Power Formula LinkedIn Blog

Are You Guilty of Making These Risky LinkedIn Mistakes?

Posted on December 4, 2016
Wayne Breitbarth

The last two times I collaborated with Cheryl Snapp Conner, a Forbes and Inc. Magazine contributor and creator of Content University, the articles received nearly 600k and 400k views. Last week she asked me, "What are the biggest mistakes people are still making on LinkedIn?"

Tired freelancer working with a laptopI shared with her the LinkedIn mistakes I see all too frequently as I work with people through my LinkedIn consulting and speaking business.

You won't want to miss her outstanding Inc. Magazine article Are You Guilty of These 7 LinkedIn Mistakes?  In a very direct but humorous way, she addresses these seven mistakes you never want to make:

1. Forgetting to de-select the "Notify your network" alternative.

2. Fudging the facts on your profile; then attempting to keep it a secret by blocking your boss.

3. Leaving UFOs (Unintentionally Funny Occurrences) in your profile.

4. You forget that a LinkedIn DM to multiple recipients is, essentially, a group text.

5. Under Jobs>Preferences>Let recruiters know you're open to new opportunities, you check "Yes" without thinking.

6. You fail to list your most important current job first.

7. You forget to include your business email and phone number in the Advice for Contacting space.

Failing to read Cheryl's article could result in embarrassment, lost business, or possibly even a pink slip when your boss finds out you're looking for a new job. Read the full article here.

Give Your Favorite Nonprofit a Reason to be Thankful for You

Posted on November 19, 2016
Wayne Breitbarth

Happy Thanksgiving!

Just saying that makes me hungry. I can't wait for turkey, mashed potatoes, and, of course, pumpkin pie with a generous portion of whipped cream.

Roasted turkeyBut in addition to hungry, the word "thanksgiving" makes me think of how thankful I am for all the people who have helped me throughout my lifeand this includes you! Thank you for faithfully reading and sharing my weekly LinkedIn tips.

So, in sticking with the thanksgiving/gratitude theme, I thought I would highlight some of the specific LinkedIn features and tools you can use to show your gratitude to those nonprofit organizations that are important to you.

These features are grouped by expected time commitment, from good (takes just seconds; one turkey drumstick ) to best (takes about ten minutes; three turkey drumsticks). These actions will give your friends some LinkedIn love that will increase their exposure on the LinkedIn site but may also lead to your next great opportunity.

Good   turkey drumsticks revised


  • Follow the organization's company page.
  • "Like" one of the organization's company page status updates.
  • Connect with key people on the organization's staff.
  • "Like" a status update or published post made by a staff member about the organization.

Better turkey drumsticks revised turkey drumsticks revised


  • Add to your profile the special section Volunteer Experience & Causes and include not only detail about the nonprofit but promote the general cause as well.screen-shot-2016-11-17-at-3-26-11-pm
  • Engage in a conversation posted in a LinkedIn group by a staff member about an upcoming event or activity.
  • Comment on one of the individual status updates or published posts from the staff.
  •  Comment on one of the organization's company page status updates.
  • Share with your network some of the organization's status updates that highlight upcoming events or volunteer activities.

Best    turkey drumsticks revised turkey drumsticks revised turkey drumsticks revised


  • 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.screen-shot-2016-11-19-at-11-29-28-am
  • Add media to your profile to highlight their mission and programs. Include video, slide presentations or documents. This screen shot shows an example of how I've done this on my profile.
  • Use one of the three websites LinkedIn allows you to list on your profile for a hyperlink directly to the organization's website.
  • Include in your Summary section a special paragraph to describe why this organization is important to you.
  • Use the LinkedIn Advanced Search function to find out who in your network knows people at the significant foundations and companies in your marketplace. Then facilitate an introduction to the staff of the nonprofit organization.
  • Share a status update, publish a post, or start a conversation in your LinkedIn groups to:

- Publicize an event
- Recruit volunteers
- Share results and accomplishments
- Find donors, volunteers, employees, suppliers, and/or vendors for the organization

These actions will give your favorite nonprofit some LinkedIn love that will increase their exposureand it may help you as well. People will see your passion for organizations in your community and around the world, and people love doing business with people who help others.

