My business page has few followers, why? Because I believe it’s due to people want to engage with a person.(Being an independent people want to get to the decision maker.) Someone with a personality that they can gauge with, interact, rather than a logo. (Also I do invest a great deal of time in my clients pages.)

We all need a brand, a logo to trade under, something that identifies you with your workplace and your business and product, but in the end most people want to talk, speak to the decision maker the person that will be their point of contact. They can build a rapport with a trust and also be able to share and discuss any ideas, concerns to find solutions.

Simply in this world of many ways to communicate, automate and progress, people still like to put a face to a name.

Using LinkedIn does just that, utilising a platform (that you can pay for, I do for additional credits, but rarely use them in honesty,) that breaks down a barrier, you can be seen by others instantly, enabling them to gauge a brief over view of your experience, within seconds, and also showcase your skills.

Getting it right, and that first impression are essential!

A photograph:

It’s really worthwhile having a professional/work orientated image or a photo reflecting something that you do for work, refrain from including your children, pet, view of your back, unless of course you are, a vet, a chiropractor (because you know it shows a bit of personality.) Always exclude having children in pictures, one for their safety and two you want to show personality but this is not Facebook, you want to keep your privacy which is essential for business.

Tagline:

You don’t need to put your business title, place of work, or in fact qualifications, these are all found later in your profile. Use your tagline to engage, share your skills in a different way, announce what you want others to know, and showcase yourself and experience (you can use some hashtags now as LinkedIn uses them, I personally don’t in my tagline choosing to use them in posts.)

Job roles/career:

Be honest!

Link with their page if they have one, and get the years correct, there is no need to list copious temping rolls, whilst you were deciding what path to take, these can be grouped together and generalised.

Voluntary/other areas can be listed elsewhere on your profile filling any gaps such as travelling or study, or as we are all human if there is a gap for maternity, parenting, or care for a relative or your own ill health, time out is allowed, don’t be scared of this, if you want to list it do, if not leave it out, don’t beat yourself up about a year, a period of time, remember it is not Facebook this is your professional business profile.

Recommendations:

There are many areas where you can automatically build links on LinkedIn, recommendations from clients, work colleagues, customers, or even educators, can do a great deal more than skill acknowledgements. In honesty I use the skills section very little as it’s becoming dormant and replaced with recommendations and hashtags, which build your appearance in searches.

Do I have to be constantly active on LinkedIn?

Simply no, however shares of posts everyday, liking your clients posts, following key players in which your business could benefit being part off, is worthwhile taking the time.

It breaks down barriers!

GDPR has caused blocks for many points of contact for sales teams, utilising LinkedIn by sending a thought through message, with a respectful tone, introducing yourself and your business, could be the break down to this barrier that you need.

How can this do any harm?

As long as your not being pushy, identify how you believe your skills would benefit others, and are honest, they can respond, ignore or simply delete. I have declined many connections (usually from Chinese tool makers due to my work in manufacturing,) however I have always responded, and thanked them for the time they took to connect with me, explaining the connection would not be of benefit to my work at the time, and I’m not looking to expand my network in this way.

Honesty is the best policy. You do not know where these people will be working in the future, it isn’t worth while creating animosity or inflaming someone be polite and honest, in the end it’s what we all want right?

Engage:

A like, a share, a celebrate, a congratulate, all of these things are worthwhile, for you and also the business. If your colleagues are sharing posts related to work, ask them to include you, if you share this post not only does it build the reach, it shows collaboration with your colleagues. This can be a gradual process, but getting colleagues, and connections to support you in this is important, there is only so much one person can do, (and still have a life and make eye contact with people 😀, ) you need to work together, to build awareness, capabilities and lasting contacts, that will benefit you and your role within your business, these leads and links may not come to fruition for years, but in a business it’s the seeds sown, and the visibility that builds these.

Speak to your line managers, bring it up in meetings, that time is needed for participation, (however senior management need to be engaged to take the lead, to bring the business to the forefront.) Also do not see this as interference with your personal life LinkedIn is for business, it is not Snapchat this is a profile of you, capturing your skills and business experience, within your status you can always stipulate your views are your own, however this often can build a barrier and is better placed in Twitter as this is a more freestyle platform with quick responses, and many more posts with a smaller limit of characters.

