Power Formula LinkedIn Blog

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:
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  • 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:
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  • 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:
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  • 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.

Is someone annoying you on LinkedIn? Then take action.

Posted on September 6, 2014
Wayne Breitbarth

Okay. So you connected with or are in a group angrywith someone on LinkedIn, and in your opinion the person hasn’t been acting professionally.

Now what?

If someone in your network has committed an unpardonable faux pas, here are some steps you can take to address the situation.

1.  Someone sent you a spammy email shortly after you agreed to connect on LinkedIn.

Unless you’re fairly certain this connection could or should lead to something positive, I’d suggest you disconnect in a hurry.

There are two ways to Screen Shot 2014-08-29 at 7.12.48 AMremove a person from your network. First, you can click Remove Connection right on his profile. However, your name will then appear on his Who’s Viewed Your Profile list.

You can also go to your Connections tab on the top toolbar, put his name in the Search box, and select More>Remove connection when his entry is displayed.

2.   One of your connections sends you way too many direct messages, and they’re usually about subjects you have no interest in.

If the person is a valued connection, I’d politely ask her to take you off of her email campaign list in the future. If the problem persists, consider removing her from your network.

3.   The person sending too many irrelevant direct messages Screen Shot 2014-08-29 at 7.19.44 AMis not directly connected to you, but you’re in the same LinkedIn group.

If the group provides relevant information and good relationships for you, you can either politely ask the person to stop sending you direct messages or you can go to the Settings tab in that group and uncheck Allow members of this group to send me messages via LinkedIn. However, then you won’t be able to receive direct messages from anyone in the group.

4.  A person in your network posts too many status updates, and they’re usually irrelevant or downright silly. However, you don’t want to disconnect with him because you think it will be a beneficial relationship.

The next time you see a status update from him, slide over to the top right of the status update and click the word “Hide.” Then his status updates will no longer appear in your feed.

5.  A friend calls you and says one of your LinkedIn connections is driving her crazy. The guy refers to your friendship in his unending phone messages, and she’s just not interested in what he’s selling.

First, ask him to stop contacting your LinkedIn connections and dropping your name without your permission. Secondly, you may want to consider hiding your first-level connections from your network. But before you take this step, be sure you understand the ramifications of this important decision. I discuss the pros and cons in my article “Should You Hide Your LinkedIn Connections?”

If these scenarios are popping up frequently, maybe it’s time to revisit your overall LinkedIn connections strategy. For help with this, check out my article “The LinkedIn Connection Conundrum: Who Should Be In Your Network?”

This Proven LinkedIn Step-by-Step Process Leads to Results

Posted on August 23, 2014
Wayne Breitbarth

Are you one of the many people I hear from each week who are still waiting for something to “happen” on LinkedIn?

Lots of people spend lots of time on LinkedIn, but not everyone is getting results. Well, that’s because there can be no ROI if you don’t know how to use it!

Also, because LinkedIn is not very intuitive, many users haven’t even found the features that will produce the most dramatic results.

Therefore, I’ve developed Explode Your Revenues Using LinkedInan easy-to-use online training course to help everyone, from novice users to the most savvy users, grow their business. The course includes The Five C’s, my proven five-step process for LinkedIn success.

*Special $100 introductory discount on this course ends at midnight 8/26.


5 Steps to LinkedIn Success

Here’s an inside look at the five specific steps you can take to start getting measurable results from the time you spend on LinkedIn.

Five C's

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

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

CONSTRUCT a targeted prospect list
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  • Use advanced features like tags, network sorting options, and LinkedIn Contacts to group prospects who have similar buyer characteristics.
  • Download your connections database. You can then filter and sort the names for use outside of LinkedIn.
  • Consider upgrading to one of the premium LinkedIn accounts to receive additional profile sorting and saving options.

COMMUNICATE with your network
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  • Stay in front of your audience by making daily status updates.
  • Use direct messaging to contact your first-level connections and fellow group members. But don’t contact them too often or sell too hard or they may remove you from their network.
  • Increase your exposure by engaging in group discussions and “liking,” “sharing” or commenting on other people’s status updates.

CAPITALIZE on existing relationships
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  • Connect with all of your existing clients/customers.
  • Search their networks to find out who they know
  • Get referrals, recommendations, and endorsements. It’s easy–just ask!

Need more help executing your own personal LinkedIn 5 C’s plan? Check out my comprehensive online training course Explode Your Revenues Using LinkedIn and save $100 if you register before midnight 8/26.

This week I got three separate emails from my readers with basically the same question. Ironically, that same question also came up twice this week when I was presenting seminars. That made it easy for me to pick the iStock_000022949931Smalltopic for this week’s LinkedIn tip. Here’s the essence of each inquiry:

Wayne, I’ve heard you say that you feel the #1 marketing feature on LinkedIn is individual status updates, but I tried posting one this week and nothing happened. What did I do wrong?

