Power Formula LinkedIn Blog

Are you Annoying People with your LinkedIn Updates?

Posted on January 29, 2017
Wayne Breitbarth

Do you share unprofessional, "Facebook-like" information on LinkedIn? I hear from people each and every week who are frustrated with the information people are sharing on LinkedIn. Entrepreneur angry and furious with laptop

So, what's the #1 LinkedIn rule of thumb relating to status updates that I wish everyone followed?

I call it the 6/3/1 Rule.

Simply put, for every ten status updates you share 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 the stuff you've read from others that resonated with you in your area of expertise. It could be information (blogs, videos, LinkedIn posts and updates, etc.) from other noncompetitive experts in your industry associations or others you respect in your field or industry.

Screen Shot 2017-01-29 at 8.49.55 AMThree should be great educational information for your intended audience that you or your company authored or created. It could be blog posts, articles, videos, 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, you should be!) Then when my network sees a post about the newest 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 screen-shot-2016-10-20-at-7-14-04-ameveryone needs 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.

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.

Is Your LinkedIn Account in the Top 1%?

Posted on January 22, 2017
Wayne Breitbarth

I do many LinkedIn profile critiques each week for my clients, and they really look forward to receiving my overall grade along with the specific areas I feel they can improve.

I also tell Perfect grade with penthem how they can get a grade directly from LinkedIn. This grading system, the LinkedIn Social Selling Index (SSI), was previously only available to LinkedIn's largest corporate users, but now all LinkedIn users can access their SSI. In addition to your profile, it takes into account the activities you engage in each time you log into LinkedIn. 

Don't be turned off by the word "selling" just because you're not a salesperson. Let's face it—everyone is selling something. If you're not selling products or services, you're selling yourself or your organization every day. And with the rise of social media, this has never been more true.

Get your score by simply clicking the white Get Your Score free button on this page: http://bit.ly/LISSIndex

What's your score?

Yes, 100 is a perfect score, and I doubt anyone has achieved that score other than maybe Reid Hoffman (founder of LinkedIn) or Jeff Weiner (current CEO of LinkedIn). But be sure to look past just the raw score and see how you rank in your industry and your network, both in total and in each of the four scoring categories (maximum of 25 points for each category). Also, take note of the trend line for your score. These spots are where the information gets particularly helpful for you personally.

What is SSI and why should you care?

LinkedIn came up with SSI to score sales professionals and their company teams and track improvement and results, thus proving the ROI from upgrading to their most expensive premium sales upgrade called Sales Navigator. So, of course LinkedIn has a motive for spending time and effort to generate this information. They're hoping companies will upgrade all their salespeople to Sales Navigator.

However, now all users can learn and improve by tracking their Social Selling Index (SSI), and it's easy to set goals after you receive your score from LinkedIn.

LinkedIn surveyed over 5,000 sales professionals, and they've shared the following fairly significant results that demonstrate the importance of becoming an SSI leader:

  • SSI leaders create 45% more opportunities per quarter than SSI laggards
  • SSI leaders are 51% more likely to hit quota than SSI laggards
  • 78% of social sellers outsell peers who don't use social media

How does LinkedIn determine your SSI score?

Your SSI score is based on what LinkedIn refers to as "The Four Pillars of Social." Screen Shot 2015-08-10 at 7.06.14 AM

1. Establish your professional brand. Complete your profile with the customer in mind. Become a thought leader by publishing meaningful posts.

2. Find the right people. Identify better prospects in less time using efficient search and research tools.

3. Engage with insights. Discover and share conversation-worthy updates to create and grow relationships.

4. Build relationships. Strengthen your network by connecting and establishing trust with decision makers.

You can view LinkedIn's SlideShare presentations with additional Screen Shot 2015-08-10 at 7.21.38 AMinsights on how to improve your score in these four areas. I would highly recommend you take the time to click through these presentations, especially the ones related to the areas where your SSI results indicate you have the most work to do.

I am in total agreement with LinkedIn that these are the four critical elements for getting results from all your social media channels—and not just for selling purposes but also for growing your brand, improving your business and personal marketing, and finding your next great job.

I think we should give LinkedIn a big "high five" for providing this free tool, and so if I were you I would get started right away benchmarking your score.

Screen Shot 2017-01-19 at 4.35.16 PMAnd just in case you're wondering, my SSI is currently 95, and I rank in the top 1% of my industry and network—but I won't be happy until I get to 100.

If you'd like to discuss how I can help you and your organization get your SSI numbers up and improve your LinkedIn results, drop me an email at wayne@powerformula.net. I'd love to help you work toward a perfect score—and make more money, too.

How Will You Rank on the New LinkedIn?