If you are dedicated to the growth of your business, want to encourage and support your colleagues, learn more about others, and have the mindset that sharing information is power, then LinkedIn is the platform for you.

Use it wisely, learn from it, follow relevant hashtags, engage* with these posts, share articles and positivity, encourage investment and collaboration, you will see benefit, even if it’s only for the expansion of your own knowledge and growth, everyone gains from that, you, your colleagues and your workplace.

Importantly make time for it! LinkedIn will teach you something each day.

(We all gain from knowledge but don't neglect books, the printed word is just as powerful! Where do we get all our inspiring quotes for LinkedIn from, many are from books.)


Collaboration over competition.

This is something I have discussed for many years.

We all have an element of a competitive mindset, some feel threatened by others experience, knowledge, qualifications, people they have worked for, business connections they have made, some of us including myself prefer to gain from others knowledge, learn, develop, progress, engage and build themselves, so not only can you have greater knowledge in subject matter, but you show that you want to know more.

I work with others that have skills that enhance my own, enabling me to achieve greater results. Designers, photographers, editors of magazines.... I continue to chat to people to find out more about their work, their ambitions and how we can work together to collaborate and achieve greater things.

Is this suitable for all business’s?

Yes! Particularly currently (even more so during a pandemic.)

Many people forget that we all originate from small communities, which grew due to trading with others, bartering, utilising skills to achieve greater things, we have lost a great deal of those qualities. I believe we are “finding” ourselves again in a different way, by opening our doors, sharing knowledge, and guiding one another.

I will share and admit that I have been “stung” in these processes, people stealing clients, (usually due to cost and often false promises made.) Setting high targets and short time schedules to get work, then not fulfilling the directive.

The most frequent one, (until I found people I trusted,) were web developers literally holding hosting hostage to gain more funds.

Not all collaborations work, however if you learn from experience, it’s experience that improves you.

Honesty within manufacturing and business is truly the best policy, we are all interconnected:

Collaboration marketing PR Comms Manufacturing
Collaboration whilst relaxing a positive.

, logistics company, packaging company, delivery driver, warehouse manager, engineer, designer, developer, quality manager, sales team, marketing, client and consumer, the chain moves frequently with one thing in common, we all need one another to succeed.

Manufacturing is the backbone of our country, without it the simplest of things are not achievable, without the farmer there is no grain, without the grain there is no wheat, without the wheat there is no flour, without the flour there is no bakery, without the bakery there is no bread, without the distributor for said bread there are no supplies, without the supplies there is no stock, without the stock there is no consumer!

Is this a time to work together?

Is this something you should have been doing already building collaborations, to enable and manage a chain of supply that will continue and be consistent?

Is this a time to support one another in a way that provides for staff that prepares for the bounce back in industries that are currently struggling?

Is this the time to market appropriately, seek opportunity, and build on what you have?

The answer to all is yes!

If you already were, then your ahead of the game, if you value your product, your process, your team, then marketing, PR, sharing, and preparing should not be shelved, pro activity is paramount even if it is pushed upon you.

I have worked from home for twelve years, is it because I was preparing for the apocalypse?

No, it was for many reasons, achieving more, focus, limited distractions, ability to assure I took care of my health, valuing time when on site with customers to gain the most out of limited time, enabling and establishing good working relationships, by minimising cost or headcount. Creating the best opportunity for customer, client, collaborator, and my small business, that’s personable and provides an open approach to working with others.

Do I know it all?

No I do not, but what I can say is, I want to learn, learn more about industry, learn more about products, learn more about opportunity, and it’s time we all took time to learn, work together without hidden agenda, and enable everyone to achieve.

Marketing and manufacturing, it’s all worth talking about, and believe me more people are taking time to listen.

