Why I Write A LinkedIn Newsletter Instead Of Posting

Okay, maybe LinkedIn doesn’t offer this many options, but it’s a lot better than it used to be.

LinkedIn is quick to feature the number of views your content has received, regardless of what type of content you have such as posts or videos.  So I thought we could talk about views and their value.

Views are really what the advertising industry refers to as impressions. Using an example from the ad industry actually illustrates this idea really well. A company, say Budweiser, wants to advertise Bud Lite. They will contact a television network in order to advertise on their football broadcasts. The television network will tell Budweiser that their 1pm football game reaches ten million people. If Budweiser puts an ad on that broadcast, the ad is said to have had ten million impressions. Now, of those ten million people, how many of them actually saw the ad? Think of yourself when you watch broadcast TV. In an hour, you may be shown fifteen or twenty ads. How many of them did you actually watch? This is why they are called impressions. The number of impressions is the number of people who could have seen the Bud Lite commercial.

I would also point out here that this helps to explain why we see the same commercials over and over again. The advertising companies want to make sure that at some point we see their commercial, and the only way to guarantee that is through repetition.

So how does this apply to our content on LinkedIn?

When we publish on LinkedIn, LinkedIn puts our content in the feeds of other LinkedIn users. This is the content that you see on your LinkedIn homepage, and the content in your feed as you scroll down. If you scroll down past fifteen posts, LinkedIn will register you as having “viewed” those fifteen posts and compile those views for reporting back to the authors.

The bottom line is a view means someone had the opportunity to see your post in their feed. It does not mean they opened it, or that they read it. Seeing the number of views makes us think that number of people read our post. They may have.

So what can we do about this?

LinkedIn Newsletters.

For my money, the best type of content on LinkedIn is a LinkedIn newsletter.

Newsletters get the same distribution as regular posts – that is put in the feeds of some LinkedIn members – plus there are three good additional reasons I like Newsletters:

1) Guaranteed delivery. LinkedIn notifies – not just puts in your feed but notifies – your subscribers that a new issue is available. And this includes email notifications. If you are a subscriber to this newsletter, you (should have!) received a notification from LinkedIn.

2) You can see who has subscribed to your Newsletter. I will confess it’s not easy – it’s actually pretty awkward – but it can be done.

3) You can see how many clicks and opens you got for each issue. This is the biggie, and the big advantage over regular posts. As I like to say, a view means someone has the opportunity to see and read your content, but a click signals their intent to open and read your content. I would much rather have a hundred clicks than a hundred views.

I publish a weekly email newsletter on using LinkedIn effectively for Sales and Marketing. Each newsletter typically contains two articles like the one above, it’s free, and you can unsubscribe anytime. Here’s a link to the sign up page: https://practicalsmm.com/contact/

Obligatory boilerplate: I do not work for or have any association with LinkedIn, other than being a user who pays them for his Sales Navigator subscription every month.

Deciding If That Person Asking You To Connect On LinkedIn Is Real

Is Anna a real person? 

Today, we will look in depth at the profile of Anna Li, someone who invited me to connect in late October. As you can probably guess, this is not going to end well. My goal here is to show you what I look at and look for when I see someone’s LinkedIn profile.

Let’s have a look at her profile and look for clues as to whether Anna is a real person, or a fake profile. 

First, what can we see at a glance from the headline section of her profile? 

Actually, just about everything here makes me question Anna immediately.

18 connections? You don’t have more colleagues, ex-colleagues and classmates / alumni than that? 

“Manager” is a pretty weak title

And Anna has no location. 

Okay, let’s have a look at her “About” section.

Anna says she is a senior market development manager. At best – and giving Anna the benefit of the doubt for being a non-native English speaker, I find it highly unusual that L’Oreal would not approve a senior marketing person buying cosmetics for research purposes. Isn’t that kind of what she is supposed to do? 

