Protect Your LinkedIn Data Now for Free!

LinkedIn giveth and LinkedIn taketh away—and that's why you need to protect your data.

For instance, LinkedIn is finally rolling out its much anticipated new Groups feature, which I personally haven't seen yet, but the comments I've heard are mostly negative. I'll cover this change in detail once I've received the updated version and have had some time to digest and work with it. The negativity revolves around the loss of a couple significant functions related to how group managers communicate with their members.

Personally, this past week LinkedIn eliminated a very important advanced people search filter from my Sales Navigator account (for which I pay around $1,000 per year). I can no longer search by a radius around a specific zip code. When I contacted the Help Center, they said it was eliminated because it wasn't being used by enough people to justify maintaining it—and they'll consider adding it back but can't promise anything.

LinkedIn giveth and LinkedIn taketh away.

Easy steps to protect your data

Because LinkedIn (and social media sites in general) can change or disappear at any moment, you need to protect your data as much as possible. Then you can use your data to build out other databases and populate new or additional profiles on other sites or online spaces.

For instance, if you publish a newsletter, you can contact people to ask if they'd like to subscribe to it because LinkedIn will give you a list of the emails of every one of your first-degree connections.

It only takes a few minutes to protect yourself if you follow these simple steps.

Request a free archive of your data. The zip file you'll receive from LinkedIn via email will include a complete data dump of many of the things you'll want to have in your possession, including a spreadsheet with all of your first-level connections' names, current companies, titles, and their primary LinkedIn email addresses.

How to get yours: Go to the Me icon in your top toolbar, and select Settings & Privacy in the drop-down menu. Next, select Privacy, scroll down and click Download your data, select The works, and then click the Request archive button. You'll then receive a zip file in less than 24 hours.

Save a pdf of your profile. The pdf file will include words only. It won't include anything that has a visual element to it, like your photo, your company logos, graphics from your published posts or the media you've added.

How to get yours: Go to your profile, click the More... button beneath your headline, and then select Save to PDF.

Print a copy of your profile and your company page using your browser print function. I recommend this step in addition to the previous one because you'll see all the graphic components of your profile that aren't included in the pdf. If you're in charge of your company's page, I suggest you print that as well.

How to do this: Go to your profile (and company page if applicable) and select File from the browser toolbar, and then select Print.

Don't delay. Follow these tips today (and I would recommend repeating this every month or so), because you never know when the next LinkedIn change will come and possibly eliminate your ability to get some of this valuable data.


The post Protect Your LinkedIn Data Now for Free! appeared first on Wayne Breitbarth.

Building Community and Celebrating Women in Tech: We’re in it together

We've seen a shift in what the traditional notion of success looks like. For many, it's not defined by a title, promotion or securing the corner office. The definition of success is expanding to include things like building a great team, establishing a side hustle or finding the perfect work/life balance. As a way to determine what success means to you, we’re asking our members, “What are you in it for?” For me, I’ve been fortunate enough to have mentors play an important role in pushing me...


Your Guide to Winning @ Work: The Art of Asking for Help

Success means different things to different people and the journey is different for each and every one of us, but one thing we can agree on is this: no one goes it alone. In fact, 70% of professionals say their support system is one of the top factors contributing to success at work. While we know help is crucial, new LinkedIn research reveals that most of us are experiencing a help gap -- 84% of professionals admit that they’ve needed help at some point in their career, yet more than 1 in 3...


We’re in it together

Earlier this year, we invited people all over the world—more than 575+ million LinkedIn members—to join us in a conversation about what drives them. Each of us has our own unique definitions of success, our own motivations, and our own inspirations. We’re all in it for different reasons. Yet there is a common thread that runs through our professional journeys: whatever your version of success, everyone needs other people to help them get there and to support, inspire and encourage them along...


What Are You Missing by NOT Paying for LinkedIn?

"Is it worth it to start paying for a premium LinkedIn account?"

I can always count on hearing this question during the Q&A portion of my LinkedIn presentations.

My latest LinkedIn user survey showed 20 percent of respondents have upgraded to one of the paid LinkedIn accounts—up from 15 percent a few years ago. More people are discovering specific features that work well for them, and they upgrade because they want more of those goodies. After five years of using a free account, I personally upgraded to a paid account in 2013.

To view a chart that outlines the additional features you will receive with the various types of paid accounts, do an internet search for “LinkedIn premium options.”

Who typically should upgrade to a paid LinkedIn account?

Consider moving to one of the paid accounts if you are:

  • A human resources professional
  • A recruiter
  • A sales professional who uses LinkedIn extensively for business development purposes
  • Someone who consistently runs into the screen that says you should upgrade

If you are regularly seeing the screen that suggests you should upgrade, you are probably using a LinkedIn feature that is working for you, and you may want to consider upgrading to one of the paid accounts. For example, if you like to send InMails, prefer to do an unlimited number of searches or would like to have more saved search alerts, you may want to upgrade your LinkedIn account.

