December 6, 2019 / admin  /  Uncategorized

What does that mean? How do you know when you are being authentic? There is no authenticity meter on LinkedIn. But we do know don’t we when someone is being authentic.

Let’s start by reminding ourselves why we are here. LinkedIn is a professional networking platform whether we are looking for a new job or a new customer we are here to promote ourselves and find new opportunities. People who are successful on LinkedIn understand that it is primarily a relationship-building tool. We do business with people we know, like and trust, who can bring value to our businesses. The way we represent ourselves on our profile or in our posts can build or destroy that trust.

If someone is prepared to show a little vulnerability and tell us something a little more personal about themselves that helps us to relate to them and builds trust. It could be a light-hearted anecdote or the story of a life-changing challenge that they overcame but this is LinkedIn, not Facebook so it does need to be framed in a business context e.g. the lessons learned.

In February 2018, David Flink, a Director at LinkedIn published a post titled:

“My name is David Flink, I am a leader in Tech and I am an Alcoholic”.

That was a very brave post, but the response was incredible and very supportive. He talked about the challenges he had faced in holding down a top job at one of the world’s leading tech companies. Tens of thousands of people read and responded to this post. There were many comments expressing gratitude to David from other high functioning alcoholics sharing that his post had been a great source of inspiration and encouragement. I guess also that it is one characteristic that authentic posts share they make us feel it’s OK to be ourselves.

Another example is a post shared recently by Lauren Chiren. Lauren is a single parent, her posts described how in her early 40s she began experiencing what she thought was the symptoms of early-onset dementia, and the panic and distress she felt at the prospect of not being able to look after her 8-year-old son. Thankfully it turned out she was going through early menopause, not dementia. Subsequently, Lauren set up a business to work with female leaders and organisations to create a more supportive work environment for women experiencing menopause.

That last point is important. There are many authentic posts on Facebook and other platforms that would be out of place on LinkedIn. The post needs to be framed in a business context.

Here is another example, a post by  Julian John tells the powerful and inspiring story about overcoming not one but many adversities. 
This post had more than 9,000 comments and 19 million views!

Picture pending

A really important point which applies more generally to posts which feel authentic, Julian was not trying to gain huge exposure he was simply sharing his experiences. The response took him by surprise.

You can’t manufacture or contrive an authentic post it just doesn’t work.

One final example post and again it comes from a senior LinkedIn executive. Josh Graff is the UK Country Manager for LinkedIn. He is gay. In 2014 he published his first post on LinkedIn titled “Why coming out is good for business” inspired by reading the Glass Closet a book by Lord Brown former CEO of BP about coming out at work. Josh wrote about his anxieties about coming out but also the freedom it gave him to be himself in the work environment.

This is one of the comments posted on Josh’s article:

We need more people like you, who lead –through example– the way for a more authentic world, who make the path easier for those less fortunate, who understand that there is no true life if we are not true to ourselves first. Thank you for taking the time and the courage to write this and share with us all”.

The authenticity formula

If you were reading this article hoping to get a formula for how to be authentic on LinkedIn I am sorry there isn’t one. Only you know how to be you. Authenticity is not a device to drum up likes or views, and posts that share your experience or come from the heart often resonate widely as in the examples above. Hopefully, this post has given you some encouragement to have the courage to share a little more of yourself.

LinkedIn Events – An FAQ

September 8, 2019 / admin  /  Uncategorized
LinkedIn events feature

Events are a popular and effective way for businesses to promote themselves and engage with their audiences. I was excited therefore to be invited to be part of a pilot programme for a new event feature on LinkedIn at the beginning of this year. Long-time LinkedIn members will recall that back in the day there used to be such a feature which for reasons unknown was retired.

LinkedIn gives us a variety of ways to find, connect and engage with our target audience. An events page is a logical and many would say overdue addition.

The new feature is currently linked to the individual page although following feedback from the pilot group LinkedIn is considering making it available on the company page.

Roll out was originally scheduled for June but was pushed back to August to allow for some of the changes suggested by the pilot group to be incorporated.

As a member of the pilot group I was impressed by the responsiveness and openness of product managers to suggestions. It was very encouraging to see that LinkedIn is making time to consult with users and listen and act on suggestions. That said this is still a work in progress.


Based on my experience in using the event feature and on-going discussions with product managers in the pilot group here are the answers to the most common questions. I will endeavour to update this as new details emerge.

      1. Is this a premium-only feature?

          No, it is available to free and paid account members.

  1. Will it be available to all countries?

          I don’t know. I will clarify this.

  1. Is it desktop or mobile?


  1. Is it available on the company page?

         Currently, the feature is available on personal accounts only

  1. Where do I find the feature?

           On the desktop, it is on the home page left-hand panel under groups. On mobile click on your thumbnail picture to access the panel (Android).

  1. Who can I invite?

          You can directly invite your 1st-degree connections using an invite button.

  1. Can I send multiple invitations?

          No, invitations are sent individually, you can, however, share the link as a post or copy the event link and send to multiple people e.g. in an email.  

  1. Can I customise the invitation?

          No, LinkedIn sends a default invitation. The following wording is sent:

“Excited to organize Bristol LinkedIn Local in Bristol, England! Anyone interested in attending?


  1. Can I invite people in a group?

          You can include the event page link in a group post.

  1. Can I run a private event?

          Yes. Only attendees with the event link can view it. Once the public or private event option has been chosen it cannot be changed. Remember also that attendees can invite their connections without restriction, however, the organiser can moderate attendees.

  1. Can there be several organisers?

         This feature has been requested but currently, only one person can be the organiser.

  1. Can I add a custom image to my event page?

         Yes, you can add a background photo – 552×200 with a ratio of 4:1. Cropping and resizing is currently not available.

  1. Can I replicate a previous event?

          Not at the moment.

