Thought Feeder cover photo for Episode 49. Guest Carolyn Lyden’s headshot is featured in a square image. White text reads “Salary Negotiation Pro Tips with Carolyn Lyden.”

Episode 49: Salary Negotiation Pro Tips with Carolyn Lyden

Thought Feeder
Thought Feeder
Episode 49: Salary Negotiation Pro Tips with Carolyn Lyden
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Salary Negotiation Expert and SEO Professional Carolyn Lyden joins the podcast to share some tips for self-advocacy in the workplace, knowing your worth, and getting paid what you deserve.

Joel Goodman: From Bravery Media, this is Thought Feeder. My name is Joel Goodman. With me, as always, is the Exuberant Jon-Stephen Stansel. And we are super excited to have Carolyn Lyden on the show with us today. Carolyn, welcome. We’re super excited to talk to you about all the great work that you’re doing and for folks that don’t know the work that you do, would you mind giving us just a short bio and greeting?

Carolyn Lyden: Sure. So I come from a writing background, and I quickly learned that if I wanted people to read what I was writing for the clients I was working with, I needed to understand the basics of SEO, or search engine optimization, side of things. So essentially, how to get that content found in Google search results. So I’ve, I started in that vein, and I’ve been in that my entire life. And then, As I’ve, gone from job to job, I picked up some different tips for salary negotiation and career advice and I try to spread that information as well through all the platforms that I can to make sure that people are paid what they’re worth and that they’re making the best career choices for them based on the experience I’ve had and all the research I’ve done in that area.

So, thanks for having me. Hopefully, I give general enough advice so that anyone in higher ed can also gain that knowledge and use it to their own benefit.

Jon-Stephen Stansel: That’s awesome. Yeah. Well, one, I think we love having guests from outside of higher ed because I think higher ed really benefits from outside perspectives, it gets so insular. So sometimes that we kind of forget to like look out at other industries at what people are doing. But I also, I love your, for about lack of a better term, origin story of being a writer who decided to learn SEO.

And I think a lot of people who work in SEO and like myself and social media, you know, started with other goals in mind, right? And, and figured out, oh, well if I learned this additional thing, I can do something else. You know, for, for me, my goal was to become a teacher in literature, which I was way far off of, but, you know, started doing social media and realized, okay, this is a bit of a niche for me.

So having a strong foundation, you know, how how has having that strong foundation in writing, which I, I think is a, a paramount skill, helped you transition into seo. And, and what advice would you give to someone who wants to improve their, their, their own writing practice?

Carolyn Lyden: Sure. So, , shout out to everyone who wanted to be a literature professor cuz I, in college I was, that was my goal too. And then I actually had a literature professor say like, if you love this, don’t teach it. And I was like, Okay, alright. Thanks pal. But, he was right , I took my different degrees that I got and, and went into, the writing side of things.

And I think you don’t necessarily have to have a writing foundation to get into a search engine optimization, or, , you know, I’m sure everyone. Has heard this advice, but a lot of times like kids in college especially are so focused on like, what is my major gonna be? And a lot of times, , unless you’re going down a really specific path, like you use the general skills from whatever you’ve gotten in college, but nobody really specifically goes on and has a career specifically in what they went to college for.

So it’s this sort of winding path to get where you are. And I. , writing communications and literature majors and, , and I had a psychology minor and, and so I was like, the best way to like triangulate these into a career was, , in writing for marketing because I was taking all the cues I was getting from psychology and the way people respond to things.

And, and honestly, I, I’m going off on a tangent already. I have a habit of this

Jon-Stephen Stansel: happy with. Tangents are great. This is show of

Carolyn Lyden: Honestly, the psychological part of things and understanding psychology and sociology also plays into the salary negotiation side of things and like negotiating in your career and things like that too. And, and eventually becoming a manager one day, but we can get to that part later. , but yeah, I, I. I think writing is a great foundation for seo, but some people also come in from like the programming side, so they, they were more on the tech side and they got into the tech SEO side of things and they’re like, cool, my website is technically proficient, but you know, it’s not ranking because.

I’m not answering people’s questions that they’re asking and search engine results. And that’s sort of where the, the good, , marriage of content and technical comes into it. And so I I do agree though that way you were saying that writing is a, oh, I have a toddler, by the way. This is, there’s a bandage on my hand for people listening to audio , and I just saw it in the camera.

