Power Formula LinkedIn Blog

How to Build Your LinkedIn Company Marketing Machine

Posted on February 4, 2018
Wayne Breitbarth

Over 13 million companies have company pages on LinkedIn. If your company doesn't have one, you can get started by clicking here.

But that's not the company marketing machine I'm referring to. I'm talking about coordinating all the employees at your company to have a consistent branding message relating to your company on each of their personal LinkedIn profiles. So, what would that coordination look like?

It starts with creating LinkedIn profile guidelines (a/k/a best practices) for your company and then sharing that information with everyone at your company who has a LinkedIn profile.

The best way to share these guidelines is to have a LinkedIn training session for all employees who have a LinkedIn account. (And, by the way, I can help you with this!). Employees need to understand the strategy behind the guidelines and not just "Here, do this because I said so."
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What to include in your company's LinkedIn profile guidelines

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

2.  Background photo. Design a standard company background image that all employees can put on their personal LinkedIn profile. This could include your website address, physical address and phone number, photos of your products or facilities, etc.

3.  Keywords. These are critical on LinkedIn, and if you expect your people to show up in a search, you have to give them a list of five to ten of the most searched-for terms for the company—these are usually your products, services, brands, etc.—and then encourage your employees to place them in the right spots on their profile.

4.  Standard company description paragraph(s). Share with them one succinct paragraph to be included in the Summary section and a more detailed two or three paragraphs to be included in their job description for their current job at your company.

5.  Add media to current job experience entry. Give them videos, slide shows, photos of your best work or products, customer testimonials, etc. that they can display on their profile by uploading a file or linking to the information.

6.  Each employee’s job entry correctly attached to your company page. Make sure your company logo shows up on their job entry for your company. 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 (s)he is typing in your company name.

7.  Sharing, “liking” or commenting on company status updates. This is a bit hard to monitor because it is ongoing and not a one-time profile change. But the more it’s done, the more sets of eyes your company updates are seen by, and we can all agree that is a good thing.

For additional LinkedIn company branding ideas, be sure to download my FREE eBook 10 LinkedIn Mistakes Companies Make and How to Fix Them Before They Damage Your Company's Reputation by clicking here. 

Are LinkedIn Groups Worth Your Valuable Time?

Posted on January 27, 2018
Wayne Breitbarth

It's been rumored for more than a year that LinkedIn Groups are going away.

Well, that rumor has been squashed, at least in the short term, by LinkedIn this week. Some people, including me, received a direct LinkedIn message from people in LinkedIn's Product Marketing Department that started out like this:

"We’re currently working on making some changes to the LinkedIn Groups experience, and because you are an expert user, we wanted to give you some advance details on what’s coming. Groups is at the heart of what makes LinkedIn a trusted place for professionals to help and support one another, and the changes we’re planning will make Groups a bigger part of the main LinkedIn experience."

*The entire message and also a subsequent message that includes additional details are printed at the bottom of this article.

I am cautiously optimistic about this announcement. But in typical LinkedIn fashion, these changes will be rolled out over the coming months. Therefore, it may take a while for all of us to see the impact of these changes.

That being said, I still think the idea of like-minded individuals virtually hanging out with each other (the premise of LinkedIn Groups) is a winning idea. Therefore, let's review some of the best practices relating to groups.
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How to find information about the groups you're currently in

Click the Work tab on your top LinkedIn toolbar and then select Groups. You will then be taken to what I refer to as your LinkedIn Groups home page, which includes loads of information about your current groups, including:
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  • Today's highlights
  • Your most active groups
  • Listing of your current groups (under My Groups tab)
  • Suggested groups you may want to join (under Discover tab)
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How to find additional groups that are right for you

LinkedIn currently has over three million groups, and you can join up to 100 at any one time. Here are some of the ways to uncover the best places to hang out.

