In this episode, Marc and Mark address questions about network size, how to use LinkedIn to get your best results, how to grow your LinkedIn network productively, and upgrading to the premium version of LinkedIn.
[1:14] Marc welcomes you to Episode 95 of the Repurpose Your Career podcast.
[1:27] If you’re enjoying this podcast, Marc invites you to share this podcast with like-minded souls. Please subscribe on CareerPivot.com, iTunes, Google Play, Podbean, Overcast, TuneIn, Spotify, or Stitcher. Share it on social media, or tell your neighbors and colleagues.
[1:50] Last week, Marc presented Part 2 of the career pivot evaluation series “Can Sara Repurpose Her Career?” Marc is taking a two-week break from the Sara series.
[1:59] Next week Marc will report in after having made his final decision for the next year on staying in Mexico.
[2:08] When this episode airs, this week’s blog post will be about the business side of moving to Mexico. Next week’s podcast will be about navigating the move. Marc has already moved into a two-bedroom, two-bath Casita in the heart of Ajijic, Mexico. He will be talking about the issues of the move, the visas, and much more.
[2:30] The move was really not that complicated but there are a lot of details.
[2:36] This week, Marc will be answering LinkedIn questions with his ‘partner-in-crime,’ Mark Anthony Dyson.
[2:43] Related to moving to Mexico, the power went out in the entire area around the house Marc and his wife have been staying in. Marc had to go to a local coffee house where he had better cell service to record this audio Skype call. It was pretty noisy but Marc edited the sound somewhat to make the episode easy to listen to.
[3:07] One of the things Marc discusses in this week’s blog post is issues with telecommunication. You always have to have a backup plan. The intros and outros of this episode are being recorded in a makeshift studio in the casita that Marc and his wife just moved into. Marc uses padding to cover hard-surfaced walls in a closet.
[3:58] Marc welcomes Mark Anthony Dyson to help answer listener questions.
[4:35] Mark sent Marc a question about LinkedIn, leading Marc to chose to do a Q&A session on LinkedIn questions.
[4:49] Q1: My title is Senior Project Manager but I am also a business analyst and provide data analysis for a variety of projects. I get calls from recruiters for Project Management positions. I would rather do the business and data analysis work. What should I do to make myself a magnet for the kinds of opportunities I would prefer?
[5:24] A1: Job titles are nebulous and many people wear multiple hats. There are two ways to handle this in LinkedIn. The first option is, in your current job title, put your official job title. Then put a vertical bar and start listing out all the job titles that are valid for what you do today, each separated by a vertical bar.
[6:28] The second way to handle this is the way Marc handles his current job titles. Marc has three jobs: CareerPivot, The Repurpose Your Career podcast, and his volunteer position on the board at LaunchPad Job Club. All have a current job title, and so all the titles he lists there go up to the present.
[7:03] Recruiters search primarily on the current job title and on keywords. If you want to be found as a business analyst, you need to have business analyst in your current job title, otherwise, no one is going to find you for that.
[7:28] Mark was talking to Bob McIntosh of LinkedIn about algorithms. Getting engagement regarding the things you want to do is a great way to get someone to look at your profile. For business analysts and data analysts, join groups and discussions in those areas to show your interest and expertise so people will go to your profile.
[8:32] Mark says people will put things in their profile but get no attention because they don’t engage or are not active in in some way. Another things to do to get more attention from the LinkedIn algorithms is to endorse people in your area of expertise. Also, you can ask people to give you a recommendation.
[9:19] Look at the panel where it says “People also viewed,” to get an idea of if you are listed with the people who have those same job titles.
[9:38] Mark suggests Googling the job title you want to be known for is an updated, current title that people are actually looking for. Do a search in quotes, “LinkedIn.com job title” to see what comes up.
[11:13] You can use keywords in your summary associated with quantifiable results.
[11:36] Marc says job titles people search on aren’t necessarily the titles you are using. Marc used to be a training manager, but now people search for learning & development instead, for that job. Make sure you are using the job titles people are looking for.
[12:17] If you want to get more visibility, go look at the LinkedIn profiles of people who are doing the job you want to do. See if they look back at your profile. Also, look at the profiles of recruiters at companies where you might want to work and see if they look back.
[12:55] Once someone has looked at your LinkedIn profile, send them a connection request. You will be a known quantity to them as they’ve already looked at your profile.
[13:15] LinkedIn shows you who has viewed your profile. You can see how you were found. You can tweak the keywords to influence how you get found. You can also do things external to LinkedIn by writing blogs and content you can then insert into your feed and share them for people to connect to you. You can put them under publications.
[15:55] Q2: I am trying to understand if my network of 8,000 on LinkedIn is any better than someone that has 500. I know you use the networking science in your profile and I want to connect and follow you to see what you think and what I can learn.
[16:16] A2: This is obviously a connection request for Mark Anthony Dyson. Mark says he doesn’t know where the networking science thing came from but he has written articles and had podcast episodes regarding networking.
[16:38] For some jobs with really unique niches, you might need less than 500 connections to have an impact on your career and to have it impact on others, depending on your other activity.