, she’s obsessed with bandages, so Oh, sorry for that . But, , she puts them everywhere. But yeah, it’s definitely a skill and I’m, I especially notice it when my husband will be like, can you read over this, this presentation I wrote, or this docent, this policy, he works in the federal government. And I’m like, oh boy, like you did not.

Like hone your writing skills at age, so or in college or later on. So it’s really crucial to like, to get your writing to the right point regardless of what career you are seeking, whether it’s in seo, whether it’s in higher ed, whether it’s in the federal government, like it’s such a, a weirdly missing skill, I think.

And because I. This sounds a little arrogant, but because I have it, I don’t realize that not everyone has it sometimes

Jon-Stephen Stansel: I wanna back you up on that a hundred percent cuz like I feel the same way. Like I used to think I was a bad writer in college until I started proofreading pay. From my peers, , which like no shade of them, they became very good. But I was just like, oh, okay. I’m not terrible. I actually do have a skill that a lot of people don’t have.

And I think we take it for granted, like when we’re just basic things, writing an email, , you know, basic communication, like being a parent, like I get, so I love my my kids’ school, but like they need a professional communicator so badly, but. It. It’s not something that just anybody can do, and it is a skill that you have to practice and hone and everybody needs it.

right?

Carolyn Lyden: Yeah, I will say that I am really grateful. I went to a liberal arts school that had like, , a basic curricul that you had to take before you were allowed to go into any specialization. And when I, my husband went to, , a technical college, and I think that’s sort of what’s missing there is they’re like, you only need the skills to do it.

You only need to do these. Sort of things. And so he’ll be like, you know, nobody read my email. And then I look at it and I’m like, this is a 10 paragraph email. Like, where are the bullet points? Where is the bolding? Like, give people a tldr, get to the point, tell them what their action items are. Because I’m not gonna even read this email to proof it.

Like No, no, , nothing gets My husband, he’s a lovely person and has great intentions, but I don’t think he was ever like, taught that skill. And so now that he’s in a management position, he’s having to work on it too, because like you were. Once you, it’s like parenting. You’re like, okay, I have 10 employees.

I need to get XYZ across. I need these people working on these things and et cetera. And then I’m like, you can’t just send out a tan paragraph essay with no introductory paragraph and not telling people what they need to do or what you want from them, or that sort of thing too. So I feel bad using him as an example.

He’s great, but.

Jon-Stephen Stansel: It’s a different skill set too, so,

Carolyn Lyden: Definitely, he does also fix everything in the house, so I appreciate that when I’m like, what’s wrong with my phone? Or The switch won’t turn on.

Jon-Stephen Stansel: Let’s change directions here cause we’ve got so much, so much to talk about. So excited. Like if.

Carolyn Lyden: I have such a bad habit of going on tangents.

Jon-Stephen Stansel: Well, well, you brought up salary negotiation and I, I, I, I, there’s, there’s a lot to talk about here, and I think higher ed really needs some, some, some help here. So can you tell us about when you started to start helping others with their professional development, salary negotiation, and where did that willingness come from?

Carolyn Lyden: Sure. So I worked at a tech company in Atlanta called CallRail, and while I was there, I, , one of the, , product marketing managers turned me onto this organization called Ladies Get Paid. And it, it sort of had the same mission. And, , I bought a course from them on just general salary negotiations and I went to a conference.

They held, , on it too to walk people through, like what I now consider sort of like basic steps, but nobody teaches you this. It’s one, like my husband and I were talking like nobody teaches you. How to do like basic financial things. Nobody teaches you in high school how to make a budget. And I feel like they should in high school and college be teaching us, okay, here’s how you negotiate, here’s how you determine what your worth is.

We’re just releasing hans into the wild and being like, just say whatever amount you wanna make. I don’t know, like I remember my. , first job out of college, I went in, I was applying to be, , a legal assistant at a local law firm, and the guy was like, how much do you wanna make? And I was like, I don’t know, like $10 an hour.

And he’s like, okay, well we don’t pay anyone less than $15 an hour here. And I was like, okay. I’m embarrassed, and how like I, I was embarrassed because I obviously didn’t know how much I was worth, and I probably could have asked for way more than that. Starting off. And your first job, especially if you don’t know how to negotiate, can often set the tone for your further jobs because lots of people will negotiate based off, well, my last job I made xyz, so I need to make five grand more this next one.

And so you can lose millions of dollars over your lifetime. Taking advantage of that. But , anyway, back to the story. , I was, when I was at CallRail, , I asked to start a women’s circle. So all the women, , who wanted to join in or those who identify as women, , we had a meeting once a month and we would, , talk about the issues that were important to us and give people an opportunity to say, here’s what I’m experiencing, and give other people an opportunity to help sort of like troubleshoot or walk.

