If you are like most people, you have little time to devote to LinkedIn. You certainly don’t have time to follow every change the platform makes.
Thankfully, you don’t have to.
To help you make the most of your time on LinkedIn, I stay up-to-date on the most recent LinkedIn changes and hacks and compile them for you.
Here is a list of ten helpful LinkedIn hacks and how you can make the best use of your time on LinkedIn.
10 Time-Saving and Effective LinkedIn Hacks
1. Make full use of your LinkedIn cover photo
A picture is worth a thousand words! Your LinkedIn cover photo is a great place to tell your profile viewers a little bit about you, your services, what is important to you or something about your company.
Use this space to highlight the most important information you want people to know about you!
The recommended size of your LinkedIn cover photo should be 1584 x 396 pixels.
2. Stop sending prospects to your competitor’s LinkedIn profiles
When checking out a prospect’s profile, you can see a feature called People Also Viewed on the right side of the page.
While this feature can be handy for you when you are looking for potential prospects to connect with, you don’t want those same potential prospects to see this feature if they visit your profile. If you leave this feature on, any prospect who visits your profile will see a handy list of your competitors they can check out.
Don’t let people leave your profile to view your competitors.
Go into your Settings & Privacy page. Click on Privacy in the top navigation area. In this list, locate “Viewers of this profile also viewed,” and make sure this is set to No.
3. LinkedIn character count limits
If you’ve done any work on your LinkedIn profile, you’ve probably run into a character count limit in at least one of LinkedIn’s profile sections.
The character limitation (that is the number of letters, spaces and punctuation marks) can cause some frustration as you try to find the best way of communicating your message in the least number of words or characters.
But did you know your status updates and LinkedIn Publisher posts also have character count limits? Here are the current character count limits:
Status Update: 1,300 characters maximum (only about 200 characters are readable before the reader needs to click to see more)
LinkedIn Publisher Headline: 100 characters maximum
LinkedIn Publisher Article: 110,000 characters maximum
4. Better leverage of the Who viewed your profile feature
A great place to find potential prospects is in your Who viewed your profile page. On this page, you will see a list of those who have checked out your LinkedIn profile in the last 90 days.
If you have a paid subscription, you can see the full list of people who viewed your profile over the last 90 days. With a free account, you will see only the last five people who viewed your profile.
Additional Reading: Free vs. Premium vs. Sales Navigator
You can check out each person to see if any is a potential prospect, and when relevant, you can follow up with them by sending a personalized connection request.
LinkedIn has a filter Interesting views, which provides you with a list of profile viewers it thinks you will find of interest.
With its help, you will find:
- three top companies whose people are viewing your profile
- the most popular job titles of people viewing your profile
- the most frequent way people find your profile.
This data can give you a comprehensive view of which companies people looking at your profile work for and what positions they usually hold.
If you notice a trend in the position or type of company viewing your profile, this may suggest a niche or industry you previously hadn’t considered.
5. Increase the number of your LinkedIn Followers
You may or may not be aware that LinkedIn has a network size limit. This limits you to a maximum of 30,000 1st-degree connections. While most people will never exceed this number, those who use LinkedIn for lead generation or for establishing their thought leadership may exceed that number.
Thankfully, LinkedIn has provided a solution to this: the ability to follow people without connecting to them.
What this means is you can reserve your “30,000 connections” for people you know, clients you work with and potential prospects. And you can “follow” others, e.g., those you’d like to learn from, and you can allow others to follow you.
LinkedIn explains following this way:
“Following someone on LinkedIn allows you to see the person’s posts and articles on your homepage without being connected to them. However, the person you are following won’t see your posts. You can reach a larger audience by allowing others to follow your activity and read what you’re sharing on LinkedIn.”
It is important to note that your number of followers is a combination of your existing LinkedIn connections and the people who have clicked the Follow button. You can find your list of Followers by clicking on Manage followers in the Activity section of your profile.
On this page, you will see a list of the people who have followed you most recently. Here, you can see the number of their followers and easily follow them back if you are so inclined.
But how do you go about getting people to follow you on LinkedIn?
While there is definitely social proof that can be gained by the quantity of followers you have on LinkedIn, the goal is not to have the most followers, but rather to build your credibility as an authority on your topic. As you work to build your authority by posting regular status updates and long-form LinkedIn publisher posts, you will naturally gain new followers.
Just don’t make any of these LinkedIn content strategy mistakes.
Below are four LinkedIn hacks and strategies that will increase your followers’ count and help you establish your expertise while providing value to your target market.
a) Create high-value content
I cannot stress enough the importance of ensuring that everything you share on LinkedIn is high-value — from the perspective of your potential prospects. Be aware that what you consider high-value and what they believe to be high-value may be different.
There’s no better or faster way to build your authority and build your LinkedIn following than through creating and sharing high-value content.
b) Focus on your topic(s) of expertise
While the content you create must be considered high-value by your prospects, your best content will typically be on the topics you know best.
When you know a topic well, you provide deeper insights and can share stories that people can relate to and remember most.
c) Write what you are most passionate about
Passion is vital to creating great content that people will want to follow or engage with. It is what will allow you to create valuable content consistently.
Your passion is important as it is tied to your why – why you do what you do – and how you communicate that message to your prospects and your network on LinkedIn.
The clearer your message and the degree of intensity with which you share your content, the better it will be received.
d) Consistently create and share content
Create and share content regularly to increase the number of your followers, whether you are sharing insights, writing long-form Publisher posts, creating graphics, videos or posting curated content.
Consistently sharing content will over time increase your LinkedIn following.
