Posts

On LinkedIn there are millions of users but not all profiles are created equally. Many are a direct reflection of their resumes, but at a recent pilot event held in Capitol Hill, LinkedIn instructed the crowd  to think of their profile as a “living, breathing” way to get a new job, customer, or even volunteer opportunity. That can be accomplished by adding rich media, from pictures to videos to links of your work.

To help those in attendance achieve those goals LinkedIn brought together a panel of experts to speak about how LinkedIn has helped them grow their brand. It included: Peter Chee, CEO and chief pot stirrer at thinkspace; Carol Vecchio, founder of Centerpoint Institute for Life and Career Renewal; and Alexis Baird, Product Manager for Profile at LinkedIn. It’s the first time the San Francisco-based company held an event like this one. They chose Seattle because of the large number of startups here and the diversity of the city.

Personality Prevails – “Talk about what you are passionate about.”

LinkedIn panel

“People do business with people, not businesses,” Peter told the crowd. “Find ways to connect on a personal level.”

That wasn’t the only time the eager group of nearly 200 entrepreneurs, small businesses, and students were encouraged to show their personality especially on a professional website. Alexis explained the importance of sharing what you are passionate about. Adding your hobbies could lead to a professional ice breaker.

When talking about how LinkedIn has worked for him, Peter described what he called his “Alex from Target moment” a few months ago. It began with posting a long form blog on his LinkedIn page late one night titled “Questions To Ask Before Quitting Your Job To Work At A Startup.” It was part of an event promotion aimed at helping those wrestling with the same decision. Several hours later the post had 3,000 views and eventually ballooned to more than 92,000 views worldwide, hundreds of comments on LinkedIn, and it helped sell out the event. Peter said the post “created value” for the event, making it a bigger success than he initially anticipated. It’s the perfect example of using personal experience to connect with your audience.

Actionable Tips

So maybe you’re not an established business owner with an expansive network and more like me. I’m in the midst of changing the course of my career and need help with the transition. Peter provided other actionable tips.

For example, after meeting someone at a networking he suggests including “why you enjoyed the conversation” in your LinkedIn message. And don’t procrastinate.

Experts suggest:

1) Tailor your profile around what you want to be doing. It’s not necessary to list every job you’ve held.

2) Avoid job titles and use statements instead.

3) Show examples of your work whenever possible e.g. pictures, links, and presentations

The LinkedIn team also offered profile makeovers. I found this one-on-one time to be invaluable. Crystal Braswell offered me tailored tips that I utilized as soon as I got home. They included changing my profile picture because she said I looked younger in person. (Yikes!) The changes instantly made my page look better. I’ve already received positive feedback which let me know I was on the right track.

Crystal Braswell gets her makep done

Whether or not you think of yourself as being photogenic the experts say don’t ignore your profile picture. The LinkedIn team converted a small area into a professional photo shoot complete with make-up artist. All night this booth had a continuous line. Your profile picture is one of the first things people see and taking the time to ensure it’s representative of who you are is important.

LinkedIn photoshoot

By the end of the event I felt rejuvenated. Receiving usable tips and being in the company of others who are working on improving their digital footprint helped recharge my career batteries. Change isn’t always easy but events like #RockYourProfile showed me that improvement isn’t an insurmountable task.

Here are more Growth hacking with LinkedIn tips from Peter Chee.

Seattle Startup Riot

Startup Riot is coming to Seattle on August 24th! Startup Riot is an all-day event where twenty five startups will have the opportunity to present 4 slides for 3 minutes to the audience. After each presentation, the judging pannel will have 3 minutes to ask questions. There will be two keynote speakers throughout the day. Noah Kagan, co-founder of AppSumo will be presenting in the morning, and Jeremy Hanks, co-founder of Doba will be the afternoon speaker. The event starts at 8am and goes all day until 5pm with an after party to follow! Startup Riot is a great opportunity for investors who are interested in meeting twenty-five different startups. However, it is also a fantastic opportunity for people looking to connect with the Seattle entrepreneurial community.

The top 3 startups will walk away with some extremely useful prizes:

  • 1st place: 7 hours of investor meetings and $6,700 of services
  • 2nd place: 6.5 hours of investor meetings and $1,200 of services
  • 3rd place: 6 hours of investor meetings

The event will be at the Showbox Sodo and tickets are only $30 for attendees and $70 for investors. Tickets is reserved for investors, entrepreneurs, students, startup community supporters, and event sponsors.  Questions?  If you’re interested in attending, take a moment to apply and use ‘thinkspace‘ as the reference code to get $10 off your ticket price!