Her second “About” paragraph is a delight. Anna conducts market research via “rummaging” through social media messages. This has to be the first time I have seen anyone use the word “rummage” on LinkedIn. Apparently these social media messages unveil for Anna the needs that customers have that the customers are not aware they have. At this point, Anna is beginning to scare me. Even if she is real I don’t want to send her messages over LinkedIn as she might use them as part of some Vulcan mind meld thing. 

Okay what about work experience. I won’t show all three of her work experience sections for L’Oreal, but here is the first one: 

Marketing Department Research Manager

L’Oréal · Permanent

Apr 2017 – Present · 5 yrs 7 mos


  • Formulate an annual marketing goal plan, establish and improve marketing information collection, processing, communication and confidentiality systems, investigate consumer buying psychology and behavior, and collect, sort and analyze the performance, price, and promotional methods of competing brand products , Analyze the advertising strategies and competitive methods of competing brands, make sales forecasts, propose future market analysis, development directions and plans, and formulate product planning strategies;

Two points here: Hands up everybody who thinks this looks like this was badly cut and pasted in from somewhere else. It sure doesn’t sound like the same Anna who wrote that About section. Plus, this paragraph consists of two very long sentences, one of which ends in a comma and the other ends in a semi-colon. 

The second point is that while this Experience section outlines Anna’s responsibilities, it says nothing about her accomplishments at all. It’s odd that she has a work experience section that doesn’t talk about the actual experience at all. 

And now, let’s review her schooling. Anna says she has a Masters degree from the University of Toronto

A master’s degree, Industrial and commercial management

Jul 2010 – Jul 2014

Grade: Excellent academic performance

  • Activities and societies: Good performance in school, active participation in health sports, volleyball, golf, swimming.
    • My name is Yaman and I am studying for a master’s degree at the University of Victoria. I went to Victoria University through the relationship between my parents and my uncle to go to Victoria University to go through the formalities for studying abroad. During my studies at Victoria University, I felt that my day-to-day study life was quite equal. a lot. Victoria University is very beautiful and huge. Studying and living in school broadened my horizons and made many friends. When people ask me about my experience studying at Victoria University, I will say that living abroad has really grown me up. , become a more perfect me.

This whole section is just a little weird. Academic performance “outstanding” ? And who is Yaman? And why is Yaman talking in the present tense about events of ten years ago? And the hideous English is jarring. Wouldn’t you think that four years in Toronto would result in better English skills? 

Verdict: 99% probability that this is a fake LinkedIn profile. And I do not connect with people who are most likely not people. 

In closing, let me point out that there isn’t any single detail that tells me Anna is a fake. There is even an outside chance that she isn’t fake, that she is just someone whose attention to detail would make me very afraid of L’Oreal’s market research department. But taken in its entirety, all these little things add up, and her story just doesn’t sound right. And that is what you should take away from today’s newsletter:  sometimes there isn’t an obvious tell, but the profile just doesn’t seem right somehow. That’s your gut instinct, and you should probably follow it. 







Why Do My View Counts Go Down? 

Writing posts in the old days took longer too.

A lot of people are seeing their view counts for posting go down in the past year.  I have three possible reasons for this. 

Changes to the algorithms

Linkedin is constantly tweaking the algos to fine tune them, but the big factor here is that every time LinkedIn comes up with a new content related feature, that feature tends to get its day in the sun and those new types of content will appear more prominently in our feeds. Think of all the new content related features in the past two years – all the video options, audio features, company page post features, events, the list goes on and on. The poster child for this was Polls a couple years ago. They were everywhere. And if the LinkedIn algos are going to prefer putting a Poll at the top of people’s feeds, our regular old post is getting bumped. Not getting bumped every time, but often enough to make a difference. 

More competition

Creator Mode has certainly been a boon…for LinkedIn. Courtesy of Creator Mode and LinkedIn’s push for members to create content, there is just a lot more content to compete against. How much more? Well, let’s have a look and see.

