Episode 89: How to Forge Strong Relationships on LinkedIn that Blossom in the Real World With Donna Serdula
Are you on LinkedIn? It’s not just for stuffy resumes anymore! LinkedIn has evolved into a fantastic place for networking, connecting, and engaging with people, both personally and professionally. Not only can you find high-end clients that need your services, but you can also showcase your services, post images of your beautiful work, and educate and inspire people in the process.
My next guest is Donna Serdula. She is the founder and president of Vision Board Media, a professional branding company that helps individuals and companies tell their unique stories on LinkedIn and beyond. She shares her LinkedIn expertise at global conferences, presents at keynotes and workshops, and has been featured on many high-profile news outlets. She has also authored two editions of LinkedIn Profile Optimization FOR DUMMIES.
In this episode, Donna and I chat about:
- How LinkedIn has changed over the years
- What types of posts are most successful on LinkedIn, and which ones perform worst
- The secret to getting active on LinkedIn and noticed
- Why networking on LinkedIn now is more important than ever
Mentioned in this episode:
Click HERE to download 3 FREE chapters of Donna’s book LinkedIn Profile Optimization For Dummies!
Connect with Donna:
Go check out Donna’s LinkedIn mini-course, www.linkedin-makeover.com/linkedin-training-guides and use the code DFCM for a special discount!
Text UPDATES to 214-380-1969 for all our DFCM updates.
Michelle Lynne began her interior design career after spending more than two decades working in Corporate America. She began in the home staging arena and has since built a successful, award-winning, full-service interior design firm, employing talented designers and serving clients across the country.
In the summer of 2018, Michelle began focusing on a big gap she saw missing in the interior design industry: teaching interior designers how to run the business of an interior design business. She now engages in private coaching and leads an in-depth, 12-month group coaching program, both options focus on teaching designers profitable processes, systems, strategies, and mindset needed to run a streamlined, profitable interior design firm.
Her motto is simple: we rise by lifting others.
Connect with Michelle
Have ideas or suggestions or want to be considered as a guest on the show? Email me!
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Michelle Lynne: Welcome to Designed for the Creative Mind, a podcast for interior designers and creative entrepreneurs to run their business with purpose, efficiency, and passion. Because, while every design is different, the process should remain the same. Prepare yourself for some good conversations with amazing guests, a dash of Jesus and a touch of the woowoo, and probably a swear word or two. If you're ready to stop trading your time for money and enjoy your interior design business, you are in the right place. I'm your host, Michelle Lynne.
Michelle Lynne: Well, hello, everybody. Welcome back to the podcast. This is Michelle Lynne, Designed for the Creative Mind. This is actually the first recording of 2023. And I'm super excited because today's topic is literally on my goals and things to get done, hopefully in the first quarter of 2023. So let me introduce you to Donna Serdula. She is the founder and president of Vision Board Media. This is a professional branding company that helps individuals and companies tell their unique stories on LinkedIn and beyond. She brings dynamic brand storytelling to the masses and empowering people to dream big. That's the ink in Donna's pen. It's her website, LinkedIn-makeover.com, we're gonna talk about that in a little bit, where she and her team of over 20 writers and coaches, help people collide with opportunity and transform their lives via future-forward career branding. She has authored two editions of LinkedIn Profile Optimization for Dummies. She's shared her LinkedIn expertise at global conferences, presented keynote workshops, and is featured on a number of high-profile news outlets. So Donna, welcome. I'm so excited to be talking to you because my LinkedIn is in dire need. So this is perfect timing.
Donna Serdula: Well, we're going to elevate that. We're gonna polish it up and we're gonna get people to take notice of that profile.
Michelle Lynne: I am so excited. So one of the first questions I want to ask, and we had kind of started touching on this before I hit record, is like when I was in corporate, back in the day, I used to use LinkedIn a lot. Then I went into this private kind of enterprise endeavor, adventure as an interior designer, and I found that a lot of times the people who were reaching out to me, were not necessarily individuals that were on, or very active in LinkedIn. So can we start there? Because I want our audience to understand just how relevant this platform can be when used properly.
Donna Serdula: You know, and I think a lot of people, they think of, you know, LinkedIn has gone through so many different changes, and a Renaissance or two. They were purchased by Microsoft, and they're
Michelle Lynne: All the things.
Donna Serdula: So many things have happened to LinkedIn. And yet a lot of people will sometimes think of LinkedIn from back in the day. And they think, oh, it's a place to post your resume, it's place to go to find a job. And like, that's it.