LinkedIn Hides Some of the Best Mobile Features

Posted on November 13, 2016
Wayne Breitbarth

iStock_000017395826_SmallLinkedIn is spending a lot of time and effort on improving the mobile user's experienceand the more I experiment with the LinkedIn mobile app, the more capabilities I stumble upon.

Five helpful LinkedIn mobile app features

Here are some of the coolest capabilities I've foundthough they are somewhat hard to findand some are not even available on your desktop.

Personalize your invitation to connect. Just click the three small dots on the top right of your mobile screen when viewing someone's profile and select Personalize invite. Then you have 300 characters to tell the person why it would be helpful for him/her to join your LinkedIn network. Diligently personalizing your invitations on desktop or mobile will improve your chances for getting connected to people in your target audience.

screen-shot-2016-11-12-at-6-04-45-pmPersonalized invitations you receive. When people take the time to write you a personalized note with their invitation to connect, it typically should encourage you to message them back. These messages have been a bit hard to find on the desktop (read this article for help), but on the mobile app it's pretty easy once you find the right screen.

Click the My Network icon on the bottom of the mobile home page, and the invitations you've received will be displayed at the top of the screen. These personalized notes tend to be golden nuggets for me, so I make this an important part of my LinkedIn routine.

Analytical data on articles you share or publish. LinkedIn has historically been very stingy when it comes to sharing analytics, but as of now you can get some pretty cool data on the articles you're sharing and/or the ones you publish yourselfbut only on the mobile app.

Just click the Notifications icon on the bottom of the mobile app and scroll through highlights of your activity. When See article analytics or See post analytics is displayed, click it for a pretty deep dive into some helpful composite analytics on the type of people who are viewing that update and also suggestions for other similar articles you may want to share.

Don't miss the other great insights (See new positions, See who's celebrating, etc.) that LinkedIn has shared with you in this section on your mobile app.

screen-shot-2016-11-10-at-11-00-40-amReconnect with people already in your network. At least once a week LinkedIn will share with you ideas for reaching out to a few people in your network who have LinkedIn activity that you may want to message them about. This is a very helpful feature that I encourage you to check out, but it has a couple frustrating limitations relating to when it's available and who LinkedIn picks for you to reconnect with.

After selecting the Messaging icon on the bottom of your mobile app, Reconnect with your network should appear at the top. Click the Take a Look box, and then pick one of the people LinkedIn has suggested. It will then suggest action steps you may want to take to reconnect with that person.

Search for specific types of people. Advanced people search has long been one of the most helpful LinkedIn features on the desktop, but on the mobile appwell, not so much. Well, things have changed, and although it's not the full advanced people search you might be used to, it's getting better and is definitively worth checking out.

Start by entering a keyword like marketing in the big white search box on the top of your mobile app. Thenscreen-shot-2016-11-12-at-5-57-15-pm select People with the skills-Marketing and click the back-and-forth arrow on the top right.

You can further refine your search for people by connection level (1st, 2nd or 3rd), location, current company or industries. Click the word Done in the top right corner when you're finished selecting your additional search filters. From the search results you can select the profiles you'd like to examine.

I know you'll want some of these features to become part of your LinkedIn routine; so spend time getting proficient with them. Then keep your eyes openyou just never know when you'll stumble upon others. And when you do, be sure to let me know about them!

Protect Yourself Now Because LinkedIn is Making Big Changes

Posted on November 5, 2016
Wayne Breitbarth

LinkedIn has announced that an update to your profile and the activities you can engage in on the site is coming "very soon." Based on their track record of past updates (some with warning and some without warning), they've been knownComputer security or safety concept. Laptop keyboard with lock a to take things away, including some of your valuable information that you've built over the years. For instance, you might remember that company page recommendations simply disappeared one day.

Therefore, in light of LinkedIn's announcement of impending changes, it is in your best interest to immediately take a few steps to protect your data.

