Power Formula LinkedIn Blog

There’s Still Time to Make 2019 Your Best Year Ever

Posted on July 13, 2019
Wayne Breitbarth

Are you frustrated with your results thus far in 2019—or have you had a great first half and want to keep rolling through year's end?

Well, I've got good news for you. If you follow these simple LinkedIn tips, 2019 just may be your best year ever.

And these suggestions are not just for salespeople and business owners. If you're looking for a new job, in need of volunteers or donors for your nonprofit, or interested in growing a strategic network to accomplish your professional goals, these tips are perfect for you, too.

And here's the really good news. You can do it all with a FREE LinkedIn account.

These are the "low hanging fruit," the strategies that will produce the most significant results in a short period of time. "Pick" a few and get started today.

Five LinkedIn strategies that bring big results

After the broad comments, you'll find a link to an article with step-by-step details for executing each strategy.

1.  Reach out to targeted members of your network

This strategy works well if you've done a good job of building a network that includes some people with whom you have a high level of trust and will thus be more likely to respond to your request.

Do a search of your first-level connections, and use filters like location, title, industry, current company, etc. Then you'll have a great list of people you can contact with a LinkedIn direct message or by email, phone, etc. and invite them to an event, share important industry news, let them know you'll be in their area, or ask for help with your job search.

I find that many people don't take advantage of this strategy because they don't know how to use LinkedIn's advanced search function. Learn how simple it is with this resource:

Additional Resource:  Are You Ignoring Your LinkedIn Connections?

2.  Leverage the networks of your current clients or other referral sources

This is the ultimate referral strategy on LinkedIn. Once you see who knows whom, you can ask for an introduction.

Start by identifying your connections who are well networked and love connecting people with each other. Next, do filtered searches of their networks, and put together a list of six to twelve people you think could improve your chances of landing a new client or that new job. Then contact your connections and ask them to introduce you to the people you've discovered.

Additional Resource: This LinkedIn Feature Will Really Wow You

3.  Set up LinkedIn search alerts

I refer to this strategy as your FREE, 24/7 LinkedIn virtual assistant. When you do advanced people searches and get productive results, set up search alerts. Then you'll receive weekly emails from LinkedIn that will include new people who meet the exact criteria of your saved searches.

The most difficult part is picking the right combination of filters and keywords that will result in the perfect list of targets. But once you've found it, it works like a charm.

If you'd like help executing this powerful strategy, sign up for a virtual, one-on-one consultation with me by clicking here.

Additional Resource:  How to Build a Free LinkedIn Prospect Machine

4.  Revise your profile to include specific calls to action

Most people's LinkedIn profiles look like resumes—and many times they aren't even good resumes. Don't be one of those people!

Start by thinking of your profile as your main online marketing tool or your weapon to win the professional battle. No matter what your current LinkedIn objective is, you should have several specific calls to action strategically placed in your profile to move readers from being interested to taking action—visiting your website, downloading resources or your resume, viewing video, listening to a podcast, etc.

Additional Resource:  So You Viewed My Profile...Now What?

5.  Engage directly with LinkedIn users who have viewed your profile or invited you to connect

You'd be surprised how many people do absolutely nothing when others attempt to engage with them on LinkedIn. Granted, there will be spammers who check out your profile or invite you to join their networks, but most people are legitimately interested in engaging with you.

If you're already connected to people who viewed your profile, you may want to send them a note to ask how you can help them.

If you notice that interesting people outside your network have viewed your profile, invite them to join your network and offer them something of value (free quote, white paper, informative video, etc.) or ask if they'd be interested in a phone call or meeting with you.

When you receive an invitation to connect from people you'd like to have in your network, accept their invitation, thank them for reaching out, and propose one of the next steps outlined in the above paragraph.

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

Now that you know about the "low hanging fruit" on LinkedIn, get busy and put some of these strategies into practice. Then on New Year's Eve 2019, you just may be celebrating one of the best years you've ever had.


If you'd like me to work with you on any of these LinkedIn strategies, plus provide an in-depth critique of your LinkedIn profile, sign up for a one-hour, one-on-one consultation with me for the significantly reduced rate of $197.

