Power Formula LinkedIn Blog

Are the Right People Waiting to Hear From You on LinkedIn?

Posted on December 1, 2018
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.

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.
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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.
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Who's Viewed Your Profile

View 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.

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.
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Inbound Invitations to Connect

Don'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 mobile device 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 Calling You on LinkedIn? 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.
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SPECIAL OFFER

For more simple strategies to improve your LinkedIn ROI, along with a detailed critique of your profile, be sure to take advantage of my limited time offer: a one-hour, one-on-one phone consultation for just $197 (this is a significant reduction off my regular fee).

I will share my computer screen with you during the call and send you a marked-up copy of your profile prior to the call.

Whether you’re using LinkedIn to find your next high-impact customer, raise your organization’s profile, or land the job of your dreams, this session is for you.

There are limited spots available, so don't delay. Book your session today by clicking here.

 

How to Use LinkedIn to Tell the World About Your Favorite Nonprofit

Posted on November 18, 2018
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.

But 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.
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Good   turkey drumsticks revised

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

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  • Add to your profile the special section Volunteer Experience and include not only detail about the nonprofit but promote the general cause as well.
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  • Engage in a conversation posted in a LinkedIn group by a staff member about an upcoming event or activity.
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  • Comment on one of the individual status updates or published posts from the staff.
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  •  Comment on one of the organization's company page status updates.
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  • Share with your network some of the organization's status updates that highlight upcoming events or volunteer activities.
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Best    turkey drumsticks revised turkey drumsticks revised turkey drumsticks revised

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  • 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.
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  • Add media to your profile to highlight their mission and programs. Include video, slide presentations or documents. This screenshot shows an example of how I've done this on my profile.
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  • Use one of the three websites LinkedIn allows you to list on your profile for a hyperlink directly to the organization's website.
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  • Include in your Summary section a special paragraph to describe why this organization is important to you.
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  • 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.
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  • 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.

 

How to Get Results on LinkedIn in Just 15 Minutes

Posted on November 9, 2018
Wayne Breitbarth

Because of all the changes taking place on LinkedIn, people are frequently asking me what they should be doing each day for maximum LinkedIn success. So today I'm going to give you a 15-minute daily to do list.

If you want more help with time management on LinkedIn, you can find many of these daily ideas—along with weekly, monthly and quarterly to do lists—in one of the most popular chapters in my book, Ready...Set...Go: A Six-Week, Two-Hour-Per-Week Roadmap to Results.
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Your daily 15-minute LinkedIn to do list

These four critical steps should take you no more than 15 minutes—and if completed consistently, they should bring you quantifiable LinkedIn results.

1.  Review Who's Viewed Your Profile and reach out to the people you should be meeting (3 minutes).

Viewing your profile is the equivalent of walking into your store, so be sure to reach out and ask the person how you might be able to help him or her. This feature has some limits, depending on your personal settings and if you're paying for a premium account or not. Check out this article for a full discussion.

2.  Send invitations to join your LinkedIn network, using a custom invitation, to people you met (in person or on the phone) since the last time you sent out outbound invitations (5 minutes).

Making this part of your networking process or routine will help you in many different ways on LinkedIn. To get the inside scoop on adding gas (connections) to your LinkedIn tank, be sure to download a copy of my free article The LinkedIn Connection Conundrum: Who Should be in Your Network. Improving your search ranking on LinkedIn is all about connections, especially the right ones, and people you have already met are spot on.

Screen Shot 2017-03-02 at 8.44.06 AM3.  Review all the important information in your Notifications Tab (4 minutes).

This tab on the new LinkedIn desktop is awesome. It puts all the most relevant information about you and your connections in one convenient place. For a deeper discussion of this feature, check out this article on the Notifications tab.

4.  Take time to review all of your inbound invitations to connect (3 minutes).

That's right—take a little Screen Shot 2017-03-02 at 8.42.05 AMtime. Don't just quickly click Accept or Ignore. My suggestion is to first read all the messages that people took the time to write in their connection request and respond accordingly.