Michelle Lynne: Yes.
Donna Serdula: But it's so much more. It's so much more now. It's so much more.
Michelle Lynne: So compared to back in 1902, when I used it last.
Donna Serdula: Back in the day.
Michelle Lynne: What are some of the new features that have been introduced that you love?
Donna Serdula: You know, LinkedIn, it's one of those things, they've always talked about it as being this place for networking.
Michelle Lynne: Right.
Donna Serdula: And I really feel that they finally gotten to that point where people want to log in and look at their newsfeed. Look at that LinkedIn feed. And I think the reason for that is they really have transitioned very successfully from being something that was purely desktop to being something that you can access absolutely on your desktop, but more and more people, in fact, the vast majority of people, they're checking it out on the mobile app on their phones.
Michelle Lynne: Oh.
Donna Serdula: That's how most people are, you know, tapping in.
Michelle Lynne: Yeah, we are so tied to our telephones.
Donna Serdula: Oh, yeah. And so one, it's the ability to pull it up whenever you want to. And when you go through that feed, it's no longer those boring status updates of oh, he updated his profile picture. Oh, he connected with somebody, she did this and she did that. We're now seeing a really organic, authentic, informational newsfeed. A LinkedIn feed that you can look, and you can see what people are talking about. You can jump in and you're having conversations, you're engaging, you're active, you're learning, you're developing, you're networking. And that to me is what's really exciting about LinkedIn right now.
Michelle Lynne: Yeah, especially now because we're all so remote. It's nice to be able to just log in and do that. Well, how do you? Okay, so where I wonder is how do you start forming those relationships? Because networking, you know, in my experience, is not just showing up, shaking hands, exchanging a business card, and having somebody call you. But it's that repeated touch, per se. So how would you, how would you do that on LinkedIn?
Donna Serdula: Well, you know, with LinkedIn, the first part is strategically understanding why you're on LinkedIn. That's the first part because, you know, a lot of times people think, oh, well, it's just for job search, you know, I'm not looking for a job, so I don't belong there. Or, you know, sometimes people think, oh, you know what, I'm going to get on it, but I don't really know what success looks like. So if I never get there
Michelle Lynne: Yeah, you kind of begin with the end in mind, like, what do you want to get done?
Donna Serdula: And so, you know, for your audience, it might be, I want to make sure that I'm connecting with high-net-worth individuals, I'm connecting with high-level professionals, executives, people who are too busy, to really concentrate on their home, but their home is very important to them, and they've got money to invest in it.
Michelle Lynne: Right.
Donna Serdula: So it could be just broadening that network. It might also be, I also want to really showcase my knowledge, my depth, the breadth of my services. I want to be able to really showcase the beautiful work that I'm doing, but also maybe educate people that this is something that's totally attainable. And not just something that you watch on HGTV, right?
Michelle Lynne: Yeah. And that HGTV is not real, just for the record.
Donna Serdula: Oh. I had a feeling. But it's really maybe it's even talking a little bit about, you know, what is realistic? But like getting an idea of what it is that you want to talk about. How do you want to add value? How do you want to educate? How do you want to inspire people. And so it's about building the brand, it's having these conversational topics that you want to contribute to. And maybe it's just, it's connecting, so you know why you're on it. Once you're on it, the very next thing you need to do is make sure that you're appearing in the right strategic way, because that's where I see a lot of issues. People who say, oh, I want to do this to connect with the right types of people and showcase my services. They're on it like a job seeker, because they just copied and pasted an old out of date resume. Because that's the easier way.
Michelle Lynne: Yeah.
Donna Serdula: It's really trying to think, how can I collide with the right people, and how can I tell the right message that's going to get them feeling good about me. So that is really knowing your goal, then optimizing for what they want to know about you. What you want them to think and feel. And then, then we can move towards building the right audience.
Michelle Lynne: Okay. So you said optimize, and that reminds me of like the profile. Like, how do you optimize your profile to get found to begin with, and to stand out? Because there's like, everywhere, every time you throw a rock, you had an interior designer? No, it's not that bad but there's a lot of us out there.
Donna Serdula: But that says one thing, you're in an echo chamber, because those are all the people that you're connected to.
Michelle Lynne: That's true.
Donna Serdula: And I will tell you this, you know, you move into other areas, and they'll say they're far and few between, I can't find one. Because you're not connected to them so they're not seeing your information. Or maybe you're not even posting the information.
