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The importance of a good LinkedIn headline

The importance of a good LinkedIn headline

by Adam Gray | @AGSocialMedia | LinkedIn

Have you ever wondered why you should write a compelling headline for your LinkedIn profile rather than just the generic “Sales Manager at xxxxx” that LinkedIn gives you?

The other day we were working with a client and one of the sales leaders said “it’s important to me that people DO hear that generic headline because it lets me quickly see if I should cold-call them”…we said that this is EXACTLY the reason that people should change them as nobody likes being cold called. Actually, that’s a joke (well not the fact that nobody likes being cold-called…that’s not a joke, but the bit about that being the resin to change it). 

The reason to change your headline is that it enables you to stand-out from your competition. Imagine (for the sake of argument) that you are an ERP salesperson and that everyone else in your industry who is also an ERP salesperson does the same thing ALL of you will have a headline that reads “Sales xxx at Some ERP Vendor” so you look like everyone else who is trying to pursue the client for a sale.

LinkedIn is very good at facilitating this kind of searching. If I type in ERP Sales LinkedIn delivers 1,377,548 results to me and to be honest almost all of their job titles say the same thing. Then, if I do take the plunge and click on one, then LinkedIn is kind enough to show me all of their competitors (in this case all with the same job title) down the right side of the page.

Here is the best opportunity for you to make a quick first impression that is markedly different from everyone else.

As Dave Trott explains in his book Predatory Thinking, there is a huge opportunity to create recognition by being different, and therefore standing out, Dave calls this Gestalt Thinking and it’s based on the fact that standing out from the crowd creates two options in the human brain you or the crowd (a 1:1 chance of being chosen) whereas being one of the crowd (of say 10) creates a choice of 11 possibilities for the brain (a 1:10 chance of being chosen).

These days your competition is everyone else in the world and when they all look just like you the buyer doesn’t know which way to jump…

So, give it a go…you might be surprised.

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The new LinkedIn algorithm is the kick in the pants I needed

The new LinkedIn algorithm is the kick in the pants I needed

by Phil Stubbs | @PhilStubbs14 | LinkedIn

There are many theories we could discuss about why LinkedIn created ‘algorithm-gate’. Basically – they want to share the love between everyone and not just the popular and interesting. Probably because they need to create more value, get more people active so they can charge more for the annoying and earn more from irrelevant ads we keep seeing on our feeds.

Some could say they’re pandering to the lazy who don’t post very often. We could suggest it’s to placate those that always have a toddler tantrum in no one likes, comments or shares any piece of content they post – nothing to do with it not being of interest! Our society seems to think that we can’t stand up and say “Hey, this is boring – I don’t want to see it” – in case we offend one person out of the 3.397 billion that are on social media.

I’m now actively using the options available for LinkedIn posts – I’ve pasted them below for you – to weed out the content I’ve been scrolling over in the past. Why the change? Well, it’s clear I’m seeing more irrelevant and boring content. There are only so many pearls of wisdom I want to read from the Dali Lama et al, or videos of a professional footballers two-year-old kicking a ball. They will be getting the ‘hide this post’ and ‘improve my feed’ treatment.

Persistent ‘offenders’ that never create their own content will get the ‘unfollow’ treatment. Just as I would expect people to unfollow me if they don’t enjoy my content, or find it of interest.

All blatant, cold, in your face sales pitches, will automatically get a red card and go into the incinerator.

Here are the options you can use for each post.

  • Copy link to post
  • Embed this post Copy and paste embed code on your site
  • Hide this post I don’t want to see this post in my feed
  • Unfollow XXXXX Stop seeing posts from XXXX
  • Report this post This post is offensive or the account is hacked
  • Improve my feed Get recommended sources to follow

Don’t feel like you have to ‘put up with’ content that LinkedIn feeds to you – clear it out and let it be replaced with something that’ll grab your attention. The more you do this, the better the experience will be. We have choices so let’s not waste them.

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LinkedIn’s Algorithm change and how it will ruin your business

LinkedIn’s Algorithm change and how it will ruin your business

LinkedIn’s Algorithm change and how it will ruin your business

by Adam Gray | @AGSocialMedia | LinkedIn

When I was writing my first book Brilliant Social Media (Pub Pearson) I had a bit of time on my hands and needed to do some research around the structure of networks and how to map them. Thankfully at that point the online learning portals Coursera and EDx were running a huge number of courses and they were free so I studied every single one about networks and network analysis that was on offer and that ultimately led me to do a course at Berkeley on statistics…so I do have a reasonable well informed opinion about this but wouldn’t profess to be an expert on the matter.