There is a search filter I  can use on Sales Navigator called “posted on LinkedIn 30 days”. It brings up a list of everyone who has posted on LinkedIn in the past 30 days. I used it last February to illustrate a point in a webinar I ran and the number of people posting in the past 30 days at that point was 17 million. I ran the filter again in January and LinkedIn told me that over 20 million people had posted in the past thirty days. That’s over 17% more people posting less than a year later.

That doesn’t include company page posts, which are also competing with our posts to be seen. And if each of those people posted more than once, that 20 million figure may mean 40 or 50 million or more individual posts. I just checked and I have around 200 connections who post at least once a day and one connection who posted an unbelievable 126 times in the past week.

Let’s look at it another way. If each of those 20 million people only posts once a month, that is still one million posts every business day.

Subscriptions & Notifications

Subscriptions and notifications are two sides to the same coin. You can subscribe to LinkedIn Newsletters, in which case LinkedIn will notify you when a new issue is published. You can also click the little notification bell on someone’s profile, which will result in you being notified about that person’s posts. 

LinkedIn advertises that you will absolutely be notified in both of these cases, implying that if you subscribe or hit the notification bell you will not miss out on anything from the person whose content you want to see. There is some evidence that this is not necessarily the case, as I have had a few subscribers to my newsletter tell me that they are not being notified, and the little bell on one person’s profile advertised if I clicked I would only see their “top posts”, whatever that means. 

The upshot here is that if I am allocating fifteen minutes today to reading content on LinkedIn, I am first going to go and look at whatever notifications I have received for newsletters or people’s content I want to be notified about, and then if I have time, I will go and see what is being offered in my feed. 

Subscriptions and notifications are effectively setting up a two tiered content system on Linkedin, one designed around what you have indicated you want, and one designed around LinkedIn’s guesses as to what you want. Now, the main feed is not going away or being de-emphasized anytime soon, as we must not forget that is where LinkedIn’s advertisers are. I would not be surprised if LinkedIn is trying to figure out a way to get those newsletter and posts we asked to be notified about folded back into the main feed somehow. If my main feed had a mix of newsletters, posts I asked to be notified about, ads or sponsored content, and some speculative “maybe he will like this” stuff from the algorithm, that would make for pretty good tradeoff of what I would like to see – relevant content – and what LinkedIn wants me to see – advertising and sponsored content. 

So in the face of these factors, what can we do to get our content seen? Plain and simple, think less about the things you can’t control – what LinkedIn does and what other people do – and think more about what you can control: the quality of the content you are putting out yourself. Stay laser focused on what your ideal reader or ideal prospect wants to know that they don’t know now. What information will they find useful? What information will help them make better decisions? 

One other aspect worth mentioning is the long tail for content on LinkedIn, particularly articles and LinkedIn newsletters. These get saved to your profile and have a long shelf life. They get indexed by Google. Your ideal prospect can have the opportunity to find you via this content long after you have published it. I still get people commenting on articles I published on LinkedIn in 2016. 


Why I Am (Finally) Hopping On The LinkedIn Creator Mode Bandwagon

(and it took almost two years to get here)

LinkedIn Creator Mode was announced back in April 2021, and rolled out over the following months. LinkedIn says its intent is to allow you to grow your “reach and influence on LinkedIn.” I have written a couple reviews on Creator Mode as LinkedIn has adjusted it and added more features, and I have continued to be ambivalent about it until now.

I will review what I consider the seven main aspects of Creator Mode here, and then talk about the eighth aspect that was announced – quietly – in early November that has made me change my mind about it.

In Creator Mode, “Connect” changes to “Follow”

By default, the “Connect” button on your profile changes to a “Follow” button. People can still connect with you, but the Connect button is now hidden in a drop down menu next to the Follow button. Maybe to prompt us to do this LinkedIn says your number of followers will now be displayed prominently underneath your Profile headline. Note that this is a big ego boost if you already have lots of followers and want even more, but won’t it look a little pathetic if you are just starting out and only have a couple hundred followers?

