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How to Use LinkedIn To Dramatically Improve Your Business, with Maryna Shkvorets and Phil Laboon

Follow-up. It actually took me months to figure this one out. When people connect but don’t message you, it’s easy to assume that they’re probably not that interested. “I don’t want to bother them,” you say “they know where to find me.” A quick follow-up asking people if they’re interested will not cause offence, and […]



Follow-up. It actually took me months to figure this one out. When people connect but don’t message you, it’s easy to assume that they’re probably not that interested. “I don’t want to bother them,” you say “they know where to find me.” A quick follow-up asking people if they’re interested will not cause offence, and it actually leaves you top-of-mind. Not to mention, it skyrockets your responses and opens up avenues for conversation.


As part of my series of interviews about “How to Use LinkedIn To Dramatically Improve Your Business”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Maryna Shkvorets. Maryna is a public speaking coach specializing in stage presence and confidence for the ultra-anxious. She is a believer that your fears should energize you rather than paralyze you and she dedicated her career to help people put their best self forward.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

You know that person who just freezes anytime they have to speak in front of a group? They could be prepared and capable, but the moment they they stand up to speak — everything goes out the window. That’s my favorite client.

I actually remember standing in those exact shoes and just wanting to hide. What’s worse is that if you seek advice from any other expert — you’ll hear tips like “just speak from the heart” and “use open body language.” Thanks, but that doesn’t work when you’re completely drawing a blank. I had to approach public speaking from a completely different perspective. I had to come to terms with the fact that I had to work a little harder at first. (I actually cover this in more detail in a new free online workshop — Persuasive Speaking for Introverts)

In the end, putting in the work paid itself off many times over, and that’s what my clients say too. That’s why I coach public speaking — what you invest into it is nothing compared to what you get out.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?

A huge focus of my work is addressing fear. I help people reframe it in a way that makes it energizing rather than paralyzing. But one thing I didn’t expect was how much I have to use my own tactics on myself.

I remember being invited to a networking event for startups. As I got there, I realized that I’ve never actually been to a networking event — I didn’t quite understand how to navigate myself. Truth is, I was pretty nervous and uncomfortable. Couple that with the fact that I’m supposed to coach confidence and communication, I actually felt like a bit of a fraud.

Then I thought, wait a minute, I do this all the time for other people. I did a few quick exercises on myself and instantly felt totally at ease. Who knew networking was so much fun?

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

Boundaries. That’s something I still struggle with and it’s a work in progress. I had a client who had to take a call from a friend. When she mentioned that she was working on an important presentation her friend tried to “coach her” by telling her “What are you so afraid of? You think they’re going to fire you or something? You’ll be fine, don’t worry so much!”

While some people resonate with this tough love approach, mine is totally different. I acknowledge my client’s inner pains and the ways they manifest themselves. This is a huge part of actual coaching.

Needless to say, I have a new rule that you can’t answer your phone while we’re working together.

Which social media platform have you found to be most effective to increase business revenues? Can you share a story from your experience?

Hands-down, I don’t know what I would do without LinkedIn. It is such an effective way to connect with your target audience. I would say that the key is in your words and how well it resonates with those you want to work with (or for.)

I can’t tell you how often people contact me to say “that’s EXACTLY how I feel” after reading my LinkedIn description. And to prove the power of a good message, I even have people say “that’s not really me, but I want you to help me with my problems anyway.” Having a target audience actually draws in more people.

The right message can make or break your business, so give it some real thought.

Let’s talk about LinkedIn specifically, now. Can you share 4 ways to leverage LinkedIn to dramatically improve your business? Please share a story or example for each.

1 — “Would you be open to connect?” I start each connection message with that question followed by a blurb of what I do. It’s easier to say YES to “are you open to connect” rather than “are you interested” and shows respect to the other person.

2 — Follow-up. It actually took me months to figure this one out. When people connect but don’t message you, it’s easy to assume that they’re probably not that interested. “I don’t want to bother them,” you say “they know where to find me.”

