Interview - Donna Serdula

LinkedIn is where the business is done

Full Interview-


Donna Serdula pioneered the concept of Linkedin profile optimization. She realized early on that the Linkedin profile was so much more than just an online resume and recognized that it is an amazing opportunity for branding. She’s the foremost expert in Linkedin profile optimization and she has proven that a strong Linkedin profile is the key to performing well on Linkedin. Through her website,, Donna and her team of writers have helped thousands of executives, entrepreneurs, professionals, and companies from all over the world tell their unique stories and brand themselves successfully.
Donna looks at Linkedin not just as a networking platform, but a branding platform that can be wielded in so many ways. It is a place to go to tell your story and to control how others perceive you. Opportunities start through your Linkedin profile.The platform helps you present as a thought leader where you share your thoughts, advice, opinions, and interact with other people. It gives you the ability to see and network with your existing connections and make new ones. It has the power of making invisible relationships visible.
According to Donna, there are four points that people need to be doing consistently on Linkedin. The first is defining your goal for using the platform and then optimizing your profile for your goal and target audience.   Use all of the tools including placing a professional profile photo, maximizing the “headline and summary” sections, and getting into detail about your education and work experience. The primary mistake people make on Linkedin is they don’t approach their profile strategically to tell the right story.
The Linkedin mobile app and the desktop experience have differences but they are generally similar. Over 60% of active users access LinkedIn daily through the mobile app where it is easy to use and scroll through. While scrolling posts is easy on a mobile device, Donna recommends doing heavy profile editing using a computer. She also stresses that whatever you do on desktop, it is also important to check how everything looks on mobile.
Your work history must reflect your reason for using the platform. If you’re on Linkedin as an entrepreneur and you want to show people the depth of your background, you may talk about the companies that you’ve founded and the teams that you’ve led. Donna advises not to tell too many accomplishments but only the richness of your background story. If you are a job seeker, you may give some of those accomplishments but be very careful in making it identical to your resume as you want people to always want to reach out to learn more.
Donna likes to look at Linkedin as a place to help, to add value, to educate, and to inspire. If you use the platform to give and to help, that’s when you start to sell to the right people in a manner of providing a solution that they need.
With Linkedin, not only do you want to connect with people, you want to start posting as well. According to statistics, most people on Linkedin are just looking through and absorbing information, and only less than 1% of active Linkedin users are creating content and getting a huge amount of views. If you are someone on Linkedin who’s looking to empower yourself and be seen a little bit more, Donna recommends posting once a week consistently and using the right hashtags with a good amount of followers. If you consistently put out information and use the right hashtags, your content will be found by the right people that will engage with your posts. Donna also stresses the importance of responding to each comment your content gets. When you do these things consistently, you will find that your followers start to grow.  Find the influencers who post regularly and engage with them. These people will eventually notice your activity on their pages or profiles.
Donna shares a feature on Linkedin mobile app that many people are not aware of which is the ability to record your name pronunciation. She suggests using the feature to say something a little bit more like an elevator pitch or something for people to have a better understanding of who you are. She also shares that Linkedin is slowly rolling out a feature to add a cover video for your profile.
Personal questions with Donna Serdula.
Li: Do you have a favorite word?
Donna: Frenetic is a good word.
Li: Is there a particular sound that you enjoy?
Donna: I like the sound of my son’s snoring.
Li: Is there a movie character that you can relate to?
Donna: It’s not a movie character but I always loved Mrs. Emma Peel from The Avengers. I try to use her as my inspiration.
Li: On this day in one year, what will you be doing?
Donna: I would love to be back up on stage, presenting, teaching, training, inspiring, and adding value to people. I’m looking forward to doing that again.