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Heather Townsend

The Excedia Group


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9 things every trainer needs to do as a result of the new LinkedIn changes


It's two weeks before Christmas, and I was starting to wind down for Christmas. However, LinkedIn had other ideas... yes, after a few false starts, the full new LinkedIn functionality and new profiles are being rapidly rolled out. This is not just a cosmetic change, but something that every trainer needs to take note of and take action TODAY.

1. Events are no longer supported LinkedIn switched off events at the end of November. This means you can no longer publicise your event using the old event application. So, no more looking to see who is attending the event on LinkedIn, or using events to publicise your workshop or webinar.

2. Applications are no longer supported with the new profiles This means that you can no longer share your blog, documents, presentations or video clips via google apps, or slideshare within your LinkedIn profile. However, if you had been using LinkedIn to share video clips or pictures of you in action, there is a new feature to help you. (Read on...)

3. Profile has been rejigged and refreshed This is mostly a cosmetic update to the LinkedIn profiles. However, instead of your profile being one big block where you can move around all the different sections, there are now several different sections and you can only move the sub-sections around in the sections.

The sections are now (in order): Activity, Background, Recommendations, Connections, Groups and Following.

Where you have been given a recommendation, these appear twice in your profile. They appear within your ‘experience’ section for the roles you have been given them for. Only a maximum of 2 recommendations are shown under each of your roles. The recommendations still all appear at the bottom of your profile, but only the top 5 on the list are automatically shown, you have to expand the rest of the section to see the rest of the recommendations you choose to show.

With recommendations now being relegated to the bottom of the LinkedIn profile the endorsements that you receive for your skills and achievements are now very important. This is the 1st snapshot people looking at your profile will see of your externally verified credibility.

The specialities part of the summary has now been removed. Which, in my opinion is no big loss to the training community. It does mean that you will need to make sure you have your important keywords in other places in your profile.

4. Ability to embed rich media in your profile This is a big change to the functionality of LinkedIn. It's also a fab new feature which I love. It gives you the opportunity to fully display your portfolio to any reader of your profile. Before you whizz in and start embedding documents and videos left, right and centre, it is worth taking a step back and thinking about what media items you can use to showcase your expertise or lead the reader on a journey to discover more about you.

For example, these are things which possible on the new LinkedIn profiles:

* Embed links to video clips of you presenting or leading a workshop. * embed links to published articles written by you or others in your firm * embed links to landing pages on your website and blog, allowing you to customise the pathway that a visitor from LinkedIn takes to your website * embed links to white papers, guides and templates which help to educate and inform your prospects and clients

5. Network statistics LinkedIn now provides an infographic of your network on your profile. This means that you can click on your connections profiles and see where they have large clusters of people that they know from the same industry, school, location or company. This will be excellent for research and networking purposes.

6. What do you need to do as a result of these changes? * Request the new profile if you haven’t already got it. It's definitely worth it. * Take a long hard look at the recommendations you have received on LinkedIn and make sure that the most important ones are in the top 2 on the list for each of your roles. * Consider whether to add in some more roles, so you can segment the documents, presentations etc so the reader of your profile can easily verify your credibility and expertise. * Decide on what parts of your ‘story’ you will share presentations, videos, website links to to help strengthen your credibility * Take note of critical content which you are currently sharing on LinkedIn profiles via the, Google Apps, Slideshare applications and make plans to share this content within the new LinkedIn profile * Add in skills to your profile * Start endorsing one person in your network daily – this will encourage others to reciprocate and help you build a highly visible verification of your credibility. When you have a reason amount of endorsements move the section on skills and achievements up in your ‘background’ sub-section. * Start going into LinkedIn daily and participating, as your activity on LinkedIn is now given far greater prominence on your profile.

For help with your LinkedIn profile and also a free guide to build your personal networking strategy (of which LinkedIn will be a part of it), then click on the link:

How are you using the new LinkedIn profile and functionality?

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Heather Townsend


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