Power Formula LinkedIn Blog

Do you know the difference between helping and selling?

Posted on November 16, 2014
Wayne Breitbarth

“The difference between helping and selling is just two letters. But those two letters now make all the difference.”

– Jay Baer from his book “Youtility”

What a great book. It really puts into perspectiveScreen Shot 2014-11-13 at 5.40.47 PM the new selling/buying world we are operating in. Do yourself a favor and pick up your own copy. If you’re an accountant or you sell real estate, there’s also a companion book available.

So, what is the overall concept of Youtility? Here are two excerpts from the book that summarize it well:

“The secret to your success is to be the most useful (fill in with your specific profession) you can possibly be and to value helping over selling.

“Youtility provides customers and prospects with massively useful, free information that creates long-term trust and kinship between you and them.” 

Pretty simple, huh? Just provide your customers and prospects with massively useful, free information, and you will create long-term trust and kinship.

I’m pretty sure we all know that trust and kinship alone won’t necessarily lead to a sale. We still have to deliver quality products and services at the right price. But if you don’t have trust and kinship, you won’t have a customer for very long.

Youtility and LinkedIn

So, how can you use LinkedIn for your very own version of Youtility?

1.   Connect with your customers and prospects. You can’t very well “provide massively useful, free information” if you aren’t connected to them.

LinkedIn Tip:  Use Advanced People Searching, Who’s Viewed Your Profile, Alumni, and Groups to find the right people. Be sure to use a customized invitation when you try to connect with them.

2.  Create a customer-focused profile. If you’re trying to use LinkedIn to increase your business, you should start by changing your profile to be about them (e.g., your customers, your prospects, and people who influence your customers and prospects) linkedin professional gallerand not about you.

LinkedIn Tip:  Use the Professional Gallery feature to insert helpful video, audio, documents or links to websites in the Summary and current Job Experience sections of your profile.

Consider putting specific calls to action in your profile that encourage readers to do something–for instance, view or download additional resources and helpful tools.Screen Shot 2014-11-13 at 5.29.50 PM

In my Project section, I share a link that will take readers to a form where they can sign up to receive free weekly LinkedIn tips from me.

3.  Curate great, helpful content from others.

LinkedIn Tip:  Find and share articles, checklists, whitepapers, ebooks, and other resources from other industry experts by posting status updates and group discussions.

4.  Compose and share your own content. The content should not only help your intended audience but also show your and your company’s expertise.

LinkedIn Tip:  Write your own articles and include themScreen Shot 2014-11-13 at 5.32.23 PM in the published posts on your profile. Be sure to also share them via status updates and group discussions. Also, if some of the content you write appears on websites (your own or others), include details and links to those articles by using the special Publications profile section.

If you need more help executing your very own Youtility using LinkedIn, check out my online video-based training course “Explode Your Revenues Using LinkedIn.”


LinkedIn Data Download: They Just Opened Their Vault for You

Posted on November 2, 2014
Wayne Breitbarth

Have you downloaded a list of your LinkedIn connections lately? Did you even know it’s possible to download it?

This extremely useful function has been available for quite some time, but most people have not taken advantage of it.

But the good news is LinkedIn recently expanded this feature, and now–in addition to a list of your connections–you can download lots of other valuable data from your LinkedIn account.

iStock_000025032550SmallNow, if you’re saying to yourself, It’s probably hard to figure out how to do it–and even tougher to know how to capitalize on the information–I’ve got good news for you: It’s very easy to do.

Just follow these four simple steps:

  1. Scroll over your small photo (or headshot icon if you don’t have a photo) on the right side of your top toolbar.
  2. Choose Privacy & Settings from the drop-down menu that appears under your photo.
  3. Click the Account tab near the bottom of the page.
  4. Under the Helpful Links section, choose Request an archive of your data.

That’s it. Within 72 hours (twice I got mine in less than 24 hours), you will receive a file from LinkedIn. It will be sent to the primary email listed in your LinkedIn account.

Here’s what you’ll get

You will obviously find some of this information to be more useful than others, but I can assure you there are some real gems in here.

