Recently, while doing some work in LinkedIn, I discovered that the network had closed its learner site (learn.linkedin.com) and that glitches had arisen for its weekly “LinkedIn Learning Webinars.” Feeling frustrated by having questions for which there seemed to be nowhere to turn, I returned to my well-thumbed copy of Wayne Breitbarth’s standard how-to volume on the network, The Power Formula for LinkedIn Success: Kick-start Your Business, Brand and Job Search (Austin: Greenleaf Book Group Press, 2011). At the time of writing his study (2010-11), Breitbarth anticipated that there’d be many changes to the network (e.g. the “Questions” & “Answers” function has ended, as has the function for “applications”). So Breitbarth developed a training site of his own, to address new features of the network, at www.powerformula.net .
Since LinkedIn has limited training options, Breitbarth’s site has become a God-send to B2B business types who want to learn the network’s functions quickly and readily apply them. Today and next week, I’ll report on some of the highlights of Breitbarth’s own five-part blog, “How to Optimize Your New Li Profile,” to help you optimize your use of the network, either as a client of a service or as that service-provider. Some of his points refer to aspects of the network available only to paid subscribers. But the value of his details may well prompt you to increase your investment in the network, with one of the paid levels of subscription. For the features and rates of subscription, see http://linkd.in/Wx06k1
Tip 1: Headline, activity updates
Under the top box of a user’s profile, is the feature called “websites.” The network allows you to enter up to three separate URL addresses, which needn’t include your LI profile. And you can use up to 26 characters to describe these entries. Breitbarth suggests that you add the home page of your website, you or your company’s email sign-up page, your blog or testimonials’ page on your website and any articles, case studies or white papers on your or your company’s website.
Breitbarth recommends posting updates to the network at least three times per week (he is, after all, a “power user”) and to experiment with when you send each, every week, to determine optimal response rates (for lead-capturing).
Tip 2: Your Professional Gallery (video, photos, documents)
Recently, LinkedIn eliminated its “applications” function (e.g. SlideShare, Box.net, Amazon Reading List and others that Breitbarth visited in his 2011 book). In their place has come “Your Professional Gallery.” Here you can share links to various media, such as video, images, documents, presentations (e.g. YouTube, Google Docs) and to your own website. Links to this “gallery” can be placed in the “Summary,” “Experience” and “Education” sections of your profile. (Under “Edit Profile,” position yourself where you want to add media and simply click the “add media” icon. It will give you an “add a link” field and an image of your content will appear.)
Breitbarth recommends placing a “Call to Action” (CTA) on your headline, summary, website, projects and publications’ sections (that is, a banner, icon or piece of text that prompts the reader to click on it and continue down a conversion funnel).
In my next blog posting, I’ll conclude this précis of Breitbarth’s “powerformula” tips for using LinkedIn. Stay tuned: to be continued!