As LinkedIn rolls out the new LinkedIn interface, many sales professionals are scratching their heads asking, where did everything go? There has been post after post asking about where, what, when, and how. Some of the messages are preaching doom and gloom while yet others make it seem like the end of the world has arrived! The fact is, the new experience mimics the mobile quite a bit, and although it looks and feels different, the power of LinkedIn’s database is still the foundation of the social networking platform and the end of the world has NOT arrived.
To help sales reps navigate the new LinkedIn better, I reached out to one of my favorite social sellers, friend and partner, Brynne Tillman, for a brainstorming session and walked away with valuable tips that can help business development professionals acclimate to the new interface. If you were a fly on the wall, this is some of what you may have heard:
The New LinkedIn Interface: What’s Changed?
Mario: “Brynne, it is amazing how many people are reaching out asking about the new LinkedIn Interface, what are you initial thoughts?”
Brynne: “I am pleasantly surprised. I find it clean and easy to navigate. Sure a few features have moved into Sales Navigator, but we got a few new ones that I am very excited about?”
Mario: “Love hearing the positive attitude. What are some of the features you like?”
Brynne: “I have two that I love. First, you can now include a hyperlink in a connection request. I am a big fan of sharing relevant content and the ability to do that in the invitation will most certainly increase the acceptance rate. Second, I also love that under the jobs tab at the bottom, there is a list of every company represented in your 1st degree network. If you are hunting net new logos, this is the place to start.”
How Can I Stand out From the Crowd?
Mario: “I love your first point. I have written about how to get a 74% acceptance on your connection requests. Now with the ability to include a hyperlink in your connection requests I believe this is really a game changer. Tell me what you think of this list I came up with on how sales can use links properly. They can:
- Share content which maps to their buyer’s specific business problem
- Share a relevant case study which show cases how your company can solve a business problem(s).
- Or Stand out from the crowd and send a video message link like the one included in this article here which will destroy your competition.
Brynne: “Yes, I agree! Regarding your point #3 Video is a powerful tool. In fact, you should include the link to my new video called The New LinkedIn Experience 2017 where I take users through how to navigate the new LinkedIn Interface and UI.
Mario: “The most uproar I am hearing is that the Advanced and Saved Search features have moved into Sales Navigator, how do you think this will affect sales professionals using the free or premium platform?”
Brynne: “The good news, as you know Mario, is that Boolean searches still work within your search bar of the new LinkedIn Interface – and when specific search strings are created by sales reps, finding the right buyers and stakeholders in LinkedIn is still pretty simple. There are still some filters including geographic location and industry among others that can help drill down to a very targeted list of prospects.
5 Must Fix Areas to Support The New LinkedIn Interface
Mario: “I have noticed that profiles look very different, what portion or portions should sales reps update within their own profile to be branded well & attract their buyers via the new LinkedIn interface?”
Brynne: “That’s a great question. There are 5 areas to focus on for sure.
- First, it is vital that there is a consistent brand message and look across the organization, and it has never been more important than now, with the new LinkedIn look. The background photo or banner not only looks very different than it did before but appears differently on the desktop and mobile. Marketing needs to get involved and develop powerful graphics that work in both places.
- Although your headline was always important, it now is front and center and has one very important job… to get your profile visitors curious enough to want to scroll down and learn more. Consider leaving off your title and company name and focus on who and how you help.
- Next, the summary is condensed and only has the first two lines showing. So, I am recommending that you have a call-to-open. Like a call-to-action, there has to be a reason that someone would want to click the see more button and read more of your summary. And, of course your summary needs to be a resource and provide value for your buyer.
- Your job description is more important than ever! When your visitors scroll down into your profile, it is this section that they see first. And, because we can no longer move our profile sections around, we have to really take it seriously. We have to switch from listing our awards and great sales negotiating skills to letting our audience know the solutions we bring to our clients. It is a significant mindset shift, but is vital to getting your brand message across.
- Make sure you upload rich media to enhance your profile visitor’s experience. This can be done in your summary – but is even more impactful in your job description now. Media to consider are videos, case studies or branded educational collateral, as they increase credibility and help build rapport.
Mario’s Special HINT: If you don’t know how to implement what is suggested in bullet #5… No worries – I’ve provided two How To Video’s to teach you how to do it!
- Episode 04 – How do I Add Multi-Media to my Summary Section on LinkedIn
- Episode 03 – How do I Add Multi-Media to my Experience Section on LinkedIn
Mario: “Before we wrap things up, what advice would you give a sales rep who wakes up one morning and barely recognizes their LinkedIn?”
Brynne: “Breathe, and know it will all be okay. LinkedIn has changed many times before, and we all threw up our fists and said how can they do this to us, but now we barely remember the features we had. LinkedIn is one of the most amazing business tool available to a sales rep today, but if you are missing some of those phenomenal features like the ability to mine your connections’ connections or deep advanced searches including company size and seniority level it just may be time to check out Sales Navigator. It is a game changer. “
In closing, there is a lot to catch up on around the new LinkedIn interface. As Brynne stated there are several moving parts around the new LI interface. But there is one thing to remember: The End of the World has not arrived! LOL LinkedIn and its associated sales tool (Sales Navigator) is still by far the defacto social tool that should be utilized for engaging with your buyers. So, whether you love the change or not, whether you think it’s a good move or not… it doesn’t matter. Adopt and embrace the change and ensure you leverage it to explode your sales pipeline.