Power Formula LinkedIn Blog

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.

Have You Ever Called on the LinkedIn Dynamic Duo?

Posted on April 3, 2016
Wayne Breitbarth

iStock_000023222888_SmallI just saw the movie Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. It takes me back to my childhood when I was an avid Batman comic book reader/collector.

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 a list of targets who meet your defined criteria –and 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.Screen Shot 2016-03-29 at 2.44.00 PM

2.  In the search filter boxes (lefthand column and center column), 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.

Screen Shot 2016-03-29 at 2.47.09 PM4.  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.  

Oh, are you wondering what I thought about the movie? I gave it 2.5 out of 5 stars, and that rating is coming from a guy who grew up on Batman–so not exactly an impartial reviewer. Does anyone know how to get ahold of Adam West?

Find Out What Others Are Doing on LinkedIn

Posted on March 19, 2016
Wayne Breitbarth

When I jump into something new, different or confusing (like LinkedIn), Stop leaving us in the darkI often wonder how other people are using it and how can it help me improve myself or my business. And that’s why I launched my LinkedIn User Survey way back in 2009.

Over the past seven years, I have shared with you, my treasured audience, answers to questions like these (2015 results are in red):
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  • What percent of the LinkedIn users are paying for a premium account? (18%)
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  • How many hours per week are people spending on LinkedIn? (51% spend 0-2 hours per week)
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  • How many LinkedIn groups do people belong to? (37% are in 1-9 groups)
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  • What is the top rated feature on LinkedIn? (Who’s Viewed Your Profile)
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  • What are people saying LinkedIn has helped them with? (77% said “Research people and companies”)

Over 1,400 people shared their opinions with me last year. If you’d like to see the complete results, click here.

2016 LinkedIn User Survey

Now it’s time to fire up the LinkedIn survey machine again, and I’d be honored if you would take iStock_000018913584Smalljust three minutes (I timed it myself) and complete the survey.

As an additional incentive to participate, three lucky winners will receive full access to my online video-based LinkedIn course Explode Your Revenues Using LinkedIn ($147 value). Also, near the end of the survey, there’s a box you can check if you’d like to receive the full results of the survey.

To participate in the survey, click this link or cut and paste it into your browser.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/2016LinkedInSurvey

Thanks for your continued readership and support. The information you share in the survey will ensure that I can continue to provide you with the most relevant information each week.

Stuck on What to Include on Your LinkedIn Profile?

Posted on March 12, 2016
Wayne Breitbarth

Should I put [fill in the blank] on my LinkedIn profile?

iStock_000024413295_SmallI’m asked this question several times each week. I always answer I don’t know, which usually comes as a surprise to them and probably to you as well. After all, I’m the expert!

What I really mean is I can’t answer that confidently until I understand what someone plans to accomplish on LinkedIn.

If you’re unsure about whether you should put something on your profile, I suggest you start by asking yourself three questions:

Would putting this on my profile:
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  • help people find me?
  • improve their perception of me and my brand?
  • help them understand what I do and how I can help them?

If your answer to any of these questions is “Yes,” then I suggest you put it on your profile.

Let’s look at the three questions more closely.
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Help people find me

Trust me on this one. Connections are the gas in the tank on LinkedIn, especially if the connections are strategic (for example, customers, potential customers, influencers of Gas Pricesyour customers, people at organizations where you want to work, etc.). You want people to find and connect with you.

For example, on my profile I list my first job out of college, Arthur Andersen & Co. This entry helps people from the “good old days” find me–and they just might need some LinkedIn training or consulting at their company.
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Improve their perception of me and my brand

People are using LinkedIn to size you up. Entries that display your expertise, emphasize your integrity, and show your creativity will cause people to like and trust you. Hopefully this leads to more connections and more business.

The Arthur Andersen entry also applies here, because most experienced business people around my part of the country recognize that if AA&Co. hired you right out of college, you are probably a really smart person.

So, even though I didn’t have a 3.9+ GPA, like most students they hired, people assume I’m in that group, and it gives me positive branding kudos. (FYI, I had a 3.4, but I could interview with the best of them!)
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Help them understand what I do and how I can help them

After all, if your profile doesn’t get this done, why are you on LinkedIn anyway?

