Thursday, February 13, 2014

Why are so many people on LinkedIn changing jobs?

Have you noticed that an inordinate number of your LinkedIn connections are changing jobs or getting new positions and posting them? You congratulate them and recognize them and think, “Wait, isn't that the position she’s held for the past 3 years?”!

It probably is! Anytime you update your profile in LinkedIn, LinkedIn defaults to ‘tell the world’.

For example, all of the workforce organizations in Florida’s workforce system recently underwent a statewide unified branding effort, renaming all regional workforce agencies CareerSource to match the statewide brand. Of course, those associated with this change – hundreds throughout the state – updated their LinkedIn profiles to reflect the name change. Voila, a large number of perceived new positions and associated congratulations flying around LinkedIn.

There is an easy way to avoid all of the confusion. If you want to make minor updates to your LinkedIn profile that you don’t necessarily want to broadcast to the world, follow these simple steps:
  1. Login to your LinkedIn account
  2. Click on your photo in the upper right hand corner to update your Account & Settings
  3. Click on Review next to Privacy & Settings
  4. Click on Turn On/Off Your Activity Broadcasts
  5. Click off Let people know when you change your profile, make recommendations, or follow companies
  6. Save changes

If you decide later to make a change that you do want to broadcast, follow the same steps to turn the feature back on.

Happy updating!

Kerry Brooks is Co-owner of ProfessionalEdge Associates, offering a wide range of marketing, event planning and support services to businesses that want to increase their success, but aren't in a position to add to their staff. Learn more at

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

What tasks could you outsource to help support your business?

Entrepreneur, solopreneur, mompreneur... These are all words that have become very popular because the number of people owning or starting a business is at an all-time high. 

That means there are more great minds than ever available to help you run a successful business. Let’s face it, you are great at what you do, but most small business owners don’t have all of the skills necessary to fully run a business. One way or another, you need support. But it’s likely that you don’t require full time staff to conduct every area of your business.

Outsourcing some or all of the core functions of your business can provide you with a higher level of support for far less than it can cost to have someone on staff. There are many small companies available to help with your accounting, marketing and social media, IT, event planning, administration, and more. These core business services are all vital to the success of every small business. But not every small business can afford to hire all of these positions.

Here’s an example. One of our clients is a small start-up. They have 11 staff members, and all of them work on the core function of their business. It is vital to their success that they have every one of those positions. But they also work on government contracts, and that requires very specific accounting, contracting, and administrative skills they don’t possess.  Instead of hiring accounting, contracting, and administrative staff that would have to replace those 11 key positions, they have outsourced accounting, administration, contracting and marketing to small businesses that specialize in providing those services. For significantly less than what they would pay for a full time bookkeeper, they have hired an accounting consulting firm and they receive the benefit of at least five different individuals with five different skill levels, from entry level bookkeeping to tax experts and a CPA. Hourly rates paid are based on the level of skill provided. The accounting firm understands the intricacies of the business and serves as the organization’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO), a function this small company couldn't afford at this stage in their business.

A marketing/social media consulting firm can provide consistent, strategic outreach to your clients and prospective clients keeping your time free to bring in new business and focus on your core business areas.

If you don’t already have IT skills on staff, it makes sense to hire an IT consulting firm to cover those skills.

The impact to your budget will be minimal but the impact to your business can be substantial if you take your time and select consultant companies for the right tasks the same way you would hire someone internally.

What tasks do you think you may be able to outsource that would help support your business?

Kerry Brooks is Co-owner of ProfessionalEdge Associates, offering a wide range of administrative, marketing, event planning and other support services to businesses that want to increase their success, but aren't in a position to add to their staff. Learn more at

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

In Pursuit of Your Dreams

Have you always wanted to get your pilot’s license, start a business, write a book or hike the Appalachian Trail?

We all have dreams. Some of us want to do something different than what we do day in and day out. Some of us want to add a little excitement to our lives or improve ourselves in some way. Some of us are working on a bucket list. But we all have the same thing in common. We all want to know where we need to start and how to get there

Recently, we held a virtual conference called Women on the Edge (of Greatness!) a series of inspirational and practical online workshops, keynotes and other sessions designed to help attendees  get started on their dreams.

We covered a multitude of topics, including business basics and resources, setting up a non-profit, networking, knowing yourself, experimenting and other inspirational sessions to set attendees on the path to pursue their dreams. The sessions covered many different subjects, but the underlying elements were consistent throughout, so we thought we’d share them with you.

Set Goals
No matter what you are pursuing – your New Year’s resolutions, starting a business, improving finances, etc. – goals are key. Set them, write them down, and stay on top of them to be sure you are on track to meeting them. This one step will greatly increase your chances of success.

Build and Nurture Relationships
Surround yourself with people who support you in your goals and dreams. Be sure you have the right people around you – people to fill the various important roles to help you on your journey. Nurture those relationships and add new people if some important roles aren’t being fulfilled.

Be Accountable
It’s hard to keep on track toward any goal if you aren’t accountable to someone. That’s why programs like Weight Watchers are so much more successful than going it alone. Find a partner or partners to check in with on a regular basis. Review your goals and progress toward achieving them with your partner to help you stay on point.

Cut the Clutter
Removing some of the busyness and clutter from your life will free your mind to focus on your dreams. Yes, life is busy and crazy. But look over your list and see if there’s anything that isn’t helping you achieve your dream. Then say no to it. It’s ok, the world won’t end. We promise.

Don’t be Afraid to Fail
You will trip up along the way. Some things will go as planned, but most will take a different journey than you expected. The only way to learn is to try and fail and get up and try again.

Above everything else, just start. You have to begin a journey in order to move along it. Will there be setbacks? Of course there will. Adjust as necessary. But one thing is certain; you’ll never achieve your dreams if you don’t start.

These steps represent the basics covered throughout these sessions. There is so much more to gain from them and all of the complete sessions are available as recordings. Contact us at to learn how you can benefit from this fabulous resource to get you started on your dream.

Good luck!

Kerry Brooks is Co-owner of ProfessionalEdge Associates, offering a wide range of marketing, event planning and support services to businesses that want to increase their success, but aren't in a position to add to their staff. Learn more at