1. In your top toolbar, use specific keywords in the search box. When the results are returned, click Groups in the sub-tab. Here are some ideas of the kinds of searches you may want to try:
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  • Schools you have attended
  • Associations and groups you belong to
  • Your city, state or region
  • Your industry
  • Your customers' industry (this is often an overlooked opportunity)
  • Your hobbies or outside interests
  • Certifications you have earned
  • Types of software or other tools you use in your job
  • Events you've attended or will be attending

2. Review the groups listed on the bottom of the profile of any person you're already hanging out with or would like to hang out with.


Do's and don'ts of LinkedIn groups

After you've found the best places to hang out, it's time to get involved.

Each group has a different feel or culture, and it will be pretty obvious what type of activity is appropriate. However, here are some general do’s and don'ts to help improve your effectiveness when hanging out in groups.

Do this in your groups
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  • Get involved in discussions where the right folks are talking about the right topics. Of course, you'll need to have expertise that will add value to the discussion. Also, consider sharing a link to a place where they can get more information on the topic being discussed.
  • Invite fellow group members to join your network. If they're a particularly good target, mention in your invitation that you're in the same LinkedIn group or refer to a comment they made in a group discussion.
  •  If you're looking for employment, check out the group's Jobs tab.
  • Start your own discussion, and be sure to follow the ongoing conversation. Before starting a discussion, however, check out the group's rules, because some group managers have specifically outlawed links to your website or other things they feel are too self-promotional.
  • Suggest taking the conversation offline when it’s appropriate.
  • Send direct messages to members and share helpful information and/or resources.

Don’t do this in your groups
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  • Spend most of your time in group discussions selling your products and services.
  • Share any confidential information.
  • Make hurtful, personal or overly negative comments in the discussions.
  • Think that you have to get the daily or weekly LinkedIn email notifications regarding all the activities in all 100 groups you are in. This will be overwhelming. Pick a few of your best groups, and follow those. Check the others out when you have some extra time.
  • Think less of group members who have decided they don’t want to receive direct messages from other group members.
  • Hesitate to end your membership in a group if you feel you're not getting any results. There are usually several groups in the same space. Find a new one that's a better fit for you.

Groups are a great way to start and grow new relationships that can lead to mutually beneficial business opportunities. I hope you'll use these ideas and the new optimism about LinkedIn groups to explore ways that groups can enhance your business and career.
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Complete messages from LinkedIn about the future of LinkedIn Groups

January 14, 2018

Integrating Groups into the main LinkedIn experience

Wayne,

We’re currently working on making some changes to the LinkedIn Groups experience, and because you are an expert user, we wanted to give you some advance details on what’s coming. Groups is at the heart of what makes LinkedIn a trusted place for professionals to help and support one another, and the changes we’re planning will make Groups a bigger part of the main LinkedIn experience.

Our focus on re-integrating Groups back into the core LinkedIn experience means that we will no longer be able to support a standalone iOS app for Groups; that app will stop working as of February 15, 2018. But please know that your existing group memberships and contributions will not be affected as part of that change.

As a preview, here are some of the improvements you can look forward to when we roll them out to the main LinkedIn Groups web and mobile experience:

- Easier access to Groups right from the homepage, with the ability to see the latest content through the homepage feed and notifications.

- Better conversation tools, including the ability to post videos, @mention the members you want to weigh in, and reply to comments to keep the conversation going.

Ultimately, our goal is to create an even better Groups experience within the primary LinkedIn applications, so we are putting our focus there over the coming weeks and months. We'll be sending you updates as these improvements and many others become available. Stay tuned!
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January 23, 2018

Rolling out new notifications for Groups

Following up on my prior note about the improvements to LinkedIn Groups. The notifications we mentioned have started rolling out!

You'll begin seeing notifications for social activities on your group posts, including likes, comments, and @mentions, and for membership activities, such as group invitations. These real-time alerts of groups' activities will be available directly on the LinkedIn website and LinkedIn mobile apps. To learn more about how to access your notifications and update your preferences, visit https://www.linkedin.com/help/linkedin/answer/76636/managing-your-linkedin-notification-updates?lang=en.