Additional Reading: How to Write LinkedIn Posts That Inspire Engagement
6. Leave or Mute group conversations on LinkedIn
Few things are more annoying than being added to a group conversation you have no interest in. If and when this happens to you, I have just the LinkedIn hack for you.
LinkedIn makes it easy for you to modify the controls of each of your conversations. To edit the controls of an individual conversation, click the three dots located in the top right corner of that conversation.
This will give you a menu of actions you can take, such as Leave conversation, Mute, etc.
Sometimes, you won’t want to leave the conversation but rather to stop receiving notifications every time someone replies. You can do this by clicking Mute.
In some cases, you will want to remember to come back to a message. In this case, you can click Mark as unread.
If you have no interest in participating in a particular group message, you can leave the conversation completely. Doing this will remove you from the conversation, and you will no longer receive any new messages from the thread. To do this, select Leave conversation.
Once you leave the conversation, you will see this indicated in the message area. You won’t be able to rejoin the conversation once you leave it.
You can take this a step further by deleting the conversation completely from your message inbox by selecting Delete conversation.
It is important to note that if you delete a conversation without first leaving it, you will still receive new replies and notifications added to the group message. So be sure to leave the conversation first and then delete it.
7. Combine LinkedIn advanced search results with Boolean search
LinkedIn’s Advanced Search allows for Boolean search that gives you the ability to filter your search more specifically to find exactly what you are looking for. You do this by adding or eliminating elements from the search parameters.
Let’s say you wanted to find an expert in personal branding and you used that as a keyword in your search. Your search results would show anyone who has the words personal and branding in their profile, even if the two words were located separately in the profile. Adding quotes around “personal branding” would return search results of profiles that have those two words together.
Here is another example. Let’s say, you want to find someone who has expertise in both social selling training and personal branding. A Boolean search “social selling training” AND “personal branding” will give you more relevant search results.
Here is a summary of how to use Boolean search in LinkedIn’s Advanced Search and all of the different ways you can use it to create a much more targeted search result.
If you would like to search for an exact phrase, enclose the phrase in quotation marks. You can use them in addition to other modifiers.
“social selling training”
If you would like to do a complex search, you can combine terms and modifiers.
sales AND (trainer OR speaker)
(social selling training OR social selling trainer)
If you would like to search for profiles which include two terms, you can separate those terms with the upper-case word AND. However, you don’t have to use AND. If you enter two terms, the search program will assume there is an AND between them.
digital AND selling
digital+selling [You can also add a plus + in between the words with no space]
If you would like to broaden your search to find profiles which include more than one term, you can separate those terms with the uppercase word OR.
“Microsoft” OR “LinkedIn”
“Vice President” OR VP OR “V.P.” OR SVP OR EVP
If you would like to do a search but exclude a particular term, type that term with an uppercase NOT immediately before it. Your search results will exclude any profile containing that term.
CEO NOT (owner OR consultant)
(Google OR Salesforce) NOT LinkedIn
8. Take advantage of LinkedIn's Saved searches feature
If you find a search term that produces good search results using LinkedIn’s Advanced Search, you can save that search so you can continue getting fresh results from it.
This is a powerful tool because you will get search alerts directly from LinkedIn when new people match that criteria. You can come back to these search results at any time and check for new potential prospects. You can then go through the profiles and connect with those who fit your criteria of a prospect. Additionally, LinkedIn will send you an email once a week with new profiles that match your Saved Search parameters.
This feature is currently available with both free and paid membership levels, but the number of saved searches you can have varies depending on which membership level you have. With a free account, you can set up three saved search results.
NOTE: With a free account, you need to search a keyword and then select “People” to make the Saved searches feature appear; otherwise, it is hidden.
9. Personalize LinkedIn connection requests on mobile
One of the most important and easiest LinkedIn hacks I can share with you is to personalize every connection request you send out.
I get it, LinkedIn makes it easy to accidentally send the default connection request, especially on the mobile app. You must consciously avoid sending the default invitation and take a moment to write a personalized connection request if you want to be successful at social selling.
This one LinkedIn hack will be the difference between someone clicking Accept and hitting Ignore in response to your connection request. If someone clicks Ignore, they will also have the option to select I don’t know this person.
WARNING: If as few as five people click I don’t know this person, your account could be restricted.
To send a personalized connection request on your mobile device, go to the profile of the person you wish to connect with, and click the three dots “…” to the far right of Connect.
It will open a new window, giving you the opportunity to select Personalize invite from the menu.
Now, you can create your personalized connection request in 300 characters or less and hit Send Invitation.
Additional Reading: Why I Accept or Reject a LinkedIn Connection Request
10. Write the way you would speak
Want to know how to write great posts or even personalized messages that sound like they just rolled off your tongue?
It’s simple. Say it out loud first. Literally pretend you’re having a conversation with someone.
I use this hack all the time. The easiest way to do it is through an app called Otter.ai. This is an amazing tool that lets you speak your idea straight into your phone (just like with your voice memo app), except Otter instantly gives you a transcript of your words.
Take that transcript, make a few edits and viola – you’ll have the perfect social media post or message to send to a prospective client.
No more staring at a blank screen for hours, wondering what to write. Just speak your mind, and let Otter transcribe it for you.
The key is to write as you would speak!
Otter has free and premium versions, and you can even get a free one-month premium pass by clicking here.
LinkedIn hacks to improve efficiency and effectiveness
No one has time to waste, which is why I hope you find the LinkedIn hacks I have shared in this article helpful.
Are there any LinkedIn hacks you use that I didn’t mention in this article? Let me know in the comments below.