Name Jodene Shaer
Tell us a bit about yourself and your business or career
I am co owner of a people development business called Lifeology where our main focus in people and change. I specialise in the ‘social’ of social media with a focus on social media publicity. This came about after I was blogging about Lifeology’s philosophy of living with courage, consciousness and a sense of humour through my Project Me blog and grew into a very well known blogger and social influencer through my Twitter following that is in excess of 26 000 followers. I also focus on social media strategy and act as a consultant to brands in order to ensure their online presence is focused on creating community and conversation.
I have always lived in Johannesburg and am very grounded as a passionate South African, sparking my founding the #FollowSA hashtag, connecting SA people online, with the vision of bringing them offline to network and create community.
How long have you been on LinkedIn and how has been the experience like?
I have been on LinkedIn for well over 2 years no and let my account be inactive for a long time, but over the past few months has started to see the value of keeping it up to date and active. I am still in the process of using it to generate business, but it has been a great tool in people discovering who I am.
What are you doing to be visible on LinkedIn or this is not big priority for you.
It is a much greater priority in my life now and I am making sure my information is always current. I also post any relevant blogs from Project Me that gives insight into what I do on a business level. I am actively following people and have seen a great increase in people who connect with me.
Can you recommend at least 3 groups on LinkedIn and why?
In all honesty, this is not a tool in LinkedIn that I have had much connection or success with. When I initially joined I connected with many groups and felt that it was far too much noise, with everyone pushing their services. I think this is the greatest issue most people have with LinkedIn and am hoping to have my view changed about groups over time.
What are the first 3 things you look at when you visit someone’s profile on LinkedIn?
That they have up to date content, how many connections we have in common and relevance to my business.
How does LinkedIn fit in your career or business?
I truly use LinkedIn as a way of showcasing who I am aside from my presence on Twitter. Many people have heard about me, but not many know what I do in the social media space. LinkedIn helps me have a presence out there, beyond Twitter, which is more business and services focused.
How important is it to you to interact with your connections outside LinkedIn(via email, telephone, meeting)
I’m still finding my feet with this and because I get a least one generic email a day, I want to ensure that I don’t use the same approach that is currently being used by others. It is my intention to definitely discover a very personal ways of connecting to relevant individuals and connecting with them.
How much time do you spend on LinkedIn every day or week and what do you spend the time doing on the site?
I check my LinkedIn at least once a week and connect with anyone who has connected with me. I also post relevant content from my blog or keep people up to date on events I am doing social media publicity or strategy for.
Would you say you are a conservative or aggressive networker and why?
I believe I am conservative, but do pride myself in being very strategic. I have managed to be in the forefront of other people’s minds and they talk about me much more than I talk about myself. This has been of great benefit thanks to the #FollowSA community I founded and am very grateful, as I still have to learn to be more aggressive as a networker.
What have been your biggest benefits of being on LinkedIn? (quantify if possible)
I might not have met many people, but the ones I have connected with have been very beneficial in my life. I have mainly used it to gain more insight into people I have connected with or will be meeting with. This is a tool my business partner taught me and I used to brush it off, but have really seen the value in it of late.
Would you recommend whether someone should join LinkedIn with your reasons?
You never know what opportunities lies out there and if you are not visible it’s highly dangerous these days. I believe that across the platforms and truly think that we, as South Africans, underestimate the power of LinkedIn.
What kind of advice can you give new LinkedIn members that are professionals and entrepreneurs?
Make sure your profile is up to date if that’s all that you do. Make it front of mind to add any new information about yourself or your career that you can. Go through the networks and find people you know so you can connect with them, and accept anyone who connects with you.
In your opinion how LinkedIn is different from other networks and what value does it offer.
This network gets down to business. It’s about the professional part of your life and literally is your online CV or showcase of what you do. It’s greatest value is in directly connecting with specific individuals without taking a stab in the dark. I also believe strongly that people are now using LinkedIn to ensure they know who they are meeting before they head out and have that cup of coffee with you.
What is the best way to get hold of you?
Find me on my Lifeology website: http://lifeology.biz
Tweet me: http://twitter.com/jodenecoza
Follow my blog: http://projectme.co.za
And of course … LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jodenecoza