By Laura Kempf, NSA Michigan Candidate

I know. I know. Don’t you really mean “always be selling”?

Yeah. That’s the phrase. But something strikes you wrong when you hear the words “sell, sell, sell.”  The image of a used car salesman pops into your head.  High-pressure sales.

That’s why it was so refreshing to hear Phil Gerbyshak discuss selling online as starting with being human first. In his session, “Power Selling on LinkedIn” at NSA-Michigan’s November meeting, Phil went on to describe selling as serving and encouraged the audience to think of the value they bring. 

It’s funny. It’s these types of insights and learnings that keep me coming back to events sponsored by the Michigan chapter of National Speakers Association. The chapter doesn’t have to sell itself because it delivers value in inspiring sessions like these.

As we continued to dive into everything about connecting with human beings on LinkedIn, I couldn’t help but think of how my 14-year old daughter has done this naturally. We’ve watched her grow her TikTok account to 40,000 followers in the last year, with some videos hitting 100,000 views.

First, like Phil said at the end of his presentation, it starts with “doing the work.”  She puts in countless hours doing makeup, prepping makeup, organizing outfits, editing video and pictures, and thinking of unique content. It is her high school sport of sorts and, while she doesn’t think of it now as selling, make no mistake, she is. She is providing valuable and consistent content to her niche of Cosplayers.

(For those of you who don’t have teenagers, “cosplay” originated in Japan as people began dressing up as their favorite character from a comic book, video game, or television show. My daughter tends to favor Japanese characters but any character will do.)

Second, she gratefully posts when she gets a lot of publicity on her posts and supports her fellow Cosplayers doing the same. She doesn’t do it because she’s selling; she does it because it’s important to her to appreciate those who have gotten her to this level. Interestingly enough, Phil had a slide that exclaimed “Respond to everyone every time!” Seems like it would just make sense. Something so easy a 14-year old can do, and yet in this day and age it’s ironic that we have to be told that in a slide presentation.

Lastly, do it because it’s what you love. The great thing about NSA-Michigan is we bring our passions together. Everyone has a message to share and social media has brought the world closer together.  It allows us to find those niche audiences that appreciate our passion no matter where they live. We just need to dig in and do the work.

What will you work on today?

Laura Kempf is an Operations Leader at IBM Watson Health. She is an agent of change, inspiring transformation in people, culture and client experience.