Easy steps to take

Armed with LinkedIn's official announcement, knowledge of the pending acquisition of LinkedIn by Microsoft, significant speculation by myself and others, and information from a few users who are currently working with the beta of the changes, here are the steps I suggest you take ASAP.

Request a free archive of your data. The zip file you'll receive from LinkedIn via email screen-shot-2016-11-03-at-8-08-09-amwill include a complete data dump of many of the things you'll want to have in your possession, including a spreadsheet with all of your first-level connections' names, current companies, titles, and their primary LinkedIn email addresses.

(Note: This feature is not always dependable, especially when LinkedIn is working on updates. If you receive an error message, try again later or try a different internet browser.)

How to get yours: Go to Privacy & Settings>Getting an archive of your data, and then click the blue Request archive button on the right.

Save and print a pdf of your profile. The pdf file will include words only. screen-shot-2016-11-03-at-8-06-32-amIt won't include anything that has a visual element to it, like your photo, your company logos, graphics from your published posts or the media you've added. But it will include all of the recommendations you've received in their entirety, which I know you don't want to lose track of. I suggest you save and also print this file for your records.

How to get yours: Go to your profile and hover over the down arrow to the right of the blue View profile as button. Then select Save to PDF.

Print a copy of your profile and your company page using your browser print function. I recommend this step in addition to the previous one because you'll see all the graphic components of your profile that aren't included in the pdf. If you're in charge of your company's page, I suggest you save that as well.

How to do this: Go to your profile (and company page if applicable) and click the blue View profile as button. Then go to the top browser toolbar, select File, and then select Print.

Import notes and tags from your regular LinkedIn account to Sales Navigator. If you have upgraded to one of the premium Sales Navigator accounts and have taken advantage of the notes and tags features, be sure to transfer to Sales Navigator all information that will transfer, because the word on the street is that notes and tags are going away at the end of March.

Go to the LinkedIn Help Center for instructions about how to do the transfer: https://www.linkedin.com/help/sales-navigator/answer/71287

Don't delay. Follow these tips today, because you never know when LinkedIn will implement these changes to your account.

To help you further protect yourself, I'll be writing future articles on this topic when new information becomes available.

Don’t Miss These Incredible LinkedIn Free Resources

Posted on October 29, 2016
Wayne Breitbarth

This week's tip will be especially helpful for business owners, company leaders, sales executives, and marketing professionalsand it includes an invitation and a great free resource you don't want to miss.

The invitation

sc_webinar_ad3_fbAt noon CT on November 16th, I will be presenting Sales Acceleration Playbook Using LinkedIn & Inbound Marketing, a free webinar with my friends from Stream Creative (a Hubspot Platinum Certified Partner). At it you'll learn how easy it is to use LinkedIn and inbound marketing to drive more leads and appointments.

This is brand new content for those of you have seen me before but if you haven't been able to experience one of my LinkedIn training classes due to time, distance or related travel expenses, this is also your chance to get a complimentary front-row seat for this event. Space is limited, so be sure to register soon and bring a friend or coworker, too. Click this link to register: http://bit.ly/SalesAccel

The free resource

The majority of my LinkedIn training and consulting business revolves around working with teams of sales professionals from individual companies. During those sessions I emphasize the importance of:

  • Customizing your invitation to connect with your prospects
  • Making sure you follow up to try to put together a meeting, phone call, or at least share more information about yourself and your companyimg_0117

(Note: To send a customized invitation, you need to either connect using the big blue Connect button on their profile or by clicking the three dots in the upper right-hand corner when viewing a profile on the LinkedIn mobile app. All other Connect buttons might send out the standard invitation, "I'd like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn." And you know how I feel about the standard invitationyuck!) 

My LinkedIn Communication Templates (below) should help you come up with a customized message that's best for you and a follow-up note designed specifically for the people you're targeting on LinkedIn.

And this template is just one of the resources you'll learn about at the free November 16th webinar. So don't hesitateregister now!


