LinkedIn made a bunch of changes to its platform, and many people hate it. My feelings are not as strong as some but I see how losing the advanced search function and having your most-used buttons vanish could be annoying. If your articles suddenly don’t do as well as previously, it could feel like a bad joke. If you hate the new LinkedIn, here are a few things you need to do now to keep going:
Make your website the centre
Here’s the thing: LinkedIn is not your website. Many treat it like it is, publishing all their best content here and depending on it for the majority of their sales leads. The space we use here is rented space. LinkedIn is free to do what they want with their product.
Create a website and use it. Have a blog and contact page. List your products, services and testimonials. Implement features for generating leads. These features could be newsletter sign ups or free e-books that require your website visitors to provide their details. Make it easy for people to get in touch on your website.
Don’t stop engaging on LinkedIn
Over the past few weeks, I’ve noticed several people leave LinkedIn out-rightly. LinkedIn is still a crucial part of your online presence. Whether you are looking to grow your business, or find a new job, not being on LinkedIn puts you outside the professional sphere and makes it even more difficult to achieve your business goals.
Keep your profile updated in the new LinkedIn, and for goodness sake, don’t delete it. Use LinkedIn as a place to connect with potential business people and engage in relevant discussions. Continue to publish content but publish your best articles on your website first. After two weeks, you can republish the content on LinkedIn. The two-week timeline gives time to Google to index the content. If you publish the same content on several blogs in a short time, Google will penalise that content in its search rankings.
Download your LinkedIn articles
I started doing this few years ago. Most of my LinkedIn articles exist in PDF format somewhere else on my computer/cloud. It seems unthinkable, but what if all your articles disappeared…like the advanced search function did? LinkedIn is not your hard drive, and it certainly isn’t the cloud.
Go to your LinkedIn articles, right click and choose the Print option. Within the Print screen, choose Save as PDF instead of the name of the printer. Then save it. Remember you can do this for other articles you like on LinkedIn. Save it! Don’t rely on the new ‘Save Item’ option on LinkedIn.There might be an easier way. Open to better ways in the comments.
Download your contact list
This feature is probably already well-known and hopefully, well-used. Your contacts are available to download in CSV format. You can filter the list as you wish and build a database of your contacts outside the LinkedIn platform.
Download your contact list today, and do it regularly. Go to your settings and click on ‘Getting an archive of your data’. You will get more than just contacts. Your recommendations, experience, projects and so on.
Build your presence on other networks
When one platform is working really well for you, it’s easy to ignore other platforms. I was guilty of that. For a long time, I did very little on Twitter and Facebook for my business. But I started to see the advantage of having a presence across other networks. Each platform engages users differently, so get to understand how you can make it work. With other channels to engage LinkedIn connections and new connections, you build stronger relationships. And if the new LinkedIn goes cuckoo (again), you have other places to play.
Try Twitter or Facebook as a secondary platform. Facebook in particular, is getting better at helping business brands engage with customers. Create a business page and invite your LinkedIn connections to join. Facebook also allows you get away with less regular posts. However, if you’ve got the time and you can be succinct, Twitter is full of potential partnerships that could grow your business.
Meet your contacts offline
This should be the nirvana for social networking. You meet a connection in person. Yay! But many people don’t and more surprisingly, they don’t want to. Meet as many connections as possible for coffee. Obviously, try not to meet them all in one day.
Meet any connections that live in your city for coffee and a chat. Get to know their business and develop an offline relationship. This enables you make the best of LinkedIn and the hard work you’ve put into developing a network. When you visit a new city, put it out there and ask connections in that city to meet up. Over time, your online connections move into your phone contact list. Bliss.
There are other things you could do to grow and maintain a strong network. Attending events, taking speaking opportunities and joining a networking group are just some ways of engaging outside the new LinkedIn.
Look out for opportunities to speak about what you do. If public speaking is not your thing, consider a podcast series or video blogs so that your target audience get to really know you and can hear from you regularly, and you from them. Try Facebook Live, Periscope and Audacity/Sound Cloud for live videos and chit-chat.