Why Mastering LinkedIn Is Critical for Creators Right Now

Photo by @felipepelaquim on Unsplash

This Is a True Story

Last month I published an article on Mind Cafe that kinda blew up on LinkedIn.

Granted, blowing up on LinkedIn is a lower bar than other social platforms, but for anyone who is frustrated with reposting their content on LinkedIn to little or no engagement, you should read this.

The irony is, I had no idea what I was doing. I had posted a handful of my published articles on LinkedIn before and barely gotten any response. …

Why I like myself better in Italian.

Photo by Gianandrea Villa on Unsplash

Recently I was watching a charming Japanese Netflix series called Giri/Haji (Duty/Shame). At one point, the main character’s teenage lesbian daughter tells her dad why she prefers London to Tokyo.“I like myself better here,” she said. Even though it was a throw-away line in the show, but for me, it captured something that I’ve known for a long time. For many people, going abroad for the first time means experiencing life as a foreigner for the first time.

For LGBTQ youth who grew up feeling like foreigners in the own countries, visiting another country, another culture where they actually are…

The Secret to Driving In Italy (And Other Life Lessons)

Photo by Alex Iby on Unsplash

Ever since I first went to study in Rome in 1985, I’ve had a not-unfounded fear of driving in Italy.

Back then, traffic in Rome was sheer pandemonium. Every day, walking to school through traffic, smoking cigarettes, and trying to look as cool and Italian as possible, I was literally afraid for my life.

Since then, the traffic has gotten a little better in Rome, but elsewhere in Italy, especially for foreigners, it can still feel as if obnoxious driving — not soccer — is the national sport.

One Enchanted Evening in Rome

On a…

Why Creators Need to Ignore the Epidemic of Bad Marketing Advice

Image by Author

Last week I read a post on LinkedIn that said, “If you can’t explain your business in one sentence, you don’t have one.” Both as a marketing consultant and a creator, I disagree. Vehemently.

What bothered me more than the absolutism of this statement is that it reflects the current epidemic of refrigerator magnet advice: the pseudo-authority of punchy little statements that sound good but are ultimately meaningless. They are the very definition of the word specious.

And what was worse was the number of people piling on with…

Happy Belated Father’s Day To Everyone Who Had a Shitty Dad

Family photo circa 1981

For as long as I can remember, no single word has caused me more conflicted feelings than the word “dad.”

A few days ago, with Father’s Day approaching, my favorite brother Lucian (my only sibling) texted me to ask if I could think of one positive thing our dad taught us.

I scoured my memory as if I were searching for a missing file on the hard drive. Starting with the letter A, I could only find memories of his absence, alcoholism, and anger.

Stumped, I said out loud…

How to Deal With the Death of a Puppy and Other Harsh Realities

Mongo in Sheep Costume. Photo by Lucian Smith

There really aren’t many things cuter than a puppy — they look like living teddy bears.

Something about watching them run, play, and sleep can make most even the hardest people melt inside. That’s what makes what happened to my brother Lucian’s ten-week-old Rottweiler puppy (Mongo) so devastating. Last week Mongo got very sick and died and what’s worse is we still don’t know why.

All we know for certain is that after a week in the hospital, with vomiting and bloody diarrhea that was unresponsive to…

Plus, How Creators Can Hate LinkedIn Less

Photo by Gabor Monori on Unsplash

If you’re like most creators, including writers, consultants, coaches, and solopreneurs, spending time posting on LinkedIn is pretty much a lost cause.

That’s why when I checked my email this morning; I was so thrilled. I found out my Friday LinkedIn post is in the top 1% of engagement with nearly 2k views, 26 reactions, and 35 comments. Not only that, I’ve been getting messages all morning from friends thanking me because they got the same message!

I’m not bragging. I’m telling you this because I want to share how last week, about 25 of my Twitter pals (#ship30for30) and…

You Don’t Need To Make Writing Any Harder

Photo by crystalsingphotos.

Who Are You Really Writing For?

If you’re having trouble getting traction with your online writing, the problem may not be with your content. The problem might be that you’re writing it for the wrong person or the wrong reasons. Let me explain.

When I answer questions online, write emails, or send text messages, I usually know who I am writing for and why. I more often, know their names. Furthermore, I know exactly what I want to say and how to say it. It’s almost effortless.

My problem is that when I try to write for online platforms, keeping in mind audiences, editors, algorithms, stats…

Advice from a cool gay dad

Photo by John Schnobrich on Unsplash

Before there was cyberbullying, there was bullying.

Before it was called bullying, it was called high school.

Back in the 1980s, when I went to high school, no one “felt safe.” No one was safe. Not students, not teachers, and certainly not a little gay boy transferred to a large suburban high school in the middle of his senior year.

I was that little gay boy. Little, and obviously gay.

I’m not exaggerating when I say that the hatred I endured daily made my senior year of high school a living hell.

Although Faggot is not my given name (nor…

Forget About The Money And Focus Here Instead

Photo by Paul Skorupskas on Unsplash

Look, I get it. If you’re reading this, you probably want to make more money on Medium. Nothing wrong with that.

Here’s the rub. Focusing too early on, making money is probably counterproductive. Faced with disappointment and frustration, you might quit.

So don’t get caught up in the stats game.

You know what I mean. Checking your stats constantly, waiting for that one post to go viral and make you famous.

For the vast majority of Medium writers, that's not how it happens.

I recently interviewed more than 21 top online writers, marketers, and entrepreneurs, including Zulie Rane, Jim Woods

Sean Smith

Recovering CMO obsessed with digital content. CreatorModeOn.com

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store