Power Formula LinkedIn Blog

Not Sure What to Do on LinkedIn to Get Results?

Posted on June 25, 2016
Wayne Breitbarth

Your days are undoubtedly filled with lots of deadlines and to-do lists, and deciding what to do when is probably a challenge. But if you spend just 20 minutes each Monday morning on LinkedIn, you can reap big rewards. Blue Monday? Meeting marked on calendar at start of weekPencil it into your weekly calendar like any other meeting--and it may become the most productive "meeting" of your week.
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5 simple tasks that lead to results

These tasks are quick, easy, and sure to help you grow an impressive network that will lead to business and career success.

1.  Review Who's Viewed Your Profile, and reach out to the people you should be connecting with or meeting [4 minutes].

When someone takes a look at your profile, it's like walking into your store; so be sure to reach out and ask the person how you might be able to help him/her. Read "Are You Taking Advantage of the Top Rated LinkedIn Feature?" for more information about how to maximize the Who's Viewed Your Profile feature.

2.  Send customized invitations to join your LinkedIn network to people you met (in person or on the phone) during the previous work week [4 minutes].

Improving your search ranking on LinkedIn is all about connections, especially the right ones, and people you have already met are spot on.

To get the inside scoop on adding gas (connections) to your LinkedIn tank, be sure to read "The LinkedIn Connections Conundrum: Who Should be in Your Network?" 

3.  Review and respond to your pending inbound invitations to connect on LinkedIn [3 minutes].Screen Shot 2016-06-10 at 2.24.03 PM

Because of changes to the messaging system that took place last fall, you may be missing important information from someone if you don't purposefully and methodically review the invitations that are coming into your account. For more details, read "Is Opportunity Knocking on Your LinkedIn Door?"

4.  Investigate people who show up in your saved search results [6 minutes].

Once you have LinkedIn delivering to your doorstep your well-defined target list each week, it's your job to figure out, based on the information you can gather from their profiles, what might be the most appropriate next step. This might set you up for some of the most productive traditional meetings and phone calls of your week.

5.  Post a great thought-provoking, educational status update [3 minutes].Screen Shot 2016-06-23 at 9.28.56 AM

Simply put, this is the best marketing feature on LinkedIn. After all, you'll be communicating with your handpicked audience (your connections). And if you don't talk to them, your competitors will be happy to share helpful information with them (many of whom are your customers and potential customers). Follow the 6/3/1 rule to play this part of the LinkedIn game correctly.

For more suggestions on how to manage your LinkedIn account on a daily, weekly, monthly, and periodic basis, check out Chapter 19 of the newest edition of my bestselling LinkedIn book," Ready...Set...Go! A Six-Week, Two-Hour-Per-Week Road Map to Results."

Are You Taking Advantage of the Top Rated LinkedIn Feature?

Posted on June 18, 2016
Wayne Breitbarth

For the fourth year in a row, in response to my annual LinkedIn user survey, the most helpful LinkedIn feature is Who's Viewed Your Profile, a/k/a "Who's stalking you." Over 71% of the respondents gave this feature a thumbs up. But are you taking full advantage of it?

You can access this feature in the middle right of your home page by clicking the words # people viewed your profile in the past # day(s).Screen Shot 2016-06-15 at 7.39.30 AM

If you're on the free account (like 79% of the surveyed users), you'll see some of the details on the last five people ("stalkers") who looked at your profile. Premium members see the same amount of details but have access to a list of all their stalkers for the last 90 days. The details you see for each stalker are based on a setting chosen by the stalker and not by you. Thus, even with a paid account, you'll see no more than the person has chosen to reveal to you.
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How to adjust your settings when you're viewing people's profiles

Go to your Privacy & Settings page by scrolling over your photo on the top toolbar and selecting Privacy & Settings>Privacy>Profile Viewing Options from the drop-down menu. There are three options to choose from.
Screen Shot 2016-06-15 at 7.41.59 AM

Personally, I want my name and headline to show up in every possible place. Hey, it's free advertising. But you may have a different strategy.

