Sat, 27 May 2017
Welcome to episode 163, it’s been a terrible week for me with the shocking news coming from Manchester and being personally touched by the tragic events, it’s made it really hard to focus at times.
This week I want to focus on managing your home page feed on LinkedIn.
I listened to a very interesting and revealing interview with ex LinkedIn social selling guru Koka Sexton on the ‘Linking into Sales’ podcast this week.
The most interesting part for me was when Koka revealed that LinkedIn are driven by data and this is why they drop features that many ‘superusers’ love (Answers, Amazon Reading List, Signal etc) which is, in my opinion, absolutely nuts!
LinkedIn introduce ‘Pregnancy Pause’ a feature that allows women who are taking a career break to add a Pregnancy Pause period into their experience section.
The new photo filter feature has finally appeared on our desktop profiles this week…it’s OK but I can’t see much point in it really.
LinkedIn have introduced an improved InMail analytics tool for their Recruiter and Recruiter Lite customers. It looks great but why on earth wouldn't they introduce this for Sales Navigator customers…probably because LinkedIn work in ‘silos’ and it will no doubt make its way to Sales Navigator soon.
LinkedIn have also released a handy step-by-step guide to Sponsored InMail. If you are considering paying to send inMails to a targeted audience, this is definitely worth a read.
Introductions are making a return! At the moment this feature is only available on the mobile app but it actually works pretty well. Lets hope it comes to desktop pretty soon.
LinkedIn are changing their profile background images….again!
I don't mean the change that occurred in line with the new desktop design, this is another change!
The previous size was 1536x768. The new size will be 1584x396.
And this is how my profile currently looks with the old background image dimensions (the image is exactly the same).
I actually think my background image looks better with the new dimensions although when it is fully rolled out I will need to drag the image a little lower.
"Why have they made this change?" I hear you ask. Well, whilst frustrating, it does make some sense actually. The wide 'stretched' image when optimised for desktop, didn't look great on mobile (where 60% of your viewers are). This change fixes that and looks great on all devices and screen sizes.
If however you would prefer to make your own image with your images and text then I would recommend using Relay. It's free and their 'LinkedIn Cover' templates will work OK with the new dimensions - they are still set to the old dimensions but will work, to a degree, with the new and they will no doubt update the templates once the roll-out is complete (I have made contact to give them the heads up).
Your LinkedIn homepage feed is one of the most important features on LinkedIn
So what do you do?
You ignore it!!!
Why? Well because 90% of what you see there is of no relevance or interest to you!
And you blame the algorithm…which is partly correct but what are you doing about improving your feed?
It’s time to take control and get your house (homepage) in order!
To do this effectively you will need to be brutal. It’s like clearing out an attic or your wardrobe of old clothes….it only works if you are really honest with your self and admit ‘I’m never going to wear that’ but your ‘inner doubt devil’ will keep whispering in your ear “but maybe you will….perhaps if this happens or you go to this event”!
Your LinkedIn feed is the same…..”Oh maybe they will post something important one day”…Really? I doubt it….dump them and unfollow!
Ignore the little devils warning and unfollow…unfollow…unfollow.
Trust me, it’s very liberating!
More importantly you are taking control and commanding the algorithm. Rather than being it’s victim, you are now it’s master!
And now you can enjoy your feed..and engage..and build relationships…and build trust and start to really benefit from LinkedIn.
Here are the five questions you should ask for every post you see on your homepage feed;
Do I personally know this person?
If you can’t answer yes to one of the above questions then unfollow them…..be really honest with these questions - are you sure?
You won’t regret it
This week we had another voicemail question. Click below to listen to Jaz Greer’s question about post notifications.
This is clearly a design fault in that I can see no logical reason why LinkedIn wouldn’t want you to see who shared your post.
I’m using #MrLinkedIn on all my posts until they fix the problem. What will your hashtag be?
Sat, 20 May 2017
Welcome to episode 162, well I’m still standing!
I’m approaching the end of my second week standing and my legs and feet finally seem to be adjusting! I definitely feel a lot fitter and have more energy so I’m going to stick with it.
So this week I want to return too the subject of LinkedIn Articles (formerly known as published posts) because I sense that many people are holding back and the main reason for that is that they don’t know what to write about.
It seems as though some people are subversively misusing this type of post to generate leads!
It’s an interesting point, I have asked for referrals and it can be very effective but I have never thought of going back to say I had sorted it.