Book your personal session today at https://www.powerformula.net/one-on-one-linkedin-consultation

One of the highlights of my work week is helping people improve their LinkedIn profile and formulate a strategy for engaging in the kind of LinkedIn activities that will produce real results (see Screen Shot 2017-09-13 at 9.59.28 AMspecial offer below to book a phone consultation with me).

More often than not, one of the LinkedIn features we talk about (and it applies to both profile optimization and activity strategy) is the People Also Viewed profile section.

This optional section (that's right, it's optional) shows up in the right-hand column of your profile and tells you who people are looking at in addition to you.

Now, LinkedIn doesn't share exactly how the list is generated (other than this interview from a few years ago with a LinkedIn data guy), and you have no control over who appears on your profile. The default setting will put the list on your profile, but you can take it off your profile if you prefer.

How to take advantage of People Also Viewed

If someone is interested in you and looks at your profile (e.g., prospective client, employee, donor, etc.), it's likely they'll scroll over to People Also Viewed, where they'll probably see a target list of people who are very much like you.

Personally, I got tired of my competitors showing up on my profile, so I decided to adjust the People Also Viewed setting to remove the list from my profile. I feel pretty good about my decision, because I can still see the People Also Viewed list on other people's profiles (unless they've also changed from the default setting). And if my competitors haven't changed their setting from the default, I can still show up in the People Also Viewed list on their profiles.

It seems like a no-brainer to me. Click here to learn how to change your setting.

Over time, if more and more people do what I'm suggesting, this feature will become less helpful. But, trust me, LinkedIn will probably change something before we get to that point. Take advantage of it while you can.

Another way to take advantage of the People Also Viewed feature is to check the list often on your clients' and prospective clients' profiles, and add some of these names to your master prospect list. And, hey, why not try to connect with the ones you're not connected with—and be sure to use a customized invitation in which you tell them what's in it for them if they accept your invitation.

LinkedIn is all about helping others—but that doesn't mean helping your competitors. Get a leg up on your competitors by removing the People Also Viewed list from your profile. You'll be glad you did.

If you'd like me to show you other hard-to-find, "can't miss" LinkedIn features, help you formulate your personal LinkedIn strategy, plus provide an in-depth critique of your LinkedIn profile, sign up for a one-hour, one-on-one phone consultation with me for the significantly reduced rate of $197.

Book your personal session today at https://www.powerformula.net/one-on-one-linkedin-consultation/.

How To Build A Free LinkedIn Prospect Machine

Posted on June 30, 2019
Wayne Breitbarth

If you've got five minutes, you can create a first-rate list of prospects, plus have LinkedIn notify you when new people match your prospect criteria—and you don't even need a premium membership to do it.

But I'm always amazed at just how many self-proclaimed experienced LinkedIn users do not know how to do this. Therefore, I'm going to show you just how simple it is to do it with the current free LinkedIn user interface.

When using LinkedIn on your desktop, there are currently fourteen search filters (e.g., title, locations, current and past companies). These will help you quickly narrow down the 600+ million person LinkedIn database to the exact right list for you.

Building a highly targeted LinkedIn prospect list

Whether you're looking for new customers, donors for your nonprofit, or a great new job, these simple steps will help you build the perfect list of prospects to reach your personal or professional goals.

1. Put your cursor in your top toolbar search box and select Search for People from the drop-down menu.

2. Click the words All Filters in the white toolbar that appears below your top toolbar.

3. Put the words you'd like to search for in the appropriate filter boxes or check the box if your desired word(s) already appears under a filter category. Use LinkedIn's Boolean search rules so you get the best possible list.

For instance, if you search for executive vice-president, you'll get people who have executive and/or vice-president on their profile. If you search for "executive vice-president" (with quotation marks), you'll get only people who have executive vice-president on their profile. When you've entered all your words and checked any applicable boxes, click the blue Apply button.

If I'm looking for people who work at Harley-Davidson in the greater Milwaukee area and have a current title that includes purchasing or sourcing, my entry would look like this (see screen shots).

LinkedIn then gives me a list of 76 people who meet those search criteria. Everyone who does this search exactly as I've done it will get a list of 76 people, but the order of the list (LinkedIn calls this relevancy to the searcher) and access to full profiles (currently you can view the profiles of 1st degree, 2nd degree, 3rd degree and fellow LinkedIn group members) will be different for each person who performs the search.