Professionally, I do speaking and consulting. Here’s one of the ways I promote my speaking business:

I am consistently asked to speak at Executive Agenda (EA), YPO and TEC meetings as well as CEO Roundtables and Renaissance Forums (REF), where my thirty years of experience as a business owner and manager enables me to help my peers understand how social media can benefit their companies.

Screen Shot 2014-11-14 at 3.22.08 PM

Personally, I am involved with some awesome nonprofit groups. Including them in my LinkedIn profile helps me spread the word about the great things they’re doing. By including links to their websites, I am encouraging others to get involved, too.

You can look at my profile to see several examples of this, both in the Experience section and the Volunteer Experience & Causes section.

I hope you’re now equipped and motivated to beef up your LinkedIn profile.

10 Common LinkedIn Mistakes You Can Fix in Just 10 Minutes

Posted on March 5, 2016
Wayne Breitbarth

If someone views your LinkedIn profile, does it look like you’re an experienced user or an inexperienced newbie?

nervous stressed anxious young woman with glasses girl biting fingernailsAs a LinkedIn consultant and speaker, I look at hundreds of profiles each week, and many of them are downright embarrassing. But the good news is that most of the mistakes can be fixed in just a few minutes.

However, before you make these changes, you may want to slide your Update Notification toggle to “No” so you aren’t alerting your network that you’re fixing these mistakes.
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10 fast and easy solutions to common LinkedIn mistakes

Think of this as spring cleaning your LinkedIn profile. When you’re finished, your profile will shine and stand out from your competitors.

1.  Photo doesn’t fully fill the photo square. Try reloading your photo, and be sure it’s a high resolution photo.

Screen Shot 2016-03-03 at 7.15.38 AM2.  Your most important current job is not listed first. Just click the up/down arrow next to the job entry you want to move. Then hold and drag the gray vertical bar. Each current job is movable.

3.  You have not customized your unique LinkedIn URL. This is an important link that you should be using on all your marketing information (business Screen Shot 2016-03-03 at 7.18.03 AMcard, email signature, etc.). Simply click the edit pencil and add your name.

If you have a common name and the URL with your name is already taken, you could put a “1” following your name or add your middle initial. If you prefer, try including the first letter of your first name with your full last name.

4.  You haven’t listed any websites in your Contact Info section. You can display up to three websites, and they’re hyperlinked to the web page. If you don’t list any websites, it looks like you don’t have a company or anything you’re interested in.

5.  The first 35-40 characters of your headline are not descriptive. Screen Shot 2016-03-03 at 7.12.57 AMWhen someone scrolls over your photo or name in numerous places on the LinkedIn site, your headline is truncated, and only the first 35 to 40 characters are visible. Therefore, make sure the beginning of your headline describes exactly who you are and what you do.

6.  Your current company logo isn’t displayed on your profile. This is happening because either your company doesn’t have a logo on its company page (ask your marketing folks to fix this) or you had your LinkedIn profile prior to the company having a company page or logo. You need to reattach to your company page by editing that entry. Click Change Company and then select the company page entry when it shows up in the drop-down listing of companies.

7.  Your school’s logo doesn’t show up on your profile. Try to rectify this problem by following the same steps you used to get your company logo onto your profile.

Screen Shot 2016-03-03 at 7.11.11 AM8.  You are not using the Advice for Contacting section to share your business email and/or business phone number. This is especially important if you use LinkedIn for business development or job searching.

The Advice for Contacting section is an optional profile section that is available for free. Locate it by clicking See more near the top of your profile. If you don’t include your phone number and/or email address here, people outside your first-level network may not know how to contact you.

9.  You’re not capitalizing on the Interests section. This section is important for Screen Shot 2016-03-03 at 7.21.44 AMtwo reasons. If you separate your entries with commas, they are searchable by clicking the word. Also, if you view someone’s profile or someone views your profile, any common interests you have will appear in the In Common With section.

This is a great way to discover topics that can break the ice in conversations or correspondence. So, rather than using full sentences in this section, use words or phrases that other people with similar interests are likely to use.

10.  You have not optimized your profile for mobile. LinkedIn has taken some liberties with how your profile gets displayed on the mobile app. Because 60 percent of profile views are on mobile, be sure to check out how you’re showing up. For more information on mobile, read my two articles (Part 1 and Part 2) about LinkedIn mobile strategies.

If you’ve followed these simple steps, your LinkedIn house should be in order, and you’ll be viewed as an experienced professional rather than an inexperienced newbie.