Michelle Lynne: Oh my gosh, that's so true.
Donna Serdula: Yes, so let's go back to the optimizing, how can you optimize? So I already said, you know, you've got to kind of really understand who is your target audience? What do they know, need to know about you? How do you want to be portrayed? What is that story that you want to tell? And then you want to get onto your LinkedIn profile. And chances are, you went in there a few years back, you found an old about section or you grabbed an old bio, you grabbed your old resume, and you just kinda cut and pasted.
Michelle Lynne: Oh yes.
Donna Serdula: That's what most people do. So I'm gonna say this, so you got to look at it. And recognize it's so much more robust than any of the other social network profiles that are out there. Like you look at Instagram, how many like what, 150 characters or so?
Michelle Lynne: Right.
Donna Serdula: There's no place to really tell a story there. But with LinkedIn, there's so much more space. There are so many areas that you can really talk about. And you want to start at the very top. There's the background graphic. If you see something that's kind of gray and stripy, that means you didn't even upload a background graphic. So find an image that really illustrates your brand.
Michelle Lynne: Which is perfect for our industry because it is so visual.
Donna Serdula: Yeah, yes. So find a beautiful image that really showcases, and you don't have to look, you can put your logo in there. But you don't have to put your contact information, you don't have to put your email in that background graphic. No one's gonna see it on the mobile app anyway. And you can get that information lower, you know, down further, like, this is more of a way of qualifying, and then the person will keep moving down. Make sure you got a great profile picture. I mean, if you're going to be walking into
Michelle Lynne: None of those selfies?
Donna Serdula: No selfies, you want to look as polished, as professional as high-level as possible, because these are people who are going to be bringing you into their home. And they want to feel really confident. So make sure it's recent, and it's beautiful. The next thing is the headline. Oh my goodness, the headline, by default is your current title, and the company that you work at. But that doesn't compel anyone, that doesn't tell anyone anything. This is an area where you want to infuse your keywords. And you want to give a bit of a benefit statement. Now let people know immediately who you are, and what you do, and how you help. And this is important, because that headline isn't just at the top of your profile. As you, you know, if you pop up in search results, that headline is going to be there. If you post on LinkedIn, that headline is going to be there. If you're connecting, or you're messaging people, that headline is going to be there because it's always your picture, your name, and your headline. So make that headline something that's so super sexy and attractive that people feel a need compelled to click and see that full profile.
Michelle Lynne: Amazing, because I just assumed it was just gonna be Michelle Lynne, you know, owner of ML Interiors Group, blah, blah, blah. And you saying you can change that and make it easy.
Donna Serdula: You can change it. You got 220 characters, so you've got a lot of, you got a big chunk there, that you can really put some effort into it. Then you're gonna keep scrolling down, there's a contact Information section, no one fills it out, which is crazy. They wonder why their phone doesn't ring, they haven't given them their phone number.
Michelle Lynne: Right.
Donna Serdula: Scroll down a little bit more, there is a featured section, Michelle, that no one uses. No one uses but this is links out, links out to the different platforms that you're on. This could be links out to your portfolio, links out to your website, links out to Instagram. Put it all there.
Michelle Lynne: All the things.
Donna Serdula: Everything, put it all there. And it becomes a carousel, and a person can click and they see these beautiful images. And it's hyperlinked out.
Michelle Lynne: Oh my gosh, that's amazing. Okay. I need to put us on pause right now and go fix mine. I am dying to click over to LinkedIn right now.
Donna Serdula: Yeah, there are so many areas. If you keep going down, then you get into the about section. This is your professional manifesto. This is your story. This is where a free form, over 2000 characters, you can say: this is why I do what I do. And these are the magical results that people see.
Michelle Lynne: Right.
Donna Serdula: And what it's like to offer these, you know, life-changing services.
Michelle Lynne: Yeah, yeah.
Donna Serdula: What was the catalyst that made you go into it? And why do you love it? Like all of that. What do you stand for? Right? Like, what do you represent in your world, because maybe that the, it's those values, I think that really attract people.
Michelle Lynne: I love that because a lot of times we have to, like for my team, we have to wait to explain to our clients that what we do is we create a space where you can begin and end your day as a sanctuary. So you can go out and be the best professional that you're going to be.
Donna Serdula: Yeah.
