How LinkedIn Can Get Bigger and Better: Charlie Whyman

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

"LinkedIn is way too slow, too reactive and not pro-active enough ."

That's a blunt assessment from Charlie Whyman, a LinkedIn trainer and "marketing momentum builder".

In this episode, Charlie and I explore some of the ways that LinkedIn evolved in 2020 and what she expects will happen in 2021. This includes:

- Analytics for personal accounts; probably not going to happen.

- More use of Stories as conferences and events come back to life.

- Improve content discovery tools through the use of tags. 

- Better corporate pages

Charlie also offers insight into automation tools (they're evil) and how marketers are ruining LinkedIn by using these tools to drive leads and Website traffic.

You're listening to marketing spark thePODCAST, it delivers insight tools and tips for marketers and entreprend thetrenches be twenty five minutes or lunt. I've done several podcast interviewsabout how to use Lincoln, but today we're going to focus on where linkingis going and a person who's going to help me look into the Crystal Ball:Charlie Wyman, Marketin, coach and Linkin trar welcome to markets par.Thank you very much for having me so before we look forward. Let's lookback at linked in in two thousand and twenty. How would this is a toughquestion? I understand. I realized that. How would you summarize how people usedlinked in and, conversely, how linked and evolved? Okay? So the firstquestion: How did people use lings in I think to start with, especially withthe global pandemic, everybody dived into Linton, and it was a bit of a freefor all the the face book police were going alittle bit crazy because I think sort of online professional etiquette, let'ssay, was thrown out of the window because nobody really knew what washappening or how to behave particularly. But the statistics show that there wasa fifty five percent increase in the amount of conversations that were beinghad on linked in between first Greek connections and an increase in sixsixty percent increase in content that was being published. So I think more and more people wererealizing that actually in a world where we can't go and meet our clients,we can't go and meet our prospects and do those light visits go to IM person.Networking events that on mine, networking and social selling wassomething that people needed to really. You know sharpen their skills and takea little bit more seriously. So I think things have quit ened down a lot now,and especially with the introduction of club House. I think a lot of the noisehas been taken away from Linton, which you know I'm quite happy about, but yeah it's definitely veryinteresting. It's definitely been very interestingto see how people are behaving. What is happening. A lot of people are gettinggood results from Linton those that know how to use it well, and I thinksome people are still really struggling to find their feet to understand right.Okay, how can I turn connections into clients, or how can I effectively usethe platform to market and make sales, because I think that that's somethingthat I've always focused on is that it's not just about generating, leadsand adding connections into your network and broadcasting it's abouteffectively using Linton as a social selling platforms and on my networkingtool and getting the results there. When we can meet again when we can goto conferences and meet people for coffee, do you think link Don is going tochange dramatically, or is this the new way to do networking in a veryefficient way at scale? Personally, I find that coffee meetings andconferences take a lot of time, a lot of energy. Sometimes you just don't getthe RY. You go in an event for a whole day and you meet two people, whereas inlinked in I can connect with somebody for half an hour boom. We're done. Ican connect somebody else in the day, so I can do multiple connections. Imean I look at my own schedule and I've got five or six or seven or ten linked and related conversationshappening. I could never do that in real life. So what do you think we'regoing to do when we snap back to our former lives? You know what I think, or rather I hopethat people are just going to be a little bit more purpose driven when itcomes to going to im person, events and Tra Jos, I mean I wrote an article onLine Tin back in two thousand and eighteen about how to use lintons getmore return on investment from events and Tra chose. Because that's mybackground. My background is events. Trade, Jo's conferences, marketingusing events and Linkin for me was always the biggest difference betweengetting actual sales from a conference or an event or just generate in alittle bit of a buzz. I mean for...