Neat trick: if you have Creator mode on and someone invites you to connect, they are automatically made a follower. Even if you decline their invite to connect they remain a follower. They can unfollow you if they decide to – but most people won’t realize that they are automatically following you, or won’t know how to unfollow someone. Very sneaky.

You can display your expertise areas

You can display topics you talk about in your Profile Introduction section as hashtags. Hashtags are searchable on Linkedin. This is one search method that is under utilized by users on both sides of the search equation on LinkedIn. This is a nice feature and will increase in importance if hashtag use ever does really catch on with LinkedIn users.

Embedded links

While we are in your Introduction section, you can add a link here to drive people to your website, an Event sign up page, or specific content. I could see this being handy, but one would need to be careful in using it. I think most folks would use this as a generic “visit my website” suggestion and I have never been a fan of the “Invite people into the store to browse around” school of thought. If there is a specific landing page that people are being sent to, I like this idea. A lot.

Musical chairs with Profile sections

LinkedIn says they will more prominently move your content, both your Featured and Activity sections, to be seen more easily by your visitors. This sounds nice, but another way of putting it would be “we moved your About section down below your Activity.” You know, the About section you just put those hashtags and that URL in. Well, I suppose the idea here after all is highlighting all that content you are creating, but do you really need to promote this?

You could be featured!

“You become eligible to be featured as a suggested creator to follow so potential followers can discover you and your content across LinkedIn.” From what I can see, every week LinkedIn mentions a half dozen Creators to follow. I have seen multiple articles, one saying five million people have Creator Mode turned on, another saying ten million people did – back in January 2022. With five or six Creators being featured each week out of millions, it is going to take a while before they get around to you or me. These are lottery odds.

Early access to Creator tools

You can get access to Creator tools. However, the only tools appear to LinkedIn Live, LinkedIn Newsletters, and Audio Events (the long awaited “Clubhouse killer”). This is very sneaky by LinkedIn. LinkedIn is on record as saying that these tools are being rolled out over time to everyone, so what they are implying here is that being a Creator will allow you to move up in the line. That being said, if you were an early adopter of Clubhouse or love running Live Events, this feature makes Creator mode a must for you.

Creator Analytics

LinkedIn has added Creator Analytics to show how your posts are doing over time.  Analytics work on posts, articles, videos, events, and polls. It measures impressions and engagement. Analytics are still being rolled out. I have three issues here.

The first is lumping all my content together. Each of these different types of content is measured differently by LinkedIn. For example LinkedIn counts a post impression when it appears in your feed. An article impression is counted when you click to open the article. A video impression happens when three seconds of the video rolls by on your screen. One impression is not like another. If you mix and use different types of content, your graphs and results are going to take some interpretation.

The second issue is with your engagement. LinkedIn tallies the engagement with your content – the total number of your reactions, comments and shares is shown. But we know that LinkedIn rewards comments on posts by further distributing those posts to more users. So comments are much more important, but they get lumped in with Likes, and reactions, and shares.

Lastly, LinkedIn will show you the same vague analytics you get from most content published on LinkedIn –  breakdown by Job Title, Industry, Seniority, Location, or Company Size.

Sorry to say this but the analytics area is pretty lame on LinkedIn, and remains that way in Creator mode.

The Algo Will Now Treat Your Followers Like Connections

New, and in my opinion, the tipping point: the LinkedIn algorithms will treat your followers like they are connections. This appeared in LinkedIn Help in early November:

“Similar to what happens when you follow Top Voices, your followers will receive your posts, articles, and shares in their LinkedIn homepage feed. Members don’t have to be connected to you to follow you and receive these updates.”