Also, look at the profiles of the people you may want to follow up with, looking for areas of commonality or opportunity. Remember—these people took the first step, and it's your job to figure out what the next step should or could be.

Of course, there will be people who attempt to connect with you that are probably spammers and others whom you simply see no reason to have them in your network. Don't hesitate to click Ignore in these cases.

Make sure you find 15 minutes in your day to accomplish these four tasks, because it will undoubtedly lead to new and deeper relationships with people who can significantly impact your professional career.

Is the Experience Section of Your LinkedIn Profile Hurting You?

Posted on November 4, 2018
Wayne Breitbarth

Whether you're a thirty-year business development professional using LinkedIn to help hit your numbers each and every quarter, just graduating from college and hoping LinkedIn will help you find your first great job, or anything in between, the Experience sections of your profile could make or break you.

You may be wondering where the heck are the Experience sections on my profile—all I remember seeing is a Jobs section. Well, they are one and the same.
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10 ways to spruce up your Experience section

This is prime real estate. LinkedIn gives you 2,000 characters for every job you've had. Here's how you can tell your unique branding story, include your most important keywords, and take full advantage of this section.

1.   It's more than a list. Describe job duties in a way that will explain and add interest and credibility to your story. Don't simply list what you did. Remember—on LinkedIn you're being compared to other people who do the same thing you do; so the goal here is to impress the reader and stand out from the crowd.

Below each experience entry you can upload media or point to websites that include:
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  • Examples of your work
  • Written or video testimonials
  • Presentations you have made

Learn more about using media to set yourself apart from your competitors by reading my article Here's How to Give Your LinkedIn Profile that Wow Factor.

2.   What are your strengths? Be sure to include accomplishments that show your diverse experience and your ability to get important stuff done. If you can be specific with statistics and/or results, all the better.

3.   Did you get promoted? Add a separate Experience entry for all promotions you received at each job.

4.   Tie the past to the present. Highlight the traits, characteristics, responsibilities, and results from your past jobs that most closely align with your current situation. Help the reader understand how your past experience makes you a better fit today.

5.   Describe the type of customers you serve/served. You could even include a killer quote from one of your clients that you extracted from either a LinkedIn recommendation or a letter of recommendation.

6.   Include descriptive titles. Take advantage of all the characters available (100 max) in your Experience title. This is fertile keyword soil. For example, one of my job titles, CEO | Social Media Trainer and Strategy Consultant (specializing in LinkedIn), I could have simply said CEO, but this is a much better description of what I do, plus the extra keywords (social media, strategy, consultant, LinkedIn) will help people find me.

7.   Keywords are key. Keywords, keywords, keywords. Oh—and did I mention keywords? If you need help identifying your best keywords and understanding where to put them, download my free LinkedIn Keyword Worksheet.

8.   Order is important. If you want to display multiple current jobs, like the work you are doing with your favorite nonprofit or industry association board in addition to your "day job" (I highly recommend doing this), then simply reorder the entries in your current Experience section.

Do this by holding down the move icon (four horizontal lines) on the right of the actual experience entry and moving up or down to the order you prefer.

9.   Grammar matters. Write this section in Word, check out the character count, run spelling and grammar checks, and then save and paste into your profile.

10.  Would I hire me? Let some time pass; then review your entries and ask yourself: Will reading this inspire someone to want to hire me as an employee or as a vendor of choice?

Is there a difference between the words experience and jobs? You bet there is, and I hope you now understand how to use the Experience section of your profile as a strategic weapon.

If you would like my professional opinion on your Experience section, as well as the rest of your profile, then take advantage of my specially priced $197 LinkedIn consultation.

This consultation will take place on the phone, and I'll share my desktop screen with you. I will perform a detailed critique of your profile and email your marked-up profile to you prior to our session. Click here to book your time.

Here are a few comments from my recent clients:

"Great job offer received via LinkedIn only two days after consulting with Wayne!"

"He made the learning experience fun, interesting, and was a big help to me. It has increased my exposure almost two-fold in a couple weeks."

