Power Formula LinkedIn Blog

Did LinkedIn Make the Right Choice for You?

Posted on September 9, 2017
Wayne Breitbarth

Traffic LightLinkedIn just added an exciting new feature that should really improve your ability to communicate with your connections. But as exciting as it may seem, I highly recommend you thoughtfully review the related settings for this feature and possibly revisit some of your current strategies relating to connecting and messaging.

The new feature is referred to as Active Status, and, simply put, it's a way for you to see if a connection is currently active on the LinkedIn site, either on desktop or mobile. Currently, you can only see a person's status when you're in the Messaging section of LinkedIn, but my guess is that this will be expanded to other LinkedIn sections in the future.

You can access your Messaging section by clicking the Messaging tab on your top toolbar.
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How does Active Status work?

Screen Shot 2017-09-07 at 10.55.25 AMIf your connections are currently active on LinkedIn, you'll see a green circle in the bottom right corner of their profile photo if they're on their desktop or a green circle with a white dot in the middle if they're on their mobile app. If you see either of these circles and send them a message, they will be instantly notified of your message.

Personally, when I've noticed connections are active and then sent them a message or responded to a message they had sent me, I've gotten quick responses numerous times.

However, when I've discussed this new feature with people, the opinions are mixed. Some like it and some don't. The concern seems to be that it may lead to unwanted solicitations and spam messages as well as a new category of nuisance person on LinkedIn referred to as "message stalkers." But many people are hopeful that Active Status is a breakthrough tool that will facilitate real-time conversations and move casual relationships toward meaningful and mutually profitable relationships.
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How to adjust your Active Status settings

The default setting allows people to see whether you are currently active or inactive. I personally believe this is the appropriate setting for most people, especially considering that you can put yourself in "do Screen Shot 2017-09-07 at 10.56.58 AMnot disturb" mode by switching your Display your active status setting to "No" at any time.

You may also find it helpful to block certain connections from seeing whether you're active or not. Simply type their name in the Hide active status from select people box, and they will not be able to see your active status. Doing this will not affect the rest of your network; they'll still be able to see whether you're active or inactive.

To access this setting:
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  • Click on the Me tab on your top toolbar
  • Select Settings & Privacy from the drop-down menu
  • Click the Privacy tab
  • Choose Manage active status
  • Switch the toggle to Yes or No

I look forward to seeing whether or not people use this new LinkedIn feature and hopefully hearing success stories from those who use it strategically. But my initial reaction is well done, LinkedIn; keep new features like this coming our way.

Here is a Really Easy Way to Spruce Up Your LinkedIn Profile

Posted on August 25, 2017
Wayne Breitbarth

Media can be the great differentiator. It can take your LinkedIn profile from ho-hum to phenomenal—and compel viewers to contact you about your products and services, job opportunities, and more.

Screen Shot 2017-08-25 at 3.56.06 PMMy most recent LinkedIn User Survey showed that less than half of the respondents are taking advantage of this powerful profile feature. Don't tell anyone at LinkedIn that I said this, but I think it's so good that they could probably charge for it.

In a nutshell, prominently displaying media or links to media on your profile is an awesome way to share your professional brand with the whole world. And if you're part of the 52% of users who aren't taking advantage of this incredible feature, I doubt that's because you don't think it would be helpful and pretty cool but because you can't figure out how to do it or you don't know what you should share. So let me help you with both.


How do I add media to my profile?

You can add media to three sections on your LinkedIn profile—Summary, each Job Experience entry, and each Education entry—and it will be displayed at the bottom of the Screen Shot 2017-08-23 at 2.50.51 PMselected section. These entries not only add additional information about you, but they add a certain level of visual appeal and interest to your profile.

It's as simple as clicking the pencil icon for the section you want to add the media to and scrolling down to the Upload or Link button. Then cut and paste the link or upload the media file. For more detailed instructions, follow the steps outlined in the LinkedIn Help Center by clicking here.


What type of media should I share?