In general, I do not recommend moving to a paid account unless you fall into one of the four categories listed above. However, in order to encourage more of us to pay for LinkedIn on a monthly basis, there will undoubtedly be more and more valuable new features available exclusively to premium members.

Features available to premium members

This is certainly not an exhaustive list of LinkedIn’s premium features, but here are a few features you might find useful:

More saved search alerts. The free account includes three saved searches. Many power users (including me) find this feature to be extremely valuable and well worth the money.

Longer list of search results. You get up to 100 results on the free account, but a longer list could mean more leads and thus more income.

Who’s Viewed Your Profile? With a free account, you can only see the last five people who have scoped you out. An upgraded account lets you see everyone who’s looked at your profile (unless they’ve blocked their name) in the last 90 days. This is one of the main reasons I finally broke down and upgraded my account.

Additional advanced search filters. I especially like being able to filter by company size.

InMails. An InMail is a direct message you can send to people who are not part of your first-level network. The number of InMails you are allotted per month varies based on the type of premium account you purchase, but you can purchase additional InMails for $10 each. However, before buying an InMail, be sure to check if you are in a group with your target, because common group membership enables you to send a free message. Also, if the recipient of your InMail replies within seven days, LinkedIn gives you a $10 credit.

The cost of InMails may seem a little steep, but many people find the extra income that results from response to their InMails actually covers the cost of their upgraded account.

Only you can determine whether a premium account will be worth your investment. Personally, I’m currently on the Sales Navigator Professional version, and I’m happy I upgraded my account because I’ve gotten quite a bit of new business by contacting people who have viewed my profile and sending InMails to people outside my network.

But if you choose to upgrade and later decide you’re not getting as much value as you’d like from your premium account, it’s easy to cancel your subscription and return to a free account. However, please note that if you pay for your subscription annually (rather than monthly) to save money and you want to return to a free account or move to a different premium level, LinkedIn will not refund your money.

If you'd like to learn more about the very best Sales Navigator features, check out my article "Is LinkedIn Sales Navigator Worth the Money?"

So, as you can see, the answer to whether it is worth the money to start paying for LinkedIn is yes, no or maybe. For me, it's definitely worth it, because I do a lot of searches for prospecting purposes.

If you'd like a personal tour and evaluation of Sales Navigator, sign up here for one of my specially priced $197 one-on-one, one-hour LinkedIn consultations.

I will share my computer screen with you during the call and send you a critiqued 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 What Are You Missing by NOT Paying for LinkedIn? appeared first on Wayne Breitbarth.

On the Fly: In Flight, On-The-Go Learning with Delta Airlines

For professionals on the go, we want to meet you where you are, and on a flight is no exception. To help you always be learning, we’ve teamed up with Delta Airlines, among others, to make flight time, a time to learn -- all for free. We’ve all had time to kill on a flight. When I travel with Delta I can take advantage of the free inflight entertainment which now lets me choose select LinkedIn Learning courses, watch interviews from some of the world’s top leaders with LinkedIn Editor-In-Chief...


Hiring Remains Steady: LinkedIn Workforce Report September 2018

Retail on the rebound. Employer demand for retail workers is surging: since January 2018, the national surplus of people with retail sales skills has decreased from a massive 115,155 people down to 11,632 people as of August 2018. NYC alone has swung from a surplus of 2,692 people with retail sales skills in January to a shortage of 6,168 people by August.


Unveiling a New LinkedIn Groups Experience: A Shared Space to Build Your Professional Communities

We’ve heard from all of you about how important LinkedIn Groups are to helping you build your professional communities. You’ve told us how valuable it is to have a shared space where you can talk to other professionals about trends in your industry, stay connected with fellow alumni, come together to plan networking events, and discuss the many topics you care about. We’re excited to introduce the new LinkedIn Groups experience today! With your feedback in mind, we’ve rebuilt Groups from the...


Do You Know All of the Most Important LinkedIn Character Limits?

This week I'm going to address another one of those frequently asked questions: How many characters can I use in my headline? Summary section? Job titles?

And in typical Wayne fashion, I'm not going to stop with the raw numbers. Rather, I'll comment on the most important character limits and why you may want to use all the characters LinkedIn allows.

(Note: All numbers in parentheses represent the maximum characters allowed.)

Individual Profile

Headline (120)  This is the most important real estate on your profile. Include the keywords people typically use when searching for someone in your space. Tell your story. Impress your target audience. As of this writing, you may be able to increase your headline to 220 characters if you enter it via the LinkedIn mobile app.

Summary (2,000)  It’s like a cover letter—or your 30-second elevator pitch. Here’s how I can help you. Tell your story. And don’t forget to include your most important keywords.

Website descriptions (30)  Be sure to use all three slots and describe them accordingly.

Experience Title (100)  Go beyond your standard biz card title. Be creative with keywords.