Setting a search alert for your targeted list

Once you get a list that looks great, be sure to set a search alert. Then each week LinkedIn will notify you of all additional people who meet your specific search criteria. 

This can be done by clicking All Filters and then copying the words you've put in the Title search box and pasting them into the search box in your top toolbar. After clicking <return>, the list will be the same as before, but now LinkedIn will display the Saved searches box in the righthand column. Simply click the Create search alert button in that box and then the Save button.

Check out my recent article How to Improve Your Chances of Getting a Response on LinkedIn to learn tips and tricks for capitalizing on the list you receive.

Follow these simple steps, and your LinkedIn prospect machine will be up and running, bringing you new prospects each week.


If you'd like me to show you other hard-to-find, "can't miss" LinkedIn features, help you formulate your personal LinkedIn strategy, plus provide an in-depth critique of your LinkedIn profile, sign up for a one-hour, one-on-one consultation with me for the significantly reduced rate of $197.

Book your personal session today at https://www.powerformula.net/one-on-one-linkedin-consultation/.


How to Make Sure Your LinkedIn Profile Really Sounds Like You

Posted on June 22, 2019
Wayne Breitbarth

"Before I meet someone for the first time, I send them a link to my profile. I think that—when we meet someone—the entire first meeting (as well as the rest of the relationship) is a confirmation (or correction) of our pre-existing expectations. I send my profile in advance because I think it will establish the right expectations. Looking at my LinkedIn profile is a lot like meeting me."
Artie Isaac (Vistage chair, CEO coach, and  creativity trainer—convening CEO peer groups)

When my friend Artie Isaac said that, I had to stop and ask him to repeat it. Then I realized, holy cow, this is one of the best overall LinkedIn profile strategies I've ever heard—and I was bummed I didn't think of it myself!

If you aren't using this brilliant strategy, it just might be the reason your LinkedIn profile is not generating the profile views, connection requests or, more importantly, meeting requests/phone calls/emails, etc. you'd like to see from the right people.

However, if you're going to direct people to your profile, you need to be certain it adequately reflects not only your experience but also your personality and passion—in other words, exactly what makes you tick.

8 quick and easy profile updates

You only get one chance to make a powerful first impression. These eight simple profile tweaks will help you put your best foot forward and engage with the people who look at your profile.

1.  Profile photo. Be sure your profile photo is current and you're wearing your typical business attire, because you want them to recognize you when you meet.

2.  Background photo. If you're going to replace the default background, make sure it presents a positive image that reflects your personal brand. The other day I had a job seeker whose background photo was a beach view, a drink, a palm tree, and his sunburnt feet. I have a feeling prospective employers might think he's more focused on his PTO than their job.

3.  Headline. Are headlines important in the articles you read? Of course, they are, and the same is true of your LinkedIn headline. Don't let this powerful branding section consist of just your title and current company name (this is the LinkedIn default). Make the most of the 120 characters (or try this LinkedIn hack to get up to 220 characters), and include not only your professional occupation and skills, but consider using some of the space to showcase a personal interest or passion.

Visit the Free Resources section of my website to download my Definitive Worksheet to Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile Headline. It includes more tips on this important profile section. Find the dev bootcamp schedule here.

4.  First person. Write your profile in the first person, because that makes it easier to draw people in and quickly put them at ease. Third person can make you appear distant.

5.  Tone. Be sure the tone of your profile reflects your personality—such as friendly, funny, helpful, etc.—while still keeping in mind that LinkedIn is a professional site.

6.  Concern for others. If you share your time and talents with nonprofit organizations, you may wish to include a reference to this in your About section (formerly called the Summary section) or add separate Job Experience entries to share more specific details about your involvement with particular groups. You can also use the Volunteer Experience special profile section. Adding media to these profile sections can make them more interesting—and you can also request recommendations. These references can be great conversation starters.

7.  LinkedIn activity. Any status updates or published posts you originate or like, comment on, or share will be a reflection of your personality and style. Therefore, be sure to think about how it might be perceived before clicking any of those buttons.