First, let me say I stand behind my strong opinion that individual status updates is LinkedIn’s #1 marketing feature. That’s because, if done correctly, you can share helpful content with your hand-picked audience (your connections) for free. Many, many of my LinkedIn speaking and consulting gigs have resulted from someone reading one of my status updates and then contacting me.


What You May be Doing Wrong

There are lots of reasons to share status updates, but typically they should be used to help your network, which will increase your reputation and motivate people to engage with you.

Here are eight reasons your status updates may not be getting you any results.

1.  Your content is not relevant or interesting to your target audience.  According to a research study done by LinkedIn, the most popular types of content are new research, breaking industry news, and case studies.

2.  You don’t include an image.  A photo or video thumbnail is more likely to grab a reader’s attention than a block of words.

3.  You don’t include a link.  Sharing a link not only gives the reader a place to get more information about the topic in your post, but it usually causes an image to appear, which grabs a reader’s eye and draws him or her to the post.

4.  You’re not posting on the right day or time of day.  From my personal experience, the best time to share is Monday through Friday between 11:00 AM and 3:00 PM (based on your customers’ time zone).

5.  You don’t post frequently enough or on a consistent basis.  I recommend you post at least once a day, but three or four times per day is not too much, as long as you follow something like the 6/3/1 Rule.

6.  You don’t add your “two cents” to the article or information shared in your link.  Remember, it’s your connections who are seeing your updates, and they connected with you because they want to hear from you. If you don’t comment on the information in the article, video, etc., you’re missing an opportunity to demonstrate your expertise.

7.  You don’t have very many first-degree connections.  Keep in mind that, for the most part, your updates only go to your network. Small network = small audience. Big network = big audience. For additional information about the size and makeup of your network, check out my article “The LinkedIn Connection Conundrum: Who Should Be In Your Network.”

8.  You haven’t really defined what a good result would be.  Defining and then tracking the right numbers, as well as the trending of those numbers, is extremely important. It helps you know whether your time is well spent or you’re just wasting time on LinkedIn. My blog post about the most important metrics to track on LinkedIn will help you set up your own tracking system.

Which of these eight mistakes are you making?

How to Find and Get the Most Out of LinkedIn Groups

Posted on August 10, 2014
Wayne Breitbarth

As I mentioned the past few weeks, I have compiled a list titled The 15 Reasons Why LinkedIn Isn’t Helping You Hit Your Sales Quota.

This week I’ll address another one of the reasons you might be failing to achieve your goals on LinkedIn — and this applies to everyone, whether you’re in sales or not. If you’re not selling a product or service, you’re selling yourself or your company/organization.


Reminder: If you haven’t checked out the first video in my FREE three-video series “Explode Your Revenues Using LinkedIn,” click here to check it out — and download your own “15 Reasons Why LinkedIn Isn’t Helping You Hit Your Sales Quota” tip sheet.


This week I’m going to address the opportunity you’re missing if you’re not getting involved in the right LinkedIn groups. In the off-line world, this would be akin to not hanging linkedin groupsout with the right people and not saying or doing the right things.


How to Find the Groups That Are Right For You

LinkedIn currently has over 2 million groups, and you can join up to 50 at any one time (this does not include subgroups).

Here are some of the ways to uncover the best places to hang out.

1. Use specific words and terms in the Group Search function. Try some of these:
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    • Schools you have attended
    • Associations and groups you belong toScreen Shot 2014-08-10 at 11.12.54 AM
    • 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.

3. Check out “Featured Groups” on LinkedIn company pages.

4. Look at LinkedIn’s “Groups You May Like” feature. This usually shows up on your home page.

For more ways to find the best groups, download my worksheet “LinkedIn Groups: Ca$h In On This Powerful Tool.”


How to Engage in 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.

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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.
  • Use the Member Search function within the group to find potential future connections.
  •  If you’re looking for employment, check out the group’s Jobs tab.
  • Suggest taking the conversation offline when it’s appropriate.
  • Send direct messages to members and share helpful information and/or resources. 

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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 50 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.

Now that you know the best ways to find and interact in groups (one of LinkedIn’s most popular features), go join some new groups and start making friends!

The Secret to Getting People to Engage With You On LinkedIn

Posted on August 2, 2014
Wayne Breitbarth

As I mentioned last week, I have compiled a list titled The 15 Reasons Why LinkedIn Isn’t Helping You Hit Your Sales Quota.

