Have You Taken Advantage of the Changes to LinkedIn Skills?

LinkedIn's Skills & Endorsements section has been rather confusing from its inception, but they have been improving it over the years and have now added a couple really cool features that are easy to use and could have a significant impact on your business and career.

Because LinkedIn has made at least four revisions to Skills & Endorsements over the six years of its existence, we can assume this section is fairly important in the overall scheme of how LinkedIn works and, most importantly, in the way the critical search ranking algorithm works. I can't prove it, but I don't think LinkedIn would spend this much time and effort unless it really matters.
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How to optimize your Skills & Endorsements profile section

Because the Skills & Endorsements section is confusing to many people, I will give you some overall strategies for capitalizing on it in addition to discussing the exciting new features. Implementing these strategies will help the viewers of your profile better understand how you can help them, and the result will be great, new relationships that should lead to improved business and career success.

1.  You can only receive endorsements from 1st level connections and for skills you have acknowledged you possess. If you receive a pending endorsement notification from LinkedIn saying, John Jones wants to endorse you for basket weaving, don't say yes if you aren't a good basket weaver or don't want basket weaving listed as a skill in your Skills & Endorsements section.

2.  You can manage them to a certain extent. Scroll down to the Skills & Endorsements section of your profile, and then you can:
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Add any skills that show what you're good at from a professional standpoint. If your job duties include sales, add keywords that relate to the products and services you sell. After you click Add a new skill, type a skill in the box. LinkedIn will then suggest other skills based on the words you put in the box. If those skills are part of your skill set, be sure to add them to your list of skills.
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Delete a skill. Click the pencil icon in the top right corner. Then click the new trash can icon to the right of the skill you want to delete, and it's gone—along with any endorsements of that skill, of course.
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Pin and reorder your skills. This brand new feature enables you to pin your three most important skills at the top of your new subsection titled Top Skills—providing greater visibility and credibility for you. Simply click the pencil icon next to Add a new skill on the top right of your Skills & Endorsements section, and then click the pin icon next to the three skills you'd like at the top of your list. Viewers will only see these three skills until they click Show more. These should be your three very best keywords.

Next, review the skills in the other new categories (Industry Knowledge, Tools & Technologies, Interpersonal Skills, and Other Skills). Then reorder the entries in each category, from most important to least important, by dragging the four-line icon on the right.

Other than the three entries you've pinned in the Top Skills category, you cannot move skills to a different category. Also, you may not have all four of the categories on your profile if LinkedIn doesn't think you have skills in all four categories. For instance, I don't have Tools & Technologies on my profile.

Because you can now put your best skills at the top of these new lists, your connections will be more likely to endorse you for those skills—and soon they'll be the most endorsed skills on your profile. This will help you get closer to the top of the search results when people search for those skills.

Choose (1) whether or not you want to be endorsed, (2) whether you want LinkedIn to suggest endorsements to your connections, and (3) whether you want suggestions for endorsing your connections. Click the words Adjust endorsement settings on the bottom of the page to revise your settings. I recommend choosing Yes for all three settings.

3.  You can be endorsed for up to 50 skills. These skills are essentially keywords, and LinkedIn and other search engines love keywords; so I would use all 50 slots if I were you.

4.  You don't have to endorse everyone who endorses you. If you want to endorse them, go ahead, but don't feel obligated to do so.

5.  I'm pretty sure endorsements and the skills they attach to are part of the LinkedIn search algorithm. LinkedIn doesn't publicize its algorithm, but my guess is that skills are an important part of it, because LinkedIn doesn't invest this much time and effort into something that isn't going to help their top-line revenue. They are making a lot of money on their Recruiting Solutions product, and they obviously think this feature helps them deliver the "best" candidate for a certain skill ("best" meaning most endorsed).

6.  List skills that are important and consistent with your current or future business strategy. The skills you include, especially the ones you pin and move to the top of the other categories, should be important for you on a moving forward basis—and these may not be the same skills that have been historically important for you.

Also, don't worry about putting new skills in the pinned section or near the top of a category. You may not have any endorsements for them yet, but you'll get them over time.

7.  You might get someone's attention if you endorse them. Your face and name may appear on the person's profile, and LinkedIn will also send the person a message saying you just endorsed them.

8.  Endorsements may be the differentiator. If two profiles look similar in all respects but one has 120 endorsements for the skill you're looking for and the other has only 20, you may be inclined to choose the person with 120.

9.  Endorsements are great, but LinkedIn recommendations are still important. I recommend you get at least two recommendations, because LinkedIn now displays them very prominently and in full on your profile. This is especially important if you're a job seeker. Great recommendations will increase your credibility—and the more the better.