Your current activity is prominently displayed in the Articles & activity box toward the top of your profile, and thus it grabs your viewers' attention. This will give readers of your profile a good feel for the information and type of audience you're passionate about.

8.  Accomplishments. Add the Accomplishments section to your profile, and include your most important personal interests (without "going all Facebook"). These can also be good conversation starters.

After you update your profile, ask a close friend or business associate if it's a positive and accurate representation of who you are—or, as my friend Artie said, does it feel a lot like meeting you. Make a great first impression, and it's sure to improve your LinkedIn ROI.

LinkedIn: A Stealth Job Seeker’s Best Friend

Posted on June 14, 2019
Wayne Breitbarth

Are you stuck in a dead-end job? Not making the money you deserve? Just need a change but afraid your boss will find out if you start looking for a new job? LinkedIn to the rescue!

Obviously, you don’t want to use words like seeking, pursuing or looking in your LinkedIn profile—that’s the quickest way to the unemployment line. But sprucing up your profile, adjusting a few of your settings, and creating targeted search alerts are a few of the easy steps you can take when looking for a new job “under the radar.”

Spruce up your profile

If you have used your LinkedIn account sparingly and all of a sudden there’s a flurry of activity, this might be a red flag to your boss. Therefore, if you plan to make edits to your profile, be sure that the Share with network button is toggled over to "No" to turn off the notifications to your network about the profile changes you're making.

Keywords. Use plenty of the keywords hiring managers and recruiters might use to find people with your specialties and skills (e.g., job duties, titles, industry certifications, software expertise, etc.).

For help on this, download my worksheet Keywords: The Key to Being Found on LinkedIn by clicking here.

About (formerly titled Summary). This is tricky. You need to look like a happy employee while at the same time touting your expertise and accomplishments. Keywords are definitely important. For example, “Johnson Company always puts the customer first, and my attention to detail and ability to provide excellent customer service make me a good fit at Johnson.”

Experience. Include a detailed description of your accomplishments for every job entry you include in this section. You’re trying to differentiate yourself from other job applicants, so don’t skimp here.

Headline. You only get one shot at a first impression. Make it a good one. It’s short—only 120 characters on the desktop—so you’ll need to be creative. But if you input this section using your LinkedIn mobile app, then you get 220 characters. A note of caution: This hack seems to work almost 100% of the time when using an Apple device but inconsistently on non-Apple devices.

For additional help on this critical section of your profile, download my free worksheet The Definitive Worksheet to Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile Headline by clicking here.

Skills. LinkedIn members will give you endorsements for your skills, and you’ll want to focus on including the skills you hope to use in your new job.

Completing this profile section correctly is critical, but it can be a bit confusing. Check out my article Have You Taken Advantage of the Changes to LinkedIn Skills? for a detailed discussion.

Accomplishments special profile sections. Options include Publications, Certifications, Patents, Courses, Projects, Honors & Awards, Test Scores, Languages, and Organizations. These are a terrific way to impress readers of your profile and differentiate yourself from other candidates.

Education. In addition to your general educational background, include any specialized courses you’ve completed. Describe them in detail and use lots of keywords.

Recommendations. Outside corroboration of the information on your profile is extremely important. Your two most recent recommendations will be prominently displayed on your profile, so try to get at least two current, impactful recommendations. You probably don’t want to ask your boss for a recommendation, but customers, vendors, and college professors (for recent grads) are great options.

Be proactive

Once your profile is in tip-top shape, you’re ready to start actively looking for a job.

Jobs Tab. Be sure to set your career interest preferences. Also, use the job search function here to laser focus your search for job postings that fit your desired positions. You can set up to ten job search alerts in the Jobs tab. It’s like having a 24/7 virtual assistant. LinkedIn will alert you when jobs are posted that meet your criteria.

Create search alerts. With a free LinkedIn account, you can create up to three Advanced People Search alerts. Use these for your target companies—the places you’d most like to work.

Alumni. Access this by clicking the name of one of the schools you attended on your profile. Then click the Alumni tab on that university's LinkedIn page. Use the available filters to find out if any fellow alumni work at the companies where you're interested in exploring a new opportunity.

“Follow” companies. Go to the company page of your target companies and “follow” them. You'll then be notified of job postings and employment changes at the company.