Download (PDF, 140KB)

How to Capitalize NOW on an Important Upcoming LinkedIn Change

Posted on October 22, 2016
Wayne Breitbarth

Get ready. LinkedIn has announced that changes are coming soona very important one being the makeup of the custom feed on your LinkedIn home page when viewing it on your computer. Note: This does not relate to the mobile app. Man Reading the Definition of Change

Here's what they've said thus far:

"Through the LinkedIn Feed, we are inspiring and informing professionals every day with the most relevant industry and trending news. We want professionals coming to LinkedIn daily to get the right information on what’s trending in your company, in your industry, and in the news...Today we previewed the biggest advancements to date with our Interest Feed, giving professionals even more ways to discover, search and dive deeper into relevant trending content."

What does this change mean for you?

With this change, it's more important than ever to make sure you get relevant information about you, your company and your industry in the feeds of your network. screen-shot-2016-10-20-at-7-24-04-amAnd the simplest way to do that is to put together a plan for sharing status updates on a consistent basis.

Bear in mind, however, that you don't want to annoy your target audience with too much blatant self-promotion or irrelevant information or they'll simply start to ignore you.

What kind of information should you be sharing?

I would like to suggest a rule that has worked for me and many of my LinkedIn clients. I call it the 6/3/1 Rule.

Simply put, for every ten status updates you post on LinkedIn (no matter over what time frame those posts take place), follow this rule:

Six should be great educational information for your intended audience that you didn't write. This is stuff written by others in your area of expertise that resonated with you.

Three should be great educational information for your intended audience that you or your company authored or created. It could be blog posts, articles, video, checklists, white papers, customer testimonials, "how to" information, product comparisons, or other research that you believe will help your audience.

One can be flat-out promotional, attempting to sell your goods or services.

If you follow this rule, you'll be sharing great customer-focused information 90% of the time and directly promoting only 10% of the time.

I work really hard to adhere to this rule out of respect for my network. And, by the way, if you're not part of my network, send me an invitation to connect! Then when my network sees a post about the new edition of my book, my upcoming classes, or my LinkedIn consulting, they will probably say, This post doesn't bother me since most of the time Wayne shares great educational information about LinkedIn, and, after all, a guy's gotta make a living.

Using status updates correctly, no matter what social media site you're on, is one of the foundational principles you need to understand in order to be successful in the new digital marketing world. And the 6/3/1 Rule is particularly important on LinkedIn because it's meant to be a purely professional site.screen-shot-2016-10-20-at-7-14-04-am

If you want more concrete examples, I highly recommend Gary Vaynerchuk's book Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World. He provides lots of specific examples of how to share social media updates correctly. Although he doesn't specifically mention LinkedIn, many of the concepts are applicable.

Get in the habit now of engaging your network with consistent, informative status updates, and your efforts will pay even greater dividends when the new LinkedIn feed appears on your home page in the near future.

Is Your LinkedIn Profile Really Working for You?

Posted on October 15, 2016
Wayne Breitbarth

"Before I meet someone for the first time, I send them a link to my profile. I think that—when we meet someone—the entire first Business people shaking hands, finishing up a meetingmeeting (as well as the rest of the relationship) is a confirmation (or correction) of our pre-existing expectations. I send my profile in advance because I think it will establish the right expectations. Looking at my LinkedIn profile is a lot like meeting me."
Artie Isaac (Vistage chair, CEO coach, and  creativity trainer—convening CEO peer groups)

When my friend Artie Isaac said that, I had to stop and ask him to repeat it. Then I realized, holy cow, this is one of the best overall LinkedIn profile strategies I've ever heard—and I was bummed I didn't think of it myself!

If you aren't using this brilliant strategy, it just might be the reason your LinkedIn profile is not generating the profile views, connection requests or, more importantly, meeting requests/phone calls/emails etc. you'd like to see from the right people.

However, if you're going to direct people to your profile, you need to be certain it adequately reflects not only your experience but also your personality and passion—in other words, exactly what makes you tick.

7 quick and easy profile updates

You only get one chance to make a powerful first impression. These seven simple profile tweaks will help you put your best foot forward and engage with the people who look at your profile.