Michelle Lynne: So let us start you off, and then let us come, you know, come home and nurture you so that you have that safe place. I mean, how perfect would that be to put in a LinkedIn?
Donna Serdula: Oh, absolutely. That's what we want.
Michelle Lynne: Yeah. This is genius.
Donna Serdula: Now at the same time, Michelle, I want people to realize the profile is about them too. So you want to tell your own story. Because people want to know, is this the person that I want to call? Or is she just gonna be pure business? Like this is where we can find commonalities and talk about your passions and talk about your mission. And, you know, talk about what made you who you are today because I'm sure a lot of people, you know, their career path wasn't a straight line. So maybe it's because you have that background in corporate that makes you such a great person for other executives because you speak their language.
Michelle Lynne: And Donna, what you're saying is so true. Because when I'm coaching interior designers, you know, I share with them that hey, you know what, at the end of the day, they hire you because they like and trust you. And, you know, we can all come up with beautiful rooms, but it's going to be what you bring to the table as an individual so showcasing it here, to a certain extent, without going into like, you know your grandma's maiden name.
Donna Serdula: We don't want to go that far.
Michelle Lynne: Yeah.
Donna Serdula: But again, it's being very strategic and saying, what do they need to know to feel comfortable, to feel good about me? And what do I want to share? Like, I'm not saying, you know, the color of your, you know
Michelle Lynne: Yeah. All the things.
Donna Serdula: But like, what is it that you like, because people don't know what to think. They look at you. They're asking, they're looking to see how do you describe them? Describe yourself. That's what you're going to think about. So be very deliberate about that message.
Michelle Lynne: And toot your own horn. Like, don't be shy.
Donna Serdula: Yeah.
Michelle Lynne: So okay, so you've got that. How do you get from, this is who I am, this is what I do, to being perceived as, like the expert in the industry? Like, this is why you can trust me, or I know what I'm doing.
Donna Serdula: So that now, as we scroll down the profile, now we come into other areas. We come into your experience, which is your career trajectory. And that's where you can tell that story of where you started to where you are currently. And you want to make sure that you're infusing the right keywords in it, because maybe it's not just interior designer, maybe it's decorator, maybe it's creativity, maybe it's, you know, think of all of the, you know, furniture and style and think of all of the different words a person might be using, and make sure you're incorporating that.
Michelle Lynne: Is that so that they can find us? Or does that give us like search engine optimization? What? Why?
Donna Serdula: It's the search engine optimization piece. Because a lot of times now, with LinkedIn, there's two different ways of searching. There is the name-based search. Oh, I know Michelle Lynne, I met her, I really want to learn more about her, let me type her name into the search engine.
Michelle Lynne: Right.
Donna Serdula: That's how, it's the one on one, boom. I want Michelle, bring me up her information. Maybe it's interior designer, Ohio. Or I know I've met someone, I don't remember their name, but I know that they are, you know, and they put in keywords.
Michelle Lynne: So they're gonna go to LinkedIn to search versus Google.
Donna Serdula: Yes. Why would they do that? Because with LinkedIn, when you see those search results, you see how you're connected to the person.
Michelle Lynne: Right.
Donna Serdula: And people like to do business with people who are already within their network, people who they know, know. Right?
Michelle Lynne: Right.
Donna Serdula: They want that connection. It makes it a little less risky. Someone else vetted them.
Michelle Lynne: Yes, well, it's kind of like Facebook, accepting friends. It's like, I don't accept friends from just anybody. It's like who do you know that kind of would be a mutual thing along that line? Not that I'm comparing Facebook to LinkedIn by any means. It's completely like apples and oranges.
Donna Serdula: There's a lot of similarities anymore. You know, but what I like about LinkedIn is it's all professional.
Michelle Lynne: Yes, yes, yes, yes. Not taking pictures of their food and showing you what they ate.
Michelle Lynne: Imagine trying to bake a cake without a recipe. You kind of know what the ingredients are, but you don't know how to put it all together. After lots of hard work and trying different combinations, all you are left with is a sticky situation and a stomachache. Babe, running an interior design business can feel exactly that same way. That is why I created The Interior Design Business Bakery. This is a program that teaches you how to bake your interior design business cake and eat it too. If you don't want to figure out the hard way, and you want guidance to follow, a recipe that has already been vetted, someone that has already been there and done it and will help you do it too, then check out the year-long mentorship and coaching program, The Interior Design Business Bakery. If your interior design business revenue is below $300,000, or if you're struggling to make a profit and keep your sanity, this is the only program for you. You can find that information at designedforthecreativemind.com/business-bakery. Check it out. You won't regret it.