If you choose full disclosure but want to be anonymous for a short time while you stalk, say, a competitor, change your setting to Anonymous LinkedIn Member while you gather your competitive intelligence. But don't forget to change it back when you're done, because on the free account LinkedIn penalizes you for choosing anonymous. While in anonymous mode, you cannot see who looked at your profile. They also remove the five people who looked at your profile immediately prior to your choice to remain anonymous. So you'll want to check out the list before changing your setting.
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Why should you care who's looking at your profile?

People typically don't look at LinkedIn profiles to pass the time when they're bored. Trust me--if someone is on your list, one of two things has probably happened:

1.  Someone has referred you. In other words, someone you know has passed along your name and maybe some information about you with a statement like, "Check out Wayne Breitbarth's profile; this guy really knows his LinkedIn stuff."

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2.  You stood out in a LinkedIn search, a discussion, a comment you posted, or LinkedIn selected you to be listed in one of these features: People Similar to, People Also Viewed or People You May Know, and the person was interested in seeing more, so he/she clicked through to your profile.

But no matter how the person found your profile, it's a good thing they're there!
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What should you do with this list of stalkers?

There's nothing you can do if they've chosen to be totally anonymous or mostly anonymous. If any of the others look interesting to you, click through and review their profile to see if there's any reason to message them (if they're already a 1st degree connection) or connect with them.

They obviously have an interest in you, so you should probably contact them if they look interesting to you.

Remember, with a free account, you only see the last five people who've viewed your profile. So check your list frequently. You wouldn't want to miss someone who's dying to be your next customer or future employer.
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Final thoughts

The more time I spend using this feature and discussing it with LinkedIn power users, the more I understand why Who's Viewed Your Profile is the top ranked feature on LinkedIn.

And the more popular this feature becomes, the more important it is that you have a great profile, don't you think?

For help with sprucing up your profile, be sure to check out the new edition of my book, which includes a special resource titled Profile Perfection: A Checklist for LinkedIn Optimization.

Is Opportunity Knocking at Your LinkedIn Door?

Posted on June 12, 2016
Wayne Breitbarth

"How can I help you?"

When you answer the door or the phone and aren't sure what the person wants, this is undoubtedly the question you ask.Businesswoman knocking on office door

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.
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Simple ways to decide whether or not to reach out to strangersScreen Shot 2016-06-10 at 2.24.03 PM

Start by going to your Pending Invitations page. You'll find this page by clicking the Add People icon on the right side of your top toolbar. Choose See all on the Pending Invitations line.

If people include a personal message with their invitation, you'll see the message on your mobile app or a double word cloud on your computer. Personally, I always look at these invitations first because they may require a prompt response.Screen Shot 2016-06-12 at 5.47.22 AM

To improve your chances of receiving a favorable response when you ask someone how you can help him/her, follow these three simple steps:
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  • Check out the person's profile in detail, looking at his/her jobs, interests, and education. The In Common feature typically provides some useful information, too.
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  • See which people you have in common, 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.
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  • 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 the left-pointing arrow Screen Shot 2016-06-10 at 2.26.20 PMin the person's Pending Invitation box. You can then reply without accepting his/her 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 knocking on your LinkedIn door, too--so why not give it a try.

Are the Right People Viewing Your LinkedIn Profile?

Posted on June 4, 2016
Wayne Breitbarth

When the right people look at your profile, I like to call it a marketing event with someone in your target audience. iStock_000021848925_SmallAnd if you're like me, you want lots of these marketing events, because they can turn into real opportunities if you follow up appropriately.

There are lots of ways to improve the number of profile views you receive, but the easiest way is to look at other people's profiles, because a good percentage of the people will then check out your profile.
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What profiles should you look at?

To get a list of people in your target audience, use the Advanced People Search feature. You can search by using keywords, title, company, industry, school, location, etc.

View the profiles of the people on the list who look like they have the best potential, and send them a request to connect.

Screen Shot 2016-06-02 at 11.36.48 AM

Take note of who's looking at your profile

It's a good idea to check your Who's Viewed Your Profile list frequently to see who might be interested in you, and then you can decide whether you want to reach out to anyone on that list.

You can also use this list to see who may have looked at you in response to seeing that you looked at their profile.