As I research, learn more and endeavour to become better at being aware of environmental issues, I find my mind is boggled by the amount of information, facts and alternatives that are being trialled, tested, shared, and promise to save our planet. There are as with any “new phase” a large amount of businesses visibly making changes. (Some I feel ticking the CSR box.) At times it’s difficult to work out what is fact over fiction, and I have found often once you have researched behind the data provided by journalists, the surface has just been scratched. However sensationalising matters provides the impact that a journalist or Eco warrior savours, and gets us all Twitter tagging! In a previous role, I was called by a very agitated Eco warrior, a plastic worshipping fundamentalist. For those of you that have worked with me and know me, the only thing I’m really fundamental about is coffee! I see both sides, find the facts, gain a balanced view, and this I put into my work. This way of working, this ethos of fairness to all parties is important to me. This is why I work in plastics! There is so much misinformation, fables instead of facts, educators not sharing both sides (and in fact are happy to share the negatives with out the positives even being mentioned, ) it is something that causes me to grind my teeth, bite my tongue and at times bite back. How can you compare plastic to paper? How can you say plastic is better than ply wood? How can you say manufacturers are not to blame? How can you say that the seas would be a better cleaner environment, if we as individuals had taken responsibility? It’s simple really, I can, I base my statements on facts, discussions with others, experts in their fields, environmentalists, industry professionals, recognised organisations. I’m not basing my view on these matters because it’s my career choice, I’m basing it on what I have learnt, and feel like so many within our industry, the truth should be recognised. So why can’t I say that plastic is a resource? If managed well, if recycled and repurposed, if investment is made, flexi plastics and rigid plastics that would be exported, incinerated or go to landfill can be used to make quality recycled, granulate, pellet and product. I consistently battle with people over, black plastic can’t be recycled, plastic pellets on the floor can not be reused, flexi plastics just go to waste or are burnt, buried or bung in the ocean (stretching myself there for another b word.) All of the above statements are untrue, these are lies. How do I know this? Well I have talked to those that know, seen the processes, attended course, gained the qualifications, seen the end product and witnessed first hand how investment and innovation, is building a better future through repurposing product that others class as waste. As my Dad used to say “ one mans rubbish is another mans gold.” Of those businesses one stands out. I was introduced to Yes Recycling Ltd, in September of this year. Before meeting with Omer Kutluoglu, I Google searched, viewed “The broadsheets” and industry editorials, to say I was impressed would be an understatement. The materials the business repurposes (bank notes, hard hats, rigid plastics, ) is impressive the innovation and collaboration spanning the last ten years places them as a recycling business ahead of many others. Investment, partnerships and continual research reflect the ethos and success of this business. I was particularly interested in Yes Recycling’s flexible plastic process. Flexi plastics are those items when you go to your recycling bin you question. Is it wrapping? Is it classed as foil? Does it have a metal lining? Is it cardboard? Should I throw it in the bin? Unfortunately due to no regulated recycling system, every council diversifying in different directions, each area having different boxes, bags, bins or caddies, and no real conciseness for sorting recycling (and in addition to the recycling symbols being totally confusing,) recycling streams when they arrive at MRF’s are often muddled, mixed and require further time and investment to sort what was seen by the consumer as sorted. This results in large quantities of material not being recycled at the local authorities MRF, additional expense and waste going to landfill. That’s why I feel Yes Recycling Ltd are an interesting business, the flexi plastics Yes Recycling repurpose and utilised in their unique in-house system, creating a quality multi use material that can be used in extrusion moulding. The unique recycling process itself consists of many individual areas before the flexi plastic becomes a fit for purpose pellet or flake. This process is an example of investing time to create a solution to a problem, enabling profitability for their business, whilst trading ethically and supporting sustainability. So indeed I can quite honestly say that plastic is a resource, if from the start were managed well by individuals (or businesses such as Yes Recycling) we would not have the environmental state of play we find ourselves currently in . I’m thankful that businesses like Yes Recycling exist, and that they have the drive to innovate, invest and create a sustainable business model. By investing time money and effort a circular economic foundation has been established, and can be passed onto other businesses by becoming partners in projects and future endeavours. Plastic is a resource, there is no doubt in my mind, education is key, as is investment and innovation. Solutions can be found for a sustainable future. It just takes effort (if everyone had made an effort would the environment be at the crisis point it is now considered to be? That’s surely worth a moments thought.)


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