Posted on January 14, 2017
Wayne Breitbarth

Some people have told me they've received the new and improved(?) LinkedIn desktop interface. I personally don't have it yet, but I've been able to check out how it looks and works by looking over the shoulder of some of my friends who have it. Keywords searching concept with magnifying glass

I'm going to withhold my full, detailed review of the changes until I have it myself, but based on my review thus far, including your most important keywords on your profile continues to be a very important strategy. LinkedIn's search algorithm rewards you for including your critical keywords in multiple places and especially in particular spots—and who doesn't want to come up higher in the search rankings!

Follow these simple guidelines to improve your ranking on both the old and new desktop interfaces.

What are your most important keywords?

Simply put, your keywords are the words that you think someone would use to search for you online, regardless of whether it's a general internet search site like Google, Bing, etc., a job search site like Career Builders or Monster, or a professional networking site like LinkedIn.

Depending on your objective for using LinkedIn, it could include words that describe you professionally, categories or brand names of the products and services you and your company provide, software you use proficiently, and so on.

My Keyword Worksheet (below) will help you identify the best words to include on your profile.

Where should you put keywords on your LinkedIn profile?

The simple answer is everywhere you can—and the more times the better—but be sure your profile remains easy to read. Just listing a particular keyword over and over, with commas in between, will not only be hard to read but potentially confusing to the reader. In addition, LinkedIn has warned that this type of  "keyword stuffing" will not be tolerated—and you sure don't want them to penalize you by moving you down the search results list.

I've learned from working extensively with my LinkedIn clients over many years that there are three spots on your profile where you definitely want to include your most important keywords—your Headline, Job Experience Titles, and the Skills section.

To learn how to most effectively include keywords in these three sections, take a look at one of my client's profile—Scott Owens, managing director of BluTinuity, a firm specializing in business continuity and disaster recovery.

Screen Shot 2017-01-13 at 8.50.19 AM


Experience Job Titles

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Screen Shot 2017-01-13 at 8.51.02 AM

Trust me on this one. Whether someone is searching with the old or new version of LinkedIn, if you follow this keyword strategy, you'll come up significantly higher in the search ranking, just like my client Scott Owens.

To identify your most important keywords, review or download my Keyword Worksheet below.


Download (PDF, 527KB)

Is This the Right Time to Get Off LinkedIn?

Posted on January 7, 2017
Wayne Breitbarth

"We need to shed a few social pounds and stop trying to add more social media networks to our repertoire. Instead, let's get better where we already exist. weight checkSocial media isn't about how many places you can be. It's about being amazing where you are."
--Scott Stratten, "The Book of Business Awesome"

I agree with Scott, but I prefer to put it this way:

If you don't have a strategy and purpose for being on LinkedIn, shut your account down. Save the time, hassle, and possible embarrassment. It's potentially embarrassing because a lackluster profile and little or no activity makes it pretty clear you either don't know what you're doing or have no specific reason for being on LinkedIn.

Is LinkedIn worth the time and effort?

Your answers to these ten questions should help you decide whether it's worth spending your time on LinkedIn or if this is a place where you can shed a few social pounds.

1. Have you used LinkedIn to begin a new relationship with someone that's led to good things?

2. Do you look forward to jumping on the site?

3. Have you updated your profile in the past year or so?

4. Do you speak fondly of your LinkedIn experience when asked by others?

5. Do you look forward to hearing people talk about their LinkedIn success?

6. Have people in your company or industry been sharing LinkedIn success stories?

7. Have you logged onto your LinkedIn account in the last week?

8. Does your profile clearly state your business purpose for being on LinkedIn?

9. Have you recently invited someone to join your network?

10. Rather than grumble and complain when LinkedIn makes changes to the site, do you look for new ways to use LinkedIn to advance your business or career?

If you found yourself answering "No" to most of these questions, maybe it's time to reevaluate your reasons for being on LinkedIn and either become amazing, as Scott suggested in his book, or close your account and spend your time more productively.

Believe me, I am the last person who wants you to exit the LinkedIn door, because if everyone jumps ship, who would read my Sunday afternoon emails?

But time is precious, and I think you might be able to find a more enjoyable and productive way to brand and market yourself and your business as well as do research or communicate and network with others.

However, if you're ready to develop a strategy for becoming amazing and making 2017 your best year ever, pick up a copy of the new edition of my bookattend one of my upcoming LinkedIn training classes, enroll your company in my next LinkedIn & Inbound Marketing Sales Acceleration Playbook event, or set up a one-on-one consulting call with me.

What Was Your Score on the LinkedIn Scorecard?

Posted on December 31, 2016
Wayne Breitbarth

Drawing Loading New Year 2017 on ChalkboardHappy New Year!

Are you hoping 2017 will be your best year ever? Well, I'm going to help you use LinkedIn to get phenomenal results.

In about five minutes, my LinkedIn Success Scorecard: How do you measure up? below will show you how you stack up and how some easy profile tweaks and basic strategies will catapult you to success in your business and career.