We'll be sure to keep you in the loop when the full set of notifications and other improvements become available!

I Hope You’re Not Making This BIG LinkedIn Mistake

Posted on January 20, 2018
Wayne Breitbarth

If you haven't given serious thought to what location and industry you've selected on your LinkedIn profile, you're probably leaving money on the table. Why? Because you aren't coming up in the search list when your target audience uses them to search for someone like you.

Most people haven't given this choice a moment's consideration since setting up their profile many years ago. I suggest now is a good time to reconsider what you've selected so you can be sure your choices are helping you accomplish your current goals and your goals going forward.


The options are limited but very important

LinkedIn allows you to choose only one industry and one location. Since many of us wear more than one hat and do business nationally or even globally, this can be quite challenging.

(Note: Currently the industry you select is not displayed on your profile, but it's still important because it's one of the most used search filters.)

Secondly, they're not only extremely important when people search on LinkedIn but on Google and other search engines as well.

Industry and Location are two of the filter options when you use the LinkedIn advanced people searching function. They are frequently used by people who are looking for your products, services, expertise, and—especially if you're looking for a job—YOU.
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How to choose the best location and industry

Start by putting yourself in the shoes of people who are searching for you or someone like you. What location and industry might they put in the advanced search boxes? Here are some strategies to help you get started:
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  • If you're a job seeker and thinking about relocating or working in a new industry, use the new location and industry.
  • If you're a sales professional who sells your products and services in a certain part of the country or world or to a specific industry, consider using that location and industry. In other words, think about your customers' industries and locations. This may take priority over your personal industry and location.
  • If you're not seeking a new job and aren't directly selling anything, select the broadest but still correct location (e.g., select Greater Milwaukee Area instead of Thiensville, Wisconsin).
  • If you have multiple industry and location choices that are equally good, consider changing them out from time to time to your alternative choices.
  • Consider mentioning multiple cities, regions or industries in other profile sections to improve your search ranking and your chances of being found. The sections that work well for this would be your Summary, Job Experiences, Job Locations, Interests, and maybe even your Headline if it's important enough.
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  • Share your thought process for your location and industry choices with others at your company, industry associations, networking groups, etc. and get their feedback. There probably isn't only one correct answer, so getting opinions of other knowledgeable people who know your situation is a no-brainer.
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How to enter or adjust your location and industry

Follow these simple steps, and you'll greatly improve your chances of being found by your target audience.

Go to your profile by clicking the Me icon in your top toolbar.

Click the pencil to the right of your profile photo.

Select your country from the drop-down menu.

Type in your postal code.

Select either a region or city that is provided from the Locations within this area box.

Select your desired industry from the drop-down menu.

Click Save.

Don't make the mistake your competitors are probably making—not taking the time to carefully choose their industry and location or, worse yet, letting LinkedIn make the location choice for them.

Granted, because of LinkedIn's limitations, there's probably no perfect answer. But making a conscious, thoughtful decision about what location and industry to choose is sure to give you a leg up on your competitors.
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SPECIAL OFFER

For more simple strategies to improve your LinkedIn ROI, along with a detailed critique of your profile, take advantage of my limited time offer: a one-hour, one-on-one phone consultation for just $175 (50% off my regular fee). 

I will share my computer screen with you during the call and send you a marked up copy of your profile prior to the call.

There are limited spots available, so don't delay. Book your session today by clicking here.

Get Your Free Gift From LinkedIn Now!

Posted on January 13, 2018
Wayne Breitbarth

LinkedIn has given all of its users a very special but hard to find gift, and most people are not taking advantage of it.

So, what is this special gift?