Account information:

  • Registration information
  • Login history, including IP records
  • Email address history and statuses
  • Account history, including account closures and reopens

Other information:

  • Name information, including the current name on your account and any previous name changes
  • A list of your 1st degree connections
  • Photos that have been uploaded to your account
  • Endorsements you’ve received
  • List of skills on your profile
  • Recommendations given and received
  • Group contributions
  • Your search history
  • Content you’ve posted, shared, liked, or commented on
  • Mobile apps you’ve installed
  • Ads you’ve clicked on
  • The targeting criteria LinkedIn uses to show you ads

In my opinion, the most useful information is the list of your first-degree connections. In that spreadsheet you’ll find first name, last name, current job title, current company, and–potentially the most lucrative information–email address. I’m sure you will find numerous uses for all of this material, but knowing you can have all these email addresses in one handy dandy spot is probably the best news you’ve gotten lately.

Don’t delay–go get your data now. And why not do yourself a favor and make a note to follow this procedure at least quarterly. You never know when you’ll need this goldmine of information.

8 Simple Tweaks That Will Skyrocket Your LinkedIn Profile Views

Posted on October 26, 2014
Wayne Breitbarth

Now that LinkedIn has given us new rankings relating to the number of people who view our profiles, lots of folks are asking me how to improve their numbers–and, of course,iStock_000049908928Small they want the solution to be fast and easy.

Before I give you the simple tweaks that will move the numbers in the short term, an even better strategy is to move the numbers over the long term–and start getting more views by the people who can help you achieve your business goals.

In a nutshell, your long-term strategy is to connect with your target audience and share great information, thereby nurturing the relationship and increasing your thought leadership status. Then, when they are ready to engage someone who has your expertise, you have earned your way onto their list–and hopefully it’s a very short list! For a comprehensive process to accomplish this long-term strategy, check out my online LinkedIn course.

Easy Ways to Get More Eyes Looking at Your Profile

In the short term, here are eight simple ways to get more of the right people viewing your profile.

1.  Make frequent changes to your profile.  Your connections will usually be curious about what you changed or added, so this one–if you don’t overuse it–works great.

2.  Share your thoughts in a group discussion that has lots of previous comments.  If there are lots of previous comments, then lots of folks will get notified when you make a comment–so make it a good one.

3.  Look at other people’s profiles.  When people see you’ve looked at their profile, it’s quite likely they’ll take a look at yours if your Headline suggests you might be an interesting person to meet.

4.  Post your own status updates daily.  This doesn’t take as much time as you think if you simply use the “Share” button on an interesting article you’ve read. Add a personal comment about the article, and you’ll get even more action from your network.

5.  Share, “like” or comment on other people’s status updates or published posts.  This isn’t quite as powerful as posting your own status update, but the time commitment is a lot less. It only takes a second to click “like,” and it’s an easy way to stay top of mind with your network.

6.  Put more of your most important keywords in your profile–and put them in the right spots.  For help with this, download my Keywords: The Key to Being Found on LinkedIn worksheet.

7.  Endorse people.  Not everyone is a fan of this feature, but it does spark lots of engagement–which usually results in more profile views.

8.  Include your LinkedIn URL in your email signature, business cards, resume, and other social sites.  If you make it easy for people to find your profile, they’re more likely to take a peek at it.

It’s important to track your progress on LinkedIn, and the number of profile views is one of the simplest metrics to monitor. And when more people are looking at your profile, I’m confident your ROI will improve.

To learn about the other numbers you should be keeping an eye on, read “LinkedIn Metrics and ROI: The 10 Numbers You Need to Track.”

Get my FREE LinkedIn video series and ebook NOW!

Posted on October 19, 2014
Wayne Breitbarth

This week’s LinkedIn tip is short and sweet–very sweet.

What I have for you is free access to my latest LinkedIn strategy series (including five videos, eight downloadable resources, and a 38-page companion ebook). This was doneMobile Linkedin sm in partnership with my friends at Stream Creative and sponsored by West Bend Mutual Insurance. It’s called Strategies for LinkedIn Success for Accountants.

Don’t let the title scare you away. The simple but powerful strategies and tactics are applicable to everyone, not just accountants.

The topics include:

  • Why Social Media?
  • How to Properly Set Up Your LinkedIn Profile
  • Leveraging LinkedIn for Professional Growth
  • How Much Time to Devote to LinkedIn
  • How to Develop a LinkedIn Connection Strategy

You can access the videos and download the ebook by clicking here.