"I highly recommend Wayne's 1:1 LinkedIn coaching session. Per Wayne's guidance, I reached out to the SVP of Client Success for a company I saw a suitable role. I used language Wayne provided in our 1:1 session to initiate the contact...Since then I've had an initial interview and interacted with the SVP multiple times."

Don't miss your chance to get results like these. Book your time now by clicking here. Space is limited.

Are You Ignoring Your LinkedIn Connections?

Posted on October 27, 2018
Wayne Breitbarth

Are you collecting LinkedIn connections like you used to collect baseball cards? And are they just sitting there—like that box of baseball cards in the closet—gathering dust?

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).
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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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  • Title
  • Company name
  • Location
  • Schools attended
  • Industry
  • Certifications
  • Educational majors
  • Job functions
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Step 3:  Perform a "connection only" LinkedIn advanced people search

Put your cursor into the Search box in the top toolbar. Then choose Search for People from the drop-down list. Next, click All Filters in the top white toolbar and check "1st" under the Connections filter. Then click the blue Apply button on the top right.

Now that you have a listing of your complete first-level network, take advantage of all the additional filters that are available on this page, including locations, current and past companies, industries, etc.

In addition to the filters, you can enter keywords in the top search box to tighten the search down even further.
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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, click the Create search alert box. Then each week LinkedIn will email to you 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 the person's 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.
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Finding Your LinkedIn Target Audience Worksheet

Download (PDF, 130KB)

How to Enhance Your Company’s Brand With Your LinkedIn Profile

Posted on October 21, 2018
Wayne Breitbarth

Mitch Joel in his ground-breaking 2010 book “Six Pixels of Separation: Everyone is Connected. Connect Your Business to Everyone” said:

A company is no longer made up of anonymous people building one brand; rather, it is made up of many personal brands that are telling your one corporate-brand story in their own personal ways. 

This week I want to focus on how you can get your company's story in front of everyone who views your profile and sees what you're doing on LinkedIn.


Five ways to promote your company on LinkedIn

Whether you're a solopreneur or work for a Fortune 500 company, these tips will help you share your company's story with the LinkedIn community.

1.  Maximize your profile headline, summary, job experiences, and banner. Unless you work for Harley-Davidson, Ford Motor Company, etc., don't assume people know what products or services your company provides. Use your headline, summary, and job experience sections to tell people exactly what you do—and use your most important keywords. Too many people simply list their company name and miss out on this tremendous marketing opportunity.

Also, make sure your company logo is showing up on your profile as part of your current job experience entry. If it doesn't show up, it could be because your company doesn't have a LinkedIn company page or doesn't have a logo attached to their company page. Perhaps you are attached to the wrong company page or you added this job entry before your company had a logo on their company page.

To fix the latter two problems, go into your profile and re-enter your current company name. When LinkedIn prompts you with a list of company names, be sure you click the correct company.

Another great way to promote your company is to display their wares on your profile banner.

2.  Add media to your current job experience entry. It is very simple to add Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and pdf files as well as videos to highlight company accomplishments, projects, customer testimonials, awards, history, and products. I suggest you decide as an organization or sales team which of these documents/files will make the most impact, and then have all team members share those documents on their personal profiles. You can also reference these documents in the Summary section with something like “See the media link below to view our full line of products and specialties.”

To learn more about adding media to your profile, read "Here is a Really Easy Way to Spruce Up Your LinkedIn Profile."

3.  Take advantage of the Contact Info section of your profile. You can put three hyperlinks in this section. In addition to your company website, you could include product videos, email sign-up sites, surveys, etc. To encourage people to click the links, write an enticing description of each one (30 characters per link).

4.  Share Status Updates. LinkedIn power users consistently share company happenings, articles, white papers and expertise, and they also ask their network about potential new products and services.

LinkedIn has shared its research of what company page followers want to hear about, and here are the results:
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  • 60% of members are interested in industry insights
  • 53% are interested in company news
  • 43% are interested in new products and services

Even though this research related to company page status updates rather than personal status updates, I think you can make the leap that similar information is important to your network, especially people who connected with you because of your business relationship with them.

For more information on personal status updates, check out "LinkedIn Status Updates: The Rule Everyone Should Follow."