...context me and the team used linked inas a way to launch an VP, so minimum viable products at an event. We hadeight weeks to lunch, but we couldn't tell anybody about the product, becausewe were a small business and if our competition caught wind of what we weredoing, they could quite easily trump es and you know get there first, so we hadto launch a product and we had to create a bus without actually talkingabout what it was, and we use t linten ers a tall to create lots of curiosityin the market and off the back of that we got LS pipe line from one event fortwelve and a half million pounds. So for me, Linton has always been at allto help you get more from events, because you can be more purpose driven.You know, especially now, there's like seven hundred and forty million peopleusing winton today. So imagine if you could curate a very targeted, very specific group ofpeople and invite them to your event or invite them to meet you or even invitethem to your digital events. You know it's for me. It's going to be nothingnew. I just think people are going to start taking online networking andtolls like Linton. A little bit more seriously and actually realizing thatit's a taltal leverage and not at all to replace these really good points, and I thinkone of the most interesting things you said is that there are seven hundredand forty million people on the link. That is a massive global audience andif you are doing business looking to attract prospects, launch new products,that's an unbelievable way to get in front of so many people. You know oneof the things I think about is I used to spend a lot of time. My blog and youknow, maybe a hundred people visited a day, maybe in a good day I was fivehundred, but I was very limited writing away my little my little corner littlenook, but on linked in my content can be seen by thousands of people, and Ithink that's the one thing that I think is going to change how people approachLinkin as we move forward. Is that there's this realization that it's thisamazing platform for connections? Content? If you want to do businessthese days, you have to be unlinked in yes. Yes, you have to be on links and Ithink it's just more that you're leaving money on the table. I mean I'vebeen saying this for years. You are leaving money on the table if you'renot using Linton you pandemic or no pandemic, that you know from a content point of view and from amarketing point of view. I say, and I tell this to a lot of people: Marketersare ruining Linkin back before I started my business yeahyeah and his. Why so? Back before I started my business, I was working asthe head of marketing for a group of companies and I was overwhelmed. I wasunder a lot of pressure to generate leads. I was under a lot of pressure todemonstrate Roy and all of the things that, as marketers have to face on aday to day basis and along came the growth hackers and you know I'm not aprofessionally trained marketer. You know I tried as a engineer, I fell intoa marketing well and ended up, loving it, and I was kind of like wooed by the growthackers that came to me and said Bo. You know you can just automate these things.You can schedule these things. You can do all this and it'll save you so muchtime and achieve a much bigger result, and at the time I was thinking, I cansee how that would work. That makes a lot of sense to me. Let's give it a go,so I used automation on Linton which, for the record, do not use automationon linen, avoid it like the plague. It will do you more harm than good, so I I didn't lose my linkin accountfor one of because it's against Linton's homes of use. I didn't damagemy reputation because I like to think I'm quite clever with content andmessaging like starting conversations with people online is, is one of my mythings. So I didn't get a damage of areputation, but I did see quite early on that that wasn't the way to go andalso, I think, a lot of marketers want automatic tools. They want schedulingtools, they want to drive traffic to your website because that's what we canmeasure. It's really easy to measure these things, but in reality that'swhat's ruining linked him, because I...

