A LinkedIn Employee Reveals 4 Ways to Dominate the Network

By John Nemo

 

Get the scoop on how LinkedIn uses content marketing to build its brand online–and apply it to your own efforts on the platform.

LinkedIn has been in the news lately, and that’s only going to increase as new opportunities continue to emerge on the world’s largest social media network for professionals.

I had a chance recently to sit down with a bona fide, real-life LinkedIn insider–Alexandra Rynne, who serves as the “external voice” for the LinkedIn Marketing Solutions brand online.

And what she had to say during our conversation shed some serious light on how LinkedIn sees things from the inside out, especially in the areas of content marketing, online video use, and much, much more.

(Note: You can listen to our entire conversation here.)

Here are four key takeaways on improving your ability to generate sales leads, clients, and revenue with LinkedIn.

1. Create “fist-bump” content

If you’re not familiar with content marketing, here’s a simple analogy: When you go fishing for prospects online, you have to put some bait on your hook. The content you create is that bait.

To be clear, content marketing is not about tricking or deceiving people, but rather demonstrating expertise and giving value first, thus hooking people on the brand of “you”–your content, your tips, and then, later on, your products and services.

Rynne and the LinkedIn Marketing Solutions team are, in her words, “all in” on using content marketing to attract, engage, and eventually sell premium LinkedIn advertising and marketing services to prospects online.

“You want to create that fist-bump type content,” Rynne says of LinkedIn’s approach. “You want someone to be able to come to you and say, ‘Thank you! You solved my biggest problem this week!'”

The idea, Rynne says, is to create content aimed at solving key problems or alleviating the biggest pain points your target audience has.

“If you genuinely deliver valuable, helpful content that solves a key problem for your target audience, you can’t go wrong,” she says.

3. Get visual

“We believe visual is the new headline,” Rynne says. “When you’re scrolling through the news feed, we want to be a thumb-stopper. We want to use imagery that gets you to take notice, stop scrolling, and want to learn more.”

Stock photo is a “dirty word” to Rynne, and she strives to find eye-catching, original imagery to use whenever possible.

In a nod to personal branding, the LinkedIn Marketing Solutions team also mixes in photos of real team members within its content.

This is key, because in addition to demonstrating credibility and authority to your potential customers, you want your content to humanize you or your brand. Using personal photos, relevant analogies from real-life experiences, or similar “human” approaches helps build the “know, like, and trust” elements critical to any successful business transaction.

See all 4 ways and the complete Inc.com article

 

These Four Common LinkedIn Mistakes Are Holding Back Your Career

Sarah Cronin

LinkedIn is basically a search engine. Here’s how to optimize it to get the results you’re looking for.

Microsoft may be about to buy LinkedIn, but that doesn’t seem likely to change what separates a great profile on the professional network from a mediocre one. I review countless LinkedIn profiles each week and still see the same errors popping up time and again.

I recently worked with a senior executive in the finance industry, and her LinkedIn profile was really lacking in a few major areas. She was getting job offers—they just weren’t at the level she was aiming for, and the main reason was that she wasn’t properly selling herself, validating her skills, and positioning herself for her ideal role. After making a few improvements, though, she was able to connect with the right people to grow her network, and has just accepted a CFO role with a market-leading organization.

If you’re a jobseeker, LinkedIn can make you more attractive to prospective employers, help you position yourself in the job market, improve your chances of being head-hunted by recruiters, and much more. If you’re a consultant or business owner, LinkedIn can help you boost your visibility, increase positive validation for you and your business, and position you to entice your ideal target clients.

But you can’t do any of that if you keep making these four common mistakes.

1. Not Treating LinkedIn Like The Search Engine It Is

Perhaps the No. 1 blunder out there is failing to optimize your profile with the right keywords for your target. LinkedIn is a search engine, just like Google. There’s no such thing as a universally “good” keyword—there are only those that get you the results you’re looking for, and those that don’t. So if you don’t strategically plan out your keywords and pepper them appropriately throughout your profile, you won’t appear in the search results of the people you most want to find you.

Start with your “Skills” section. That’s the easiest place to boost your profile’s keyword count. But you also need to embed the right industry-specific keywords in the right places throughout your profile. Consider using a “Specialties” subsection in your summary. And remember—you’re positioning yourself for the role or opportunity you want, not the one you have.

