My name is Donna Serdula and I love to help people embrace technology and forge a strong personal brand.
I am the author of the book, LinkedIn Profile Optimization For Dummies and LinkedIn MakeoverL Professional Secrets to a POWERFUL LinkedIn Profile.
It was over 10 years ago that I first realized the potential of LinkedIn. Back then I was heading up the Philadelphia office for a technology company. My days were spent filling my sales funnel through cold calling and trying to close business. My view of LinkedIn changed one late afternoon when I connected with a prospect after making my umpteenth phone call of the day. We had a great conversation and I was able to schedule a meeting. I remember excitedly hanging up the phone and immediately opening up Google to perform a search on my new prospect’s name. I wanted to learn as much about this person as possible.
As soon as I hit the Search button, a feeling of dread came over me. Somehow, I just knew that at this exact moment, my prospect was searching my name on Google, too!
What in the world would he find?
I immediately charted a new course of action and googled MY name. My LinkedIn profile was the only pertinent result in the small handful of sites that Google returned. I opened my LinkedIn profile and looked at it through the eyes of my potential client.
How would he react to it?
My LinkedIn profile was plagiarized from my resume. It was only half-completed. There wasn’t a single recommendation on it from a client. I wasn’t a member of any groups nor had I showed allegiance to any association. My Honors and Awards section was BLANK!
A sinking feeling came over me and I realized that my LinkedIn profile did not portray me as a top notch professional. My LinkedIn profile did not sell my skills or show any differentiation between me and the millions of other LinkedIn users out there. My profile basically said, “This lady doesn’t have anything that sets her apart from the crowd.
At that moment I realized this issue needed to be rectified. My LinkedIn profile had to stand out from the crowd and sell me as a dynamic sales professional who naturally attracts clients and opportunities. Not knowing what made a profile great, I decided to research the best LinkedIn profiles to see what made them shine. I slowly began writing and rewriting my LinkedIn profile until I crafted something that was compelling to my readers, showcased my skills, and marketed me as an expert in my field.
Soon after performing my very own LinkedIn makeover, I started to notice that my meetings with prospects began going smoother. It was like they already knew me. Prior to the makeover, I had to work hard to build their confidence. After the makeover, my profile gave my prospects the information they needed to start forming a rapport with me before I even walked through the door. Additionally, recruiters started calling. Old colleagues and schoolmates began contacting me to reconnect.
LinkedIn suddenly started to make sense.
As my LinkedIn inbox began filling with requests to connect, I could not help but use it more. I quickly realized that I could get past the “gatekeeper” by sending InMails straight to decision-makers. It was easy to stay in touch with people I met at industry events simply by requesting to connect with them on LinkedIn afterwards. Before I knew it, I was throwing away business cards and keeping my rolodex of contacts on LinkedIn. By using LinkedIn, I became a sought after sales professional with a rapidly growing customer base.
In 2009, I decided to embark upon a dream: I broke away from the corporate world and started my own business, Vision Board Media. Along with my team of Branding Specialists, I help businesses, executives, and professionals forge a powerful brand while developing strong digital relationships.
Our LinkedIn Makeovers are for the unique individuals who recognize the power of the Internet and how important it is to use this technology to shape their own digital identity. They realize that in order to succeed, they need to take control of their Internet presence and truly present themselves in a way that inspires, impresses, and builds confidence in their abilities, products, and services.
I LOVE working with people from all over the world and helping them create a strong profile on LinkedIn. I’ve worked with people from Australia, New Zealand, Russia, France, Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, India, Canada, and so many other places! My clients are mainly c-level and corporate executives but I have written profiles for television personalities, whiz kid entrepreneurs, martial artists, tug boat captains, and everything in between. Heck, I even wrote the LinkedIn profile for a rather well-known author of books on job search and PERSONAL BRANDING.
I absolutely LOVE what I do! I love helping people market themselves and I get amazing joy knowing my clients are finding opportunities and success after our sessions.
Why I Speak
I haven’t always been a LinkedIn Expert. I started early. I built my first Web site in 1996 and in late-1998 I set up a blog. As the years passed, I utilized my knowledge of blogging and social networking as a sales professional. Just as I was trying to develop relationships with my prospects and customers on a personal level, I immediately recognized the potential of digital relationships as well.
Starting up my business, I knew there was one thing I didn’t want to do… COLD CALL!
In fact, I decided that rather than trying to sell anyone my services, I would instead offer opportunities to educate people. This is how I began speaking again. Again? Yes, you see, I’ve been speaking to groups for over 15 years. The audience has changed but the one thing that hasn’t is the concept of technology. Back in the 90′s I was helping insurance agencies and collision centers embrace computerized estimating and then in the late 2000′s, I helped architects and engineers embrace computer aided drafting and digital prototyping. Now, I help people embrace social networking and personal branding!
I truly love speaking to groups. Nothing gives me greater satisfaction than watching the audience experience that AHA! moment where they suddenly gain clarity around a topic that had befuddled them. I strive to make my presentations exciting, fun and interactive! Your group will not only have a great time but will learn along the way!
My Professional History
I spent 13 years working in Corporate America. I am beyond grateful for having the good fortune to work for some amazing companies and learn from inspiring leaders.
Microdesk Account Executive
I worked for Microdesk for three years. I helped AECO firms in Eastern Pennsylvania (Philadelphia and surrounding areas), Southern New Jersey, and Delaware find the right software and training solutions for their design needs. I also crafted implementation plans and provided the resources that helped firms successfully and easily adopt their new design software.
CCC Information Services
I spent almost 10 years with CCC Information Services in a variety of different positions. In the very beginning I was a contracted trainer, later I became an Account Manager responsible for the Pennsylvania territory. A few years later saw me designing a CRM solution and after that I created a Customer Care department. My last role was as a Sales Analyst. It was while I was a sales analyst that I realized how much I loved sales and I started wondering why was I spending my time analyzing the sale when I could be out there doing it! That’s when I changed directions and went back to being a sales person again. Microdesk afforded me the chance to get back into sales.
Office Computer Concepts
After graduating from college in the mid-90′s. I formed a company that sold and installed hardware for area businesses. It was a great learning experience. Eventually I had to close down shop because Dell and Gateway came along but I enjoyed it while it lasted.
I love helping people. I truly care about my customers. I strive to be the best at whatever I do and I have fun along the way.