...get complaints from people every singleday, I'm just swarmed by people trying to sell me stuff, I'm swamped by peoplethat just want to connect for no apparent reason. All I see is groupmessages by people just sharing blog post links and things like that, and Ithink it's we're living in the world now, where we don't want to bebroadcasted to. We want to find things to engage with. We want to find thingsthat are interesting. You know, and also we don't want generic marketingany more. We want things that are specifically aimed at us and we havethe tors the ability to do that, but I think marketers are so under so muchpressure that you know- and I felt this before so I know this from experience,but I also know that when you take a step back, you slow down do less butbetter. That's where the magic happens. That's where you get engagement, that'swhere you reach the people that you know are going to make the biggestdifference so yeah. I do say that racket is rein linked in, but also thecurious marketers, the marters that are genuinely interested in helping clientsand understanding things from their perspective. Those are the marketersthat are really going to win before we move forward. I want to toucha little bit on automation, so I did some coaching for an organization thathelped entrepreneurs do better and their primary channel was linked in andone of the tools that they were all athout was duck soup, which is anautomation tool and the ideas that you would send dozens, if not hundreds ofconnection requests out in an automated way, and I always thought that that wasa really strange way to do business, your blasting out to the world, hopingthat somebody will pick up on your your your cane message and you can establishsome kind of connection. I can understand the interest in doing thingsthat scale and to your point: Marketers, love, automation, tools, we love thingsthat make our jobs easier and more efficient. But why do you thinkautomation? Is this evil thing on link an I'm, not in the automation camp? Forsure I do everything organically, but I'm curious about the evils ofautomation and and do you think that link in will start to clamp down onthese tools? Linton are already clamping down on thetool. So I think that the main reason why Altinati N on Linton is bad isbecomes the it's agains linken's terms of use and they they're specificallytargeting chrome pluggin. So if using a chrome plug in that's, usually thebiggest warning sign, they don't endorse automation and theyare actively going and shutting down accounts that use atomatic tools. Oneof the biggest reasons that you should be aware of just in general, rather than relying onpeople giving you feedback, is that if you send say a hundred automatedmessages to your idol prospects do prospect. Then let's say that sort of. Let's seeyou got three people replying to you saying. Yes, I'm interested please handme more information, that's like ninety seven people that have either ignoredyou or you've annoyed and a lot of the people that you've annoyed will do oneor two things: they'll ignore you or they'll block you now. You've got no visibility onwhether you've been wrecked or not, or also if people are ignoring you, butthat's also you damaging your personal reputation. You know it's not thebrands reputation. It's a personal reputation, which also does in turnhave an impact on the brand. So I think the more you can see Linkinas an online networking tool and a platform to build reputation. It's easy to realize. Actually,automation can really hurt that reputation, because I think you knowwe're living in a world where Google search is so advanced and we expect that from all differentsearch engines and the Linton search engine is not as advanced as Linton. Soif you're sending mass connection requests mass messages to people, therewill be people that aren't suitable for what it is that you're trying to offerthem and again I think it's that you know we want a more personal approach.If you meet somebody at a trade show-...

...or even you don't go straight in with apitch- you say hello, you know rety more genuine about your approach, so Ithink the biggest piece of advice that I give people is behave on Linton, asyou would do at an event at a trade show at a networking meeting or ifsomebody, if you met somebody in the line up of a coffee shop and you wantedto west and what they do or there was a you know, an indication that they couldbe a perspective client. You know we all have those interactions, but youwouldn't approach it in the same way like marketers as well. I work with alot of marketing agencies and they're like well. Why are we being ignored onLinkin? It's like well, if you received the message that you were sending outto people, what would you do and their response is almost always. I I'd ignoreit, because it's not using natural humanlanguage. You know there's a lot of talk about what Linkincould do the features that it could launch the new services that could getinto, but I want to ask you, given all those ass on link in how doyou think linkin reacted in two thousand and twenty in terms of the waythat people were starting to use the platform and the demands they weremaking to make it more interesting and tractive useful from the outside lookin and it doesn't look like Linton did very much at all, although there couldbe a lot happening behind the scenes. Yeah well, in my opinion, Linkin is waytoo slow way too slow to reactive, not proactively. Example. If we look atlike the introduction of linked in stories, which was quite a new thinglast year, you know that they're talking aboutwhat new stickers can we integrate into the platform? It's like well, first ofall give us a search function, so we can search for the stick that we want,rather than have to sort of mindlessly squill through groups. Last year, Linton made a fewtweaks to make groups more interactive and managers. A able to you know alerttheir members as to what's going on. You can recommend one post in a groupevery seven days. You can announce that notification so that your members canget a notification with new group activity. You know you can now send anunlimited amount of messages to people in the same group as you that are notnecessarily connected to you. So there's lots of new features that havebeen released but because Winton, an always as transparent in terms of whatthey are. You Know You have to stumble upon them or you have to be in anetwork of other people that are looking out for them. So I think Lintonare a little bit too reactive for my liking, they're, not that easy in termsof rolling out new features and they're quite slow, but I always think the thepros massively outweigh the cons and the frustrations, and I think again, ifyou just keep thinking what okay actually just in its most basic form,it's such a powerful tool. You know there's so much you can do with it likewith the free version. The advance search filters that you can tap intoare incredible. You know, there's loads of people that think. Oh, I need ladthings in selves navigator to be able to search for t people in a particularindustry or with a particular job title and things like that. You don't know atall, so I think you know I always say I void that painful trial of errorprocess. You know if you can't get business from Lington work with youknow it's not just be her. Thousands of other Lington trainers out there. You know work with somebody. You knowfast track your success, but also that there is way more to using Lington thanjust knowing how to use Linton. You need to know how to market yourbusiness on Linkin, generate engagement and use as a social selling tool. It's funny that you mentioned LintonStories, because I I love Linkin. I love commenting and creating contemptand I tried Lington stories and it didn't work for me. I just didn't seethe value I tried to make a few videos. They got minor, very minor pickup. Itstruck me that Linkean was trying to jump on something that instamatic andsnap chat and it didn't work for them. It may have not been native. It mayhave not been introduced properly, but that was something I think that was afail. Let's look forward in terms of...

