Power Formula LinkedIn Blog

It’s Easy to Recruit for FREE on LinkedIn

Posted on March 10, 2019
Wayne Breitbarth

LinkedIn's massive database of over 600 million people probably includes many, if not all, of the hard to find, specially qualified and trained people your organization is looking for.

I feel very confident in that statement, and I demonstrate each and every week when I consult with business professionals around the world.

To help you find and reach out to your next great employee, I've put together the following list of tips.

If you're in job-seeking mode, this list will be extremely valuable for you, too, because it will help you understand how companies are looking for you and what steps you can take to increase your chances of being found on LinkedIn.
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Eight Ways to Use LinkedIn to Find Your Next Great Employee

Please note that all of the techniques outlined here can be accomplished with a free LinkedIn account.

1. Personal Status Update. Use a status update to ask your network if they know of anyone who is qualified for the position you are attempting to fill. After all, this is your network, and the people in your network know you well and understand the nature of your company. If someone in your network is aware of a prospective candidate, he/she should be able to quickly introduce you to the candidate.

This is the easiest and most efficient way to find your next hire. That being said, I would not post this question in your Share a post box every day, but try to limit this question to a couple times per week at different times of the day, maybe even once on the weekend.

This kind of update should be done by the person whose LinkedIn network includes the most people who might be qualified for the position you're trying to fill. For instance, if you're looking for salespeople, the sales manager's network probably has more qualified candidates than people in the HR Department.

To get additional exposure, ask a few of your most connected coworkers or friends to “like," comment on, or share the post. That will get the post in front of all their connections as well.

I know a president of a local company who found a new VP for his company in just five days after using a status update to ask his network for help. Think of the time and money that saved him.

2. Company Page Post. On your company page, post a similar update. This shares the information with all followers of your company page. Job seekers interested in working for your company are probably among your followers.

To broaden your reach beyond your company page followers, ask all employees in the company to "like," comment on, or share this update so all their connections view it as well.

Consider “pinning” your status update to the top of the update feed.

3. Published Posts. All LinkedIn users can write long-form type articles that will permanently stay on their profiles. This is a great way to display your expertise. But you can also post a job of the week or a listing of all your openings, with links, so the reader can get more details or apply on your website—and this isn’t just for HR Department personnel. It can be even more effective when department heads post their job openings, because they’re more likely to have potential candidates in their LinkedIn networks.

4. Advanced People Search. Use these criteria when building your Advanced People Search:
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  • Title. Be sure to try some different words for the same job.
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  • Keywords. Here you can get very creative, using things like specialty software, skills, specific industries, territories or regions of the country, etc. Find interview-ready candidates by including words like pursuing, seeking or looking.
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  • Companies. Put your competitor's name(s) here. You can choose current or past, based on your desire to hire someone who is still there, has left their employ, or either. This is really helpful. It's how I found the last employee I hired.
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  • Connections of. Drop the name of one of your connections in this filter box, and then use any of the other available filters to get a great list of potential candidates that he or she knows.

From the search results, send customized LinkedIn connection requests to people you aren’t connected to whom you might be interested in hiring, and explain your interest in speaking to them about your job opening.

5. Direct Message Candidates in Your First-Degree Network. Using criterion similar to those listed in #4 above, perform an Advanced People Search of your network. Then send direct messages to the best candidates from the search results, and give them the details of your current job opening.

6. Search Alert. Once you have landed on a search or searches that brought you some good potential candidates, save that search by clicking the words Create search alert in the right-hand column toward the bottom of the page. Then on an ongoing basis LinkedIn will look for more potential candidates by regularly searching your network, including new connections people in your network are making.

7. University Page. Here you can find potential candidates who attended a specific school. Fellow alumni of the schools you attended is a good place to start.

Access this by clicking the name of one of the schools on your profile or type the name of a school you're interested in, and click that entry when it shows up in the drop-down menu. Once you’re on the university’s page, select the Alumni tab.

You can filter the individuals by:
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  • Where they live
  • Where they work
  • What they do
  • What they studied
  • What they are skilled at
  • How you are connected

8. Job Board. Finally, the obvious one, post a job on LinkedIn's Job Board. There are various pricing plans and discounts. Find this by clicking the Jobs tab on the top toolbar and clicking Post a job on the top right.

