On the way to the seminar, I had a flash of brilliance.
In 2011, 2009 and 2008, and hopefully 2012, I was Linkedin’s #1 public relations expert. For years I’ve been asked how I did it. “Fortunate,” is what I said; when my answer should be “40 years of passion, drive and study of anything marketing.”
That’s not the definitive answer on how to become a subject expert on Linkedin.
My entire life I have leapt into research. As a teen, while others were purchasing guitar fuzz tone boxes, I built one. I spent a semester in high school electronics learning to read resistor colors, how to heat sink transistors so they didn’t fry and use nail polish to create what at the time were called “circuit boards.” I had a fuzz tone! Second semester I took metal shop to create an aluminum box for the circuitry. Long before Steve Jobs did the same endeavors to create iPod and other Apple products.
In college, there were nights where I had to explain to Albuquerque police how I was in the school library or art building dark room at 2 or 5 in the morning. Time melted and I didn't realize they were closing. My passion for learning – and creating in the dark room – led to 24-hour sessions for days in a row. Many times I was never found and stayed until the building opened for the next day.
I was also given a key to the school’s newspaper offices where I would write stories after deadline, making plates for the printers who came in at 2 a.m. to print the school paper: New Mexico’s second largest daily.
It was union, so all I could do was ask a million questions about ink – how it was made, printing press history, on and on – curiosity. I was never allowed to touch or clean the presses (union). That came later in life.
So when I started answering questions on Linkedin, I used the same curiosity I had when I went into journalism, public relations and the Internet. I spent six months watching how people answered questions on Linkedin.
I never set a goal to be #1. I wanted to impart knowledge; yet, as I did as a journalist, my goal was to be accurate and well read.
The biggest reward from answering questions on Linkedin was not #1. It was when musician Derek Irving asked a question on making his band famous. I spent six years writing for Billboard, this should be easy to take #1, I thought.
A few days later, I went back to Irving’s Linkedin question and someone else had answered. Many had, but this one person really, really knew what they were advising Irving on – becoming famous in the 21st Century.
The person answering was Dennis Erokan. I looked up his bio on Linkedin. Created the Bammie awards and the Bay Area Musician newspaper; I read it in college. We connected on Linkedin. We presented together at the first Los Angeles Showbiz Expo. No preparation beforehand. He did a shtick about Nikki Sixx of Motley Crue. I was blown away. Yet our presentation was about using the Internet (YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, etc.) to become famous in the music and entertainment industry. One attendee took notes, published a book on our presentation and is now an Internet media darling with millions of followers – all off Erokan's and my presentation.
Connecting with Irving and meeting Erokan were very rewarding life experiences for me and would never have happened if not for the Internet and 21st Century marketing.
Being able to provide answers favored by Linkedin’s 100-million plus users is an honor. It all started by being curious and creating answers that were read (and highly rated). Watching what others were doing – the basis of marketing.