Yes! Finally some sanity has been brought to the Endorsements feature on LinkedIn. It took over a year and a half, but I think we are now starting to gain some much needed control over what is going on here.

Truthfully, this crazy feature has been causing me to pull my hair out. And you know that I don’t have much hair left to pull!
 
To get a full discussion of the overall strategy behind this confusing LinkedIn feature, you can reread my previous article “10 Tips to Help You Maximize LinkedIn Endorsements.”

Two Big Changes
 
The bulk of the information in my previous article is still spot on, but there’s two big changes:
 
1.  You can now take control of that annoying big blue box that shows up when you view your profile or someone else’s profile.
 
2.  You can reorder your skills to make sure your most important skills appear at the top of the list.
 
Keep in mind, however, that endorsements are:
.
  • Important to LinkedIn
  • Affect the search ranking on LinkedIn
  • Akin to “Yelping” of people
  • Social proof of just how good we are at something
  • May just be the reason someone picks you over someone else who has fewer endorsements for the skill they are looking for. 
.
4 Ways to Capitalize on the Endorsements Feature
 
To accomplish the following tasks, you will need to be in Edit Profile mode. Then go to the Skills & Endorsements section and click Edit.

1.  Unclick the “Show me suggestions to endorse my connections” box. This will eliminate aggravation and save time. No 
more annoying big blue box popping up at the top of everyone’s profile!
 
But if you turn this off, don’t forget to occasionally take the time to endorse people for their skills.

2.  Do not under any circumstances choose to not be endorsed.  This will cost you. Trust me.

3.  Reorder your 50 Skills.  Yes, I said 50. These are your best keywords, and they’ll improve your search ranking. Drag them into the order you want, from most important to least important.
 
Then your connections will be encouraged to tick off endorsements for the skills you think are important, and within a short period of time they’ll be the most endorsed skills on your profile. This will help you get closer to the top of a search for those critical skills. 
 
4.  Type your most important keywords into the search box.  See what words LinkedIn prompts you with. These will be the most searched skills on LinkedIn that include that word. Grab the ones that are applicable to you.
 
Follow these steps, and you should soon see more endorsements of your most important skills. 
1 Comment
Game changera newly introduced element or factor that changes an existing situation or activity in a significant way (Merriam Webster Dictionary).
 
In the past couple months, LinkedIn has upgraded or introduced three new features that are nothing less than that…game changers.
 
If you haven’t already taken advantage of them, read on. I’ll show you how to cash in on them and significantly improve your bottom line.

Who’s Viewed Your Profile

What was already the highest rated feature for the past two years in my LinkedIn User Survey just got better with the enhanced sorting capabilities.
 
You can now sort by:

  • Where your viewers live (LinkedIn defined areas of the world or country)
 
  • Where your viewers work (company name)
 
  • How your viewers found you (as the result of a Google search or from somewhere on LinkedIn) 
 
  • Where on your profile were the keywords that led them to you
 
  • Industries of your viewers (LinkedIn defined industries)
 
  • What your viewers do (job title or occupation) 

.

Just click Who’s Viewed Your Profile from your home page and start investigating just who is stalking you. If you find people of interest, don’t just sit there. Do something.

 

This really gets helpful once you’ve upgraded your account and can see who’s viewed your profile in the last 90 days. This is one of the major reasons I finally upgraded to a premium LinkedIn account.

 

Who’s Viewed Your Updates

 

If you weren’t previously posting a status update at least once a day, this feature should get you off your butt. Start doing this ASAP because you can now tell just how well the updates you’re 

sharing are being received by your connections.

 

You can see the number of views, shares and comments and just how far those interactions have gotten you past your first-degree connections, hopefully to the second and third degree as well.

 

Note:  This feature will only show up in the right-hand column on your home page if you have posted any individual status updates.

 

This information will help you get more focused on the time of day, the type of information, and the frequency that your audience prefers, thereby helping you improve your effectiveness with one of LinkedIn’s most powerful tools, the individual status update.

