LinkedInformed Podcast. The LinkedIn Show (general)

Welcome to episode 203, after a weeks break for the Easter holidays we are back and this week I want to talk about engagement……quite possibly the single most important thing you should consider when using LinkedIn!
Not much news since the last episode, apart from the following


Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week


LinkedIn Goes All-In on B2B Video

I have mixed feelings about this, as you know I love video and the ability to post videos from a company page is a positive thing but then again, the people that manage company pages tend to be stuck in a mindset of promotion……so we can expect to see a lot of boring corporate, ‘look at how amazing we are’ videos….joy!
In addition, the main reason LinkedIn have implemented this is to encourage companies to sponsor their video posts, which will also lead to more boring, non-engaging promotional videos.

I still think video from a personal page is by far the best way to encourage engagement.


It looks like LinkedIn have figured a way to work out what Chrome extension you are using!
I have no idea how they do this but perhaps this marks the end of automation tools.

New Feature

LinkedIn are now rolling out the ‘find nearby’ I have mentioned previously to mobile apps (roll-out is ‘account specific’ not ‘device specific’).
This could be a great feature for events and conferences but having it switched off by default is a disastrous move! If you have to explain to people how to switch it on, it kind of loses the point!

Engagement

Promotion simply doesn’t work on LinkedIn…or at least, it very rarely works so that poses the following question;

“If we are using LinkedIn to win new business and promotion doesn’t work…why bother with LinkedIn?”

The answer is simple: LinkedIn allows you to achieve two key things that will help you win more business;

Increased visibility.
Warmer relationships with prospective customers

Both of these factors are achieved by one thing…….Engagement

Engagement - the development of conversations on LinkedIn. This is the key to success in my opinion.

How to engage
Find relevant content and join in the conversation
Post about relevant, interesting topics and ask questions

The first point about finding the right content is dependant on searching for content (keywords and Hashtags) as well as ensuring your homepage feed is full of comment-worthy posts. This is achieved by;
Cleaning out your feed by unfollowing people who post bad content
Following people that post interesting stuff
Influencing the algorithm by showing interest in the above people and their content

The algorithm has to make decisions as to what to show you in your feed, if it showed you every post from every connection you wouldn’t be able to make any sense of it.
The algorithm can only act on the information it is given and this information actually comes from you.
Topics you have followed or previously commented or Liked
Topics you have posted or written articles about
Groups you have joined, especially if you are active
Profiles you have viewed
Messages you have sent
Skills in your profile
Your industry in your profile

There are probably more factors, LinkedIn doesn’t tell us how this is done but we know it’s an algorithm and that can only work from data/activity based instructions. You need to think of yourself as being a ‘programmer’ through your actions.

This is important to consider in terms of what you see but even more important to consider when you are posting! Who will see your post and can you influence this in your activities?
@mentioning can also help but don’t rely on notifications as they are throttled by LinkedIn for highly active users.
Using # in your posts is also helpful

Some people have suggested that LinkedIn should allow us to control our own feed…this is unrealistic as very few would use it.

Direct download: LinkedInformed_203.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am UTC

Welcome to episode 202, this week I don’t really have one main subject to cover but I guess the most eye grabbing headline is that LinkedIn have decided to re-design profiles….again!
More of that later but to start with as usual….


Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week

The Bible of LinkedIn Bollocks
LinkedIn Top Companies To Work For - UK
LinkedIn Top Companies To Work For - US
LinkedIn Top Companies To Work For - Canada
LinkedIn Top Companies To Work For - Australia
How we created the 2018 LinkedIn Top Companies list


LinkedIn Updates

New Profile Design

About a year ago, most people were seeing the new design for the first time, The basic (free) version of LinkedIn had a complete makeover including a new design for profiles…..and now they have decided the re-design profiles again!!

Firstly let me make it clear that these new profiles are in the early stage of roll-out so very few of you will see this. I also don’t have this new design, the above screenshot was sent to me by my good friend and fellow LinkedIn Trainer Angus Grady.

Please Note: Roll out of new features is per account, not per profile. You might think this is the same but it isn’t. Angus’ LinkedIn account is part of the early roll-out, not his profile. When I view his profile, it has the picture in the centre but when he views it (or any other) he sees the new design with the picture on the left.