LinkedIn Skills: Is Your Pantry Well Stocked?

Posted on October 12, 2014
Wayne Breitbarth

When I was growing up, I worked in my dad’s grocery store. Near the end of the day, I would remove, refill and rotate merchandise and “pull the shelves” so they’d be full when we opened the doors in the morning.iStock_000015590542Small If we didn’t have enough product to fill the shelf, we rearranged the inventory so the shelves looked full.

What does this have to do with LinkedIn, you ask?

Well, I like to think of the Skills section on your profile as your pantry full of your most important keywords that I can endorse you for.

This section is an extremely important part of the LinkedIn search algorithm, and it’s also a great way for you to clearly describe your business goals and objectives to your LinkedIn audience.

Easy ways to stock your “Skills pantry”

Most people will spend only a few minutes looking at your profile. As they skim your profile, the list of skills is an easy way to quickly assess your expertise. Thus, you want your “skills shelf” to look fully stocked and in good order.

Here are four simple steps you can take to enhance your Skills section.

*Note: You must be in Edit Profile mode and begin by clicking Edit in the Skills section.

1.  Eliminate irrelevant skills.  If they’re not currently important to you and probably won’t be important in the future, get rid of them. Simply click the “X” to the right of the skill to eliminate it. Any endorsements you’ve received for that skill will disappear as well, but if it’s not “fresh stock,” it’s not helping you anyway.

2.  Rearrange your skills.  People are more likely to endorse you for the skills that are near the top of the list, so put your “freshest inventory” (your most important keywords) in the front. Simply click the words and drag them up or down.

From time to time you might want to “rotate your inventory.” If you have quite a few endorsements for your “top 10″ skills, consider moving some of your “second tier” skills to the top for a while. This should result in more endorsements for these skills.

3.  Add additional important skills.  By looking at the profiles of other people in your industry, you might find additional skills you should Screen Shot 2014-10-11 at 6.58.16 AMadd to your profile. Check your competitors’ profiles for skills you may have overlooked.

LinkedIn will also help you find skills you may want to include on your profile. Simply type one of your keywords into the What are your areas of expertise? box, and a list of suggestions will appear.

You should also list your products and services, including specific brand names. When I was an office furniture dealer, I included the words office furniture, interior design, and Haworth (our main brand). They may not seem like skills to you, but they’re keywords that display your expertise, and people can endorse you for them.

Also, be sure to include derivations of your skills. Notice how I did this on my profile.Screen Shot 2014-10-11 at 6.58.53 AM

I strongly suggest you fill your shelves up with your 50 best keywords. Fifty is the limit in this section–and usually when LinkedIn puts a limit on something, it’s a goodie. So take advantage of all 50.

4.  Review this section often.  Over time you may develop new skills, change your business focus, or develop a new LinkedIn strategy. Be sure your Skills section is up to date and displays your most important areas of expertise as well as the products and services you offer in your marketplace.

In summary, keep your shelves fully stocked with your best inventory. It’s a sure-fire way to keep your customers happy and coming back for more. And thanks to my dad for sharing this great advice with me so many years ago.

What do Batman & Robin have to do with LinkedIn?

Posted on October 4, 2014
Wayne Breitbarth

I’m really enjoying the new TV series Gotham. It takes me back to my childhood when I was an avid Batman comic book reader/collector.United States Superhero Postage Stamp

But you’re probably wondering what in the world does Batman have to do with LinkedIn? Has Wayne finally lost his marbles?

Actually, I’m just fine–at least I think so–but here’s the connection.

This week I’m going to share with you what I fondly refer to as LinkedIn’s dynamic duo of lead generation features. Just like the dynamic duo of Batman and Robin, they’re great on their own, but together they’re much more effective.

So, come meet LinkedIn’s lead generation dynamic duo: Advanced People Search and Saved Search.

Simply put, these two features together will automatically serve you up an email list of targets who meet your defined criteria. I use the word target very positively. This could be customers, vendors, donors, employees, strategic partners, future employers, and experts, to name only a few of the endless possibilities.

How to get the Dynamic Duo working for you

Follow these simple steps:

1.  Click the word Advanced to the right of the blue magnifying glass on the top LinkedIn toolbar.

2.  In the criteria boxes, enter the keywords, job titles, company names, geographic areas, etc. that your targets would use to describe themselves on their LinkedIn profile.

