The new “what’s new” on LinkedIn with Beth Granger

LinkedIn changes fast and often without any notice. (In fact, it's changed a lot since we recorded in March!)

Today’s episode is another "what's new on LinkedIn," with a focus on what I think will be one of the most important new ways to use LinkedIn to show what you know and stay top of mind in the marketplace: a LinkedIn newsletter.

I invited Beth Granger back for a second episode (the first was #428) and I peppered her with all the questions I know you have.

In today's episode, I was complaining (whining actually) about how I didn't yet have the "magical power" to have my own newsletter on LinkedIn. Well, LinkedIn changed again and now I do -- in fact, everyone does, as long as you're in "Creator" mode. So I"ll be creating my soon. If we're connected, you'll be invited to subscribe. (If we're not, invite me to connect here.)

In the meantime....here are Beth's "baby step" suggestions to try (after you listen, of course):

  1. Make sure your connections are current and if there are people you’ve met recently, whether online or off, invite them to connect. 
  2. Regularly look at who viewed your profile and then do something with the information (like reach out to them and say what Beth suggested).

So listen here (and below) or scroll down to read the transcript:

 

(BTW: Beth has a new "LinkedIn Leaders" program and will be presenting on LinkedIn at HOW Design Live in Boston in May. Details here.)

If you like what you hear, we’d love it if you write a review, subscribe on Apple Podcasts and sign up for Quick Tips from Marketing Mentor. 

Transcript #443 – Beth Granger – What's New on LinkedIn

Ilise benun

Hi there. This is ilise benun, your Marketing Mentor. And this is the podcast for you if, and only if, you are ready to leave the feast or famine syndrome behind, and I mean for good. 

LinkedIn changes fast and often without any notice. They've been adding lots of new features lately, but many people don't have them yet, including myself. That's why today's episode is another one focused on LinkedIn. 

I invited Beth Granger back for a second episode. The first was number 428, and I peppered her with lots of questions, which she did her best to answer. Beth will be presenting on LinkedIn at How Design Live in Boston in May. You may want to attend. In the meantime, listen and learn. Hello, Beth. Welcome back to the podcast.

Beth Granger

Thank you. Great to be here.

Ilise benun

It's great to have you, and please introduce yourself.

Beth Granger

It's always easier to introduce someone else, isn't it? Well, I'm a trainer, consultant, speaker, and I typically work with people who want to unleash the power of LinkedIn.

Ilise benun

Excellent. I like short and sweet elevator pitches and introductions. I said, “welcome back” because you and I did our first podcast episode number 428. It was called Creator Mode and More on LinkedIn, and that was about six months ago. Now we need to do another conversation because LinkedIn keeps changing things up without telling anyone, and with what seems to be no rhyme or reason. So, I wanted to just bring you back and pick your brain about that. How does that sound?

Beth Granger

Sounds great.

Ilise benun

All right. So, maybe the first question is, what is the biggest recent change that LinkedIn has made that you think everyone should know about?

Beth Granger

I have to just pick one?

Ilise benun

Well, we'll start with one.

Beth Granger

Okay. One is the new feature called LinkedIn Audio.

Ilise benun

Okay.

Beth Granger

So, this is not to say it's their answer to Clubhouse, but it is Clubhouse-like. It is an audio-only, at the moment, conversation. And it's in beta testing. So right now, only beta testers can host an event, but anyone on the platform can be part of the event and part of a conversation.

Ilise benun

I know that you and I have one scheduled soon, because I've never done one, but you've done them. So, maybe say a little bit about how they've gone, so far.

Beth Granger

Well, they're wonderful, because conversation is wonderful. And the beta testers are experimenting with format and topics, and I've experimented with … I always try to break things, as a beta tester. So, I've done things like do a LinkedIn Live—which is the video live feature that LinkedIn has—and then have everybody jump over to a LinkedIn Audio event for the Q&A, where they can actually talk to my guest.

Ilise benun

That's cool.

Beth Granger

Yeah, it's a little behind the scenes. It's a little complicated. But it worked out well. I'm experimenting with having it be an interview or a conversation. I even did a mini networking event where I had some people come up and introduce … give their elevator pitch, and then tell a story about their business and how they help people to show how telling stories is much more powerful. Then, people who were listening could raise their hand and join the conversation, and do their elevator pitch and their story.

Ilise benun

Interesting.

Beth Granger

Yeah.

Ilise benun

One of the new features that I'm especially interested in is the Create a LinkedIn Newsletter option.

Beth Granger

Yes.