In this video Bonnie Barrilleaux (Data science manager at LinkedIn) talks about the new algorithm and what they are hoping it will achieve. It’s quite a technical talk and seems quite involved, but what LinkedIn are describing isn’t particularly complicated as it’s just measuring behavioural responses to what people are shown. I don’t at this stage think that this creates much of a problem for people who are reasonably active and successful on LinkedIn but aren’t rock stars either. We, those people in the middle, probably aren’t going to be stolen from or given to in terms of the new algorithm and the visibility it provides. I think though it just implicitly states (not that we didn’t already know it) that LinkedIn is a business and they want to take more money from people and the best way to do this is to have a larger engaged customer base and the best way to do this is to reward a larger rather than smaller portion of that customer base and that’s what the new algorithm is about.

I think though that the fundamental issue that LinkedIn have is that although they can measure user responses to posts and draw conclusions about the quality of those posts there is little correlation between popularity and quality.

One of the courses that I studied used the spread of a contagious disease through a population as a metaphor for the spread of an idea through a population (as the two behave in a very similar way) and interestingly the way that you get a disease to spread quickly is to infect someone who is very central within a network (that doesn’t mean someone who necessarily has lots of connections but it usually means someone who’s have lots of connections) but the deeper I looked in to this the more I realised that the model of the disease was not the same as spreading an idea. An example of this might be the spread of the bubonic plague through Europe in the 14th century, where it killed around 50% of the population. The reason the black death was so effective  at killing people was because most people who were exposed to it contracted the disease (it had a very high contagion rate). If you want a post to go viral it too needs to have a very high contagion rate (a high percentage of the people exposed to the post need to comment/like/share so that it spreads downstream) but this is not something that we can easily affect. Certainly not in a business environment because a photo of a new starter’s desk with phone, computer, coffee mug and t-shirt will always get more likes than an article on how to optimise your blog writing!

At Digital Leadership Associates we have always held true to the belief that writing good content and sharing good ideas that makes the reader’s life better/easier is the way forward and that won’t change simply because the LinkedIn algorithm has been tweaked. 

I think the presentation and response to the questions was absolutely focused on cutting the data and trying to make sense of it – it was all about the metrics that they use and how they blend the indicators – let’s be honest there are only 4 things that they can measure on a post by post basis – likes, comments, shares and blocks and there seems to be a lot of smoke and mirrors being used. 

She used a quote “when a measure becomes a target it ceases to be a good measure” and they are trying very hard not to let people know what’s being measured.

The long and the short of it is that if you are getting falling response rates it could be because your content isn’t hitting the spot, it could be because your audience isn’t engaged enough (so you need to like comment and share more of their content in order to engage them in the hope that Linkedin will like you more for that) or you need to reevaluate how you blend your use of LinkedIn with other social networks as LinkedIn is not the only social network in the world!

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Is The Best Way to Save Your Marriage is For Me to Send Your Partner Flowers?

Is The Best Way to Save Your Marriage is For Me to Send Your Partner Flowers?

by Tim Hughes | @Timothy_Hughes | LinkedIn

One of the things we see and hear often is that it’s too much work to write your LinkedIn profile. But if you want all the things that social selling can give (inbound, deals through social referrals, engagement with a digital prospect and customer, acceleration of your pipeline) you then you need to do it.

Yes it’s hard work and yes if it wasn’t hard work you would have done it already. Many people we meet have been on LinkedIn for 10 years, but the “shop window” to the world is still blank or a CV the time you write your CV up when you were looking for work.

Often people say to us, why don’t I get somebody to write it for me. There are unscrupulous companies that offer this service. Let me explain.

The issue people have with marketing today is most of it is just noise. Corporate marketing is noise, everybody says their product is the best, or number one. We don’t look at adverts, we don’t read unsolicited emails, we don’t take cold calls, we don’t go to events as they are just salespeople pitching. We have gained the skill today to filter this noise out.

The one thing that any company has to differentiate itself from the competition is the people, your employees. In fact you!