 

For more help on the types of information you may want to consider sharing, read Your Definitive Guide to LinkedIn Status Updates.

 

LinkedIn’s Publishing Platform

 

If you are an experienced blogger, you have just been given another great place to share the content you are already writing. If you’ve never been a blogger, this may be your way to test the water and get started with a built-in audience…your first-level connections. The potential for this is huge.

 

To get started, at least for now, you have to request participation, but LinkedIn says it will be available to all very soon.

 

Here is the link to the Help Center entry for how to put your request in and for some commonly asked questions about how to get started.

 

Once you get started, your posts will show up right at the top of your profile for all viewers to see and devour your important information.

 

Click here to check out my posts.

 

Get writing and start sharing. Your audience is waiting to hear from you. 

 

Leave a comment
Last week I shared general LinkedIn success stories. This week’s success stories come from job seekers. And once again, I’ve included links to resources that will help you utilize the same proven strategies.

 

Job Seeker Success

 

LinkedIn has provided the initial contacts for me to get two very good jobs in the last 5 years.

 

Before an interview, I got the names of the people I was going to meet at the company and LinkedIn provided me with really good information about these people before I even met them. That made it possible for me to ask relevant  questions and maybe that’s what got me the job in the end. :)

 

I have found by linking with C-Level executives, they reach out to me, or others like me, to fill positions within their organizations.

 

The company I recently worked for closed Jan. 30, 2014, with no warning. I got on LinkedIn with a small announcement that I was looking for work and also added that to my profile headline. I started looking through my contacts for who’s connected to whom. At the top of the screen a name came up as being a second connection and that the person was in RF electronics (something I’m interested in learning about). I sent an invite to connect, he accepted, and emailed me later that he read my profile and needed someone with my skills. Five days after the company I was working at closed, I started my new and very exciting job.

 

I am currently applying with a company, and I think the fact that I found the CEO of the company and contacted him through LinkedIn has helped me to get an upcoming interview with the COO of this company.

 

Last year I was job hunting and found that I did not get called for an interview unless I found someone at the company who could put in a good word for me. I use the LinkedIn feature that shows me how I’m connected to the recruiter who posted the job.

 

Recruiters are finding me now and actively recruiting me. (It’s nice to be wanted!)

 

Need More Help Using LinkedIn to Find a Great Job?

 

If you want more information on how to use LinkedIn to land the perfect job, pick up a copy of the second edition of my book, attend one of my April classes, or schedule a one-on-one consulting call with me

 

Leave a comment
I asked for LinkedIn success stories and, boy, did I get them! 192 stories, to be exact.
 
In response to my 2014 LinkedIn User Survey, participants shared how they’re getting measurable LinkedIn ROI and growing their bottom line.

.

And because I want all my readers to have a banner year, I am not only sharing some of these success stories but also providing links to resources that will help you utilize the same money-making strategies.

 

LinkedIn Success Stories

 

I prepared a profile for a colleague and it resulted in a six-figure sale for him from a former employee he’d lost contact with who found him on LinkedIn.

 

In 2013, I generated 42% of my leads via LinkedIn.

 

Using the search functionality from the first blog of yours that I read, I was able to find out which of my first level connections were connected to prospective clients. I have leveraged that into scheduling three meetings with prospects in the past three weeks.

 

I reconnected with a person on my tennis team that led to a six-figure client relationship.

 

I have many small companies that I research their buyer personas and search, link, and set appointments for the CEO to either talk to or meet with the prospect. We save the searches and tag the prospect by month and create a prospect database for our clients.

 

The best success for me on LinkedIn is the personal introductions from a first level connection to someone they know that I would like to be connected with. I have experienced multiple successes using this technique.

 

Over the past six years I have started and developed a group on LinkedIn that now has over 13,000 members. It has created multiple business opportunities for me.

 

Several years ago, I reconnected with one of my students on LinkedIn. We followed up with a phone call and caught up. During the course of our conversation he mentioned an upcoming project I might be perfect for. As a result, I submitted an estimate and picked up a project with a $20,000 budget.