If you'd like me to help you use LinkedIn to find your next great employees, sign up for one of the four to six personal sessions I fit into my schedule each week. These consultations are specially priced at $197. Book your session here.

I will share my computer screen with you during the call.

If you're not looking for employees, we can concentrate on finding your next high-impact customer, raising your organization’s profile, or landing the job of your dreams.

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

 

Are People Respecting Your LinkedIn Profile?

Posted on March 2, 2019
Wayne Breitbarth

Are you still confused by LinkedIn's Skills & Endorsements?

If you are, you're certainly not alone. I've found from my weekly one-on-one LinkedIn consultations that this profile section is the most misunderstood. It's sort of like the Rodney Dangerfield of LinkedIn profile sections. (Yes, I know—I'm dating myself!)

Rodney Dangerfield was a comedian in the 1980's whose main applause line was "I don't get no respect." I think that describes this LinkedIn profile section perfectly.

To help you optimize this very important section on your profile, I'm going to share with you the specific strategies and advice I give my consulting clients. These are summarized well in the following excerpt from the fourth edition of my best-selling LinkedIn book The Power Formula for LinkedIn Success. Preorder your copy now from Amazon by clicking here (April 2 delivery).
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Skills & Endorsements

This section has gotten a lot of buzz because there is a lot more going on here than just a bunch of keywords that describe what you are good at. However, since you obviously want people to find you on LinkedIn, you should begin by including in this section words and/or phrases that describe who you are (experiences) and what you do (skill set).

For example, I include terms like LinkedIn trainer, LinkedIn consultant, LinkedIn keynote speaker, public speaking, social networking, and personal branding. LinkedIn allows you to include up to fifty skills in this section of your profile. Obviously, the more terms you include, the more likely you will be found by people who are searching on LinkedIn.

An additional benefit of having skills on your profile is others can endorse you for those specific skills or expertise. Similar to “likes” on Facebook, everyone can see the number of endorsements you’ve received. In addition, the names and faces of the people who endorse you are displayed.

Here are a few facts, thoughts, and strategies relating to endorsements that will help you frame your approach to this important profile section:
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  • You can only receive endorsements from first-level connections and for skills you have acknowledged you possess.
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  • Don’t feel obligated to endorse everyone who endorses you. Of course, if you can give a genuine endorsement of someone in your network, you should certainly return the favor.
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  • You control which endorsements are displayed on your profile. If you receive an endorsement from a person your network may view as not very credible, simply hide that endorsement.
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  • If your LinkedIn strategy going forward differs from your current strategy, add skills that will be important to your future goals.
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  • It’s not necessary to thank everyone who endorses you. However, if you are looking to strengthen a relationship, by all means, send a note of thanks.
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  • LinkedIn’s search ranking algorithm is top secret, but I suspect the number of endorsements on a profile is probably part of it. 
Thus, the more endorsements the better.
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  • Potential purchasers of your products and services can easily compare how many endorsements you have with how many your competitors have—another reason to actively seek endorsements.
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  • When you endorse someone, LinkedIn will notify her via e-mail, and your name and photo will appear on her profile. Th
is is a great way to get her attention.

If you want to draw attention to certain skills or encourage people to endorse you for those skills, simply reorder them. Start by clicking the pencil icon in the Skills & Endorsements section. You can then pin your three most important skills to the top of this section.

Start by clicking the blue pushpin next to a current pinned skill that you’d like to remove from the Top Skills section. Then click the pushpin next to a skill you’d like to pin in the top section, and it will move there.

You can also rearrange the skills within each subsection by dragging the Reorder icon next to the skill you want to move. From this same screen, you can also delete any of your skills by clicking the trash can icon next to the skill. By actively managing this section of your profile, you’ll make the most of the skills you possess.

Endorsements are a great way to boost your credibility, so don’t be bashful. Include a comprehensive list of your skills and expertise. Then get busy and request endorsements so the viewers of your profile can see just how good you are.

There you have it. Use these strategies to update your LinkedIn Skills & Endorsements section, and you'll start to "get some respect."

My new book is filled with other simple ways to get respect (and more business) on LinkedIn. Preorder your copy now on Amazon.com.