It is an additional 100 characters in what I consider to be the most important section of your profile—your headline. Historically this section has been limited to just 120 characters (including spaces), and now you can enter 220 characters—but only if you use the LinkedIn mobile app to enter your headline.

That is 83 percent more space to clearly tell your audience what you do and add more keywords to improve your LinkedIn search ranking.

Personally, this allowed me to feature in my headline an additional LinkedIn service I provide, "1 on 1 LinkedIn Strategy & Profile Consultations." Ka-Ching!
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How to get this special gift

Download the LinkedIn app for your iOS or Android device. Get more info here.

Open the LinkedIn app, click on your photo in the top left-hand corner of your home page; then click the pencil to the right of your photo on your profile page.

Add to your existing headline or enter a new one (up to 220 characters, including spaces).

Click Save, and your new, expanded headline will then be visible to LinkedIn users not only when they're using the LinkedIn app but on the desktop as well.

If you need additional help with your headline (including several great examples of well-written LinkedIn headlines), download my FREE Definitive Worksheet to Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile Headline here:

 

Download (PDF, 669KB)

 

 

Please Take the Time to Do This Important LinkedIn Function

Posted on January 7, 2018
Wayne Breitbarth

Are you taking enough time to evaluate and respond to your inbound requests to connect on LinkedIn?

I'm guessing probably not.

During the fifty or so one-on-one LinkedIn consultations I've done over the past few months, I learned that most people have a just-get-it-done attitude when it comes to responding to invitations to connect. Well, personal experience has taught me that a thoughtful, personal response will many times open the elusive door to opportunity, and here are some simple ways you can capitalize on these invitations.
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Attitude is everything

Most people who invite you to join their network are hoping to build on a relationship you already have or start a new relationship that will be mutually beneficial.

Granted—there will be spammers or people who do not have your best interests in mind. That's one of social media's unavoidable challenges. But simply click Ignore and get rid of them as fast as you can.

Now, some people won't take the time to explain why they want to connect with you—and others won't even know how to send a personalized note. But if you start with the premise that these people could be referrals from your longtime clients and not simply people who just want to sell you something, it will be easier to spend a few extra minutes considering whether they'll be a good addition to your network.
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How to uncover potential opportunities

Rather than addressing your inbound invitations while you're standing in the grocery checkout line, set aside some time to devote to this task. Then open the entire list by clicking Network in your top toolbar and choosing Manage all. Then evaluate each invitation as follows:

If you know the person well and interact with them often, click the Accept button and, at a minimum, send a message back to thank them for initiating the invitation and express your desire to help each other in the future.

If the person or the company they represent sounds somewhat familiar to you, go directly to their profile and see what information you can gather.
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  • How do they describe themselves in their Headline and Summary?
  • How many connections do they have and how complete is their profile?
  • How many and who are your mutual connections?
  • What responsibility do they have in their current job and where did they work in the past?
  • What are they sharing and writing? (View their Articles and Activity)
  • Where and when did they go to school?
  • What accomplishments do they display?

This information should help clarify whether they would be a good addition to your network.

If you choose to accept them, I challenge you to send a follow-up thank-you message. This simple, kind gesture will be the first step toward growing this relationship into one that will produce results.

It can also be advantageous to offer something of value in your note, like a helpful resource or an invitation to an upcoming event. You can either attach the information or provide a link to it.

Another simple way to add immediate value to this relationship is to introduce them to people in your network who could help them in some way—and hopefully the introduction will be beneficial for both parties.

If you'd like to take it a step further, suggest a follow-up phone call or meeting. I use Calendly, a calendar sharing tool that makes it easy to book an appointment with me.

If neither the person nor the company they represent is familiar to you, don't hastily click Ignore but instead follow the same vetting steps mentioned above. You may just find some gold in them thar hills.

They took the time to send you an invitation and undoubtedly have a reason for wanting you to join their network. If you'd like to uncover the reason, you can send them a message before accepting the invitation by clicking Message below their entry on the Manage Invitations page.