Also please note: Another misconception about new features is that there rollout is based on geography…it is not! The amount of times someone states “we don’t have it yet here in X” drives me crazy!
Roll-out isn’t random but your account was allocated into a cohort when you signed up, this group is still continually added to as new members sign up. I’m not sure how many cohorts there are but they are not based on location, premium or when you signed up. They allow LinkedIn to test new features in a random way.

Because I don’t have this yet, I haven’t been able to test if the links and features are different or whether it’s purely a cosmetic change.

One thing is for sure, there are plenty of people out there who are going to have to change their background image!

So what do you think of the change of design?
I must admit it does look better, that said I think Linkedin have far more urgent priorities than making profiles look prettier!

Multiple Image Posts on Desktop

An image post made of up to 9 images has been a feature of the LinkedIn mobile app for sometime but recently LinkedIn quietly made it possible on Desktop, this is great news for company page admins who are not able to mange their page via mobile.

To add images via a PC simply use the ctrl+click or cmd+click on Mac to select multiple images (or the click+shift feature for a complete line of files).

Video Filters

LinkedIn Video: Stand Out with Filters and Text

Ok, maybe it’s just me but those filters just look ridiculous! They remind me of the equally ugly emojis in Messages that no-one uses!
That said, the ability to add text is useful and actually works pretty well.
I won’t be using this feature but mainly because I recommend recording your video on the Clips or Clipomatic apps. They both provide much better filters, text and editing options.


Is LinkedIn Deliberately ‘throttling’ post distribution?

Er…no!
I have heard and seen a fair bit of chatter about this, instigated mainly by Josh Fechter announcing that LinkedIn had reduced his post views by 90%.

He followed that up with this article
LinkedIn Wants to Put an End to Broetry in Favor of This

The thing is, I don’t believe ‘Broetry’ was ever a reason why he got high numbers in the first place.

All that matters in a post is that it’s more than 3 lines long, this will ensure it triggers the ‘See more’ and if people click on that, the algorithm will automatically push the post out to more people.

It doesn’t matter if it’s easy to read or a big, ugly block of text. If the first 3 lines are enough to tempt me to click or tap on ‘see more’ it will get more views.

As far as Josh is concerned, his numbers are still amazing so I don’t really know what his is complaining about.
I very much doubt this is a conspiracy to ‘throttle’ posts but merely a consequence of more people posting interesting and engaging content.

The algorithm has to limit the amount of content in our feed or it would be unmanageable so a reduction in views is inevitable....the same thing happened with Articles.

This is simply a consequence of success, if you get high views and engagement, other will copy and as they get higher views, your will go down. That’s all there is to it….no conspiracy!

 

Posting Statistics

A listener Mark Lee decided to conduct his own experiment on the success of his posts on LinkedIn and he has been generous enough to share the numbers and conclusions with me.

Mark’s target audience is Accountants and small Accountancy firms

The analysis goes back to the start of December, initially he was posting links to his or other Blogs via IFTTT, this was soon halted in favour of long, text only posts.

His conclusions are as follows;
Posts with genuine questions attract more views and Likes
Comments are the most important thing to aim for
There appears to be no relation between early success (first 2 hours) and eventual numbers
There is some evidence of a cumulative effect, the average numbers increased over time.

My observations
Controversy creates engagement
True stories work
Questions are critical
Very few of Mark posts were images so it would be wrong to conclude that image posts don’t deliver results

Direct download: LinkedInformed_202.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:30am UTC

Welcome to episode 201, this week I return to our normal format and the main subject is something that has been playing on my mind for a while, in some respects I think it can be the ‘elephant in the room’ for a social media or LinkedIn Trainer / Coach …..What do you do if your prospects are not socially active on LinkedIn or any social media platform?

More of that later, but to start with….


Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week

  • LinkedIn updates its Terms of Service in line with GDPR
  • Microsoft Pix can scan business cards to your contacts, find people on LinkedIn
  • A Tale of Two Cases: LinkedIn Postings as Solicitations
  • LinkedIn Search Doesn’t Implicate FCRA, California Court Rules
  • Introducing the LinkedIn Content Insights Annual

Post of the week

Actually this was from the previous week when the ‘beast from the East’ hit the UK.
1277 likes, 120 comments and a staggering 51,000 views for a native video is exceptional, especially from someone with just 679 followers!