A quick follow-up asking people if they’re interested will not cause offence, and it actually leaves you top-of-mind. Not to mention, it skyrockets your responses and opens up avenues for conversation.

3 — Share videos and posts videos get the highest number of eyeballs on people’s feeds and showcase your personality. It helps others see what it’s like to work with you. You may feel self-conscious about it at first, but it’s so worth it to engage prospective clients.

4 — Comment on others’ posts

There’s no better way to get your name and business out there than adding to the discussion. I’m not talking about hijacking people’s posts to promote your business. Remember that your job title is always posted along with your name, so by adding a well-thought out and valuable response to someone’s post you’re also advertising who you are and what you do.

Because of the position that you are in, you are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

Fail once a day. I love the expression “failure is not an option,” but I dare you to flip the script. Do something scary with the expectation to fail. Offer to give a talk at a conference, or ask for a discount at Neiman Marcus. Go for something you’ve never dared, and instead of thinking “it won’t work, what’s the point,” say “I wonder what I can get away with.” Overtime, taking a risk like starting a business or giving a talk won’t seem like such a big deal.

Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂

I am finding a lot of inspiration from Susan Cain — author of Quiet Revolution: Unlocking the Power of Introverts. Her work shines light on introverts, how we work best, and how our contribution could be better nurtured and valued.

I recently listened to an interview between her and Tim Ferriss (who’s also a hero of mine) where she shared her own experience working with a public speaking coach, and overcoming fears and anxieties similar to mine. This gave me so much validation and a new excitement to help other introverts like us. (Thank you)

Thank you so much for these great insights. This was very enlightening!

About the Author:

Phil Laboon wants to live in a world where actions speak louder than words, people shout their stories from roof tops, and where following one’s passion is the norm. As a serial entrepreneur and investor, his personal and professional life has spotlighted in hundreds of publications such as People Magazine, Rueters, Forbes, Inc, HuffingtonPost, and CBS This Morning. Phil also writes a regular, nationally syndicated column on the subject of how great leaders build great companies. When he’s not building memorable brands or launching exciting startups, you can find him backpacking exotic countries looking for new inspiration and challenges. If you would like to book Phil for an entertaining speaking engagement about inbound marketing or growing a business, he can be contacted HERE.

Follow-up. It actually took me months to figure this one out. When people connect but don’t message you, it’s easy to assume that they’re probably not that interested. “I don’t want to bother them,” you say “they know where to find me.” A quick follow-up asking people if they’re interested will not cause offence, and it actually leaves you top-of-mind. Not to mention, it skyrockets your responses and opens up avenues for conversation.


As part of my series of interviews about “How to Use LinkedIn To Dramatically Improve Your Business”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Maryna Shkvorets. Maryna is a public speaking coach specializing in stage presence and confidence for the ultra-anxious. She is a believer that your fears should energize you rather than paralyze you and she dedicated her career to help people put their best self forward.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

You know that person who just freezes anytime they have to speak in front of a group? They could be prepared and capable, but the moment they they stand up to speak — everything goes out the window. That’s my favorite client.

I actually remember standing in those exact shoes and just wanting to hide. What’s worse is that if you seek advice from any other expert — you’ll hear tips like “just speak from the heart” and “use open body language.” Thanks, but that doesn’t work when you’re completely drawing a blank. I had to approach public speaking from a completely different perspective. I had to come to terms with the fact that I had to work a little harder at first. (I actually cover this in more detail in a new free online workshop — Persuasive Speaking for Introverts)

In the end, putting in the work paid itself off many times over, and that’s what my clients say too. That’s why I coach public speaking — what you invest into it is nothing compared to what you get out.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?

A huge focus of my work is addressing fear. I help people reframe it in a way that makes it energizing rather than paralyzing. But one thing I didn’t expect was how much I have to use my own tactics on myself.

I remember being invited to a networking event for startups. As I got there, I realized that I’ve never actually been to a networking event — I didn’t quite understand how to navigate myself. Truth is, I was pretty nervous and uncomfortable. Couple that with the fact that I’m supposed to coach confidence and communication, I actually felt like a bit of a fraud.