I was helping a client this week who was reluctant to write articles on LinkedIn. My advice is that;
When pressed she admitted that the main thing blocking her was thinking of what she could write about. I think this is a pretty common problem so I have produced a 12 step approach to generating ideas for great LinkedIn articles.
New Video recording and sharing Chrome extension.
Thanks to Darrel Griffin for highlighting this one. It’s free and works really well.
This week we have a voicemail question from Greg;
Firstly I have never tried it but I am sure you can have a Sales Navigator account as well as Recruiter Lite account. It would be cheaper than going for the full blown Recruiter account but probably unnecessary.
Let’s first exam why LinkedIn believe you need to upgrade to Recruiter. Below is a table explaining the difference and I have highlighted the advantages that are relevant to you
You could make an argument for the extra filters but I’m not convinced. Therefore it comes down to InMails. Do you really need 150 a month?
The question on whether Sales Navigator is the right option for you is probably answered in this post I wrote;
Sales Navigator Vs Recruiter Lite
Sat, 13 May 2017
Welcome to episode 161, I’m recording very early this week so please excuse me if any news that broke this week isn't covered!
So that is the main topic this week, I hope you find it useful.
But before that…..
Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week
Weekly Roundup: Message and Share Comments, Calendar Sync, Personalized Job Insights
I also heard a rumour this week that the infamous “I don't know” induced restricted account is no more!
There has been much talk about the disappointing numbers of views that people are getting for the articles on LinkedIn but this week I spoke with an ex-colleague who has almost 150,000 followers. They are getting an average of 5000 views per article and a staggering 150,000 views of their posts in the feed!
LinkedIn seemed to be really pushing growing networks at the moment. To celebrate reaching 500 million members they have been displaying information such as this on your homepage (mobile and desktop).
LinkedIn search engine optimization
The search that I undertook was for the keyword “copywriter" and I compared the results between my account, an account with no connections, and accounts with circa 100 connections and my account on a Sales Navigator lead builder search.
This can by no means be described as a thorough, scientific evaluation but when I add it to previous tests that I have undertaken, it did bring some very interesting results.
From what I can gather there are 5 important elements to ensure that you rank high in a search result.
For the first time in a long time, I have a cool thing to tell you about!
As you know I am a big fan of using Google extensions that allow you to expand prewritten text from short snippets but did you know you can also do this on mobile?
TextExpander 3 will create a custom keyboard for your iPhone which will allow you to use snippets that can be created with the app or in the desktop version.
Sat, 6 May 2017
Welcome to episode 160, the wether has improved in the UK this week and it looks as though spring has finally arrived so I thought that would be a good excuse to take a fresh look at our LinkedIn profiles and see if they are in need of a spring clean
But first, I did see a couple of things this week you should know about…..
Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week
Oracle links to LinkedIn so its salesware can sniff you out
Profile Spring Clean
1. Is your background image effective? Consider using Relay for this
6. Make sure your most relevant and important media is shown under your current position.
Tip of the Week
How to reveal the full profile of people of people outside of your network (in a search result)
Three questions this week;
“Hello Mark, hope you are doing well. I have another question for you. How can I remove the university information from the top of my profile, between the headline and the location? I see your profile and others do not show it, thought education is listed in your profile. What's the trick?”
This is actually easier than you think, simply add a new item under eduction (anything you like) and it will automatically appear in the education section at the top of your profile (see below)
“I had a quick question in regards to LinkedIn and was hoping you may be able to point me in the right direction given your expertise. I was told a little while ago that when Microsoft purchased LInkedIn they disposed of "linkedin jail" where you have sent too many requests and they then ban you for sending additional requests unless you have an email. As a result, I went about diligently expanding my network (only 2nd degree connections). I have now noticed that I am unable to send any further requests. Does linkedin jail still exist? would there be a reason for freeze thats been placed on me? And is there a way around it?”
I think you might be confusing two different things.
If you are not able to send invitations at all then that could either be a bug or you may have reached your limit of 3000 invites.
“How do I send out a group announcement?”
This has recently changed. The solution is not in the management area but simply click on ‘Start a conversation with your group’ on the main page and (as a Manager) you see the option to send an announcement
Sat, 29 April 2017
Welcome to episode 159, following my trip to Social Media Marketing World something has been bugging me…..video!
So that is the subject of this weeks episode but before I get into that……
Check Out the New Podcast Hosted by Reid Hoffman with the most annoying name ever!
