A Few Ways To Really Alienate People on LinkedIn

All right, I’m going to just start out with a pet peeve of mine so you can see what I’m talking about here. Then I’ll show you some other ways to become really unpopular and annoying on LinkedIn. But to get the ball rolling in the right way, let me just unveil my #1 annoyance.

Getting spammed with a 5-paragraph message about something I don’t really care about!

There, I said it! And, if you’ve spent any time whatsoever on LinkedIn, I’m sure you know what I mean.

Some days I log into LinkedIn, click on my messages and right there front and center is a huge, multi-paragraph thingy, usually about a biz op and full of meaningless hype. And to boot, it’s from someone who’s connected with me but someone I don’t really know very well. I can just picture them sitting at their desk copying and pasting the same inane message over and over again to their entire network. Nothing screams Annoying Spammer quite like this practice!

Quit it!

Here’s another one, which is basically the same but done through email.

It’s getting an email from that same someone that I don’t even recognize saying that we’re connected on LinkedIn and that here’s the world’s most important, best offer for this and such, and that I can get in on the ground floor only if I act now, etc. Seriously, I get this stuff all the time. Well, not ALL the time, but enough to where it makes me cringe every time I see something like this come in.

My other pet peeve is the polar opposite of this. This next one happens less frequently, but it’s still hyper-annoying! It’s getting a message with the single word “Hi!” or perhaps something like “Hi, how are you?”  The problem with this is that I have to try to figure out who the person is and why they’re saying hello to me. I know what they’re doing. They think they’re getting my permission to message me and I appreciate that, but wow, just give me a short clue as to what this is all about.

So bottom-line here: If you’ve been guilty of any of the above, today is the day to quit! You’re alienating and really annoying one of your greatest assets. Your network!

No more multi-paragraph, automated or copy-pasted promos all about you. Get in there and start forming real relationships. Send messages that are personal and relevant. It’ll give you better results and you’ll have connections that actually enjoy networking with you instead of dreading seeing your name in their inbox.

Here’s to your LinkedIn success!


A Short Course in How to Use LinkedIn for Business

LinkedIn is the top business networking platform bar none. As of the writing of this article, there are over half a billion LinkedIn users. Unlike some other social media platforms, Twitter for instance, virtually all of these over five hundred million accounts on LinkedIn are real. They’re not fake accounts or bots, for instance. If you want more business for you or your company, LinkedIn is THE place to be! All you need now is to understand how to use it properly, and then you can, as they say, write your own check. So, in the rest of this article, let’s talk about how to go about using LinkedIn the right way for business.

The first thing you need to do is to get a significant number of connections. What’s my definition of “significant”? Well, it’s got to be at least over 500! 500 is the magic number on LinkedIn, because LinkedIn shows the number of direct connections you have up to 500 and then when you top that, it keeps showing 500. So, if one person has 498, it will show 498. If someone else has 6,000, it will only show 500. This is also important because the number of people you can reach via searches on LinkedIn grows the more connections you have! Bottom line, start connecting with people! And don’t get depressed if you currently have only a handful. At this writing, we’re still working on making 500. And now that you know the magic number, you can too!

(P.S. – If you need more connections, send us a request at https://www.linkedin.com/in/professionalserve we’d love to hear from you!)

The next thing you need to do is to write your profile, especially your headline and your profile summary, so that it brands you in the best light. Like we’ve talked about before, so many people on LinkedIn have skimpy profiles! Don’t do that! Use all the space provided and fill out your profile as best you can. I’ve written several articles on the best practices when it comes to LinkedIn profiles. Use search to find them, or just message me. I’ll point you to them.

Finally, message people consistently. LinkedIn is a person-to-person networking platform. Most people don’t realize this. It’s made to be used manually. Their API, for instance, allows very little interfacing with the platform via software. The overall goal is to network with people the same way you would in a BNI or Chamber of Commerce meetings.

Get these three things rolling in your favor, and you’ll turn LinkedIn into a business prospecting machine the likes of which you’ve only dreamed of!


You Should Be Doing This Monthly on LinkedIn!