Steps. , and also just hear other perspectives. So like, I’m a cis hat white woman. I will never understand what it’s like to be black and work in tech. , I will never understand what it’s like to be LGBTQ plus and work in tech. So hearing those different perspectives and seeing how I can be a better ally to them.

And the first one I led was, Salary negotiations based on what I had learned in that Ladies Get Paid course and it really got a lot of people talking. They formed their own little groups and people started saying, okay, this is what I make in my role and even. Then I was like, okay, you obviously people just accepted whatever the company, even these people that I really looked up to and I thought, okay, these are the people that I wanna model my career after.

Were like, oh yeah, I didn’t negotiate my salary at all. They just said, here’s what we’re offering. And I took it because I thought that’s what I had to do. And so I’m like, okay, if these smart, awesome women are doing this, then the chance. , all the smart, awesome women I know like the, what percentage of them are also not negotiating their salaries and are losing out on.

All this money they could be making and, and a better quality of life they could be having and like less stress and more confidence in the process instead of feeling like sort of the victim of the process and, and instead being in charge of it. So that’s sort of how I got started in it. And the more I talk to people about it and shared even my own experiences, , the more I realize.

It’s a problem for women in tech. It’s a problem for SEOs. It’s a problem for pretty much everyone who, , hasn’t been taught that this is like, it’s an expected part of the interview and job application process. , and when you don’t do it, companies are like, okay, cool. Like,

Jon-Stephen Stansel: It’s just a product. Her where we don’t openly talk about money, where that becomes taboo and, you know, we worry about, oh, okay, well what if they don’t gimme the job at all? You know? And, and nego, you know, it’s funny you say that. Like my, my first job in college was working at a guitar shop making minim wage.

I did not negotiate that salary at all. I just wanted to work in the guitar shop. And, you know, part of my job was like negotiating people haggle over guitars. And my boss said like, We’ll always, if somebody wants to pay what’s on the sticker, let ’em pay it. But if they ask for a deal, everything is negotiable.

And that’s granted. I wish I had taken that, that advice with my salary at the store, but like taking it, moving forward. But it’s still difficult to do. I think people are, are, are very, very nervous about it is, and especially I think in higher ed too. You know, we’re, we’re seeing higher ed as a giant, I don’t wanna say victim of the great resignation.

I, I, because I, I think it’s more like, , we’ve been victims of not getting paid enough. , so, but what can, and folks are seeking opportunities outside of higher ed or, or inside. So how, how can, what are some basic steps they can take to start negotiating a salary they deserve, and especially those who are in that position.

They’re already making too low so that not basing that next salary off the next.

Carolyn Lyden: Yeah.

Joel Goodman: the hard part is that higher ed, like wages in higher ed are so low in general, , which is causing this. So it, I think, you know, we talk about higher ed having sort of a stigma outside when people do try to kind of jp to other industries. And I think we all kind of feel that way in the industry when we try to do that.

And so, you know, it’s, yeah. I, I guess Carolyn, are there ways to like get past that? That mentality that just kind of builds up with having not been valued, , monetarily? Like what, what are some of those confidence boosters?

Carolyn Lyden: Yeah, so my first, , my first, I guess, piece of advice that I generally give people is your previous salary has no bearing on your, the next salary that you have, whether you’re trying to get into higher ed or get out or negotiate in a new position in higher ed from a previous one that you’ve had. , I know that like, for example, my husband.

In the federal government, like I said, and they have a certain step program. So like, I’m sure it’s fairly similar there, but even still, like with the experience that you have, there are ways to negotiate, , around it and to focus on the value that you’re bringing. So my, my, , first thing is, , whatever you’re making in the past has no bearing on what.

Have the potential to make in the future. And I think that’s really hard for some people to let go of because they use that as a negotiating tactic a lot of times. Well, I don’t wanna make a lateral move, so you need to gimme at least five grand more than what I was making in my previous, or need to be the next step up.

, and I’m, I’m sure titles do matter, I’m sure a different, , edu higher education institutions also don’t necessarily have the equivalence across, so you have to figure out what that is, but, , that salary means nothing to what you can make in the future, and then you also need to do the research for what the potential is.