You should now be ready to impress readers of your profile with your specific skills and affirmation of those skills by LinkedIn members—and greater visibility and credibility is sure to lead to increased revenue.

 

SPECIAL OFFER

If you’d like help with developing a LinkedIn strategy that will catapult your business and career, take advantage of my limited time offer: a one-hour, one-on-one LinkedIn consultation for just $175 (50% off my regular fee). This offer also includes an in-depth critique of your profile.

I will share my computer screen with you during the call and send you a marked-up copy of your profile prior to the call.

There are limited spots available, so don't delay. Book your session today by clicking here.

The post Have You Taken Advantage of the Changes to LinkedIn Skills? appeared first on Wayne Breitbarth.

Have You Taken Advantage of the Changes to LinkedIn Skills?

LinkedIn's Skills & Endorsements section has been rather confusing from its inception, but they have been improving it over the years and have now added a couple really cool features that are easy to use and could have a significant impact on your business and career.

Because LinkedIn has made at least four revisions to Skills & Endorsements over the six years of its existence, we can assume this section is fairly important in the overall scheme of how LinkedIn works and, most importantly, in the way the critical search ranking algorithm works. I can't prove it, but I don't think LinkedIn would spend this much time and effort unless it really matters.
.

How to optimize your Skills & Endorsements profile section

Because the Skills & Endorsements section is confusing to many people, I will give you some overall strategies for capitalizing on it in addition to discussing the exciting new features. Implementing these strategies will help the viewers of your profile better understand how you can help them, and the result will be great, new relationships that should lead to improved business and career success.

1.  You can only receive endorsements from 1st level connections and for skills you have acknowledged you possess. If you receive a pending endorsement notification from LinkedIn saying, John Jones wants to endorse you for basket weaving, don't say yes if you aren't a good basket weaver or don't want basket weaving listed as a skill in your Skills & Endorsements section.

2.  You can manage them to a certain extent. Scroll down to the Skills & Endorsements section of your profile, and then you can:
.

Add any skills that show what you're good at from a professional standpoint. If your job duties include sales, add keywords that relate to the products and services you sell. After you click Add a new skill, type a skill in the box. LinkedIn will then suggest other skills based on the words you put in the box. If those skills are part of your skill set, be sure to add them to your list of skills.
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Delete a skill. Click the pencil icon in the top right corner. Then click the new trash can icon to the right of the skill you want to delete, and it's gone—along with any endorsements of that skill, of course.
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Pin and reorder your skills. This brand new feature enables you to pin your three most important skills at the top of your new subsection titled Top Skills—providing greater visibility and credibility for you. Simply click the pencil icon next to Add a new skill on the top right of your Skills & Endorsements section, and then click the pin icon next to the three skills you'd like at the top of your list. Viewers will only see these three skills until they click Show more. These should be your three very best keywords.

Next, review the skills in the other new categories (Industry Knowledge, Tools & Technologies, Interpersonal Skills, and Other Skills). Then reorder the entries in each category, from most important to least important, by dragging the four-line icon on the right.

Other than the three entries you've pinned in the Top Skills category, you cannot move skills to a different category. Also, you may not have all four of the categories on your profile if LinkedIn doesn't think you have skills in all four categories. For instance, I don't have Tools & Technologies on my profile.

Because you can now put your best skills at the top of these new lists, your connections will be more likely to endorse you for those skills—and soon they'll be the most endorsed skills on your profile. This will help you get closer to the top of the search results when people search for those skills.

Choose (1) whether or not you want to be endorsed, (2) whether you want LinkedIn to suggest endorsements to your connections, and (3) whether you want suggestions for endorsing your connections. Click the words Adjust endorsement settings on the bottom of the page to revise your settings. I recommend choosing Yes for all three settings.

3.  You can be endorsed for up to 50 skills. These skills are essentially keywords, and LinkedIn and other search engines love keywords; so I would use all 50 slots if I were you.

4.  You don't have to endorse everyone who endorses you. If you want to endorse them, go ahead, but don't feel obligated to do so.

5.  I'm pretty sure endorsements and the skills they attach to are part of the LinkedIn search algorithm. LinkedIn doesn't publicize its algorithm, but my guess is that skills are an important part of it, because LinkedIn doesn't invest this much time and effort into something that isn't going to help their top-line revenue. They are making a lot of money on their Recruiting Solutions product, and they obviously think this feature helps them deliver the "best" candidate for a certain skill ("best" meaning most endorsed).

6.  List skills that are important and consistent with your current or future business strategy. The skills you include, especially the ones you pin and move to the top of the other categories, should be important for you on a moving forward basis—and these may not be the same skills that have been historically important for you.

