Being a Millennial Climbing the Ladder and Pursuing Joy in Passion Projects with Abby Burlile

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With over 310M active users each month and an estimated 145M users active each day the impact of having a current and active presence on LinkedIn is huge in the world of B2B Marketing and Sales.

I’ve long been an advocate for taking the quarterly fresh look at your profile and being active on LinkedIn and in 2020 that becomes even more important. Here’s where you can get the most out of LinkedIn:

1. Increased Visibility

Connecting to the people you want to work with and the people you are working with is a great start – that initial connection will bring you top of mind for about 3 seconds. To become memorable you have to increase your visibility. Extra credit awards for consistency.

How to implement today: Post a status update at least 1x a week. Will everyone in your network see it? No, but a percentage of them will and if your content is of-service to them you’ll be making an impact.

2. Create Deeper Connections for Greater Impact

Have you ever been to a dinner party and had the unfortunate experience of sitting next to the person very (very) excited to talk about themselves? It’s the only topic that interests them. LinkedIn is a lot like a dinner party. Make sure you’re not just there talking about yourself.

How to implement today: Like and comment on the content someone in your network has posted about. If you feel like the content would be of-service to your network click the share button.

3. Ambassador within Your Organization

Over 30 million companies are represented on LinkedIn so it’s a pretty good bet that your organization is too. When you share your companies content you’re doing a few things: you showcase your loyalty (which is good even if you’re looking for a new role), have internal visibility as an ambassador and you provide an easy point of conversation starters with your network on the work you’re doing today.

How to implement today: Follow your company on LinkedIn and share a recent post that would be of-service to your network.

4. Establish Expertise

Let’s play out a scenario for a moment: You are lost in the middle of nowhere and your mobile phone has no service. You mercifully find a gas station and you ask for directions to a hotel – the first person says “I’ve never been but I bet it’s about 2 miles down the road on the right” and the second person says “I stayed there last night, it’s 5 miles down the road, take a left by the old movie theater and you’ll see it on the left.” Which persons directions do you take? The one that has established they’ve been there. They have expertise. LinkedIn is a great place for you to establish YOUR expertise. The key to doing this is framing it to be of-service.

How to implement today: Ask yourself this question. What is something I’ve learned this month that would be helpful to a specific person in my network? Send them a LinkedIn message which has better deliverability than email by a whopping 63%. Would that lesson be helpful to more than 10 people in my network? Post THAT.

5. Create Long Tail ROI in Events

The role of events in B2B environments is critical. With workforces spread across the country and remote working growing in popularity getting real engagement in person is even rarer which necessitates showing up to connect for the long tail of events.

How to implement today: Block 1 hour the first business day you’re back in the office after every event you’re attending in 2020 to connect with the people you engaged with from your peers, prospects to those that were on panels you enjoyed.

Cass McCrory is a B2B Social Influence and Selling Expert bringing LinkedIn into focus to establish expertise, connection, and impact. You can learn more about how Cass drives big change through your most powerful asset: your team on social media.


Set your timer for 10 minutes and turn everything else off. We all know that distractions will make this take weeks.

  • Check your profile photo. If it was taken prior to 2015 you need a new photo. Professional and current is best. At the VERY least make sure it’s a photo of ONLY you, and it reflects how you’d present yourself in a first business introduction. Your mobile will do a great job at taking this picture – just don’t do a selfie: hand your phone to a colleague, face some natural light and smile. Make that profile photo visible so people can connect the dots from when they met you in person.
  • Update your Headline Statement. This is NOT a place for your job title to hang out alone. This is your introduction to THE person you most want to connect with telling them WHY they should go ahead and click on your face to learn more. This is one of the few pieces of information that can use to identify if you’re the person they’re searching for. See this image for the plight of John Smith.
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Here’s mine: Marketing Strategist | B2B Social Influence & Selling Trainer | Podcast Host at Real Women in Business ☕️

Sales example: Bringing cloud & #IoT solutions to manufacturing companies for greater efficiency with COMPANY NAME

Marketing example: Introducing COMPANY NAME #IoT solutions to TARGET CLIENT INDUSTRY.

  • Summary Statement Review. First, you have to read it. This should take you no more than 90 seconds. If it takes you more, you need a red pen.

Think of this as the first place you have to make a real impression.

Did I mention that we all know that you wrote this? For that reason do not make it sound like Morgan Freeman is reading it as the master of ceremonies before you step on stage to speak. You want it to have three parts and sound like YOU.

1. A hook. What will make the person you most want to connect with click that very elusive “see more” link?

2. What you do and what gives you the business to do it.

3. Who you are outside of work. People connect with people. Be real and you’ll make a lasting impression.

  • Check your title – make sure it’s current and if your company is like most companies provide some clues to what your title actually MEANS in the description along with a quick one sentence about what your company does – you can usually find something suitable at the bottom of your companies current press releases.

Did you need this 10-minute update? It’s likely someone else in your network will too. I would be so grateful if you clicked on that Like button right below this (or at the top of the page) and the LinkedIn icon (right next to comment) to share it with your network. 