 

Who Are the Best People to Add to Your LinkedIn Network?

Posted on February 17, 2019
Wayne Breitbarth

What is your strategy for adding people to your LinkedIn network?

This was the question I was addressing when I wrote the 12th chapter of the soon-to-be-released 4th edition of my best-selling book The Power Formula for LinkedIn Success. This new version includes updated screen shots, revised content, and a brand new chapter about LinkedIn mobile. Preorder your copy now, and it will be delivered by April 2, 2019.

Here is an excerpt from Chapter 12 that includes a list of the types of people you may wish to add to your network. Please bear in mind, however, that these are general suggestions. Only you know why you're using LinkedIn and what your personal strategy is for building your network.

Click the image to preview the contents of the new book (36 pages) and read Chapter 12 in its entirety.

As you can tell from previous chapters, the winner of the searching aspect of the LinkedIn game is generally the person who has a lot of connections. However, please continue to keep in mind that when you first start using LinkedIn, I recommend you only add to your network people whom you know and trust, because when you add a new contact, you put your extremely valuable network in his or her hands. Remember, it is your network. It is a possession you have worked your entire career to build, and when you add a connection on LinkedIn, it is like handing your Outlook database to that individual and trusting him to treat it as professionally as you would treat his.

Once you start getting more comfortable with the way LinkedIn works, I typically recommend that you start selectively adding people you may not know but would like to get to know. Everyone’s situation is unique, but here are some general suggestions that will help you understand what types of people you may want to 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 improve the quality of your LinkedIn network by connecting with the above-referenced people, you'll be strategically positioned to enhance your brand, find a job, assist your favorite nonprofit, or grow your business.

Don't wait—click here now to preorder your copy of my completely updated and expanded book on Amazon.

Note: Amazon has a price guarantee. If they drop the price between now and the April 2 publication date, they'll refund you the difference.

 

Here’s How to Get Big Results at Your Next Conference With LinkedIn

Posted on February 16, 2019
Wayne Breitbarth

This week I gave a LinkedIn presentation at a huge conference on the West Coast, and it reminded me about how much time and money people and companies commit to these types of events.

It also struck me that very few people have a system or procedure to ensure that they'll see measurable results from their investment of time and money.

Here are some steps you can take before, during and after your next conference that will help you achieve the results you deserve.
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Before the event

Contact the event coordinator and request a list of who will be attending. Many times you can get the list—if you ask politely. Spend some time checking out the LinkedIn profiles of the people who look most interesting to you. In addition to conference attendees, don't forget to consider connecting with sponsors, presenters, and conference organizers. Many of these people are the movers and shakers in your industry.

Send a customized LinkedIn connection request, and, where appropriate, suggest you meet during the conference. People are much more likely to agree to a short meeting during a conference than when they're in their regular work environment.

You can use your mobile device to look at their profiles before you meet with them or you may want to print the profiles and take them along. You will then have lots of information at your fingertips to figure out how to start a conversation with the most interesting people—plus you'll have photos to help you pick them out of the crowd.

Join any relevant groups associated with the conference.

Post a status update about how excited you are to attend the conference, and mention some of the speakers you're looking forward to hearing from. Use the LinkedIn mention and hashtag features so your update gets seen by more people in your network.
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During the event

When you're having conversations with those "right" people, be sure to ask them if they use LinkedIn, and ask them to join your LinkedIn network as a way to stay connected after the event. This is much more productive than just grabbing business cards and adding people to your database after the event. Once you're connected on LinkedIn, you can see all of their connections, ask for introductions, stay in front of them with status updates, and review their profiles at all times.

I suggest you include media on your LinkedIn profile. Then, when you meet people at an event, you can suggest they go to your profile and look at or download materials that will help them. You'll be immediately adding value to a new relationship.

During the conference, use individual status updates and/or group conversations to share comments, pictures or videos about important information you've learned each day.

With the LinkedIn mobile app's Find Nearby feature, it's quick and easy to add to your network people you meet at the conference. This is a real winner and was designed by LinkedIn specifically for these types of events. Click here to learn more about this feature.
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After the event

Review the conference agenda and the list of participants, and send LinkedIn connection requests to any important people you weren't able to find and meet with at the conference. Do this only if your connection strategy includes adding people to your network that you may not know but would like to know. Rather than using LinkedIn's standard invitation, include a thoughtful message with your invitation.