When you see someone has looked back at you, click the Connect button and craft a well-written, 300-character invitation. For a full discussion of how to improve your chances of getting a positive response to your invitation, check out my blog post Are You Making This BIG LinkedIn Mistake? But you'll want to say something like:

Hi [insert first name]:

I noticed you viewed my profile. I looked at yours as well. I think we should connect and discuss how we might be able to help each other. If you agree, let me know. In the meantime, I would be honored to have you join my network.

Wayne

If the person agrees to connect, follow up in the next day or so with a thank-you note, and try to set up a time to chat or meet. Say something like:

Hello [insert first name]

Thanks for connecting on LinkedIn. As I mentioned in my request to connect, I look forward to chatting with you. I could call you this Thursday at 2:00 or 3:30pm or I will be near your office on Monday and would love to stop in and meet you in person [or any other option you’d like to propose]. Does either option work for you?

In preparation for our meeting, I've attached to this message [something of interest to his/her prospects; e.g., testimonial, case studies, checklist, articles] or I've included a link to [similar information] that will help you understand how we help companies like yours.

I look forward to talking with you soon.

Wayne

You obviously won't get everyone to set up a meeting or even connect with you, but reaching out to people in your target market like this will certainly result in some quantifiable results.

So get busy and start using LinkedIn to instigate marketing events that will lead to business and career success.

Is a Bigger Network Really Better on LinkedIn? [Video]

Posted on May 21, 2016
Wayne Breitbarth

Recently I've begun sharing valuable LinkedIn tips via video on Periscope and on my Facebook page. I LinkedIn_Connections_Continuum_Revised_(3_12)encourage you to follow me on Periscope and/or like my Facebook page so you don't miss a single episode--plus you can participate by asking questions.

In one of my recent videos (see below), I answered the always popular question, "Is a bigger LinkedIn network really better?" The video runs for just 10:17.

If you'd like to read a detailed article covering this question and get a better look at the chart referenced in the video, just click here.

And I look forward to seeing you on Periscope or Facebook on a regular basis!

 

Several times each week I'm asked, "I currently have two jobs" [sometimes related, sometimes unrelated]. "Should I have two LinkedIn profiles?"  

The answer is simple: No. As a matter of fact, it's against the LinkedIn User Agreement.

But how you list the two jobs depends on your LinkedIn strategy. To help you understand your options, let me take you through several multiple-job scenarios and show you how you can get the results you desire and avoid confusing people who view your profile.

Varied occupations together:architect and call center

To watch a video about this topic, "Got More Than 1 Job? LinkedIn Strategies You Better Know," go to my Facebook page or Periscope. Check them out, and be sure to like or follow me on those sites so you will receive notifications of the live-streaming LinkedIn tips and strategies videos I do several times each week.
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Scenario 1: Career-related full-time job and part-time job unrelated to your career--and probably never will be related to your career

As long as you're confident that the part-time job will not be part of your future employment or career, I'd recommend you leave it off altogether.

One exception to this is hobbies that may provide a bit of income and that people in your network might find interesting--like playing drums in a classic rock band that does weddings and parties or a side gig as a photographer or artist if your work could be displayed in homes or businesses. In these cases, I would include a current job entry. Place it second on your profile, and share information that may help you get gigs for or sales to your connections or their friends and acquaintances.

You might also find it advantageous to add a short paragraph at the bottom of your Summary to tell people about your part-time job or hobby.
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Scenario 2: Career-related full-time job and part-time job related to your current career or a potential future career

Keeping your current full-time employer in mind and any possible repercussion, I would include an additional current experience entry for your part-time job. Place it in the second position on your profile, and mention in the description that this job is part time. Then explain in your Summary which job is full time and which is part time--clearly emphasizing that your full-time job is your passion.
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Scenario 3: Non career-related full-time job and career-related part-time job or side business 

Include two current experience entries, the first being your career-related part-time job or side business and the second being your non career-related full-time job. Make sure the first entry is loaded with your most important keywords relating to this job or side business. Share loads of details about your responsibilities, accomplishments, and whether you are open to being contacted about full-time employment in this field.

Your headline should revolve around this part-time career-related position or side business. Use your Summary to bring clarity to your current situation as well as where you want to end up--in all cases being sensitive to your current employer if you don't want to lose your job.
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Scenario 4: Full-time job seeker or student and part-time job unrelated to your career or any potential career

Include a placeholder current experience entry that says you're a student or job seeker, and spell out the kind of job you're looking for and what skills and experiences you can bring to your future employer. State when you're available for hire. In addition to including keywords in the description of your experience, put them in your headline and title.