 

LinkedIn has provided our company a wonderful tool to get more information on contacts and prospects prior to making cold calls. It increases familiarity and comfort.

 

For the first time I posted a link to an article I wrote and was impressed with the reaction I received from a host of people.

 

I have found new clients solely by responding to people who send me invitations to connect or those who view my profile.

 

It wouldn’t be a gross exaggeration to say that, without LinkedIn, I might be out of business.

 

Need More Help Making Money With LinkedIn?

 

If you want more information on how you can get spectacular results by using LinkedIn, pick up a copy of the second edition of my book, attend one of my April classes, or schedule a one-on-one consulting call with me. 

 

Leave a comment
In my recent LinkedIn user survey, I asked:

“What would you like to learn this year in my weekly emails?”

There were more than 250 responses to this question, and I will address many of them right here in the upcoming months.
 
However, quite a few of them can be answered easily by using one of these three resources:
 
1.  My book, The Power Formula for LinkedIn Success, now it its 2nd edition
 
2.  This blog
 
3.  LinkedIn’s Help Center
.
You may have already purchased my book, either the 1st edition or the expanded 2nd edition. And if you have, thank you! You will find answers to many of your foundational, blocking-and-tackling LinkedIn questions in the book.
 
Secondly, this blog (over 250 articles for both beginners and advanced users) is completely searchable by entering keyword(s) in the search box. This is the most comprehensive database of LinkedIn strategies available anywhere.
 
Thirdly, the LinkedIn Help Center (which even I access several times each and every week) is just a few clicks away. The Help Center is filled with answers to many of the technical questions you may have. You won’t find a lot of help with LinkedIn strategy, but that’s where I come in!
 
To access the Help Center, place
your cursor over your photo on the top toolbar. Then select Help Center. Enter a few keywords in the How Can We Help You box, and you should get a list of all the articles that address your question or concern.
 
If you are unable to get your answer from one of these articles, open a job ticket, and someone from LinkedIn will investigate and get back to you. Click the Contact Us tab to get started.
 
The response will not be quick, but they usually answer. In my experience, it typically takes about 48 hours for them to respond. I’m sorry to say there’s no toll free 800 number to call. Also, I have not found the response time to be shorter if you have a premium account. 
 
I look forward to addressing specific survey responses in the near future.
Leave a comment
Congratulations! You finally got that meeting or phone call set up with a person you’ve been looking forward to talking with. It could be a sales call, job interview, donor information session, or just a casual coffee with someone that you hope will lead to good things down the road.
 
But what do you do next? Easy peasy. 

Go straight to the person’s LinkedIn profile. It’s a virtual goldmine of  insights about him/her.
 
And knowing this information will significantly increase your odds of getting the results you’re seeking.

10 Tips to Discover Golden Nuggets of Information

1.  Summary.  After reading this, you may know precisely what other sections you will want to concentrate on.

2.  How You’re Connected.  These are the friends you have in common. You may even want to get ahold of one or two of them to get the scoop on this person.

3.  In Common With.  Scroll over each circle to see what you have in common. This can include past employers, location, schools, groups, interests, etc. It’s a great place to find bits of information to break the ice when meeting someone. 

4.  Professional Gallery items.  Watching a video they’re in, reading a document they wrote, viewing a slideshow they prepared, etc. can really give you insights into who they are and what’s important to them.

5.  Recommendations.  Read a few they’ve received and also some they wrote for others. This is priceless information. You’ll gain great insights into what they think is important and what others think about them.

6.  Education.  If you find a fellow alumnus here, it’s usually a home run.

7.  Groups.  By scrolling through the full list of the person’s LinkedIn groups, you can really get a feel for their personal and professional interests.
 
8.  Interests.  In this section the person lays out on a golden platter what he/she is most passionate about. These are perfect conversation starters.
 
9.  Volunteer Experience & Causes.  This may give you even more insight into where someone’s heart is. Don’t be afraid to mention this in your discussion with the person. People usually love to talk about the organizations they support.