Like most of the information you share on your profile, it depends on your specific LinkedIn strategy. Here are some suggestions of what you might want to include, and I've categorized them by some pretty typical LinkedIn strategies.
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Improving your overall branding and market presence
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  • Screen Shot 2017-08-23 at 2.55.46 PMPictures, slide presentations, pdf files of some of your work samples
  • Articles or videos where you are mentioned
  • Certificates or awards you have received
  • Articles you have written or coauthored
  • Link to your personal blog or other social media pages
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Generating sales leads
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  • Slide presentation of your company's capabilities, products and services offered, and markets you serve
  • Articles or videos of your products in action
  • Case studies or testimonials from your customers
  • Registration page for upcoming events
  • Link to sign up for your company newsletter or other free resources (ebook, tip sheets, white papers, etc.)
  • Link to your company's blog or other social media pages
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Finding a job
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  • Upload of your resume (traditionally written or video)
  • Pdf upload of letters of recommendation
  • Video links or uploads of examples of your work
  • Detailed list of references
  • Personality test results or strengths-related information
  • Slide show summarizing your career or job experiences
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Helping your favorite nonprofit or school
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  • Screen Shot 2017-08-23 at 2.56.11 PMVideos or articles that mention the organization
  • Links to register for upcoming events
  • Articles highlighting accomplishments of members, alumni or students
  • Uploads or links to examples of student projects
  • Link to sign up for the organization's mailings
  • Link to a form for updating alumni contact information

Now that you know how to add media and what types of media you should share, take a few minutes right now and add some media to your profile so I can not only read about your accomplishments and interests but I can also see them. Trust me—a few keystrokes can greatly enhance your professional image.

If you'd like me to show you other hard-to-find, "can't miss" LinkedIn features, help you formulate your personal LinkedIn strategy, plus provide an in-depth critique of your LinkedIn profile, sign up for a one-hour, one-on-one consultation with me for the significantly reduced rate of $175. (This is a limited-time offer.)

Book your personal session today at https://calendly.com/waynebreitbarth/special1on1linkedinconsult.

Trust Me, You’ll Love This New LinkedIn Feature

Posted on August 19, 2017
Wayne Breitbarth

Great news!

Cheerful smiling young man with tabletSearching through one of your LinkedIn connection's network to find a certain type of person just got much easier—and this applies to you whether you have a free account or you're paying to use LinkedIn.

If you're like me, you really appreciate receiving referrals from people in your network, but it's not easy to ask the open-ended question,"Who in your network could help me find a job, customer, etc.?"

And rather than putting all the pressure on your connection to come up with the right people, why not use LinkedIn's newest feature to find the right people all by yourself.
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How to search your connection's network

Follow these simple steps, and you'll quickly discover who might be able to help you achieve your goal.

Put your cursor in the big, white search box in the top toolbar and select Screen Shot 2017-07-03 at 2.31.52 PMSearch for people with filters from the drop-down menu.

On the right side of your screen, under Filter people by, go to the Connections of box and type in your connection's name. When his/her name appears in the drop-down menu, click that entry.

Then use any of the other available filters to narrow the search to people at the right company, location, school attended, title, etc.

Review the list that LinkedIn provides for you. If you find people who look interesting to you, check out their profile, and then ask your connection how best to approach the people (through a LinkedIn connection request, phone call, email, in-person meeting, etc.)

Screen Shot 2017-08-16 at 11.42.42 AMCaveat: If your connection has chosen to hide his/her first-level network from his connections, you'll only be able to see people to whom both of you are connected.  

Here's an example of how my search filters would look if I wanted to find out whether my connection Bob Hill knows any presidents or CEOs in the marketing and advertising industry in the Milwaukee area.

I know you'll be as excited as I was to see that LinkedIn has brought back this feature, and your network will appreciate the homework you do before asking for a referral.

If you'd like me to show you other hard-to-find, "can't miss" LinkedIn features, help you formulate your personal LinkedIn strategy, plus provide an in-depth critique of your LinkedIn profile, sign up for a one-hour, one-on-one consultation with me for the significantly reduced rate of $175. (This is a limited-time offer.)

Book your personal session today at https://calendly.com/waynebreitbarth/special1on1linkedinconsult.

