My former co-work, Rita, loved Barry Manilow.  She often wore a T-shirt that said, “Never Underestimate the Power of a Barry Manilow Song.”

She loved him so much that in one week, she saw him once in Indianapolis and the following weekend she drove up to Chicago to see him.

She was our receptionist – and I guarantee you she ate Ramen noodles for a few days to make those two concerts happen.

How about you? Do you love Barry Manilow with that kind of manic intensity?

Or are you on the meh end of the spectrum?

The fact that some people love him and others think he’s a treacly hack (so sorry Rita) can guide us here. I’m here to show you how Barry Manilow is actually central to your social selling campaign.

First, let’s face it. Most of us have a love-hate relationship with Social Media (and often hate-hate with the 50+ crowd). Here’s what my LinkedIn audiences say, when I ask why they hate it:

  • “People present a false view of themselves on Social Media.”
  • “We’ve become a Selfie-Stick nation. It’s terrible!”
  • “We’ve stopped talking to each other. Social Media has degraded society.”

We are spending ridiculous amounts of time on it. According to a 2018 Nielsen survey, we’re spending an average of 3 hours/day on social media apps & the internet.

Now for the big reveal: Most of my LinkedIn clients tell me they want to have a great LinkedIn profile, they want to get found by hiring managers or prospects – but when it come to actually sharing content on LinkedIn – which is how you make it easy for hiring managers & prospects to find you – THAT gives them the willies.

Perhaps you can relate to that?

When I ask my clients and audiences why they’re uncomfortable writing on LinkedIn the responses are similar:

  • “I have nothing original to say. It’s already been said.
  • “People will discover I’m an imposter. I’ll make a fool of myself!”
  • “I’m leery of posting ‘forever available’ content. It may haunt me someday.”

Let’s be clear: LinkedIn now has 640M users. It’s a very big, judgmental stage – a tough crowd to please.

Of course you’re terrified!

Being exposed on that big a stage triggers a normal “fight or flight” response. It’s what the gladiators must’ve felt in the coliseum when they had to fight for their life against the lions.

But enough of that.  I’m going to switch gears on you – because I don’t want to anchor that scary metaphor into your neurons. It doesn’t help you. And in my experience, (and those who embrace this platform), it’s simply not true.

About 50% of my business comes from LinkedIn – either direct prospects or from people who refer me.

I’ll share an example: Last year, a prospect named Jorge reached out to me for help with interviewing. I asked how he found me.

He said, “Jessica Matlack referred you.”

I thought, Hmm, I don’t know that name.

I reached out to Jessica on LinkedIn: “Jessica, thanks for referring Jorge, how do you know me?”

She said, “Julie, I’ve been following you on LinkedIn for 2 years. I love your content. You were the 1st person I thought of when Jorge said he needed help.”

If I hadn’t gladiated amongst the lions on LinkedIn, Jorge & Jessica would never have found me.

Your buyers – whether hiring managers or prospects – prefer social media to make their buying decisions.  According to Foundation Inc, LinkedIn is the #1 social media channel B2B marketers use.

Here’s better news, from the same source:

Only 1% of LinkedIn users share content weekly.

Clearly most people fear being gobbled up by the lions.

Even I have felt that way – and I teach this stuff! But this is where Barry Manilow comes in. Thinking of him gives me the courage to hit Publish.

I will never please everyone with my content.

The good news is, I have a lot of Ritas in my network who view me as the Good Barry Manilow version.

They value my content, comment on it, share it, and refer people to me. Over time I’ve cultivated a small army of Brand Evangelists. Those are the people who grow my reputation and my business.

I also provoke the other “meh” Barry Manilow response in some viewers. Maybe they dismiss me as a treacly hack. Who knows? I’ll never please them & I don’t try.

But why would I give them the power to keep me out of the arena? Especially because I care about the Ritas – freelancers, consultants and small business owners who need my help, whose Social Selling and branding problems I can solve.

Remember the slogan on her shirt, “Never underestimate the power of a Barry Manilow song?”

The Ritas of the world are on LinkedIn – people hungry to hear your hard-earned knowledge & insights. They’re hunting for someone remarkable like you to solve their problems.

Don’t underestimate the power of your song. When you sing, just think of Rita. You only need to sing to her.

I’m Julie Bondy Roberts, MA, CCMC, Courage Sparker and founder of Coming Alive Career Coaching, LLC.

A LinkedIn Profile Writer/Trainer & Forbes Contributor, I happily embrace my inner Barry Manilow. I love building social selling confidence in freelancers, small business owners & consultants, teaching them how to lead buyers to their solution using LinkedIn. 

If you enjoyed this article, please share it with your network. Congratulations – you’ve just launched your Social Selling campaign.ate the power of your song. When you sing, just think of Rita. You only need to sing to her.