So that’s really where a lot of salary transparency comes into play, which, as you said, makes people uncomfortable. That’s where my, also my psychology background and I think comes in helpful because it. It’s really about the messages we tell ourselves about ourselves and what we’ve been told. Different cultures also have different, , cultural messages around money and hierarchy and things like that.

Like you don’t, it would be offensive in some cultures to ask someone above you like, this isn’t enough. Money for me. You know, you’re supposed to just be grateful for what you have and what you’ve been offered. And, and I think that’s also sometimes true for women. Like, you don’t wanna come off as too greedy.

You don’t wanna seem like you’re, like, all you care about is the money or, or you know, whatever it is. So we have to break down those. Cultural messages and also the messages we tell ourselves or that, you know, our family members or parents, our family of origin have told us too. , and really, you know, build the confidence within ourselves to be like, I am worth this.

This is the market rate. That’s the main thing is this is the market rate for this position. If I were to, especially if you’re asking for a raise internally or promotion internally, If you were to leave and go somewhere else, they would have to hire someone for the market rate. So they’re making money off of you staying and not asking for that, , for what you would be worth if you had left.

And then also if you leave the new, , institution that hires you is also gonna have to pay you the market rate. Because if everybody’s asking for that and that’s what that position is worth now, then that’s what they’re gonna have to fork out for it. , so. Don’t worry about what you made in the past.

, do your research. Ask your peers or people who have been in similar positions at similar institutions, what they, what did you make when you left, even if it’s just a range. When you worked at this institution from becoming an associate to the, , to the department chair, what was the range? What did your trajectory look like?

Was it, you know, linear or was it sort of exponential or? Flat, like how does this institution pay and what can I expect from here? So that you’re gathering information from multiple sources and using that to build your case. , and then also create. As you are continuing to work toward a new position or in your existing position, a promotion, create sort of like a win list of all of the things that you have helped move forward in a positive direction.

, whether that’s individual projects, whether it’s fundraising, whether it’s. You know, statistics around the department, like we’ve had this many people do this much better, , since we started this project that I’ve helped spearhead. , keep them in a file on your desktop. And it can be those statistical things which, you know, a lot of people really like to see the hard nbers, like, I help, I improved, blah, blah, blah by 10% over the course of the last three months.

, but it can also be email, emails from peers or from students or from other people saying, I, you know, like I would’ve dropped out of this class if I hadn’t had you as a professor, or this project wouldn’t have moved forward if you hadn’t helped me as a colleague. , those positive things that show not only are you an asset in terms of, , You know the hard nbers, but you are, you’re a team player.

You’re helping other people move forward. You’re doing positive things and you’re, you’re an asset to the organization, the department as a whole too, and build your case. And that should help your own confidence boost as well to say, okay, I’m worth this market rate that I should be getting paid.

Jon-Stephen Stansel: I have a file folder I keep on my desktop just labeled in case of bad day. I read this and whenever I get like a nice email. As a social media manager, somebody replies to a brand account, like, give your social media manager a raise or something nice. You know, they like that. I screen cap it and put it in that folder, but it also does double duty.

You know, it’s, it brings me up on a bad, rough day, but also when I want to go ask for a raise, there’s this evidence of good work too, , that I think is really valuable. I think one of the biggest struggles in higher. As far as advancement goes is, especially for state institutions, there’s one the pay level’s already so low, like for, for, for social media where, where I think social media managers are woefully underpaid in outside of higher ed, it’s even lower within, and there are limits to, to what you can, you know, how much higher pay you can get or, or, or move up the ladder.

So, You know, if you’re in a role or department, that where there doesn’t seem to be clear opportunities for advancement and like, when, when do you know it’s time to leave or when do you know it’s time to renegotiate? , or, or what do you do if you want, you know, you want to stay.

Carolyn Lyden: Yeah, I think that that’s where we think about total compensation. So there are oftentimes things that are worth money to us that don’t necessarily, , Play into the total salary nber for an organization when they pay us. So the first one is bonuses usually come out of a separate pot of money than, , salary.

So when you’re negotiating, , and they’re saying, this is the absolute cap, like you we’re, our hands are tied here. We cannot go above this nber. You can off ask for, you know, a. Contract renewal bonus or a seasonal bonus or things like that that often come out of a non-salary pot of money so that, you know, if we have these discretionary funds, we can assign them to you for this year and then make sure to continue to negotiate so that maybe next year that can just be part of your salary so that it’s not something you continue have having to ask for.

, but then there are also things. That I say are worth money to you that maybe aren’t necessarily money out of the salary fund. So like you were saying earlier, anything is negotiable and especially now that we’re in these sort of like remote work environments, there are a lot more things. That, you know, we can do to make lives and work more comfortable for us.