I also posted a video this week of a feature that has been bugging me for a while…..why can’t you ‘Ignore’ an invite from a profile?
Bad design or something more sinister?

#LinkedInLocal Manchester

I would estimate we had about 70-85 people at the inaugural #LinkedInLocal event in Manchester.
It was a great night and plenty of new friends and connections were made.
A big thanks to Alex Galviz (co-founder of LinkedInLocal) for coming up from London to share her story of how LinkedInLocal started and a massive thank-you to my fellow organisers;
Kirsty James
Amanda Newman
Alex McCann

How Do You Win Business on LinkedIn with a disengaged audience?

This topic has been on my mind for sometime and I decided to cover it in this episode when I received this excellent video question from Paolo Lanciani

I asked Paolo to share his ideas on this subject and here is what he had to say;
I guess my success depends on a combination of factors:
1. I have a very clear focus: not only the community of business lawyers in Italy is relatively small,
2. but I further narrowed it down, knowing exactly for whom (mindset, values, approach, style) and when (circumstances, needs, specific challenges) I am a valuable resource
3. I brand myself within the community building a presence on their niche media (a journal about the law industry) where I interview successful lawyers explaining from a psychological stand point why they are successful.
4. On Linkedin I share daly videos, posts and articles that are consistent and spread on other platforms too: it is not about being read every time, but about being there the day they are searching that type of support/solution/input
5. I use the messenger to reach out to those who might be most interested to a specific content and tell them about it (might be a podcast for young lawyers, a video about how to assess potential in recruiting associates or about on line presence or even business development strategy; always from a psychological point of view and well aware of the specific way of thinking of my target audience)
6. I share the same kind of challenges and opportunities: we are looking for and relying on small numbers, high tickets and long term strategies.

That is great feedback and fits with many of my thoughts on the subject.

I also asked for more thoughts and ideas in this post;

You can read all the comments but the main ones I would highlight are;

John Espirian wrote;
I think it's important to create content that can be found by search engines. While many of my clients aren't active on LinkedIn, most of them do use Google.
John is a copywriter it must be said so I would expect him to think highly of the power of written content and I think he is right to a point but the sort of people Paolo is referring to are busy Lawyers and I very much doubt they are searching Google to find long articles to read in their spare time!

Michael Spencer added;
LinkedIn has no mechanism for targeting your niche audience. LinkedIn ads have too high a cost-per-click given the lack of monthly active users. LinkedIn is therefore not a very helpful marketing channel but rather a PR branding and and B2B sales Channel

As you would imagine LinkedIn Ads expert AJ Wilcox had something to say about that!

For me, Michaels approach is about laser sharp focus for content. This is ultimately possible (you can send a link to a post or article to anyone on LinkedIn with a premium account or your connections on a free account but he is referring to hitting high numbers….and we are back to a numbers game again!
For me, content should be available for people to find on LinkedIn, either by visiting your profile or via the algorithm and virality and not ‘shoved in their face’ because you want them to see it.

My view is that the key to this is having an intimate and deep knowledge of your target audience. This will allow you to post relevant, interest content in a format that is easy to consume. Paolo posts short ‘on the move’ videos which reflect the nature of the way his audience behave.

Post on a consistent, regular basis. Don’t expect your audience to always see it but at some point someone will and they may refer you or a target might view your profile and see your content there. People do not have to be active to notice you, just an occasional visit to LinkedIn may allow them to see your content.

Direct download: LinkedInformed_201.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am UTC

Welcome to this momentous occasion and our 200th episode, this week I wanted to do something special to celebrate this landmark so rather than the normal format I am going to be covering the top five episodes (as defined by the number of times they were downloaded) out of the 199 recorded and published so far.

I really love this show, it’s become my main form of content these days and the best way to keep people in touch and up to date with LinkedIn.

It all started in November 2013 when I decided to finally give it a go and promised smells that I would give it 20 episodes and see whether it was worth continuing after that!
To be honest….the number of listeners really didn’t justify the amount of time and effort it took me to put together an episode each week but I made the decision to carry on….mainly because I was having so much fun!

So here we are, over 4 years later and with over 85,000 downloads we have finally reached our 200th episode.