Ilise benun

So, I do want to talk about that, and I also did a conversation with Michael Katz—who is an email newsletter guy—about LinkedIn Newsletters. He said, basically, "I used to be against them and now I'm for them."

Beth Granger

Oh, nice.

Ilise benun

Which, I thought was interesting. Yeah, and so, and just even to set this up, I will tell you that I apparently don't have permission, or whatever they give you, in order to do the newsletter. So, it seems to also still be in beta mode. But, talk to us about your perspective on LinkedIn Newsletters. What is it, and how should people use it?

Beth Granger

All right. Well, I'm going to change your life, right about now.

Ilise benun

Good.

Beth Granger

Because, when we spoke about Creator Mode, at that time maybe this didn't happen but, if you turn on Creator Mode, you immediately have access to do LinkedIn Live and newsletters.

Ilise benun

I thought that was true, actually, when we talked recently. But, I did turn on Creator Mode, and I still don't seem to have Create a Newsletter anywhere. 

Beth Granger

We'll look at it together.

Ilise benun

All right.

Beth Granger

Because it may just be that it's not clear where it is.

Ilise benun

Okay.

Beth Granger

But, for everybody who's listening, you go as if you're going to write an article, and up on the top right, it should say something about, “do you want this to be an article or a newsletter?” I forget the exact wording, but that's where to look.

Ilise benun

What exactly is a LinkedIn Newsletter?

Beth Granger

Oh, it's a wonderful thing. But do take some time to think about it before doing it, because your first newsletter is the most important one, because only with the first one, it will notify your entire network—every connection and every follower—and invite them to subscribe. So, it's like the Article feature, but people can subscribe, and they'll be notified every time you publish a newsletter, both by email and in the platform.

Ilise benun

So, you're basically saying be very strategic and thoughtful before you jump right into this.

Beth Granger

Yes.

Ilise benun

I've been thinking about it as something that could be a good first step for people who are maybe struggling a little bit with creating an email newsletter using MailChimp or some of this other slightly more complicated technology, especially if you're not used to using that kind of technology. What do you think of it as like a first, baby step in that direction?

Beth Granger

Something I've never tried to do, and I'm not sure if you can … I don't know if there's a way to, for instance, download a list of the people who have subscribed. You may be able to see it, but I've never actually looked at the analytics. I know. I'm bad, but …

Ilise benun

No, I actually don't think there is. I think Michael Katz said that's one of the downsides …

Beth Granger

Exactly.

Ilise benun

… is that you can’t grab your subscriber, basically.

Beth Granger

Yes. So, obviously having an email newsletter, you own … you have those names and those contacts. But for me, first of all, it’s easier and it's, I think, it's a wonderful way to begin.

Ilise benun

Mm-hmm (affirmative). I think so, too. I think the point about, you still need to own your list, right? What do they call that? Owned Media, in PR and advertising. So, I think it's a good first step. And then from a strategic point of view, one of the things I like that Michael Katz does is his LinkedIn newsletter is essentially an abridged late version of his, what he calls, “real newsletter.” So, that means he just does an excerpt of it on LinkedIn. Then, also maybe repurposes material from last year—so really late, or maybe just a couple weeks late, or a couple months late. But at the bottom, his says, “If you're reading this on LinkedIn, then you're reading an abridged version and you're reading it late. So, if you want the real thing, go over here”—and that's how he drives traffic to his site and his Subscription Page, to basically build his own list. 

Beth Granger

I think that's absolutely a creative approach, but I would also … you know, there's that “perfect is the enemy of good” … or there's some people that that'll feel overwhelming. So, just start. Just thoughtfully do your newsletter, and it's a certainly a way to begin if you're … and it depends where your people are. So, I have an email newsletter, but I don't really use it, and that's my conscious decision. I'll use it occasionally, but I prefer to engage with people through LinkedIn. I find it easier and it's my place.

Ilise benun

So, how do you use the email newsletter on LinkedIn?

Beth Granger

I use it when I have information that is longer than can be put in a post—where I want to bring up a topic or share information—kind of like having my own blog on LinkedIn. 

I've seen some really creative uses of it. Some people do it—you get to choose the frequency—so, you could do it monthly. You could do it weekly. You could do whatever you want, really.

Ilise benun

I think some people do it daily. I saw a couple daily ones.

Beth Granger

So, a friend of mine does his daily, because his is a listing of all the LinkedIn Lives, and now LinkedIn Audio events that he can find. So, it's sort of a directory of today's events. So yeah, you can do whatever you want. I would caution people, if it's not a directory, doing it every day could get annoying for people.