Michelle Lynne: So okay, so speaking of professionals, we can attract clients through there. But also, you know, as I've grown and looked for additional people, I never thought about going to LinkedIn to hire a team member or, you know, different types of business partnerships that could potentially be sitting out there waiting for you.
Donna Serdula: Oh, my goodness, not only that, Michelle, but I mean, those people that are calling you that you've met, that you know, check them out on LinkedIn. You know, do your own due diligence and say, is the someone that I want to work for? But maybe, maybe you go on and you look at their network, and then you can go in and say, hey, it was a pleasure meeting you and talking to you and working with you, I visited LinkedIn, and I see that you have five connections that I think I can make a real big impact with. Would you be open to making an introduction for me?
Michelle Lynne: Donna, can you just say that for me? That sounds so much easier than it is to actually ask. Because you're right, it is so simple.
Donna Serdula: Yeah, asking for referrals is always hard.
Michelle Lynne: But professionals understand that.
Donna Serdula: Not only do professionals understand that, but LinkedIn allows you, if you are connected, once you and I are connected, Michelle, I'm gonna be able to see all of the people that you're connected to. I'll see your network.
Michelle Lynne: I'm gonna have to hire you to fix my LinkedIn profile before you actually see it. Is that possible?
Donna Serdula: This is, so I started my business back in 2009, so I've been doing this a very, very long time. But the one thing I realized is, it doesn't matter who you are, it doesn't matter what you do. You can be the best writer, you can be be the best leader, you can be the best person in business development. No matter who you are, what you do, it's always hard to write about yourself.
Michelle Lynne: Yeah.
Donna Serdula: To see yourself with that clarity, that focus, you can't gain it because you're so close, you're so close. So you need to reach out to someone and say, hey, professional writer, let me talk to you, let me tell you about myself, let me give you all this great information. And then they do it for you.
Michelle Lynne: It has made such a difference, just even from like hiring a website copywriter, because what we do is so familiar to emails and stuff like that. I'd never thought about it for LinkedIn. But what you're saying is it so robust.
Donna Serdula: It is. It is.
Michelle Lynne: It's so robust.
Donna Serdula: And you want it to build upon the properties that are already out there that you own, right? You don't want it to have the exact same about section from your website, or the bio that you already provided. The person's gonna be like, oh this stuff. They came to your profile because they want to learn a little bit more.
Michelle Lynne: Yes. And I would be the one, oh, I've got a bio, just put it up there. So yeah, you're right. Let's give it a little bit of extra flavor wherever you go.
Donna Serdula: Yeah.
Michelle Lynne: How do you navigate? So I have a personal profile, right? And let's say some of our audience may not have a personal profile, because they don't come out of corporate. How do you overcome maybe not having a lot of different backgrounds, and then just hopping onto LinkedIn as a relatively new inexperienced interior designer? Like, I don't want to wait till I have 10 years of experience before going onto LinkedIn and saying I have 10 years of experience. How would you overcome that?
Donna Serdula: I don't think it's anything to overcome. It's who you are and embrace it. And tell that story that says, hey, I'm up and coming. I've cut my teeth, I've worked on my own, I've done this, I've gone to school. Realize that it's not a detriment. It's not a detriment. In some ways, people want to work with someone like that, who's new and fresh, and up and coming.
Michelle Lynne: I know the audience is going to love hearing that, Donna, because it's so true. It's not a detriment. It's not an obstacle. I think that oftentimes, we get so stuck in our head about that. And it's just, like you said, as you're telling your story, you can weave it in saying, I've been doing this forever, I'm just starting to get paid for it. This is my experience. I've raised and launched a couple children, so I know what works and doesn't work in a house and, you know, whatever your background is, tell that story and own it.
Donna Serdula: And, you know, like I said, I've been doing this for so long. And like to me, it's always funny. I have one client who will say, I've been at a position for 30 years, how do I overcome that? You know, that, am I a dinosaur? Am I stagnant because I've been there for so long? And then on the flip side, I get a client who says, I've been up and down, and moving from company to company, how do I overcome that? It's never, it's not how do you overcome it, it's how do you tell the story that showcases that as, you know, the skill, the strength, the something that people need.
Michelle Lynne: I love that. Yeah, it's a story and we all have one.