Also, don't worry about putting new skills in the pinned section or near the top of a category. You may not have any endorsements for them yet, but you'll get them over time.

7.  You might get someone's attention if you endorse them. Your face and name may appear on the person's profile, and LinkedIn will also send the person a message saying you just endorsed them.

8.  Endorsements may be the differentiator. If two profiles look similar in all respects but one has 120 endorsements for the skill you're looking for and the other has only 20, you may be inclined to choose the person with 120.

9.  Endorsements are great, but LinkedIn recommendations are still important. I recommend you get at least two recommendations, because LinkedIn now displays them very prominently and in full on your profile. This is especially important if you're a job seeker. Great recommendations will increase your credibility—and the more the better.

You should now be ready to impress readers of your profile with your specific skills and affirmation of those skills by LinkedIn members—and greater visibility and credibility is sure to lead to increased revenue.

 

SPECIAL OFFER

If you’d like help with developing a LinkedIn strategy that will catapult your business and career, take advantage of my limited time offer: a one-hour, one-on-one LinkedIn consultation for just $175 (50% off my regular fee). This offer also includes an in-depth critique of your profile.

I will share my computer screen with you during the call and send you a marked-up copy of your profile prior to the call.

There are limited spots available, so don't delay. Book your session today by clicking here.

The post Have You Taken Advantage of the Changes to LinkedIn Skills? appeared first on Wayne Breitbarth.

Is the LinkedIn Mobile App Helping You?

Because at most times you're probably closer to your mobile device than your desktop, it's important to understand the limitations and opportunities on the LinkedIn mobile app and adjust your LinkedIn strategy accordingly.

Linkedin has done a pretty good job of making the latest version of the desktop and the mobile app look and function the same, but there are still significant differences that need to be recognized. In order to take advantage of the full array of LinkedIn features, I generally access the desktop version because my tablet defaults to the mobile app.

Last week I wrote about specific strategies for getting your profile on the mobile app in tip-top shape. Now I will address mobile app activity features and other simple strategies that will help you capitalize on LinkedIn when you're on the go.
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Best LinkedIn mobile app strategies and features

Search for specific types of people. Advanced people search has long been one of the most helpful LinkedIn features on the desktop, but on the mobile app—well, not so much. But now things have changed. Although it's not the full advanced people search you might be used to, it's getting better and is definitively worth checking out.

Start by entering a keyword like marketing in the big, white search box on the top of your mobile app. Then select Marketing in People and click the word Filters on the top right.

You can further refine your search for people by connections (1st, 2nd or 3rd), connections of (my personal favorite), locations, current companies, past companies, industries, or schools.

Click the word Done in the top right corner when you're finished selecting your additional search filters. From the search results you can select the profiles you'd like to examine.

The are a lot more search filters on the desktop and you can also save searches, but the mobile app works pretty well when you need to do a quick search in a parking lot or airport.

Personalize your invitation to connect. Just click the three dots below the person's profile photo on your mobile screen and select Personalize invite. Then you have 300 characters to tell the person why it would be helpful for him/her to join your LinkedIn network.

Rather than simply clicking the Connect button on someone's profile, get in the habit of personalizing your invitations—on desktop and mobile—and you'll improve your chances of getting connected to people in your target audience.

Personalized invitations you receive. When you click the My Network icon on the bottom of the mobile home page, the invitations you've received will be displayed at the top of the screen. When you discover an invitation that includes a personalized note, it's usually a good idea to message the person back.

In my experience, when people write me a personalized note, there's a much greater chance that the relationship will bring about a win-win result.

Review your personal notifications. This is a "must click" tab because Linkedin has put in one place all the most important things going on in your network—with no advertising and no information from people you're not connected to. In other words, it's the stuff you want to know about and maybe engage with.

It ranges from important dates (birthdays, work anniversaries and job changes) to who is interacting with the things you've been publishing or engaging with. It's a virtual roadmap to information that could and should lead to a real interaction with someone.

Don't forget to utilize the tagging (@mention) feature for either the individual or their company for more interaction, engagement, and exposure when commenting or sharing information. Just click the "@" and then select the person you want to mention in your update. They will then be notified of your mention, and their name is then hyperlinked to their profile.

Share a status update. From the home page of your mobile app you can easily share and include your personal comments about an article, photo or video. Either copy and paste the article URL from your mobile web browser or directly upload a video or photo. This important LinkedIn function works seamlessly on the mobile app.

Send a direct message. Click the Messaging tab at the bottom of the app, and your LinkedIn inbox will appear, with all inbound and outbound messages in chronological order and looking very similar to the desktop version of your inbox. This function works great and allows you to respond in a timely manner, which is so important in the speed-to-answer world we find ourselves in.