This podcast is really all about you, the listener so I thought it would be a good idea to include contributions from regular listeners.
Many thanks to the following for sending in voicemail messages for this show;
Kate Lister (you can listen to Kates interview in episode 185)
Giles Davies
Steve Philip (Steve is featured in episode 140)
Sandra Clark
Marcus Boswell
Violeta Balhas
Jennifer Holloway (I chatted with Jennifer in episode 196)
Greg Cooper
Carl Whalley
Darrel Griffin (I interviewed Darrel together with his neighbours dog in episodes 38 and 40)
Teddy Burris
Paul Copcutt
Gary Stockton (I met Gary at SMMW17 featured in episode 155)
Lila Smith (Lila was featured in the class of 2017 - episode 184)


The Top Five Episodes

Number 5

Number 4 
Number 3 
Number 2 
Number 1

Thanks for all your support, questions and feedback over the last four years, I really appreciate it and I wouldn’t be able to do this show without your continued input.
Here’s to the next 200!

 

Direct download: LinkedInformed_200.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30am UTC

Welcome to episode 199. Well what an amazing response we had to last weeks debate with John Nemo about LinkedIn automation!
One of the key points that came out of episode 197 is that myself and John have very different ways of generating business and many of you wanted to know more about my way of using LinkedIn to generate 95% of my business without the need to play the numbers game.
So that is going to be the main theme of this episode.
But first…..


Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week

Introducing Salary Insights on Jobs


LinkedInfluence

I received this question prior to last weeks episode and I thunk it hits on a really important question

I enjoy John’s (Nemo) podcasts too and find them to be useful. He also believes in providing value which aligns well with your strategy and what I believe in. That said, on the providing value yet pushy scale, John is totally different from you which is why I appreciate your style a lot more. 

The question for you though is how does one avoid being pushy like John, provides value like you both do, but also builds a solid bridge to the services that are provided by you and/or your organization. 

For example I have now downloaded and heard at least 20+ of your past episodes. I love them! I love your style. However I am not sure what you do besides some LinkedIn workshops which you have very briefly mentioned on your podcast. Of course I know I can go on your web site and find out, but isn’t that a lost opportunity? If I run into someone tomorrow that needs services you can provide but I don’t know about them, wouldn’t that be a loss for you?

The reason I ask is that I have also approached my networking in person with the same mentality. I have for years provided lots of value to people in the business community here in Washington DC. They love me and the relationships are strong. But I am not sure most would know what opportunities to pass on to me. 

Of course that’s why I am getting more active on LinkedIn and working on content generation but also find somethings John talks about to be appealing. Eg automating messages to contacts...which add value and lead them to more ‘sales’ options. 

Anyway, just a thought about balance on the spectrum of ‘pushy ness’ and how you build an effective bridge to sales for people that see you as a credible resource


So I thought it would be a good idea to go through my recommended approach to winning business on LinkedIn.
Some aspects of this are not related to LinkedIn but nonetheless, very important

Define your product or service and it’s target audience (customer avatar)
Focus this down to something very specific - the more niche the better. Be brave - don’t worry your market will be too limited, the more niche, the better.
Your most effective marketing tool is the quality of what you do. Spend time and money on;
Personal development and training
The best quality equipment
Practice hard and perfect your product
Innovate. Make your product unique in your market
Put together a clear and thorough content strategy (not just limited to LinkedIn)
Video
Written
Audio
Images
Get active on LinkedIn in the following areas;
Topics - define five key topics that are relevant and interesting to your customer avatar.
Search for people who are though leaders and experts in each of these five topics. Follow and in time, connect with them.
Search for content in each of these five topic areas and follow anyone who is posting about these topics
Engage. Like and comment on posts from 2 & 3 above. Jump right in and get involved. This will raise your visibility in relevant communities.
Post. The aim of posting is to draw people into commenting - this is where the magic happens! Posts that resonate are often light natured (see image below).

Go deeper. As you engage with relevant people (not just potential customers) selectively take it to the next level by suggesting meeting for a coffee or via a Skype/Zoom call.


Your aim is to become well known as;
Knowledgeable in your niche subject
Interesting and thought provoking
Helpful and generous


A book you might find interesting

Direct download: LinkedInformed_199.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30am UTC

Welcome to episode 198, this week I have a real treat for you!
As I have mentioned previously, I wanted to revisit the controversial subject of LinkedIn automation.
LinkedIn make it very clear they do not approve of the use of any type of automation bot as you can see in the image above which was received by someone after visiting just 100 profiles in a day…..but does that mean we should avoid them?
Could they be a useful tool that help us become more productive and successful?

