It's that time of year when I am bombarded with requests for my predictions about what is ahead for LinkedIn.

Rather than predict how many times they're going to change the profile, what new features they'll add or remove, and how long they'll take to roll out the new features, I'm going to make one overarching prediction for 2020:

The gap between people and companies that really understand LinkedIn and are seeing results and those that don't get it and aren't seeing results will continue to widen—to the point where some people will actually give up and may even abandon the site.

If you're in the latter group, let me say it's okay! There are other ways to accomplish the five things that LinkedIn is really good at—marketing, branding, networking, communicating, and researching people—so move on to some other methods that feel right to you.

But if you want to use LinkedIn to accomplish any or all of those five tasks, here are some best practices to kickstart your new year. I've also included a few questions to help you discover where you should focus your efforts to improve your results.

Compose and Curate

By looking at the changes that took place in the last couple of years, it's clear that LinkedIn is sticking with their overall desire to be the definitive platform for all business information and learning. This expectation and the tools they have given us (publishing long-form articles, sharing updates, videos, media, and notifications) put each of us—and the companies we work for—in the driver's seat for writing and sharing.

  • Have you and/or your company identified the in-house experts who have the knowledge and ability to publish (written, video or audio) and share information that will show the world you're experts in your industry?
  • Also, have you identified other industry experts whose information you can share with your network?

Connect and Categorize

Connections are the gas in your LinkedIn tank, and, just like the different types of gas at the gas station, you can select the higher octane for better performance. Consistently adding more of the right gas to your LinkedIn tank will improve your performance. Also, coming up with a system to categorize your connections—both at the individual level and the company level—will pay off when it comes to communicating with your network.

  • Have you documented the types of people you want to connect with?
  • Once you have made a LinkedIn connection, do you have a system in place to categorize that person by the types of information he or she may want to receive from you and your company?

Coordinate and Capitalize

Consistency is one of the cornerstones of a good marketing strategy. By coordinating your team's efforts, you can amplify your marketing message and reach a much larger audience. This can be done by promoting the use of the correct keywords and consistent branding statements as well as leveraging group activities and posting/sharing.

Leverage your existing marketing assets (brochures, video, white papers, case studies, podcasts, etc.) by displaying and sharing them both on your individual LinkedIn profile and your company page.

  • Have you developed a consistent LinkedIn company guideline yet?
  • Has your company provided a LinkedIn training session, including an open discussion of best practices already being used by you or members of your team?
  • Have you taken an inventory of the marketing and educational assets already in place and put together a plan to expand the inventory in 2020?

If these LinkedIn best practices are not something you feel you can implement, then get busy and find other ways to grow your business in the new year. But capitalize on these best practices, and you're bound to see extraordinary results in 2020.

If you have a specific LinkedIn challenge or you need help developing a LinkedIn strategy that will skyrocket your earnings in the new year, let's set up a consulting call, a webinar for your team, or maybe a live event for your company and/or your clients. Feel free to contact me directly at