...what Lindon could do in two thousandand twenty one and I created a list. I have a long wish list of the thingsthat I would like linked in to do, and one of them, let's go through the listhere. One of them is analytics for personal accounts, even while analyticsfor corporate accounts are not that good and not that user friendly. Whatare your thoughts about analytics because there's a company called shieldwhich seems to have dominated the linked on analytic market Lincon, isbasically allowed them to have this establish this really solid foothold?Do you think that linking will introduce analytics in two thousand andtwenty one I wish they would? I don't think that they will. I think they need to differentiatebetween their paid page versions for lint in a little bit more like links inpremium and lint. In sales navigator, the lines are very blurred. At themoment there used to be a clear distinction as to what you would getfor each, whereas now it's not as clear stories. I actually think that there'sa big opportunity with stories, I think I think the fact that most people stilluse linked him with their desk top and now that my market, I target a vicelike technical company like tech companies, endenda companiesmanufacturing companies, they use Linton on desk top, mainly not mobile,and you can only access stories on mobile and also there's still too manyfeatures that are missing to make it interactive and user friendly, which isstopping people investing time on them and also the fact that we are living ina global pandemic and we can't go to events and trade shows, whereas I thinkthat when we can do those events and those met. UPS, that's where likelinked in live and linking stories are really going to come alive, whereas Ithink, because we haven't had access to those we've not really been able to leverage them to their their maximumcapacity. I think that last year we saw some updates to groups and from whatI've been told and from what I've heard directly from link hidden, they're,still working on making groups a much better resource for people andcompanies. So I think in two thousand and twenty one we're going to see morefeatures specifically in groups. I think we're going to see more updatesto linking company pages so recently, they've launched product pages oncompany pages, which they saw of had years ago when they got rid off nowthey brought them back again in a slightly different way: yea, so yeah yeah. So we've got product pages and Ithink you know we've got retarding now that was another update from last year.So if you're, advertising on Link N you've got way more control andflexibility to be targeted and to be more specific, which I think is reallyexciting. So Club House is an interesting on because I rememberseeing that on your list, a lot of people are making a lot of people are making bigspeculation out as to whether we lightly included yeah, whether likeLinkin, will buy a clip. Pesame, Microsoft, an Linton, so I personallydon't think they will buy clip house I'd, be surprised if they do twitter a launching spaces. The that'sunder way, I actually think twitter spaces will be better than club has longerterm. That's just my observation. What do you say? I know I just thinktwitters more established and I don't think that club house has figured outwhere its main niche or where its main purposes, there's a lot of issues withclub house in terms of data protection and privacy and all of these things andit's a very noisy, very distracting place. I do think that there aremassive opportunities for it, but I think you know cause. I love twitterround bet old school, so I think the fact that twitters giving me thatfunctionality, you know- and they already have the built ofinfrastructure they've been working on this for a while. You know I I keepingmy eyes and is open and I'm reserving judgment too much, but I think twitterspaces is going to be the thing, especially for a beat marker other things to keep an eye on. Butthen club house links in product managers are hosting regular rooms onclub house, where you can actually direct directly ask link to himquestions they're a bit frustrating to...