I have thought about this a lot and my conclusion is that automation tools are a bad thing for all of us and the more they are used, the less effective LinkedIn will become.

Darrel Griffin agrees

But not everyone sees it that way…..enter John Nemo!

John is a LinkedIn trainer and a big fan of automation on LinkedIn so I thought it would be fun to get him on the show and have a good old debate!

We get into all sorts of areas during our discussion and I’m not going to even attempt to cover everything here, you will have to listen to the episode but in short;

John believes
In Permission Based Marketing. Contact people via direct message and ask them if they are interested. If they say “No thanks” then that is fine, move on.
Most people are not active on LinkedIn so direct messaging has to be a numbers game.
Automated of connecting and messaging saves you time and acts as a filter - eliminating those that are not active or not interested.
In not wasting time with ‘Tyre (tire) kicking people, it’s better to focus on those that are likely to buy.
If LinkedIn is ruined by automation then so be it, people will move to another platform and we can follow them there. Quote “Marketers ruin everything” - Gary Vaynerchuck
Whilst LinkedIn are not supportive of 3rd party tools, they are mainly against scraping tools, not automation.

I believe
Visibility, reputation and relationships are the key to winning business.
By putting your time an effort into engagement on LinkedIn via Posts, Articles and comments (not direct messaging) you also filter out those that are not active on LinkedIn
When you play the numbers game you are likely to put many more people off than you attract, this is damaging to you in the long term although may be more rewarding in the short term.
I will help anyone, including so called ‘tyre kicker’s because I believe that ‘giving’ in this way will gain me more visibility and build better relationships - this strategy means that 95% of my business comes to me and I do very little traditional ‘business development’.
Automation is a numbers game, for every 5 positive responses there are 95 negative, not all of these will be annoyed and very few will actually complain but a decent percentage of these become tired of being ‘hit on’ - no matter how politely it is done.
LinkedIn has become an amazing business resource but automation will ruin it because these tools will be extensively used by people who misuse hem and this will result in the people we wish to do business with, switching off or even closing their accounts. We can’t afford to let LinkedIn deteriorate in this way.
Using automation tools is highly risky, the chances of getting your account suspended are increasing all the time. LinkedIn are very keen to stop the use of automation tools, not just scraping tools.


John referred to an article he wrote about his method which you can read here;

https://www.inc.com/john-nemo/1-simple-strategy-that-will-skyrocket-your-engagement-on-linkedin.html

I personally wouldn’t recommend that strategy……but that is entirely up to you!

So what do you think?

Please get in touch and let me have your views. Send me a voicemail or drop me an email to mark@linkedinformed.com

Direct download: LinkedInformed_198.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30am UTC

Welcome to episode 197, I’m back and it’s just me this week.

Someone alerted me to a shocking issue regarding invitations to connect this week and it got me thinking about the ineffective way that LinkedIn introduce new features. It seems that introduce features on a slow roll-out and rely on their users to report issues…..but what if we don’t or aren’t able to spot a problem…….based on the evidence of this week, it appears that such issues just remain until someone does report it.
…..and that is simply not good enough!

More of that later but as usual I scanned the internet to find any interesting articles about Linkedin, I found a few but it has been noticeable this year that LinkedIn’s own blog seems to be focussed mainly on job seekers - very few LinkedIn users are looking for jobs so why are Linkedin writing virtually all their blog articles for jobseekers?
So far this year on LinkedIn’s main blog 9/10 (and the last 9) have been jobseeker focused!


Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week

People Still Spend an Insane Amount of Time on Facebook, But Trust it Much Less than LinkedIn
Results from a report released by Business Insider
I’m not sure how people it interpret ‘Safe to participate or post’ but LinkedIn was by far the most trusted with 48% of the votes (Facebook was 2nd with 24%).
LinkedIn is clearly seen as more reliable for ‘real’ content and a place where you will get less abuse
This is good news for LinkedIn ads
Six Ways Millennials Can Take LinkedIn To The Next Level
Interesting article, not just relevant to millennials
Number 1 is ‘Make it fun’ - this is such good advice.
Yuck! to CV style profiles!
Activity (inc post searching) is great advice
Number 6 (stop being cheap) is unrealistic and unnecessary for most
Remember LinkedIn? A year on from the $27bn Microsoft takeover - was it worth it?
Very little has changed on LinkedIn - as they said would be the case at the time of the takeover!
LinkedIns revenue is growing ($1.3bn in the quarter)
Microsoft say that LinkedIn is “performing better than we expected, and I think today we would even say it's a more strategic asset than we even maybe thought a year ago.”