  1. Who can see the list of attendees?

         Only other people who have registered to attend

  1. Can I see people who attended my previous events?

          Yes, you can view the event details and attendees in the side panel under events

  1. Can I send messages to all attendees?

          There is currently no facility to do this. As the organiser, you can message your connections.

  1. Where do invitations appear?

           They appear in My Network with connection invitations

  1. Can I filter my invitations

          Yes, in the latest version you can pre-filter invitations by location, company, university

  1. Who can see posts on the event feed?

          These are only visible to people who are attending the event

  1. Can I associate a hashtag with an event?

           Yes, you can add one hashtag which will take users to the relevant event pages but after the introduction of private events, posts in the feed with that hashtag will only be shown to attendees and not publicly.

  1. Can I edit/delete an event?


  1. Does the events page integrate with popular ticketing sites?

          The page includes a field for the booking-link but this is not integrated i.e. some people will register to attend who have not bought tickets. You will need to follow these people up individually to confirm attendance.

  1. Can I use the feature as a webinar?

          Yes, but you currently also have to add a physical address

  1. Are there restrictions on the type of events I can promote?

          I am waiting for an answer on this. The event terms appear to suggest we can’t promote paid events:


The launch of LinkedIn events has been eagerly anticipated. It gives members a powerful and flexible extra way to engage with their audience at zero cost. Inevitably the feature will not meet everyone’s expectations, for example, those who would like to send out mass invitations. LinkedIn has a fine line to walk between making it easy to engage connections and discouraging abuse.  

My experience of the feature so far has been very positive. The one improvement I would like to see as a priority would be the ability to message attendees en bloc, even if this is restricted to one message per week.

Have you had an opportunity to use the events page yet? What worked well and what could be improved?

#linkedinevents #linkedintips #marketing


March 5, 2019 / admin  /  Uncategorized
Confused business person

Let me start by saying that 95% of business professionals do not need a paid account. The simple answer to the question is use the free account until you find there are things you can’t do that are important.

The more complicated answer is it depends.

In this article I want to look specifically at the benefits of Business Premium and Sales Navigator accounts, I will not be covering the JobSeeker or Recruiter products.

Here is a useful table which summarises the differences:

LinkedIn account features

Fig 1: Comparison of account features

Premium Business Plus

The big advantages of this account are the removal of the free account search limit, visibility of the last 90 days worth of your profile viewers and the ability to send InMails (direct messages) to people whom you are not connected to.

Search Limit

LinkedIn don’t specify what the search limit is on free accounts experience suggests it is somewhere in the range 60-100 and may vary by individual.

If you regularly hit the search limit you should consider upgrading. If you only occasionally hit the search limit you should probably stick to the free account. Bear in mind that these activities do not count toward the limit:

  • Searching profiles by name using the search box located at the top of every page on
  • Browsing your 1st-degree connections from the connections page.
  • Searching for jobs on the jobs page.

NB: Neither does the search limit apply to searches on the LinkedIn app.


On the face of it the InMail allowance is pretty miserly, however, the feature is designed to reward good practice and punish people who abuse it. If someone replies to one of your InMails then you receive a credit even if that response is “not interested”. In this way, you can, in theory, build up a never-ending supply since every month you get a fresh allowance. LinkedIn has put the onus on us to craft well designed, non-spammy, messages that people will respond to.

Clearly, InMails are potentially a very valuable tool especially for contacting hard to reach contacts. As you might expect InMails get a much higher response rate than a cold email, you can think of it as low volume, targeted precision email.

Are there alternatives? Well, yes, you could incorporate your message in a connection request and this can also work well. However, a connection request has a maximum of only 300 characters compared to 2,000 for an InMail.

There is another option which is often overlooked, almost as good as InMails, and it’s free. You can direct message anyone in the same group – up to 15 messages per month. So, if there is someone important that you want to contact, check out on their profile which groups they are in (under interests), join one and when accepted hey presto you can message – no limit on the number of characters.

Visibility of who viewed your profile

Who viewed your profile is the single most used feature on LinkedIn. We like to know who is showing interest in us. From a business point of view that makes a lot of sense. Yes, it’s true some people choose to view profiles anonymously but the vast majority don’t. A quick check through my last 100 profile views showed just 9 were anonymous views.

An increase in views shows your influence and visibility is growing and every picture tells a story – in this case, profile pictures. Something has prompted that person to look at your profile. Perhaps it’s an existing connection who visited your page to send you a message, or someone who had read one of your posts and wanted to know more, or even a competitor checking you out. Profile views can be a goldmine of opportunity.

A premium account allows you to review the last 90 days of viewers and gives you the option of messaging second and third degree viewers to find out more. Of course, you need to be selective, InMails are precious and need to be used carefully. There are also the options to send a connection request or a group direct message as mentioned above.


Sales Navigator was originally designed for and sold to organisations with 25+ salespeople who were selling to other big organisations. It looks completely different from the standard LinkedIn product being developed originally from LinkedIn’s recruitment stable of products. The key benefits that Sales Navigator provides are:

  • the ability to organise contacts individually or by account
  • powerful extra search filters

Team and Enterprise versions of Sales Navigator add extra functionality such as CRM integration and management dashboards which can be compelling benefits for larger organisations. The professional version which I am focusing on here has 90% of the functionality of the more expensive versions.

It’s important to realise that Sales Navigator is not a stand-alone product it works alongside For example, you can not edit your profile, or access your groups, clicking on a prospect’s posts will take you back to the main LinkedIn screen.

And this is lack of integration is probably the biggest drawback of Sales Navigator. If you can find a way to work Sales Navigator into your work pattern then it can be a very effective tool. It’s particularly powerful for business and salespeople who are targeting a small number (30-150) accounts, as Sales Navigator enables you to focus in on specific decision makers in those organisations. This is often called account-based marketing.

