Is Your LinkedIn Profile Helping Your Competitors?

One of the highlights of my work week is helping people improve their LinkedIn profile and formulate a strategy for engaging in the kind of LinkedIn activities that will produce real results (see Screen Shot 2017-09-13 at 9.59.28 AMspecial offer below to book a phone consultation with me).

More often than not, one of the LinkedIn features we talk about (and it applies to both profile optimization and activity strategy) is the People Also Viewed profile section.

This optional section (that's right, it's optional) shows up in the right-hand column of your profile and tells you who else people are looking at in addition to you.

Now, LinkedIn doesn't share exactly how the list is generated (other than this interview from a few years ago with a LinkedIn data guy), and you have no control over who appears on your profile. The default setting will put the list on your profile, but you can take it off your profile if you prefer.

How to take advantage of People Also Viewed

If someone is interested in you and looks at your profile (e.g., prospective client, employee, donor, etc.), it's likely they'll scroll over to People Also Viewed, where they'll probably see a target list of people who are very much like you.

Personally, I got tired of my competitors showing up on my profile, so I decided to adjust the People Also Viewed setting to remove the list from my profile. I feel pretty good about my decision because I can still see the People Also Viewed list on other people's profiles (unless they've also changed from the default setting). And if my competitors haven't changed their setting from the default, I can still show up in the People Also Viewed list on their profile.

It seems like a no-brainer to me. Click here to learn how to change your setting.

Over time, if more and more people do what I'm suggesting, this feature will become less helpful. But, trust me, LinkedIn will probably change something before we get to that point. Take advantage of it while you can.

Another way to take advantage of the People Also Viewed feature is to check the list often on your clients' and prospective clients' profiles, and add some of these names to your master prospect list. And, hey, why not try to connect with the ones you're not connected with—and be sure to use a customized invitation in which you tell them what's in it for them if they accept your invitation.

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 phone consultation with me for the significantly reduced rate of $175. (This is a limited-time offer.)

Book your personal session today at

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Did LinkedIn Make the Right Choice for You?

Traffic LightLinkedIn just added an exciting new feature that should really improve your ability to communicate with your connections. But as exciting as it may seem, I highly recommend you thoughtfully review the related settings for this feature and possibly revisit some of your current strategies relating to connecting and messaging.

The new feature is referred to as Active Status, and, simply put, it's a way for you to see if a connection is currently active on the LinkedIn site, either on desktop or mobile. Currently, you can only see a person's status when you're in the Messaging section of LinkedIn, but my guess is that this will be expanded to other LinkedIn sections in the future.

You can access your Messaging section by clicking the Messaging tab on your top toolbar.

How does Active Status work?

Screen Shot 2017-09-07 at 10.55.25 AMIf your connections are currently active on LinkedIn, you'll see a green circle in the bottom right corner of their profile photo if they're on their desktop or a green circle with a white dot in the middle if they're on their mobile app. If you see either of these circles and send them a message, they will be instantly notified of your message.

Personally, when I've noticed connections are active and then sent them a message or responded to a message they had sent me, I've gotten quick responses numerous times.

However, when I've discussed this new feature with people, the opinions are mixed. Some like it and some don't. The concern seems to be that it may lead to unwanted solicitations and spam messages as well as a new category of nuisance person on LinkedIn referred to as "message stalkers." But many people are hopeful that Active Status is a breakthrough tool that will facilitate real-time conversations and move casual relationships toward meaningful and mutually profitable relationships.

How to adjust your Active Status settings

The default setting allows people to see whether you are currently active or inactive. I personally believe this is the appropriate setting for most people, especially considering that you can put yourself in "do Screen Shot 2017-09-07 at 10.56.58 AMnot disturb" mode by switching your Display your active status setting to "No" at any time.

You may also find it helpful to block certain connections from seeing whether you're active or not. Simply type their name in the Hide active status from select people box, and they will not be able to see your active status. Doing this will not affect the rest of your network; they'll still be able to see whether you're active or inactive.

To access this setting:

  • Click on the Me tab on your top toolbar
  • Select Settings & Privacy from the drop-down menu
  • Click the Privacy tab
  • Choose Manage active status
  • Switch the toggle to Yes or No

I look forward to seeing whether or not people use this new LinkedIn feature and hopefully hearing success stories from those who use it strategically. But my initial reaction is well done, LinkedIn; keep new features like this coming our way.

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Does Your LinkedIn Account Need to be Tightened Down?

SettingsThe LinkedIn Privacy & Settings section has a new look and feel. If you haven’t noticed it yet, I suggest you take a little tour to check things out. The changes aren’t earth shattering, but there are some changes in functionality.

Therefore, I think it’s time to address simple ways to adjust your settings, because time is money, and you’ll have more success if you can avoid spending time on the least important elements of LinkedIn and focus on the elements that have revenue-generating potential. Here are nine simple ways to improve your efficiency.

1.  Reduce the type and frequency of inbound LinkedIn emails. Go to your settings by Screen Shot 2016-04-28 at 8.18.43 AMscrolling over your photo on the top right of any LinkedIn page. Select Privacy & Settings> Communications>Email frequency.

There are eight major email notification categories. Click the down arrow to the right of the word Details to view the options available to you because you may not like the default LinkedIn has selected for you.

2.  Decide who you’ll allow to send you invitations to connect. You can limit connection requests to people who have your email address or who appear on a list you import into LinkedIn. Once again, access Privacy & Settings and then select Communications>Who can send you invitations.