#LinkedInLocal

I will be attending three Linkedin local events in the next month or so;
Aberdeen 22nd February
Manchester 14th March
Warrington 15th March (this has changed from the 8th as stated in the show)

The #LinkedInLocal concept is really taking off with an amazing 48 events happening in February and March across the world including Bristol, Leeds, San Francisco, Paris, Las Vegas, Edinburgh and Lahore to name a few

To find an event in your area go to https://linkedlocally.com/explore/

 

Post of the Week

A great video post from José Chávez-Ruz that hits the mark for being relevant, interesting and highly shareable.

 

New Feature

LinkedIn are improving the skills endorsements feature (mobile only at the moment).

Now when you endorse a skill you are asked to grade the level

And then give it some context

In addition you can now see the actual number of endorsements on mobile, rather than the previous 99+

Will this make skill endorsements relevant?
I very much doubt it - too little too late, endorsements are not taken seriously because previously they were too easy to give. Adding the extra steps to endorse does make them more credible but you can’t separate the new ones from the old ones!
I personally think this is a tactic to stop those ridiculous ‘Auto-endorse’ bots that are becoming popular…….more of that subject next week when I will be debating LinkedIn automation with John Nemo.
If you have any thoughts or questions about automation, please get in touch as soon as possible.


Your Personalised mobile invitations have not been sent!

I was truly shocked to find this out this week - thanks to an eagle eyed connection who spotted it.
For years I have been encouraging people to personalise their invitations to connect on mobile by using the 3 dot ‘More’ menu rather than the blue Connect button.
It would appear that this invitation (the actual invitation, not just the message) have not been sent!!
I have no idea how long this has been the case……quite possibly since it was added as a new feature (years ago).
The problem seems to be mainly on the iOS app although a few Android users are experiencing the same issue.
You wouldn’t know there is a problem as it states the invitation has been sent but when you check your sent invitations, it does not show and I have confirmed on 4 occasions now that the recipient does not receive anything!!
Outrageous!

This is, I believe a direct result of LinkedIns ridiculous feature launch policy that appears to involve zero testing or quality control and relies 100% on the user reporting a problem……but what is the user is unable or highly unlikely to spot the fault?

It’s time that LinkedIn stopped letting their members down and implemented a proper, thorough quality control testing procedure.

Do you agree?

“How do I stop those irritating badge posts from LinkedIn appearing on the left of my screen while I'm working? The ones which talk about how it bases choices it offers me on my interests or posts or some such nonsense. I've only really noticed them this week”

ANSWER
This would appear to be an early release of a new notification. It is not possible to stop these types of pop-ups but you can give feedback to LinkedIn that you find them irritating and perhaps they will think twice about rolling it out further.

Direct download: LinkedInformed_197.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30am UTC

Welcome to episode 196, this week I chat with personal branding expert Jennifer Holloway about the article that LinkedIn bring out every year highlighting the most used words in LinkedIn profiles.

Click on the image above to view the full article

Takeaways from our chat

Some words (such as passionate) are overused in profiles without much thought going into whether they are true or not
A better way to interpret this list is not to avoid the words as such but to demonstrate that you are ‘passionate’ or ‘motivated’ by the way you describe what you do. Let the reader make the conclusion themselves.
Storytelling can be a great way to demonstrate qualities without having to directly tell someone you are an ‘expert, ’strategic’ or ‘creative’
Are you using a buzzword because it is one you commonly use or are you just falling into the trap of using it for the sake of it?
Jennifers advice on writing a LinkedIn summary;
Show credibility with hard facts
Explain your personal brand by explaining what drives you and explaining your values
Give the reader a ‘relationship hook’ - something about you that reveals your personality and allows for a more personal connection.
LinkedIn profile headlines are still the most keyword sensitive part of your profile but only jobseekers need to be highly focused on profile optimisation.
Never make personal statements without answering Janet Morans questions ‘So What and Says who?!’
A good technique to use if you are struggling to write your profile summary is to get a friend to write if you - this won’t be what you will use but it can really help to get you started.