If you follow this advice, HR professionals and recruiters will start discovering your profile. But don’t just sit around and wait for a job offer. Be an active part of the almost 600 million member LinkedIn community, and before you know it you’ll have landed the job of your dreams.

If you'd like to have an individualized LinkedIn strategy session with me to discuss your LinkedIn job-seeking activities, along with loads of advice for amping up your LinkedIn ROI, sign up for a one-on-one session with me by clicking here.

This consultation includes a full profile critique and takes place via phone and screen sharing. I typically have time for only four to six of these $197 sessions each week, and there are some weeknight and Saturday time slots. So check out the details and book your session here.


Is posting and/or sharing content on LinkedIn worth the effort?

I'm frequently asked this question during my LinkedIn presentations and also when working with individuals in one-on-one LinkedIn consulting sessions.

Most questions I can answer with a confident "yes" or "no," but this one requires a "maybe" or "it depends" answer. I need to ask some follow-up questions to determine if it's worth it for someone to post and share on LinkedIn.

I define "worth it" to be likes, shares, and comments that lead to conversations with people in your LinkedIn target audience.

NOTE: My comments and strategies are specifically focused on personal sharing and posting rather than posting or sharing on company pages, but some of the strategies apply to company pages as well.

Predicting how well your posting and/or sharing will perform

If you can answer "yes" to most or all of these questions, then dedicating time to posting and sharing should result in a good return on your investment.

  • Is one of your current LinkedIn objectives to increase the number of profile views you receive?
  • Do you have a good follow-up sequence once the right people view your profile?
  • Are you connected with or being followed by a large number of people in your target audience?
  • Do you or your company have well-thought-out, targeted content that's helpful to people in your target audience?
  • Do you have adequate time to allocate to not only posting/sharing but also to follow-up with the people who engage with you?
  • Is there a group of like-minded people you can call on to proactively engage with your posted and/or shared content (to like, share or comment on your content)?

Strategies for improving the performance of your posts and shares

If you now believe that posting and sharing can help you achieve your professional goals, let's address the tactics that will get you tangible results.

These tactics come from LinkedIn's latest FREE ebook, Publisher's Pocket Guide: How to Spark Meaningful Conversations and Measure Success, as well as my conversations with fellow LinkedIn enthusiasts and research I've done. Get your copy of the ebook by clicking here.

How often should you post or share? More often is definitely better because LinkedIn has a feed algorithm, and thus not everything you post and/or share goes to everyone in your network.

What type of content should you write or share? Your content should resonate with and help your target audience and also show that you're a smart, thoughtful person who cares about them. Be sure to always add your own comments and thoughts when sharing an article so YOUR audience gets some of YOU.

In light of the current feed algorithm, what type of content performs better? Organic video is currently doing far better than all other content. Organic means that you either upload it directly on LinkedIn or use the camera on your phone or computer versus sharing a link to other web addresses like YouTube, Vimeo, or your own website. Longform articles are not performing very well lately, unlike when they first became available a few years ago, but they still display thought leadership in a big way when people visit the Activity box on your profile.

Is it better to like, comment or share when engaging with someone else's content? The latest research says that a "like" with a comment will perform better than a share, especially if that comment includes a tag of an individual (the author or someone else whose attention you'd like to grab regarding the article) or a company. Click here for an article on how tagging works.

How should you manage comments on the content you're sharing? Engaging with people who comment definitely improves the performance of your content—and research shows the sooner you engage, the better. It's also helpful if you include a tag.

To tag someone, simply type the @ sign, begin typing the person's name, and a drop-down will appear. Choose his or her name from the drop-down, and then the person will be notified and a live link to his or her LinkedIn profile will be created in your comment.

Your comment could be as simple as, "I really appreciate that you shared this with your network @wayne breitbarth" or "Thanks so much for suggesting other resources on this topic @wayne breitbarth." 

Is it good to use hashtags in my posts and comments? Yes and yes, especially if the hashtags are strategically selected. Hashtags are LinkedIn's way of filing content so that your content gets included in the list of important posts relating to that topic. LinkedIn will suggest hashtags to use, but be sure to use your own, including your industry, names of your products/services, and even your company name. Click here for details on how to use hashtags on LinkedIn.