Review the profiles of the people with whom you had productive conversations at the event. Follow up with a phone call or suggest a meeting to move the relationship forward. Consider attaching or adding a link to a piece of content you think will be helpful to them.

Publish an article with your most important conference takeaways, and share it with your network as a status update or a direct message to a select group of connections.

Try these strategies so that the time and money you spend to attend conferences will never be wasted again.
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SPECIAL OFFER

If you'd like me to help with your 2019 LinkedIn plan and get your profile tuned up, sign up for one of the four to six personal sessions I fit into my schedule each week. These consultations are specially priced at $197. Book your session here.

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 are the Top 2 Reasons to Use LinkedIn

Posted on February 10, 2019
Wayne Breitbarth

LinkedIn has lots of potential uses, depending on who you are, what you do, who you want to meet, where you're located, etc. But just what are the typical business functions most people say LinkedIn has helped them with?

According to my latest LinkedIn user survey, the vast majority of respondents said two functions are far and away the most useful:
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  • Research people and companies (77% of respondents)
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  • Reconnect with past business associates/colleagues (71% of respondents)

Screen Shot 2016-07-15 at 11.35.19 AMAnd as you can see in this chart, all other features are perceived as much less helpful.

Here are some simple strategies and techniques you can use to get significant results for your business and career with these two LinkedIn features.
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Research people and companies

Advanced People Search. The Advanced People Search filters will help you quickly and easily search LinkedIn's over 600 million member database and zero in on your target audience. Improve your skills at using the Advanced People Search feature, and your LinkedIn ROI will go through the roof.

Company page search. If you know the name of your target companies (for anything from sales to job seeking and everything in between), simply type the name of a company in the search box at the top of your home page. When your target company shows up in the search results listing, click that entry, and LinkedIn will take you to their company page.

On the company page, you will see details about the company's products, services, markets they serve, job openings, contact information, and shared updates. If you click See all [Number] employees on LinkedIn, you'll get a complete list of all their employees who have LinkedIn accounts. Then you can use the Advanced People Search filters to uncover the exact people you're trying to find.
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Reconnect with past business associates/colleagues

Advanced People Search. Place your cursor in the top search box and select Search for People. Next, choose All Filters, and enter the name of a company you used to work for in the Past Company filter box. Then enter the name of the department you used to work in (e.g., marketingfinance, etc.) in the Title box, and you'll get a list of most of the people you worked with at the company. Hopefully contact with one or more of those people will lead to your next big sale or job opportunity.

Company alumni groups. Some of the larger national and international employers have strategically set up specific LinkedIn groups for past employees so the company can maintain a positive relationship with them.

You may also find unofficial company alumni groups that could open the door to tremendous networking opportunities. To find them, type the name of the company in the search box and add the word alumni. Next, click the down arrow next to More, and then select Groups.

University Page. Most people have warm, fuzzy feelings about their alma mater and thus are more likely to consider doing business with fellow alumni—and it's easy to locate them with this powerful LinkedIn feature.

Enter the name of your college or university in the top search box, and it should then appear in the list LinkedIn displays. Once you click your school's entry, you'll land on their University Page. Select the Alumni tab. Then use all the great filters, including Start year and End year, to get the perfect list of fellow alums. It's just that simple.

University alumni groups. Find, interact, and connect with people who are members of official and/or unofficial LinkedIn groups related to your university.

Get busy and use these powerful LinkedIn features to research people and companies and reconnect with past business associates and colleagues, and you'll quickly see your business and career begin to soar.
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SPECIAL OFFER

If you'd like me to help you formulate your 2019 LinkedIn plan, sign up for one of the four to six personal sessions I fit into my schedule each week. These consultations are specially priced at $197. Book your session here.

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.

 

10 Super Simple Ways to Improve Your LinkedIn Summary

Posted on February 2, 2019
Wayne Breitbarth

A well-executed elevator speech is a powerful business tool. During the time it takes for an average elevator ride, you need to sum up what your company makes or does and get your listener excited about it. 

Your LinkedIn Summary section is similar to an elevator speech. Because it typically shows up near the top of your profile, it's one of the first things a person sees when looking at your profile.