This week I’ll address another one of the reasons you might be falling short of your expectations on LinkedIn — and this applies to everyone, whether you’re in sales or not. If you’re not selling a product or service, you’re selling yourself or your company/organization.

You can download the complete 15 Reasons list as part of my new FREE three-video series titled Explode Your Revenues Using LinkedIn, which will be available in a few days.

If you’d like to be notified when the first video goes live, click here.


It Starts With Your Profile

Most people who view your profile are not ready to call you, email you, or buy a whole bunch of what you sell. ????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????But the goal of your profile should be to at least move them closer to engaging with you.

Thus, it’s important to include information in your profile that shows you are good at what you do, an expert in your field. Then you should continually post documents, videos, articles, etc. that demonstrate your expertise.

It’s also beneficial to share your knowledge through status updates, discussions in groups, and comments on other people’s updates, because everyone wants to hire or work with the most knowledgeable people in the industry.


Compelling Calls to Action

Once you’ve made a good first impression, there are lots of ways to nudge people to take action on LinkedIn. Some are quick and easy and others will take a little more effort, but you will find them to be well worth your time and energy.

Here are some of the best LinkedIn features and techniques for calling your reader to action, along with the amount of effort you’ll need to devote to each one.


Low Effort/Good Results
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  • Load or link video and documents in the Professional linkedin professional gallerGallery on your profile
  • Include a specific call to action in one section of your profile (The best places are your Summary section and job experience entries)
  • Add your specific contact information in your Contact Info and Advice for Contacting sections on your profile


Medium Effort/BetterResultsproject section
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  • Add Publications or Projects section(s) to your profile and link to corresponding website pages


High Effort/Best Results
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  • Post frequent (2-4 per day) individual status updates
  • Post or monitor group discussions in an industry specific group, and encourage readers to go to your website to find the answer to a question or join your LinkedIn network so they can get more information from you

To learn more great ways to use LinkedIn to grow your business, check out my FREE three-part video series Explode Your Revenues Using LinkedIn.

Just click here, and I’ll notify you when the first video is live.

 

Are You Missing the Mark on LinkedIn?

Posted on July 27, 2014
Wayne Breitbarth

I have compiled a list titled “The 15 Reasons Why LinkedIn Isn’t Helping You Hit Your Sales Quota.”

This week I’ll address one of the biggest reasons why you might be falling short of your expectations — and this applies to everyone, whether you’re in sales or not.


Not Enough of the “Right” Connections

You need to have a specific strategy to proactively connect with the “right” people. This means going beyond:

social media connection

  • People who invite you to join their network
  • Individuals you’ve “met” in the traditional sense of the word
  • Fellow employees at your current or prior employers
  • Classmates
  • Neighbors

I’m not suggesting these people are not an important part of your network, but you need to think outside the box if you want to markedly improve your ROI.


How to Develop a LinkedIn Connections Strategy

Here are five simple steps you can take to find and connect with more of the “right” people.

1.  Find several people in your first-level network who are in each of the following categories:
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  • Current or past customers
  • People who at some point influence your customers’ decisions when they’re buying your products or services
  • People who have recommended you to customers in the past
  • People who are industry and association leaders in your customers’ industry
  • People who are currently buying from your competitors

2.  Spend some time reviewing the profiles of people in those categories, looking for similarities within the category. This could be things like:
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  • Keywords
  • Titles
  • Geographic location
  • Schools attended
  • Associations to which they belong
  • Hobbies and interests
  • Past employment
  • Skills
  • Membership in LinkedIn groups

3.  Use these similarities as your search criteria when you use LinkedIn’s advanced search function. For more specifics regarding this, read “Create a Targeted Prospect List on LinkedIn in Five Minutes or Less.”

4.  Reach out to these folks and invite them to join your network, and always use a customized, Five-Star LinkedIn Connection Request. This is critical. Don’t use your mobile device or any automatic connection button on LinkedIn, because it will probably automatically send the standard invitation. Invite people using the Connect button on their profile.

5.  Repeat these steps periodically. A good rule of thumb would be quarterly or whenever something changes in your product and service mix or in your industry or market.

Follow these steps, and you’ll be on your way to growing your network not only in quantity but in quality as well.

For more tips on developing your personal connection strategy, read my article “The LinkedIn Connection Conundrum: Who Should Be In Your Network?”

Next week I’ll share another one of the 15 reasons you may not be getting what you want out of your time on LinkedIn.

When I begin a LinkedIn consulting engagement, the first thing I typically ask is “Who do you want to meet?” After all, LinkedIn at its core is the largest database of business professionals ever assembled, and Business group having a partyfinding the right folks for you to meet, no matter the purpose, is one of its strong suits.