Ilise benun

Right. Or the idea of, if it's not really timely information that people are looking for, and you're just making their life easier by pulling it together and aggregating it in one place, then you might want to think about monthly, or even twice monthly. I think weekly is too much, also.

Beth Granger

I agree. We get a lot of … there's just so much coming at us from all places and all directions, that to me, it's quality over quantity.

Ilise benun

Then, for people who already have an email newsletter and are thinking to themselves, “Should I also do one on LinkedIn? Do I need to? Isn't that double the work?” 

I'll tell you the way I'm thinking about it and then maybe you can comment on that—because I have been doing an email newsletter for, I don't know, 15 years or something—my Quick Tips from Marketing Mentor. 

I do want to do something on LinkedIn, but I do want to, as you suggested at the beginning, be very strategic and thoughtful about how I do it. So, one approach is, what if I take a slice of my business and use the newsletter, the LinkedIn Newsletter, to focus on that?

When I say “slice,” I mean, right now I have launched a new online course with Domestika called Write a Winning Proposal: Land Your Dream Clients, where I teach my Proposal Oreo Strategy. What if my LinkedIn Newsletter was just all about proposals and the Proposal Oreo Strategy, and it kind of surfaces or highlights one aspect of a business? What do you think about that?

Beth Granger

That could be interesting because then you'll get a different subset of your network that subscribes to it because they're interested in that. I would say that in terms of picking the name for it, maybe keep the name a little bit more generic or broad—so that if you change your mind, and in the future want to talk about something else, you could.

Ilise benun

So, I guess that raises the question: Could I just do a different one? Could I do a new one? Can you shut a LinkedIn Newsletter down and start a new one, do you think?

Beth Granger

Those are all great questions? I don't know.

Ilise benun

They probably haven't gotten that far in their newsletter process that someone would want to do that yet.

Beth Granger

Exactly.

Ilise benun

Or can you have more than one?

Beth Granger

No, just one.

Ilise benun

Okay.

Beth Granger

Although, although—they are testing, and I don't have it yet, but some company pages now have access to do a newsletter.

Ilise benun

Right. Yes. I read about that, too. Let's talk a little bit about company pages. Are they important? Does everybody need one? What's your thought about that?

Beth Granger

I believe in owning all the real estate you can in your name or your business name on LinkedIn. So, yes, you should, if you have a business, you should have a business page. And you may not be as active there because the real power is in the person-to-person communication, but it does so many things. 

It lends legitimacy to your business. If you go to somebody's profile and they have that gray little ‘not logo’ next to their business name, then it doesn't feel like it's a real business. So, it's just another place that you can share what your business is about. 

Plus, if you, depending on the size of your business, if you're looking to hire, the business page is definitely something that people will check out to see what the culture's all about, to see what you are all about, in a way that they wouldn't if it was just your personal profile.

Ilise benun

Mm-hmm (affirmative). Let's talk a little bit about messaging and commenting, and as much as we know about the algorithm, and how it decides what you see, and what the people in your network see—because, to me, this is a big mystery. Granted, I haven't spent too much time looking into it. But my understanding is that the people that you have interaction with, and message with especially, somehow that tells the LinkedIn algorithm that you want to see their content and vice versa. So, is that true? Am I making that up?

Beth Granger

So, anything … any observations in terms of the algorithm are just that, observations. LinkedIn doesn't share. You know how Google, when they change their algorithm, they tend to announce it and say what they're focusing on? LinkedIn does not. So, everything that I'm going to say now, first of all, it could change tomorrow and is based on observation from me, my clients, or other people that do what I do. 

It does seem, right now, that yes, if you engage with somebody's content, you'll be more likely to see their content in the future. Plus, there's kind of a new feature that not everybody knows about, that I love. I'm so excited about. It's the Notification Bell on someone's profile.

So, if there's someone whose content you want to see all the time, because sometimes they might post but you might not see it … if you go to their profile and click on the bell, which is sort of to the right of a person's name, you'll be notified every time they post. So, this is great for people who influence you. This is great for your prospects or your clients or just people whose content you find valuable. And people can do it for you, too—so, you can encourage people to click on the bell to see all of your posts.

Ilise benun

So, do you have to be first-degree connections to see the bell or following them?

Beth Granger

First or following.

Ilise benun

Okay.

Beth Granger

Just a quick thing, because some people think they don't have the feature yet, because they don't see it on their own profile. You won't see it on yours, because it doesn't make sense to see it there, but you'll see it on other people's. And I think it's rolled out completely, but I'm not 100% sure. So, you may or may not have it.

