Hello, Everyone:
This week’s tip is a special edition that is going out to my entire subscription list because of its importance and the time-sensitive nature of the two items I want to cover.  The first is a fairly significant procedural change that LinkedIn recently enacted, and the second is a security warning you need to be aware of.

Let’s start with a bit of an overall philosophical discussion.  For those of us who have been on LinkedIn for some time now, we have seen several waves of changes to the functionality along with changes in the layout—how our accounts look.  As a Baby Boomer, most of these changes really bothered me initially.  Are you surprised that my wife says I am turning into my dad more every day?  But most times, once I get used to them, they seem to be enhancements to the already powerful tool that LinkedIn is.  You can tell by the design of the changes that LinkedIn is constantly trying to improve their product but at the same time trying to increase their revenue stream by encouraging people to switch from the free account to one of the paid options. After all, LinkedIn, like the rest of us, needs to make a buck to stay in business.  I know I am preaching to the choir on the importance of this point, especially in this very competitive economic situation we find ourselves in currently.  

Okay—now to the change.  Prior to last week, if you were on the free account, when you did a keyword-driven people search (which is the most used feature on LinkedIn based on my user surveys), you had the ability to see the names of the people you found as long as they were either a 1st, 2nd or 3rd degree connection or in one of your groups.  With this new change, unless you upgrade to a newly established executive level paid account, you will only get the first name and the last initial of anyone who is in your 3rd degree or in groups.  In other words, Wayne Breitbarth will now be Wayne B (See Full Name).  The good news is the full last name is the only thing they have taken away.  You still get the rest of the profile. The regular price for the executive level account is $99.95 per month, but until October 19 it is on sale for $59.95 per month.

As you probably know by now, I am not short on opinions or advice about LinkedIn or anything else for that matter.  So, what is a person to think or do about this change when your initial thought is “No way am I paying $99.95 a month for LinkedIn”?  I am just starting to finally figure out how this thing works, and I am not about to write a check every month for something I am still not sure is bringing me new opportunities and ultimately business.  So here are your choices as I see them:
1.      Sign up for the executive account and get this feature back, along with other features, including 25 InMails per month.  InMails are presently $10 apiece. Thus, if you have a need for the 25 InMails, that alone would be a $250 value each month.  You can see the details of this account at: https://www.linkedin.com/secure/purchase?displayProducts=&_ra=sub&ups=name&_pt=sub&trk=lnl_learn_highconn

2.      Save your money, and whenever you see a 3rd degree you want to contact, just use the information you are given (full profile with first name and last initial) and call, email or request an introduction, and see where it gets you.

3.      Call up one of your 1st degree connections and ask him/her to search for this person and find out what the person’s name is, since this person will be a 2nd to him/her.

4.      Use a thing people refer to as “X-ray searching on LinkedIn.”  See how this fairly complex LinkedIn backdoor step works, using your Internet browser only, at: http://www.booleanblackbelt.com/2010/09/bing-beats-google-for-the-best-way-to-x-ray-search-linkedin/.  I have never used this but have heard that once you have figured it out, it works pretty well. It seems a bit complicated to me, and I do not know how effective it will be with the current change LinkedIn has made.  Let me know if you find it to be the magical elixir.
In any case, keep in mind that the bigger your network is, the more effective LinkedIn will be for you because you will have more 1st and 2nd degree connections.  So continue to find and make more 1st degree connections—remembering that they should be people you know and trust (unless you have made a strategic decision to connect with people who do not meet that criteria).
The second item I wanted to bring to your attention is there appears to be another round of virus-filled fake LinkedIn email notifications that may be coming to an email inbox near you.  After doing some research on what people are sharing about this, the bottom line is to avoid clicking on the link unless you mouse over the link and you see that it is taking you to LinkedIn.com and not some other website, especially one with a “.info” link.  The other tip-off that it might not be real is if your name does not follow the “To:”  

Miscellaneous News and Notes--


Some of the other resources I provide are:

•       Customized corporate training classes
•       Keynote and workshop presentations for conventions and association meetings
•       Corporate social media strategy consulting
•       For Sale:  LinkedIn training DVDs for beginners and intermediate users
•       For daily tips, follow me on Twitter at:  http://twitter.com/WayneBreitbarth

Here is my upcoming schedule for teaching/speaking so you can share with friends, relatives and business associates.  Follow link or paste into your browser for additional details and registration information.

Sat Oct 16, 2010         Wayne's Power Formula Training for Beginners

                                  M&M Office Interiors; 8:30 AM - 11:00 AM

Mon Oct 25, 2010        Intermediate LinkedIn Power Formula Training
                                  M&M Office Interiors; 5:00 PM - 7:30 PM

Thurs Nov 11, 2011      Wayne's Power Formula Training for Beginners
                                  M&M Office Interiors; 5:00 PM - 7:30 PM

I hope you have a great week.


Wayne C. Breitbarth
M&M Office Interiors, Inc.
W233 N2833 Roundy Circle West Suite 100
Pewaukee, WI  53072

office 262-781-2600
cell 414-313-7785