Category Archives for "LinkedIn"

Aug 11

How to Opt Out of LinkedIn’s Social Advertising

By admin | How To , LinkedIn

This is a short video demonstrating how to opt OUT of LinkedIn‘s Social Advertising platform. By DEFAULT, everyone is opted IN. This means that your name and picture may appear next to company pages and advertisements that you follow or like. If you are uncomfortable with that and want to change your setting, please watch this video.


If you’re interested in hearing LinkedIn’s side of this issue, please refer to the article on their blog titled, Privacy, Advertising, and Putting Members First.



Jul 28

New LinkedIn Profile Sections Not Just For Students

By admin | LinkedIn , Profile

You may have seen the recent announcement from LinkedIn about new LinkedIn profile sections designed specifically for students. The article titled, Introducing New Profile Sections Designed for Students, explains how the new sections can enhance a student’s LinkedIn profile as well as how to add these sections to your profile (which I’m not covering in this article).

After quickly looking at the new sections, I realized that only 2 of those 5 new sections were truly specific to students (Courses and Test Scores) and that those of us long past our college days can take advantage of these sections to add depth to our profile beyond just our career involvement. These sections can be used to highlight your community and volunteer involvement as well as special “honors” – like speaking engagements – that may not be part of our normal work activity.

Here are the new sections that you can use for your profile and how the non-student can take advantage of them.


Organizations: It doesn’t say Student Organizations, it just says, Organizations.

One of the biggest complaints that I hear about the limitations of the LinkedIn profile is the ordering of current positions. As people progress throughout their careers, they often become involved in significant community and nonprofit work where they hold a leadership position or have played a significant role, and they would like to share this information on their LinkedIn profile. Sometimes it’s because of the prestige of the role, sometimes it’s because they want to promote the organization, and sometimes it’s for reasons that aren’t obvious. Regardless, this becomes a problem because the new volunteer position transcends the “real job” because all current positions are listed newest to oldest.

Now, instead of creating an “Experience” listing for your volunteer work, you can use “Organizations.” This new section allows you to list leadership positions and even associate it with one of your career experience items – so they are tied together – if you want.

If you’ve had a volunteer position listed on your profile and you’ve gotten recommendations for that position, you may be thinking that you’re stuck with the old format – you’re not. If you delete the volunteer position, the recommendations aren’t deleted with it; they go into a limbo where they’re not shown on your profile. After deleting, you simply go into Manage Recommendations and reassign them to the Experience position you’ve tied the Organizations to, click on “show” and they’re back on your profile. If someone wants to give you a recommendation for the volunteer Organizations, they simply assign it to the position in Experience tied to the organization and reference in the recommendation that it is for the volunteer work.

Projects: Projects aren’t just for students!

The new Project section can benefit both your volunteer and for-profit work. From the volunteer side, this is a great place to list significant community projects you’ve been involved in that are clearly defined. For example, most city Leadership programs require the participants to work together on a community project. Additionally, you may be part of a major project at work that would be beneficial to highlight. One of my personal examples is that when I was at Cincinnati Museum Center, I was part of the team that helped coordinate the first tax levy campaign. That wasn’t a normal part of my job activities and doesn’t really “fit” into my job description. The Project section will now let me share that accomplishment more easily.

Honors & Awards: This is DIFFERENT – and better – than the Honors & Awards section that is already on the profile!

This new Honors & Awards section isn’t just an empty text box like the one right above your Personal Information Section. This Honors & Awards section lets you enter specific honors and awards and connect them to a specific position. An “award” is defined by an outside source, but an “honor” is defined first by us. If you feel “honored” by any organization or event, then list it here! To be honest, I think this is a perfect place to list things like pro bono speaker engagements and the like. I was already doing that in the original Honors & Awards section, but the character limit was too small.

So, how are you going to take advantage of these new sections?

Interested in more tips? Don’t forget to sign up for the FREE LinkedIn Ninja eCourse, join the LI Ninja Black Belt LinkedIn Group!

Jul 14

Effective Use of LinkedIn Groups Takes Strategy, Time, and Effort

By admin | Groups , LinkedIn

LinkedIn Groups can be the most valuable part of your LinkedIn strategy to grow your business, but a Groups strategy can be the most difficult to understand and implement. Add into that the fact that it also takes the most time and I hear a lot of groans and moans when I suggest it.

However, a recent study from LeadFormix on traffic from LinkedIn to their B2B client websites found that 38% of the people coming to the site from a LinkedIn Group resulted in a completed form on their website! True, tangible leads are coming from LinkedIn Groups!

LinkedIn currently has almost 1 million groups! And more are started every day. Some LinkedIn Groups are big and some are small. Some are super active and some are dead. Finding the right LinkedIn Groups for you and your business – let alone the right discussion opportunities within those groups – can be a very daunting task.

To help, LinkedIn created the Daily and Weekly Group Activity Digests that land directly in your email inbox. But if you’re in 50 groups (the limit available in LinkedIn for free and premium members), getting those every day can be just as overwhelming. So having a clear strategy is crucial to your success in using LinkedIn Groups for sales and business development.