It has also gained much higher importance since LinkedIn's latest revisions to the app and the desktop version. The first 80 to 140 characters (including spaces) of your Summary are now prominently displayed near the top of your profile when it appears on the app and approximately 280 characters (including spaces) when viewed on the desktop.

Here is an example of how one of my clients, Mike Charland, has taken advantage of this on his profile.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Your Summary is the perfect place to market and brand yourself and your business. It should:
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  • Act like a cover letter for the rest of your profile
  • Include your most strategic keywords
  • Move your readers to action

It can include up to 2,000 characters, and I suggest you use every one of them. Use a word processing program, do a spell-check and character count, and then paste it into your profile.
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10 Simple Ways to Enhance Your LinkedIn Summary

Following these suggestions will help you creatively tell your unique business story and improve your chances of being found by the right people.

1.  Briefly describe the types of jobs you have had and any major accomplishments. Don't waste this space with all the details. That's what the Experience section is for. But if there's something you want to summarize or highlight, do it here.

2.  Describe your perfect customer, vendor relationship, employee, etc. If you're a job seeker, describe your perfect job.

3.  Include a direct quote from an impressive customer testimonial or letter of recommendation. If you want to share the entire testimonial or recommendation, include the quote in your Summary and then direct the reader to the complete document in the Add Media section below your Summary.

To learn how adding media can pay big dividends, check out my article Here's How to Give Your LinkedIn Profile that WOW Factor.

4.  Describe what makes you, your company, and your products unique.

5.  Describe how you help people and/or companies accomplish their goalsand if you're a job seeker, explain how your skills, experiences, and proven results can be used to improve a prospective employer's business. This screenshot shows how I use this strategy on my profile.

6.  Briefly describe any of your business relationships or experiences that resulted in superior outcomes.

7.  Include a specific call to action so the reader knows what to do next. My article So You Viewed My LinkedIn Profile...Now What? will give you loads of details on call-to-action strategies for your profile.

8.  It's important to use a significant portion of your Summary section to share forward-thinking ideas and thoughts. Outline new markets or new job opportunities you are considering and the type of relationships that could assist you in that effort. Don't just duplicate the Experience and Education sections that revolve around your history.

9.  Consider adding a Specialities subsection at the bottom of your Summary. This is similar to the formal Specialties subsection we had in past versions of LinkedIn. This is a great way to highlight some of your most important keywords and improve your chances of ranking higher based on the LinkedIn search algorithm.

10. If you feel comfortable doing so, include business-related contact information.

For more simple ways to create and enhance the Summary section of your profile, check out Chapter 7 in the third edition of my book titled That's My Boy. The LinkedIn Profile: Summary Section.

 

Will the LinkedIn Magic Happen When You Get To 500+ Connections?

Posted on January 27, 2019
Wayne Breitbarth

LinkedIn connections are the gas in your tank. The more you have, the further you'll go, especially if the gas in your tank is "high octane" (strategic connections).

To learn how to get more strategic LinkedIn connections, check out my article "Is Your LinkedIn Network Made Up of the Right People?"

But is there really something magical about having 500+ people in your network? The results of my latest LinkedIn user survey can help us answer that question.

When asked, How many first-level connections do you currently have on LinkedIn?, 55% of the 900+ respondents said they have more than 500 connections.Screen Shot 2016-07-15 at 11.33.51 AM

But let's peel back the onion a bit to explore how the number of connections relates to success on LinkedIn.

When asked, How important is LinkedIn in your efforts to grow your network and develop your business or help you find employment?, respondents answered 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5, with 5 representing extremely important and 1 representing not important.

About one-tenth of those surveyed answered 1 or 2, and 36% of them have 500+Screen Shot 2016-07-30 at 10.22.35 AM connections.

Two-thirds of the survey respondents answered 4 or 5, and 61% of them have 500+ connections.