Then I thought, wait a minute, I do this all the time for other people. I did a few quick exercises on myself and instantly felt totally at ease. Who knew networking was so much fun?

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

Boundaries. That’s something I still struggle with and it’s a work in progress. I had a client who had to take a call from a friend. When she mentioned that she was working on an important presentation her friend tried to “coach her” by telling her “What are you so afraid of? You think they’re going to fire you or something? You’ll be fine, don’t worry so much!”

While some people resonate with this tough love approach, mine is totally different. I acknowledge my client’s inner pains and the ways they manifest themselves. This is a huge part of actual coaching.

Needless to say, I have a new rule that you can’t answer your phone while we’re working together.

Which social media platform have you found to be most effective to increase business revenues? Can you share a story from your experience?

Hands-down, I don’t know what I would do without LinkedIn. It is such an effective way to connect with your target audience. I would say that the key is in your words and how well it resonates with those you want to work with (or for.)

I can’t tell you how often people contact me to say “that’s EXACTLY how I feel” after reading my LinkedIn description. And to prove the power of a good message, I even have people say “that’s not really me, but I want you to help me with my problems anyway.” Having a target audience actually draws in more people.

The right message can make or break your business, so give it some real thought.

Let’s talk about LinkedIn specifically, now. Can you share 4 ways to leverage LinkedIn to dramatically improve your business? Please share a story or example for each.

1 — “Would you be open to connect?” I start each connection message with that question followed by a blurb of what I do. It’s easier to say YES to “are you open to connect” rather than “are you interested” and shows respect to the other person.

2 — Follow-up. It actually took me months to figure this one out. When people connect but don’t message you, it’s easy to assume that they’re probably not that interested. “I don’t want to bother them,” you say “they know where to find me.”

A quick follow-up asking people if they’re interested will not cause offence, and it actually leaves you top-of-mind. Not to mention, it skyrockets your responses and opens up avenues for conversation.

3 — Share videos and posts videos get the highest number of eyeballs on people’s feeds and showcase your personality. It helps others see what it’s like to work with you. You may feel self-conscious about it at first, but it’s so worth it to engage prospective clients.

4 — Comment on others’ posts

There’s no better way to get your name and business out there than adding to the discussion. I’m not talking about hijacking people’s posts to promote your business. Remember that your job title is always posted along with your name, so by adding a well-thought out and valuable response to someone’s post you’re also advertising who you are and what you do.

Because of the position that you are in, you are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

Fail once a day. I love the expression “failure is not an option,” but I dare you to flip the script. Do something scary with the expectation to fail. Offer to give a talk at a conference, or ask for a discount at Neiman Marcus. Go for something you’ve never dared, and instead of thinking “it won’t work, what’s the point,” say “I wonder what I can get away with.” Overtime, taking a risk like starting a business or giving a talk won’t seem like such a big deal.

Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂

I am finding a lot of inspiration from Susan Cain — author of Quiet Revolution: Unlocking the Power of Introverts. Her work shines light on introverts, how we work best, and how our contribution could be better nurtured and valued.

I recently listened to an interview between her and Tim Ferriss (who’s also a hero of mine) where she shared her own experience working with a public speaking coach, and overcoming fears and anxieties similar to mine. This gave me so much validation and a new excitement to help other introverts like us. (Thank you)

Thank you so much for these great insights. This was very enlightening!

About the Author:

Phil Laboon wants to live in a world where actions speak louder than words, people shout their stories from roof tops, and where following one’s passion is the norm. As a serial entrepreneur and investor, his personal and professional life has spotlighted in hundreds of publications such as People Magazine, Rueters, Forbes, Inc, HuffingtonPost, and CBS This Morning. Phil also writes a regular, nationally syndicated column on the subject of how great leaders build great companies. When he’s not building memorable brands or launching exciting startups, you can find him backpacking exotic countries looking for new inspiration and challenges. If you would like to book Phil for an entertaining speaking engagement about inbound marketing or growing a business, he can be contacted HERE.

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