Sat, 8 October 2016
Welcome to episode 132, I’m busy with training & speaking engagements this week so I pre-recorded this episode. Therefore if any big news has recently broken, I won’t be covering it till next week!
You may recall in episode 79 I interviewed the founders of an interesting product called Autopilot about their Chrome extension that automatically viewed LinkedIn profiles.
I still believe autoviewing is a valuable and a potentially highly productive action on LinkedIn so I set about finding an alternative product to recommend.
Autoviewing is a simple task conducted via a browser (normally Google Chrome) extension. Once the extension is installed you are able to ask it to view a list of profiles from a search result on LinkedIn.
As a free LinkedIn member you are currently only able to view 150 profiles per day** whereas a premium member (Business Plus, Executive, Sales Navigator, Recruiter lite & Recruiter Professional) you can view up to 1000 a day*
By the nature of autoviewing, it’s a numbers game so to get impressive results, you really need one of the above premium accounts.
Why do it?
LinkedIn’s most popular feature is ‘Who’s viewed your profile’. On average 8-12% of people viewed will view your profile in return, this figure can be much higher if you view people that are known to be more active (possible with Sales Navigator).
Do LinkedIn Allow it?
I have never seen a quote from LinkedIn that expressly bans the use of autoviewing extensions but I think it’s fair to say that by using them you are in breach of the user agreement.
This however, does not mean it’s wrong.
LinkedIn has limits on the number of profiles you can view and this is subject to change so it is essential that the company you purchase an autoviewing product from is completely on ‘top of their game’ in this respect.
Whilst LinkedIn do not openly approve of autoviewing, it’s also pretty obvious that they benefit from it;
The net result is that it is very rare to hear of people running into problems with LinkedIn when they autoview - provided they stick to the guidelines which are made clear by all providers.
I have come up with two alternative solutions, Dux-soup and eLink Pro, I like both for different reasons.
I looked at a product called LinMailPro initially but it’s main features are automatic connection requests and messaging and I believe those actions to be unethical - it also Autoviews but it’s more expensive than the following two options (due to those extra features).
Autoviewing of up to 800 profiles per day.
Configurable autoviewing of up to 1500 profiles per day (not advised)
Small and somewhat anonymous business behind the software
Dux-Soup’s greatest benefit is pricing whereas eLink pro has the useful scheduling feature and the company behind it does give me more confidence of longevity and capable customer support is something not to be sniffed at given that the reason I am looking at these products is due to Autopilot’s deficiencies in that area!
Sat, 1 October 2016
Welcome to episode 131, this week’s episode is mostly dedicated to the big news announced by LinkedIn last week.
I believe these changes will have a significant impact on how we use LinkedIn, it’s going to take a fair bit of getting used to…once we have it.
Before I get stuck into the announcements I did see one interesting article about Facebook for Work, which is going to be launched very soon.
This is Amy Parnell, Senior Director, User Experience Design on stage, explaining the new design.
Below is a screenshot of the new homepage with arrows pointing to all the subjects I discuss in the podcast;
I also made a short video explaining some of the changes
and here is the new look profile;
The New Feed
This doesn’t actually look much different but apparently they have been making lots of changes ‘under the hood’, the idea is that we should see more relevant posts and articles in our feed and under ‘trending’
Potentially very exciting! This is how the new messaging app will look in the main page (as opposed to the Messages page)
I’m not convinced about a subscription model for pricing but they are allowing Job seeker, Business Plus and Executive premium account holders free access to LinkedIn Learning. Shockingly though Sales Navigator and Recruiter premium account holders do not get access. Where is the logic in that?
That’s it for this week, I hope you found that useful.
If you get the new design, please get in touch and let me know what you think.
Sat, 24 September 2016
Welcome to our 130th episode.
Interesting Stuff I saw this Week
Here are the links to the interesting things I saw this week
Your Guide To Generation Z
A key focus of social selling is to engage with your Leads on subjects that are of interest to them (rather than what you are offering them). There are however another set of people that you should work just as hard to engage with that aren’t leads, they are Thought LEADers.
You are highly unlikely to do business with these people but they could be the key to unlocking the most difficult Leads.
Building relationships with thought leaders can pay off big time. Your Leads will see you as more credible, you will have your finger on the pulse regarding topics that are important to your Leads and this will also help you write better, more relevant content.
Three Critical Questions
If you are in a sales role or you are hoping to win new customers on LinkedIn then can you answer the following questions;
What business subjects are important to your Leads?
Sat, 17 September 2016
Welcome to episode 129, at the end of a busy week for LinkedIn having delivered their social selling conference Sales Connect in New York.
In this episode I’m going to dive into the 5 main announced changes to Sales Navigator. Don’t worry of you don’t have a Sales Navigator account, this could still be very relevant to you.
But before all that I spotted these interesting things in the news this week;
Reid Hoffman is so against Trump, he created a card game!
I wasn’t able to make it to New York but I did the next best thing and followed on Twitter.
Various speakers talked about the exciting world of social selling including several case studies, Chris Anderson from TED talks appeared to be the most popular but I bet Malcolm Gladwell was pretty good too!