Up until now, LinkedIn has always based distribution of your content to a small number of your connections, and how those connections responded and engaged with your content drove further distribution to more people. LinkedIn tells us what we see featured prominently in our feeds is largely based on our Connection Strength Score, which is based on the interactions we have on LinkedIn with our various connections. My problem with creating more followers has always been that to my knowledge, there is no “Follower Strength Score.” And how would you measure it?

This is the prime argument I always had about Creator Mode. Why would I try and promote a larger number of followers – instead of connections – when LinkedIn does not indicate that it will treat those followers in the same way as my connections? But now LinkedIn says they will. This changes everything. I have around five thousand connections and five thousand followers. If I turn Creator Mode on, I now have effectively doubled my audience as LinkedIn says those followers will have a shot as seeing my content. Creator Mode has gone from being a questionable feature to what I think of as a reasonable one. It is worth the odd aspects to get the good aspects. I’m in. I will post again on this a few months down the line and let you know what impact it has had.

Obligatory boilerplate: I do not work for or have any association with LinkedIn, other than being a user who pays them for his Sales Navigator subscription every month. 

Want more like this? (the newsletter I mean, not the disclaimer) I publish a weekly email newsletter on using LinkedIn effectively for Sales and Marketing. Each newsletter typically contains two articles like today’s, it’s free, and you can unsubscribe anytime. Here’s a link to the sign up page: https://practicalsmm.com/contact/

Establishing Your Credibility In Outreach Messages: 4 Ways That Work

The Captains here have lost their credibility

…and 3 ways to avoid

Establishing your credibility is one of the core components of an effective outreach message on LinkedIn. Because if you have no credibility, your message will just get ignored. 

This can be a really difficult task, especially when establishing your credibility is only one of the many things you need to do in the space of a few sentences. 

Here are four ways you can establish your credibility, four ways that work. I have these roughly in order from strongest to weakest.

Get an introduction 

This is number one, but only if the person introducing you has credibility with the other person they are introducing you to. In effect when you send a message to the person you have been introduced to, you will have some of that credibility transferred to you. 

Get a referral

Almost as good. I use this one a lot. I will find someone who looks like a peer of the person I want to reach at the target company, but who looks more “gettable” via LinkedIn. I then ask that person to confirm my original target’s role. When they confirm my original target is the person I should talk to, I now have a referral because “Dave told me you are the person I should talk to.” (Thanks Dave!)

Talk about relevant results 

That is, you talk about how you have achieved results for a company they know and respect. This is a very powerful technique. You will look for a couple of your customers that you  figure the target will know and respect and tell the prospect in one line how we were able to improve those other companies’ situations. Done effectively, the target is dying to know how you did it. You both obtain credibility and generate a desire for them to talk to you.

Show them you know something that will intrigue them

This is one of my fallbacks, and it is based on LinkedIn research. There is lots of information about companies, their competitors, and their employees on LinkedIn. All it takes is a little work to put together something that will, well, freak them out. “I see you have increased your R&D headcount by around 18% over the past two years, while your competitor A has flatlined and competitor B is actually hemorrhaging engineers.” Similar to the tactic #3 above, done effectively, the recipient has only one question, “How the heck does he know that?”

Now we start getting into the methods that are a little lame. Here are three ways that most people try to establish their credibility that are best described as weak. 

Name drop

This is usually when you share a connection or multiple connections but you either don’t know the connections well enough to ask for an introduction, or the connections don’t know the target well enough to introduce you. But it’s all you’ve got. I don’t like this one because a lot of connections are weak and don’t mean that much. I have over five thousand connections and I often have people approach me and mention people I had forgotten I was connected with. That doesn’t really move the needle much for me. 

You make an offer 

A free demo or free trial, something that implies you have value. I avoid this one because it assumes that the prospect is at a place in the sales cycle that I have no clue that they are really in. Offers work on places like websites where a ton of people can see them, but one to one in outreach messages? Naw. 

You make an abstract claim 

This usually consists of a value statement with a number attached. “We save companies over 50% on their labor costs.” The vagueness is the killer here. “Which companies?”, “What constitutes labor costs?”, “Where’s the proof?” 