3.  Review the list of people your search uncovers, making sure they actually look like people you’d like to meet, and see which of your connections already know these individuals.

4.  Click the words Save search on the top right of this list of search results.

5.  Decide what you want to name this target list and how often you want LinkedIn to notify you of new results.

From this point forward, LinkedIn will deliver to you–at whatever interval you choose and without any further work on your part–an updated list of your best and most qualified leads. And, maybe more importantly, you’ll see which of your connections might be able to make that all-important introduction to these potential customers.

For lots more highly effective but little-known advanced LinkedIn features like this one, as well as simple strategies for using them, check out my new online LinkedIn training course. Click here for more details.  

In Life and on LinkedIn, Saying “Thank You” Can Take You a Long Way

Posted on September 28, 2014
Wayne Breitbarth

Making the right connections on LinkedIn is one of the keys to success. In the past I’ve written about who you should connect with, why you should connect with them, and how to best find great connections on LinkedIn. You can find links to those articles below.

But this week I want to reinforce something your mom taught you–writing thank-you notes.


It’s time to dust off that time-proven technique, and not just because it’s good etiquette but because it’s good business too.

When to send a thank-you note

Some people are adding dozens of people to their LinkedIn network each week, and sending a personal note to each person may not be possible. But, at the very least, I suggest sending a thank-you note when:

1.  You accept an inbound connection request from someone who meets one of your most important strategic connection criteria

2.  Someone accepts your outbound connection request

You have their attention; so don’t miss this opportunity to send them a note. It may encourage them to give you a call or consider you next time they need whatever product or service you’re offering.

They invited you to join their network

In this case your response can be somewhat standard, but it may be advantageous to mention something the person said in his/her invitation to you.

Here’s what I typically say:

Hi (insert first name):

Thanks for the invitation to connect, and welcome to my network. 

I look forward to helping you with your LinkedIn strategy and tactics. To get started, let me know if you would like to begin receiving my free weekly email of LinkedIn strategies and tips. 

Take care. 


You invited them to join your network

In this case the note should be totally customized, depending on why you extended the invitation in the first place.

Say “thanks” and mention a next step the person could take. Here are a few easy ways to spark engagement:

  • Include a link to download a helpful resource or an archived or upcoming webinar
  • Suggest a time for a phone call or meeting
  • Share a reason to check out a section of your website

You get the idea.

Does this take extra time? You bet. Will it be worth the effort? Without question. I add twenty to thirty people to my mailing list each week by following these steps–and some of them have become clients.

LinkedIn is so much more than a social media site you should check occasionally. It’s a powerful tool to help you grow your business. And if you can make money AND make your mom proud, I say go for it!

For more ways to improve your LinkedIn network, check out these articles:

The LinkedIn Connection Conundrum: Who Should Be in Your Network

Do You Need a LinkedIn Connections Fill-up?

LinkedIn People Searching: Your Ticket to Improved ROI

If you want to gather business intelligence, there’s no better place than LinkedIn. Before I begin working with a company to grow their sales using LinkedIn, I head straight to their LinkedIn company page to begin gathering information. I can tell pretty quickly if they have some level of LinkedIn savvy or not.

What would I find if I visited your company page?

Are you portraying a positive corporate image? Will I immediately understand what products and services you provide? Will I think you’re pretty sophisticated LinkedIn users?

Let’s take a look together and see what you’ve got going on.


1.  Where’s your logo?

If you don’t display your corporate logo, you’re missing out on lots of exposure.

All of your employees can display the company logo on their individual profiles–but only if the logo is on the company page.

Screen Shot 2014-09-12 at 6.07.35 AM

If you have a logo on your company page, when someone scrolls over the logo or your company name, the company summary box will pop up. But if you don’t have a logo there, you’ll miss a branding opportunity and a chance to pick up company followers.

2.  Don’t you have any keywords?

LinkedIn is a search engine. Like all search engines, if you don’t have enough of the right keywords in the right spots, you won’t be on the search results list. Be sure to put your best keywords in the following spots: Company Name, Company Description, and Specialties.

3.  Isn’t there anything new and exciting going on at your company?

People will assume nothing is happening at your company if you’re not posting consistent status updates. People are following your company page for a reason, and I’m pretty sure it’s because they look forward to hearing the latest and greatest info about your company.