[17:00] The more connections you have, the more visibility you have. When you share an article, whether your own content or content from others, you will get more likes with 8,000 connections than with 500. What really matters to you is if you’re having career connections. Those 500 may be very concentrated and strategic connections.
[17:52] If your goal is visibility, the 8000 is definitely better than 500. If you are looking to advance your career or have many more engaging conversations about your career, then the 500 might be even better. It depends what your goal is.
[18:34] Marc write a blog post on how many connects is enough connections. Marc has a client who wanted to get into pharmacogenomics — a very small niche. When they took the keywords associated with that, there were only about 1,000 on LinkedIn who had those terms in their profile. Connecting to 200 of the key people would be enough.
[19:26] If you were a general Java programmer who just wanted to focus on the Chicago market, probably a network of 500 to 1,000 would be enough, as long as you have the right people.
[19:50] If you are like Mark or Marc, a consultant dealing with a broad market of a lot of people, then the more, the merrier. It depends on what you are trying to accomplish. A large network of people outside your niche doesn’t get you a job in your niche field. Mark advises you to be active and engaged, whatever size of network fits you.
[22:41] When Mark gets a connection request with no note on it, he wonders how he can teach them the right protocol if they are connected to him. There are some who don’t know the best way to connect. Mark doesn’t connect with people looking to sell to him.
[24:07] Marc also says it depends. First he looks at the profile. If there is no picture or very few connections, the answer is no. He ignores it. If it’s a Russian model, he ignores it. Marc gets a lot of young people from India and Pakistan. He tries to determine validity through the profile.
[24:55] If Marc accepts, he immediately responds with a LinkedIn message, “I just accepted your LinkedIn connection request. How did you find me?” The idea is to find out how people learn about him, but also to get people to engage with him.
[25:32] Some will say LinkedIn recommended Marc, others will say they found him in an article. 70 to 80% will respond. Marc gets 30 to 50 requests a week so he waits until he has 10 to 15 connection requests, then he can copy and paste his message.
[26:06] If people respond, they usually respond within a couple of hours.
[26:21] Mark is fascinated by the amount of people who work in the career space who say that they’re LinkedIn trainers and gurus, who don’t write a note with a connection request. They are teaching people their behavior. Writing a note is elementary. They should practice that courtesy and promote it.
[27:26] Marc has been getting requests from folks selling leads systems to coaches. He ignores those requests. Marc gets approached 30 to 40 times a week by people who want to write blog posts for him. All the emails look alike.
[28:07] Mark says if the message starts with the generic ‘Hi,’ and no name, he will answer back, “Hi, you wouldn’t be a fit. Good luck in finding an opportunity.” He has that in Evernote so he can just copy and paste it.
[28:37] Those who talk about Mark’s specific podcast episodes, or comment on an article Mark wrote, get his attention. Most people who don’t include a note are looking for Mark to do something for them, such as having them on the podcast. Mark does not connect with them.
[29:24] Marc just received a pitch to be on the podcast from someone who listened to the last podcast and wrote an iTunes review about what he heard on the podcast. Marc responded back and asked if he could have a copy of the author’s last book.
[30:02] There is no one set rule how to approach someone, but you do have to have some discernment whether somebody’s going to be a good or fruitful connection. Mark is not impressed by numbers. He is impressed by someone who engages and uses their network to provide value as well as to ask for help once in a while.
[31:07] Mark says, think about how you want to be contacted and be engaged with, and that’s it.
[31:22] Q3: I’m looking for a job and have the free version of LinkedIn. Is it worth the money for me to upgrade?
[31:30] A3: Marc and Mark both get this question a lot. Marc’s version is a base business premium membership he bought in 2015. That version is no longer available. For Marc, it is $250 a year. He sees who looked at his profile. He gets worthwhile business insights.
[32:16] Where Marc sees people running into trouble with the free version is the limited number of searches they can do. However, searching in Google is a workaround. The hidden gem in LinkedIn Premium is in having access to LinkedIn Learning. There is a lot of good valuable content in LinkedIn Learning. Usually they will give you 30 days free.
[33:32] Mark was never interested in the business account. You don’t need a Premium Account to get a job using LinkedIn. Once you have a job, there is content available with a Premium Account that is nowhere else, such as LinkedIn Learning. However, you could find certain YouTube videos that are just as valuable.
[34:21] Mark tried the Premium and really didn’t see, as far as finding a job goes, that you need more than a free version. If you are running a business, there is some value to getting the LinkedIn Premium. For sales there is some value in the Premium. For Mark’s own business, he does not see the business case for that fee, yet.
[35:08] Nobody is saying, unless they engage with me on LinkedIn, I won’t talk to them. At the same time, there may be ways to have a larger reach with other people who are on LinkedIn Premium. Some may be having their company pay for their LinkedIn Premium Account. The free is enough to find a job in most cases.
[35:58] Marc keeps getting invited to Sales Navigator and other offers, but for what he is paying he has all he needs now. The packages can be thousands of dollars a year. Marc is not interested. Marc comments on LinkedIn operating under Microsoft.
[38:56] Click back next week, when Marc will be telling the story of moving into a new casita in the heart of Ajijic, Mexico.
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