Want to bring a more comprehensive update and direction to your team? Reach out either here on LinkedIn or learn more about training here.

In today’s episode, we talk to Daina Middleton. Daina has had an amazing career and she walks us through her dynamic journey from HP to Twitter to the new ventures she’s starting. We learn with and from somebody that has led an impactful life, not only through cultivating strong relationships but by learning and generating tools along the way.

We begin this conversation by talking about all of the different things Daina identifies as right now – an author, artist, participant marketer, and explorer – and through the entire story we find out even more about the roles she takes on in her day-to-day life, and the empowering model that this type of thinking creates.

Where you can find Daina:




References mentioned:

Grace Meets Grit: How to Bring Out the Remarkable, Courageous Leader Within by Daina Middleton

Friends in this episode we’re talking to the amazing Suzanne Piotrowski. I was so excited to speak with Suzanne ahead of our interview because I’ve been a long-time admirer of how she’s cultivated the work she does.
In this conversation, we talk about being an entrepreneur as a consultant and being a TEDx organizer. Suzanne is an expert at helping people and companies change for good. Digging deep into intention towards a solution. We talk about how to be ready for what we are not prepared to hear. The one skill as a leader you need to be tuning right now.
Suzanne shares this one line that has been really shifting for me in work and parenting too: Don’t do anything about me without me.
Keep in touch with Suzanne:

Friends, in this episode we meet Rana Lee. Based in Chicago, she is a principal director of business development with the SmithGroup and is a self-described curious leader, mentor, and disruptor. 

This is an amazing conversation — don’t listen to this one while you’re driving because you’re going to need your pen and paper to take notes. We talk about developing yourself as a leader, doing so with great intention and purpose, really identifying the season that you’re in, and having focus and dedication to it. 

And, finally, we get into the very specific work of making jam. You wouldn’t think that this all ties together, but it is so sticky and delicious that it does. I am so excited to share Rana with you today.

Where you can find Rana:





References mentioned:

How Women Rise Sally Someone: Break the 12 Habits Holding You Back from Your Next Raise, Promotion, or Job by Sally HegelsenWhen Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of American Women from 1960 to the Present by Gail Collins

In this episode, we sit down with Sharada Sullivan who is the Sr Director, Finance – GWS North Division at CBRE a global commercial real estate firm and a wife & mom.

So frequently we think that in order to advance we need to change jobs and make radical shifts; Sharada shares her experience of advancement, exploring new roles and growing within an organization.

I greatly appreciated Sharada’s vulnerability in sharing about a time when the role wasn’t a perfect fit out of the gate and some really practical insights into how she’s approaching new challenges in real-time.

We talk about grief and the loss of her father and the unexpected journey that led her and her husband to step into being vegan.

We dig in deep on being intentional about family dynamics and I was touched hearing Sharada speak about her husband James, how James brings himself to their family and Sharada’s deep appreciation for how as a unit they work together.

Follow Sharada on LinkedIn –


In this episode, we meet Jenn Folsom, the Chief of Corporate Development at Summit Consulting and author of an upcoming book titled “Ringmaster.” We talk about the marathon of motherhood, why the work-life balance simply doesn’t exist, and the importance of finding some element of passion in everything you do.

A self-defined ringmaster, corporate leader, and mother of three boys, Jenn shares how she sets boundaries at work and ensures that she’s living a full and meaningful life outside of the workplace.

You can find Jenn on her website and purchase Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America by Barbara Ehrenreich at a bookseller near you. Know Your Value, a website that centers women in the workforce, can be found at

All episodes of the Real Women in Business Podcast reflect the opinions and views of the guest and Cass McCrory, and do not reflect official policy or position of employers or clients.

Executive Director within KPMG. Her rich background from the world of journalism & PR and how it led her down a path into consulting. In this episode we dive into the powerful questions Janice has posed herself throughout her career and of others as a mentor & leader.

We dive into some really personally definitions of success and the phrase that infuses through all of Janice’s work: What did we learn?

We’re going to learn a lot together in this one.

You can follow Janice online on LinkedIn:

In this episode, we meet Erin Lafferty, transitioning Chief Financial Officer at Accumen. We talk about that buzz of energy that you feel when you find something that you’d really love to do with your life, the importance or risk-taking for the sake of moving forward, and what happens when we shift our perspective to mindfully responding, rather than instantly reacting.

Originally pursuing a career in psychiatry at UC Berkeley, Erin shifted gears after graduation and entered public accounting. Erin has cultivated significant experience within the start-up space and discovered a passion for their world-changing potential and the challenges of an unconventional work environment. She reflects on how she recharges outside of the workplace and leaves us with the idea that we should not let other people’s perceptions affect our own views of ourselves.

You can find Erin Lafferty on LinkedIn, and The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance – What Women Should Know by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman can be found at a bookseller near you.

All episodes of the Real Women in Business Podcast reflect the opinions and views of the guest and Cass McCrory, and do not reflect official policy or position of employers or clients.