I recently discovered a new, more effective way to find more of the right people on LinkedIn. The Advanced People Search and People Similar To features are good on their own, but I’ve learned they’re much better when used in tandem.

In short, it’s like LinkedIn is throwing a party just for you, and they handpick the attendees. They find people who are very similar to the people you’re already having success with.

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How to Get the Party Started

1.  Perform an Advanced People Search for your perfect target. If you need help with this, read “Create a Targeted Prospect List on LinkedIn in Five Minutes or Less.”

2.  You will normally see people near the top of the search results that you are already connected to (first degree) as well as others who have a very high relevancy to you based on LinkedIn’s relevancy formula.

Pick someone from the list who is already important to you (e.g., current client) or looks interesting to you (maybe you’d like to meet lots of people like him/her). Screen Shot 2014-07-19 at 8.29.47 AMThen click the word “Similar.”

3.  You will then be given a list of 99 people who are similar to that person.

4.  Scroll through this LinkedIn-generated “special party attendee list” and get busy connecting with a few of the best people on the list. Now, that’s what I call an “A List” party.

Don’t forget to follow the important rules for inviting them to join your network by reading “Are You Making this BIG LinkedIn Mistake?”

5.   Repeat this procedure for other targeted search criteria.

Trust me, once you have followed these simple steps a few times, you’re going to attend this party often and leave with new relationships that will lead to drastically improved results on LinkedIn.

Because it’s halftime 2014 and the past six months have included lots of changes on LinkedIn, I’ve put together a summary of the significant changes.

I’ve categorized them and ordered them from “best” to “bummer” based halftimeon my opinion of the significance of each change. And I’ve also shared with you my two cents about each LinkedIn feature that’s been added, deleted or changed.

If you’re interested in a deeper dive into any of the changes, just click the link to get more information.


Best

Who’s Viewed Your Profile now includes filters. According to my 2013 and 2014 LinkedIn user surveys, Who’s Viewed Your Profile is the top rated LinkedIn feature. And it has gotten even better because you can now filter the people who looked at your profile by company, geographic region, title, and much more.

You can now see Who’s Viewed Your Updates. If you are spending time sharing updates (and, of course, you should be doing this), it’s now a big help to know what updates not only resonate with your audience but also who is sharing, “liking” or commenting on them.

Everyone can now publish long-form articles on his/her profile. For people who are already blogging, this one is a slam dunk. For people who have yet to venture into writing their own long-form articles in their area of expertise, this is a perfect way to start.

New, much cheaper premium account upgrades are now available. Now, for as little as $7.99/month, you can get a few extras, most importantly the ability to use the new filters mentioned above for all the folks who checked you out in the last 90 days. Once you start getting a lot of profile views, this one is well worth the money.


Pretty Good

The Endorsements & Skills section of your profile now has improved settings. What is already the most misunderstood profile section and feature on LinkedIn got a little better but still has a way to go. Managing this section is of utmost importance to improving your search ranking.

Premium members’ profiles have visual improvements. You now get a larger hero type photo/banner, and your picture is bigger on your profile. But more importantly, more information is displayed about premium members when they are included in an advanced search listing.

The activity feed on each member’s profile is back, and it’s also enhanced, although somewhat hard to find. It’s always good for others to see that you are sharing good thought leadership type information, but it is also helpful for you to be able to see what’s on someone else’s mind when checking out his/her profile.

There’s a new iPhone app just for job seekers. You can’t stop the movement to mobile, and if you’re in job-seeking mode, I’d suggest downloading this ASAP. Does the app allow you to use all of the LinkedIn features? No, but being able to search for jobs while sitting on a bus or during halftime of your kid’s soccer game (so you don’t miss a new posting) has got to be good.

The People You May Know feature has been enhanced. The photos are larger, making it easier to recognize people, and you’re now able to send out a personalized invitation to connect with anyone who appears on this list.


Bummer

The company page Products and Services Tab has been eliminated. This is the biggest bummer of the first half of 2014. I could go on and on about how frustrated I am that this has been eliminated, but who’s really listening anyway. It’s supposedly replaced with Showcase Pages…yeah, right.

You can now see how the number of  profile views you receive ranks against the number of views other members receive. It’s an interesting concept but has caused more questions than answers for most of the folks I’ve talked to. It reminds me a little of the letter that went out a year or so ago that congratulated people on being in the top 1%, 5%, 10% of people on LinkedIn in profile views, which really turned out to be just a super effective marketing campaign for LinkedIn.

The LinkedIn inbox has been “improved.” I’m not sure what all the hype is about with regard to the inbox. Instead, I wish they would have improved our ability to message a group of people in our network. Maybe next time…maybe not.

I hope you find lots of ways to take advantage of these upgrades in the second half of 2014.