So I tell people you can negotiate. , if you have to go in and teach a per an in person class, you can negotiate your technical stuff, you can negotiate the location. You can say, I need this type of laptop. Those also generally come out of different funds. You can say, I want every other Friday off . You know, if you can’t gimme a 20% raise.

Give me an extra day off. , I don’t wanna participate in these types of projects and I really wanna participate in these other types of projects. So gimme the products I like. , you can negotiate childcare, you can negotiate vehicles if you’re having to travel very frequently. , Like I live in Atlanta, or I live in the suburbs of Atlanta, so driving downtown is like an hour and a half.

So if I had to go into the office, I would negotiate, , a train ride or parking pass or something like that. Like you can negotiate anything. If you have to do online classes, you can negotiate for a better microphone and a better camera so that you don’t look fuzzy and you can negotiate further your school to pay for your.

, your phone, pretty much anything you can think of, you can try to work into negotiations and because they don’t come from a salary fund, a lot of times they can be more flexible with those sort of things. And, and the key I think is to, , Calculate how much it’s actually worth to you though, so that you’re not negotiating like, oh, I want this laptop that, , I’m gonna get replaced in five years.

Well, it’s only a thousand dollars. So a thousand dollars depreciated over five years or split up over five years is not that much of a. , a bonus, , unless you just really like that program or whatever. So, , calculate how much they’re actually worth to you if you were to get a childcare stipend or a car rental, or they cover your gas if you drive downtown so that you can say, okay, in my total compensation, I make XYZ and salary.

And then in the, in the extra things that I’ve negotiated, like a childcare stipend or covering my train costs, it’s this much. So my total salary. All, everything together. Worth dollars.

Jon-Stephen Stansel: I think that’s incredibly important. Something I, I think more people in higher ed need to, to, to think about. , I, I think I’ve been thinking about this recently. I think especially higher ed employees have been drilled into their minds that budgets are so low. Many of us are afraid to ask for the things we need to do our jobs.

So it’s not just like a salary thing. It’s like, I, I’ve been using the same laptop for 10 years. , I, I need a new one to do my job. Or, you know, , for social media managers, I need that software. , or, or professional development. I need that training tho. Those sort of things. And your boss isn’t gonna come into your office and just say, what do you need?

Like it’s your job to go and tell them and, and, and ask for those things. And a lot of times we’re just imagining what, how low the budgets are, right? We’re not, we don’t even know, you know, how much money is available and, and whatnot. Or you get that, that email at the end, end of the fiscal year, like ask for stuff now, which is always kind of weird like,

Carolyn Lyden: My, like my, since my husband works at the federal government, he’ll often get stuff like that too. And he’s like, I’m not gonna blow money just like on keyboards. Just cause we need key. Like, let’s budget better next year. And I think that’s, like you were saying, oftentimes you don’t know what the budget is and so it never hurts to ask, but it, , and I’m going to encourage some rebellion, but like, get your coworkers, , to sort of.

Rally with you for these things too, if it’s important to them as well. Because a rising tide lifts all boats. And if your school has enough money for XYZ sports and you know, giant football stadis and new buildings and blah, blah, blah, blah, like there’s, there’s gotta be money somewhere. It’s just how it’s being allocated.

, and you can also, , I don’t know exactly, but I know because I don’t work necessarily in higher ed, but I know that when. , donate to my colleges. I can out say where I want it to go. , if I don’t, they’ll just be like, blah. And I imagine Oprah is just like throwing money somewhere. Just, you know, someone , this is where my donation goes, but I can say I want this specifically to go to like helping a student scholarship or, , to the career center or things like that.

And so, Just as a strategy, I know that you can’t, I can’t just be like, tick this and put it in my teacher’s salary fund. , but as a strategy, like, okay, how do the budgets work? I, it’s more work. But like, attend those meetings if you can and say, okay, where is this money actually going? And do they actually need that much?

And like, how much could we allocate? You know, toward teacher salary or professor salary or things like that, and get nosy, and then also get your coworkers involved to maybe say like, all right, this isn’t right.

Jon-Stephen Stansel: It comes back to the fact you have to advocate for yourself because no one else is going to do it for you.

Carolyn Lyden: Unless you have a really great boss who, who is like, all right, this isn’t, this isn’t how this should work. But like you were saying, it’s oftentimes like the mentality, like, oh, I was listening to a great podcast. , it’s called Maintenance Phase, which it’s about like debunking health myths, but both of the, the, , hosts come from like NGOs and non-profit backgrounds, and they talk about this in the non-profit sector too.