Donna Serdula: Yeah. But everyone always thinks it's the wrong, it's a negative. We always think it is.
Michelle Lynne: Like you said, we're so close to it. It just seems kind of blah.
Donna Serdula: Yeah.
Michelle Lynne: Okay, so do you have a personal profile and/or a company profile?
Donna Serdula: So everyone has a personal profile. Everyone across the board should have a personal profile, and a profile that tells your story that explains who you are, and what you do, and all of that good stuff. And then if you are, in fact, a business owner, and represent in a marketing capacity a company, you can then create a company page. Alright, and that company page is connected to your profile. And when you go into the experiences, and you say, okay, I am now working at this company, and you tag it from the drop list, that logo that you apply to the company page will now populate the company on your profile for that current experience. And it will roll and it spiders out. All of the employees will then have that logo. So if you're looking at your profile, and you going, oh, I don't have a pretty logo, I've got what looks like a great building, you don't have a company page, or you didn't link the company page correctly.
Michelle Lynne: There you go.
Donna Serdula: There you go.
Michelle Lynne: And so what do you do with the company page? Like, do you maintain it like you do, or does it just kind of sit there?
Donna Serdula: It depends. I think for a lot of people, you want to have a great looking company page, you want to upload the background graphic, you want to put in your tagline, you want to put in your specialties, you want to put in your locations, you want to give a nice description of the company and who your target audience is, and what do you specialize in. Like all of that, you know, like, really optimize it as well.
Michelle Lynne: And don't rinse and repeat your website copy.
Donna Serdula: Exactly. Because a person goes to your website for some information, and then they may come to LinkedIn, for other information. I mean, heck, you might be using LinkedIn, really, for recruiting purposes. So maybe what you're going to be putting in there isn't necessarily for clients, but it's for candidates. Job candidates.
Michelle Lynne: Oh, there you go. Yeah.
Donna Serdula: So you want to really cater that message strategically to the audience that is going to be coming in and looking. But now that you had this beautiful company page, and it looks lovely, what do you do? Now, what can you do, you could certainly start posting on behalf of the company, and you want to be getting followers as opposed to connections.
Michelle Lynne: Right.
Donna Serdula: You can absolutely start building that. But you might also say, hey, I'm a solopreneur, I'm a one-lady show, I don't have time for my company page and my profile, Instagram, and Facebook. So if that's the situation, I'm not going to say you need to be spitting out content constantly on LinkedIn as your company page. I think come up with, you know, four seasonal posts that, you know, will go out. And then the majority of what you do should be connected to your personal account.
Michelle Lynne: Right. That makes sense. Because you'll have more connections and people see more of it anyway, versus your followers that might be five, including your mom.
Donna Serdula: Yeah. And so don't get overwhelmed. And that's the other part with LinkedIn, right? Because you look at Instagram, it's like, okay, I've got to do three posts today, and three posts tomorrow, and three posts the next day, and that's a lot of content, that's a lot of content. With LinkedIn, the posts live longer, they live longer. And what a successful post on LinkedIn has is one, it has a hook that gets people to want to read more, and to dwell on that post, stay on that post reading it. So posts on LinkedIn tend to be a little bit longer. You want to make sure you have three to five hashtags, not 30. So just a small, just a handful, three to five. And then you want to make sure that you're asking your audience to engage with you.
Michelle Lynne: So leave them with a question.
Donna Serdula: Yes, there is a call to engagement. Yeah. And ask for their input, ask for their opinion, ask for their help. Because posts that do well on LinkedIn are posts where people are liking, and they're commenting, and there's conversations taking place.
Michelle Lynne: That get bumped and boosted and more eyeballs on it.
Donna Serdula: Yes, they do. When you get that engagement. So if you just put a post out that says, hey, check out this living room I just, you know, beautified
Michelle Lynne: Whomp, whomp, whomp.
Donna Serdula: But what color scheme, like maybe post two pictures, which color scheme do you prefer, the purple or the orange? And suddenly people are now compelled to say, oh, I definitely like the purple.
Michelle Lynne: That sounds like a pretty easy recipe.
Donna Serdula: It sounds easy, but it does take time because LinkedIn wants quality over quantity.
Michelle Lynne: That makes sense.
Donna Serdula: And so what I would say to your audience is, you know, maybe look at the posts that have done really well on Instagram, and maybe start to repurpose. And repurpose one a week on LinkedIn. You don't have to do one every day. I mean, if you can, if you can, do it. I mean, come on. But I'm talking to that average, normal, everyday person, who has their family, and they have their company, and they've got their clients. And you've got to, you've got to
Michelle Lynne: It's real life.