1.  Photo. Be sure your profile photo is current and you're wearing your typical business attire, because you want them to recognize you when you meet.

2.  First person. Write your profile in the first person because that makes it easier to draw someone in and quickly put them at ease. Third person can make you appear distant.

3.  Tone. Be sure the tone of your profile reflects your personality—such as friendly, funny, helpful, etc.—while still keeping in mind that LinkedIn is a professional site.screen-shot-2016-10-15-at-1-30-27-pm

4.  Concern for others. If you share your time and talents with nonprofit organizations, you may wish to include a reference to this in your Summary section or add separate Job Experience entries to share more specific details about your involvement with particular groups. Adding media to these profile sections can make them more interesting—and you can also request recommendations. These references can be great conversation starters.

5.  LinkedIn activity. Any status updates or published posts you originate or like, comment on or share will be a reflection of your personality and style. Therefore, be sure to think about how it might be perceived before clicking any of those buttons.

People can review your current activity screen-shot-2016-10-15-at-1-29-03-pmwhen visiting your profile by clicking the down arrow in your top box and selecting View Recent Activity. This allows the reader to get a feel for the information and type of audience you're passionate about.

6.  Interests. Add the Interests section to your profile and include your most important personal interests (without "going all Facebook"). These can also be good conversation starters.

7.  Groups. Join LinkedIn groups that reflect some of your personal interests—but be sure they are consistent with the professional brand you want to display. For instance, displaying certain political groups on your profile may offend some of your audience.

After you update your profile, ask a close friend or business associate if it is a positive and accurate representation of who you are—or, as my friend Artie said, is looking at it a lot like meeting you.

Here’s How to Make Your LinkedIn Profile More Engaging

Posted on October 1, 2016
Wayne Breitbarth

Engaging: very attractive or pleasing in a way that holds your attention (Merriam Webster Dictionary)

Friends giving a laptop gift to a surprised girlIs your LinkedIn profile very attractive and pleasing (to your target audience) in a way that holds your (target audience's) attention?

To answer that question, you first need to clearly define your LinkedIn target audience. My free resource below, Finding Your Target Audience, will help you determine exactly who you want to reach.

How to make your profile more engaging

After you've identified your target audience, follow these three simple steps to spruce up your LinkedIn profile. Include the information your target audience is interested in seeing, and soon you'll have your target audience knocking at your door.

screen-shot-2016-09-28-at-8-59-05-amAdd media. By simply clicking the Add Media icon, you can upload documents or add links to website pages. Media can be added to your Summary, Job Experience and Educational Experience entries on your profile. You'll not only greatly improve the look of your profile, but people will be able to watch, download or read your most helpful content right from your LinkedIn profile.

screen-shot-2016-09-28-at-9-06-46-amRearrange profile sections. People view your profile from top to bottom, so be sure your best information is near the top to encourage viewers to keep reading.

By clicking the up-down arrow icon on any profile section or individual job entry, you can lay your profile out in just the right order that will hold your target audience's attention for a much longer time.

screen-shot-2016-09-28-at-9-03-13-amOptimize your profile headline. The headline of any article is written so that it grabs the attention of the intended audience and encourages that audience to read the full article. Does your LinkedIn profile headline grab the attention of your intended audience or does it simply state your current title and employer?

I think your headline is the most important 120 characters on your entire profile. For quick ways to optimize your headline, check out my worksheet The Definitive Worksheet to Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile Headline under the Free Resources tab on my website.

Once you've followed these steps and created an engaging profile, your target audience will be excited to engage with you--which should lead to new relationships and business growth.

For help with defining your target audience, check out the attached Finding Your LinkedIn Target Audience worksheet.

Download (PDF, 130KB)

Your LinkedIn Help is on the Way

Posted on September 25, 2016
Wayne Breitbarth

In my recent LinkedIn user survey, I asked:

"What would you like to learn this year in my weekly emails?"

Sign Directions Support Help Tips Advice Guidance Assistance isolated on white background. 3D render

There were more than 200 responses to this question, and I will address many of them right here in the upcoming months.