I  refuse to use these last three. They are weak and overused. The best way I know how to establish credibility is to combine the first or second method from last week and combine it with the third or fourth from last week. Get Bob to introduce you and then talk about the results you got for Alpha Corp. Your prospect knows Bob and Alpha, a double dose of credibility. 


Don’t Sweat The Short Term Results, Focus on Your LinkedIn Process 

(this is a reprint of a post from the Spring of 2021. It was valid then, it is still valid now)

I read a really good book over the Christmas / New Years break, “The Biggest Bluff” by Maria Konnikova. She uses poker to talk about making better decisions. Highly recommended for sales people. I liked it so much, I have already re-read it once, highlighting it like crazy, and have bought her other two books. Great stuff on the psychology of sales. 

One of her ideas is the basis behind today’s newsletter. In essence, she talks about not sweating the results of individual poker hands, but to focus on your process. Sometimes you are going to have a pair of kings, play the hand absolutely correctly, and have someone fluke a better hand and beat you. You did everything right, but still lost. The problem is many people will focus on that hand and that loss, how unfair it was, how they should have won. This is a waste of time. Instead, if you focus on your process, over time you will win your share of the hands played, and overcome the odd bit of bad luck.

There are two applications of this in our work in sales. The first is the obvious one in sales itself. You are going to get beaten by competitors, and sometimes that will be due to luck. I had a sale that I thought I had nailed down last year. Everything was in place. I especially had the key decision maker who had access to the funds on board. He was a big fan of using me to help his company. I was a couple weeks away from signing the deal and…that key guy jumped to another company, and everything he was working on became associated with the guy who left. I lost the sale. But I did everything right. What was I going to do, make him stay there? 

So when you lose a sale, don’t focus on the result, focus on the process. Is your process sound? Did you follow it? If the answer is yes, chalk up the loss to bad luck, and don’t think of it again. Over time, you will luck into a few too, and they will tend to even out. 

The second application is with LinkedIn. The same holds true for LinkedIn that holds true for sales in general. If you follow your process, you will be successful. Except that there are two problems with this idea:

  1. Most people and companies don’t have a “LinkedIn process”
  2. And even when they do, they don’t follow it. 

Most LinkedIn users have a vague idea of what they want to accomplish, but don’t articulate it very well (or at all), and then the activities they pursue on LinkedIn don’t necessarily fit with what their goals are. 

For those of us in sales there are four basic things that LinkedIn is good for: 

  • LinkedIn can increase our reach, making more people aware of us
  • LinkedIn can increase our credibility, having us seen as a viable alternative for our prospective customers
  • LinkedIn research can give us info to build better outreach strategies and messages, increasing our hit rate with new prospects
  • LinkedIn can be an extremely effective place to send those initial outreach messages. 

So my message for today is this: when you use LinkedIn, have a reason to do so. Know what you are trying to achieve. Have a plan for what activities or tasks will accomplish your goals. Have a process. Follow the process. Test the process if necessary. And you will make better use of the time you invest in LinkedIn. 

Following Versus Connecting On LinkedIn

Lately LinkedIn seems to be trying to shift the focus away from connecting and towards following. For example you can now change the default button from “connect” to “follow” on your profile. And there is talk that this will soon not be an option but that “follow” will be the default.

