The second student success story in May’s celebration of National Small Business month is Penny Pearl of Bear2Bull Coaching. If you’ve ever wanted to take your career in an entirely different direction, read on, because Penny is an amazing story of rebranding herself and her business into an entirely new arena.
Penny was crystal clear on her goal: she had sold her wildly successful Penny’s Lowfat Desserts (she got her lowfat muffins and cookies the shelves of Whole Foods – no easy feat!) and was starting a new business as a professional sales coach. Penny began here as a student in LinkedIn 101 as one of her major tools to network, make contacts, and provide a place where prospective clients could see her successful background, talents, and experience.
LinkedIn is unlike other social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, where posting a status update or some photos is enough. You need to dive deep into LinkedIn, and Penny used her class assignments to build her profile to her advantage. She:
- Developed a compelling and complete profile — immediately setting her apart by getting four recommendations within her first month on LinkedIn
- Posted compelling status updates, sharing articles of common interest to others on LinkedIn. One of linked articles was so popular it was identified as “trending” on LinkedIn
- Provided thoughtful answers to professionals looking for advice on the Questions area of LinkedIn (a prime opportunity to reach potential clients when they are ready to act)
- Linked her profile to her newly-created website and blog, so the content automatically appears on LinkedIn
Successful entrepreneurs often do what others fail to, and Penny went far beyond what most start-up wannabees ever do.
First, she took advantage of every feature her LinkedIn 101 class had to offer. She was in the private forum often, asking probing questions and getting the answers she needed to stand out, use LinkedIn like a pro, and get results. Here is just a snapshot of some of the brilliant questions Penny posed in the forum:
Second, she displayed her certifications, skills, talents, and expertise on her LinkedIn profile. She even contacted me to discuss the possibility of getting a certificate for completing the LinkedIn 101 class, which up until that point, I had not offered. She made a convincing argument, and I now offer both printed certificates and online widgets for students who complete their coursework in any class.
Last, Penny reached out and developed a relationship with me, asking for my advice and offering to collaborate in the future. She went beyond just enrolling in the class and reading the lessons a few times. She completed all the coursework, made excellent use of instructor availability to get answers to her questions, and developed a relationship with her instructor that will server her well in the future.
Penny leveraged her skills and experience from a highly successful business into a new field, where she’ll be giving outstanding advice and expertise to her sales coaching clients. I’m proud of her success and that SocialMediaOnlineClasses.com could be part of it.