A big thanks to Una Doyle-Love for coming on the show to share her knowledge of video.
Una mentioned using a light that simply clicks on top of your phone such as the one at the below link;
She also mentioned headphone extension cables such as this one;
and a selfie stick such as the one below;
Where video can be used on LinkedIn
Messages. I am most excited about this way of using video because video messages are so much more powerful and effective. When some one receives your video on their mobile app (tip - send it in the evening or at the weekend if you want them to see it on their phone) it looks like this;
See below for a couple of simple examples of videos I made today, the first one was taken on my laptop and took about 4 minutes and the second one was taken on my iPhone and took even less time
Sat, 22 April 2017
Welcome to episode 158, it’s been a very ‘buggy’ week this week, firstly connections were in reverse order in the ‘My network’ list then the ability to recommend someone disappeared. Both are now fixed but it is clear that something is going on behind the scenes.
I thought I would lighten things up a bit this week and relay a funny story I heard from a listener in the US this week.
Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week
Google quietly takes on LinkedIn with its own job listings site
New Privacy Settings
I was alerted to some changes in this article from LinkedIn this week;
Updates To Our Terms of Service
I was interested to see the ‘Using public data to improve your profile’ setting with the option to switch this off, this is a mobile only feature but when I tapped on it, I got this;
Genius! Back to the drawing board LinkedIn!
I also noticed a new setting that allows you to merge accounts, this has only previously been something the help centre could do for you. You can find this setting in the ‘Privacy’ section of your settings;
Productivity messaging bots can be switched off, a relief for many I’m sure but I’m sticking with them to see if they improve and become useful.
I’m very curious about the ‘Easily meet up with members’ feature. I can’t see any reference to this in the mobile app settings on iOS but it sounds like a pretty cool feature.
Groups Follow Up
Thanks for all your feedback following last weeks topic of what to do about LinkedIn Groups, I especially liked this input from Carl Whalley who runs a massive Google Android group on LinkedIn.
The story for me creating the Android group is legendary, I just wanted the badge by my name which is pretty much all they had back then. When I thought a bit more though, I was assuming they would grow into something much more - the phrase I hear often is "centres of excellence". Linked In already had a massive pool of business oriented individuals which alone is unfocussed. Groups are a way to segment those skills and interests into a more manageable system. They really had the potential to take on what many specialised forums on the external internet were doing. So if you were say an accountant, a lawyer etc using these specialised forums - why were you there? The immediate answer is "because thats where the others like me are" - which is the biggest chicken and egg problem anyone trying to grow one of these faces. For Linked In though, that issue never arose.
What else then? I can only go off my own experiences. I had as issue with my Audi recently, so I searched a few Audi forums. I'm not a mechanic, but I know if I phrase the question properly, or even search properly and the content is already there, I'll get my answer. I go to a centre of excellence relating to the subject I am interested in.
What makes a centre of excellence, and what keeps it that way? It's the knowledge of the people contributing. At the start, Linked In groups were like this. They were small enough to be able to keep up with, and there was a genuine enthusiasm from the members to share their knowledge, for free, because they valued the community spirit and assumed the quality would remain high because everyone else seemed to thinking that way too. This pattern is the same for external forums.
So what changed - i.e. the second part, "what keeps it that way"?
I think deep down people have to get value from something if they are to invest in it long term. With anything free, value is something other than monetary. Value *can* work in free forums on the internet - look at the programmers website, Stack Overflow. There is a badge and points system which members have to earn from their peers, but it's definitely recognised now in that industry and those with decent ratings are proud to trumpet them on their CV's. Imagine if Linked In groups were seen this way. You'd end up with people saying, for example, "I have 1000 points and the guru level in the Linked In Architect group". This clearly wouldn't work for all groups, or perhaps only a small minority, but without financial incentives the answer will be something like this. Also, the groups themselves must be seen to be credible, i.e. rated by Linked In. It's one thing having a zillion SEO web marketing groups, but we all know only a dozen or so would be well run - natural consolidation will have seen to that already. Having Linked In endorsing the group itself, or even rating it, instantly removes most of the noise we see today.
The software itself also plays a large part in all this. If you look at any successful internet forum, you'll see it just looks and behaves nothing like a Linked in Group. There are easy to identify sub groups, which Linked In did have at once stage but killed off. There are threaded discussions, often with user customisable views such as hierarchical, flattened, highest rated etc.