One of the Best Hard-to-Find LinkedIn Features is Still Available

Posted on August 12, 2017
Wayne Breitbarth

LinkedIn has many great features that are very hard to find, and one of the joys of my First Day Tourjob is showing my clients how to not only find them but also how to use these features in a strategic and purposeful way.

One feature that really amazes most folks is LinkedIn's Alumni feature that allows you to search for others who have walked the same hallowed halls as you did. You won’t believe the incredible things you can now do with this feature.

There are two ways to access this feature. Screen Shot 2017-08-09 at 2.52.45 PMIn the large search box on your top toolbar, type the name of the school you're interested in. When it shows up in the drop-down list, choose that entry—or you can just click the name of a school on anyone’s profile. Once you're on the university's page, click the blue See alumni button. This will take you to that school's Career Insights page.
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Ca$h in on this powerful tool

Every school’s University Career Insights page includes an awesome filtering system that helps you find the perfect Screen Shot 2017-08-09 at 2.55.46 PMfellow alums to reach out to.

The filters include:
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  • Where they live
  • Where they work
  • What they do
  • What they studied
  • What they are skilled at
  • How are you connected

Once you have selected your filters on the University's Career Insights page by clicking the bar above your desired selections, LinkedIn displays a mini profile for everyone who meets your filtering criteria. Without leaving the page, you can send a message to any first-degree connections or use a personalized message to invite anyone on the list to join your network. Pretty cool, don’t you think? I am amazed that this is still free.

Some of the searching capabilities have always been available through general people searching, but it is much easier to do it here.

If you’ve been looking for a way to sort people by age range, this is your ticket. If you sell products or services to a targeted age group, use the dates attended or year graduated feature on the top right to find alumni who are probably in that age range. Granted, it isn’t exactly an age search because not everyone gets an undergrad degree at age 22, but it should still provide some valuable information.

Use the Search alumni by title, keyword or company box to really zero in on the right alums to reach out to.

I think after you test drive the Alumni feature, it will become one of your favorites. And I love success stories. Let me know how reconnecting with fellow alums helps you and your business.

If you'd like me to show you other hard-to-find, "can't miss" LinkedIn features, help you formulate your personal LinkedIn strategy, plus provide an in-depth critique of your LinkedIn profile, sign up for a one-hour, one-on-one consultation with me for the significantly reduced rate of $175.

Book your personal session today at https://calendly.com/waynebreitbarth/special1on1linkedinconsult.

Do You Look Like an Expert on LinkedIn or Just a Bragger?

Posted on August 4, 2017
Wayne Breitbarth

A few years back my mom said, I thought I taught you that bragging is not nice! I Screen Shot 2017-08-04 at 4.48.22 PMlooked at your LinkedIn thing, and you're tooting your horn all over the place.

Well, there definitely is a fine line between being real and authentic on your LinkedIn profile and appearing boastful or pretentious. However, it's extremely important to clearly show people why you are expert at what you do and share valuable information with your network.

As a guy who looks at probably a hundred profiles each week, I can definitively tell you that most people are not displaying and sharing enough information, and this puts them at a distinct disadvantage when someone is comparing them to others in the same or similar position.

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Best ways to use LinkedIn to display and share your expertise

If you need to beef up your profile and boost your presence on LinkedIn, here are seven simple ways to accomplish that without getting scolded by your mom.

1.  Recommendations. It does take time to secure recommendations, but it will be worth the effort, because nothing is better than someone else saying you're the best. It will differentiate you from others when people are comparing you to your competitors, and you'll undoubtedly receive lots of positive comments about the quality of your recommendations—which should lead to new business.

2.  Skills and related endorsements. Even though this feature has caused a lot of confusion (and rightly so), it still has great value. You can display what you're expert at, and, if done correctly, it will help you get to the top of the list when people are looking for your products, services, and expertise.

Screen Shot 2017-08-01 at 10.19.58 AM3.  Adding media (available in the Summary, Experience and Education sections of your profile). These are great places to display or link to documents (Word, Excel and pdf), video, Power Point presentations, blog entries, and photos that allow the readers to see for themselves the depth of your expertise.

4. Separate job experience entry for industry leadership position. If you hold or have held an office or position in an industry related association or organization, highlight that fact by adding an additional current or past job experience entry to your profile. Share specific details about your responsibilities. Also, if you're a speaker at your association's events or a contributor to their newsletter or blog, share that as well.