It is human nature that we are drawn to other humans to communicate and we like people to show something of themselves. We hate people to be salesy or push their sales message on us. In fact we rebel against somebody doing this. Nobody ever got up in the morning and said “the first thing I need to do today is talk to a pushy salesman.”

Which is why, the best person to take your husband or wife or partner out is you.

The best person to send your wife, your husband or your partner flowers is you.

Not me, or a professional writer.

Your wife, your husband and your partner has a bond with you.  They love your personality, your vulnerabilities, your sense of humour.  In fact, you know the last thing to help, if your relationship was having problems was to get an independent third party involved.

Writing your LinkedIn profile is hard, often it’s like revision for an exam, we put it off as much as we can.  But the upside is awesome:-

  1. You will get inbound leads and meetings
  2. You can prospect outbound and not look like a spammer
  3. You can nurture (for free) your long term pipeline
  4. You can acerbate your existing pipeline
  5. Digital buyers can find you, enabling you to pull business away from your competition.

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Why LinkedIn Connection Requests Are The New Spam

Why LinkedIn Connection Requests Are The New Spam

by Tim Hughes | @Timothy_Hughes | LinkedIn

Here are the most common LinkedIn connection requests I get.  It’s worth noting that nowadays, the likelihood I get a note is small, maybe 5% and most of those are the bland LinkedIn requests.  Most connection requests have no context.

There are 10%, which always make me laugh which say, please can we connect and would you like to buy my product.  Of course these always get rejected.

Back to most common LinkedIn connection requests for me

  • People who sell Real estate
  • People who sell small businesses insurance
  • People who load small businesses and start-ups money
  • People who help entrepreneurs invest money
  • People who offer business advice to start ups

What is it they all have something in common?  Yes they are all going to try and sell me something.

The summary is always funny, something along the lines of “I help small business with their insurance needs”.  In today’s society you swap the word help with sell.

A recent event happened to me, this company was all over me, telling me about how they help (spot that word) start-ups with advice etc.  I replied saying how great that sounded, but pointed out we had good cash flow and didn’t need a cash injection.  They never responded.

So where as, in a pre-GDPR world, maybe these people will have emailed me, now they send LinkedIn requests.

May I make an appeal to you the reader?  The only reason that these people do this is that they must get a result.  Please you stop accepting them and please don’t buy from them.

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How to Become a LinkedIn influencer

How to Become a LinkedIn influencer

by Tim Hughes | @Timothy_Hughes | LinkedIn

I’ve just had an email from somebody who isn’t a LinkedIn influencer, telling me about a course by somebody else who isn’t a LinkedIn Influencer which they are running called “How to become a LinkedIn influencer”.

How is this? How can somebody who isn’t a Linkedin Influencer run course called “How to Become a LinkedIn influencer.” How is it that people that know little (I won’t say nothing) about a subject can suddenly teach others about it? The thing that totally baffles me is why are people buying it, when it’s clear the person running the course, just by looking at their Linkedin profile, they don’t know about being a Linkedin Influencer.

Well on Social anybody can set themselves up as whatever they want and it would seem people fall for it. Well, maybe not you and me, but if people were not falling for it, then these people wouldn’t make any money and go and do something else.

A prospect we spoke to had just fired their social media person and said to us “I thought he was a social media expert, as he had a beard.” Funny statement, but they were serious.

Here at Digital Leadership Associates (DLA) we believe that the only way that you can stand in front of people and say “How to become a LinkedIn influencer” you have to be a LinkedIn Influencer. 

We don’t see how you can be a Judo expert by buying and reading books on Judo from Amazon. You have to join a Judo club and fight and do your gradings. Bob Dylan is great folk singer and songwriter because he played folk clubs where the audience was 7 people. He found out what worked and what didn’t.

I often see debates about this on Facebook which respond and say “we are too busy teaching people to be a LinkedIn Influencer to be a LinkedIn Influencer.” For real?

This “we are too busy servicing clients” to do what we say we do is total and utter rubbish.

Would you take driving licences from somebody who couldn’t drive or undertake a sky dive following lessons from somebody who had never actually sky dived. How difficult could it be? Well you will probably waste your time and your money.

Sorry about what I’m going to tell you but with social media there are no quick fixes, there are no silver bullets. Like so many things in life, if something seems to good to be to true. It is. 

If you too want to be a LinkedIn Influencer, please don’t fall for the snake oil merchants.

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