...be part of, because the same questionskeep popping up and some of them like really really basic questions and alsolike everybody's link in expert on Copas. At the moment you know I mean,if you spend every day on that. That seems to be the way you can be anexpert and whatever you want, if you spend every day or every waking minuteon club house and call yourself an expert and just keep volunteeringinformation that you've heard from somebody else and obviously you knowpeople are going to think that you are that expert, because there's nocredibility behind it. That's what I loove at Linkin. You can really findout. If somebody tells you something and you like that sounds reallyinteresting. I wonder what this person's background it. You can go toLinkin and find out what their background is, where you can't get thaton club house and it only links to twitter an instar. So I think for be tobe is great because you can host like ask me anything so, like brands canhave like ask me any things with their product managers with their CEOS,invite their customers, but it's still very limited, because it's only ipheus.So I think it's one of those watch this space, but I would be surprised if clubhouse is bought by face book or Linton. I think they will have theplans of their own. A couple of other things that I wanted to talk to aboutin terms of how Lindon could improve one of them is messages which I find tobe so arcane and the way that it structured and the way that you cansearch and the other one would be connection requests. The fact that Iget a request, connection requests and I don't really get a lot of insightinto whether the connection requests makes sense. I'm in the camp, where I'mvery selective in terms of who I connect with I've, did a pole recently,and there are a lot of people who accept every single connection request.So maybe talk a little bit about how Linton could improve messages and howyou see connection request being taken to the next level last year. They did actually release acouple of updates to make management of your in box a little bit easier, so youcan have multisecular hive them and delete them. You can also use filters, fit unridmessages and things like that as well. You can also say if you've got premiumon Linton, you can nounce it an out of office, which is really helpful. Youknow if you go on holiday and you want to let people know that you know you'renot going to respond for a week or two weeks or however long, and I think, aswell like Linton, are going to try and encourage more people to block andreport messages that are not a legit or people that are just trying to be toopromotional fame. So I think they're going to try and do more with that in terms of other functionality withmessages last year they enabled voice messages. Now, personally, I love thevoice messages feature. I've gained loads of conversions as a result ofusing that. But I've also spoken to a lot of people that don't like thatfeature and they're sort of saying that they find it too invasive. They would ignore a voice message. Theydon't like it. So I think there's there's a different difference ofopinion going on around voice. One of your questions was around whether youthought linkin would have their own videoconferencing tool. You canactually schedule a zoom, a teams or a blue jeans meeting in the Messenger,which is really handy, which is really handy. I think they also have acalendar Intialo feature which I think is a little bit clunky. I don't like itvery much so I think next well next year this year, I think they'll do alittle bit more with that, but what I would really really really love, and Ithink that they're going to do this as a premium feature, is that tagging, soyou can tag messages and create specific lists so not like you wouldget from selves navigator, but just so you can understand where thoseconnections have come from. I always encourage people to put a reference inthe message that you're sending to people, so if you met them at aparticular event or trade, show make a note in the message to say: Oh, youknow great to meet you at the PSA conference, two thousand and twenty, soyou can search for that Rotrou's. So there are a lot of hacks that you canuse, but in terms of future updates, I'm not really sure what they could do.Ideally they should overhaul the whole thing just to make it a lot easierbecause, like you said it is very...

