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“You can establish yourself.”, with Marcelle Yeager

Publish articles in your area of expertise. You can establish yourself as an expert and thought leader in your field by penning articles and using the “write an article” feature on LinkedIn. It will be shared to the feed of your connections and open up the possibility that their connections will also view your article. As […]

Publish articles in your area of expertise. You can establish yourself as an expert and thought leader in your field by penning articles and using the “write an article” feature on LinkedIn. It will be shared to the feed of your connections and open up the possibility that their connections will also view your article.

As part of my series of interviews about “How to Use LinkedIn To Dramatically Improve Your Business”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Marcelle Yeager. Marcelle is the president of Career Valet, who strengthens career narratives for mid- to senior-level professionals and executives, empowering them to reach the next level of their careers. Previously, Marcelle worked in strategic communications at APCO Worldwide, Booz Allen Hamilton, and the U.S. Embassy in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. She also worked as a civilian at the Department of Defense and co-founded ServingTalent, the first recruiting agency for talented military and Foreign Service spouses, which placed 40 people in jobs within three years. Marcelle holds an MBA from the University of Maryland College Park and a BA from Georgetown University. She is a former regular contributor to the U.S. News and World Report On Careers blog and ClearanceJobs.com. She has been featured in MONEY Magazine, Business Insider, Monster, and FlexJobs. She is a certified professional resume writer (CPRW).


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

When my husband joined the Department of State eight years ago and we moved overseas, I was unable to continue working for Booz Allen Hamilton. I had just completed my MBA and had recently given birth to our first child. I endeavored to find a portable career that would allow me to maintain my career and connection with the U.S. as we moved every two to three years. For years I had been advising friends and family on their careers and helping them with resumes. It made sense to make this transition because in my strategic communications roles I was promoting businesses to various stakeholders; now I am promoting individuals to stakeholders, i.e., employers.

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

One of my clients sent me a card with an Amazon gift card in the mail when I had my third child. I was so touched by this because it is normally the other way around! This was a great testament to the work we do and the genuine relationships we build with our clients.

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?

I’ve messed up time zones quite a lot. Since we’ve moved around and lived in different places (some countries change their clocks with the seasons and others do not!) I’ve called clients a bit too early in the morning. Now I use an online scheduler that adjusts time zones automatically.

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

I find LinkedIn to be most effective for Career Valet because that is where people are looking for jobs, connections, and career advice. I’ve been found by potential clients through searches and the content I post. The more personal and complete you make your profile the better. One of my best clients found me on LinkedIn when searching for a career expert, but only decided to contact me because he had lived in several of the same countries. Shared experiences, schools, and hobbies are powerful connectors.

Let’s talk about LinkedIn specifically, now. Can you share 5 ways to leverage LinkedIn to dramatically improve your business? Please share a story or example for each.

  1. Maximize your profile. Your summary is important. Don’t concentrate on a list of what you offer. Focus on the benefits your ideal clients will receive from your product or service because that is what will compel them to buy from you. How can you make their life better? Make sure you’re using keywords that your ideal clients are searching for throughout your profile, from expertise to skills to your title. Get recommendations from people with whom you’ve worked. Post presentations and media such as videos and articles to which you’ve contributed or for which you’ve been interviewed.
  2. Share content and tag companies and people. When you share third party content and tag the authors, you open yourself up to their audience as well. Make it engaging by offering your own impressions of the material you post, and even asking a question to increase interaction with your audience. You may gain new followers, clients, or strategic partners and contacts.
  3. Publish articles in your area of expertise. You can establish yourself as an expert and thought leader in your field by penning articles and using the “write an article” feature on LinkedIn. It will be shared to the feed of your connections and open up the possibility that their connections will also view your article.
  4. Reach out to potential strategic partners. LinkedIn is a great resource when you are seeking new contacts. What types of people might be helpful to you in your business? Who else works with your ideal clients? When you send a connection request and message, be sure to make it personal, explaining how you found them, who you are, and why you are reaching out.
  5. Find experts and people to hire. In addition to searching for new contacts, you can also find vendors and staff on LinkedIn. Whether you’re looking for part-time, full-time, or independent contractors to work with you, you can find them on LinkedIn.

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. 🙂

I am passionate about exposing people to all kinds of diversity from a young age — from socio-economic differences to religion to skin color to nationality and beyond. If children meet and continue to interact with people of different backgrounds, differences are not so pronounced and bias can be avoided. I’ve thought about setting up a pen pal arrangement between schools/students in diverse and homogenous communities to allow kids to interact frequently, and also expanding theater and other programs that showcase diversity in communities that need additional exposure.

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 🙂

Michael Michalowicz, author of Clockwork and Profit First. I admire what he’s created business wise, but also the system he developed for taking yourself out of working “in” your business and into working “on” your business. He clearly enjoys his work, but also takes long vacations and manages not to work while away. As I continue to expand my business, I would love to gain further insights into how to completely check out.

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

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