So LinkedIn is Changing. Again. What Now?

By December 13, 2016LinkedIn Strategies

Evolve or Dissolve.

That’s what has popped into my mind over these past few months with all the changes happening with the LinkedIn platform. We were fortunate to have had access to all the tools we’ve had access to with the free membership as well as the Premium level. Now it appears it is time to pay for the fortune that some of us even took for granted. And for those of you that never learned how to leverage the basics of LinkedIn functionality… well, I guess you’ll now have to pay to play too.

I know that many of you have received bits and pieces of the changes happening to your LinkedIn platform via email from LinkedIn. These changes are not only affecting the folks with the free membership, but also the folks with Premium memberships.

Honestly, if you could make it work when you had a free or Premium membership, you can certainly make it work with Sales Navigator… which is what you will need to do if you want the same user experience, plus a little extra zing.

Sales Navigator is really an extension of the Free and Premium LinkedIn Platforms. It’s not really a “one-or-the-other” situation. Sales Navigator is an incredible tool that should be used in conjunction with the LinkedIn Free and Premium Membership. I personally have both a Premium membership as well as Sales Navigator. There are functions available on each that aren’t available on the other, and the combination of the functionality is what creates the inbound and outbound lead generation cycle.

I know… you’re reading this blog because you want to know about all of the changes that are happening. This is what we know here at AAL:

Free LinkedIn Members will still have the following:

  1. The ability to use Boolean searches in the standard search bar to create a list of target profiles.
  2. Identify common connections with those buyers.
  3. Searching company employees from Company Pages
  4. Inbox notifications of new connections for ease of communication
  5. The visibility to the ‘People Also Viewed” section on other profiles

The Features That Will Move Exclusively to Sales Navigator:

  1. Notes and Tagging.
  2. Searching your connections’ connections.
  3. Advanced Searches (known as Lead Builder on Navigator).
  4. Saved Searches that are updated weekly.

As a side note, there is also talk of removing the ability to add rich media to LinkedIn profiles as a whole. So save them while you can!

This past week, my inbox has filled with various emails from folks in my network, who are saddened or enraged at the changes… there have been talks of petitions and letters being sent into LinkedIn, as well as public social displays of resentment.

This all tells me one thing. That the LinkedIn platform has been effective. Which means it is worth the investment in Sales Navigator. As business owners, business development professionals, thought leaders, consultants, trainers, and executives, we invest in business tools on a regular basis that help make us more successful.  We have websites, accounting software, CRMs, marketing components; we elicit services from  coaches trainers, accountants, lawyers, cyber security, document shredding companies, and so on.   It’s simply time to make the decision as to whether LinkedIn is one of those tools.

So folks, instead of focusing on the half-empty glass, spend the energy focusing on how you will move forward. Evolve or dissolve. Or simply find another way to do what you have been doing on LinkedIn without these features. If you can figure out how, let me know!

You can learn how to leverage the other functionality of LinkedIn, such as opening dialogue in LinkedIn Groups, posting relevant content for your network and engage in the inbound activity, leverage the LinkedIn Publisher to become a resource to your network and beyond, then continue the dialogue with the folks that are opening the dialogue with you through your content.

Something that most folks have forgotten or ignored is that the first word in “SocialSelling” is social. It appears, with all the functionality that LinkedIn has provided for free or at very little cost over the years, we forgot how to, or just didn’t bother being social. Maybe this is just what we need for more folks to open the dialogue and have meaningful conversations.

Let us know what you think about the changes, which changes you have already seen, and please take a moment to past the content of any email notification of changes you have received in the comments sections. Hopefully we have them all here, but I’m sure there’s more information out there that we haven’t collected.

Remember:

  • Be the first to give to your new business relationships
  • Always pay it forward
  • Network with purpose.

Good luck and good networking! Remember… It’s All About Leverage.

AND – our self-paced virtual web training program is on it’s way! Keep an eye out for it in Q1 2017!

Bobbie

About Bobbie

Bobbie specializes in helping executives as well as sales & marketing teams maximize client acquisition through the intersection of face-to-face networking combined with social selling techniques. Her customized programs and processes not only help in building the right network of prospects, clients, referral partners, and centers of influence, but also provide techniques to become thought leaders in their industry and stay top of mind with their targets.

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