I hope this primer on the best activity features on LinkedIn's mobile app helps you stay connected to your network anytime your mobile device is within reach.
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SPECIAL OFFER

If you’d like help with developing a LinkedIn strategy that will catapult your business and career, take advantage of my limited time offer: a one-hour, one-on-one LinkedIn consultation for just $175 (50% off my regular fee). This offer also includes an in-depth critique of your profile.

I will share my computer screen with you during the call and send you a marked-up copy of your profile prior to the call.

There are limited spots available, so don't delay. Book your session today by clicking here.

 

The post Is the LinkedIn Mobile App Helping You? appeared first on Wayne Breitbarth.

How Do You Look on the LinkedIn Mobile App?

Over half of all LinkedIn usage is on the LinkedIn mobile app, and we all know in which direction that statistic is going, don't we.

So, is your LinkedIn profile ready for people to view using the app?

Obviously, there are differences in the amount of information that LinkedIn can display on a desktop versus a mobile device, and that difference requires each of us to relook at how we have our profile set up. Obviously, we want to look our best regardless of what device people are using.

Therefore, here are my very best tips for making sure your profile really pops when people are checking you out on the go.
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Mobile App LinkedIn Profile Best Practices

Please keep in mind that many of the revisions outlined below need to be made from your desktop rather than your mobile device.

Headline.  Nothing shows up more prominently than this section, so make sure it clearly displays who you are and what you do.

If you have loaded this information via your desktop, this section is limited to 120 characters. However, if you enter this information via the mobile app, you just might get to include an additional 100 characters. I said "might" because I have heard from a few folks that they could not add the extra characters using their mobile app, but most people have had success.

Education.  Because only your first education entry shows up, it's important to display your best entry. It's still smart to put on your profile the one-day specialty training course you attended last year, but that's probably not the first thing you want viewers to see.

Summary.  On the mobile app, people will see the first 78 characters (including spaces) from your profile summary. This shows up right below your location, so it's important to take full advantage of those characters. I've seen some sales professionals include their phone number and business email here so viewers don't have to struggle to find that information.

Posts.  Published posts get high priority on the mobile app. One post is visible until a viewer chooses to view more. Therefore, you'll want to have at least one post that includes an eye-catching image.

Activity.  The mobile app displays your last two status updates. Don't miss this opportunity to increase your credibility with the LinkedIn communityespecially if your competitors are consistently sharing helpful information.

Job Titles.  LinkedIn does not truncate your job titles on mobile, so you'll want to take full advantage of your 100 characters. And by including a few descriptive words after your formal job title, readers will understand exactly what you can do for themand it will also improve where you appear in the LinkedIn search rankings.

Skills & Endorsements.  The three skills that you have "pinned" to the top of your profile will be displayed on your mobile profile as "Featured." Therefore, make sure they are your most important skills—which are probably also your most relevant keywords. This "pinning" process can only be accomplished on the desktop.

Recommendations.  On mobile, LinkedIn highlights one of your recommendationsand usually only the first part of your most recently received recommendation. If that information is not as flattering as you would like, you can ask that person to revise his/her recommendation, hide that recommendation if the next most recent is better, or try to get a brand new one that really pops.

Accomplishments.  This mobile section displays the raw number of publications, courses and certifications from the corresponding sections on your LinkedIn profile. Therefore, if you have published material, taken courses or received certifications, be sure to flaunt them on your profile, and you'll receive the added benefit of having these numbers show up on mobile.

People Also Viewed.  This is the final section of your mobile profile, and LinkedIn has given it lots of space and even a color of its own for added emphasis. But it's important to decide whether you really want this emphasis. People Also Viewed is an optional section on your LinkedIn profile, but it is automatically included unless you go to Settings and choose to eliminate it. Some people see it as a roadmap to their competitors. Only you can decide if it's helping or hurting you.
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SPECIAL OFFER

If you’d like help with developing a LinkedIn strategy that will catapult your business and career, take advantage of my limited time offer: a one-hour, one-on-one LinkedIn consultation for just $175 (50% off my regular fee). This offer also includes an in-depth critique of your profile.

I will share my computer screen with you during the call and send you a marked-up copy of your profile prior to the call.

There are limited spots available, so don't delay. Book your session today by clicking here.

The post How Do You Look on the LinkedIn Mobile App? appeared first on Wayne Breitbarth.

This LinkedIn Feature Will Really Wow You

LinkedIn has lots of great ways to find the right people in its 550 million person database, but the one that seems to have the biggest wow factor is using the "Connections of" feature to search. Whether I share this technique with individuals or huge audiences, I find that most people don't know they can do this nor can they believe it's available on the free LinkedIn account.