I. and they were essentially talking about how it’s drilled into you that if you work for a non-profit, you have to be paid essentially below a living wage. But like these non-profit presidents and figureheads are not making below a living wage. And so that isn’t necessarily how it has to work there.

It’s just about people advocating for themselves and everybody having the awareness to know like, okay, this doesn’t have to be the status quo. And what steps do we need to take to ensure that it continues to improve over.

Jon-Stephen Stansel: Yeah, and, and, and, and I think that’s a big part of higher ed. I feel like people are kind of feel like, oh, And it’s a good quality. Like we’re dedicated to the cause, like we want a further education, but a lot of it is at the sacrifice of our own financial security and, and, and, and wellbeing at work. And I think it’s, we’ve gotten to the point, and I think the Great Nation and C all kind of brought that to light where we’re like, okay, well I.

can’t do all of this. Or they saw the, the benefits of being able to work remote and like, well, why can’t this cont if we did this for, you know, the, the pandemic, why can’t we keep doing it? It, it went well. , so I, I, I think it’s encouraged a lot of people to, to advocate for themselves a little bit

Carolyn Lyden: Good. I hope so. I hope it continues. Hope the trend continues.

Jon-Stephen Stansel: So to kinda switch gears a little bit, as an al of Shine Boot Camp, you’ve been, you’ve really honed your public speaking skills and are able to speak confidently in front of a crowd, which is another, another skill like writing that is not something just anybody can do. Take takes time and effort. So how can people get to that point and overcome impost, the imposter syndrome that keeps them from getting to that point in some

Carolyn Lyden: Yeah, I think, , the imposter syndrome part of it is probably the hardest. For a lot of people to overcome because they think like, who am I to be the one speaking in front of these crowds? But I, I’ve gone to so many conferences where it’s, , sorry, but it’s an old white guy who’s spoken at every other conference and he’s giving the same talk.

He’s always given, and there have been so many times where I’ve just been sitting in the, in. Seat and saying like, I could give this talk so much better and much more enthusiastically and everyone would be more excited about the topic than this dry, like, run of slides. And why is this guy getting all of the, the speaking opportunities sort of thing.

, that’s honestly what lit my fire under it. Cause I was like, Have so much more personality than this person. Like , what is going on here? And why is it? And it’s just sort of like, it snowballs into this. It’s perpetuating. So he gets one and then he gets two sessions and then he gets three and now he’s speaking at every conference and it’s old news.

And , so when it comes to the imposter syndrome side of things, I think to myself, like I’m the only one who could give my perspective. , and it may be the same topic, overall topic as someone else, but I have a different experience, I have a different background. I’m gonna bring different examples to the table, and it’s because of that, it’s gonna be a completely different insight than someone who, you know, maybe doing it for a different industry or a different company or come from a different perspective than I do.

So, , I’ve always been like of the. , I don’t know the persuasion, like, why not me? Like if, if this boring old white guy can do it, then why not me? And if I stble over my words and whatever, everybody knows I’m han. But, , if we’re willing to sit here and listen to his droning voice, then we can listen to me fble over a couple words or mess up a slide or, or something like that.

I think that’s sort of the perspective I come from in terms of the imposter syndrome side of things. I know that not everyone has an easy time, , overcoming that. And again, I feel like it sort of goes back to the messages we tell ourselves. And I, I feel this way about so many things like managing people and putting yourselves out there and like public speaking and there’s so many things come back to how we were.

And the internal messages that we tell ourselves. And sometimes you just have to fake it till you make it and say like, my voice is as important as this person’s voice. And, , like, I deserve to be heard and I have important things to say. And I, , will bring a new perspective that no one’s ever heard before.

And it’s important that other people hear this as well too. So, , telling myself that sort of stuff, those messages. Has helped me sort of overcome that imposter syndrome side of things. And then sometimes you just gotta do it and mess it up and fix it and then do it again . So, , it’s, that’s sort of like the process.

I forgot the first part of the question cause I really wanted to talk about the imposter.

Jon-Stephen Stansel: No, no, no. Well, no, because that’s a perfect thing, and it’s something I tell a lot of people too, is like no matter what level you are in your career, you have something to share and the things that are obvious to you. In your profession aren’t obvious to everyone. So like, and also conferences need a, a scale of different presenters, like very basic, you know, social media 1 0 1, you know, in, in my, my, my field.

