Introducing Trending Storylines: Discover trending news and views on LinkedIn

As professionals, two of our most valuable assets are time and knowledge. When we go to our news feeds every morning, we want to connect to the stories that matter most to us professionally. We not only want to know what’s being discussed quickly, but also want to get smarter by discovering diverse perspectives and joining the conversation. Today we’re excited to announce the launch of Trending Storylines. Storylines are daily curated interest-based feeds about the most important developing...

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Did the New LinkedIn Wreak Havoc on Your Profile?

Do you think the changes to your new profile are simply cosmetic? Wrong!

Female Driver Making Phone Call After Traffic Accident

Do you think LinkedIn had your personal best interest in mind when they revised how your profile looks or works? Sorry. Think again.

Simply stated, LinkedIn hurt the effectiveness of your profile.

I apologize for being the bearer of this bad news, but I do have some good news. Within 15-20 minutes, you can take these five simple steps to update your new profile so it works just as well as the old one—maybe even better.
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Five steps to dramatically improve your new LinkedIn profile

Your profile photo is no longer a large square that is placed way over to the left. It's now a smaller circle (so you may need to crop your photo differently), and it's almost centered on the page. This means your photo is catching more people's attention.

Screen Shot 2017-03-16 at 2.12.19 PMThis recent article from LinkedIn will help you make the necessary changes: "LinkedIn Profile Photo Tips: Introducing Photo Filters and Editing."

Your Headline is also almost centered and is one of the few sections of your profile that isn't collapsed—which means it has increased importance. This may be the perfect time to revise what I consider to be the most important 120 characters on your profile for search ranking and clarity.

For help with your Headline, download my free, three-page worksheet The Definitive Worksheet to Optimize Your LinkedIn Headline. Be warned that I haven't had time yet to revise the graphics for this worksheet to reflect LinkedIn's new look, but the strategies are still spot on.

Your Intro, a brand new term on LinkedIn (the first approximately 200 characters of Screen Shot 2017-03-16 at 2.14.06 PMyour Summary), needs to give the reader your most important information and work in tandem with your 120-character Headline above.

I am partial to including whatever contact information you feel comfortable sharing in your Summary. After that, make the spaces count, because very few people are going to click See more if they haven't found your profile relevant or interesting up to this point. In the past your complete Summary was displayed, but now it's collapsed until the reader clicks See more.

Your first Experience entry is now the only experience entry on your profile that is not collapsed. This means it better be really good because it may be the only one anyone reads.

Screen Shot 2017-03-16 at 2.17.42 PMTo improve the Experience entries on your profile, check out Does the LinkedIn Experience Section of Your Profile Impress Anyone?

Again, be warned that the screen shots represent the old profile format.

Your subsequent Experience entries are now collapsed and may no longer be read as frequently as they were with the old profile layout. The critical strategy here is to use all 100 characters of the Experience Title fields to not only display your job title but to also highlight specific skills you used in that job.

The cleanest way to do this is to follow up your title with something like this: (Specializing in ______, ______, ______). Repeat this process for all titles in your Experience section.

In addition to clarity, a further benefit is that the LinkedIn search ranking algorithm gives extra weighting to words included in the Experience Title fields.

It's important to get these profile changes done soon, because you never know how soon the right people will start checking you out.

I want to thank my recent one-on-one LinkedIn consulting client John Schneider for allowing me to showcase some of his updated profile sections.

In the next few weeks I am offering a limited number of one-hour individual LinkedIn consulting sessions for just $175. This is 50% off my regular hourly consulting rate.

Let me help you enhance your profile and develop a winning LinkedIn strategy.

Our one-hour session will be via phone and screen share. Prior to our session, I will analyze your profile and email to you a marked up copy of it. Click here to schedule your session.

Here is the recommendation I received from John after our time together:

"I decided to engage his consulting services to review and make recommendations for my LinkedIn profile and for how I use LinkedIn. Wayne is very generous with the information he shares and provided me with several excellent insights. I immediately started using his recommendations, and I look forward to seeing the results in the upcoming weeks."

I look forward to helping you upgrade your profile and use LinkedIn to exceed your 2017 goals.

The post Did the New LinkedIn Wreak Havoc on Your Profile? appeared first on Wayne Breitbarth.