Donna Serdula: Yeah. So what's real life? If you could do one post a week on LinkedIn, you're doing better than 90% of the other users on LinkedIn.
Michelle Lynne: That's fantastic. I love that. Okay, okay. Well, Donna, I love talking business and it's like my love language, but I also like to have fun. So everything you said is just so spot on in regards to, as a business owner, this is what we need to be doing. And this is a new platform that is going to provide results when done consistently.
Donna Serdula: Yeah.
Michelle Lynne: Okay. Okay. Well, let's hop into this next segment. It's a little bit of, this is the fun. And then when we're done, I will make sure that you can share where people can find you. So I'm gonna hold them hostage for now and ask you, Donna, what is your favorite ice cream?
Donna Serdula: Oh, mint chocolate chip.
Michelle Lynne: Oh, yum.
Donna Serdula: Oh, gosh.
Michelle Lynne: As we get hungry. What is your favorite book?
Donna Serdula: Um, can I say mine?
Michelle Lynne: Yeah, that's a great idea.
Donna Serdula: I love all books. But I do love Tim Ferriss a lot. So I love his, you know, The Four Hour Body and The Four Hour Chef, I love all of those. I love Napoleon Hill. I love all those books. So any business book, ya got me.
Michelle Lynne: Okay, so I just started reading one, have you read Traction by Gino Wickman?
Donna Serdula: No, I haven't.
Michelle Lynne: Oh my gosh, this is so good. And it just kind of takes you outside of your business, gives you a 30,000-foot view. Because like we were just talking about with like telling our own story on LinkedIn, we feel like we know our business so well, but there's different ways to look at it. So that would be a recommendation as well.
Donna Serdula: Traction, I love it.
Michelle Lynne: I love books, too. So just got off course there. Okay, so if you won $10 million tomorrow, where would you spend it? What would you do?
Donna Serdula: Oh, my goodness gracious. $10 million. I would buy a house. Right, like by the shore, by the beach.
Michelle Lynne: Yeah.
Donna Serdula: I would definitely do that. I would probably put it towards education.
Michelle Lynne: Some more books?
Donna Serdula: Yeah, you know, I think I'm more of a practical type. I was always like, I was really amazed at all of the millionaires who are buying, you know, like building rockets to the moon.
Michelle Lynne: You've got to have a lot leftover to build a rocket to the moon. Well, and depending on where you bought your beach house, a lot of it could be gone.
Donna Serdula: A lot could be yes. Yeah.
Michelle Lynne: So if you couldn't be in the profession you're in now, you just mentioned education. If you couldn't be in the profession you're in now, what would you be instead? What would you be doing?
Donna Serdula: What would I be doing if I wasn't doing this? I would probably be a teacher.
Michelle Lynne: Which you kind of are. Yeah.
Donna Serdula: Yeah. My mother was a teacher. My sister's a teacher. My grandfather was a teacher. So in some ways, I am still a teacher, right? But I think I would never be able to like truly not be doing that.
Michelle Lynne: I understand that. Yeah, I completely understand that. Okay, what is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
Donna Serdula: My husband, when I get his birthday cake made, it will say Happy 14th Birthday. How strange is that? He was born on Leap Year.
Michelle Lynne: That is greatness. Oh, that is so fun. I know, I had to stop and think. If you guys could see the video, I was very perplexed.
Donna Serdula: That's why I stopped.
Michelle Lynne: That is greatness. Okay, when was the last time you laughed so hard, you nearly or did, pee yourself?
Donna Serdula: I had two 10-pound boys, Michelle.
Michelle Lynne: Well, if you're laughing really hard, that's a good thing. It's when you're doing jumping jacks and walking up the stairs. It's completely different.
Donna Serdula: You know, we always, we're always laughing. With my company, we're always texting and back and forth. My son just celebrated his ninth birthday, and we went to Giggleberry Fair, which is like, what a great name for like a little arcade, you know, and you have all of these kids. It's like, I don't know, every day, I'm laughing. Every day, I'm happy to be, I don't want to call myself an entrepreneur, but to have my own company, to be helping people, to be making a difference. I'm always laughing and happy.
Michelle Lynne: I love that.
Donna Serdula: It's a blessing.
Michelle Lynne: Life is too short otherwise.