All the way up to like very advanced levels, social media strategy. So no matter what you’re doing, there’s something you’re doing that people wanna hear about and wanna know. And on top of that, like to, to, to circle back to like salary negotiation and advancement. Like, that’s one of the reasons I started speaking and putting myself out there more, is to build my, was to build my public expertise so I could then go to my boss and go, look, I’m presenting at conferences, I’m writing, you know, in, in journals and all of these other things.

I am seen as an expert in my field. Pay me more , you know,

Carolyn Lyden: Right, exactly.

Jon-Stephen Stansel: So, so those things add up and I, I think it, it’s beneficial to anyone. So anyway, listening that, that wants to get out and start doing it, like, put yourself out there like, and do it.

Carolyn Lyden: And , I think a lot of people think like, oh, I don’t have any new ideas, but, , Like you were saying, a lot of the things that seem simple to you are things that people maybe don’t necessarily use the same process or they can benefit from your specific step by step on how you do it or, , or something like that.

So it’s, , it’s worth at least trying and then also, Sometimes I think people think I only can present at this type of conference, like I can only present at a marketing conference. But so many different types of industries can benefit from your knowledge. So if you need an in, it’s very easy to say, okay, , there’s an auto industry conference and they’re talking about all the different trends.

In automobiles, but there’s no one talking about marketing. And so this would be a great opportunity for, for me to take what I’m doing in higher ed in social media to a different industry and say, this is what’s working over here. Here are the things that I think would really benefit you in your industry too.

, so maybe widen if, if you’re having trouble getting into the types. , conferences that you wanna speak at, maybe widen where you can, , where you apply to speak. And I also think that, , which is, I remembered what I was gonna say earlier is a lot of people think that, , You just automatically have to go to like the top of whatever conference it is.

But you, since we’re in the age of remote and so many conferences are also happening online, you can create any type of content that can showcase your speaking skills by essentially just recording a Google meet of yourself presenting. Your idea, like nobody has to know. There’s no audience on the other side.

, and that can be your demo reel or you know, do create a panel of your friends. Sort of like, you know, like we have a podcast going here, there are a couple of people chatting and there’s an expert and I’m the expert here, or whatever, but like, You, you know, like nobody has to know that it’s your first time trying it, or you are just chatting with your friends about a topic you’re really passionate about, like create your demo reel.

, create a really quick and easy speaker website for yourself. Highlight your demo reel. Think about the topics that you’re interested in talking about. , when I had a speaker site, I said, okay, here’s my 1 0 1 topic for if I go to any industry conference. And you just wanna learn how to do a basic SEO audit.

I can tell you how to do that. And so then if I go to a marketing conference, people wanna learn specifically these techniques that I use to create content that ranks. , and then if I go to like, , any kind of conference, like, and you wanna hear the basics of what I’ve learned about salary negotiation, I can talk to you about that anywhere sort of thing.

So like, think about the main topics you wanna talk about. Create your demo reel online. , you can even stand up and do it like nobody has to. That you’re in your house, you can be like, oh, it’s an online conference, for my friends. But no one knows. So put yourself out there, try it out and, and apply to all different kinds of places.

And if you need help, you know, tweet me, I’ll, we’ll figure it out.

Jon-Stephen Stansel: Well then that’s an excellent point about going to, to other conferences outside your industry. I think that’s really important. Valuable to, to learn about what other industries are doing and also share. You know, what you’re doing is successful, , back and forth. I, I just gave a presentation on, on what higher ed can learn from the entertainment industry, which was where I work now.

Like, okay, I wanna take these lessons and bring it back to, to, you know, the, my industry of origin, I guess I can call higher ed now. , and, and, and share those things. And I think there, there’s so much benefit from it and people just need to get out there and do it.

Carolyn Lyden: Yeah, the worst I can say is no and no. Just is your opportunity to tweak it a little and try again in the next place. All right. They said, no, I’ll try again somewhere else. I think when it comes to salary negotiations and jobs and conferences applying, like we put too much money on the, no. Like we put too much of our personal worth on the, no.

, just let it roll off your, you’re gonna hit, you’re gonna get a thousand nos, a million nos over your lifetime if you have a toddler. 300 million nos. Oh,

Jon-Stephen Stansel: I think I’ve gotten about, about 300 just this morning. So

Carolyn Lyden: Yeah, same. Same?

Jon-Stephen Stansel: from the, from from the five year old alone.