4.  You don’t want to take advantage of a FREE online billboard?

LinkedIn gives you an opportunity to put a very prominent, interesting, eye-catching banner right near the top of your company page, and it’s free! But if you’d rather pay for a billboard along the highway, that’s fine.

5.  Don’t you think I’m interested in the history of your company?

Your company history is an important part of your story, and I’d be interested in at least a short overview of your company. A list of your products and services (these are probably some of your most important keywords) and a few reasons why I should buy from you instead of your competitors would be nice, too.

Use your 1,500 characters to share what your customers or Screen Shot 2014-09-12 at 6.10.31 AMfuture employees are most interested in. Be sure to include a specific call to action.

6.  Your competitors have specialties. Don’t you have any?

There are just 13 slots in this section. Be sure to use them all to list your most important products and services. These are great keywords, and this will help people find your company.

7.  Don’t you know mobile is all the rage these days?

Most people are unaware of this. Only the first 169 characters in your company description show up on the LinkedIn mobile app Screen Shot 2014-09-12 at 6.18.53 AMuntil a visitor clicks See more. Be sure to put your best stuff first so they don’t have to click to see more if they’re in a hurry.

8.  Do you think followers are only for the big companies?

No matter the size of your company, you should be sharing status updates with your followers. These can include marketing messages, job openings, and other interesting information. People who choose to follow you are anxious to hear from you! Consistently work on growing your list of followers. This is sure to produce results.

To learn about more opportunities your company may be missing, download my free ebook 10 LinkedIn Mistakes Companies Make.


Well, LinkedIn has done it again.

They recently released a great new feature called Field of Study Explorer, and they’ve suggested it’s designed to help students. But whether they realize it or not, it’s a terrific tool for businesspeople as well.iStock_000002790877Small

And that’s where I come in. I take seriously my responsibility to help you get the most out of the site, especially hidden gems like the new Field of Study Explorer.

LinkedIn’s Stated Purpose for Field of Study Explorer

Here’s an excerpt from LinkedIn’s July 28 launch announcement:

“Today, we are pleased to announce a new product – Field of Study Explorer – designed to help students like Candice” (a student mentioned in the full article) “explore the wide range of careers LinkedIn members have pursued based on what they studied in school.”

How Field of Study Explorer Can Help YOU

In addition to being an awesome tool for students, it is a great business intelligence tool for:

  • recruiting
  • job seekers
  • people who want to keep their employment options open and better understand the overall job landscape
  • schools looking for areas of study they may want to expand into

Simply put, the Field of Study Explorer is a new way to sort LinkedIn profiles. You can see what people studied when they were in school.

How to Access Field of Study Explorer

You can access this feature by clicking Interests>Education>See fields of study. LinkedIn will then show you the results for one of the specific majors you have listed on your profile.

But if you simply click Explore more, you can pick another major from the list LinkedIn has selected for you or scroll all the way down and type in the one you’d like to explore.

For example, this screen shows you that over 2.2 million people have studied accounting.

But the fun begins when you start Screen Shot 2014-09-12 at 5.32.18 AMclicking through the five available filters:

  • Where they work
  • What they do
  • Where they went to school
  • Where they live
  • How you are connected

So, if I want to see which companies in the Milwaukee area have a lot of accounting jobs, I just type Screen Shot 2014-09-12 at 5.34.53 AMgreater Milwaukee area in the Where They Live search box.

The result is not just in numerical terms. It gives me the name, headline, and photo of each person who meets my search criterion.

And if I go one step further and click Johnson Controls, Screen Shot 2014-09-12 at 5.36.58 AMI can see all the accountants that currently work there.

Think how easy it is to get important data to help you answer some of the following questions:

  • Which companies in your town have most of the jobs in a certain field?
  • (If you’re relocating) Which cities have the most opportunities for you and which companies have those opportunities?
  • (If you’re thinking about going back to school) What schools have the most grads in a particular field and where do most of them go to work?
  • (If you’re recruiting) At what schools should you recruit for a certain type of job and what schools are your competitors getting their employees from?

The possibilities are really endless. Check it out, and let me know other interesting ways you’ve used LinkedIn’s Field of Study Explorer.