For many people, the deal clincher with Sales Navigator is its search power. There are no less than 23 people search filters including company size, years in post, and keyword content, in addition, using an account search filters include company headcount growth, department headcount, annual revenue. One of my clients, an HR consultancy, was able to identify companies in a specific turnover range who had one or no HR employees. Gold dust.

In my opinion one of the single most valuable but overlooked features of Sales Navigator is the ability to search within groups – even groups you are not a member of.



Which is the right account for you will come down to individual circumstances and particularly your target audience. If you are selling high-value products or services to larger organisations then Sales Navigator would in most cases be the best investment. Similarly where company size is an important criterion for you then Sales Navigator may be your best route but not always. Consider a company who sells to Facilities Managers or IT Directors, the titles alone will qualify the business as a prospect.

If Sales Navigator is overkill but you find you are regularly breaching your search limit, then Business Plus is the best solution. Business Plus also gives you visibility of the last 90 days of profile viewers and a monthly allowance of 15 InMails.

If you are still not sure if a paid account will be a worthwhile investment then LinkedIn allows you to take out a free 30 day trial of one of the premium accounts (not both). 

And if none of the above features are really important to you stick to the free account until you find that you really cannot do what you need to, it’s probably exactly the right account for you – as it is for 95% of LinkedIn users. 

How to Turn Your LinkedIn Profile into a Customer Magnet

October 11, 2018 / admin  / 
Attract new customers

 PART 1  LinkedIn and SEO

To attract customers you need two things (a) visibility and (b) credibility with your target audience. LinkedIn is unique in giving you the tools to do both on one platform. 

When I was researching this article I read numerous articles about LinkedIn and SEO and had several conversations with SEO expert Nick Brown of the Accelerate-Agency. Nick explained to me that the top three ranking factors are: backlinks, brand, and speed. But it was what he said next that made me think again about LinkedIn and SEO. He told me how by focusing on BRAND his agency had significantly accelerated their visibility and their SEO site-wide, simply by connecting with people on LinkedIn and posting regularly. In only 4 months he had grown his network from 300 to 18,500 connections.

Building a strong presence on LinkedIn is one of the best things that small and mid-sized businesses can do to boost their SEO.  Arguably, even more important than your visibility on Google, is the ability to create visibility with your own LinkedIn network. After all, these are people you have chosen to connect with because they have direct or indirect relevance to your business – a custom audience. For many businesses creating visibility with this audience is just as important, sometimes more so,  than getting to page one on Google. For example, one of my construction industry clients with a 10 person sales team had 1.000 connections collectively when I started working with them, after 9 months that had increased to 30,000 and their LinkedIn posts were generating tens of thousands of pounds of orders every month.

Your LinkedIn profile is the shop window for both your business and your personal brand. If you get it right it will help you to stand out from the competition, achieve maximum visibility with your target audience and become a lead magnet. In PART 2 I will share with you my top tips on how to fine-tune your profile for maximum visibility. 

PART 2  Optimising your Profile for search

Here are my top 12 practical tips for boosting your profile visibility on Google and on LinkedIn. 

1. Complete your profile fully

LinkedIn gives your profile a ranking from Beginner to All-Star. You can see your ranking on the privacy dashboard of your profile. The LinkedIn algorithm treats profiles that aren’t All-Star as lower quality and is, therefore, less likely to surface them in a search. It should be a priority, therefore, to make sure to get an All-Star ranking. It’s not difficult. If you have added these items then LinkedIn will rank you All-Star:

  • Photo
  • Education
  • Skills
  • Industry
  • Summary
  • Location
  • Current position
But don’t stop there, make sure you have filled out the profile fully, including the experience sections and added any extra sections that are relevant such as projects or courses completed.

2. Customise your URL 

Your LinkedIn URL is your unique LinkedIn address. You can personalise this and make it easier for Google to find you. If you have a common name you may have to be a little creative e.g. use a middle initial or reverse your first and surname for example. Add this URL to your email signature and on all your social media profiles possible. Create backlinks to your profile e.g. by including it on guest articles you write. 

3. Use a professional, friendly photo with anchor text

People underestimate the importance of the photo. It is a visual handshake. It helps to build trust. An unprofessional or unfriendly photo is a big turn off. Why fall at the first hurdle? To give your photo some extra SEO power use a description when you name it. For example, my photo is called: “Greg Cooper, LinkedIn Coach, LinkedIn Training, LinkedIn Expert.jpeg”

The same applies to naming your background image.

4. Adding anchor text to your weblinks in contact information

It’s a peculiarity of the contact information section design that if you choose “other” in the drop-down menu then LinkedIn gives you an extra line of description. This can be used for adding keywords or anchor text.

Fig 1: Adding descriptions to weblinks

5. Make full use of your headline

The line immediately under your photo is known as the professional headline and it defaults to your job title and company, but this is prime real estate. It’s one of the first things people see when they look at your profile or receive an invitation from you.

You can use a strapline approach as in Fig 2 below or adopt a simple keyword approach. I have done both. I currently use a keyword approach* (*link at bottom of the article). The headline is 120 characters, which is roughly twenty words.

Fig 2: Making good use of the professional headline

6. Make your Summary sizzle

Getting found is only the first step, your summary is the means by which you build trust and credibility in the reader’s mind and persuade them to take the next step. A compelling and relevant summary is essential. It should be written with your ideal customer in mind. For more help check out this article “How to Write a Business Winning LinkedIn Summary” ( *see links at end of article).

7. Add a keyword paragraph to your summary and experience sections

Keywords are super important on LinkedIn however if you try to stuff your text with keywords it becomes very hard to read. Adding a keyword paragraph titled “Specialities” at the end of these sections is an elegant way of including them without putting the reader off. 