If you use LinkedIn actively, you need to be doing a few things monthly in order to maximize your benefits from the platform. These have to do with the maintenance of your contacts and your profile, as well as making sure your profile shows you in the best light. In this article, I want to discuss this all in some detail. Don’t worry! This isn’t going to take long. A few minutes per month should do it!

Monthly Task #1: Export Your Connections List

You should be exporting a list of your connections monthly. Look, if you’re spending time building up your connections, you sure don’t want to lose all this work if something should happen – like your LinkedIn account getting shut down, even temporarily. If you play by the rules, this shouldn’t happen, but why let an asset you’ve spent time building be in jeopardy?

Monthly Task #2: Download Your Profile

Another extremely important monthly task is to download your profile. Now you can do all of this at the same time. This is a handy change LinkedIn has made recently. Just go to your profile page, click “More…” and choose to Save to PDF.

You especially want to download your profile summary. As you grow and change, your LinkedIn profile headline and profile summary will change as a reflection. You’ll naturally want to emphasize some aspects and deemphasize others. As you modify your headline and profile summary, though, it’s tempting to just delete the old ones. That’s probably a mistake. There’s often information or ways of saying things in an earlier profile summary that you might realize later are better than what you currently have. If the summary is deleted, you’ll have to try to reconstruct it. This is a less than ideal scenario! Save time and the extra work by simply downloading and archiving your profile PDFs.

Monthly Task #3: Review Your Endorsements

Finally, the third task I think is very important is to review your endorsements. Visitors to your profile scan your endorsements in order to quickly figure out who you are and what your skills are. Again, that changes over time. If you had a certain quality or skill four years ago and you were endorsed a lot for that skill, should it still weigh heavily in your current profile? Personally, I don’t think so. You might have changed jobs, changed roles in your business or profession, or even changed professions totally!

Bottom line, you want to make sure your LinkedIn profile reflects and brands who you are Right Now so it shows you in the best light for your current purposes.

Doing these three tasks just once a month will make sure the time and effort you invest in LinkedIn get saved and kept up-to-date.


What and What Not to Include in Your LinkedIn Profile

Ever hear the phrase, “TMI”? – Too Much Information. Every now and then I’ll read someone’s profile where I feel like they’ve included too much. Now, frankly, it’s usually the reverse. Normally if there’s a content problem with a profile, it’s that the user hasn’t included enough information. Their profile summary isn’t long or complete enough. They haven’t included enough skills and endorsements. Or they don’t have enough recommendations. Or, given their age, their work history looks incomplete. That’s what I usually see. Every now and then, however, I see the opposite.

When I see too much information on someone’s profile, it’s not the length that bothers me – after all, a profile summary is limited to 2,000 characters including spaces. What I mean is, what they’ve included shouldn’t be there. For instance, snide or defensive remarks about a former employer absolutely have no place on your LinkedIn profile! I get it. Your last boss or company you worked for were, how shall we say this, less than stellar. Call your sister, best friend or your mom up about it. Don’t spew that venom on social media. This is a sure way to never get hired for any but the lowest of the low jobs again.

Another “cardinal sin”: I see vis-à-vis content in LinkedIn profiles has to do with changing careers. If you feel you were underutilized in your former career, you don’t need to say so. Just emphasize how your talents are being used in your new career and you should be fine!

The bottom line here is don’t be negative! It’s kind of like your grandmother might have said to you (I know mine did), “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” Employers and potential clients are allergic to negativity! It puts them on the defensive. And it tells a lot about what kind of person you are and who you’ll be as THEIR employee or contractor. Why spoil your chances at landing a new job or getting a new client just because you said a little too much on your LinkedIn profile? Put your best foot forward, keep your profile on-point and positive, and get those jobs!


Take Your Brand to the Next Level with These Content Marketing Methods

Building your brand is a big topic, so instead of trying to cover it all in one bite, today we’ll dive into the topic with 5 pillars of what’s called “Content Marketing.” Most companies today are participating in some form of content marketing. Studies show that companies that can produce a majority of their leads through online channels will grow more quickly and are more profitable than companies that rely more heavily on traditional marketing campaigns for generating leads.