Experience description (2,000)  You can mention your past experience, but focus more on demonstrating your capabilities. Describe not only what you are doing but also what you can do to help customers/clients. Include keywords, of course.

Education/degree (100)  Rather than simply putting BBA, MBA, etc., add descriptive phrases that might help people discover your profile when they do a search; for example, BBA with an international accounting emphasis or BBA with a minor in Spanish.

Education/Fields of Study (100)  Highlight classes you took that relate to what you are doing in your current position or the position you are seeking.

Education/Activities and Societies (500)  Be descriptive. If you were the president of Beta Alpha Psi, the viewer of your profile will recognize your leadership ability. If you were the captain of the field hockey team, a kindred spirit may reach out to you.

Recommendations (3,000)  Your two most recent recommendations are prominently displayed. Encourage people who write your recommendations to share specific details about you so viewers of your profile will be inclined to do business with you.

Organizations (1,000)  This is a good place to share organizations that may or may not have their own official LinkedIn group.

Honors & Awards (1,000)  If you don’t toot your own horn, nobody will. Be proud. These entries are important differentiators and build credibility.

Skills (80)  You can list up to 50 skills, and you have 80 characters to describe each skill. So don’t shortchange yourself. This is great for SEO of your profile.

Phone number (25)  If you choose to list your phone number, only your first-level connections will be able to see it.

Address (1,000)  If you include your address, it will only be visible to your first-level connections.

Other Limits

Invitation-to-connect message (300)  You'll have to be creative to stay within this limit when you compose your customized invitations.

Direct message to first-level connections (1,900)  This is a very generous limit. Take full advantage of it, as well as your opportunity to include hyperlinks and attachments, when messaging your connections.

Direct, first-level connections (30,000)  Believe it or not, some people actually reach their limit.

Outbound invitations (5,000)  You can request more, and LinkedIn seems to give them out pretty freely at 100 per request.

Company name (100)  If your company name is less than 100 characters, I suggest adding a few of your most important keywords here.

Company About Us (2,000)  Use all of these characters to fully tell your company’s story, and don’t forget to include keywords, too. It’s a good idea to also include your company’s phone number and e-mail address.

Maximum number of groups (100)  You know the drill here. The more groups you're in, the more people who can find you. There are over three million groups. I'm sure you can find 100.

Status updates per day (no limit)  I suggest doing a couple each day.

Status updates (1,300)  You can use all 1,300 characters when sharing a status update. However, only 280 will transfer over to Twitter.

A robust network, fully optimized profile, and regular communication with your network will project trustworthiness and inspire confidence. This will increase engagement and ultimately lead to improved business and career success. So take full advantage of all the characters LinkedIn allows, and you'll be on your way to reaching (and exceeding) your goals.

The post Do You Know All of the Most Important LinkedIn Character Limits? appeared first on Wayne Breitbarth.


When you answer the door or the phone and aren't sure what the person wants, you undoubtedly say, "How can I help you?"

But why aren't you asking the same question when strangers ask you to join their LinkedIn network?

Perhaps it's because you aren't really sure how to pose the question on LinkedIn or don't understand the benefit of asking how you can help.

Now, of course, some of the strangers are spammers or just want to sell you something you're pretty sure you don't need. With those folks, just hit the Ignore button.

But with other people who ask you to join their network, don't be so quick to hit the Ignore button on your computer or X on your mobile app, because a new, productive relationship may be just a button click away.

Simple ways to decide whether or not to reach out to strangers

Start by going to your Pending Invitations page. You'll find this page by clicking the My Network icon on your top toolbar. Choose Manage all, and LinkedIn will then display all of your inbound invitations in the order you received them.

If people include a personal message with their invitation, you'll see the message in a message box both on your mobile app or on your computer. Personally, I always look at these invitations first because they may require a prompt response.

To improve your chances of receiving a favorable response when you ask someone how you can help him/her, follow these three simple steps:

  • Check out the person's profile in detail, looking at his/her jobs, volunteer experience, education, and accomplishments.
  • See who you have as mutual connections, and consider reaching out to one or more of those people to get more information about the person who's asked you to join his/her network.
  • View the person's recent activity and published posts to see the type of information he/she is sharing with his/her network.

Once you're confident you should ask the How can I help you? question, click Message or Reply to [name] in the person's Pending Invitation box. You can then reply without accepting the person's invitation to connect.

You might say something like:

Thanks for asking me to join your LinkedIn network. I typically don't accept people into my network until I have either met them or understand how we might be able to help each other. So let me know how we might be able to collaborate. I look forward to hearing from you."

This simple technique will scare away anyone who's simply in the spam business and will encourage the others to share what is on their mind. You may be surprised by how many people are truly interested in helping you—and some are probably requesting a connection because someone you know and trust referred them to you.

This technique has helped me and my consulting clients find many new, important relationships. And opportunity may be calling you on LinkedIn, too—so why not give it a try.


The post Test appeared first on Wayne Breitbarth.