Spend the extra time, and soon those relationships will bring new opportunities you would have missed if you had hurried through your inbound invitations.
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SPECIAL OFFER

For more simple strategies to improve your LinkedIn ROI, along with a detailed critique of your profile, take advantage of my limited time offer: a one-hour, one-on-one phone consultation for just $175 (50% off my regular fee). 

I will share my computer screen with you during the call and send you a marked up copy of your profile prior to the call.

There are limited spots available, so don't delay. Book your session today by clicking here.

Does Your Boss Think You’re Wasting Your Time on LinkedIn?

Posted on December 16, 2017
Wayne Breitbarth

This week I want to help a very special group of loyal LinkedIn users. As a matter of fact, I'm thinking maybe this group should start a LinkedIn group that could be called something like "My Boss Hates LinkedIn Users Group."

I'm speaking to those of you who have found ways to be more effective in your job using LinkedIn, but perhaps your direct supervisor is questioning the amount of time you're allocating to LinkedIn because he/she "just doesn't get it."

Back in the day when I had an actual boss (now I just have my wife), my first priority was to do what my boss wanted and do it in the way he/she wanted it done. So I do appreciate your pain.

Before I give you a resource that may help you with this dilemma, I want to share with you my thoughts about why they may be having trouble embracing your newfound love for LinkedIn.

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  • They probably didn't grow up using any of these Internet-based tools. Saying they are uncomfortable with them is perhaps a real understatement.
  • The whole privacy thing on the Internet is a big mental hurdle.
  • They have a hard time getting excited about new technologies, especially ones that involve the computer, which they may see as a "black hole time waster."
  • LinkedIn is sometimes discussed in the same genre as Facebook and Twitter. Thus, they may have a wholesale allergic reaction to LinkedIn because they've heard about activity on social networking sites that is inappropriate in a business setting.
  • They are more comfortable with face-to-face networking (the only type of networking they have known) because it has worked well for them in the past.
  • They don't want to admit that you know how to do something better than they do.

It's always a good thing to try to put yourself in the other person's shoes before addressing a situation that might be tricky.

Enough said. My help for you today is a "letter" to your boss, and I will call it:

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A Letter to Your Boss on Why He/She Should Be Using LinkedIn

Dear Boss:

As you may or may not know, I have become a regular LinkedIn user. It has helped me to better accomplish the goals of my job by providing a way for me to connect with millions of potential customers/employees/suppliers from all over the world and research people and companies in a way that can only be done on the world's largest online business networking site.

This may strike fear in your mind because it conjures up thoughts of Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites that are not always businesslike. I understand this perspective entirely, and, frankly, the reputation they have garnered is in some cases justifiably earned.

Let me get to the purpose of this letter, which is to give you some reasons why I think you would be helping me accomplish my goals (which, of course, are consistent with our company's goals) if you personally join LinkedIn.

1.     Each of our employees can have a profile on LinkedIn. This profile will allow people to find our company and find us as individuals. We will be found because we're using keywords that describe our products, brands, processes, and markets we serve. Our profiles also give us the ability to tell others what makes us better than our competitors.

When you and the other leaders of our company join LinkedIn, we will be showing the people we serve and employ, as well as those we want to work with and desire to employ, that we are on the leading edge of what is going on in the business community. In addition, we will be making ourselves findable by them on this huge database of businesspeople.

These profiles are similar to a detailed Internet-based Yellow Page listing in a database of over half a billion business professionals. The profiles are meant to assist businesspeople in finding other businesspeople. In order to effectively accomplish this goal, it is not necessary to include sensitive personal information in your profile.

2.     When you add connections to your account, it will enable all of us to know "who knows whom" in your network. Because you are one of the most well-networked people in our geographic market and in our industry as a whole, being able to connect the dots of who you know, as well as who your friends know, could be invaluable to our organization. We may find out that you have a friend who knows an influential person at the company we have been trying to break into for the last several years.