Your Sweet Spot: Where Job Opportunity and Affordable Housing Intersect

A new Sweet Spots report from Zillow and LinkedIn highlights the U.S. metros that offer professionals affordable housing and strong job opportunity. Finding a decent place to rent in a desirable city that’s within your budget, while also having some extra spending money left over seems like a near-impossible task. For this reason, we combined forces with Zillow to uncover U.S. metros where this is a reality. To do this, we analyzed employment and housing data for a common set of priorities for...

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LinkedIn Profile Photo Tips: Introducing Photo Filters and Editing

Not only does your profile photo help you get recognized on LinkedIn, it can often help you connect to opportunity, whether that’s a new job or an invitation to speak at an industry event. Simply having a profile photo results in up to 21x more profile views and 9x more connection requests. While your photo is an important piece to getting you noticed, that doesn’t mean you need to hire a professional photographer. In fact, you probably already have a photo that can work perfectly for your...

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Here is a Hidden LinkedIn Feature I Know You’re Going to Love

When I tell people about this incredible LinkedIn feature, most people say, "I didn't know LinkedIn could do that!" As a matter of fact, I can't even find where LinkedIn has a name for it; so I like to refer to it as the LinkedIn Keyword Treasure Chest.

Let's say you want to research search engine optimization. To access the treasure chest, go to https://www.linkedin.com/topic/search_engine_optimization. If you have Treasure chest full of gold under the seamultiple words, like search engine optimization, be sure to try it with a space between the words, underscores between the words, and also try abbreviations—for example, https://www.linkedin.com/topic/seo. I found that each approach will result in different useful information.
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What treasure will you find?

If you're interested in search engine optimization—finding a vendor, checking out what your competitors who specialize in SEO are doing, or perhaps looking for a job as an SEO specialist—your treasure hunt will uncover:
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  • Screen Shot 2017-03-10 at 1.14.05 PMPopular articles about SEO that are posted on LinkedIn
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  • People who have listed SEO as a skill on their profile and the name of the school they attended
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  • Topics similar to or related to SEO
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  • Popular SlideShare presentations on SEO
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  • LinkedIn groups you can join related to SEO
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  • SEO jobs posted on LinkedIn

The Keyword Treasure Chest feature appears be a bit inconsistent, because the format of the page and the information on the page can vary. However, despite these variations, you can discover some extremely valuable information.
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Observations and action steps

This may seem like a lot of random information; so let me share some ideas about how you can use this information to advance your business and career.

1.  Skills. Ask yourself, Have I listed all applicable skills in my Skills section?

2.  Presentations. Check out what your competitors are sharing with their audiences, and make sure what you're sharing is equally valuable to your market.

3.  Individuals. Check out the profiles of key individuals on the list. Does this give you any ideas about information you should add to your profile? If the person is a competitor, you may want to change your "Select what others see when you've viewed their profile" setting to anonymous before stalking him/her. Then the person won't know that you've scoped out his/her profile.

4.  Groups. Check them out and consider joining any groups that are relevant to your business or job search. Remember—birds of a feather flock together.iStock_000031736840_Small

5.  Jobs. If you're a job seeker, this could be the yellow brick road to your very own Oz.

6.  Companies. If you're a salesperson or a job seeker, check out the Company page and see what's going on. Then click the Follow button so you can be informed of future happenings at the company that may give you an inside track to a potential sale or job opportunity.

7.  Articles. Read them and learn, but also take note of the authors and ask yourself, Am I publishing articles like this about my area of expertise—and, if not, why not?

I definitely need to join you in capitalizing on this LinkedIn Keyword Treasure Chest. I need to go beyond my more obvious keywords—LinkedIn, LinkedIn speaker, LinkedIn consultant, LinkedIn consulting, LinkedIn trainer—and keep thinking of new keywords to try, like social selling, sales training, keynote speaker, etc. I have lots to do! How about you?

The post Here is a Hidden LinkedIn Feature I Know You’re Going to Love appeared first on Wayne Breitbarth.

Job Growth Remains High in 2017: LinkedIn Workforce Report March 2017

If you’re looking for a new job, 2017 may be your best year yet. Hiring across the U.S. was 1.4% higher in February compared to February 2016. It’s the strongest consecutive months of hiring activity since August and September 2015. That’s according to our new LinkedIn Workforce Report - a report we publish monthly that can help you navigate your career. It sheds light on hiring trends, the skills companies need most, and where workers are moving to and from. It’s unclear if this trend is...