Carolyn Lyden: No, we have a two year old, so we’re in the, we’re in the super no phase. I want the Purple Bowl. You want the Purple Bowl? No.

Jon-Stephen Stansel: Talk about negotiation strategies with toddlers. Like once you’ve done that, like you can take on any boss. Anywhere, like, okay. I am a train negotiator now. I’ve, I, I have a five year old son.

Carolyn Lyden: They’re the toughest bosses.

Joel Goodman: So this has been a, it is been a really wide ranging conversation.

Carolyn Lyden: Yeah, sorry,

Joel Goodman: on No, it’s great. We touched on seo, we touched on salary negotiation. We, , we talked about, , speaking in front of people and getting into conferences. Carolyn, I wonder, you know, as we start to wrap up, if there are any specific, , resources that, , you could offer on, I guess, on any of those topics.

I know that, , you created salary negotiation pro.com. I’m sure you got some other favorites out there, other things that you’ve worked on. But I wonder if you could just, , tell our listeners where they can find you, , some of those resources that you offer and, , yeah, just plug anything you, you want to, you want to get out there.

Carolyn Lyden: Sure. So, , if you wanna connect with me on Twitter, that’s usually where I spout the most. , , , tips and then also just random shit that I. Just scroll through my tweets before you follow me. You may not wanna follow me, but , that’s where I usually connect with people, , about SEO and salary negotiations.

And it’s just at Lyden. , there are some really, actually, this may be, , really helpful or interesting to hear for y’all, but I’ve been seeing some really great, like TikTok and Instagram real. People, , for salary negotiations and, , career advice and stuff like that, which I think is super cool that people are getting into it on these like short form content places.

So you can just give a couple of, , pieces of advice and help people, , as they’re scrolling through, , receiving that information. But when it comes to, , researching your salary and determining what you. Worth and what you should ask for, what the market rate is. There are tons of really great resources out there.

You can even just look at other jobs on LinkedIn, on a Glassdoor, see what they’re offering in terms of salary. And then one tip I’d like to give people is to reach out to people who used to work there or in that role. So whether you’re. You see like, okay, formally of X, Y, Z, , the company that you’re applying for, reach out to that person on LinkedIn and say, okay, well if you don’t mind sharing, what was your salary range?

What were the expectations for that role? , did you like it there? That sort of thing too. So doing that sort of research can also help you figure out, , great salary. , ranges. And, , in terms of like seo, there are so many great resources, , online. If you’re just very starting out, I really like ma , MA’s guide, like beginner SEO guide.

It’s got a bunch of different chapters. They explain things in really easy, like plain language. They don’t use a ton of jargon, and if they do, they explain it to you. And then there’s always a really great, , community on Twitter. There’s a great SEO community. I don’t know how long it’s gonna stay, depending on what Yoon Musk does, but , hopefully, , hopefully it will still exist for a while.

And one thing I really love about the SEO community on Twitter is you can often present a problem like, I have a website in this industry and I’m seeing these things happen and people can, , send you resources or say, try this or something similar. Hap similar happened to me. Have you looked in this, , area?

Or, you know, I’ve asked people questions like, I found this weird schema on a website. Can somebody tell me what it is? And somebody who’s like, oh yeah, we used that 20 years ago. We don’t even use that now. So, , having that sort of live community is also really helpful too. And, and salaries becoming, , a topic of conversation a lot more in that community for SEOs and, , search marketers, ppc, , people.

That sort of thing too. So there’s, there’s growing conversation around that too. People are even like, okay, what’s the, what’s the top level you can get at for seo? Like, where are companies going with this? Is it more of a general role or can you, can you make $300,000 as an seo? Or that sort of thing? So, , sort of meshing it all together.

If you wanna talk about salary and speaking at conferences and, and, , seo. You can find it all on Twitter for now.

Jon-Stephen Stansel: Thank you for listening to The Thought Feeder Podcast and a very special thanks to Carolyn for being with us. Again, you can find Carolyn on Twitter at Carolyn Lyden, and you can find us on Twitter at Thought Feed podd, or on our website thought feeder pod.com, where we’ve got transcripts for every episode and some other stuff too.

Thought Feeder’s, produced and edited by Carl Gratiot and hosted by mate, Jon Stephen Stansel and Joel Goodman. , if you’re a fan of the show or, and are feeling generous, we’d appreciate a review on your preferred podcast listening platform. There’s a lot of peas there. , it really helps folks find us. , we’ll be back in a couple of weeks.