Specialities:LinkedIn training|LinkedIn Trainer|LinkedIn strategy|Lead generation|LinkedIn Coaching|LinkedIn Profile Optimisation|LinkedIn Search|LinkedIn Blog|LinkedIn Tips|LinkedIn In-house Training|Online training|LinkedIn for business|LinkedIn marketing|LinkedIn training courses|LinkedIn profile tips|How to use LinkedIn|LinkedIn company page|LinkedIn Sales Navigator|LinkedIn Expert

8. Expand your experience section

The experience section is often underused but it provides valuable extra space to showcase your expertise and build credibility. Just like the summary field, this section has a 2,000 character maximum and you can add documents, slideshows, video, pdf etc to add more depth. You can also add multiple current entries – for the same or different positions. In my own profile, I use separate entries for my public courses, my bespoke courses and the LinkedIn Local networking events I host. Each entry gives you an extra 2,000 characters of space!

Check out John Courtney’s profile* he has 17 separate current roles in the experience section.

9. Keyword optimise your job title 

No-one says you have to use your formal job title on LinkedIn. Instead of listing myself simply as “Business Owner” I have used the title field to add extra keywords. You will notice also that the experience section, allows you to enter multiple locations. 

Fig 3: Adding keywords to the title field

9. Add skills and gather endorsements and recommendations

It’s unclear whether adding skills has an SEO benefit or not. Let’s assume it does and make sure that we add relevant skills to our profile. From a jobs perspective, a relevant list of skills definitely does help because LinkedIn’s Recruiter package allows recruiters to search for people by skills; also skills is one of the targeting option available to advertisers.

The endorsements feature is often dismissed as being unimportant. Whether or not you feel that endorsements are important I can tell you that many buyers and potential customers WILL consider they are important. You are more likely to convert a profile visit into an enquiry if you have plenty of relevant endorsements.

Recommendations are your silent salespeople and are an extremely valuable way to build credibility and trust. Endorsements are useful but recommendations carry much more weight. It’s possible either now or in the future that the number and quality of your recommendations may influence how highly LinkedIn ranks your profile in a search result. Some SEO specialists recommend a minimum of 10. 

10. Expand your network

I am not an advocate of linking with anybody and everybody but within reason, there is no doubt that

The bigger your network the more opportunities you will find and will find you.

According to Statista the breakdown of LinkedIn member’s 1st-degree connections look something like this:

                                                                                       Fig 4: How many LinkedIn connections?

Exactly how many connections you need to be effective will depend in part on your job role. A Chief Executive in a large corporate may be highly selective on who they connect to, whereas a recruiter will aim for a very large network in their niche to give them the biggest field of candidates. For the average user, I suggest aiming for 1,000 for a sales or business development role 3,000-5,000 should be the target.

11. Putting yourself in the algorithm’s place

We have already established that creating visibility with your custom LinkedIn audience is the priority for most business. When someone does a search for your service or checks their home feed it’s your profile and posts that you want them to see. LinkedIn’s algorithm is tasked with showing the most relevant i.e.personalised information to members. Outside of LinkedIn no-one knows exactly what criteria the algorithm uses but it’s going to be based on a mixture of the following:  location, topic, completeness of profile, number of recommendations and endorsements (my speculation), popularity of profile, quality of network and importantly closeness of relationship – i.e. the degree of relationship (1st, 2nd, 3rd) and frequency of interactions.   

12. Activating your Profile

It should be pretty clear by now that even a knock-out profile on its own is not enough. To activate your profile and drive more visibility you need to be actively posting and engaging on LinkedIn. That doesn’t necessarily have to take huge chunks of time. For most people 10-15 minutes a day is enough to keep in touch with their network. Anyone in a sales or business development role will spend more time. 

I hope you found this post useful, do let me know in the comments below. I would also love to hear any examples of when your LinkedIn profile has brought you success. 


Greg Cooper profile
How to Write a Business Winning LinkedIn Summary
John Courtney Profile
Google’s Top 200 ranking factors
Keyword finder tool

More about Greg

Greg Cooper is an independent LinkedIn consultant and trainer based in Bristol, UK. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing. For over twenty years Greg ran an award-winning direct marketing agency working with leading technology companies like IBM, SAP, and Siemens. 

Today he helps SMEs to use LinkedIn more effectively to find, win and keep customers. He runs public and in-house courses including the LinkedIn Essentials Master ClassSales Navigator, and Social Selling workshops, and Employee Advocacy training. 

Greg is also the host for the Bristol LinkedIn Local – a pitch free networking event which focuses on building relationships with other LinkedIn members.


LinkedIn Relaunches Groups.

September 12, 2018 / admin  /  Uncategorized

Just over a year ago a fierce debate was taking place in LinkedIn – to redevelop groups or scrap them completely. In the end the decision was taken to relaunch the feature. Over the last 12 months, LinkedIn has made big efforts to talk to users including group managers, power users and LinkedIn trainers like myself to understand what they needed to do to fix groups.      

Last week the new version landed on my desktop (and mobile) and it wasn’t what I was expecting. I am not sure what I was expecting, something radical or revolutionary perhaps but what we have got is the complete opposite – more of the same. Let me explain.

LinkedIn had promised to reintegrate groups into the core product and that’s exactly what they have done. When you click on a group you arrive at what looks like your homepage feed – except it is full of group posts, see below. 


Fig 1: A quick video tour on the new design

It’s not so radical, not so revolutionary. However, it might just be a very smart decision. The number one challenge for LinkedIn is to drive up user participation and engagement, by scrapping the old interface and mirroring the user’s everyday experience I am guessing LinkedIn believe it will encourage users to jump in. Unless LinkedIn can persuade users to join in more often then groups are dead anyway and arguments about what other features should have been included are academic.