 

Thanks again to Jennifer for her time and ideas. You can find out more about her from her LinkedIn profile (link in image above) or by going to her website https://www.jennifer-holloway.co.uk/

This weeks question comes from Mahan Tavakoli

“Hi Mark,
I am a newer listener to your podcast and really enjoying the content and your style.  So much so that I have downloaded all available past episodes from ITunes and going through them one at a time.
Anyway, I have a question and not sure if you have addressed this before or not.  If it fits what you are looking to cover on the Podcast, I would love to hear your thoughts about it.
 I am writing a series of articles (on leadership and organizational development).  Should I first publish them on LinkedIn and then on Medium and put on my blog… or should I publish them elsewhere and post links in LinkedIn or is an all of the above strategy viable? 
 Most of my target audience is on LinkedIn but want to know your thoughts about best approach to a blog posting strategy.”
 
My advice is that you are probably best posting your content as an article and on your blog at the same time.
Your latest Article becomes a part of your profile and has a longer shelf life than a post.
You will need to promote your article via engaging and interesting posts - not just ‘have a read of my article’ - try to introduce the subject matter and ask questions to start a conversation. You can refer to the article with a link but the post needs to resonate with people in its own right.
Never try to promote your external blog via LinkedIn, it simply won’t work as the algorithm will suppress the distribution of any post containing an external link.

Direct download: LinkedInformed_196.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30am UTC

Welcome to episode 195, I had planned to cover a different subject (The dangers of automation - let me know your thoughts on that!) this week but then I got an excellent voicemail question from Giles about the differences between following and connecting and decided to cover that subject in more detail.

But before that……


Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week

Find the Right Words to Land the Right Job
More on this in next weeks episode!
The Most Popular Jobs and Companies for College Graduates
The top job is also the highest pay! ($95k)
Insight Global - a fast growing IT recruitment business
Why I changed my LinkedIn profile from Andrea to Andrew
She was taken more seriously and less patronised when a man!
The algorithm started suggesting connections to higher level men at well-recognised companies.
Fascinating experiment …..could be worth a try!


LinkedIn Updates


Have you noticed the new font? Summaries and headlines may need to be adjusted.
New changes to groups may be having some positive impact on groups
One manager reports a 10x increase in engagement
Unfortunately the changes seemed to have messed up all other notifications!
You can now see your own activity in one click, rather than having to go to your profile

LinkedIn are clearing ‘moving the furniture’ on desktop at the moment, so many things are not working - especially @mentions and notifications. I also found that only half the comments on one of my posts were showing when I checked on mobile. Suggest you keep an eye on mobile at the moment until things settle down.


Connecting and Following

As I mentioned, this subject was instigated by a question I received from Giles;

 

Definition: Following someone means that you could see their content and activity in your feed (articles, posts, shares, likes and comments). You can follow anyone on LinkedIn provided their setting allow this.

You can follow up to 5000 people who are not your connections. To follow someone simply click on the 3 dot ‘More’ menu at the top of their profile or look for the Follow button on the Activity section of their profile.

Connecting

A connection is a follower and someone you follow by default. You can unfollow a connection at anytime from the ‘More’ menu. You are allowed up to 30,000 connections.

The difference with a connection is that, as well as their activity you are able to see and filter their connections (dependant on their setting), send messages and see their full contact info including their primary email address.

Now to Giles question

Firstly let me address the question of blocking.

This is the only way you can prevent him from following you
He will not be alerted to being blocked
He will then not be able to find you on LinkedIn, or vice versa


The bigger question is whether a competitor following you is a problem or not?

What harm can come from him seeing your activity - assuming you are not giving away commercially sensitive information?
Following you may make him realise he is way behind and may, in some way intimidate him.
A greater threat would come if he started commenting and engaging with your posts

This brings up a wider point;

The ethics of competition on LinkedIn;

Is it ethical to provide advice and demonstrate your knowledge on a competitors post?
Should you ever ask for a competitors view via an @mention?

When to follow and NOT connect

A complete stranger whose content you find interesting
A competitor
A prospect or intermediary who you wish to engage with

Obviously 1 and 3 may be pre-cursors to connecting.