First of all, it's good news that two-thirds of all respondents consider LinkedIn to be very helpful to their business or career. But it's also important to note that the majority of those successful users have large networks (500 or more connections). Personally, I don't think it's a tremendous leap to conclude that most people with large networks are experiencing greater success on LinkedIn.
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How a larger LinkedIn network improves your chances of success

There are certainly successful LinkedIn users who have small, close-knit, strategic networks, but there are many benefits of a large network. Here are some examples:
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  • You'll appear more often in search results
  • You'll usually be higher in the search ranking
  • You'll have more shared connections and thus have easier access to the right people
  • You'll show up more often in People Also Viewed
  • You'll appear more often in other users' Recommended for you—People
  • Your status updates and published posts are more likely to receive views, shares and comments

Am I suggesting that quantity of connections is always better than quality? Absolutely not. A small, strategic network of people you know and trust works great for some people. But think about how much better a large network of strategic connections could be.

And whether you decide to join the LinkedIn 500+ club or not, make a habit of engaging with your connections. Share your knowledge with them, introduce them to each other, acknowledge their accomplishments, and you'll be on your way to business and career success.

 

Is Hiding Your LinkedIn Connections a Good Move?

Posted on January 19, 2019
Wayne Breitbarth

Should you let your first-level connections see all of your other first-level connections? Should you let them search into the entire list?

Screen Shot 2016-07-18 at 7.25.45 PMThis question can lead to a lively debate. Typical answers include: That’s not fair! Networking is about sharing and Of course, I hide them—that’s my client list! or You want to have your cake and eat it too if you hide them.

But how many people are actually hiding their connections from their network? On my most recent LinkedIn user survey, I asked this question:

“Do you let your first-level connections see your entire first-level network?”

63% answered “Yes,” 13% said “No,” and 24% replied “Not sure.”

If you're not sure, follow these steps to identify your current setting:

Under the Me icon on the right side of your top toolbar, choose Settings & Privacy from the drop-down menu, then Privacy, and then select Who can see your connections. Your current setting will either be Your connections or Only you.

This is one of the most critical strategy decisions you have to make on LinkedIn. However, the fact that 24% of the respondents are unsure suggests many people are not even making a conscious decision about it.

LinkedIn is a networking site, which undoubtedly is why the default setting allows your first-level connections to view your network. I personally want to help my network in any way possible, and I look to my connections to assist me as well. As a result, I have chosen the default setting (Your connections).

There are certainly legitimate arguments that support the decision to hide your connections. This list of Frequently Asked Questions should help you make the best decision for your situation.

Q: Why are people hiding their connections from their network? It doesn’t seem fair.

A: Most of the time they are doing it because some of their direct connections (first level) are names they want to keep confidential (typically clients). As far as whether it's fair or not, I used to feel it was unfair. However, I then realized some people would not be on LinkedIn if they weren't able to hide their connections. That being said, I'm glad the control exists, because the more people on LinkedIn, the better for all of us.

Q: If my search uncovers a second-level connection but our common first-level connection has hidden his/her connections, will I be able to tell who our common first-level connection is?

A: The great news is the answer is yes. That is why people who choose to hide their connections are still important people to have in your network.

Q: What types of people are choosing to hide their first-level connections on LinkedIn?

A: These are typically people who provide professional services, such as accountants, attorneys, insurance and financial brokers, architects. I also see some CEOs and company presidents making this choice.

Q: Can second- or third-degree connections or fellow group members ever see my first-level connections?

A: No. If you want to share your first-level network with them, you will need to invite them to become first-level connections.

Q: Can I pick and choose the people in my network that I will allow to see my connections?

A: No. It’s all or nothing. At this time the setting applies to all first-level connections.

Q: If I choose to display my first-level connections, do you think I should connect with competitors?

A: My quick answer is are you nuts? Would you hand over your database of your most precious business connections (including clients) to your competitors? My not-so-quick answer is sometimes relationships are more complex than that. Perhaps your competitor is also one of your suppliers. So you have to weigh all the pros and cons.

Also, if you think you're better at using LinkedIn than your competitors (i.e., you understand how to use features like the Connections of filter), it may turn out to be quite a competitive advantage to connect with competitors. You can look at their network, but they may not realize they can look at your network.

Q: If you hide your connections, are you able to look through other people's connections? 

A: Yes, you can look through the connections of people in your first-level network (as long as they haven't also chosen to hide their connections). However, since you've chosen to hide your network, you won't be able to help your friends find people in your network who might be able to help them unless you change your setting for a period of time so they can search through your network.