5.  Capitalize on the Published Posts feature. You can now share full-length articles. If you write articles that show your audience how your products and services address their needs, you will be positioning yourself and your company as thought leaders in your industry. When you hit the Publish button, your article will be automatically shared with some of your connections, and it will be permanently displayed on your profile.

Let me remind you that LinkedIn is mainly a personal branding and networking tool, but, when used strategically, you can obtain substantial results for your company as well.

 

SPECIAL OFFER

For more simple strategies to improve your LinkedIn ROI, along with a detailed critique of your profile, be sure to take advantage of my limited time offer: a one-hour, one-on-one phone consultation for just $197 (this is a significant reduction off my regular fee).

I will share my computer screen with you during the call and send you a marked-up copy of your profile prior to the call.

Whether you’re using LinkedIn to find your next high-impact customer, raise your organization’s profile, or land the job of your dreams, this session is for you.

There are limited spots available, so don't delay. Book your session today by clicking here.

 

With all the recent emphasis on LinkedIn endorsements, is it still important to have recommendations displayed on your profile?

This is currently a very common point of confusion on LinkedIn, and I'm here to clear up the confusion. The answer is you better believe it!
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LinkedIn Recommendations: The Secrets Revealed

This will not be the standard discussion of LinkedIn recommendations—how important they are and how you should strive to get a couple for each job entry on your profile. For "Recommendations 101," I suggest you pick up a copy of my book that includes an entire chapter on recommendations.

Here are some winning strategies relating to recommendations on your profile that you might not have considered.

1.  Your name appears on other people's profiles.

What better place to have your name and your job title show up than on the profile of a very important, well-respected individual in your town or industry. Talk about personal branding and increasing awareness of your brands—this really hits the target.

2.  The recommendations displayed in the Recommendations section of your profile can be used in other profile sections for increased exposure.

Currently LinkedIn displays the two most recently received recommendations in their entirety, which I really like, but the rest of them are typically not viewed because the reader needs to click Show more to see the entire list.

Action steps: Review all of your recommendations. Grab the most impactful quotes/statements, and include those in the Description section of any Job Experience entries to which they apply.

Another idea is to put together a document with a page full of your best quotes/statements, and add that as media in your Summary or applicable Job Experience entries.

Both of these strategies will encourage more people to read your very best recommendations and could move you ahead of your competitors.

3.  The number of recommendations you have and the keywords included in those recommendations are part of LinkedIn's search algorithm (their "secret sauce").

LinkedIn has shared that a couple of the important components of their "secret sauce" recipe (who gets picked up in a search and how high he or she appears) are the number of recommendations and the keywords that people are searching by and for. You don't have to like this or agree with it—just understand it and then make it work for you.

Action step: Go out and get lots of recommendations loaded with your most important keywords. This will help you move up in the search rankings when people are looking for someone like you.

4.  Recommendations can give you insight into how people think.

This one is from one of my former job-seeking friends (notice I said "former").

Prior to an interview, she reviewed the recommendations the interviewer had written for others. From this she learned that the interviewer appreciates attention to detail. Armed with this insight, my friend made a point of sharing with the interviewer all the wonderful real-life examples she had that pointed out her attention to detail. She got the job!

This process can also be used to learn what attributes are important to your potential customer, vendor, donor, employer, etc.

5.  Recommendations are one of the fuels of this new trust economy.

Pre-Internet, selecting the vendor of choice included lots of phone calls, meetings, brochures, proposals, interviews, presentations, more interviews, more presentations, etc. by almost every potential vendor in the market. Now think of how we do it in the Internet age: Google, Google, and more Google.

I am not saying that all the steps I mentioned are no longer part of the process, but by reviewing company websites, business and product review websites, comparison shopping websites, blogs, and all the other social media sites, we are able to eliminate vendors before we ever actually contact them.

You may be thinking, sure, Wayne, but all those recommendations you got are written by people who like your products and services. No one ever writes a bad one—and if they did, who would let it be posted on his or her profile anyway.

That may be true, but would you want all those recommendations on your competitors' profiles instead of yours?