It's up to you whether you list the part-time job or not. Stating that you're gainfully employed will be looked upon favorably by some employers. If you can show how the skills you're developing at the part-time job can be helpful in the job you're seeking, that's obviously a good thing. Just be clear that this is a part-time job you're doing while you seek full-time employment.
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Scenario 5: Full-time job seeker or student and part-time job related to your career or a potential future career

As spelled out in Scenario 4, include a placeholder current experience entry that includes the kind of job you're seeking, when you're available, etc., and include pertinent keywords as mentioned above. Be sure to include a statement about the part-time nature of this job and your desire to find full-time employment in this field.

When you embark upon changing your LinkedIn profile for any of the above reasons, be clear, truthful, and mindful of your career goals--and LinkedIn will help you get where you want to go.

According to my latest LinkedIn user survey, only 23 percent of respondents said LinkedIn has helped them generate iStock_000021725199_Smallidentifiable business opportunities. As far as I'm concerned, that just stinks! That's why it's my daily mission to help you start using LinkedIn to find and build new relationships that lead to more business.

To clarify, this doesn't mean simply selling more products and services. It includes:
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  • Finding more donors and volunteers for your nonprofit
  • Increasing and improving your list of suppliers and vendors
  • Identifying new strategic partners
  • Improving the pool of candidates for your latest job opening
  • Helping you secure your next great job

But how can you use LinkedIn to generate identifiable business opportunities?

You consistently follow my step-by-step process.
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The Five C's: Using LinkedIn to Grow Your BusinessFive C's

This is the same process I share with my corporate and individual clients, people who attend my public classes, and in my online course Explode Your Revenues Using LinkedIn. Follow all five steps for maximum results.

CREATE a customer-focused profile
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  • Use special profile sections and add media to highlight your area(s) of expertise.
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  • In addition to the Contact Info and Advice for Contacting sections, consider including your preferred contact information in your Summary and Current Job Experience sections.
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  • Include specific calls to action throughout your profile to encourage readers to engage with you.

CONNECT with your prospects
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  • Use Advanced People Search, Company Search, Alumni, Groups, People You May Know, and Who's Viewed Your Profile to find new prospects.
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  • Use a five-star invitation to reach out to potential prospects. Include where you met (if applicable) and/or how you could help each other.
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  • Avoid LinkedIn's standard invitation language.
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  • Always be on the lookout for quality connections. The larger your network, the more opportunity for business growth.

CATEGORIZE your connections
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  • Use tags to group prospects who have similar buyer characteristics.
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  • Download your connections database. You can then filter and sort the names for use outside of LinkedIn.
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  • Consider upgrading to one of the premium LinkedIn accounts to receive additional profile sorting and saving options.

COMMUNICATE with your network
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  • Stay in front of your audience by making daily status updates.
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  • Add value to your relationships by sharing valuable industry information. Do this by publishing your own original content in the Published Posts section of your profile.
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  • Use direct messaging to contact your first-level connections and fellow group members--but don't contact them too often or sell too hard or they may remove you from their network.
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  • Increase your exposure by engaging in group discussions and "liking," "sharing" or commenting on other people's status updates.

CAPITALIZE on existing relationships
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  • Connect with all of your existing clients/customers.
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  • Search through your current customers' connections Explode Home Page Widget-01and ask them to refer you to specific people in their networks whom you'd like to have as future customers.
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  • Ask for LinkedIn recommendations from your most impactful and loyal customers to display proudly on your profile.

For step-by-step instructions from me on how to execute these five LinkedIn strategies, check out my online video-based course Explode Your Revenues Using LinkedIn. And for a limited time you can purchase it for only $97 by using the promo code SALES. Click here for details and to purchase.

Does Your LinkedIn Account Need to be Tightened Down?

Posted on May 1, 2016
Wayne Breitbarth

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.

10 Best LinkedIn Secrets & How You Can Leverage Them

Posted on April 23, 2016
Wayne Breitbarth

With all the LinkedIn changes recently, even a full-time LinkedIn guy like me can get confused. Thus, I think it's time to share with you ten of the best and oftentimes hard-to-find LinkedIn features.