Various statistics were quoted, many I have heard before but these did grab my attention;
“Sales & Marketing are blending into one”
“Personal value has to 2X the impact over business value. 71% of B2B buyers who see personal value will purchase”
“92% of B2B buyers engage with sales professionals who are known industry thought leaders”.
“EY have 30,000 Sales Navigator licences”!!
The five really big announcements
Sales Navigator is becoming an open platform (at last!). Initial CRM partners are Oracle, SAP Hybris, SugarCRM, Hubspot and Netsuite.
Sat, 10 September 2016
Welcome to episode 128, this week I want to revisit the subject of advertising.
Firstly some interesting stuff I saw this week;
A company called We are Flint interviewed just over 2000 UK adults to determine the level of social media usage. The results for LinkedIn make interesting reading;
You may recall we covered advertising in episodes 85. 92 and 94 when listener Peter Gold experimented with LinkedIn ads. The conclusion wasn't very positive!
So I was intrigued when I came across someone who describes himself as a ‘LinkedIn ads evangelist’!
AJ kindly gave up some of his time to chat with me this week about LinkedIn ads.
Does having an email address in your headline still penalise you in search results?
This questions relates to a blog post I wrote in 2014;
The answer is yes, nothing appears to have changed since that post.
Sat, 3 September 2016
Welcome to episode 127, I hope you all had a fantastic week.
In this episode I attempt to get my head around the millennial problem - i.e. Why don’t Millennials use LinkedIn?
Firstly though a few things I found interesting this week;
Video is much more user-friendly, especially for millennials so LinkedIn should produce a series of videos showcasing examples of how millennial's have had great success using LinkedIn. I would suggest they use a different company/production team though as most Millennials I know would cringe at their normal style of video!
Sat, 27 August 2016
Welcome to episode 126, this week was a special week for me as I had the opportunity to attend a two day InStruct course at LinkedIn’s office in London.
In this episode I want to address two topics;
InStruct is a training programme designed to assist those responsible for implementing and managing the adoption of Sales Navigator in their organisation. It is in effect a ‘train the trainer’ course but is really aimed at corporate in-house trainers rather than an independent external trainer such as myself.
Sales Navigator is a premium upgrade version of LinkedIn designed for sales professionals with a focus on a social selling methodology.
In the 8 years I have been a LinkedIn trainer my relationship with LinkedIn has had it’s ups and downs.
In the early days of the London office I met some great people who I developed trusting and productive relationships with.
Things seemed to change around 2011 when the company went through an IPO and people like me seemed to be ostracised, I still had contact with LinkedIn but always felt a sense of distrust, defensiveness and blatant secrecy from them.
So you can imagine that I was feeling an interesting mix of excitement and trepidation as I signed in as a visitor this week.
First impressions were equally mixed, the reception area was very cool with funky iPads required to sign in that sent a message to the person you were visiting, on the negative side though part of the signing in process involved signing an NDA (non-disclosure agreement) which immediately had me wondering if nothing had really changed beneath the surface!
And then I met Miguel and Donna.
The amazing Miguel and Donna at the traditional London phonebox in LinkedIn London’s reception.
I can’t speak highly enough about Miguel and Donna. They both have a deep understanding of social selling and a genuine passion for LinkedIn, they also made me feel extremely welcome and valued.
Within an hour all my reservations about secrecy and distrust were dissipated.
These guys are great ambassadors for LinkedIn because they are honest, open, funny and knowledgable.
Cultures do not change overnight and I’m sure there are plenty of things that LinkedIn can still improve but if these two are an example of the ‘New LinkedIn’ then we have a lot to look forward to (so long as Microsoft don’t decide to change things!).
The offices are some of the nicest I have seen (and I have seen many), each floor has a different theme but all based around London/England.
We spent time is a Musical themed room, a Fish and chip shop room, a Sweet shop room and my favourite of all, the classically English ‘afternoon tea’ room.
On the second day I had to deliver a 30 minute presentation on Sales Navigator that was assessed, a score below 70% would result in failing the course so I spent some time the night before practising!
Fortunately I managed to pass with flying colours - Can you image the embarrassment if I failed?!
So now I just have to complete a post course assignment and I will be a LinkedIn-approved Sales Navigator Trainer!
Whilst that will be nice, the most important goal for me was to establish a more productive relationship with LinkedIn and thanks to the attitude of Miguel and Donna, I’m confident that has been achieved.
This is an update to my original review of Sales Navigator (SN) in episode 83.
The main difference I see now is that they have improved on the most important element of this social selling tool - focus!
This is critical and I’m impressed that LinkedIn have improved it in this way.
The home page in SN has no distractions, just a stream of updates, comments and news articles from and about saved leads (people) and Accounts (companies).
You can create status updates of your own (including images) from the SN interface and comment and like your leads and accounts updates. The only thing you can’t do is create a published post, which is probably the next thing they will address.
I also gained a better understanding of the unique TeamLink function.
TeamLink helps you find the strongest path to someone you’d like to meet by
For instance if a colleague in your sales team used to work at ABC plc and during that time your target (prospect) also worked there then SN will show your college as a TeamLink introduction opportunity. They (prospect & colleague) do not have to be connected, just ex colleagues.