10.  Experience.  Look for companies, careers, etc. that you have in common and thus can leverage when starting a new relationship. You may also find significant volunteer experiences listed here that are great conversation starters.
 
You may want to keep this list handy and use it as a checklist for all your upcoming meetings with strangers. Perhaps they won’t be quite as “strange” after you’re done checking them out!
Leave a comment
The other day I counted six puzzles, four number games, and three eye charts in my LinkedIn home-page feed…and that was in one hour.
 
Is that really how you want to spend your time on LinkedIn? For most of us, I think not.
 
So, here is a quick fix to stop the madness.
 
If you are consistently receiving status updates from someone who is wasting your precious time or whose updates just don’t apply to your business or interests, simply scroll over to the top right and click the usually hidden Hide button. After doing this, you will no longer get updates from that connection.
 
You have not removed the connection from your network, just his/her ability to post to your home feed. Should you want to completely remove the person as a connection, go to his/her profile, click the down arrow next to the gray Endorse button, and then click Remove Connection.
.
I’m sorry to say that at this point you are unable to completely turn off all the sponsored updates that companies have paid good money to have you take a look at.
.
Another step you may want to take in an effort to clean up your home page is to revisit the other types of updates that are set to go into your home-page feed. 

.
Go to your Privacy & Settings on the top right (it pops up when you scroll over your picture). Then in the Account tab, select Customize the updates you see on your home page. Uncheck the updates you really don’t care about missing.
.
If you take these two steps, you’ll be able to spend time on the LinkedIn information that is most important to you.
 
Leave a comment

How will I know I am making progress on LinkedIn?
 
If you are really honest with yourself, you have probably asked yourself this very legitimate question.  
 
The ultimate answer should be If you’re accomplishing the LinkedIn goals you’ve set, then you’re making progress.

 And the most common goals I hear are:  

  • generate customer leads
  • find a job
  • increase my brand
  • improve my presence
  • find donors or volunteers 
.
Trust me, I hear success stories for each of these every week, but it sometimes takes time to see the progress.

So, while you are on that journey, what numbers should you track to see if you are making progress?  

Here is a list of the ten most important LinkedIn metrics you may want to start tracking as you work to accomplish your overall goal(s).
 
Note: I am not going to address any LinkedIn company page metrics in this article. I will save that for another article.

1.  # of connections.  This is the big one. In general, the bigger your network, the better off you are. Many of the metrics listed below will improve just by growing this number.

2.  # of connections in your targeted industries, companies, regions, etc.  To monitor this, you’ll need to use LinkedIn tags to categorize your connections. Seeing these numbers go up will mean good things, because you can send targeted messages to these important groups of people.

3.  # of profile views.  The raw number is important here, but more important is who are these folks and what action steps (connect, message, etc.) did you take with the good ones. For more information on this highly rated feature, click here.

4.  # of times you showed up in a search.  This should increase not just from increasing the number of connections but having enough of your keywords in the right spots on your profile.

5.  # of invitations to connect.  If this number is increasing month over month, it usually means your activity level is increasing not only on LinkedIn itself but in your physical world as well. 

6.  # of people viewing your updates.  If you haven’t started using this section, you are missing the boat. Of course, you have to post status updates to get these metrics. It’s a great way to see what type of updates are resonating with your audience and what time of the week might be your sweet spot for posting.
.
7.  # of people “liking,” sharing or commenting on your updates.  Yes, the numbers are important here, but also consider reaching out to the people who share, “like” or comment on your updates. A simple thank you or sharing one of their insightful updates with your network would be noticed and appreciated, I’m sure.

8.  # of endorsements for your top ten skills (keywords).  I know you may be annoyed by the whole idea of endorsements (I’m with you), but LinkedIn loves these, and so I’m pretty sure that increasing your number of endorsements for the right skills is going to help you.

9.  # of recommendations.  Even though endorsements are all the buzz, recommendations are still extremely important for your overall social proof. Believe me, people do read these, especially if you’re directing them to do so at some point in your conversation or relationship. Work hard at getting LinkedIn recommendations. It will be time well spent.

