Firstly, the changes. What are they again? If you missed my post a few weeks ago where I explain some of the changes and what they mean to you, you’re welcome to read it: “How You’ll Be Affected By LinkedIn’s New Changes“.
OK, so now you know the changes, you won’t be surprised to hear that many people have been pretty annoyed by them, especially as ‘core’ functions enjoyed by many holding Premium accounts have been removed, such as the ‘advanced search’ option and the ability to ‘tag’ people. It would appear however that even LinkedIn feel they may have gone too far. In a recent post by David Flink, one of their Directors of Product Management, users were told that some of the removed search facilities would be reinstated (in other words they got it wrong!) and they asked users to tell them what else they may have got wrong ( as you can see they got a lot of replies!).
Tagging, unfortunately for those of us who used it, does not look likely to be reinstated, but at least it is an opportunity to make your feelings known so I would urge everyone who has doubts or questions about the new interface to reply to David’s post. There have been a whole range of complaints about the new interface from the design (which I actually quite like) to which posts can and can’t be seen and the user’s ability to control this, the removal of analytics (you can no longer track how many people view your posts over time) and a whole series of “where has the button for this gone” questions. But what does it mean for the average user and what changes should you employ to make the most of the new changes?
To me one of the most important parts of anybody’s profile is the summary. This is where your offering (be it the product or services you sell or your experience if you are looking for employment) goes. The latest changes mean that only two lines of your summary are visible when you click on to a profile, (where previously it was the whole thing). Viewers have to click on the down button to see the majority of your summary.
Without doubt, the biggest mistake I see when helping clients with their LinkedIn strategy is that their headline has absolutely no bearing on the benefits of their service to a potential client. They may even simply use their job titles – this is a massive mistake. When swimming in a pool full of competition, you have to stand out. So, in the name of keeping things straight to the point, as a LinkedIn expert, you need to have an extremely attention-grabbing headline, and you MUST have an equally captivating first few lines of summary. Take mine for example: I’ve crafted mine in line with what people who could be searching for my service, (that is, LinkedIn training) would want to know. They’ll think:
- Does this person offer what I need?
- Are they credible enough to deliver it for me?
- What makes them different from everyone else?
They can only get this by reading the summary. So, the headline is followed by the first two lines of the summary which speak to your clients’ needs. In this case the need to grow their business, and how I can help. As you’ve got a very limited window to make an impression, you need to always have in mind what the person is after and how you can provide the solution. My headline and summary is a perfect example of smart LinkedIn strategy in action, and I encourage you, if you haven’t already, to recreate yours along these lines.
If you’re struggling to craft your straight-up headline and summary, drop me an email firstname.lastname@example.org, I’d be happy to help you out.
Thing is, despite talks of LinkedIn ‘losing its edge’, keeping your LinkedIn game strong will always benefit you. I suppose it’s like anything in life; there will be those who abuse it because they can, but the smarter one, the ones who understand what the platform is for and that it is, and continues to be, the only network in the world designed to aid business relationships and sales, will certainly always prosper.
Let me know your thoughts – I’m here if you need some help.
P.S. If you’d like to talk about how LinkedIn (even with the new interface) can really help grow your business please contact me at email@example.com