If you're like me and really appreciate receiving referrals from people in your network, you'll find this feature to be extremely valuable.

However, it's not easy to ask the open-ended question,"Who in your network could help me find a job, customer, etc.?" So, rather than putting all the pressure on your connection to come up with the right people, why not use LinkedIn's Connections of feature to find the right people all by yourself.
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How to search your connection's network

Follow these simple steps, and you'll quickly discover who might be able to help you achieve your goal.

Put your cursor in the big, white search box in the top toolbar and select Search for people from the drop-down menu.

Then select All Filters in the white toolbar that appears. Next, go to the Connections of box and type in your connection's name. When his/her name appears in the drop-down menu, choose that entry, and then click the blue Apply button.

Now use any of the other available filters to narrow the search to people at the right company, location, school attended, title, etc.

Caveat: If your connection has chosen to hide their first-level network from their connections, you'll only be able to see people to whom both of you are connected.
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What to do with the search results

Review the list that LinkedIn provides for you. If you find people who look interesting to you, check out their profile, and then ask your connection how best to approach the people (through a LinkedIn connection request, phone call, email, in-person meeting, etc.).

The three questions I would ask my connection about the people on the list are:
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  • Do you know them? (Not everyone knows the people in their network well enough to refer you)
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  • Do you know of any reason they wouldn't want to hear about how I might be able to help them? (You're trying to find out if your connection knows them well enough to know their level of interest in what you do)
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  • Can I use your name and our relationship when I reach out to them? (This is getting their permission to name drop)

If you get "Yes" or "You bet" to all three questions, then go ahead, reach out and try to start a new relationship by referring to your mutual connection. The reach-out could take place in the form of a LinkedIn connection request, but you could also use more traditional methods, like a phone call, email, or stopping by for a visit. 

If you're like most people, once they learn of this feature, they can't wait to get started and put it to use.

What are YOU waiting for? Get started NOW.

If you'd like me to show you other hard-to-find, "can't miss" LinkedIn features, help you formulate your personal LinkedIn strategy, plus provide an in-depth critique of your LinkedIn profile, sign up for a one-hour, one-on-one consultation with me for the significantly reduced rate of $175. (This is a limited-time offer.)

Book your personal session today at https://calendly.com/waynebreitbarth/special1on1linkedinconsult.

 

The post This LinkedIn Feature Will Really Wow You appeared first on Wayne Breitbarth.

Did you get this important new data from LinkedIn?

How long have you been waiting for LinkedIn to share the exact keywords people have used when searching for you on LinkedIn?

Good news! The wait is finally over.

This week I started getting a new list at the bottom of my Search Appearances section that shows just that. Now, if LinkedIn keeps this as an ongoing feature (they have a history of pulling features like this just when we get used to them), it will be a game-changer. If you haven't received this yet, stay tuned. Sometimes it takes a while for everyone to get LinkedIn’s new features.

How to find the list of keywords your searchers used

On your profile dashboard, click the box that shows the number of search appearances. At the bottom of the listing you’ll find five words or phrases your searchers used to find you.

If you haven't been here before, don't miss the potentially important data above this list that includes where your searchers work and what your searchers do. I’ll share specific strategies for that data in a future article.

You can also get this list on your mobile app by following the same steps.

Are these keywords your most important keywords going forward?

If you can't answer this question with a resounding YES, then you need to make some revisions to your profile and place more of the words you want to be searched by throughout your profile, especially in the profile sections that LinkedIn seems to give extra search algorithm weighting. See below for more specifics on this strategy.

If you’re in sales and having difficulty identifying your best keywords, they’re typically the products/services you offer to your customers. If you’re using LinkedIn for general branding purposes or to find a job, job postings can be quite helpful for finding your best keywords.

When I do one-on-one LinkedIn consultations and notice how people are using keywords, the most common mistake I see is they put lots of past, resume type information on their profiles rather than describing their current or future objectives. Past information should be included, but you really should focus on where you’re going rather than where you’ve been.

Where to put your most important keywords and how many to include

Because it’s part of their secret search algorithm, LinkedIn doesn’t give us much guidance about this. However, from my personal experience and work with my individual clients, I’ve learned that more is better, and including keywords in your Headline, Job Titles, and Skills is particularly advantageous.

“LinkedIn” is the first keyword on my list, and, not coincidentally, it’s included in all three profile sections I just mentioned. Putting your most important keywords in these three sections is one of the best LinkedIn strategies you can adopt, so be sure to get this done. 

Also, from a frequency standpoint, more is better (“LinkedIn” shows up on my profile 211 times), but I wouldn’t want to simply put “LinkedIn, LinkedIn, LinkedIn.” Not only have I found that LinkedIn will pick up on your efforts to keyword stuff (and they may penalize you for this), but you’ll look pretty silly to your profile reader as well. Therefore, try to weave your best keywords in as naturally as possible when you compose the various sections of your profile.  