But while LinkedIn may be hyping following, here are three good reasons that given a choice, I prefer connecting over following. When you are connected with someone on LinkedIn:

  • you can send each other messages directly over LinkedIn. This doesn’t replace email, the phone or whatever messaging system you use, but it does come in handy for LinkedIn-centric messages such as referencing someone you know mutually on LinkedIn, or drawing their attention to someone or something of interest on LinkedIn.
  • you rank higher in your connection’s search results on LinkedIn. As LinkedIn is one huge database full of people, an obvious application is to use that database for searches – for suppliers, vendors, experts, new staff, information or discussions on specific topics, practically anything. And one of the things you will find is that LinkedIn wants search results to be relevant to the searcher, and if one or more connections get found in a search, LinkedIn will tend to list them at the top of the search results. If you are looking for a WordPress expert, it makes sense for LinkedIn to list WordPress experts you are already connected with first.
  • connections show pathways to other people on LinkedIn that you didn’t know exist. You may find a prospect on LinkedIn and see the little “2nd” postscript after their name and then the person or people both you and that person are connected with on LinkedIn. You can use this information in two ways. The first is to name drop the mutual connection’s name in a message or invitation to connect. The second is to use that mutual connection or one of your mutual connections as an intermediary, and ask them to introduce you to the person of interest to you.

With these in mind I always choose connecting over following. I think of connecting as “following, with privileges”. What’s the worst thing that can happen? Someone ignores your connection request, so you then just…follow them.

Obligatory boilerplate: I do not work for or have any association with LinkedIn, other than being a user who pays them for his Sales Navigator subscription every month. 

Want more like this? (the newsletter I mean, not the disclaimer) I publish a weekly email newsletter on using LinkedIn effectively for Sales and Marketing. Each newsletter typically contains two articles like today’s, it’s free, and you can unsubscribe anytime. Here’s a link to the sign up page: https://practicalsmm.com/contact/

Why You Need Content On LinkedIn

When I started out in high tech sales back in the pre-internet 1980’s, clients could get their info from three places:

Trade shows. Trade shows were great but everyone couldn’t go.

Trade magazines. Very important. This is where most of the information came from.

And third was a vendor’s sales reps. This is where a lot of info came from. The informal “here’s how other people in your industry are tackling this problem” stuff.  What’s new, what’s coming, what other companies were doing…these were all important parts of a sales call. Salespeople were an integral part of a customer’s education and finding out what was going on in their industries.

Now your customers can do their own research. And they do. Your customers are gathering information.

They want to know if other people have problems similar to theirs.

They want to know how those companies tackled the problem.

They want to know if a solution to their problem is even possible.

Then, after gathering that information, they want to start looking for companies that have the ability to help them. These days, they will often select the finalists – the two or three or four companies that they think can help them – before they ever reach out and initiate that first contact.

That’s why you need content. If you can publish content that shows you have seen the problems your customers have or will have, understand what is involved in fixing those problems, and that you have experience successfully helping other people solve those problems, you have an “in” for getting on that finalist list.

And the more the merrier. A steady drumbeat of good content reminds people that you have this experience they need. It shows that you understand their problems because you have looked at those problems from a lot of different angles.

Salespeople used to be needed in order for companies to keep up with the latest and greatest developments in their industries. Not anymore.

The worst thing you can do if you are the best kept secret in your industry? Stay the best kept secret in your industry.

Obligatory boilerplate: I do not work for or have any association with LinkedIn, other than being a user who pays them for his Sales Navigator subscription every month. 

Want more like this? (the newsletter I mean, not the disclaimer) I publish a weekly email newsletter on using LinkedIn effectively for Sales and Marketing. Each newsletter typically contains two to four articles, it’s free, and you can unsubscribe anytime. Here’s a link to the sign up page: https://practicalsmm.com/contact/

Well, What Is In It For Them Anyway?

As I am always going on about, “it’s not about you, it’s about them” in your interactions with others on LinkedIn – especially in connecting and outreach – it was only a matter of time before I got asked this.

I had someone ask me about this the other week. They were sending connection requests to prospective customers and they were having a tough time coming up with a good reason for the person to connect with them.

To their credit, they were honest with me in describing the situation. “I want business from them, so this is kind of a one way street. What can I offer them?”

This is what happens when we have the blinders on. We see something we want – in this case a connection to a prospect – and all we can see is what that will do for us. It blinds us to the other person’s perspective and their problems, wants and needs.

Here are three things you can offer the person you are connecting with.