...archaic. The other place that I want totalk to you about is in terms of content discovery. So, let's say, forexample, I you make you have to comment on my one of my posts. I went to yourprofile to check you out and I wanted to say I want to check out Charlie'scontent. There's really no efficient way for me to really go through ooucontent cause I'm going to have to scroll down all the Post that you'vewritten over the past how many years and some of them are going to be great.I would like a way to focus on post that, for example, that are all aboutlinked in tips. So I can. I can filter out all your other post and just focuson the tips or focus on or able to be able to search by tagging it or HashTags. Do you see that as a blow hanging fruit for Linkin, something that theymay want to improve? Absolutely, and I think I think they are so I the lastproduct manager asked me anything club Hasse chat that I joined. I did askLington whether they were going to add filters to hash tig searches, because I I think, if you had theability to search for particular types of content from an individual andsearch for Hash Tags, that they're using in that content, is way oftagging or indexing. Then that will be really helpful and they did say thatthey are improving their search, so they're working on their search filtersand things like that. I don't know how long we're going to have to wait beforewe see that type of thing, but I think that and again hashte. So many peoplehave no idea how to use hash tax. So it's one of those that you know kindof people need to use Hashte a little bit more before we get the searchfilters and things, but I completely agree with you: It would be lovely tobe able to say Rika. I want to search for this particular type of contentfrom, say, UK content creators about like Linton or about club house, orabout clubhouse and Linton. You know be able to use the bully and search logicthat you can use when you're searching for people to be able to use that whensearching for content will be really really powerful and useful. One final question in terms of newpeople to linked in, I think you and I live in a world in which we thinkeverybody's, on linked in everybody's, creating content, everybody's leavingcomments. We look at it and wonder: Well, why? Wouldn't you be engaged onlinked in? Why wouldn't you have an active presence, but there's lots ofpeople who are not unlinked in actively or using it in a really bad way. So,what's your advice to Nubis people who are hearing people like you, and I talkabout Lincoln and the power of Lington and saying to themselves, I'm missingout on something really amazing: How do they get started? How do they move inthe right direction and you've got years of experience as a linked ontrainer? So any insight on on how you can make the right moves to takeadvantage of what is a very powerful platform, best piece of advice. I cangive you S. take it one step at a time, try not to think that you can achieveeverything that you want overnight. To put your put your curious hat on, putyour marathon mind, set on be in it for the long term, but also explore, and Ireally need to emphasize this explore what is going to work for you and thebusiness that you're trying to promote all the business that you're trying towork for with, and the reason I say this is that everybody has an opinionas to how you can use linkin. I've been very fortunate to use lantin acrossmultiple different industries, and there is no one size fits all approach.So there is a you have to allow yourself the time to explore. What'sgoing to work for you, you have to ask questions when people give you advice,make sure that you're adding context to your questions and your challengingadvice, or at least understanding who's, giving you that advice and where theirexperience come from, because there are a huge amount of people that are, youknow, spending you know days and days and days on club house listening toeverybody, giving all of this advice away, but not understanding how toactually apply it to them and their business. Because you know at the endof the day, Linkin is just a tall. You know I could teach you how to use itall in half day or in an hour depending on how tex have you are, but it'sapplying what you you know. I somly the...

Otter. The O in the otter behind me isall about objective yeah, so really focus on what in you want to get out ofhere, and how can you leverage linked in as away to achieve that, because there are so many different ways that you can usein Tim, you know I've used it across lots of different business objectives,but focus on one thing: do it really well and then move on to the next thingor do more of it? So where can people learn more about you and what you do asa digital, marketer and linked on trainer so best way to learn more aboutme is to connect on Linton, so Charlie, Wiman, Wymans, Velha, N or you canvisit. My website is Charlie Wiman D com. You listen to my podcast. Thecuriosity key but yeah just connect with me on linten drop me a personalnote or a message and just say that you heard me on this podcast because thenit's always good to have context and I'm one of those people I like to talkto my connections so yeah send me a message a more than happy to have aconversation thanks for listening to another episode of marketing spark. Ifyou enjoyed the conversation, leave a review and subscribe by, I tunes Potiior your favorite podcast APP for show notes of today's conversation andinformation about Charlie visit marketing spark cos. Last long, you'dlike to learn more about how I help tvas companies as a fractional costPetitionis or in coach and a email to mark at Murphy's. Marco I'll talk toyou, AA.

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