Here are a few of the 20 simple multiple choice questions:

  • Does your current job title entry include your most important keywords?
  • Have you clearly identified your LinkedIn connection strategy (what kind of people you want to connect with and how you’re going to find them)?
  • When someone in your target audience sends you an invitation to connect on LinkedIn, do you send a thank-you note that includes information about how you could help him/her?

Once you make these changes and get your strategies in place, you'll be ready to crush your business and career goals for 2017 and beyond.

If you need help making these changes or developing your strategy, refer to my book or use keywords to search my blog—or contact me for a one-on-one LinkedIn coaching session.

Happy new year! I hope it truly is your best year ever.


Download (PDF, 304KB)

This is Your Chance to Get Your LinkedIn Questions Answered

Posted on December 16, 2016
Wayne Breitbarth

My inbox exploded last week after regulators approved the Microsoft acquisition of LinkedIn, which will close very soon, and some people received the new LinkedIn desktop redesign.Stop leaving us in the dark

I'll do my best to address the concerns and questions just as soon as I receive the new profile and formulate some strategies to help you take full advantage of all this potential.

In the meantime, if you have any burning LinkedIn questions you'd like to ask me, be sure to join me for a free webinar this Wednesday, December 21, at noon CT—and no worries if you can't attend the live event. I'll be sharing a link so you can view the webinar on your own schedule.

sc_webinar_facebook_6My co-host will be Jeff Coon from Stream Creative (a Hubspot Platinum Partner), and he'll be fielding questions about inbound marketing. We have a list of some popular questions, and we'll take others from the audience on Wednesday.

You can register here:  http://bit.ly/LightRound

How big should your LinkedIn network be?

I anticipate questions about LinkedIn network size and makeup. In other words, is it better to have an enormous LinkedIn network that includes hordes of strangers or a smaller but tight-knit network of people you know and trust. After all, this is the starting point for everything you do on LinkedIn.

But whatever the current state of your connection strategynonexistent, incomplete or clearly definedyou need to be aware of the advantages and dangers of your decision.

Read or download my article below, The LinkedIn Connection Conundrum: Who Should be in Your Network, and find out:

  • The benefits and dangers of each approach
  • What other people are doing and why
  • Why you may change your strategy in the future

Get your strategy in place, and be on your way to growing a powerful network that will provide new opportunities you can turn into revenue.


Download (PDF, 344KB)

Are You Ignoring the Right People on LinkedIn?

Posted on December 11, 2016
Wayne Breitbarth

If you owned a retail store and a potential buyer entered your front door, would you ignore him or her? Of course not. Well, that's what many people are doing on LinkedIn, and then they wonder why they aren't getting any quantifiable results from using the site.New shop, owner at the door with customer

Think of your LinkedIn profile as your retail store. As with most retail stores, there's lots of competition for potential buyers and many different ways that people find out about your store before they waltz in the front door.

But once they choose to visit, are you reaching out and saying, "Hi, thanks for visiting; how can I help you?" Trust me on this onefrom my experience, most people aren't doing this.

How to welcome people to your "LinkedIn store"

There are two easy ways to recognize potential customers or connectionsWho's Viewed Your Profile and your inbound invitations to connect.

Now, if you're not specifically in sales and are about to stop reading, please reconsider, because let's face itwe're all selling something. If you're not selling products or services, you're selling yourself or your organization every day. If you didn't have something to sell, you probably wouldn't be using LinkedIn.

Here are my best practices for recognizing and approaching potential buyers, particularly those who are in your target market.

Who's Viewed Your Profile

screen-shot-2016-12-07-at-9-10-56-amView this list often, because if you're using the free account, you can only see the last five people who checked you outand then only the information they've chosen to share with you.

However, if you're using the Google Chrome browser, here's a trick that will help you see the full list even though you don't have a premium account. Simply download this free special extension.

If their headline looks interesting, click through to view their full profile and ask yourself this question: Is there any information here (job experience, education entries, people you have in common, interests, etc.) that resonates with me or would help me to have an interesting conversation with them?" If the answer is "yes," invite them to join your network by using a five-star invitation.

Inbound Invitations to Connect

screen-shot-2016-12-07-at-9-13-08-amDon't be too quick to hit the Ignore button hereeven if you've never met the person. You don't know why they "walked into your store," so it's worth your time to figure out who they are and how you might be able to help them.

It's best to view your inbound invitations from your Pending Invitations page rather than your mobile device, because you'll have access to a lot more information about the person. On your phone you won't be able to see what people you have in common nor can you respond to a message without inviting the person to join your network. Messages are also truncated, so you may miss something important if you don't take the time to read the full message.

My article Is Opportunity Knocking at Your LinkedIn Door? will help you understand who to connect with and give you some examples of simple ways to respond when the right person has walked into your store.

If you start executing these best practices, I'm confident you'll begin to quickly identify the hottest prospects and reach out in a way that will improve your chances of success.

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!