What’s Changed

  • Here are some of the key changes:
  • The group page design mirrors the homepage
  • Members can add images and video to posts
  • Posts can now be edited
  • The topic search has gone
  • Group announcements are not available (for the time being)
  • Email notifications are discontinued
  • Group admin roles have been simplified
  • Beefed up spam filter

Essentially the design changes put conversations centre stage and encourage users to drive the discussions. The role of Managers will become less important. Many managers are unhappy about the loss of group announcement and pinned posts but it seems like this is only temporary whilst LinkedIn roll-out the core design.

What’s in the pipeline

Mitali Pattnaik, Director of Product LinkedIn Groups emphasises that the feature is a work in progress and in her blog article Unveiling a New LinkedIn Group Experience  mentions several features which are in the pipeline including:

Better navigation – a groups navigation panel on the home page.

The ability to start and join group conversations from the homepage feed

Relevant group suggestions on the My Network Tab

Separately LinkedIn has promised new moderation tools for admins and mentioned that they are exploring the possibility of a pinned post feature which would disappear once a member has read it.

As Mitali Pattnaik said – it’s a work in progress and I am encouraged that LinkedIn is investing considerable resources into the project. This is not a token effort.

Will the new design save groups?

LinkedIn had to do something bold with groups, which to be honest had one foot in the grave. By changing things to look the same they may just have done enough. There is no doubt that business professionals have an appetite for engaging in discussion around topics of interest, just look at the success of Facebook business groups. Personally, I am optimistic that new group design will prove popular. On reflection, it wasn’t commercially or technically realistic for LinkedIn to continue with groups as a separate platform within a platform.

By reintegrating the group experience back into the main product LinkedIn has changed the conversation, it is no longer a case of whether the new design will be successful or not, the fact is that LinkedIn has created an additional source of valuable content.

Have you got the new version yet? What do you think, has LinkedIn done enough?





How to Create a LinkedIn Summary that Stands Out and Brings You Business

January 12, 2018 / admin  /  Uncategorized

If LinkedIn is your professional shop window then your profile summary is your shop window’s shop window. If your role includes sales or business development then it’s probably the most important single part of your profile.

What is the point of the summary?

Your summary is your opportunity to grab the attention of your target audience. Forget everyone else. It is written to be consumed by your ideal customer. Your aim is to show them you would be a good person to do business with, that you know your stuff and that you can be trusted.

Adding a summary

You have to add a summary it is not there by default. To add a summary click on the edit pencil just to the right of your profile photo. This will bring up the “Edit intro” screen as below, simply scroll down to enter text in the summary section.

Fig 1: A summary can be added from the “Edit Intro” screen

In total, you have 2,000 characters available for your summary including spaces – but since the desktop redesign earlier this year only the first 230 characters or two lines are visible on LinkedIn desktop and only 60 characters on mobile. Think very carefully therefore about how you use these first two lines.

Fig 2: Only first 60 or 230 characters of summary line show on mobile or desktop

Put the Viewer in the picture

Someone is reading your summary because he or she is interested in you. So put them in the picture, tell them

  • What exactly your business does
  • What types of businesses you work with (examples are helpful)
  • Where you operate, whether you sell nationally or globally or locally
  • What is YOUR specific role and expertise?
  • What benefits you can bring to their business
  • What evidence there is that you are trustworthy
  • How can they get further information

I can’t tell you how many LinkedIn summaries I read and still have no clue what a business is about or what the individual does when I have finished. Just getting these basics right will give you an edge.

Knowing and pressing your reader’s hot buttons

Remember you are writing the summary to be read by your ideal customer or prospect, with that in mind, describe some of the problems or issues they grappling with and how your product or expertise can offer a solution. No need to go overboard here into a sales pitch, you just need to let the reader know that you feel their pain.

The aim is when a prospective customer reads you summary they consciously or subconsciously recognise that they match your customer profile.

Stand out from the crowd

The average viewer will spend just a few seconds looking at a profile. Therefore the formatting of the summary MUST be easy to read. This means using white space, bullet points, and paragraphs with block capital headings [Tip: you can copy and paste a bullet point list and certain special characters from Word to your LinkedIn summary].

The majority of people just use text in their summary section but there are over 400 media format that you can add to your summary to grab your viewers attention including photos, blog links, pdf, and video. Here is a full list of supported media.

Making your summary super search friendly

You can’t fail to have noticed that if you Google people or businesses, invariably their LinkedIn entries come up on page one. Google loves LinkedIn, And don’t forget LinkedIn’s own search engine known as “Galene”. LinkedIn no longer releases stats on member searches, however, Daniel Tunkelang former Director of Engineering at LinkedIn estimates there are roughly 1 billion LinkedIn profile searches per month.

To make your summary ultra visible to search engines you must add the keywords that you want to be found for, ideally more than once. The most elegant way to do this in my opinion, rather than littering them throughout the body of the text is simply to gather up the relevant keywords and put them in a paragraph at the bottom of your summary under the heading “Specialties”.

So my keyword paragraph would read like this:

Specialities:LinkedIn training|LinkedIn Trainer|LinkedIn strategy|Lead generation|LinkedIn Coaching|LinkedIn Profile Optimisation|LinkedIn Search|LinkedIn Blog|LinkedIn Tips|LinkedIn In-house Training|Online training|LinkedIn for business|LinkedIn marketing|LinkedIn training courses|LinkedIn profile tips|How to use LinkedIn|LinkedIn company page|LinkedIn Sales Navigator|LinkedIn Expert

Use your secret sales force

The most powerful salesperson for your business is your customer, including a testimonial from a customer in your summary, is a great way to build credibility and trust, especially if that company is known to your target audience. I use a testimonial from the regional Chamber of Commerce since my business focuses on South West England and Wales and the Chamber has wide recognition in that area conveying instant credibility for me.

Tap into the wisdom of the world’s best LinkedIn profile judge

There is no single right way to write your summary. Each person has their own style. The ultimate test of success is whether after reading your profile and your summary in particular people go on to do business with you.