Now that LinkedIn is sharing this important new data with you, get busy and make the necessary revisions to your profile. This will definitely improve your chances of showing up in the search results when the right people are searching for someone like you.

SPECIAL OFFER

If you’d like help with keyword identification and placement as well as developing a LinkedIn strategy that will catapult your business and career, take advantage of my limited time offer: a one-hour, one-on-one LinkedIn consultation for just $175 (50% off my regular fee). This offer also includes an in-depth critique of your profile.

I will share my computer screen with you during the call and send you a marked-up copy of your profile prior to the call.

There are limited spots available, so don't delay. Book your session today by clicking here.

The post Did you get this important new data from LinkedIn? appeared first on Wayne Breitbarth.

How to Build Your LinkedIn Company Marketing Machine

Over 13 million companies have company pages on LinkedIn. If your company doesn't have one, you can get started by clicking here.

But that's not the company marketing machine I'm referring to. I'm talking about coordinating all the employees at your company to have a consistent branding message relating to your company on each of their personal LinkedIn profiles. So, what would that coordination look like?

It starts with creating LinkedIn profile guidelines (a/k/a best practices) for your company and then sharing that information with everyone at your company who has a LinkedIn profile.

The best way to share these guidelines is to have a LinkedIn training session for all employees who have a LinkedIn account. (And, by the way, I can help you with this!). Employees need to understand the strategy behind the guidelines and not just "Here, do this because I said so."
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What to include in your company's LinkedIn profile guidelines

1.  Photo. Bring in a photographer and get professional headshots. You only get one chance to make a great first impression, and the photo is the first thing people see when they view someone’s profile.

2.  Background photo. Design a standard company background image that all employees can put on their personal LinkedIn profile. This could include your website address, physical address and phone number, photos of your products or facilities, etc.

3.  Keywords. These are critical on LinkedIn, and if you expect your people to show up in a search, you have to give them a list of five to ten of the most searched-for terms for the company—these are usually your products, services, brands, etc.—and then encourage your employees to place them in the right spots on their profile.

4.  Standard company description paragraph(s). Share with them one succinct paragraph to be included in the Summary section and a more detailed two or three paragraphs to be included in their job description for their current job at your company.

5.  Add media to current job experience entry. Give them videos, slide shows, photos of your best work or products, customer testimonials, etc. that they can display on their profile by uploading a file or linking to the information.

6.  Each employee’s job entry correctly attached to your company page. Make sure your company logo shows up on their job entry for your company. This is must-have branding.

If it doesn’t show up, it means (1) they added this job entry prior to your business having a company page with a logo attached or (2) they selected the wrong company or no company when adding this entry to their profile.

This is simple to fix. The employee simply edits that job entry and selects the correct company page when LinkedIn autofills as (s)he is typing in your company name.

7.  Sharing, “liking” or commenting on company status updates. This is a bit hard to monitor because it is ongoing and not a one-time profile change. But the more it’s done, the more sets of eyes your company updates are seen by, and we can all agree that is a good thing.

For additional LinkedIn company branding ideas, be sure to download my FREE eBook 10 LinkedIn Mistakes Companies Make and How to Fix Them Before They Damage Your Company's Reputation by clicking here. 

The post How to Build Your LinkedIn Company Marketing Machine appeared first on Wayne Breitbarth.

Are LinkedIn Groups Worth Your Valuable Time?

It's been rumored for more than a year that LinkedIn Groups are going away.

Well, that rumor has been squashed, at least in the short term, by LinkedIn this week. Some people, including me, received a direct LinkedIn message from people in LinkedIn's Product Marketing Department that started out like this:

"We’re currently working on making some changes to the LinkedIn Groups experience, and because you are an expert user, we wanted to give you some advance details on what’s coming. Groups is at the heart of what makes LinkedIn a trusted place for professionals to help and support one another, and the changes we’re planning will make Groups a bigger part of the main LinkedIn experience."

*The entire message and also a subsequent message that includes additional details are printed at the bottom of this article.

I am cautiously optimistic about this announcement. But in typical LinkedIn fashion, these changes will be rolled out over the coming months. Therefore, it may take a while for all of us to see the impact of these changes.