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International Women’s Day: Celebrating the Progress of Women Leaders in the Workplace

Gender inequality in the workplace remains prominent, but there has been progress made in hiring women into leadership roles, according to LinkedIn data. On March 8th, LinkedIn will join the world in celebrating International Women’s Day. We are committed to creating a more gender-inclusive world, and believe that data can help us think critically about the current state of the professional gender gap, and how to close it. We analyzed millions of LinkedIn profiles to see the industries, job...

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Get Results in Just 15 Minutes on the New LinkedIn

Because of all the changes taking place on LinkedIn, people are frequently asking me what they should be doing each day for maximum LinkedIn success. So today I'm going to give you a 15-minute daily to do list.paper with To Do or Done multiple choice

If you want more help with time management on LinkedIn, you can find many of these daily ideas—along with weekly, monthly and quarterly to do lists—in one of the most popular chapters in my book: Ready...Set...Go: A Six-Week, Two-Hour-Per-Week Roadmap to Results.
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Your daily 15-minute LinkedIn to do list

Screen Shot 2017-03-02 at 8.38.12 AM

These four critical steps should take you no more than 15 minutes—and if completed consistently, they should bring you quantifiable LinkedIn results.

1.  Review Who's Viewed Your Profile and reach out to the people you should be meeting (3 minutes).

Viewing your profile is the equivalent of walking into your store, so be sure to reach out and ask the person how you might be able to help him/her. This feature has some limits, depending on your personal settings and if you're paying for a premium account or not. Check out this article for a full discussion.

2.  Send invitations to join your LinkedIn network, using a custom invitation, to people you met (in person or on the phone) since the last time you sent out outbound invitations (5 minutes).

Making this part of your networking process or routine will help you in many different ways on LinkedIn. To get the inside scoop on adding gas (connections) to your LinkedIn tank, be sure to download a copy of my free article The LinkedIn Connection Conundrum: Who Should be in Your Network. Improving your search ranking on LinkedIn is all about connections, especially the right ones, and people you have already met are spot on.

Screen Shot 2017-03-02 at 8.44.06 AM3.  Review all the important information in your Notifications Tab (4 minutes).

This tab on the new LinkedIn desktop is awesome. It puts all the most relevant information about you and your connections in one convenient place. For a deeper discussion of this feature, check out last week's post.

4.  Take time to review all of your inbound invitations to connect (3 minutes).

That's right—take a little Screen Shot 2017-03-02 at 8.42.05 AMtime. Don't just quickly click Accept or Ignore. My suggestion is to first read all the messages that people took the time to write in their connection request and respond accordingly.

Also, look at the profiles of the people you may want to follow up with, looking for areas of commonality or opportunity. Remember—these people took the first step, and it's your job to figure out what the next step should or could be.

Of course, there will be people who attempt to connect with you that are probably spammers and others whom you simply see no reason to have them in your network. Don't hesitate to click Ignore in these cases.

Make sure you find 15 minutes in your day to accomplish these four tasks, because it will undoubtedly lead to new and deeper relationships with people who can significantly impact your professional career.

The post Get Results in Just 15 Minutes on the New LinkedIn appeared first on Wayne Breitbarth.

5 Useful Lead Nurturing Tactics to Get More Opportunities

Lead-Nurturing-TacticsLead nurturing is one of those things that’s easy to talk about but hard to do. In this article, I’ll share how to apply lead nurturing to help advance leads through three stages of your lead generation funnel to get more qualified opportunities.

Here’s the thing:

Our customer’s don’t see our funnels. They only have the aggregate experience of what they see, hear, and feel from us. Yet, it’s helpful to notice that all customer buying cycles fit into three distinct funnel stages.

Let me explain.

Three Lead Generation Stages You Need to Nurture

Top of the Funnel (TOFU): People at this stage are searching for ideas, tips, and resources to help them answer questions and get ideas for problems they’re facing. You’re attracting relevant Lead-Generation-Funnelvisitors, but they are unknown. Your goal is to assist and provide enough value to get a conversion and move them from  anonymous visitors to known people (i.e. name, company, email, etc.)