But there is something you can do to check you are ringing the right bells with the right people. Ask a handful of your best customers to read your summary and if they recognise your description of what you do as being an accurate and authentic representation and secondly ask them based on your summary if they came across you for the first time, would they be motivated to find out more. Finally, ask them what they would add or change.

If you enjoyed this article and found it helpful, I would really appreciate if you would like and/or share it so others can too.

13 Recent LinkedIn Changes You May Have Missed

June 16, 2017 / admin  /  Uncategorized

When LinkedIn made major changes to the desktop design earlier in the year many users felt frustrated that features had been removed with little or no consultation. Stung by the negative reaction from members LinkedIn has been working hard to listen to users and win back their good will.

As well as restoring some of the deleted features LinkedIn has been busy adding in a raft of useful new features. I have listed some of the more important ones below in no particular order:

1. Ability to edit updates 

If , like me, you have a mistake prone keyboard that throws up typos which you don’t spot until after posting an update, you will be very pleased to see you can now edit the post.

Fig 1: New edit option on update menu

Unfortunately, we still can’t edit discussion posts in group which would be very welcome (LinkedIn are you listening?)

2. Pregnancy Pause

This is an important and if you will excuse the phrase overdue option. LinkedIn is planning to introduce an option for women taking time out with child birth to fill the gaps in their LinkedIn CV. Members simply add a new job as “Mom” at “The Pregnancy Pause” to your LinkedIn profile under “Experience” for the duration of the maternity leave.

Here is LinkedIn’s official video.

3. The profile custom image size has changed

The image has shrunk. The logic for this seems to be to make better use of the real estate at the top of the profile. Those annoyed one line text ads have been removed from the custom background image. For some reason the image is automatically darkened – I
am not sure why this is.

Fig 2: Custom image is now 1584×396

4. Connect button allows custom invitation

The blue connect button in search results now gives the option of sending a custom invitation. A connection invitation is the start of a relationship, I always encourage my clients to send personal invitations when possible. It may be a co-incidence but I have certainly noticed an increase in personal invitations since this change was made.

On desktop searches I also have a button which says “Preview Message”. I am not sure what this is supposed to do. Right now it doesn’t seem to do anything.

Fig 3: Custom invitations now available from search results

The connect button which appears in the list of “People You May Know” however, does NOT currently offer the option to add a personal message.

5. New “improve my feed” option

Following the restoration of the “top v recent” sort option for the home page feed, an extra “improve my feed” option has been added to the three dot menu at the top of updates in your feed. It allows you to add more topics of interest, also to see a list of who you are following and unfollow people in your network without disconnecting.

Fig 4: Improve my feed option

6. Adding images to threads

Fig 5: Images can now be added to threads

Some time ago LinkedIn announced it would be giving users the option to add images in group discussions threads. This hasn’t happened yet but last week it started to roll out the ability to add images to the thread on a post. Each comment now has a small camera icon in the bottom right corner.

In theory people could use this to post advertising images in a thread but in my view it would be a massive own goal as the posts would be quickly reported.

7. Number of followers for 2nd degree connections is now visible

If you scroll down to the activity section of someone’s profile it now shows how many followers that person has. For most people the number of followers and number of connections is virtually the same.

Fig 6: Number of followers are now shown for 1st and 2nd degree connections

Is this helpful? I suggest it can be. Previously if someone had more than 500 connections that’s all LinkedIn would tell you, so the person could have 501 or 50,000 connections. The size of a person’s network can be a useful piece of information when deciding whether to connect with them.

8. Recommendations options now on contact’s page

To ask for or give a recommendation you now have to go to the connection’s profile page.

Fig 7: Recommendations options are now on connection’s page

9. Individual recommendations can be hidden

Although it has always been the case that you can choose whether or not to display a recommendation on your profile there is now an option to hide new or old recommendations individually.

Fig 8: Recommendations can be hidden

10. Option to turn comments on an article off

When you publish an article on LinkedIn there is now the option to choose whether or not readers can leave comments. Most people will choose to allow comments but it’s good to give the user the control over that.

11. LinkedIn API no longer supports group posts

Although you can share an article with multiple groups from within LinkedIn from the end of June you will no longer be able to post to multiple groups using social media dashboards like Hootsuite and Buffer. Most of my LinkedIn training colleagues agree that this is a positive move which should help to reduce the amount of spam posts in groups.

Here is the official Hootsuite announcement about the change.

12. Date of connection

In the contact information of a 1st degree connection it now shows the date when you connected on LinkedIn. A small change but could be a good conversation starter.

Fig 9: Date of connection is now shown

13. New User Agreement

On June 7th LinkedIn updated the User Agreement. The changes are pretty straightforward including giving users more control over what data is shared. You should be aware that LinkedIn will be sharing your data more widely with third parties which is good for overall visibility, if you are not comfortable with this you can opt out here.


Whilst the changes I have highlighted here are not exactly transformational, they do suggest that LinkedIn is continuing to pay more attention to member feedback. There seemed to be a period when every LinkedIn update involved taking away features, in contrast many updates now are adding useful functionality.

There are still features which were taken away which I would love to see restored, for example, the ability to attach a recommendation to the relevant position, and the ability to see who has shared an article post but it does feel that things are moving in the right direction.

What do you think of the recent changes? What other improvements would you suggest?

Thank you for taking the time to read my post. If you enjoyed this article please like and share it, so others can too.

How to Create a LinkedIn Profile When You Have More Than One Hat

June 1, 2017 / admin  /  Uncategorized

In these days of portfolio careers, it is increasingly common for people to wear more than one hat. You may be a freelancer working for several different businesses or a senior executive with multiple directorships or perhaps you are employed but run a business in your spare time.