Just How Confused Are You About LinkedIn Endorsements?

Posted on February 28, 2016
Wayne Breitbarth

Even though it’s over three years since LinkedIn launched the Skills feature and related Skillsendorsements of those skills, it’s one of the most confusing and misunderstood LinkedIn profile sections.

So, here are ten facts and tips to help you maximize your use of the LinkedIn Skills & Endorsements section on your profile.

1.  You can only receive endorsements from 1st level connections and for skills you have acknowledged you possess. If you receive a message from LinkedIn saying, John Jones wants to endorse you for basket weaving, don’t say yes if you aren’t a good basket weaver or don’t want basket weaving listed in your Skills section.

2.  You can manage them to a certain extent. When you are in Edit Profile mode, scroll down to your Skills & Endorsements section. Hover over the top right corner, and the +Add skill box (1) will appear. Once you click that, you can:
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Screen Shot 2016-02-26 at 8.18.11 AM

  • Delete or add a skill. Just click the “X” (2) next to the skill you want to delete and it’s gone–along with any endorsements of that skill, of course.Adding is just as simple. Just type a skill in the What are your areas of expertise box (3). LinkedIn will also give you suggestions based on the words you are including in the box (4). Be sure to add the ones that LinkedIn suggests if they are part of your skill set.
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  • Reorder your skills so your most important ones are near the top. These are your best keywords, and they’ll improve your search ranking. Drag them into the order you prefer, from most important to least important. Then your connections will be encouraged to tick off endorsements for the skills you think are important, and within a short period of time they’ll be the most endorsed skills on your profile. This will help you get closer to the top of a search for those critical skills.
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  • Choose whether or not you will display your endorsements on your profile.
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  • Choose where the Skills & Endorsements section appears on your profile. Just hold Screen Shot 2016-02-26 at 8.24.13 AMand drag the up/down arrow (5) to reposition the entire section.
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  • Hide a specific endorsement.  Click Manage Endorsements, and just uncheck the ones that you want to hide.

3.  You can be endorsed for up to 50 skills. These are essentially keywords, and LinkedIn and other search engines love keywords; so I would use all 50 slots if I were you.

4.  You can control whether you receive a notification every time someone wants to endorse you.

5.  You don’t have to endorse everyone who endorses you. If you want to endorse them, go ahead, but don’t feel obligated to do so.

6.  I’m pretty sure endorsements and the skills they attach to are part of the LinkedIn search algorithm. LinkedIn doesn’t publicize its algorithm, but my guess is that skills are an important part of it, because LinkedIn doesn’t invest this much time and effort into something that isn’t going to help their stock price. They are making a lot of money on their Recruiting Solutions, and they obviously think this feature helps them deliver the “best” candidate for a certain skill (“best” meaning most endorsed).

7.  List skills that are consistent with your current or future business strategy. Because your skills that receive the most endorsements will be at the top of the list–and most people will probably only look at the first few skills–you want them to be your most important skills. If you list extraneous skills, you may get a lot of endorsements for them, and then no one will even notice your most important skills that are now further down on the list.

Note: If part of your job responsibility relates to business development, be sure to include the products and services you represent in your Skills section.

8.  You might get someone’s attention if you endorse them. Your face and name will appear on their profile, and they also get an email from LinkedIn telling them you just endorsed them.

9.  Endorsements may be the differentiator. If two profiles look similar in all respects but one has 120 endorsements for the skill you’re looking for and the other has only 20, you may be inclined to choose the person with 120.

10.  Endorsements are great, but LinkedIn recommendations are still important. I recommend you get at least two or three recommendations for every job entry on your profile. This is especially important if you’re a job seeker. Great recommendations will increase your credibility–and the more the better.

If you’d like more information about this topic, check out LinkedIn’s complete discussion in the LinkedIn Help Center by clicking here.

Do You Need to Get Your LinkedIn Connections More Organized?

Posted on February 21, 2016
Wayne Breitbarth

LinkedIn has a simple and easy-to-use iStock_000021660984_Smalltool built right into the site that will help you organize your connections.

It’s called the Relationship feature. It sits at the top of each first-level connection’s profile, but many people have not discovered it. You can use it to save notes, filter, and even set follow-up reminders.