Ilise benun

Interesting. In terms of the messaging, I'm finding that more and more people are using the messaging app, just as a way to have conversations, instead of via email. Are you noticing that, too?

Beth Granger

I'm not necessarily seeing a change, but that depends on my network and the people in my world. I think it's a good thing to try because, I don't know about you, but my email box is just exploding, and I could miss something or, you know, it just feels like work. Whereas when I get a message in LinkedIn, because it's less frequent, then it's something I'm going to pay attention to. 

Plus, there's the, I call it the “donut” or “the cupcake”—the indication when you're on LinkedIn, if you see a little green donut or circle on the bottom right of somebody's profile image, it means that, it means two different things. I won't go into all the details, but the idea is that they're on LinkedIn right now. So, if you want to reach out to somebody immediately, if they have that green cupcake, so the green circle filled in, and you send them a message, they're likely to get it right now and write back.

Ilise benun

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Beth Granger

Whereas, email, you have no idea when someone's going to see it.

Ilise benun

Right. I had a thought, something I wanted to vent about, but then it disappeared. So, hopefully, it will come back.

Beth Granger

Bad messaging?

Ilise benun

Well, it could be bad messaging. Actually, let's talk about bad messaging because I do think there is a lot of what I would call “spamming.” And I really think that spam is in the eye of the beholder, because if someone offers me something that I need, then it's not going to be perceived as spam by me. I might be interested, but if I'm not in the market for that thing or service, or near my moment of need, then I just won't pay attention to it and I'll consider it spam. 

So, with that in mind, what is your thought about or what are best practices for messaging people you don't know yet? Actually, here's another piece of the question, because I feel like it's very confusing. Messages are different from invitations to connect or adding a note when you invite someone to connect. So, sometimes when you send an InMail, but then you're not inviting them to connect, so you're not connected … like, that is just bizarre to me.

Beth Granger

It can be confusing. You're not alone. So, I always recommend you send a note with an invitation to connect, for multiple reasons. One—unless it's your brother or sister, you don't have to do it for them— but it will remind somebody how you met or tell them why you want to connect. 

Plus, if you connect with them, and then for some reason don't really get to know them, months later if you realize, “Oh, I want to talk to this person, I don't even remember where we met,” if you click on message, that note will be the first message in the chain. So, you can say, “Oh, that's where we met, at this event,” and it's a way to rekindle that relationship.

Ilise benun

Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah. I like the fact that the message thread stays, and it's like a history all in one place, so I don't have to remember it all.

Beth Granger

Exactly. I think it's a great feature.

Ilise benun

All right. I think there's so much we could talk about, but I want to give you one last question, which is, a lot of people, when they think about spending time on LinkedIn, it seems to me, think, “Oh, I should be posting. I'm not posting enough.”

I personally think if you have to choose how to spend your time on LinkedIn—the interacting, the commenting, the sharing—that is more effective if you're trying to build relationships than posting, right? Posting, maybe if you're a creator, and you're building a following, that's the distinction they make. But how do you think about posting versus commenting?

Beth Granger

So, I agree with you. It’s good to do both, but your time is limited. If you only have a limited amount of time or you're uncomfortable with posting, you're not sure what to do yet, start with that engagement. Because it's kind of like, if you're at an in-person event, posting is like standing in the corner and talking, and hoping people will come over and engage with you. 

But, engaging with someone else's content is like, there's a group of people talking and you join that conversation—so it's much easier, and can be very powerful, because who doesn't want people to engage with their content?

Ilise benun

Exactly. All right. One other thing that I've started doing since we had our first conversation here on the podcast, Beth, is, I'm adding a baby step that people can take based on the conversation. So, I'm asking you, based on everything we've shared—and this could just be a repeat of one of the things we've talked about—if someone wants to get started or get back into spending some time on LinkedIn, what is the baby step they should do, would you say?

Beth Granger

Oh, there are so many.

Ilise benun

I know.

Beth Granger

I would say, so two things. One would be to make sure that your connections are current, and maybe start … maybe you've met people since you were active and you're not connected with them. Connect with them. 

The other would be to regularly look at who viewed your profile. This is something people don't … or they do, but they don't know what to with the information. And this has led to so many opportunities for both me and my clients. 

So, what happens is, say like you and I hadn't spoken for a while, and I noticed that you looked at my profile. So, there's a reason. I don't know what that reason is. Could be nothing. But it could be an introduction to a client.