10.  # of hits to a website from LinkedIn.  This could be from any shareable link you may have placed in the following LinkedIn profile sections or features:

  • Contact Info section website entries
  • Publications
  • Projects
  • Professional Gallery
  • Group discussions started by you or answered by you
  • Status updates shared by you or commented on by you

I suggest you set up a simple spreadsheet with any of these ten LinkedIn metrics you think are important to you. Decide how often you will update your spreadsheet, and then start tracking. I suggest you do it at least quarterly.

As you improve these ten numbers, I suspect you’ll see tangible evidence of progress in reaching your LinkedIn goals. Good luck!

Leave a comment
LinkedIn is continuing its hot streak. They just announced that membership surpassed 277 million, and last year more than one million new members joined each and every week.
 
Equally as hot is the concept of inbound marketing.
 
But what really is inbound marketing, and how can you and your company use it in tandem with LinkedIn to accomplish your business growth goals?
 
Here is a simple, to-the-point explanation from Wikipedia:
 
“Inbound marketing is promoting a company through blogs, podcasts, video, eBooks, enewsletters, white papers, SEO, social media marketing, and other forms of content marketing which serve to bring customers in closer to the brand, where they want to be.
 
“In contrast, buying attention, cold-calling, direct paper mail, radio, TV advertisements, sales flyers, spamtelemarketing and traditional advertising are considered ‘outbound marketing.’
.
“Inbound marketing earns the attention of customers, makes the company easy to be found, and draws customers to the website by producing interesting content.”

 
Here’s how some of the best LinkedIn features and tools fit into this inbound equation:
 
Earns the attention of customers
 
Getting involved in discussions or posting your own discussion in your industry groups and your customers’ industry groups is a great way to grab attention. Also, posting status updates regularly keeps you top of mind with your audience.
 
Makes the company easy to be found
.
Make sure you have the right keywords in your profile and on your company page so you’re found when people are looking for someone like you or your company.
 
Draws customers to your website by producing interesting content
 
Your personal profile and your company page should have specific calls to action, video, and a clear lineup of the products and services you offer. The special sections (Projects, Publications, Certifications, etc.) and Professional Gallery on your personal profile and your company’s products and services pages will help you display your wares and get the reader to click to your website to get more information.
 
I developed a detailed checklist so you don’t miss any of the LinkedIn inbound opportunities. I shared this resource when speaking at a recent inbound marketing conference, and it’s called Top 10 LinkedIn Tactics to Boost Your Inbound Marketing.

 

Click here to download your FREE copy. It’s full of easy ways to quickly improve your LinkedIn profile and boost your inbound marketing results.  

 

Leave a comment

When it comes to enhancing your credibility or showing people more about you and your company, one of the best features on LinkedIn is your Professional Gallery.

 

You can display items in your Professional Gallery by either uploading a file or sharing a link to a web page. The Professional Gallery is available in your Summary, Experience, and Education profile sections.

 

Getting started is easy.

 

On your top toolbar, click Profile>Edit Profile. Then go to the specific profile section in which you’d like to add media and click the Add Media icon.

 

Type or paste the link or upload your file after clicking Add a link or Upload file. A picture of your content will appear.

 

You cannot control the thumbnail graphic that the program grabs, so this part can be a bit frustrating. The title and description fields may automatically fill with information from the web page or the upload, but you can change or delete this information if you prefer. Consider changing this information to a specific call to action.

 

To get you thinking about how you might be able to use this feature, here is an example of what I am displaying in the Summary section of my LinkedIn profile. Notice my use of calls to action in the descriptions of the media.

 

I have also used my Professional Gallery on my profile for some of my job experience sections and my more significant volunteer work.

Your audience is waiting to see what you have for them in your Professional Gallery. But if you don’t have good information for them, they will probably go looking for it on your competitors’ profiles. Are you willing to take that risk?

 

1 Comment