Following has been around on LinkedIn for years but still most people just connect, it’s beginning to be understood better but we still have a way to go. When I talk with people who are more familiar with other social networks, I explain the mechanics of LinkedIn as being like a blend of Twitter, where you follow and Facebook where you connect (friend). On LinkedIn you can do either!

 This weeks question is also about following and comes from Nigel Willis

 

Nigels first question refers to following Influencers such as Bill gates. Influencers have become known for posting some decent content but never engaging with comments, this somewhat flies in the face of the point of content in my opinion! I’m not surprised you want to unfollow Bill and as far as I know it will not cause you any issues with the algorithm.
In terms of the second question. You can’t specify that you wish to see a certain type of content from someone that you are following but you can select to follow topics. Unfortunately LinkedIn do not allow us to see a list of Topics, we have to wait for them to suggest them although searching for content can often trigger the algorithm to suggest a Topic relevant to that search.
You can also unfollow people to clean up your feed
You can also search for content and follow people who write about subjects that interest you.

Direct download: LinkedInformed_195.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30am UTC

Welcome to episode 194, this week I have a chat with my friend and fellow LinkedIn trainer/consultant Sandra Long about personal branding.

 

Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week


LinkedIn Announce some changes to groups

I have mentioned previously that I’m aware that LinkedIn are currently working on a project to improve groups and this week they sent out a communication advising of several changes that will happen soon.
I think most people have been sent it but in case you didn’t see it;

My thoughts;
Accessing groups from the homepage is a welcome move but lets be clear, this is just a roll back to how it used to be!
Including group conversations in the feed is also nothing new. This one concerns me in that most activity in groups is useless broadcasting as well as spam so this could actually be a negative thing for members homepage feeds!
Posting videos is great news. No surprise either as it has been a success on the home page and the ability to @mention (assuming it works!) is a positive step.
Retirement of the iOS Groups app. I’m not sure how this will improve the use of groups….taking away an app is not exactly moving forward! You have always been able to access groups from the main app anyway (Android users have always had to do it that way)
Maybe LinkedIn felt it was necessary to release this information now in light of the recent Facebook summit where groups were mentioned but I have to say, these changes are somewhat underwhelming!
I’m sure this is really just the start of the groups design. I’m disappointed because I felt they needed to scrap groups altogether and start again from scratch. Getting members back engaging in groups is going to be very hard because most members have just written them off.
LinkedIn quote: “Additional notifications, groups posts in feed, video posts, @mentions and replies to comments have been announced because those are the items for which we have a decent sense of the timeline. But it is definitely not an exhaustive list of the work we're doing to improve Groups”
Let’s hope that the next announcements are more exciting!


Personal Branding

This week I had a chat with LinkedIn expert Sandra Long. Personal branding was one of my predictions for 2018 covered in episode 192 and a subject I believe to be very important to all of us. I even covered it briefly in the first ever episode of LinkedInformed when I introduced ‘Personal Branding for Brits’ author Jennifer Holloway

Key takeaways

Tom Peters article The Brand Called You which is still just as relevant today as when it was written in 1997!
Social media really allows us to craft an image that we want to portray. This has many advantages but also creates an authenticity challenge.
Social media has blended our social and professional lives. This creates a question as to how ‘open’ we want to be with business contacts about our personal lives.
40% of people don’t know how to describe what they do…and those are just the hard facts, never mind describing your character!
The best way to describe what you do is to be very specific - broad, ‘jack of all trades’ profiles rarely work for you.
In terms of character - what makes you unique? You can display this information in a variety of different sections of your LinkedIn profile.
It can help to define a ‘persona’ when writing your LinkedIn summary - Sandra’s book gives plenty of persona examples and has a list of questions that can help define your persona.
This also impacts corporate brands as many organisations are now realising that they are in reality, a collective of many personal brands and this can be a very powerful. It is however really important to be authentic to your own brand and this needs to align, for the most part with the corporate brand you are representing.
Your activity on LinkedIn should also be in line with your brand. If your brand is genuine then this should not be difficult! It’s often a good test on whether your brand image is right.
Posting should never be self-promotional. Thought leadership, being helpful and contributing to the LinkedIn community by developing conversations is the best way to ‘stay on brand’ - your profile should clearly explain what you do.
Final word from Sandra: Take the time to really think through who you are and your ‘brand elements’ before you start to write your profile

 

Direct download: LinkedInformed_194.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30am UTC