Taking it on one spoonful at a time!

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5 Things I love about the new LinkedIn set up

linkedinIf you haven’t seen it yet, LinkedIn has a brand new look! The new layout is closer to what we are accustomed to seeing in our use of sites like Facebook and Twitter. The old layout was what I would consider choppy and a bit distracting.  Ad’s and suggestions consumed a large portion of the pages and quite frankly derailed a users focus to the point of coming up for air an hour later wondering what it is you came for and what you actually accomplished.

The new layout makes visual sense and seemingly has a much better flow.  The annoying ads and suggested contacts are now in one place.  Now I come and actually achieve what I set out to get done.   Five of the the new layout features that I really like include:

  • “Always on top” Navigational menu at the top menu bar.  This menu doesn’t disappear if you cease to hover over it and sub menus don’t just pop up.
  • Improved navigational set up making it easier to see and search your network.
  • Clear count of your connections.  The old layout of the network connections page didn’t list how many connections you had not to mention you had to keep turning the page for the next 10 people.  The new layout is a continuous scrolling list that make it easy to find someone, message them or disconnect from them.
  • The job list for the companies you follow and for the preferences you set up are easy to see, change and save.  Also, the “Post a job” feature is in a place where it finally makes sense.
  • All of the notifications are easy to see, respond to when YOU want to respond to them instead of taking up real estate on the side bar of your profile page.

Long story short is that I approve of the new layout.  I find it easy to navigate around and it is inviting.  It takes your mind off the choppiness of the layout and puts it on finding what you came for.  Bravo LinkedIn.  It’s about time you caught up with the times.

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The 12 tips to using LinkedIn more effectively

12 LinkedIn tipsRecently I had to pair down a LinkedIn class which was 2 hours long to less than an hour.  Now considering that the full class was jammed full of information that I wouldn’t leave out, this was a task and a half.  So I thought about what the most important things are from the perspective of someone who does not use it very often and would most likely need the crib notes.  These would have to be the most important things to know and /or the handy-to-know things.  So I pulled out my proverbial information scissors and shredded my class into the following bullets.  Here are the 12 most important things to know about using your LinkedIn account.

  1. Make sure your profile is as close to 100% as possible- all pieces are equally important.  Take the time to fill it out.  Sometimes it is the 1st impression people have of you and what you leave out says volumes about how you handle your job and your customers.
  2. Research – You now have the ability to learn much more about a company including key contacts and changes than ever before.  Bye-Bye gatekeeper!
  3. Connecting – By using LinkedIn you can connect with many people and grow your network.  LinkedIn makes your connection paths clear.
  4. Endorsements – Give them to get them.  Having other people endorse the skills on your profile is a verification that you aren’t just tooting your own horn
  5. Recommendations – Again, a testiment to your character, quality of work and good business management.  Keep these updated at least once per year.  Old recommendations leave questions in your potential clients minds.
  6. LinkedIn network map – great depiction of where you may have gaps in your network that may help you grow your business.  You can find your own network map here: 
  7. Activity Updates – This is a great way to stay on the top of the mind of your network and potential clients.  If you are on top of their minds, when it comes time to buy your chances of being the person they call is much higher.  Remember that LinkedIn is NOT Facebook or Twitter.  You should keep your posts business related and to  a minimum.
  8. Groups – A great way to interact with like-minded people and one of the key aspects of a complete profile.  Consider starting a group but remember that groups must be purposeful, have a logo and an administrator to manage the group.  
  9. LinkedIn Today – This is your network news stream and is is customizable to be exactly what you like to read about.  You can subscribe to channels like you can with YouTube or you can follow what is trending in your network, identify which industries you want to see in your stream and how often you want updates.  This is a great way to stay on top of what is happening in your world.
  10. LinkedIn Outlook Connector – This is an easy plug in for those who use MS Outlook that identifies which email recipients you are reaching out to who are and are not connected with you on LinkedIn
  11. Company Pages – A great way to feature your company, products, key contacts etc.
  12. Jobs – LinkedIn’s job section is a great way to find jobs.  There is a search feature that allows you to find jobs in via many categories including  state, company, job title etc.  You can also post jobs on LinkedIn which is available as a  feature of a premium account subscription.

So there you have it.  The 12 key things to know about your LinkedIn account that should help you better navigate your profile and utilize the great tools within LinkedIn for networking success!


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Get yourself LinkedIn!

LinkedIn icon

Whether you know it or not, LinkedIn is the largest professional networking site in the world with more than 175 million users.  That is a lot of potential connections!  Will you connect with everyone?  Of course not!  Let’s be real.  You will however, with some moderate effort, connect with many people.  LinkedIn is a great resource for getting and staying connected with your clients, co-workers, vendors and even prospects.  It is a resource that puts your contact list at your fingertips and a digital representation of yourself out in cyberspace for the world to see.   I hear the same thing from people all the time when I talk about LinkedIn (and even social media in general) “I don’t have time”.  Unfortunately I don’t buy into this statement because it is an excuse.  Now, I don’t say this to be inconsiderate or rude, I say it because it is the truth.  LinkedIn takes about 9 minutes a week to maintain after you get your initial profile set up properly.  9 minutes!  Did you know that in 9 minutes EVERY DAY you manage to accomplish some or all of the following tasks

• Shave
• Eat
• Wash your hair
• Make a pot of coffee
• Get dressed
• Brush your teeth
• Put the dog out
• Take out the trash
• Put on your makeup
• Tie your tie
• Take a shower
• Plant a tree
• Wash your hands……  You get the point.

All of these tasks add up to more than an hour per day.  My thought is that if you have an hour per day to perform a  task that has become a habit then you can find 9 minutes per week to maintain your LinkedIn profile.  There are approximately a dozen parts to a complete profile and yes it takes some time to put the thought, keywords and details into these sections but once it’s done, your updates will be mostly limited to the things you want to share with your network, not the things you left out.   Take into consideration the following statistics before you decide NOT to update your LinkedIn profile:

  • 50% of LinkedIn users are Business Decision Makers
  • According to LinkedIn, you have a 40% greater chance for networking success with a completed profile
  • 2.8 Million companies have a presence on LinkedIn with a company page
  •  77% of users use LinkedIn to research companies
  • 44% of users say LinkedIn has increased their face-to-face effectiveness
  • 37.6% of users say they build new relationships with potential customers on LinkedIn
  • 27.9% of users generate identifiable business opportunities on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a powerful business tool for anyone in the business world.  It is a resource that has eliminated many challenges and obstacles for growing your business and your connections.  The internet eliminated the challenges associated with demographics and LinkedIn has eliminated challenges such as gatekeepers and unavailable org charts.  With resources such as LinkedIn, business success is now focused less on the use of available such tools and more on the skills of those using them.  Need help getting your LinkedIn profile set up?  Email me at