LinkedInformed Podcast. The LinkedIn Show

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.
It’s a critical aspect of using LinkedIn effectively and most people ignore it so it’s time for a good clean up! But first…..

Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week

LinkedIn have changed the wording from ‘Try premium for free’ to ‘Reactivate premium’ and whilst it was a good idea to change it, I think the wording is terrible!

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.
You can listen to the interview here, it’s definitely worth an hour of your time.

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!
It makes sense to be informed by data but to be obsessed with it shows just how dumb LinkedIn can be!
If a feature is not widely used, it normally means that people are either not aware of it or do not know how to use it. Many of these features added a richness to LinkedIn that it now sadly lacks….all because they only listened to data!

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.
This is a good idea, it’s hardly groundbreaking as all they are doing is effectively creating a company page for Pregnancy Pause.
I wonder how long it will be before baby care products or nurseries start targeting Pregnancy Pause ‘employees’?!

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!
If you are using a background/cover image in your profile (and you should be!) then you may find it looks pants once this new design has been fully rolled out!

The previous size was 1536x768. The new size will be 1584x396.

Here's what the new dimensions will look like;

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.
Free background Image
If you don’t mind having a generic, cool looking image I have made 20 images that are exactly the right dimensions for you. Complete your details below to get access to the download page and pick the one you like the best…..with my compliments!

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).

It’s Time For A Clear Out!

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?
Is this relevant to me?
Is this useful to my followers (inc connections)
Do I wish to engage with this person?
Does this person normally post relevant content?

If you can’t answer yes to one of the above questions then unfollow them… really honest with these questions - are you sure?

Be brutal!

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 sure they will fix it soon but a short term workaround would be to add your own unique hashtag to every post and then search on that hashtag to see who has shared it.

I’m using #MrLinkedIn on all my posts until they fix the problem. What will your hashtag be?

Direct download: LinkedInformed_163.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30am UTC

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.
So this week I’m going to go through my 12 point plan to removing LinkedIn writers block!

But first…..

Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week

LinkedIn are adding a ‘suggested summary’ to your profile and it sucks!
This solicitor has one of the best LinkedIn profiles we’ve ever seen…Really?!
Sham Uddin’s LinkedIn profile
Is Facebook Replacing LinkedIn as the New Professional Network?
Alerts Issue: A Listener sent me the thread of an issue they had with job alerts recently. I also think search alerts are playing up at the moment

Referral Request Posts

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.

LinkedIn Article Writers Block

I was helping a client this week who was reluctant to write articles on LinkedIn. My advice is that;
“Everyone should write an article on LinkedIn”

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.
You can access the step-by-step guide by completing the form below

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?
If you need some more InMails you could always consider upgrading your basic account to one of the following premium accounts which would also be cheaper than Recruiter.

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

Direct download: LinkedInformed_162.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30am UTC

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!
I had a very interesting conversation this week with someone who was sharing their experience with being found by customers on Linkedin. Whilst this mostly happens via visibility through content and engagement, it can also happen via search…ie a potential customer searches for you via a LinkedIn search.
We know this is most common in recruitment but it got me thinking about how often if happens outside of recruiters searching for candidates and that in turn made me realize that I hadn’t done any optimization testing for quite some time.

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!
It's hard to know if this is true, on the one hand the article regarding a restricted account has been removed from the help centre but at the same time the "I don't know” response is still available when you ignore an invitation.
I have also spoken to someone who has a restricted account, and it has not been lifted.
What is your experience with this?

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!
Clearly, some people are still gaining great benefit from LinkedIn.

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).

In addition to this, they are also diverted new to the ad connections page (from importing contacts) after you have sent someone an invitation to connect.
This is really bad practice by LinkedIn and is encouraging the wrong behaviour!
I can only assume that new membership numbers have decreased and they are trying hard to get back to 2 new members a second.


LinkedIn search engine optimization

It has been a long time since I tested profile optimization and with the new user interface I thought it was about time I had a look again.

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.

  • The areas that I assessed were as follows;
    Keywords throughout the profile
    Keywords in the headline
    Keywords in job titles
    Keywords in company names
    Network (the effect of 1st tier, 2nd tier etc)
    Shared connections
    Profile strength

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.
Enter your details below to download my report and get access to the video showing the actual search and results.


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.
It works fantastically well and is a massive timesaver.

Question: I'm getting very low views on my articles and posts and subsequently very little engagement. What can I do to improve things?

Ask more questions (in the post as well as the article itself) to stimulate engagement
Use # in your posts and articles. Currently, you seem to be getting # confused with @mentions.
@mention relevant people/companies. Not the crazy lists you see but 3 or 4 people who are either quoted in the article or someone she knows will find it interesting.
Find 'high score' influencers on LinkedIn and make friends with them (engage with them share their stuff etc) so that it would be appropriate to @mention or share an article directly to them.
Experiment with posting at different times of the day. Commuting times are often effective but her audience are CEO's so I might try evenings and especially Sunday evening when she might get their attention.
Make sure the images in posts are the right size (3x2 ratio)
Make your articles a little more punchy, challenging and debatable. Some are a little too long for most people's attention spans!
Tweet @LinkedInEditors for each article
The algorithm clearly doesn't like you for some reason. This could be based on previous activities (spamming, overposting in groups etc) or just that you haven't got it's attention yet!

Direct download: LinkedInformed_161.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30am UTC

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
What the EU’s new data protection laws mean for UK industry


Profile Spring Clean

1. Is your background image effective? Consider using Relay for this
2. Is your profile picture close up, current, professional and optimised for circular?
3. Are you using your 120 characters in your headline effectively?
4. Make sure your start your summary with contact information (for mobile views)
5. Ensure the first two lines of your summary act as a ‘teaser’ to incentivise the viewer to click on ‘see more’

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.
A 'restricted' account is where you have to have the email for everyone you invite to connect - this was triggered by 5 'I don't know' this person responses.
LinkedIn have not publicly announced anything but the 'restricted account' article in the help center has gone so you might be right, it does seem to have been stopped (that won't have anything to do with Microsoft though).

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

Direct download: LinkedInformed_160.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30am UTC