So get busy and seek out some impressive recommendations from your customers, clients, vendors, professors, anyone who can attest to how great you and your products or services are. It will make you stand out from the crowd and help you land your next business or career opportunity.
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SPECIAL OFFER

For more simple strategies to improve your LinkedIn ROI, along with a detailed critique of your profile, be sure to take advantage of my limited time offer: a one-hour, one-on-one phone consultation for just $197 (this is a significant reduction off my regular fee).

I will share my computer screen with you during the call and send you a marked-up copy of your profile prior to the call.

Whether you’re using LinkedIn to find your next high-impact customer, raise your organization’s profile, or land the job of your dreams, this session is for you.

There are limited spots available, so don't delay. Book your session today by clicking here.

 

Here Is How To Make LinkedIn Part Of Your 2019 Success Plan

Posted on October 6, 2018
Site Administrator

Are you starting to put your game plan together for 2019? Is LinkedIn part of that plan? 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 2019 they become part of your weekly routine.
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2019 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 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. Then 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, 2.66MB)

Are You Finding that No One is Listening to You on LinkedIn?

Posted on September 28, 2018
Wayne Breitbarth

"Lately I seem to have a much lower level of engagement (views, likes, comments or shares) on the articles I'm writing and the things I'm posting on LinkedIn."

I hear this frequently from my consulting clients as well as people in my LinkedIn network. They want to know why this is happening and how they can get back to "the good old days."

First, more people are writing and sharing than ever before on LinkedIn, so the news feed is getting more crowded. Secondly, because LinkedIn has set up an algorithm to decide what information goes into people's feeds, not everything you share goes into every one of your connections' feeds. Check out this article to get more details about how the algorithm works.

Because fewer people are receiving your articles and status updates, it's more important than ever to share the type of information your network is most likely to find useful and thus share, like or comment on—or, better yet, directly engage with you.

Because I understand that might be easier said than done, here are some ideas and resources that have worked for me and my clients and may help you, too, get the amount of engagement you got "back in the day."
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Strategies to increase engagement with your LinkedIn posts

In addition to the suggestions below, feel free to check out LinkedIn's helpful guide Sharing Content on LinkedIn–Best Practices.

Make sure your content is relevant and interesting to your target audience. The topics or questions you've discussed with your clients and professional associates this week are probably on the minds of your network as well. Therefore, this is the type of helpful information you should be sharing. Personally, this is how I choose the topics for my weekly LinkedIn email and blog.

Be sure your post is visually interesting and appealing. When you share something on LinkedIn, make sure you post an image—or if you're sharing a link, be sure the visual that is populated from the web page is interesting. Also, LinkedIn seems to be giving feed algorithm preference to video right now; so sharing any form of video will typically result in higher engagement than simple text.

Take advantage of hashtags. Hashtags are like a filing system for all content shared on LinkedIn. Thus, if you don't include them, your content may not be included in the mix. Be sure to include several relevant keyword hashtags at the end of your comments or weave a few into the comments themselves. LinkedIn will also suggest hashtags you could select that may apply to the topic of your post.

You can find more details about the use of hashtags here.

Draw individuals to the post by mentioning them. LinkedIn now allows you to tag or mention (using the "@" operator) individuals or companies that may be mentioned in the article or video you're sharing or that you want to be sure see your post. Because the individual or company is notified when you use the Mentions feature, they may be inclined to engage with your post.

You can get more information on the specifics of LinkedIn's Mentions feature by clicking here.

Respond to their engagement when it is your turn to do so. If you get notified that someone commented on or shared your posts, be sure to "like" their comment or share and thank them for doing so. Don't just type "Thanks for sharing, Wayne" but use the Mentions feature, and grab their name as part of the thank you by adding the "@" sign ahead of their name. Then when their name shows up on the drop-down list, click it, and LinkedIn will populate their name in the comment. In addition, that populated name is now a hyperlink to their profile, and they'll be notified that you mentioned them.

Ask a question or elicit an opinion. That sounds pretty simple, but I've found that if you ask people their opinion on something you've shared, you'll get responses from some of the people in your audience.

