As the epic year of 2016 came to a close, one more major change was announced before the year wrapped up. LinkedIn began a widespread email campaign updating users on the major modifications that would take place on the site in 2017.
If you did not receive the message, the email read something like the following:
As you can see, some of our favorite features will be removed and if you want to keep using them, you may have to upgrade to Sales Navigator. After speaking to several of my clients, I realized this may pose a challenge for some. However, now is a great time to prepare for the affect of these alterations.
That said, here are 3 Action Steps that you can immediately take to prepare for some of these upcoming changes on LinkedIn this year:
Step 1. Plan (Planning is Essential!)
Figure out how you want to use LinkedIn in 2017. By asking yourself the following key questions:
- Am I planning to use LinkedIn for networking purposes?
- Am I planning to use LinkedIn for lead generation?
- Am I planning to use LinkedIn for content marketing and thought leadership purposes?
- Am I planning to use LinkedIn for advertising?
- Am I planning to use LinkedIn for all of the above?
If you answered “Yes” to any of these questions, I would suggest that you start by developing a LinkedIn marketing plan. With a plan, you will be able to create a road map to strategize and prepare for at least the next 90 days to 12 months. Utilizing this approach allows you to determine what works for your brand on LinkedIn. You will be able to develop Key Performance Indicator Metrics to determine which one of your LinkedIn activities are yielding the best results.
Step 2. Export & Upgrade
When most of us enjoy LinkedIn on a day-to-day basis, we use the following features:
- Advanced Search
- Notes and Tags Features on Profiles
- Exporting out connections into an Excel or CSV file
These features will be removed from the basic and premium LinkedIn plan by March 31st, 2017. To preserve your notes and tags, I would suggest that you do the following:
- Export your contacts from LinkedIn into a csv. file and import them to your CRM platform
- Once you see the new changes to your LinkedIn account. I suggest that you upgrade to Sales Navigator, take advantage of the Free trial period to make it work for you
The features advertised for the update allow your business to better target the right decision makers and companies through lead recommendations and advanced searches. It also provides real-time updates and help you build trusted relationships over time.
I understand that Sales Navigator is a bit on the expensive side ($64.99/month) for some, however, think of it as an investment into your business. If you are planning to use LinkedIn as a prospecting tool in 2017, it could be a very worthwhile purchase.
Step 3. Reconnect with your Current Connections
It’s 2017! Happy New Year! Now is the best time to follow up with your current connections. The new year is a great opportunity to reach out to those in your network that you haven’t spoken to in a while. Contact referral partners, past clients and current clients on LinkedIn to wish them a Happy New Year and schedule a time to catch up. Learn more about their plans for 2017, and to see how you can be of value to them. I recommend that you reach out to at least 10 of your contacts in your target audience a week, to schedule time for a conversation.
If you are having some challenges with LinkedIn, not sure what to do with your LinkedIn connections or how to navigate this new LinkedIn platform. To help facilitate that process, I am hosting a FREE Webinar on Making LinkedIn Work For Me in 2017 on Monday January 30th at 12:30 pm EST. If you are not able to make it, register anyway, I will email you the recording which will only be available for one week after the webinar.
For any questions about LinkedIn or a Free Profile Consultation, you can reach me at [email protected] or call our office 862-253-1837.