Want to know who else will be attending? Check out the official Twitter Seattle Startup Riot list! I just registered, so I hope to see you there.

Check out this video from Startup Riot 2010 in Atlanta featured on CNN.com:

P.S. there will be a career fair the day before on August 23rd. If you’re interested in working for a startup, or if you’re a startup looking to hire- apply to attend the Seattle Startup Riot Career Fair.

One week ago, we sent out a office space survey through Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to find out if we expanded into Seattle where would you like to see thinkspace be located.  We got back a lot of responses, more than I expected!  The chart shows the results from the question “Location – Where do you want this to be?”.  Pioneer Square 42% of the votes. South Lake Union at 22%, Fremont at 14%, Capitol Hill at 8%, and 14% fell into the “other” bucket.  My question to those of you that picked South Lake Union as your number one choice — if we take office space in Pioneer Square would you still come use our space?

Parking is another thing that we polled on.  31% of the responses said “Parking should be free”.  Not a big surprise here, but, seriously free parking in Seattle went the way of the dinosaur a long time ago.  I’m very happy to see that 22% preferred to Walk or Bike as I personally like walkable neighborhoods (thinkspace Redmond has a walkscore of 97).  That was followed by 17% Pay Lots and 14% Street Parking.  Having worked in Pioneer Square for about five years, I’ve accepted the fact that if I want to work in Seattle I will have to pay for parking.  I think that’s a small trade off considering how cool it is to work in the downtown.

Our next step is share some photos of the office space that we’ve identified in Pioneer Square and get your feedback on the atmosphere that you’d like to have!  It’s really important to us that we have the right “vibe” as it’s also the highest ranking survey question based on how everyone responded.  We’ll post some photos later this week and we’ll want to get more feedback from you all.  Thanks again for filling out our survey!

David Sitlani, from the Law offices of David Ravi Sitlani, initially toured thinkspace in the midst of the build out, dodging construction workers, looking at blueprints and listening to details of this new sustainable/creative office space in Redmond. Having just started his law practice with the main office in Seattle, he was looking for executive office space on the Eastside (Bellevue/Redmond area) that would provide him a professional business identity coupled with conference rooms. As thinkspaces’ door opened in May, David signed on as one of the first Virtual Office clients.

David provides quality attorney services at reasonable rates, which includes dealing with small businesses in the areas of choice of entity, ongoing legal audits/review of legal documents, wills/trust/estate planning and premarital agreements to name a few. He feels ideally situated as a small business attorney because he can identify with his clients’ needs. As a small business owner himself who started his own company, he knows the challenges that need to be overcome. The personal aspect of his practice is very important to him and, after having worked for larger firms in the past, he enjoys the one-on-one time with his clients.

David views thinkspace as the ideal set up for him and for other small businesses just starting out. He continues to be very pleased with his Virtual Office which provides him “an inviting space and allows for a professional appearance without having the overhead associated with it”. The thinkspace staff is front and center to professionally greet his clients and always make him feel welcome as well. Invitations to the on-site networking events are a helpful tool to meeting people and growing his business. Having the opportunity to see the space evolve, he reflects on how this Redmond office space “combines the look of a downtown Bellevue or Seattle facility but with a personable touch”.

There is an article in the Seattle Times that reviews a study done in 2005 which states Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue is ranked number six as lowest carbon emissions per capita. I’m not sure why the study is three years old and just being released now.

The article goes on to state that “Seattle draws its energy primarily from essentially carbon-free hydropower” and has a carbon footprint which is 10 times less than Washington DC’s carbon footprint.

“The authors [of the study] offer a partial portrait of overall emissions, concentrating on residential electricity and fuel use and the mileage traveled by cars and trucks, factors that contribute about half of overall carbon emissions. The calculations do not include industrial emissions, those from commercial or government structures and those from air, rail or sea transportation.”

It would be interesting to see how much these figures would change if the study actually included commercial structures. Cities like Los Angeles, which is ranked #2 on this list would probably not stay ranked at #2.

“The Honolulu area, with the smallest carbon footprint, ranked No. 1 in the study, from the Brookings Institution, followed by the area including Los Angeles and Orange counties in California, the Portland-Vancouver area, the New York metropolitan area and the Boise-Nampa, Idaho, area.”

The list of 10 smallest and largest metropolitan cities carbon footprints can be found on the Seattle-PI website.  Here the link to the Seattle Times article titled: “Study: Seattle area No. 6 on list of smallest carbon footprint“.