Armed with this information, you should now be ready to make a strategic decision about whether or not to hide your connections.

For information about other important LinkedIn settings, check out Chapter 17 of my bookYour Account, Your SettingsYour Way.

It’s Simple for You to Fix These 10 LinkedIn Mistakes in Minutes

Posted on January 13, 2019
Wayne Breitbarth

When someone looks at your LinkedIn profile, does it look like you are an experienced, knowledgeable user or like you just started a few weeks ago?

As a LinkedIn consultant and speaker, I look at hundreds of profiles each week, and many of them are downright embarrassing. But the good news is that most of the mistakes can be fixed in just a few minutes.
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10 fast and easy solutions to common LinkedIn mistakes

Think of this as preparing your LinkedIn profile for the new year ahead. When you're finished, your profile will shine and stand out from your competitors.

1.  Your photo doesn't represent your current best professional image. The image of you smiling and well dressed will usually cause people to take a look at the rest of your profile.

2.  Your background photo sends the wrong message. I love a beach scene as much as anyone, but what message does this image send to your future employer or the prospective customer you're trying to land?

3.  Your most important current job is not listed first. Since the company name in your first job entry is highlighted in your top box, just to the right of your photo, you want to make sure this is the one you want people to notice. Put your cursor in the box that includes the job entry you want to move. Then hold and drag the Reorder icon. Note: Only your current job entries are movable.

4.  You have not customized your unique LinkedIn URL. This is an important link that you should be using on all your marketing information (business card, email signature, etc.). Simply click Contact info to the right of your photo, then the edit pencil, and then your current URL. Next, from the Public profile settings page, edit your entry by clicking the small blue pencil on the top right under Edit URL.

If you have a common name and the URL with your name is already taken, you could put a "1" following your name or add your middle initial. If you prefer, try including the first letter of your first name with your full last name.

5.  You haven't listed any websites in your Contact info section. You can display up to three websites, and they're hyperlinked to the web page. If you don't list any websites, it looks like you don't have a company or anything you're interested in.

6.  The first 65-70 characters of your headline are not descriptive. When someone scrolls over your photo or name in numerous places on the LinkedIn site, your headline is truncated, and only the first 65 to 70 characters are visible. Therefore, make sure the beginning of your headline describes exactly who you are and what you do.

7.  Your current company logo isn't displayed on your profile. This is happening because either your company doesn't have a logo on its company page (ask your marketing folks to fix this) or you had your LinkedIn profile prior to the company having a company page or logo.

You need to reattach to your company page by editing that entry. Click the pencil in that job entry, remove the current company name, and then type the company name in the box again. Then choose the appropriate company page entry when it shows up in the drop-down list.

8.  Your school's logo doesn't show up on your profile. Try to rectify this problem by following the same steps you used to get your company logo on your profile. Also, take note of which school entry is listed first, because that is the one that will be displayed in the top box of your profile to the right of your photo. You can use the Reorder icon to put your education entries in your preferred order.

9.  You have nothing or very little in your Accomplishments section. This is the last section on your profile, but don't assume people won't see it. Here you can share things like publications you've written or have been mentioned in, courses you took or taught, organizations you've been a member of, and loads more.

Simply put, a person with a loaded Accomplishments section looks more accomplished than a person who has very few entries or doesn't even add this section to his or her profile.

To get to your Accomplishments section, click the down arrow in the blue Add profile section box just below your photo. Then click the plus sign to the right of the category you'd like to add to your profile.

10.  You have not optimized your profile for mobile. LinkedIn has taken some liberties with how your profile gets displayed on the mobile app. Because over 60 percent of profile views are on mobile, be sure to check out how you're showing up. For more information on mobile, read my two articles (Part 1 and Part 2) about LinkedIn mobile strategies.

If you've followed these simple steps, your LinkedIn house should be in order, and you'll be viewed as an experienced professional rather than an inexperienced newbie.
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SPECIAL OFFER

If you'd like me to help you clean up your mistakes and formulate your 2019 LinkedIn plan, sign up for one of the four to six personal sessions I fit into my schedule each week. These consultations are specially priced at $197. Book your session here.

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.

LinkedIn Will Help You Ring in the New Year

Posted on January 5, 2019
Wayne Breitbarth

Happy New Year!