Choosing the Right Groups

First and foremost, the LinkedIn Groups that you select should be the groups where your target client is spending their time. Depending on how the group is set up and who is allowed to participate, you sometimes may not be able to get into all of the groups that would be most valuable. Most of the time, I see sales people in mostly industry related groups and they are wondering why they aren’t finding any new clients and customers. The answer is that they’re spending all of their LinkedIn “group time” with their competitors! A few of those are great for professional development, but I would recommend limiting the number to only those that actually helping you.

Essentially, you have to evaluate each group that you join and decide how you’re going to use it. You have to be an Opportunist. I have 3 main purposes for the groups that I’m in.

Market reach to prospects – What’s important is match to target market, size, and a low level of duplicate members in other groups. I’m using these groups mostly for hunting and if allowed, advertising.

Establishing myself as an expert – Those are groups of my target market where there are good discussion happening and I can demonstrate that I really know what I say I do. Those are groups like Sales Playbook. I don’t have too many of these because they take a lot of time so I’m very selective.

Groups for broadcasting/advertising – These are large groups that are a bit more general in their make up so that it may pull in some prospects in need of my services that I may not have thought about. They would be the large local groups and the like that address many different topics.

You probably aren’t going to like this, but the bottom line is that you have to look at and evaluate each group individually to develop the strategies that will work within that group.

Since the owners have free reign to decide who can be in their group, what they can post and how everything operates, you have to abide by their sandbox rules. In some groups blatant self promotion is fine and in others it’s not.


Case Study

Let’s use a case study of a popular LinkedIn group focused around the topic of improving sales. Now, nothing that I’m going to say is meant to be disparaging to the group owner in any way, it’s simply a distant, academic evaluation of how I have observed him  successfully using groups. (disclaimer: The owner of this group did not participate or provide feedback in my analysis so his views may be different. To be honest when I shared this analysis in response to a question in my own LinkedIn Group – LI Ninja Black Belt – he disconnected from me and wouldn’t reply to my email messages. I can only assume that he was not happy with the light I shed on his activity even though it is very clearly a positive review of his activities.)

The owner provides sales coaching services and training, so his target market is sales professionals and teams. So he built a group around discussing best sales practices. He set very strict criteria prohibiting any and all self promotion. Even if someone is asking for your services, you cannot reply or provide a link back to your site. If you do, these are immediately deleted. Despite these tight restrictions, this group has grown to over 20,000 members and is very active. This is a group where active participation and giving first is a requirement to get any benefit. The owner provides one outlet in the group and it is a running discussion called “Pimp My Company.” Although I get frustrated at how tight of a line he is keeping with not even allowing you to fit in a little promotion where it’s asked, makes sense and you’re still adding value, I recognized the value of that one discussion item. There are over 1,000 comments in that discussion. When you add your comment to a discussion item, an email message with your comment is sent to all who are still following that discussion item (which is likely most). So, I became active for a couple of weeks and built some relationships and visibility within the group. Then I timed how I used that discussion when I was launching something important instead of doing a basic introduction of myself. The result was 3 people buying the program that I “pimped” in that discussion.

Now, the owner has sent out announcements to all 20,000+ members “selling” his free services and resources on his website – thereby promoting himself when he doesn’t let other members do so. He has effectively created a competitor-free fish barrel of prospects for his business. Bravo! That is what we should be aspiring to.

Now, if you were able to watch the owner’s activity in other groups, you would see that he doesn’t live by his own group’s strict rules in other groups. He posts links to his blog without adding a discussion. He promotes himself in the groups where that is allowed. He gives links to other sales related freebies.

To be honest, I was a little surprised when I first noticed it, but I have no problem with the double standard. There are some “true believers” who would find this different behavior practically sacrilege because they believe groups should be these sales free, equal societies. I think it’s brilliant and can only hope to aspire to such success.

It’s brilliant because he has recognized – as should you – that each group is it’s own sovereign entity and that it’s foolish to essentially apply a socialistic theory to a group that is running based on pure capitalism (and that would be those spammy groups that everyone says they hate yet those groups remain some of the largest groups in LinkedIn).


Bottom line is that there is no cookie cutter approach that you can take to truly get the most out of LinkedIn Groups. However, with a well developed, targeted strategy, dedicated time, and true engagement with the groups, you can benefit from participation and get new clients.

As of the writing of this post, I am conducting a LinkedIn Poll to get user feedback on what they see as the biggest challenges to using LinkedIn Groups. It has about 2 weeks left until it closes. If you haven’t answered it yet, I would love for you to participate. If the poll has closed, you can simply check out the results. CLICK HERE.

There is also a lively discussion of the problems taking place in LinkedIn Answers: Click Here.

Feel free to continue the discussion in the comments below. I would LOVE to hear about some LinkedIn Groups success stories!

