4 January 2013

Recent Changes to Linkedin

We all know that the LinkedIn profile pages changed dramatically in mid December.  I drive a lot of traffic from LinkedIn to my blog via the website/blog links under the "contact info" section.  It wasn't until during the holidays that I noticed that these links were broken.  They had disappeared for no reason.  A quick email to the LinkedIn helpdesk did get it sorted.  But this prompted me to write this post on the recent changes to LinkedIn.

What's New On LinkedIn
  1. The biggest change to the LinkedIn profile page has to be the "endorsements" under your "skills & expertise" section.  There is an argument raging at the moment that you shouldn't endorse anyone unless you have worked with them, but this isn't happening.  You will be endorsed by complete strangers who will expect if not hope for a reciprocal endorsement.  No one yet knows the advantage of having high number of endorsement for your skills but many seem to think that giving skills endorsements is a great way to backlink. The jury is still out on this.  Either way an endorsement will never out triumph a "recommendation".  I know its not something we are all used to doing but push to make at least 10 recommendations on your LinkedIn profile.
  2. Your "Activity Feed" is now front and centre under your LinkedIn business card.  Personally I preferred the long feed down the right hand side but hey.
  3. Your "profile strength" is now represented by now full a circle is on the mid right hand side. Realistically your profile strength seems to be a function of the number of connections you have as well as how complete your profile is.
  4. "Your network" is a series of circles around a centre circle.  Its an interesting app that highlights where the core of your connection lie be it by company, school, location or industry.  You could use this as a compass to ensure that your contacts are concentrated and have a core or you could aim for an even spread, depending on your connection strategy.
  5. You can now follow "companies" and your industry sector "news".  These are displayed at the end of your profile page.  If nothing else it shows there your interests lie.  I wonder where they got this idea from?  But I just noticed these are not listed on your public LinkedIn page.
  6. And of course you have a bigger profile picture.  So make sure you have one. Remember company logos wont do as people connect with people and other want to know that you are a real person.
  7. One thing I don't like if that is more difficult to get an overview of your connections contacts.  This makes connecting to fringes of your network more difficult in my opinion.

What's Disappeared From LinkedIn
  1. If you haven't noticed, all the applications bar the SlideShare application are now gone.
  2. What I miss most was the BlogLink which listed my latest blog posts on my LinkedIn profile page. To get around this I now list my blog title with a link under the new "Publications" section, after all it is an online publication.
  3. The other application which I previously used was "Reading List".  I have not heard anyone lament the loss of their favourite book list.  But if you do, consider listing your "reading list"  in a SlideShare presentation or linking the list on your website or blog to "Publications".  Under "edit profile" you can also add a link to your reading list for more importantly any supporting sales documents.

A Quick Note On Your SlideShare Presentation
I was always under the impression that a good SlideShare presentation was the perfect place to give your reader a snippet of your skill and expertise.  But I beg to differ.  The best SlideShare presentations which I have seen on Linkedin profile are ones that walk your ideal customer through your sales process.  By the time they have gone through the presentation they will know exactly what you will be doing for them and how the process works.  This removes all ambiguity and barriers to doing business.
One other important thing which I recently noticed on someone else's SlideShare presentation was that you can include an opt-in page into the middle of this.  Perfect for capturing the details of your prospective client.

You will find my LinkedIn profile at http://www.linkedin.com/in/chrislentzy
Feel free to LinkIn. 
Do let me know what you think of the current LinkedIn changes by commenting below.