So to start off this series, let’s hit 5 content marketing channels that you can incorporate into your overall marketing strategy to increase growth and profits.


#1 – Your Website

Although laser-targeted lead generation campaigns are the way to go for quick revenue and business-building when it comes to content marketing your company’s website is one of the most valuable tools in your arsenal. With a little attention, it can become a powerful tool for generating leads. Your site can be used to leverage both blogging and search engine optimization (SEO) to increase traffic to your site.

To gain the highest return on investment, your company website should include:

  • static web page content,
  • stock educational content, and
  • engaging, flow educational content


#2 – Social Media

A natural extension of content marketing are the numerous social media platforms that have become popular. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram… They all work as content marketing tools in a couple of ways. First, your content can be posted directly to the platforms in the form of tweets, status updates, and dialog with other users so you stay top-of-mind and build a relationship with your market. Secondly, you can use them to introduce different pieces of content that link back to blog posts, whitepapers, and other content on your site to bring them to your “home field” as it were.


#3 – Email Marketing

Email marketing is a technique that involves acquiring/cultivating a targeted list of contacts and sending them emails periodically that contain educational content and offers. You are offering your prospective customers information that will help them, making them more eager to do business with you down the road.


#4 – Web Analytics

Web analytics is not necessarily content per se, but it’s imperative that it be part of your strategy as it comprises the unseen data behind your content marketing efforts. Analytics allows you to monitor the activity on your website and landing pages such as how many visitors you have, downloads, and where the traffic originated from. You should use these tools to measure the success of your content marketing campaigns.


#5 – Stock Content

Stock content refers to the educational resources that you make available on your website for potential and current customers to download. Stock content includes whitepapers, guides, ebooks, research studies, and other media. They help to enhance your reputation as a thought leader in your industry and will lead prospects back to you when the time is right for them to purchase.


When you begin to implement your content marketing campaign, it’s important that you don’t rely on any single tool, but leverage multiple content marketing tools to get the most effect from it. By leveraging these five methods or channels, you can start turning your online presence into a lead generating machine, helping you grow into a high-profit business.

Want more about content marketing? Check out our related posts to get more tips and strategies on how to leverage content to your business-building advantage!


Is LinkedIn Facing Competition from Facebook?

On the surface, it seems that LinkedIn and Facebook are polar opposites. LinkedIn is a professional, work-based app that people use to network and find jobs. You don’t post your pictures from your latest vacation on LinkedIn like you do on Facebook, and you don’t generally post information about job openings or even information about your profession hoping to secure a job on Facebook. Or do you?

Recently, Facebook has decided to encroach on LinkedIn’s territory by allowing businesses to post job openings and for job seekers to apply for jobs right from Facebook. At first, this capability was rolled out only in the US and Canada, but recently, Facebook opened this all up to over forty countries worldwide. Businesses and job seekers alike can use this part of Facebook in order to find applicants and jobs respectively that are local to the business.

It’s too early to tell if this new direction that Facebook is moving in will impact LinkedIn or not. But it is kind of like watching an old Japanese horror movie where two city-sized monsters battle each other over Tokyo. LinkedIn has over half a billion users, while Facebook is four times that size. Either platform is used by a significant portion of the global population.

Having said that, there are some differences in how Facebook is rolling out their job capability versus LinkedIn’s platform. One important difference: The unity of currency on LinkedIn, if you will, is the individual. Although LinkedIn has business pages, the main interaction that’s occurring is between individual people. By contrast, Facebook’s focusing on the business itself. Another difference is that the businesses that Facebook seems to want to cater to are small businesses that will be hiring people who are already local to the business.

Both Facebook and LinkedIn are free, although there again we have a slight difference with LinkedIn having several paid tiers, which Microsoft seems to be intent on pushing people into. Competition is never a bad thing, however, and it’s going to be interesting over the next few years to watch this all unfold.

Do you have a preferred platform or an idea of where this new development will lead? Let me know in the comments!