2. Writing Your Profile Exclusively In The Third Person

While your resume shouldn’t include any personal pronouns (“I,” “me”), LinkedIn is different—it’s all about connecting with one another. You want to “talk” to the person who’s reading your profile. It’s harder to relate to someone who doesn’t directly speak to you.

Try using the second person to address the reader. Use the pronouns “you,” “your,” and “yours,” even if they sound too informal at first (they aren’t!). This can be especially effective if you’re a consultant or freelancer and using your profile for business growth and lead generation. For instance:

Are you an SME looking for a customized, convenient, and honest funding solution? We can help you by offering fast, flexible, and fully transparent lending solutions that are tailored to your needs.

Third-person narrative, on the other hand, can come across quite forceful and aggressive on a LinkedIn profile if it isn’t written well.

See all 4 mistakes and the complete Fast Company article

How to create influence on LinkedIn: 7 key elements for your profile to stand out

By Dennis Koutoudis

Want to make your LinkedIn profile stand out from the competition? There are a few things that have to be considered first.

Let’s talk about Your “Experience” Section – this is where you get to boast (humble brag) about your professional accomplishments. Don’t use superlatives; let the positions, roles, responsibilities and achievements (measurable where possible) speak for themselves.

When you’re listing your experiences/roles, remember to begin with the latest first (LinkedIn does it automatically, if you put in the dates of that role; in addition, if the company is also a member of LinkedIn, the company’s logo will appear next to your entry).

How to write a winning “Experience” section on LinkedIn:

 

  • Add few lines about the company/organization – its size, its mission, its goals, description of your team and the members’ expertise etc.
  • Provide your exact responsibilities in each of your professional positions particular role. What are your (or were your) responsibilities in your current or past professional roles?
  1. Include keywords – Here you can add your most important keywords to rank your profile for, and you can use them over and over again.

In an ordinary document, this string of words might look strange or redundant. But on LinkedIn, all these keywords are catnip for the search engines. Identify the one or two most important words that prospects might put into the “LinkedIn” search box when they’re looking for a certain resource or person, and use those words in different phrases.

Here are a few keywords highlighted in 2 of my contracts with client organizations (in Italics):

–   American Express: Designed and conducted one-week Management Training and Leadership Training for Executives and Managers from Asia and Europe
–   Sheraton Hotels – Conducted Management Training and “Secrets of Influence” program for Sheraton General Managers and Training Managers from U.S. Properties.  Conducted a three-day Train the Trainer program for all Training Managers, with full certification of “Secrets of Influence” training program.

In my case I want to be known (and hired) for the expertise in doing LinkedIn Profile Makeovers for both individuals and corporations; these important keywords are listed in a block of “specialties”.

See all 7 key elements and the complete article

 

10 Ways to Strategically Grow Your LinkedIn Connections

When it comes to lead generation, social selling, and growing strategic connections, LinkedIn outranks all other social media platforms in terms of effectivity.

Just recently, Content Marketing Institute’s 6th annual B2B content marketing research indicates that:

  • LinkedIn is the social media platform of choice for 94% of organizations when it comes to distributing content.
  • LinkedIn is ranked the highest by B2B marketers in terms of effectivity: 66% versus last year’s rating of 65%.
  • LinkedIn’s effectivity rating is 11 percentage points higher than the runner-up, Twitter, which is at 55%.

How is this so?

A report by BI intelligence breaks down the demographics of social media users and finds that the majority of LinkedIn users consist of a highly educated, high-income user base, making LinkedIn the most advantageous platform not only for companies and organizations, but also for white-collar professionals looking to network.

If you are looking to leverage this professional user base for social selling, here are 10 ways to strategically grow your LinkedIn connections:

3. Correlate your profile views with actions taken to know which actions led to increased engagement.

LinkedIn has a data set called “actions taken” which, according to the official LinkedIn blog, allows you to “see which actions you took that led to that specific increase in engagement.” These actions include making updates to your profile, connecting with people through invitations, messages, or endorsements, or joining a group.

Who_s_viewed_your_profile___LinkedIn_filter2

Once you know which actions generated the most interest from viewers, you can apply those to your advantage.