Donna Serdula: It's a blessing.
Michelle Lynne: All right, last one, what is your favorite productivity hack?
Donna Serdula: Oh, Calendly, calendly.com. Oh, my gosh, that just, that changed the nature of my business. So if people don't know, it's really just, it's a calendar app. And you know, rather than say, hey, let's talk, give me some times that work. And then, you know, just that never ending back and forth. It's just here, click this link and schedule a time. It makes a huge difference. And I do believe that with business, it is forged in those real-world connections and relationships and conversations. I mean, you can start off on social media, you can start off on LinkedIn going back and forth. But it really doesn't cement until you've had that real conversation.
Michelle Lynne: Yeah, even more so than email, because email can go back and forth, but just a face to face or a telephone call. Huge difference.
Donna Serdula: Yeah. So to me, the faster you can bridge that gap and start talking to a person, and you know, I use Calendly. There's a slew of tools like that. But I really think to be able to say book some time on my calendar and let me make it as easy for you as possible.
Michelle Lynne: Yes, I agree. Love it. Love, love, love it. All right. Well, Donna, thank you so much for being on the show today. I've really enjoyed this conversation. It is just, like you said, it's so nice to just connect and share your expertise. And I know the audience has loved everything you've said, too. I'm sure they're scrambling and taking a bunch of notes. Tell them how or where they can connect with you. I'm sure you're on LinkedIn.
Donna Serdula: Funny you say that, I'm absolutely on LinkedIn. You can follow me on LinkedIn, but you can visit my website, which is linkedin-makeover.com, actually, you don't even need to put the dash, linkedinmakeover.com. And I will say this, I do things very, very, I think it's rather unusual. One, I give away a lot of information so check out the free resources. I have a LinkedIn headline generator that will generate a beautiful headline. I have a LinkedIn post idea generator, so if you want to start getting active on LinkedIn but you don't know what to write about, what to be posting, I give three ideas every day. And these are easy topics that just spur you know, like, oh, this is something I can write about. This is something I can post. And I even put the hashtags in there. So it makes it really, really simple. But if you're looking and saying, hey, you know, I really want someone to write my LinkedIn profile, or I've got a team of designers and all of them need to look good and I need them all to look cohesive and unified and high-level, we can do that. All of our pricing is on our website. And you can easily book time, my phone number is there, pick up the phone and call me.
Michelle Lynne: Fabulous.
Donna Serdula: I'm here and I love interfacing and dialoguing with people.
Michelle Lynne: I can tell. It's just, it comes across. And I think that when you're passionate about what you do, people feel that, and it allows for that enthusiasm to trickle over into what we take away and do. So thank you so much. It's awesome. Okay, I will make sure all of those details are in the show notes. So the audience can reference those in case y'all are driving. And for those of you who can benefit from even more resources surrounding the business of running your interior design business, as a reminder, I have a growing community on Facebook's private group, okay. It's called the Interior Designers Business Launchpad. And then of course, there's my paid program called the Interior Design Business Bakery. And we've got this podcast and just all sorts of different ways that we can connect. So head on over to designedforthecreativemind.com, and let's connect. And thank you again, Donna for being here.
Donna Serdula: Thank you, I really appreciate it.
Michelle Lynne: Hey, y'all, so after I signed off with Donna, she let me know that she actually has a little mini course that can help you DIY your profile instantly. It's optimizing your LinkedIn profile, fast, easy, lots of copy and paste, ideas, examples and so forth. So you can go to, and she's given us a discount. So if you go to www.LinkedInMakeover.com/LinkedIn-training-guides, go to that. I'm gonna put this in the show notes as well and use the code DFCM, Designed for the Creative Mind, DFCM. And she is offering a discount to the audience. Y'all, it's already so, so, so low priced. I told her she needed to increase the price. So hurry on over, check that out. And let me know how it works.
Michelle Lynne: Hey, y'all, if you love the show and find it useful, I would really appreciate it if you would share with your friends and followers. And if you like what you're hearing, want to put a face with a name and get even more business advice, then join me in my Facebook group, the Interior Designers Business Launchpad. Yeah, I know it's Facebook, but just come on in for the training and then leave without scrolling your feed. It's fun. I promise you'll enjoy it. And finally, I hear it's good for business to get ratings on your podcast. So please drop yours on whatever platform you use to listen to this. We're all about community over competition. So let's work on elevating our industry, one designer at a time. See you next time.