If you’re using Outlook, ACT, Microsoft Dynamics, etc. for doing these functions, make sure you’re downloading your connections and exporting some of the LinkedIn information into those tools.
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5 ways to capitalize on the Relationship section

This section has five subsections. Screen Shot 2016-02-15 at 8.13.29 AMHere are some simple ways to use them to your advantage. And keep in mind that everything you include in the Relationship section can only be seen by you.

1.  Note.  This is a perfect place to detail potentially useful information about the person, such as spouse’s name, important dates, hobbies, colleges their kids attend, favorite wine, etc.

2.  Reminder.  This can be used as a very simple follow-up system. Screen Shot 2014-11-28 at 10.17.52 AMYou can have LinkedIn notify you to take a particular action with someone in your network in a day, week, month, or recurring every week, month, three months, six months, year, or your own custom recurring period.

3.  How you met.  I sometimes have trouble remembering where I met people and who introduced us. This subsection has places to include both of these bits of information.

4.  Tags.  These are like personalized file drawers where you can put people in self-defined categories. You can create up to 200 unique tags. Once created, you can review all the people in a specific tag group and message them individually or in groups of up to 50 at a time. You may want to read my latest article on LinkedIn’s bulk messaging feature before you attempt to do this.

Because placing your connections into tag groups can be time consuming, start by taking time to identify the tag groups that will help you most effectively communicate with groups of your connections. This might be geographic area (e.g., Chicago, Illinois, Midwest), title, industry, associations they (or you) belong to, customers or prospects.

You can also make tags that combine multiple tag groups. For instance, if you have tags for HR prospects, people who live in Chicago, and members of SHRM, you can make a tag for HR prospects who live in Chicago and belong to SHRM.

You get 200 self-defined tags. Taking time to set them up correctly will be time well spent.

5.  Connection communication timeline.  By clicking the circled “+” sign, you can review the communication you’ve had on LinkedIn with a person all the way back to your initial connection date.

I’m sure you’ll agree that this is pretty cool stuff. So why not set a goal to get your connections more organized in 2016.

Are Your LinkedIn Messages Inadvertently Causing Hard Feelings?

Posted on February 14, 2016
Wayne Breitbarth

By now you’ve probably discovered that the LinkedIn messaging system received a significant overhaul last fallOverhaul Modernization concept on the gearwheels–and most people appear to be unhappy about the change.

In the past, when LinkedIn has heard the clamor of the crowd, they’ve sometimes chosen to abandon the new and revert back to the “old way.” So far that hasn’t happened with the messaging system, but I’m hoping they’ll eventually see the light on this one.
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Are you making this costly mistake with the new system?

I used to love messaging up to 50 connections at the same time, but these days bulk messaging can result in embarrassment, hard feelings, or a seriously cluttered inbox for the sender and the recipient.

In the past recipients were unaware of who, if anyone else, received your bulk message, and responses would come directly to you and you alone. Now all recipients can see the full list of addressees, and all responses can be seen by the entire group.

The problem arises when recipients don’t realize that LinkedIn has changed the rules and they still think you’re the only one who will see their response. Do you want to risk Screen Shot 2016-02-11 at 7.40.40 AMthe whole group seeing comments like “Does your boss know you’re interviewing with a competitor?” or “Have any of your employees found out that you’re trying to sell the company?”

If you want to play it safe, grab someone’s email address from his or her LinkedIn profile (click the Contact info tab) and send an email.
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How to avoid seeing other people’s responses

If you’re the recipient of bulk messages and you’re tired of the ongoing dialog cluttering your LinkedIn inbox, there are simple ways to stop the madness.

First, you can mute the conversation. This means LinkedIn will no longer notify you when someone has added to the conversation. It does not delete it from your LinkedIn message feed, and you can find it in the future.

Second, you can delete it forever. This removes it from the messaging system, and you will not be able to view it in the future. In addition, you will not be notified of any future Screen Shot 2016-02-11 at 3.12.07 PMadditions to the conversation. Gone means gone, at least under LinkedIn’s current rules.

To mute or delete, simply click the three dots on the top right of a message and choose Mute conversation or Delete conversation.

I’m still a firm believer that LinkedIn is the world’s best place to find and connect with people who can help you advance your business and career. However, when it comes to conversations with your network, I suggest you send a direct message on LinkedIn or use email, phone or face-to-face meetings.