5. Use LinkedIn’s search tools.

It’s not enough to wait for people to visit your profile; you should also actively take part in searching for professionals to connect with. In this case, you can use 3 techniques: LinkedIn’s basic search, advanced search, and boolean search.

Refine basic search by using name, company, job, etc. filters.

Basic search is simple. You just go to the basic search tab and input your search keywords. For example “Senior Sales Manager”. LinkedIn will then show a dropdown listing “Jobs for Senior Sales Manager titles”, “People with Senior Sales Manager titles”, and “Groups about Senior Sales Manager”.

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You can narrow the search further by clicking the filter for Jobs, Companies, People, Groups, Universities, Posts and Inbox.

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Clicking on any filter will list relevant results containing your keyword. Clicking the People filter, for example, will list all the user profiles containing your keyword.

Make use of LinkedIn advanced search.

Advanced search lets you add more specifications such as years of experience, function, seniority level, and school or past company.

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Let’s say you are looking for a seasoned sales manager with at least 6 years of experience. This person must have graduated from a certain Ivy League school and has worked for a company like IBM or HP. You can enter exactly those values into LinkedIn’s advanced search tool and LinkedIn will produce a more refined list.

Boolean search saves time.

Here is a pdf file containing Boolean search tips for LinkedIn.

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Image source: talent.linkedin.com

Using boolean search techniques lets you save time in that you can narrow your search down by entering search strings and modifiers straight to the LinkedIn search tab.

10 Random Things You Didn’t Know You Can Do On LinkedIn

By Melonie Dodaro

Do you sometimes wonder just how many unaccepted (but not rejected) LinkedIn connection requests you have floating out there?

Or perhaps you wish that you could remove yourself from that annoying group conversation, or not have to see your ex’s profile pic, which seems to appear on every other page you visit.

Thankfully LinkedIn has a number of features and functions that you might not be aware of, which you can use to personalize and improve your user experience.

Combined with the extensive security and personalization ability available in the LinkedIn Privacy & Setting tools, here are 10 functions or features that you might not know of that LinkedIn offers, to provide you with a better, more personalized user experience.

1. Managing & Canceling Existing LinkedIn Connection Requests

It can be hard to remember everyone you’ve sent a connection request to.

That is where the Sent invitations page comes in handy. If you’re having a hard time remembering how many outstanding connections requests you have, you can just visit the Sent invitations page and quickly see each of the current unaccepted requests you have and what day they were sent.

To get to this page, go to the Pending invitations page, click the icon with the down arrow located near the top right corner and click on Sent invitations.

10 Random Things You Didn’t Know You Can Do On LinkedIn | Social Media Today

If you personalized the connection request, you can see the message you sent by hovering over the envelope located to the right of their name.

10 Random Things You Didn’t Know You Can Do On LinkedIn | Social Media Today

If you send a request to the wrong person or change your mind, no problem.

When this happens, just go to the Sent Invitations page. From here you can click the circle located to the left of each invitation that you want to cancel and then hit the blue Cancel request button located in the top right corner of the page.

10 Random Things You Didn’t Know You Can Do On LinkedIn | Social Media Today

It’s important to remember that canceling an connection request will not add it back to your Invitation limit, which I’ll address in more depth next.

3. Manage Blocked Connection Requests

Depending on your how your settings are set up under the Who can send you invitations area, some of the connection requests sent to you might end up blocked.

Simply put, connection requests that don’t fall under the preferences you’ve set, will be moved to the Blocked invitations page.

In the Communications area of your LinkedIn Privacy & Setting page, you can choose what connection requests you want to receive.

The choices offered are:

  • Everyone on LinkedIn (recommended)
  • Only people who know your email address or appear in your Imported Contacts list
  • Only people who appear in your Imported Contacts list

If you’re using LinkedIn to generate leads for your business or you want to grow your network, I recommend that you leave it set to everyone.

10 Random Things You Didn’t Know You Can Do On LinkedIn | Social Media Today

Any blocked invitations that you have you can find on your Blocked invitations page.

It’s a good idea to go through these occasionally and clear the page. To do this, go to the Pending invitations page, click the icon with the down arrow located near the top right corner and click on Blocked invitations.

On this page you’ll see a list of the connection requests that were blocked. For each connection request you’ll see the personalized message if they sent one as well as the date they were blocked.

See all 10 and the complete SocialMediaToday article