Middle of the Funnel (MOFU): At this stage, people took some conversion step to express interest (subscribe, register, or download, etc.). You need to learn if this person and/or their company is a fit and their level of qualification. You also want to learn about their motivation. During this stage, you’ll share content to help progress them from interest towards purchase intent.

Bottom of the Funnel (BOFU) – People are moving through a series micro-yeses and decisions on their journey. At this stage, you’re moving them from being a lead to a sales qualified opportunity. This is where the hand-off from marketing to sales takes place and where people ultimately make the buying decision.

All three are part of an integrated lead generation funnel, and this article touches on each element while taking a closer look at lead nurturing.

Read on for five lead nurturing tactics that will help you move people who’ve expressed interest into sales-qualified opportunities.

Top of the Funnel – Use a Portfolio Approach

Without lead generation, there are no leads to nurture, and I recommend a portfolio approach to lead generation involving at least three to four different lead types like the following:

  • Online
  • Email
  • Events
  • Inside sales/sales development

Don’t rely on just one primary lead source. The best marketers approach their work like a portfolio manager would run their mutual fund. Portfolio managers are always strategizing and testing, the optimal investment strategy. Think about it.

The following mind map shows some of the channels can use in your lead generation portfolio. lead-generation-channel-map

Identify what’s working right now in your lead generation portfolio and try new things. Switch channels in and out as you test. Your top of the funnel lead generation becomes a multi-touch process when you use more than one channel.

You’ll find one channel is good at starting a conversation while another might work better at advancing your discussion. You begin nurturing leads from the moment you say hello.

One last thing. Look at your budget for top of the funnel. Marketers allocate the largest chunk of their budget to TOFU (channels, content, and martech).  I often recommend marketers to allocate about 20% to 40% to nurturing the leads you already have in the middle and bottom of your funnel. Check out Marketing 101: How to get started in lead generation

Middle of the Funnel: Nurturing Leads for Progression

First, the easiest way to begin lead nurturing is to look at the contacts you already have in your databases. How can you advance the conversations one step further? Think of lead nurturing as an extension of the conversation you started with TOFU lead generation.

Look at the relationships you’ve started through the different lead generation sources and ask what content or information can be shared to advance that conversation.

If you need help starting a basic lead nurturing path read this.

Tactic #1. Enable sales and inside sales during lead nurturing

Sales is an essential part of building your lead nurturing process. The ultimate goal of lead nurturing is to get more sales and advance more qualified opportunities into the pipeline.

You can invite sales to participate in the following ways:

  • Get their perspective from talking with customers
  • Ground test ideas for nurture messaging before you implement
  • Share what they hear from clients and in the marketplace

If you’re wondering what kinds of content helps progress leads further faster, start by asking your sales questions like, “What’s the content you share with prospects that help them convert or move forward to the next step?”

The goal of lead nurturing is to help progress leads from initial interest toward purchase intent. It’s about progression. Sales people often struggle with developing nurturing content without support.

Here’s an example of involving Sales in the lead nurturing process.

Let’s say you just did a webinar or an online event. You can equip your sales development or inside sales team with a nurturing follow-up email template and content such as an executive summary or main takeaways from the webinar.

With that content, your sales team can call these leads and say, ‘I saw you attended our webinar last week, and we put together an executive summary and a two-page document with the main takeaways, what did you think of the event? Was it helpful? I like asking, “what motivated you to register or attend?” Why? Because when you understand their motivation, you can better help them.

Giving Sales this lead nurturing content provides them with a valid business reason to engage the prospect.

It’s about building relationships and adding value to people, even if they never buy from you. Empower your sales team to do nurturing. For more on this read, you can’t automate trust. Read

more at How Empathy Will Grow Your Sales and Marketing Pipeline

Tactic #2. Nurturing as a small business

Larger companies with marketing teams will likely have tools such as marketing automation and CRM software that help automate parts of lead nurturing.

Small businesses, even as small as a one-person company, face challenges in only finding the time for lead nurturing.