How do you reflect this on LinkedIn when you are only allowed one profile page?

Ultimately there is no one size fits all solution, however, I believe there are some simple strategies that can help you to present the different parts of your work-self in a way that makes sense as a whole.

Here are my suggestions:

Use the headline to advertise your core expertise

Your professional headline (120 characters) is immediately underneath your name on the profile page. It defaults to your job title but you can use it instead to position yourself by focusing on and describing your core expertise. The reader gets an immediate impression of what you offer.   

Here are two examples, in both cases the member has more than one current position:

Use a well-chosen custom image

LinkedIn’s custom image gives an opportunity to reinforce your branding visually, without specific reference to a current position.

Here is an example of how a freelance event manager is reinforcing his brand with the custom image.

Custom image can reinforce your expertise visually

Spell out and explain your different roles in the summary

LinkedIn’s summary has 2,000 characters you can use this to spell out exactly what you do and for whom. You may also need to explain how the different roles relate to each other.

If you have several current roles I suggest decide which role you want to prioritise, create a heading and devote 50% of the space explaining what the organisation does for whom, what exactly you do and how you add value for your customers. Keep it simple, pay attention to layout, use bullet points and paragraphing to make it easy to read, you can add more detail in the experience section.  

Give 25% of the remaining space to your other roles under separate headings.

In the last 25% include a paragraph titled “Specialities”, this is where you put the keywords that you want to be found for across all your roles. This will optimise your profile page for search without annoying your reader by cluttering the main text with keywords.

After reading your summary the reader should be able to easily explain your different roles to someone else.  

Don’t forget to tell people how they can get in touch with you for each hat you wear.  

Use images and video to add depth and clarity

We love images don’t we, still or moving. Adding some visuals to your summary and your experience sections is a great way to grab the reader’s attention and helps them engage with your story.

Be careful however not to confuse the reader with too many images in the summary section, it may be better, for example, to save all the role specific images and videos for the experience section of your profile.  

Use the experience sections to add more role specific information

Having given an overview of your roles in the summary you can now give more detail in the experience section.

You have 2,000 characters for each position you list so there is plenty of room to expand on each position. If you have multiple roles it may be enough just to summarise the roles’ aim and scope as below.

LinkedIn allows us to re-order the top two current positions (but only the top two). Move the role you want to feature most prominently to the top.


Use role specific images and videos.

This is one of 8 current roles for marketing expert John Courtney

Use skills and endorsements to draw attention to your key skills

Since the LinkedIn desktop redesign and the end of last year only your top 3 skills are displayed, as below. You can re-order these. Make sure the ones showing reflect the emphasis you have given in the rest of your profile.

Now only top 3 endorsements are displayed initially

If it’s just too difficult or confusing to choose three representative skills, you can turn off the endorsements feature entirely and LinkedIn will just display a list of all your skills.

Publish selectively

Writing articles on LinkedIn is a great way to boost your brand and promote your expertise. If you have several very different hats it could be confusing for the reader (and the LinkedIn algorithm) if you write about too many topics.  

My advice would be therefore that less is more. Write about those topics which are really important to you. Your passion will come across in the article and the reader will be engaged.

Big picture, little picture

The approach I am suggesting could be called big picture, little picture because you are using the professional headline and summary section to give an overview of who you are, the different roles you fill, and how this all ties together. In the experience section, you can then give more details about individual roles.

I hope this post has been useful and those of you who combine a position as Lion Tamer with one as an IT Analyst, or similar, will see that it is quite possible to incorporate multiple roles into your LinkedIn profile.

Remember the key is to craft something that the reader will find easy to digest and understand. Profile viewed = profile understood

I would love to hear your ideas on how you have tackled this LinkedIn challenge.





















How to Position Yourself as an Expert on LinkedIn

May 1, 2017 / admin  / 

Recently I gave a talk on how to position yourself as an expert on LinkedIn to a business audience in the lovely City of Bath. I started by asking how many people in the audience considered themselves experts? Three lonely hands went up. I then reworded the question and asked, “Who here considers they have expertise that their customers value?” Almost everyone in the room put their hand up.

Maybe it’s a British thing. Most of us feel uncomfortable calling ourselves experts but that is precisely the reason customers come to us because we have knowledge and expertise that they don’t. Whether or not you feel comfortable with the word, positioning yourself as an expert is an incredibly effective way of marketing yourself and your business. And if you sell to other businesses then LinkedIn is the place to “be known for what you know”.

Consider the benefits for your business:

  • Higher profile in your chosen markets
  • More and better opportunities
  • Lower marketing costs
  • Lower cost of sale
  • Better margins

Positioning yourself as an expert is probably the single best marketing investment you can make.

When you build a reputation as the got to person for your particular skills then instead of chasing business people start to seek you out.

5 Practical steps to promote yourself as an expert

One of the first ports of call a buyer will make to check out your expertise is LinkedIn. Let’s look at the steps that will help you to position yourself and your business as a source of expertise on LinkedIn.

  1. Create a strong personal brand

There are several ways a potential buyer may come to your profile – as a result of a search, a recommendation, seeing your content, or just a casual visit. When they arrive your aim is to convince them you are the go to person for this product or service.

Pay particular attention to the top of your profile. Your photo is the initial visual hook. Do you look professional and approachable? Have you added a custom image which makes you stand out and reinforces your brand? Underneath your name is the professional headline, this defaults to your job title but is a great opportunity to position yourself and your expertise. It is your written hook.

The other key feature is the summary. This is where you can expand on your expertise, give examples of what you do, describe the type of customer you are looking for, add a testimonial. We want the viewer to recognise themselves and feel comfortable taking the next step to contact you.

On the mobile and desktop, the summary field has now been collapsed into two lines. It’s very important therefore to think about how to start your summary – only the first 200 characters (on the desktop) and 60 characters (on mobile) are visible to the viewer.

