy thought leader, because it's really based on what I've been going through and the things that I've seen and the leaders that I've supported. And so it really gives you that that environment or that that it's a six week programme. So it's this environment, I think, a very unique environment, where you can really start to think about and reflect on how you want to leverage LinkedIn. And within those six weeks, we complete your profile and you start to build your presence and really start to think about how do you want to show up on LinkedIn? How do you want to leverage LinkedIn? And I think what's so unique about it is that not only do you get accountability, step by step strategy, but you also get unlimited critiques and templates for every single important part of your profile and every single piece of content that you will need. And as I say this, there are I think, right now, I'm trying to forget there are a lot of worksheets in this like I've literally put a lot of time and energy into creating all these templates. And recently, I actually shared one of the modules I have where I sort of outline all the different pieces of technology that I leverage in order to make sure that I'm showing up in an efficient and effective manner. And I shared it with someone and they were like, Oh my gosh, this is incredibly well organised and like, oh, my gosh, this is really helpful. And I was like, Yeah, you know, I've really thought through everything that I share, and I share everything from how do I make sure that I'm efficiently, you know, doing meetings? And so I'm sharing like, what are some of the best like calendar apps, and that really can help you save time and energy as you leverage LinkedIn? To what are the apps that I use to, you know, produce my podcast, and even think about my videos or put together? You know, my, my post and like, what are some of my templates? And what are the pieces I keep in mind? And you know, how do I come up with all these pieces, because I've gotten so much help. The only reason why I'm here, the only reason why I can talk about this is because I've had so much help. And I think the last bit that I wanted to share about this is that I've been able to actually bring in a lot of these people that have supported me and they're actually going to be providing bonuses for the programme as well. So if you can't tell, I'm incredibly excited. I probably always signings always sound excited to you. But this programme, I've put a lot of time, a lot of energy, a lot of my heart into it. And I'm so excited that so many of the people that have supported me on my journey to build out my coaching consulting practice will also be involved and will also be able to help share their perspective, share their expertise with you as well. So that is all I think I want to share on this. So as always, thank you so much for taking the time to listen and I hope that you have an amazing start to your year. Thanks again. Thank you so much for taking the time to listen to today's episode. If you enjoyed what you heard today, please share it with your friends. We can continue this conversation on social media the links to my socials so that is LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter. You can find them in the show notes. If you tagged me in a story and include the hashtag hashtag ask Akua I will share a special little gift with you. Thank you so much once again for your time and I cannot wait to share my next episode with you stay safe and sane.


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