Again this is only likely to be required in large sales teams but in effect you are growing your range of possible introductions exponentially.
Unfortunately they still have a separate inbox for SN, the argument also being focus but I have a problem with this.
What happens if an individual sends you a message on LinkedIn enquiring about your services?
This message will land in the messaging area of mainstream LinkedIn.com and if you are spending all your time in SN then you might miss something critical. They do provide a link in SN to messages but it does not indicate you have an unread message as it does for replies to your messages sent from the SN Inbox.
My sense is that this is far too convoluted to work and a more simply unified inbox is required.
They have also added tags and notes to profiles in SN and the likelihood is that these will become a lot more useful (maybe searchable) although at the moment they are for information only.
I still take issue with their pricing though, It is pretty clear that LinkedIn are focussing on Enterprise clients and the pricing reflects this, especially now that they have removed the Navigator Basic account that I currently have.
If a company with a substantial sales team (over 50) is serious about social selling then I believe Sales Navigator is a no brainer. The tool os designed to help you win more customers through greater engagement and introductions.
For smaller businesses the verdict is less clear. If they still had the Basic level product and pricing I would be more tempted to recommend it but at £650 per year for each user, it’s a much closer call.
Social selling is relevant and important to all B2B businesses, large and small but LinkedIn are just not (yet) focussed on SME’s.
So I’m on the fence but it’s definitely worth taking a months free trial.
As for Recruitment, if you believe your job is about finding people and advertising jobs then Recruiter or Recruiter Lite are your most suitable upgrades. If however you believe that relationships are key to successful recruitment (as I do) then I actually think SN is more tailored to your needs. It also has a fantastic search function plus a reasonable InMail allowance but most importantly it focuses on what is more important - people and engaging with them.
If I had my old job back and was running a 30 consultant recruitment business, I would be investing in Sales Navigator licences.
Sat, 20 August 2016
Welcome to episode 125, I’m back from an amazing holiday in Italy and the English Cotswolds so plenty to catch up on this week……
Whilst away my Linkedin messages built up and it occurred to me that LinkedIn could really do with an ‘out of office’ auto reply feature similar to that which you get with emails. LinkedIn is unique in that being work related, people are less likely to login whilst they are on holiday.
LinkedIn are renown for copying features from other social media sites but on this one I would like to see them innovate.
What do you think?
Due to a string of problems I have stopped using Autopilot for LinkedIn and can no longer recommend it. I still believe in the idea of auto viewing though and I am looking into a couple of alternatives.
I will keep you informed.
The data scraping bots issue
LinkedIn sues 100 individuals for scraping user data from the site
LinkedIn suffers huge bot attack that steals members’ personal data
LinkedIn are saying very little about this but the lawsuit they have filed suggests they are trying to discover the names of people who have created false accounts and used sophisticated bots to circumnavigate LinkedIn’s security to obtain information that is being sold on. I suspect this might be email addresses or possibly full profiles for out of network members.
LinkedIn Quietly Publish 2nd Qtr results
These results were released with little fuss and no earnings call, I assume because of the proposed Microsoft takeover. After all investors really don’t care how well they are doing now that a price has been agreed!
I still care though as the quarterly results are one of the best ways of finding out what is going on at Linkedin.
The financials spreadsheet
2nd quarter announcement
The Welcome Return of the Hashtag
A few years ago LinkedIn had a wonderful feature called LinkedIn Signal. It was a very popular tool that allowed you to search for status updates via keywords and is still greatly missed.
The good news is that we can now search status updates again via hashtag searches.
This is important for two reasons;
It’s not as good as Signal was but it is definitely a step in the right direction.
The only downside is that the hashtag only becomes active (a tappable link that creates a search) on the mobile app.
This may just be a feature they are testing so it might disappear or it might be rolled out to desktop soon as well….let’s hope so!
In the meantime I would advise adding hashtags (just a couple) to every status update you post.
LinkedIn Influencer Videos
A big fuss was made about this while I was away…personally I think it’s rubbish!
So someone from LinkedIn sends out a question to a select list of Influencers who (via a specific new app) post a short 30 second reply….whoopdeedoo!
Don’t get me wrong, this could be a positive move if LinkedIn A) roll it out to all members and B) allow people to post what they want (rather than answer a stupid questions such as the shown one below)
What’s the first thing you do every morning to prepare for the day?
Sat, 6 August 2016
Welcome to episode 124, this week I’m relaxing in Italy on vacation so I thought I would pre-record this episode of questions that I have been asked recently.
Below are the 5 questions I covered in this episode, you will need to listen to the audio for the answers.
Hi Mark, as an active job seeker I am curious to know what Recruiters think of LinkedIn endorsements?
Hello Mark, I have a question I hope you can answer.
Hi Mark, I have a question about invitations.
Sat, 30 July 2016
Welcome to episode 123, I’m back in my office this week with plenty to talk about.
Interesting stuff I saw this week
LinkedIn are in the process of rolling out a new feature that automatically makes you a follower of someone when you invite them to connect. If that member subsequently rejects your invitation by selecting ‘ignore’ then you will cease to be a follower.