Screen Shot 2017-08-01 at 10.21.43 AM5.  Accomplishments profile sections. Don't be bashful about adding these special profile sections and including details related to each entry. Remember—you're the only one who is going to tell your story. Also, if you don't list any accomplishments on your profile, people may assume you don't have any accomplishments!

6.  Individual status updates. Because everyone in your network will not receive or read every status update you post, share your best resources regularly. This also gives Screen Shot 2017-08-01 at 10.24.10 AMpeople who are new to your network an opportunity to see your best stuff.

7.  Publish an article. This is the newest way to share your thought leadership. It's like having your own blog, and your network is notified whenever you post an article. And because it stays on your profile, people will see your expertise on display whenever they visit your profile.

Don't let your competitors get an advantage over you on LinkedIn. Be real and authentic as you proudly display who you are and what you have to offer—and hopefully your mom will say, That's my awesome kid!

Is Your LinkedIn Network Made Up of the Right People?

Posted on July 30, 2017
Wayne Breitbarth

What percentage of your LinkedIn connections are in your target audience?

That's a question I've been asking the people who have taken advantage of my special $175, one-hour, one-on-one consultation in the last few months (see below for details). Here are the answers I get from the majority of the people:
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  • I don't know
  • Never thought about that
  • Maybe 10 to 15 percent

That tells me most people aren't being very strategic in adding connections to their LinkedIn network and maybe need a little tuneup on how to strategically grow their network.
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Who should be in your network?

Let's start with this idea. Connections are the gas in your LinkedIn tank, and every time you connect with someone on LinkedIn, it affects the quality of your network—just like the quality of the gas you purchase affects how your car runs. In other words, not all connections are created equal.Gas Prices

Most people add connections haphazardly, but to be highly successful on LinkedIn it's important to develop a strategy for growing a dynamic network that will help you reach your most ambitious goals.

Everyone's situation is unique, but here are some general suggestions that will help you understand what types of people you should connect with to strengthen your network and help you enhance your brand, find a job, assist your favorite nonprofit, or grow your business.
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Who can help you enhance your personal brand?
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  • People who have had similar career paths to yours
  • Leaders in your industry associations
  • Individuals who have large networks (LinkedIn or otherwise) concentrated in your region or industry
  • People who work for some of the well-respected companies in your region and industry
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Who can help you find a new job or advance your career?
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  • People who work in your industry and region
  • People who work for companies you are interested in
  • Recruiters who specialize in your industry
  • Consultants and experts in your industry
  • Human resources professionals who work at your target companies
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Who can help your favorite nonprofit thrive?
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  • People who volunteer for or sit on boards of similar nonprofits
  • Individuals who work at large corporations, foundations, etc. and tend to support nonprofits like yours
  • People who are involved in groups that have large volunteer pools (e.g., religious organizations, schools, clubs, etc.)
  • People who work for media outlets
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Who can help you generate sales leads, market your company's products and services, and grow your business?
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  • Individuals who are the direct decision-makers for the purchase of your products and services
  • People who are indirectly involved in the decision to purchase your products and services (strategic influencers or people from the company who weigh in on the decision)
  • High-ranking officers at the companies that purchase your products and services, even if they're not the direct decision-makers
  • Individuals who hang around with the people listed in the first two bullets (probably deliver similar services to the same purchasers)
  • People who are recognized industry experts
  • Leaders of your industry associations and/or people who manage industry events
  • Individuals who are well networked in your region or industry
  • Experts who provide educational content for the industry

If you strategically improve the quality of your LinkedIn network by connecting with the above-referenced people, you'll be better positioned to enhance your brand, find a job, assist your favorite nonprofit, or grow your business.

If you'd like to get my expert advice on your personal connection strategy and answers to your LinkedIn questions plus an in-depth critique of your LinkedIn profile, sign up for a one-hour one-on-one consultation with me for the significantly reduced rate of $175.

Book your personal session today at https://calendly.com/waynebreitbarth/special1on1linkedinconsult.