What LinkedIn metric should you be looking at to see how your content performs? I don't trust views since it simply means someone scrolled past your article. I would track comments, likes and shares, because they are tied to a specific person. In each case you can decide if you want to engage regarding the content, but it may also be in your best interest to send a direct message or invite the person to become part of your LinkedIn network. If you really want to take the relationship to the next level, call the person on the phone or send an email. Ka-ching!

Should you re-share an article you wrote a while back? You bet! If the content is still relevant, get it out there again. Don't worry about people getting it too many times. That rarely happens, because I think the algorithm picks up on that. And if enough time has passed and they're like me, they probably won't remember reading it or applying the wisdom you shared back then.

Now you can probably understand why there's no simple answer when people ask if posting and sharing on LinkedIn is worth it. But if you consistently put the tips I've shared into practice, you should see some real results from the time you invest.

If you'd like to have an individualized LinkedIn strategy session with me to discuss your posting and/or sharing activities, along with loads of advice for amping up your LinkedIn ROI, sign up for a one-on-one session with me by clicking here.

This consultation includes a full profile critique and takes place via phone and screen sharing. I typically have time for only four to six of these $197 sessions each week, and there are some weeknight and Saturday time slots. So check out the details and book your session here.


Have You Missed This Super Helpful FREE LinkedIn Feature?

Posted on June 2, 2019
Wayne Breitbarth

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

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

There are two ways to access this feature. In the large search box on your top toolbar, type the name of the school you're interested in. When it shows up in the drop-down list, choose that entry—or you can just click the name of a school on anyone’s profile. Once you're on the university's page, click the Alumni tab. This will take you to that school's Alumni page.

Ca$h in on this powerful tool

Every school’s Alumni page includes an awesome filtering system that helps you find the perfect fellow alums to reach out to.

The filters include:

  • Where they live
  • Where they work
  • What they do
  • What they studied
  • What they are skilled at
  • How are you connected

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

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

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

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

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

If you'd like me to show you other hard-to-find, "can't miss" LinkedIn features, help you formulate your personal LinkedIn strategy, plus provide an in-depth critique of your LinkedIn profile, sign up for a one-hour, one-on-one consultation with me for the significantly reduced rate of $197.

Book your personal session today at https://www.powerformula.net/one-on-one-linkedin-consultation/


Are You Confused by What it Takes to Have LinkedIn Success?

Posted on May 19, 2019
Wayne Breitbarth

Would you like a to-do list or work plan to help you organize your weekly LinkedIn activities so you have the best chance for success?

Well, some of my one-on-one LinkedIn consulting clients have been asking for one, and if you'd like one too, 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.

Make these steps part of your weekly routine, and it's sure to have an impact on your results for the remainder of 2019.

2019 LinkedIn Game Plan for Success

You can download the full worksheet below, but here's a quick summary of the weekly process that's sure to kick-start your business and career.

Page number references in the worksheet refer to the fourth 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. You can also add value to the relationship by sharing a piece of interesting or helpful content.

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.

Follow these and the other steps in my LinkedIn Game Plan for Success, and you'll be on your way to having your best year ever.


Download (PDF, 10.52MB)

All You Need to Know About the New LinkedIn Profile Changes

Posted on May 11, 2019
Wayne Breitbarth

NEWS FLASH—LinkedIn has messed with your profile (or will soon). Yes, that's three times in three years. And although they may look minor, the changes should encourage you to revisit some of your current strategies for the affected areas.

In summary, all the changes have taken place above the fold (or very close to the fold), which is good news and bad news. The good news is that not much profile real estate has been affected, but the bad news is that it's the part people see when they first land on your profile and begin scrolling through it, and thus it's extremely important.

So, let me address the changes and what actions you should take so your new profile is in prime condition for viewing by your target audience.

Be sure your Headline gives the reader a snapshot of who you are and what you do. 

What used to be your Summary section has been renamed the About section, and it's now below the fold. Therefore, the only real content readers get before scrolling is your Headline. If they don't see what they're looking for or aren't impressed by what they see, they may move on to someone else's profile and never see the impressive details in your About section.

