412. From Career Crash to "The LinkedIn Guy"
Suddenly Gregg’s career in radio broadcasting and music marketing came to an end. There he was, no job, no brand, no network, not even on social media. Could he possibly build new relationships on LinkedIn, the way he’d made friends in person? He had to try.
Gregg Burkhalter is a recognized authority on LinkedIn and personal branding and is known as “The LinkedIn Guy.” He has trained countless professionals across the U.S. and Canada to effectively brand themselves and market their businesses on LinkedIn. Gregg spent the first part of his professional career behind the microphone at radio stations in 4 southeast U.S. cities, including Atlanta, Georgia, and in national music marketing and distribution.
How Did You Start Using Your Talents?
“I grew up working on a farm in South Georgia. I got my first professional job, believe it or not, at 16 years old. My father was a school teacher and my mother was a homemaker. My mother went to the business closest to my father’s school to try to find me a job, so that I could ride home with him from work. That job happened to be at a radio station. So, I was either going to be a radio DJ or, if there had been a garage there, I might have been a mechanic. But I became a radio DJ at 16. My earliest memory about that job was the day Elvis Presley died. I remember the teletype’s bells were going ding-ding-ding. I just walked in, read the news wire and learned that Elvis was dead. I went back into the studio, lifted the needle off a vinyl record that was playing— “remember vinyl records?”—and I announced, ‘Elvis Presley is dead.’”
The Most Impactful Turning Point?
After a career of successes in radio broadcasting and music marketing and distribution, Gregg suddenly found himself jobless. “Here I am, no job, no brand, no network, and I’m not even on social media! A friend, feeling very sorry for me, said, ‘You’ve got to do two things to get a job nowadays: get a business card printed up, which makes it look like you have a job, and get on Linkedin.com. I didn’t have a strategy so I came up with one: to build relationships online like I do in person.” As requests started coming in for him to speak about LinkedIn.com, he realized, “I am becoming a LinkedIn authority, and I could I become the LinkedIn Guy! In June of last year, I started my own company. It has been absolutely amazing!”
The Most Powerful Lessons Learned?
“Life is about helping others, about having a bigger purpose in life. In fact, I believe that you are really getting close to your sweet spot when your career and your calling merge. That is the sweet spot for me.”
Steps to Success from Gregg Burkhalter
1. Relationships matter. Put them first and cultivate them, online and off.
2. It takes a lot longer to rebuild a personal brand than it does to build it correctly the first time.
3. Unless you own the company, don’t build your personal brand around it. Build it around yourself.
4. If you are growing your personal brand, or creating a vehicle that is transferable, then your brand will always grow.
On His Bookshelf
“I’m sort of an inspirational quote guy. I have a couple of quotes that come to mind. One is from Maya Angelou: ‘I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.’ Another one is from Dr. Seuss: ‘Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.’ To throw a little rock and roll philosophy into this, the lead singer of Lynyrd Skynyrd, Johnny VanZant, wrote in one of his songs, “If you want to hear God laugh, tell him your plans.”
Top Tools on His Browser
Connecting With Gregg Burkhalter
Website URL: www.GreggBurkhalter.com
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