And why is spam so hard to deal with? As a first measure, any identical content posted in multiple groups is suspect. Let the group managers see what other groups and titles the poster has attempted before, so they can spot them right away. Again, external forums have smarter ways of dealing with this such as new members not being able to post anything until their "rating" is above a certain limit. This pattern keeps repeating - look at what makes external forums successful and do it that way.
Is is to late to turn around? No. The members haven't gone anywhere, and the issue of segmenting them into useful areas will always be present, no matter what you call them. The solution is to focus on making them centres of excellence - giving them value - and putting in place everything needed to support that.
This week, LinkedIn also produced some new information about some changes to the management features of groups and confirmed they are committed to the groups feature.
You can read the detail here;
New Groups Management Experience - Frequently Asked Questions
I think these are just small incremental improvements and the big change that is required. I suspect LinkedIn, possibly in conjunction with Microsoft are looking into much more significant changes to groups, I certainly hope so, as I said last week - chipping around the edges is not going to solve this problem!
I received 6 emails from a listener in the US this week who I will call Donald. In these emails he outlines a long and clearly frustrating interaction with LinkedIn’s infamous ‘Help’ Centre… I was almost crying with laughter when I read them so I thought I would share this slice of comedy gold with you!
Sat, 15 April 2017
Welcome to episode 157. It’s about time we talked about groups again, A long standing feature that used to be great but seems to have deteriorated in recent years resulting in very strong rumours that groups are about to be dumped by LinkedIn.
But before we get into groups…..
Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week
Have a listen to the podcast to hear what I have to say on this.
I can remember when groups were one of LinkedIn favourite features, now they seem to be the problem child. Should LinkedIn abandon them or is there a cure?
This is an infographic that LinkedIn put together in August 2013
In those days LinkedIn were proud of groups, so how did it all go so wrong?
My feeling is that they became a victim of their own success;
Too many groups were created (8000 a week in 2013!)
Most groups have become like ghosts towns with very few new members and virtually no activity happening.
I first heard this rumour at Social Media Marketing World from experienced and knowledgeable commentators and this led to ex LinkedIn staffer Koka Sexton publicly asking the question to Ryan Rolansky (Head of Product and one of LinkedIn’s key decision makers)
Samantha Bailey has since written this article; (Warning : Samantha researches her articles exceptionally well but as a result they are long……..very long!)
Personally I really don’t believe the answer lies in monetising groups. LinkedIn’s monetisation strategy has always been largely indirect meaning that they design functionality to increase things like page views, number of members etc so that they can monetise those things.
Groups should be abandoned and replaced with a new, fresh feature that is named differently
It would seem sensible that this new solution would be developed in conjunction with Microsoft
New Udemy Course
Question : “I'm Canadian and actively looking for my next job opportunity not locally but abroad.
What can one do to not be looked over because of their location? I've filled out the hidden job search function on LinkedIn but I'm not confident that most recruiters have access to this so I feel I could be doing more to make myself a more attractive candidate to foreign recruiters. The only issue for me is that I feel recruiters are turned off to my candidacy because of my location and the possible relocation costs involved.
ANS= Unfortunately there is no simple solution to this. Most jobs are filled (on LinkedIn) via search so what are the chances of someone searching in Canada?
One important thing to note is that applying for jobs without a permit to work is pretty much impossible. You won’t get a job offer first, permit second. It simply doesn’t work that way!
As far as LinkedIn is concerned you have two things you might be able to do;
ANS = This one had me (and Luca) stumped but Luca found the answer in the good old LinkedIn Help centre!
Sat, 8 April 2017
Welcome to episode 156, this week I finally get around to discussing how LinkedIn works across different languages and seeing as I know very little about the subject, I called upon my good friend Luca Bozzato to help out.
But first a few updates for you…..
LinkedIn have finally clarified the difference between article and post ‘views’
Article views have always been ‘real’ views (ie someone clicked on your post) whereas post ‘views’ are just page impressions, ie it has just appeared on someone’s homepage feed and there is no guarantee that anyone has actually read it.
I wrote an article this week about the increasing amount of images posted to LinkedIn that are the wrong size and are therefore getting badly cropped in the feed.
You can read the full article below;
I also had all kinds of issues getting the thumbnail for the article to look right in my profile.
Something interesting I saw this week….
Who Has the Best (and Worst) LinkedIn Profile Photos?