3.     Free of charge, we can also have a company page on LinkedIn. This can include much of the same information we use in our other marketing and branding efforts, and it can be viewed by millions of users around the world. Google and other search engines just love these social media sites. This page will probably come up on the first page of a Google search when someone searches our company name.

4.     Each individual who joins LinkedIn and creates a profile is one more person telling our company story to the millions of people to whom they are connected. This means we all become "foot soldiers" in the branding and marketing of our company.

5.     This is the first time we have had the ability (for free, mind you) to use a keyword searchable database of over half a billion business professionals around the globe for hiring, sourcing, partnering, and information sharing.

That is the 35,000 foot view of the benefits of LinkedIn that I see for our company. I would love the opportunity to now show you how it works. Maybe we could schedule a lunch together, bring in a few sub sandwiches, and I can give you a live demonstration.

I appreciate your taking the time to read this letter. Have a great day.

Now, whether you actually give this letter to your boss is up to you, but my purpose is to outline for you the type of information you can share with your boss to help him/her understand the benefits of LinkedIn. Good luck!

A new year sometimes means new habits. Loads of well-meaning experts are giving you advice about what new habits you should establish for 2018 in order to get better results.

So I've decided to add my two cents about your LinkedIn activities/habits, and it's simple—always look at a person's LinkedIn profile before you have a meeting or phone call.

(Note: You may not be able to do some of these steps on the LinkedIn mobile app.)
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10 tips for reviewing a person's LinkedIn profile prior to a meeting or phone call

In just a few short minutes, you'll be able to get a pretty good idea of just who this person is and what's important to him/her.

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

2.  Articles & Activities. Whatever they are writing about (Articles) or sharing (Activities) has to be important to them or they wouldn't have made the effort to write and/or share.

3.  Media 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.

4.  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.

5.  Education. If you find a fellow alumnus here, it's usually a home run.

6.  Mutual connections. 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.

7.  Accomplishments. This is a section where people can display what they have accomplished, so it only makes sense that they not only hope you look at the details but that you mention it in your upcoming meeting.

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. Be sure to click See all near the bottom of this section to view who they are following (influencers, companies and schools) and the LinkedIn groups they are a member of.

9.  Volunteer Experience. 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. Be sure to click See more positions at the bottom of this section to view older experience entries.

Keep this list handy and use it as a checklist for all of your upcoming meetings. Trust me—not only will the meetings be more productive, but they'll also be more fun.

When is it Time to Drop Someone From Your LinkedIn Network?

Posted on December 3, 2017
Wayne Breitbarth

Your LinkedIn network is one of your most valuable business assets. Therefore, you should add people to your LinkedIn network very strategically. But people change and circumstances change, and occasionally you may find it necessary to remove someone from your network.
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Why should you drop someone from your network?

This list is certainly not exhaustive, but here are a few situations that might prompt you to take action:

  • Someone is filling your Inbox with spam on a consistent basis
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  • Without your permission, somebody is dropping your name in voicemails all over town in an effort to get the appointments he's been trying to land for years with your friends
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  • One of your connections has become a direct competitor
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  • You can't keep up with the inordinate amount of LinkedIn introductions someone is asking you to make
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  • The day after you connect with someone, she sends you a lengthy canned solicitation message that has no relevance to you and your business

I'm sure you get the picture. But don't lose sight of the fact that each and every first-level connection is actually helping you in the search ranking algorithm on LinkedIn. So think twice before you disconnect. For instance, the fact that you've never met a particular person in your network may not be reason enough to disconnect.
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How to drop someone from your network

There are several ways to disconnect with someone on LinkedIn, but one is preferable because the person won't be able to see that you looked at his/her profile before disconnecting. And don't worry—people do not receive a note from LinkedIn saying you dropped them.

1.  Click the My Network tab on the top toolbar and then click See all in the box on the left-hand column under the number of your connections.