LinkedIn Helps You Celebrate Your Big Day

Posted on July 23, 2017
Wayne Breitbarth

LinkedIn loves to help you celebrate your birthday, work anniversary or job change—but what does this LinkedIn love look like?

Group of friends having fun with sparklers

By a high priority notification, LinkedIn drives many of your connections to your LinkedIn profile. And because profile views, especially from the right folks, often lead to good things, this is an awesome gift from LinkedIn.

Of course, now you're wondering, what can I do to take advantage of the upcoming celebration?
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Before the celebration

Get your profile ready for visitors. Be sure your Headline, Summary (especially the first 200 characters), your Current Job Experience entry, your Education entries, and your Accomplishments sections are up to date and document the following:
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  • Promotions and additional responsibilities
  • Specific job-related results and projects
  • Specific industry courses, certifications and degrees
  • Honors and awards
  • Leadership positions in industry-related organizations

Consider writing a long-form post on LinkedIn to share your latest thoughts on current events at your company and/or in your industry.

Like, share or comment on important updates from influential people or industry associations.
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During the celebration

When people take the time to congratulate you, be sure to not only say "thanks" but also assess whether setting up a phone call, meeting, or sending an email or LinkedIn message could lead to a mutually beneficial relationship in the future.
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After the celebration

For a week or so after the event, review your "Who's Viewed Your Profile" listing and message feed often, and send a note to anyone who has congratulated you and might be able to help you accomplish your goals in the future.
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There you have it—easy ways to turn your big day (birthday, job anniversary or job change) into a positive networking event.

If you'd like to learn about other simple LinkedIn strategies to advance your business or career and receive an in-depth critique of your LinkedIn profile, sign up for a one-hour one-on-one consultation with me for only $175. Book your personal session at
https://calendly.com/waynebreitbarth/special1on1linkedinconsult.

What is the Real Opportunity for Companies on LinkedIn?

Posted on July 16, 2017
Wayne Breitbarth

LinkedIn has tremendous value for individual people to improve their brand and increase the size and quality of their network. But from Japanese Cat Islanda company's viewpoint, the value proposition is sometimes not quite as obvious, because LinkedIn was designed as an individual-centric platform.

However, as a business leader, imagine what benefits your company could derive from the site if you could, as they say, "herd the cats" and get your employees' profiles consistent and accurate as they relate to your company.

To help business leaders corral this potential value, I have written an eBook titled "10 LinkedIn Mistakes Companies Make and How to Fix Them Before They Damage Your Company's Reputation."

In the eBook I address common mistakes, provide solutions, and give 3D Ebook 2nd Ed Cover-01tips for using LinkedIn to grow revenues, find new employees and suppliers, and maintain a consistent brand in the ever-changing online world.
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How many of these mistakes are you and your company making?

1.  Unprofessional or poor quality employee profile photos—or, worse yet, no photo at all

2.  Sharing incorrect or inconsistent information about the company

3.  Poor participation—all company employees are not on LinkedIn

4.  Failing to keyword optimize employee profiles and company page

5.  Sharing poor status updates—or failing to use this powerful tool

6.  Not using LinkedIn to search for customers, employees, suppliers, strategic partners, etc.

7.  Failing to monitor employees' profiles and activity as well as what's being said about the company through LinkedIn

8.  Not joining or participating in LinkedIn groups—particularly significant industry groups and customers' industry groups

9.  Underutilizing the features and tools available on the company page—or not even having a company page

10. Having a woefully inadequate corporate social media policy—or none at all

To learn how to address the mistakes you're making, download your FREE copy of the eBook by clicking here.

For additional LinkedIn B2B company strategies, check out this article from Greg Mischio, my friend and principal at Winbound , The Ideal LinkedIn Strategy for a Small Marketing Department. 

Is it Time to Dust Off Your LinkedIn Connections?

Posted on July 8, 2017
Wayne Breitbarth

Are you collecting LinkedIn connections like you used to collect baseball cards? And are they just sitting there, like that box filled with baseball cards that's gathering dust in the closet?Old Baseball Cards

Well, it's time to take action and use LinkedIn to maximize those relationships. Follow these six simple steps to create a win-win situation for you and your network.
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Step 1:  Define with whom you want to go deeper

Your LinkedIn network is made up of many types of people, and they've become part of your network for differing reasons. Start by choosing the people with whom you'd most like to meet or have a conversation.