Action step: If your Headline doesn't clearly convey who you are and how you can help people, it's time to make some changes. There are lots of differing opinions on how this should be formatted, but there is complete agreement that the current search ranking algorithm gives priority to the keywords in this section.

For help with your Headline, download my free, three-page worksheet The Definitive Worksheet to Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile Headline. Please note that I haven't had time to revise the graphics in this worksheet to reflect LinkedIn's new look, but the strategies are spot on.

Be sure your Contact info section has your best and most current information.

Because LinkedIn has moved this section to the left side of your top box, where other important information is displayed, more people will be inclined to open it and check out what's in there.

Many times the information in this section (websites, email address, phone number, etc.) entices viewers to take action and visit your website or give you a call.

Action step: Review all the information in this section to make sure it is current. Take advantage of all three website entries. Be sure you've customized your Linkedin URL. I cover this information in great detail in my recently updated book The Power Formula for LinkedIn Success.

Make sure your profile and background photos are sending the right marketing message.

First impressions are extremely important, and some of the first things viewers see are your profile photo and background photo (if you have one). Thus, it's important to be sure these images are helping you rather than hurting you. These images have taken on even greater importance now that the About section is below the fold.

Action step: Make sure your profile photo is current and reflects how you look when you're in your professional space. Don't miss the opportunity to build a background graphic that's more than just a big photo. Treat it like an informational billboard that lets your target audience understand how you can help them. Personally, I've even chosen to include my contact information so people can quickly and easily reach out to me. Many people use a simple tool called Canva to build a productive background photo.

Update the content in your About section so your viewers easily get what they need.

Even though the About section is now typically below the fold, it's still the first large section of detailed information about you that viewers will see. Originally viewers could see your complete Summary section without having to click See more. Now only the first 200-300 characters are visible until you click See more. So it's important to use those characters to entice viewers to open the rest of this section and/or scroll down to look at the other sections of your profile.

You can also choose to add media to this section, and visitors don't have to click See more to see the media. Way too many people fail to take advantage of this opportunity. Don't be one of them!

Action step: It's called the "About" section, so include great information about yourself. Put your best stuff in the first 200-300 characters, but take full advantage of the 2,000 characters LinkedIn allows.

Test a few different options, because I've found that the character limit seems to be inconsistent, and sentence breaks and spacing can have a big impact on how it shows up.

If you're hoping to use LinkedIn as a gateway to your website or to encourage people to call or email you, you may want to place that contact info near the beginning of this section.

And here's one more reason to put your best stuff at the beginning: On the mobile app, only about 140 characters of your About section are initially visible.

Add your two best pieces of media to this section. These can either be files (white papers, customer testimonials, etc.) or links to web pages. For more details on this strategy, check out my article Here's How to Give Your LinkedIn Profile that WOW Factor.

If you have educational chops, make sure you're showing it.

The name of your university or school can display in your top box just below your current job entry. However, during this changeover the entry has been dropped on many people's profiles. If you think the school you attended adds to your credibility on LinkedIn, make sure it shows up in your top box.

Action step: In the edit section of your top box, check the box titled Show education in my intro.

Also, make sure your most impressive educational institution shows up first, because that's the one that's displayed in your top box. You can rearrange your educational entries by holding and dragging the Rearrange icon on the entry you want to move.

There you have it—the complete roadmap to getting your 2019 LinkedIn profile ready for viewers who may just turn into your next client, employer, referral source, or best friend.

If you would like personal help with your profile and overall LinkedIn strategy, check out my one-on-one LinkedIn consultation service, which includes a one-hour virtual consultation and a complete profile critique for just $197. Click here to get the details and book your session.


Are These LinkedIn Mistakes Hurting Your Company?

Posted on May 5, 2019
Wayne Breitbarth

One plus one equals two, right?

Well, not in the LinkedIn world. For the most part, LinkedIn members have been using the site to pursue their individual goals and objectives.

It’s now time for the company to gather up the troops and bring all these individuals together—with their connections and their voices—and put forth a consistent company message. There is immense exponential value when the employees and company work together.

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

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

How many of these mistakes are you and your company making?

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

2.  Sharing incorrect or inconsistent information about the company

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

4.  Failing to keyword optimize employee profiles and company page

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

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

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

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

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

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

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