Sharing is caring. If the information you are sharing is something that comes with a very high value at a fairly low or no cost (e.g., a free webinar, download, etc.), then why not simply ask readers to hit the Share button and share it with their network—and don't be surprised when they do.

Implement these strategies, and watch engagement with your posts increase—and hopefully it will result in lots of calls, meetings, and productive email exchanges like in the "good old days."

 

What Are You Missing by NOT Paying for LinkedIn?

Posted on September 13, 2018
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"Is it worth it to start paying for a premium LinkedIn account?"

I can always count on hearing this question during the Q&A portion of my LinkedIn presentations.

My latest LinkedIn user survey showed 20 percent of respondents have upgraded to one of the paid LinkedIn accounts—up from 15 percent a few years ago. More people are discovering specific features that work well for them, and they upgrade because they want more of those goodies. After five years of using a free account, I personally upgraded to a paid account in 2013.

To view a chart that outlines the additional features you will receive with the various types of paid accounts, do an internet search for “LinkedIn premium options.”
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Who typically should upgrade to a paid LinkedIn account?

Consider moving to one of the paid accounts if you are:
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  • A human resources professional
  • A recruiter
  • A sales professional who uses LinkedIn extensively for business development purposes
  • Someone who consistently runs into the screen that says you should upgrade

If you are regularly seeing the screen that suggests you should upgrade, you are probably using a LinkedIn feature that is working for you, and you may want to consider upgrading to one of the paid accounts. For example, if you like to send InMails, prefer to do an unlimited number of searches or would like to have more saved search alerts, you may want to upgrade your LinkedIn account.

In general, I do not recommend moving to a paid account unless you fall into one of the four categories listed above. However, in order to encourage more of us to pay for LinkedIn on a monthly basis, there will undoubtedly be more and more valuable new features available exclusively to premium members.
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Features available to premium members

This is certainly not an exhaustive list of LinkedIn’s premium features, but here are a few features you might find useful:

More saved search alerts. The free account includes three saved searches. Many power users (including me) find this feature to be extremely valuable and well worth the money.

Longer list of search results. You get up to 100 results on the free account, but a longer list could mean more leads and thus more income.

Who’s Viewed Your Profile? With a free account, you can only see the last five people who have scoped you out. An upgraded account lets you see everyone who’s looked at your profile (unless they’ve blocked their name) in the last 90 days. This is one of the main reasons I finally broke down and upgraded my account.

Additional advanced search filters. I especially like being able to filter by company size.

InMails. An InMail is a direct message you can send to people who are not part of your first-level network. The number of InMails you are allotted per month varies based on the type of premium account you purchase, but you can purchase additional InMails for $10 each. However, before buying an InMail, be sure to check if you are in a group with your target, because common group membership enables you to send a free message. Also, if the recipient of your InMail replies within seven days, LinkedIn gives you a $10 credit.

The cost of InMails may seem a little steep, but many people find the extra income that results from response to their InMails actually covers the cost of their upgraded account.

Only you can determine whether a premium account will be worth your investment. Personally, I’m currently on the Sales Navigator Professional version, and I’m happy I upgraded my account because I’ve gotten quite a bit of new business by contacting people who have viewed my profile and sending InMails to people outside my network.

But if you choose to upgrade and later decide you’re not getting as much value as you’d like from your premium account, it’s easy to cancel your subscription and return to a free account. However, please note that if you pay for your subscription annually (rather than monthly) to save money and you want to return to a free account or move to a different premium level, LinkedIn will not refund your money.

If you'd like to learn more about the very best Sales Navigator features, check out my article "Is LinkedIn Sales Navigator Worth the Money?"

So, as you can see, the answer to whether it is worth the money to start paying for LinkedIn is yes, no or maybe. For me, it's definitely worth it, because I do a lot of searches for prospecting purposes.

If you'd like a personal tour and evaluation of Sales Navigator, sign up here for one of my specially priced $197 one-on-one, one-hour LinkedIn consultations.

I will share my computer screen with you during the call and send you a critiqued copy of your profile prior to the call.

There are limited spots available, so don't delay. Book your session today by clicking here.