I hope you had a safe and fun New Year's celebration and are looking forward to having a super successful 2019.

In doing my part as your trusted LinkedIn advisor, I'd like to share with you the very best resolutions for improving your LinkedIn profile and LinkedIn activities so that your efforts on the site can contribute (hopefully in a really big way) to your success this year.

I have also included an additional resource for each of the resolutions in case you need more details on that specific LinkedIn strategy.

Resolutions for your LinkedIn profile

I will make sure that my LinkedIn profile photo and background photo are current and properly reflect my personal (and company if applicable) brand.

These photos are very important because they set the tone for the rest of your profile, where you can only include a few photos and limited graphics. So choose photos that display your professionalism and will make a great first impression when people view your profile.

I will make sure my LinkedIn headline clearly states what I do and how I can help people.

Are headlines important on articles we reador don't read, for that matter? Of course, they are. So don't simply use the default LinkedIn headline (your current job title and current company name). Create a headline that will entice readers to look at the rest of your profile and then reach out and ask you to connectand hopefully these relationships will lead to quantifiable results.

I will properly keyword optimize my profile so the LinkedIn search ranking algorithm gives me the favor I deserve.

I do quite a few one-on-one LinkedIn consultations each week, and keyword optimization is the quickest way to get my clients to come up on the first few pages of LinkedIn searches for their products and services. It is not the only thing that goes into the magic LinkedIn algorithm, but it is the easiest thing to fix. Don't wait around to make this critical adjustment to your profile. Your competitors and the other candidates for the job you're looking for may be getting this advice as well.

Resolutions for your LinkedIn activities

I will prepare for important "networking type" meetings by reviewing the LinkedIn profiles of the participants and doing a filtered search of their networks.

LinkedIn makes is extremely easy to research people's career paths, what they're currently doing, what they're interested in, and who they know. Do some research beforehand, and then you'll spend less time getting to know them and more time learning how you can help them and they can help you (perhaps by introducing you to important people in their networks).

I will always customize my invitation when asking someone to join my LinkedIn network.

Remember, you're asking to be part of someone's treasured assettheir networkand you should be respectful and take the time to let them know that you'll treat them and their network with the highest level of professionalismand don't forget to tell them how they'll benefit as well.

I will consistently review who has viewed my profile and take the appropriate steps to not only connect or message them but perhaps make a follow-up call, send an email, or schedule a meeting.

Based on my most recent LinkedIn user survey, Who's Viewed Your Profile is the top rated Linkedin featureand for good reason. They took the first step toward you, which makes it really easy for you to take the next step.

I will not simply hit the Accept button on the inbound invitations I receive that meet my acceptance criteria, but I will consider a follow-up call, email, and/or meeting.

Just like the step above, an inbound invitation was initiated by the other party. Therefore, it's your move. Make it one that will have an impact on this new relationship rather than simply adding another body to your network. As far as I know, there's no prize for having the biggest network. What you really want is a robust network that will help you reach your business and career goals.

I will create a routine for finding and connecting with people in my target audience, and I will leverage the connections I already have.

These two often overlooked LinkedIn strategies will help ring your cash register quicker that any other strategies. Trust me on this. I know lots of successful LinkedIn users who get big time results by focusing solely on these two strategies.

I will evaluate whether I should move from my free account to a premium account or if I should cancel or upgrade my premium account as soon as possible.

I would say that between 50 and 75 percent of my clients who have premium LinkedIn accounts have no idea what they're getting or how to use the upgraded account. They're simply wasting their or their company's money on the premium account. There are others who need to be on a premium account but won't spend the money, and it's holding back their chances for significant results. You should figure out as soon as possible if you fall into either of these camps.

If you'd like help with your analysis, sign up for a one-on-one consultation with me (see below), and we can discuss your needs.

There you have itthe very best LinkedIn new year's resolutions. Whether you do every one of these or pick and choose just a few, I'm confident that LinkedIn will help you achieve great success in 2019.

SPECIAL OFFER

If you'd like me to help you formulate your 2019 LinkedIn plan, sign up for one of the four to six personal sessions I fit into my schedule each week. These consultations are specially priced at $197. Book your time here.

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.