2.  Then type the person's name in the Search box.

3.  Once the person's name shows up, click the three dots to the right of his/her name and select Remove connection.

After you disconnect, any recommendations or endorsements between you and that person will be eliminated. The person will not be able to reinvite you, but if you have the person's email address, you can reinvite him/her anytime in the future.

And don't feel guilty if you choose to disconnect. It's your professional network, and you should be comfortable with who's in that network.

How to Use Your LinkedIn Account to Help Your Favorite Nonprofit

Posted on November 18, 2017
Wayne Breitbarth

It's that time of year here in the U.S. when many of us give thanks for the important people in our lives. For me, it's also a good time to reflect on how I can continue to help my favorite nonprofit organizations.

I have taught LinkedIn seminars that are specifically designed for the board members of nonprofit organizations. I show them how they can help their organization by leveraging their existing network and experiences. But I also use my personal LinkedIn account throughout the year to bring attention to specific nonprofits and promote the great work they're doing.
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8 Strategies to Help Your Favorite Nonprofit

Here are eight strategies you, too, can use to help the organizations you care about.

1.  As a board member/volunteer, be sure to include information about the organization in your individual profile in order to help promote involvement, recruit volunteers/donors, explain the mission of the organization, or to facilitate any other public relations or communication effort. The following are ways you can accomplish this:
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  • Add the special profile section Volunteer Experience, and include not only the detail about your group but promote the general cause as well.
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  • In the Experience section of your profile, list as a current job your title and/or involvement along with the name of the organization. You then have 2,000 characters to explain the organization’s mission, accomplishments, and needs.
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  • Use one of the three websites in the Contact Info section of your profile for a hyperlink directly to the organization’s website.
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  • In your Summary section, consider having a special section to describe why this organization is important to you.
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  • Use the Add Media feature to show a PowerPoint or video about the organization.
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  • Use the Add Media feature to connect your organization’s blog or other web pages to your profile.
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  • List the name of the organization in the Organizations subsection of the Accomplishments section.

2.  Use the Advanced People Search function to find out who in your network knows people at the significant foundations and companies in your marketplace that could make contributions or encourage additional volunteers.

3.  Use the Share an Update feature on your homepage or Conversations in groups you are in to:
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  • Publicize an event
  • Recruit volunteers
  • Share results and accomplishments
  • Ask a question of the group or your network that will help you solve a problem
  • Look for employees, suppliers, and/or vendors
  • Share articles and websites

4.  Search for and join groups that are in and out of your regional market that appear to be in the same space or have a similar mission as your organization. Remember–you can belong to 100 groups on LinkedIn, and this is a great way to keep track of what others are doing, saying, going to, and sharing in your space.

5.  Consider starting a LinkedIn group for the organization’s supporters, donors, and/or volunteers. You may also wish to start a group for an event you are going to have in order to share information leading up to the event and wrap-up information after the event.

6.  Consider starting a LinkedIn group that focuses on the general mission and/or purpose of your organization. In addition to my starting a group for SecureFutures, which helps educate high school students about financial literacy, I could have a more general group which is centered around improving financial literacy for youth. This group could have a national or international audience. This will establish you as the clearinghouse for information relating to this topic.

7.  Consider using the Follow company function in the Companies section of LinkedIn for those similar or related organizations that have a company page.

8.  Add a longform published post on your profile to promote an upcoming event, campaign, appeal, or to educate your audience about the nonprofit’s mission or focus.

You're now equipped to help your favorite nonprofit organization in a new way, and I'm sure they'll be grateful for your assistance.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Is LinkedIn Sales Navigator Worth the Money?

Posted on October 28, 2017
Wayne Breitbarth

Because LinkedIn is putting more limits on the better features of their free accounts, business professionals who use those features to grow their network and get results are asking me, Is LinkedIn Sales Navigator really worth the $79.99/month?