3.  Reduce the number of groups you are in and adjust the settings in each group. The benefits of being in lots of LinkedIn groups are too numerous to mention here, but if you strategically decide to limit your group involvement, you’ll need to choose whether you want to be notified of updates from the group and, if so, how often. To make your choices, go to Privacy & Settings>Which emails do you want to receive>Group updates.

4.  Limit how much, if any, of your profile is visible to the general public. Your LinkedIn profile typically comes up very high when people are searching your name on the internet. Adjust your settings to display all, some, or none of your LinkedIn profile in the “Google world.” This is done by choosing Privacy & Settings>Privacy>Edit your public profile.

5.  Become invisible when you are “stalking” others. The top rated feature from my last Screen Shot 2016-04-28 at 8.34.35 AMLinkedIn user survey was Who’s Viewed Your Profile. This feature allows you to see who is “stalking” you. However, if you don’t want people to know when you’ve been checking them out, you can change your setting and be totally anonymous. But if you do this, you will no longer see the names of the people who have viewed your profile.

Choose what works best for you by going to Privacy & Settings>Privacy>Profile viewing options.

6.  Tell LinkedIn you really don’t want to hear from them. Go to Privacy & Settings>Communications>LinkedIn messages. Change your setting from the default for both Participate in research and Partner email. Then you won’t get LinkedIn announcements, partner announcements, or invitations to be involved in research.

7.  Stop LinkedIn from using you as an advertising subject. Did you ever see your smiling face included in a LinkedIn ad? Unless you tell them, Heck no, I don’t want to be in your ads, they can use your photo. Be sure to review all the default settings in the Data Privacy and Advertising sections. You find those in Privacy & Settings>Privacy>Data Privacy and Advertising. 

8.  Don’t let your network know when you are changing your profile. The default is Screen Shot 2016-04-28 at 9.00.35 AMthat LinkedIn notifies your network when you make changes to your profile. You may want to turn this setting off if you are making lots of changes over a short period of time or you just don’t want everyone at your company to know you are improving your profile for whatever reason.

The easiest way to turn this off is from the right-hand column of your profile. Simply slide over the button from Yes (green) to No (red).

9.  Hide your connections’ updates individually or forever. When someone’s post Screen Shot 2016-04-28 at 9.10.12 AMappears in your home feed and you no longer wish to see it there, select Hide this particular update from the drop-down menu that pops up when you scroll over the down arrow on the top right of the update. If you feel the update is inappropriate, spam, etc. and you wish to notify LinkedIn about it, select Report this update.

If you no longer want to see any updates from that person in your home feed, select Unfollow [person’s name].

If you follow these nine simple steps, you’ll reduce unwanted activity and free yourself up to focus on LinkedIn activities that will lead to business and career success.

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Is Your LinkedIn Data Adequately Protected?

Do you remember how your mom used to say “Better safe than sorry”? Well, as we approach the end of the year, I strongly suggest that you take a better-safe-than-sorry approach with your LinkedIn profile and related information. last day of the month

Here are three simple steps you can take to safeguard your LinkedIn account, because occasionally “stuff” happens, and you don’t want to lose your profile or your network and have to start from square one.

Download Your LinkedIn Data

Just follow these four simple steps:

1.  Scroll over your small photo (or headshot icon if you don’t have a photo) on the right side of your top toolbar.

2.  Choose Privacy & Settings from the drop-down menu that appears under your photo.

3.  Click the Account tab near the bottom of the page.Screen Shot 2015-12-11 at 2.13.52 PM

4.  Under the Helpful Links section, choose Request an archive of your data.

That’s it. Within 72 hours, you’ll receive a file from LinkedIn. It will be sent to the primary email listed in your LinkedIn account.

You’ll obviously find some of the information to be more useful than others, but I can assure you there are some real gems in here. You’ll receive:

Account information

  • Registration information
  • Login history, including IP records
  • Email address history

Other information

  • The current name on your account and any previous name changes
  • A list of your 1st degree connections. You’ll receive first name, last name, current title, current company, and primary email address
  • Photos that have been uploaded to your account
  • Endorsements you’ve received
  • A list of the skills on your profile
  • Recommendations given and received
  • Group contributions
  • Your search history
  • Content you’ve posted, shared, liked, or commented on
  • Mobile apps you’ve installed
  • Ads you’ve clicked on
  • The targeting criteria LinkedIn uses to show you ads

Change your password

You never know when LinkedIn might have a password debacle like the one that affected over six million accounts a few years ago. Do this one now!

Screen Shot 2015-12-11 at 2.15.21 PM

Click Privacy & Settings, which pops up when you scroll over your name on the top right of any LinkedIn page. After you enter your password, you will be taken to the Settings page. Select the Account tab and then choose Change password.

Save Your Profile

If for any reason your profile is partially or totally deleted, you can quickly restore it if it’s been properly saved. The saved version is also a handy summary to share with people when you need a quick resume.

Click Profile on your top toolbar. Near the bottom of your top box, scroll over the arrow that’s just to the right of the dark blue View profile as button. Screen Shot 2015-12-11 at 2.16.34 PMFrom the drop-down menu, select Save as PDF. You will get a PDF version of your profile (minus your photo and any uploaded media) that you can print and, more importantly, save.

By the way, you can do this for any profile, not just your own.

Now you can rest peacefully, knowing your LinkedIn account is securely backed up–and you’ve heeded your mother’s better-safe-than-sorry advice.

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