1) Your knowledge. Everyone seems to forget this. Every day you help people like your prospect solve the problems they have. This is what you do. While their problem or issue may be a new and novel situation for them, it’s something you see all the time. It’s like they are the person looking online for the recipe for a dish, while you’re a chef who cooks twenty of that dish every night.

2) Your experience with their industry. This is different from your knowledge in that you are putting the knowledge into practice in different situations. This is important because your past experience solving problems like the ones they have will reassure them that you are someone worthwhile they should know.

3) Lastly, you have something that is uniquely LinkedIn: your network of connections. And this applies to most anyone you meet on LinkedIn. If you have any size network at all you have the ability to introduce or refer this new person to someone they want to know. Need help with CRM? I have connections who work for CRM companies, I have connections who are independent CRM consultants, and ones that are CRM power users. People in similar positions to themselves? No problem. Suppliers? Got you covered. Access to your network is actually a pretty powerful thing to be able to offer.

You have more than your pure product or service to offer. Be aware of it and take advantage of it.

Obligatory boilerplate: I do not work for or have any association with LinkedIn, other than being a user who pays them for his Sales Navigator subscription every month. 

Want more like this? (the newsletter I mean, not the disclaimer) I publish a weekly email newsletter on using LinkedIn effectively for Sales and Marketing. Each newsletter typically contains two articles like the one above, it’s free, and you can unsubscribe anytime. Here’s a link to the sign up page: https://practicalsmm.com/contact/

Want To Get Discovered On LinkedIn?

I have a premium subscription membership on LinkedIn (Sales Navigator) and with one of its  features I can go back and see everyone who viewed my profile in the past ninety days.

I use this feature every day as I consider a profile view to be a plausible and legitimate reason to contact someone. And I like seeing lists of people that, for one reason or another, have taken an interest in me.

But while doing my daily look through earlier this week, I saw that some profile views listed sources and some didn’t. So I decided to go back through my profile viewers and look at the sources I could find, and see if there was anything I could learn from them.

I wound up reviewing the last 300 people who visited my profile and looking to see where they came from, that is, how they found my profile.

42 of them – around 14% – were connections. This may seem odd but is completely legitimate. I can’t tell you the number of times I have gone to a connections’ profile to check something. I can think of three times I have done it today already.

That leaves 258 people who were not connected with me.

And of that 258 profile viewers, 7 found me via Search on LinkedIn.

Seven. Less than one person a week.

Everyone else discovered me because of something I did.

They saw something I had published, they saw I had commented or engaged with someone else’s content or someone @mentioned me. The screen grab at the top of today’s newsletter shows my number of profile viewers going up and down over the course of this summer. The peaks correlate with the days I publish this newsletter.

The conclusion I draw from this little nugget of research? If you want to get discovered on LinkedIn, I have two words of advice for you:

Do something.

There are two ways to broaden your reach – that is to increase the number of people who are aware of you on LinkedIn. One is to be discovered in a search and the other is to be reacted to after you do something on LinkedIn.

In my case publishing and engaging with other people is more than 35 times as effective as being found via LinkedIn Search. 

If I relied on search alone, I would likely have a couple dozen people discovering me this year.

Now, you may not want more reach, and you may not want people discovering you. But if you do, your Profile isn’t going to do it for you, your activity is.

Obligatory boilerplate: I do not work for or have any association with LinkedIn, other than being a user who pays them for his Sales Navigator subscription every month. 

Then again, I have been doing this for over ten years. That’s longer than 97.5% of LinkedIn employees have been with LinkedIn (based on a search I did with Sales Navigator).

Want more like this? (the newsletter I mean, not the disclaimer, or the statistic) I publish a weekly email newsletter on using LinkedIn effectively for Sales and Marketing. Each newsletter typically contains two to four articles, it’s free, and you can unsubscribe anytime. Here’s a link to the sign up page: https://practicalsmm.com/contact/