I've been using Sales Navigator for about three years, and it is a fairly expensive upgrade. Therefore, I've put together some facts, figures, and personal thoughts to help you figure out if it's right for you.

Note: These comments do not address all of the Sales Navigator features but merely the ones I feel might justify the significant monthly investment.
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What is Sales Navigator?

It is LinkedIn's stand-alone business development platform that works in conjunction with your regular LinkedIn account. LinkedIn says that Sales Navigator will help you "target the right buyers, understand key insights, and engage with personalized outreach."

Users don't have a separate profile or separate login. You access Sales Navigator by simply clicking the Sales Nav icon, which will appear at the far right of your top toolbar after you upgrade your account.

There are three levels of Sales Navigator, with increased features and capabilities, beginning at $79.99/month. A free, 30-day trial is typically available. Click here to check out the differences among the three options.  I pay $79.99 per month, and my comments here relate to that version.
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You should consider upgrading to LinkedIn Sales Navigator if:

You're tired of LinkedIn limiting your people searches each month. If you're taking advantage of LinkedIn's wonderful database and doing lots of searches, you've probably reached the commercial use limit. No one outside of LinkedIn seems to know how many searches you can do before reaching the monthly limit, but it sure seems to have been reduced since the Microsoft acquisition.

This is the number one complaint I get from people who are hanging onto the free account but should probably consider upgrading to Sales Navigator. You can avoid the commercial use limit by upgrading to Premium Business ($47.99/mo) or Executive ($74.99/mo), but I'm not convinced these upgrades are valuable enough to justify the investment. You cannot avoid the commercial use limit by upgrading to Premium Career. (Note these prices are discounted for a prepayment of 12 months.)

You want more helpful filters when searching for people. As part of Sales Navigator's Lead Builder function, there are currently 27 very specific filters available—and they're adding new ones all the time. This is one of the main reasons you might want to upgrade.

In my opinion, the best filters to help you find just the right people are: Company headcount, Postal code, Years in current position, Years at current company, Posted content keywords, Changed jobs in last 90 days, Posted content in last 30 days.

Searching for people with the free account, where you need to use Boolean search rules, can be quite challenging, but it's very easy with Sales Navigator.

You'd like to save more than three people searches. Once you've done a good job of figuring out the right filters for a people search, it's usually helpful to save those search criteria for future searches. With Sales Navigator, I can save 15 searches, and LinkedIn notifies me daily, weekly or monthly when new people meet my preselected search criteria.

This is, hands down, one of the most useful Sales Navigator features. It's like having a virtual assistant who's looking for the right people for you 24/7.

You want to send messages (InMails) to people who aren't first-degree connections. Sometimes you just don't want to connect with someone in order to send him/her a message. A Sales Navigator subscription includes an allotment of InMails. I get 15 InMails per month, and they carry forward if I don't use them all before month end.

You'd like to track people (leads) or companies (accounts) without them being connected to you. On your Sales Navigator home page, there is a feed that looks similar to the feed on your regular LinkedIn account but with one big exception—the only information in that feed relates to people (leads) or companies (accounts) you've highlighted. In other words, there's no advertising and a lot fewer posts that really don't interest you because you handpicked the people or companies that shared, and you get everything they share because there's no feed algorithm where LinkedIn decides what you want to see.

This is great because you can monitor an individual or company's activity without their prior consent—in other words, they don't have to agree to connect with you.

So, as you can see, the answer to the question of whether Sales Navigator is worth the $79.99 or more per month is yes, no or maybe. For me, it's definitely worth it, because I do a lot of searches for prospecting purposes.

If you'd like a personal tour and evaluation of Sales Navigator, sign up here for one of my specially priced $175 one-on-one, one-hour LinkedIn consultations (50% off my usual fee).

I will share my computer screen with you during the call and send you a marked up copy of your profile prior to the call.

There are limited spots available, so don't delay. Book your session today by clicking here.