But first let me invite you to join me for a FREE live video streaming event this Tuesday (4/26/2016) from 8:30am-9:45am CT. I will be presenting in front of a live audience in Madison, Wisconsin all ten features as well as iStock_000050983604_Smallexamples, testimonials, and a good share of Wayne humor. You don't have to register in advance to watch the video nor do you need to attend the entire presentation. It will be available for just 24 hours after the event has aired on both Twitter and Periscope.

To join the event live or watch the replay:
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  • Follow me on Twitter @waynebreitbarth, and the live video will be playing in my feed during that time slot.
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  • Download the Periscope app to your mobile device, follow me (waynebreitbarth), and set your notifications to alert you when I go live or click the app during this time slot and view the event.
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    Once you follow me on Periscope, you'll be notified whenever I'm broadcasting on Periscope--and I typically share live LinkedIn tips five days per week.
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  • On your computer, log into my Periscope TV account during the time of the event: https://www.periscope.tv/waynebreitbarth/

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10 LinkedIn secrets

Some of these features may be hard to find, but I promise that you'll have improved success on LinkedIn if you take advantage of these hidden gems.

1.  15 free direct messages per month to fellow group members. There used to be no limit on direct messages, but it's still a significant value (15 InMails cost $150). Therefore, use your 15 freebies before using your allotment of InMails.

Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 11.37.13 AM2.  Expand the reach on your three free saved Advanced People Searches. By using the "OR" Boolean operator or the LinkedIn "+ Add" in the search fields for keywords, company names, industries, locations, etc., you can make sure your saved searches are scooping up lots more people than a simple search without those additions.

3.  Download your connections. Just click on Connections below the My Network tab on your top toolbar, and then click the Settings icon (top right). When you select Export LinkedIn Connections, you'll receive a spreadsheet that includes first name, last name, current title, current company, and each connection's primary LinkedIn email address. Ka-ching!

4.  Commercial use search limit workaround. If you're running into the free search wall each month, try this simple tool built by Shane McCuster. It may help you avoid upgrading to a premium account. Here's the link to access: http://bit.ly/searchworkaround.

Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 11.39.30 AM5.  Review your inbound customized invitation messages and consider replying to them. Since last fall, when the messaging interface was revised, it has been difficult to monitor your inbound invitations, especially the ones that have custom messages that might include important information. If you hover over the double word cloud on the invitation, you can read the message. If you want to reply without connecting to the person, just click the left-pointing arrow.

6.  Unlock the LinkedIn keyword treasure chest. Here's how it works. If I'm interested in information about marketing, I would enter http://www.linkedin.com/topic/marketing into my browser, and I'd get a plethora of information about marketing, including information about people who have the word marketing on their profile, published posts on the topic of marketing, Slideshare presentations on marketing, groups to join relating to marketing, and marketing-related jobs.

Come up with your own keywords and enter them after the topic/ in the link above. If you want to search for a phrase--for example, search engine optimization--you would enter search_engine_optimization. Happy treasure hunting!

Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 12.20.55 PM7.  Search your connections' connections. Just click the magnifying glass in the Connections section of your connection's profile and type in a keyword(s). Then click advanced search and use all of the available Advanced Search filters. I typically refer to this as the "LinkedIn Referral Machine." Enjoy this one while you can because LinkedIn sometimes decides to make the best features available to premium subscribers only.

8.  Get your LinkedIn mobile strategy in order. When you make changes to your profile, always check them out on the LinkedIn mobile app to be sure your most important information has not been truncated or requires the viewer to click See more to get to your best stuff.

Also, when using mobile, be sure to personalize your invitations to connect by clicking the horizontal dots in the top right corner of a person's mobile profile and selecting Personalize Invite. It's especially important to personalize your invitation when reaching out to people you don't know. Use my Essentials of a 5-Star LinkedIn Connection Invitation tip sheet to improve your chances of engagement.

Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 12.27.15 PM9.  Take control of the Skills section of your profile. Your Skills section and the endorsements you receive for those skills are very important, but it seems like they have a mind of their own. Click the + Add Skill button to get control of this feature. Delete the skills that strategically don't fit. Add additional skills that really matter for searching and clarity, and reorder those skills, listing them in order of importance. You can list up to fifty skills. Don't miss out on this critical opportunity.

10. Capitalize on the View Recent Activity feature. Click the small down arrow to the right of the Send InMail or Send Message button on someone's profile, and then click View Recent Activity.

Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 12.30.02 PMOn the top right of this page, you can see the number of followers the person has. This number includes everyone in the person's network as well as other people who have chosen to follow him/her. These followers receive his/her posts and updates, and the amount of activity gives you an idea of how active the person is on LinkedIn. The more followers someone has, the more likely it is that he/she will accept your invitation to connect.

If something in the person's feed would benefit your network, then share, "like" or comment on it.

This is also a good place to use LinkedIn's Mention feature. For example, if you're sharing Louis Young's post with your network, you might say, "This post by @louisyoung is brilliant." Using the @ symbol causes LinkedIn to notify Louis Young that you mentioned him, and @louisyoung becomes a live link. If someone sees your comment and clicks on @louisyoung, he/she will be sent directly to Louis's LinkedIn profile--and I'm sure Louis will appreciate the extra traffic to his profile.

There you have it--ten terrific LinkedIn features that should improve the results you're getting on LinkedIn. Good luck using them!

Over 8.7 million companies have LinkedIn company pages, and that's a great place to start. But the road to real corporate marketing potential begins with company employees presenting a consistent branding message on their personal LinkedIn profiles.

marketing concept with financial elements hand drawn on blackboaBut if you're company management, how can you help your employees share the responsibility for promoting your company's products or services?

It starts with creating LinkedIn best practices guidelines and sharing them with all employees. The guidelines should include profile standards as well as simple LinkedIn activities that will be helpful for the employees as well as the company.

A LinkedIn training session is a quick and easy way to share the guidelines with your employees--and they will be more likely to follow the guidelines if they understand the strategy behind them and see the personal value in addition to the corporate value.

Of course, I've provided LinkedIn training for hundreds of companies and would be happy to assist you and your company as well.
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What to include in your company's LinkedIn best practices guidelines

The first seven items below are typically one-time profile updates that all employees can quickly and easily perform. The last two items are activities that employees should be encouraged to engage in on an ongoing basis.

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

2.  Banner. Design an eye-catching banner that your employees would be proud to display as their profile background. The banner is quite large, thus an easy way to promote the company brand.

Screen Shot 2016-04-07 at 4.11.27 PM3.  Standard company description paragraph(s). Share one succinct paragraph that they can include in their Summary section and then two or three more detailed paragraphs that they can include in the job description for their current job at your company.

4.  Keywords. These are critical on LinkedIn. If you want your people to regularly show up in search results, give them a list of five to ten words or phrases that people typically use when searching for companies like yours. These are usually your products, services, brands, etc. And then encourage your employees to place them in the right spots on their profile.

5.  Websites. All employees can list three websites in their Contact Info section, and the entries can be hyperlinked to specific pages on your company website. Choose the best pages on your site--and when your employees proudly display them on their profiles, you'll begin to generate some nice traffic to your site.

Screen Shot 2016-04-07 at 4.16.12 PM6.  Media or web links in Summary and current Job Experience sections. This is a great place to show off videos, slide shows, photos of your best work, products, customer testimonials, etc.

7.  Each employee's job entry correctly attached to your company page. When this is done right, your company logo will show up next to their current job entry. 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 he/she is typing in your company name.

8.  Sharing, "liking" or commenting on company status updates, individual status updates, and individual published posts. This can be hard to monitor because it's ongoing rather than a one-time profile change. But the more it's done, the more eyes your company updates are seen by, and that's obviously a good thing.

9.  Targeted industry group memberships and activities. This is a divide-and-conquer strategy. Find the best groups that at least one company employee should be involved in, and then assign individuals to join those groups, share relevant information, and connect with the right people in the groups. Be sure to not only join your industry groups but your clients' industry groups as well.

Getting your team on board with these guidelines may take a bit of effort, but it will really amplify your company message on LinkedIn, the world's largest business database. Let me know if I can help you develop more specific guidelines for your company and get your team on board.