That being said, I still think the idea of like-minded individuals virtually hanging out with each other (the premise of LinkedIn Groups) is a winning idea. Therefore, let's review some of the best practices relating to groups.
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How to find information about the groups you're currently in

Click the Work tab on your top LinkedIn toolbar and then select Groups. You will then be taken to what I refer to as your LinkedIn Groups home page, which includes loads of information about your current groups, including:
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  • Today's highlights
  • Your most active groups
  • Listing of your current groups (under My Groups tab)
  • Suggested groups you may want to join (under Discover tab)
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How to find additional groups that are right for you

LinkedIn currently has over three million groups, and you can join up to 100 at any one time. Here are some of the ways to uncover the best places to hang out.

1. In your top toolbar, use specific keywords in the search box. When the results are returned, click Groups in the sub-tab. Here are some ideas of the kinds of searches you may want to try:
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  • Schools you have attended
  • Associations and groups you belong to
  • Your city, state or region
  • Your industry
  • Your customers' industry (this is often an overlooked opportunity)
  • Your hobbies or outside interests
  • Certifications you have earned
  • Types of software or other tools you use in your job
  • Events you've attended or will be attending

2. Review the groups listed on the bottom of the profile of any person you're already hanging out with or would like to hang out with.


Do's and don'ts of LinkedIn groups

After you've found the best places to hang out, it's time to get involved.

Each group has a different feel or culture, and it will be pretty obvious what type of activity is appropriate. However, here are some general do’s and don'ts to help improve your effectiveness when hanging out in groups.

Do this in your groups
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  • Get involved in discussions where the right folks are talking about the right topics. Of course, you'll need to have expertise that will add value to the discussion. Also, consider sharing a link to a place where they can get more information on the topic being discussed.
  • Invite fellow group members to join your network. If they're a particularly good target, mention in your invitation that you're in the same LinkedIn group or refer to a comment they made in a group discussion.
  •  If you're looking for employment, check out the group's Jobs tab.
  • Start your own discussion, and be sure to follow the ongoing conversation. Before starting a discussion, however, check out the group's rules, because some group managers have specifically outlawed links to your website or other things they feel are too self-promotional.
  • Suggest taking the conversation offline when it’s appropriate.
  • Send direct messages to members and share helpful information and/or resources.

Don’t do this in your groups
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  • Spend most of your time in group discussions selling your products and services.
  • Share any confidential information.
  • Make hurtful, personal or overly negative comments in the discussions.
  • Think that you have to get the daily or weekly LinkedIn email notifications regarding all the activities in all 100 groups you are in. This will be overwhelming. Pick a few of your best groups, and follow those. Check the others out when you have some extra time.
  • Think less of group members who have decided they don’t want to receive direct messages from other group members.
  • Hesitate to end your membership in a group if you feel you're not getting any results. There are usually several groups in the same space. Find a new one that's a better fit for you.

Groups are a great way to start and grow new relationships that can lead to mutually beneficial business opportunities. I hope you'll use these ideas and the new optimism about LinkedIn groups to explore ways that groups can enhance your business and career.
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Complete messages from LinkedIn about the future of LinkedIn Groups

January 14, 2018

Integrating Groups into the main LinkedIn experience

Wayne,

We’re currently working on making some changes to the LinkedIn Groups experience, and because you are an expert user, we wanted to give you some advance details on what’s coming. Groups is at the heart of what makes LinkedIn a trusted place for professionals to help and support one another, and the changes we’re planning will make Groups a bigger part of the main LinkedIn experience.

Our focus on re-integrating Groups back into the core LinkedIn experience means that we will no longer be able to support a standalone iOS app for Groups; that app will stop working as of February 15, 2018. But please know that your existing group memberships and contributions will not be affected as part of that change.

As a preview, here are some of the improvements you can look forward to when we roll them out to the main LinkedIn Groups web and mobile experience:

- Easier access to Groups right from the homepage, with the ability to see the latest content through the homepage feed and notifications.

- Better conversation tools, including the ability to post videos, @mention the members you want to weigh in, and reply to comments to keep the conversation going.

Ultimately, our goal is to create an even better Groups experience within the primary LinkedIn applications, so we are putting our focus there over the coming weeks and months. We'll be sending you updates as these improvements and many others become available. Stay tuned!
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January 23, 2018

Rolling out new notifications for Groups

Following up on my prior note about the improvements to LinkedIn Groups. The notifications we mentioned have started rolling out!

You'll begin seeing notifications for social activities on your group posts, including likes, comments, and @mentions, and for membership activities, such as group invitations. These real-time alerts of groups' activities will be available directly on the LinkedIn website and LinkedIn mobile apps. To learn more about how to access your notifications and update your preferences, visit https://www.linkedin.com/help/linkedin/answer/76636/managing-your-linkedin-notification-updates?lang=en.

We'll be sure to keep you in the loop when the full set of notifications and other improvements become available!

The post Are LinkedIn Groups Worth Your Valuable Time? appeared first on Wayne Breitbarth.