LinkedIn has two social proof features –  endorsements and recommendations. Customers will expect to be able to read glowing references for an expert. 

Recommendations are important evidence of expertise (click to enlarge)


  1. Build a broad AND relevant network

Experts achieve recognition by writing books or talking at conferences but also by NETWORKING.  A broad and relevant network is a crucial tool for building your reputation. The bigger your network the bigger your reach. One of the best ways to expose your expertise is to share valuable content, LinkedIn gives you the opportunity to build a custom audience to consume and share this.

  1. Expose your expertise with original content

As an expert, you have valuable knowledge that your customers want. Giving this knowledge away in small chunks through articles and posts is one of the best ways to build your reputation. At first, this seems counter-intuitive, why will people use you if they can glean your expertise for free? Strangely the opposite is true.

Ask people who have written successful books about how to do stuff. Of course, there will be some people who just read the book but there will be plenty of others who get in touch because of the author’s superior knowledge. As a business coach, Peter Quintana, said to me recently no-one wants to pay for someone who is “simply competent”.

 My advice, therefore, is to publish and be damned.

  1. Build and nurture a support network

You can be one of the most knowledgeable people ever in your field but if no-one knows about you there are never going to be queues outside your door. One of the most effective ways to spread the word is to build a network of people who like and share your content. Usually, this happens organically. You start to notice people who are regularly liking, commenting on, or sharing your posts. Say thank you show appreciation, where appropriate share their content too.

It’s likely that some of this network will be your peers. For example, I am linked to an informal network of LinkedIn coaches all around the world. We regularly share each other’s content.

By creating this supporter network or fanbase, your content gets far greater exposure than you could achieve through your own efforts alone.

  1. Engage with your audience

If your content is good it will attract potential customers. LinkedIn notifies us when someone is engaging with our posts, be alert and ready to get involved, without delay. One of my connections, Felix Spender, a conflict management specialists, published an article on LinkedIn about Brexit which attracted thousands of views and over a hundred comments.  He quickly engaged with the people who were commenting, responding thoughtfully and respectfully to all the comments. As a result, he was invited to London to meet with the cabinet office, he won a major new contract, and crucially his personal authority received a massive boost.

Some people will respond to your content by sending you a connection request. This is another great opportunity to open a conversation. I always thanks people for their invitation then ask if there was anything that prompted them to reach out to me.  This regularly results in a sales opportunity as people explain how they would like to learn to use LinkedIn more effectively.  

Buyers want YOUR expertise now

No business has all the expertise it needs to make it thrive. Every business from time to time needs to consult or buy in knowledge from suppliers be that an accountant, an IT consultant, or an office cleaning company. Businesses use outside expertise to:

  • Make better decisions
  • Save time and money
  • Avoid costly mistakes
  • Innovate and stay ahead of the competition
  • Be more efficient and profitable

If you can offer your customers one or more of these benefits then I would suggest this is based on knowledge that you have that the customer does not. It’s time to start exposing this expertise on LinkedIn to be known for what you know more widely.


User Reaction Prompts LinkedIn to Rethink Desktop Design

March 14, 2017 / admin  /  Uncategorized

It’s fair to say LinkedIn’s new desktop design has not been universally welcomed. A petition by a Bristol recruitment manager Mark Jury,  to restore lost features, attracted widespread international support. Numerous articles have been published, on and off LinkedIn, decrying the changes.  LinkedIn themselves created a forum post for feedback on the design which to date has received nearly 3,000 comments, almost all of them negative. Feel free to add your two-penny worth.

Good idea, bad execution

The rationale for the design changes is sound i.e. to create a more consistent user experience across all devices, it should make for an easier and more intuitive user experience. The problem as I see it is that LinkedIn management, perhaps under pressure from new owner Microsoft to improve profitability, has rushed through the changes with too little user consultation and insufficient testing. The result is that the new design has been full of bugs. In addition, ill-thought-through changes to the pricing policy have angered users who are being forced into a premium upgrade to keep their favourite features.

Change needs user consent

Currently, less than 1% of users pay for using LinkedIn. You can’t blame them for wanting to increase this percentage. In some cases, however, users are being expected to pay more (in the case of Business Plus users up to 50% more) to keep features they already have. These users are not impressed when they complain to LinkedIn and receive stock responses like this:

“We’re always looking for ways to improve the LinkedIn experience for our members. This sometimes means removing features that aren’t heavily used to invest in others that offer greater value”.

It creates the impression of an organisation that simply isn’t listening to its users. Many users have canceled their premium accounts. The risk for LinkedIn is that revenue lost by these cancellations could outweigh revenue generated from new premium users. LinkedIn urgently needs to reconnect with and listen to their users.

Is LinkedIn in listening mode?

There are some promising signs. Along with several recruiter and training colleagues I recently had the opportunity to speak directly to the Director of User Experience Research in San Francisco. As a result of these conversations, changes were made. On February 24th, David Flink, LinkedIn Product Director, Search and Discovery published a post entitled “We heard you we are making some changes to LinkedIn Search”  in which he announced several changes including the restoration of some of the previous functionality including additional text field searches, and the return of saved searches.

What’s next?

Is there life beyond the controversial desktop update? Right now LinkedIn is being battered by a deluge of user complaints. Clearly, there is some work to do to repair the situation. However, LinkedIn remains the dominant player in this space and despite the missteps with the desktop update, it is still the most credible and widely used online business venue. 

The good news for LinkedIn and its users is that just around the corner there is a raft of new functionality on its way as the Microsoft product set is gradually integrated. I predict these additional features and extra connectivity will be widely welcomed by users. The storm around the desktop upgrade will gradually die down but Linkedin must learn the lessons.

Thank you for reading this, if you enjoyed the post please like and share it so others can too. Love to hear your comments.