So, by looking frequently and noticing and reaching out and saying something, not stalker-ish like: “You were on my profile, what do you want?” but something more like: “I noticed you stopped by my profile. How are you?”—that allows us to reconnect. It allows for a conversation to start. And you might say, “Oh, there's someone I wanted to introduce to you. I wanted to look up your, what your title was” or something. Or, it might be nothing, but it allows you to reconnect with people in your network.

Ilise benun

I like that idea. Do you suggest ... I have more questions actually, so that was not my last question. Do you suggest that people buy, pay for, the Premium version of LinkedIn instead of just using the free version—because can't you only see a few of the people who are looking at your profile unless you pay?

Beth Granger

So, paying … it's like a gym membership. If you use what you get because of the paid version, and it leads to clients or business, then it can be worth it. But paying for it, just to see who viewed your profile, I don't think so. Because, on the free version, you see the most recent five people. If you check it every day, you're probably going to see most of the people that visit your profile. 

If you're going to invest, though, I would say, depending on what you do, what your business is, Sales Navigator might be more worthwhile than Premium, but it is a whole separate thing. It's like another product that sits on top of LinkedIn. There's a learning curve; but it can be very useful. Just like the paid version can. So, it really depends on if you're going to use the additional features that you get.

Ilise benun

All right. Here's my really last question, Beth, because I haven't looked at my LinkedIn analytics, I don't think, ever. My question is, beyond who's looking at your profile … What LinkedIn analytics are available, and is it worth spending time on that?

Beth Granger

Like anything, it depends on what your goals are for using the platform. So, if you post content, there are analytics that come with that: number of views, if people react to it, if people comment. 

I would say, looking at who is following you is a type of analytic. People don't always realize that there are people who may follow them, but not be connected to them. It depends if you're someone that likes data. If it's important to you to see, to try to always have more and more views of your profile, then that may be something you like. If you're more of a person who would rather just have really good conversations, and if those conversations lead to good things, then you know you're being successful. It depends what you … how you like to do things.

Ilise benun

How do you do it, Beth?

Beth Granger

More of the emotional. If I have good conversations and yeah, I look at some of the data certainly, but I don't necessarily let it guide me too much because, I think, in your gut, you know if you're being successful.

Ilise benun

All right. Well, again, I'm sure there are lots of other questions. So, we'll probably have a Part Three of this conversation soon, but I want to thank you, and please tell the people where they can find you online—On LinkedIn, I would think.

Beth Granger

Yes. On LinkedIn. I'm at linkedin.com/in/BethGranger.

Ilise benun

Excellent. Anywhere else online you want them to go?

Beth Granger

Oh, I have a website that I don't use very much. BethGranger.com. Yeah. Well, I sort of use LinkedIn as my website.

Ilise benun

Yeah. All right, then one final question, because I've been telling people, “You really don't need a website, especially when you're starting out. LinkedIn, your LinkedIn profile, LinkedIn can be your website,” and it sounds like you agree with me.

Beth Granger

Well, it depends how you get your business. So, if most of your business is from referrals, like mine is, then LinkedIn makes sense. If what you do is something people are searching for a lot, and then SEO and all of that comes into play … I mean, everyone should, I believe, should have a website—even if it's a single-page website, just again, to own all the real estate and own your name out there. But where you spend your time will depend on how you get your clients.

Ilise benun

All right, let's leave it at that. I thank you, Beth, for sharing your wisdom, your knowledge, everything you keep learning, and we will talk again soon.

Beth Granger

Absolutely.

Ilise benun

Did that answer a few of your questions? I hope so. As you heard, I kept thinking of one after another, and I could have gone on and on, so I'm sure we'll talk again. But when I asked Beth about baby steps, she shared two. 

Number one, make sure your connections are current, and if there are people you've met recently, whether online or off, invite them to connect. Just make sure your network is up to date. Number two, regularly, look at who has viewed your profile and then do something with the information. Follow her suggestions. 

So, did you learn a little something? I hope so because that's how this works. One baby step at a time, and before you know it, you'll have better clients with bigger budgets. Speaking of better clients, they're probably not going to fall in your lap. That's why I keep hawking my Simplest Marketing Plan.

If you want to build a thriving business, on your own terms, you need the 4.0 version for 2022. It is packed with all new content, including six new case studies and six new lessons. You'll also get three different planners, plus access to the free monthly Office Hours group coaching session, where you'll meet other creative pros who are practicing what I preach, and taking control over their business and their life. You can find it all in the Marketing Mentor shop at marketing-mentor.com. I'll be back soon with more conversations with creative professionals who are doing what it takes to ditch the feast or famine syndrome. Until next time.