So who would have guessed that Chile would have the best profile pics?!
This gave me the perfect excuse to re-test my score with Snappr now that I have a new profile, previously in episode 145, I found I had a rather disappointing score of 64 but I’m delighted to see a big improvement!
LinkedIn Languages with Luca Bozzato
I was delighted to welcome Italian LinkedIn expert Luca onto the show to share his knowledge, click on the image below to view Luca’s profile.
Some highlights of our chat
Please feel free to get in touch if you have any further question about multi-lingual profile
A great question this week from Stan Robinson;
Q- Is it possible to duplicate a saved search in Sales Navigator?
ANS - This is a great question and the answer is that it can be done but not by duplicating a saved search directly. The workaround is to do the following;
Go to the saved search you wish to replicate & amend
Sat, 1 April 2017
Welcome to episode 155, I’m sorry I wasn’t able to deliver an episode last week, the conference was so ‘full on’ I had no opportunity to put together the full episode although I did manage to record a few short snippets.
Now that I’m back, albeit somewhat jet lagged, I thought I would share with you my experiences last week in San Diego
Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week.
LinkedIn revamps timeline with Trending Storylines: curated, algorithmic news clusters
LinkedIn could be moving firm's IP to Ireland after Microsoft's €24bn takeover
Social Media Marketing World (#SMMW17)
So last week I made the trip to San Diego, a trip I had thought about making every year since this conference started. It was a big commitment both financially and in terms of time….so was it worth it?
The conference was held at the massive convention centre in downtown San Diego. SMMW had c3000 delegates but we barely took up ⅓rd of the convention centre!!
The conference began officially on Thursday but they ran a series of practical workshops on the Wednesday so my first experience was a practical session led by David H. Lawrence 17th and it couldn’t have been a better start!
How to create videos that build authority at a moments notice. David H. Lawrence XVII
I made more notes in this session than in any other. Very impressive speaker with a background as a Hollywood actor!
I met up with listener Gary Stockton afterwards to get his feedback
How to create highly shareable social media images - Rebekah Radice
I am a big believer in the importance of images in our posts and articles on LinkedIn so I had high hopes for this workshop……it wasn’t as insightful as I hoped but I still picked up a few tips;
Day two keynote - Michael Stelzner
Artificial Intelligence - Christopher Penn
This was a very fascinating but complicated topic and I think I understood, at best about 20% of what Christopher covered! He was clearly a very competent, technical guy and as a result he communicated as you would expect of someone of such a ‘techie’! The main highlights were as follows;
How to become an evangelist - Guy Kawasaki
Guy was one of the real ‘Superstar’ presenters at the conference and he didn’t disappoint! He can be pretty controversial at times but also very entertaining. He was talking about being an evangelist and the things I learnt were as follows;
Sat, 18 March 2017
Welcome to episode 154, it’s been a tricky week this week, I had planned an interview with an Italian LinkedIn trainer to tackle the important subject of multi-lingual profiles but due to a combination of illness and power cuts, I had to postpone that!
Instead I decided to cover a subject I am very enthusiastic about - research, specifically researching people.
LinkedIn’s founder Reid Hoffman has been wondering what to do with himself since he found the the company he had a major stake in had been sold for $26.2B…..tough life!
LinkedIn have updated their mobile app.
Instead we have to try to figure out the changes for ourselves although they did announce in their blog that the new version now has profile picture edit options;
There are some other notable changes. The ‘Me’ menu has disappeared….wait! I thought they redesigned the desktop experience to be more in line with mobile…but now they are dropping the Me menu from mobile?!!
This was how the menu looked before the update;
This is how it looks now
As you can see, the Me menu has been replaced with jobs (boo hiss!). So how do you get to the profile edit page?
They have also improved the controls you have over your feed. Now when tapping on the edit link (see below) you get more options.
One of these options is ‘Improve my feed’
Have you noticed any other changes?
LinkedIn Warn Cheaters!
LinkedIn are sending out emails to users who they spot are logging into another persons account, this currently only seems to happen when they are a Sales Navigator or Recruiter Lite subscriber.
A listener sent me this screenshot of an email they received recently
I Know You…..Profile Research
There are so many things you can find out about someone from their profile. In this section I talk in more details about;
No episode next week (probably)
I think it’s likely that I won’t get an episode out next week as I will be networking and learning like crazy at the Social Media Marketing World Conference in sunny San Diego….can’t wait!