The solution is to set up a nurturing calendar with a particular time every day, or at least once per week, to nurture the database. Create a plan to add value every time you touch your future customers with valuable ideas, content, and resources. Also, I recommended making this time either during non-business hours or during the non-revenue generating time and also suggested leveraging email or blogging to share content. For more ideas read 5 things you can do to improve lead generation,

Tactic #3. Repurpose content for nurturing

Reuse the content you already have — repurpose it and use it in a new way. The first step is to inventory existing content and think of a way to extend that material.

For example, a white paper can be broken into three to five articles that share a point of view.

This is a good strategy because I see more and more readers who would rather read short nuggets of information than longer. I heard a speaker use the term “Nugifying your content.”

If you are doing live events, record the event and convert that video into another content asset. Post snippets of material as well.

Looking at the earlier webinar example, the executive summary and key takeaways provided to Sales are examples of two additional pieces of content from one online event.

You are already creating content, you probably just don’t recognize it. So first, use what you have, catalog it and determine how you can bring new life to it. When you’ve leveraged what you already have, and have tracked it, then you can start finding gaps in current content areas.

Content to use for lead nurturing:

Lead-Nurturing-Content

Tactic #4. Curate and leverage third-party content

Third-party content is another great source of material for lead nurturing, and they bring you an added credibility through the halo effect.

Research where your customers and clients are going for information. I would start by first asking your sales team what types of content publications your customers are currently reading, where are they going for information and what are the questions Sales is asking those customers.

Use online alerts to the main phrases in your industry to find content from bloggers and industry publications that are vendor agnostic and can share with your lead nurturing audience through a short synopsis and a link. For more ideas on content check out this post.

Tactic #5. Keep the touches coming

Most lead nurturing programs don’t begin to impact conversion before at least five meaningful touches.  It’s important to continue nurturing leads whether it takes five touches or 25 touches to get them to the sales-ready point.

For example, if you have a nine-month sales cycle, you should nurture a lead in those nine months, and that’s at a minimum level. So that means nine nurturing patterns during that lead.

Bottom Of The Funnel: Help Drive Opportunities Beyond Handing Off Leads

The ultimate goal of lead nurturing is to turn that prospect into a sales-ready lead prepared to become a customer.

If that relationship were a baton, there is a point in time where both Marketing and Sales hands are on the baton, and you are making that introduction. Make sure you’re clear at what stage Marketing is going to hand the lead off so that Sales can run with it, and so that you don’t drop the baton or drop the relationship.

You can find this ideal point in the relationship by leveraging lead scoring and lead qualification, and I recommended this lead qualification occur through your inside sales, sales development, or teleprospecting team. There is only so much information that you can get off a web form, or that someone will volunteer in an email.

Even if Marketing hands the lead to Sales once the prospect is ready to talk to a salesperson, it doesn’t mean that Marketing is done. What we are looking to do is help accelerate leads in the sales pipeline, and that is part of where we can work with the sales team to understand ‘what are the key issues?’, And, ‘what are the problems that they are facing?’ to help drive conversion. This is called full-funnel marketing.

Read 3 Good Questions to Align B2B Marketing, Sales, and Strategy

Conclusion

This post touched on all three stages of the lead generation funnel. At the beginning of the lead gen process, you most likely ask a lead to raise their hand and request more information. In the end, the prospect is ready to hand off to Sales. The extended middle portion — lead nurturing — is how the lead proceeds down the path to becoming a converted customer. I hope you can apply these ideas to your lead nurturing and help advance more people through three stages of your lead generation funnel (TOFU, MOFU, and BOFU) to get more qualified opportunities.

It’s your turn. What parts of your funnel do you focus on with your lead nurturing?

You may also like:

6 Ideas to Create More Relevant Lead Nurturing Emails

Lead Nurturing in 6 Simple Steps

16 proven ways to get better opportunities now

Empathetic Marketing: How To Connect With Your Customers

The post 5 Useful Lead Nurturing Tactics to Get More Opportunities appeared first on B2B Lead Blog.

Simple Tips to Improve your LinkedIn Feed

Your LinkedIn Feed is designed to help you discover and discuss news and ideas to help you stay well-informed so that you can be more successful every day. It is personalized for you based on your profile and relationships in order to surface topics you care about from people who matter in your professional world. Ultimately, you control your LinkedIn Feed. Our goal is to continue to add and improve on tools that empower you to tell us what you want to see. That’s why we’ve rolled out a number...

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