I Hope You’re Not Making This BIG LinkedIn Mistake

If you haven't given serious thought to what location and industry you've selected on your LinkedIn profile, you're probably leaving money on the table. Why? Because you aren't coming up in the search list when your target audience uses them to search for someone like you.

Most people haven't given this choice a moment's consideration since setting up their profile many years ago. I suggest now is a good time to reconsider what you've selected so you can be sure your choices are helping you accomplish your current goals and your goals going forward.


The options are limited but very important

LinkedIn allows you to choose only one industry and one location. Since many of us wear more than one hat and do business nationally or even globally, this can be quite challenging.

(Note: Currently the industry you select is not displayed on your profile, but it's still important because it's one of the most used search filters.)

Secondly, they're not only extremely important when people search on LinkedIn but on Google and other search engines as well.

Industry and Location are two of the filter options when you use the LinkedIn advanced people searching function. They are frequently used by people who are looking for your products, services, expertise, and—especially if you're looking for a job—YOU.
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How to choose the best location and industry

Start by putting yourself in the shoes of people who are searching for you or someone like you. What location and industry might they put in the advanced search boxes? Here are some strategies to help you get started:
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  • If you're a job seeker and thinking about relocating or working in a new industry, use the new location and industry.
  • If you're a sales professional who sells your products and services in a certain part of the country or world or to a specific industry, consider using that location and industry. In other words, think about your customers' industries and locations. This may take priority over your personal industry and location.
  • If you're not seeking a new job and aren't directly selling anything, select the broadest but still correct location (e.g., select Greater Milwaukee Area instead of Thiensville, Wisconsin).
  • If you have multiple industry and location choices that are equally good, consider changing them out from time to time to your alternative choices.
  • Consider mentioning multiple cities, regions or industries in other profile sections to improve your search ranking and your chances of being found. The sections that work well for this would be your Summary, Job Experiences, Job Locations, Interests, and maybe even your Headline if it's important enough.
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  • Share your thought process for your location and industry choices with others at your company, industry associations, networking groups, etc. and get their feedback. There probably isn't only one correct answer, so getting opinions of other knowledgeable people who know your situation is a no-brainer.
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How to enter or adjust your location and industry

Follow these simple steps, and you'll greatly improve your chances of being found by your target audience.

Go to your profile by clicking the Me icon in your top toolbar.

Click the pencil to the right of your profile photo.

Select your country from the drop-down menu.

Type in your postal code.

Select either a region or city that is provided from the Locations within this area box.

Select your desired industry from the drop-down menu.

Click Save.

Don't make the mistake your competitors are probably making—not taking the time to carefully choose their industry and location or, worse yet, letting LinkedIn make the location choice for them.

Granted, because of LinkedIn's limitations, there's probably no perfect answer. But making a conscious, thoughtful decision about what location and industry to choose is sure to give you a leg up on your competitors.
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SPECIAL OFFER

For more simple strategies to improve your LinkedIn ROI, along with a detailed critique of your profile, take advantage of my limited time offer: a one-hour, one-on-one phone consultation for just $175 (50% off my regular fee). 

I will share my computer screen with you during the call and send you a marked up copy of your profile prior to the call.

There are limited spots available, so don't delay. Book your session today by clicking here.

The post I Hope You’re Not Making This BIG LinkedIn Mistake appeared first on Wayne Breitbarth.

Get Your Free Gift From LinkedIn Now!

LinkedIn has given all of its users a very special but hard to find gift, and most people are not taking advantage of it.

So, what is this special gift?

It is an additional 100 characters in what I consider to be the most important section of your profile—your headline. Historically this section has been limited to just 120 characters (including spaces), and now you can enter 220 characters—but only if you use the LinkedIn mobile app to enter your headline.

That is 83 percent more space to clearly tell your audience what you do and add more keywords to improve your LinkedIn search ranking.

Personally, this allowed me to feature in my headline an additional LinkedIn service I provide, "1 on 1 LinkedIn Strategy & Profile Consultations." Ka-Ching!
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How to get this special gift

Download the LinkedIn app for your iOS or Android device. Get more info here.

Open the LinkedIn app, click on your photo in the top left-hand corner of your home page; then click the pencil to the right of your photo on your profile page.

Add to your existing headline or enter a new one (up to 220 characters, including spaces).

Click Save, and your new, expanded headline will then be visible to LinkedIn users not only when they're using the LinkedIn app but on the desktop as well.

If you need additional help with your headline (including several great examples of well-written LinkedIn headlines), download my FREE Definitive Worksheet to Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile Headline here:

 

Download (PDF, 669KB)

 

 

The post Get Your Free Gift From LinkedIn Now! appeared first on Wayne Breitbarth.