To join the LI Ninja Black Belt Group where I give out TONS of free LinkedIn advice, CLICK HERE!

Apr 26

The LinkedIn “Follow” Function and How You Can Spy on LinkedIn (and be spied on)

By admin | LinkedIn

The “follow” feature is one of the hardest to understand and one that most people may not recognize until too late. I was just helping someone who thought they had their activity feed turned off and their boss saw one of the activity updates. I don’t know what it was, but I’m guessing it wasn’t something that they wanted them to see.

Essentially, with the wrong setting, anyone can now follow you and possibly without you knowing. This could be competitors, your boss, HR directors, colleagues that don’t like you, etc. However, you can somewhat control if they can see anything. There are 2 privacy settings that have to be tweaked to prevent this.

The first is “activity broadcasts” which are updates to your profile, recommendations that you give, and companies you follow. This is either on or off. If you turn it off, that means that your Connections don’t get to see it either.

The second is “activity feed.” This can be set to your connections and everyone. There used to be an option for “only you” which allowed you to put your feed in lock down, but that option is now gone. Therefore, if it is set to your everyone, then anyone who follows you will pull your activity feed into their news feed. AND you cannot prevent anyone you’re connect to from seeing your network – which could be colleagues and supervisors – so be careful who you connect with if that’s a concern for you.

Therefore, if you are being open, you have to be certain that what you are doing on LinkedIn is something you don’t mind everyone knowing – especially competitors, employers and potential employers.

For those of you that are in a supervisory position, this can also be an interesting way to keep tabs on your employees and you may be able to figure out if there is a problem or someone is ready to fly the coup before it happens and possibly prevent it – if you want to.

I definitely follow and keep track of competitors and prospects that I’m not connected to. The competitors, in order to know what they’re doing so I can more effectively strategize for my business. For prospects, to find an opportunity where it would make sense for me to connect or get referred in. I don’t have any employees, but if I did and they didn’t want to connect to me, then I would definitely want to follow them if possible.

How can people follow you?

Follow Person Profile Drop DownYour connections automatically follow you. There’s nothing you can do about that. People who aren’t connecting to you can follow you in two different ways. First, directly from your profile, they will find a drop down that gives them the option to follow it if you HAVEN’T changed it in your Privacy Settings. By default, anyone can follow you.

The second place that people can follow you is if you’re writing the long form, Publisher Posts. There is a follow button on every article so that people can continue to get your new articles – of course, they get everything else, too.

How can you tell who is following you?

LinkedIn has recently made a change to the follower function after putting it on hiatus for a while. With the creation of Pulse and allowing anyone to use the long form Publisher, LinkedIn is now encouraging the following of people who are publishing. As a result, if you are using that feature you get analytics about the performance in addition to accessing the full list of everyone following you. I have not found a way yet to review followers if you are not using this feature.

Can you make someone stop following you?Block Person from Profile Drop Down

Yes, if you fully block them from any access to your profile, so if they are a connection, this action will disconnect them from you. This is a nuclear option that forbids them from viewing your profile and communicating with you in anyway, so you do want to use it judiciously. You find the Block or Report feature in the same drop down menu as the Follow. You can Unblock someone in the Privacy Settings, if you should change your mind. If they were a connection, you will need to re-invite them to connect.

There is one other limitation in the Privacy Settings and that is to only allow connections to follow you. You have only two options – Connection or Everyone (except people you block).

How can you use it to your advantage?

If you’re using Publisher, see who is following you. If appropriate, consider inviting them to connect. Chances are, if it’s not a competitor or employer then it is someone who is interested in what you have to say or the products/services you offer, or possibly hiring you. Just be certain you personalize that invitation to connect to let them know that since they are following you, you would be open to connecting with them. Who knows, you just may find your next client this way!

These settings can be tricky and can have some serious repercussions so give serious thought as to how you want to use them.

Need some more LinkedIn help? Several times per month we offer a FREE webinar called the Seven LinkedIn Mistakes that Kill Sales and What to Do Instead. Click Here to check out and register for the next sessions. If they don’t fit with your schedule, register any way and we’ll send you the replay!

Jan 31

Call for LinkedIn Black Belt Testers @ Extreme Discount

By admin | Black Belt , LinkedIn

The LinkedIn Ninja Black Belt Certification is almost ready for release and I need some testers!  No more than 25 will be allowed!  Starts February 15th!


  • Work through the program at a pace of 2 degrees per week to finish in 4 weeks starting February 15th
  • Track your results and share that tracking with me (I will provide a tracking sheet)
  • Complete an end of program survey to share your results with me
  • Be willing to share testimonials on my website and in sales literature


  • Currently involved in business-to-business sales for yourself or another company
  • Minimum 2 years experience in direct sales
  • 60 days experience on LinkedIn so that there is an existing level of familiarity

This program will retail at $297 per person. The participants in this demo run will only pay $100!

EMAIL ME NOW! to be considered for the program. If space allows, I will consider Business-to-Consumer sales people.

CLICK HERE for details about the program