For help with this, check out my worksheet Finding Your LinkedIn Target Audience (see below).

 


Special Offer

If you'd like me to provide a detailed critique of your profile and help you develop a winning LinkedIn strategy, be sure to take advantage of my July special offer: A one-hour, one-on-one consultation for just $175 (50% off my regular fee).

This consultation will take place on the phone, and I will share my computer screen with you. There are limited spots available, so don't delay. Book yours today by clicking here.


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Step 2:  Make a list of typical keywords they would have on their profile

What combination of keywords could you use to filter your entire network down to the perfect list? These would be words your target audience might include on their profile, like:
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  • Titles
  • Company name
  • Location
  • Schools attended
  • Industry
  • Certifications
  • Educational majors
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Step 3:  Perform a "connection only" LinkedIn advanced people search

Screen Shot 2017-07-03 at 2.31.52 PMPut your cursor into the Search box in the top toolbar. Then choose the last entry in the drop-down list, Search for people with filters. Next, check "1st" under Filter people by Connections.

Now that you have a listing of your complete first-level network, additional filters are available in the right-hand column to narrow that list.

You'll find the Keyword filter to be quite valuable, but you'll need to click the down arrow to uncover all the available keyword options.

Be sure to take advantage of the other filters, too, including locations, current and past companies, industries, etc.Screen Shot 2017-07-03 at 2.35.44 PM
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Step 4:  Set a search alert

Once you have completed a search that gives you a really good list of the right people, Screen Shot 2017-07-03 at 2.37.39 PMclick the Create search alert box. LinkedIn will then email you weekly with any additional people who meet your defined search criteria.
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Step 5:  Send a message offering your help

After you review the full profile of someone on this list that you're interested in chatting with, send a direct LinkedIn message and thank the person for being part of your network. If the person is merely a casual acquaintance, remind him/her how you came to know each other. Then mention ways you might be able to collaborate or help each other. You may even want to include a time that you're available for a meeting or phone call.

The easiest way to send a direct message is to click the Message button on their profile. You can also include attachments and links in this message to give your connection additional information.
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Step 6:  Set the appropriate follow-up

Your connection may not be ready to meet or chat right now, but that doesn't mean he or she won't be interested in having a discussion with you in the future. Consider setting up some type of follow-up reminder for yourself in whatever system you use.

Your LinkedIn network should be one of your most treasured business assets, not simply a "dusty" digital collection of random people. Once you follow the six simple steps outlined above, you'll realize just how valuable your network can be for accomplishing your most ambitious business goals.

Finding Your LinkedIn Target Audience Worksheet

Download (PDF, 130KB)

You’ve Gotta Download These 2 FREE LinkedIn Tools!

Posted on June 17, 2017
Wayne Breitbarth

If you use Google Chrome as your preferred browser to access LinkedIn, here are two FREE add-ons (Google calls these extensions) that I know you're going to love. If you don't use Chrome, you may want to switch so you can have access to these two very helpful tools.
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Dux-Soup Extension

Once you download Dux-Soup to your computer, you'll be able toScreen Shot 2017-06-14 at 6.10.54 PM keep confidential notes about the person whose profile you're viewing, and the person doesn't even have to be connected to you.

You can also assign one or more custom tags to the person and then sort your connections by that tag. Of course, as with most free apps, there's an upgraded version you pay a monthly fee for, but I don't think you'll need to upgrade.

To get more details about Dux-Soup, click here.

To download Dux-Soup to your computer, click here.
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Hunter

The second one is called Hunter. This one is really simple. After you download it on your Screen Shot 2017-06-14 at 6.13.38 PMcomputer, a big, red Hunter button shows up on profiles you're viewing. After you click the button, Hunter will try to find the person's email address and then tell you how confident it is that the address is correct.

To get more details on Hunter, click here.

To download Hunter to your computer, click here.

I use these two tools all the time and find them to be extremely valuable. However, as with most free apps and add-ons, they can disappear at any time. So download them today and cash in on these amazing—and free—tools.