However, quite a few of them can be answered easily by using one of these three resources:

1. My book, The Power Formula for LinkedIn Success, now in its 3rd edition

2. My blog

3. LinkedIn's Help Center

You may have already purchased my book, one of the first two editions or maybe the new 3rd edition. And if you have, thank you! You will find answers to many of screen-shot-2016-09-22-at-3-48-14-pmyour foundational, blocking-and-tackling LinkedIn questions in the book.

Secondly, my blog (over 275 articles for both beginners and advanced users) is completely searchable by entering keyword(s) in the search box. This is the most comprehensive database of LinkedIn strategies available anywhere.

Thirdly, the LinkedIn Help Center (which even I access several times each and every week) is just a few clicks away. The Help Center is filled with answers to many of the technical questions you may have. You won't find a lot of help with LinkedIn strategy, but that's where I come in!

To access the Help Center, place your cursor over your photo on the top toolbar. Then select Help Center. Enter a few keywords in the How Can We Help You box, and you should get a list of all the articles that address your question or concern.

If you are unable to get your answer from one of these articles, open a job ticket, and screen-shot-2016-09-22-at-3-43-54-pmsomeone from LinkedIn will investigate and get back to you. Click the Contact us tab (bottom of page) to get started.

The response will not be quick, but they usually answer. In my experience, it typically takes about 48 hours for them to respond. I'm sorry to say there's no toll-free 800 number to call. Also, I have not found the response time to be shorter if you have a premium account.

I look forward to addressing specific survey responses in the near future. But if you'd like me to help you on a one-on-one basis, feel free to contact me to get more details about the consulting services I provide in person or on the phone.

Here’s How to Make LinkedIn Part of Your 2017 Success Plan

Posted on September 17, 2016
Wayne Breitbarth

Are you starting to put your game plan together for 2017? Is LinkedIn part of that 2017 Just Ahead Green Road Sign Against Cloudsplan? If not, it's probably because you don't know exactly what to do each week to get results.

Well, it's your lucky day. I recently revised and updated my LinkedIn Game Plan for Success: Your One-Hour Weekly Playbook for Results. It's received rave reviews from my recent audiences, and I know you're going to love it, too.

Start following these steps this fall so that by the start of 2017 they become part of your weekly routine.

2017 LinkedIn Game Plan for Success

You can download Power Formula for LinkedIn Success 3rd Editionthe full worksheet below, but here's a quick summary of the weekly process that's sure to kick-start your business and career in the new year.

Page number references in the worksheet refer to the brand new 3rd Edition of my book The Power Formula for LinkedIn Success. Pick up a copy at your nearby book store or Amazon.com to learn more simple ways to acquire lucrative new customers, land a great new job, and, of course, substantially boost your income.

1. Start by checking out profiles of people you're considering connecting with, taking specific note of the things they're posting and sharing.
 Consider mentioning them using the "@" sign before typing in their name when sharing one of their updates. Be sure to keep an eye on your "Who's Viewed Your Profile" section to see if they check you out. That would be a good sign.

2. Use a custom invitation and invite ten people in your target audience to join your network. This will take about 15 minutes per week, but strengthening your network is bound to result in more future business.

3. Send a follow-up thank-you note to ten people who have agreed to join your network. This should only take about ten minutes, and it gives you an opportunity to request a meeting or phone call that could lead to new business or lucrative referrals.

4. Engage with your audience. Like, share or comment on status updates, published posts or company page updates made by ten of your most important connections. This, too, should only take about ten minutes, and it's a great way to stay on the radar of your target audience.

5. Post ten helpful status updates each week. This might take you 20 minutes per week, but it will go a long way toward establishing yourself as a rockstar in your field--and it also gives you an opportunity to promote your products and services.

Use my 6/3/1 rule when making your posts. Six posts can provide useful content from others, three posts should include helpful content from you and your company, and one post can promote your products or services.

You're now prepared to hit the ground running in the new year and make it your best year ever.


Download (PDF, 10.79MB)