These Are the Main LinkedIn Settings That You Should Know About
LinkedIn has loads of settings.
In practice, you don’t need most of them on a day to day basis but having gone through all of them in order to be able to assist our clients, there are a few that I think it’s worth bearing in mind.
You can access them via ‘settings and privacy’ from the ‘Me’ menu item:
The settings are broken down into 4 areas – ‘account’, ‘privacy’, ‘ads’ and ‘communication’.
In this blog, I’m going to focus on 5 settings that will help you to optimise your profile, pay consideration to what data you’re sharing with your connections and show you how to take a sneak peek at someone’s profile without them knowing that you’ve done it!
So – in no particular order:
Creating your own customised profile URL
Why should you have your own profile URL? Simply put it looks better. It also shows that you’ve graduated from the basic level of LinkedIn use and moved on to using some of the more advanced features.
Plus, if you’re including your profile URL in an email or even on a CV, it has a neat, tidy and professional feel to it.
So, how do you do it? Remember, all these settings are found by clicking the ‘Settings & Privacy’ menu item under the ‘Me’ button on the homepage.
1. Click on ‘change’ next to ‘Edit your public profile’
2. Click the pencil ‘edit’ icon and add your shiny new LinkedIn profile URL
3. When you’re done, hit save.
Be aware that there’s a lot of other LinkedIn users and there’s a reasonable chance someone else will already have you desired username. If this is the case, think creatively. Add a number at the end or stick a hyphen between your first and last names. Play around with it until LinkedIn lets you save it. That’s it. You’re good to go.
Pro Tip: Make your next step updating any places you currently use your previous LinkedIn profile URL, such as emails etc.
Remove ‘viewers of this profile also viewed’
Right, picture this – you do a google search, you see some results and a bunch of them seem relevant to you. You are just about to make your purchasing decision, but then hold on! What’s that? There’s an intriguing advert over on the right side of the page. You click on that instead and the course of human history is changed forever more.
Within the realm of LinkedIn, the equivalent is that someone is viewing your profile. Perhaps they are about to get in touch with you and who knows, maybe it’s some big business opportunity that is (was) about to go your way. And then, your buyers eyes drift over to the right hand side of the screen and they see all other profiles that people also viewed, they click on one of them and because we all now have the attention span of a gnats, you are gone and forgotten my friend and the moment and opportunity is gone with it.
So, how do you stop that travesty of business fortune occurring?
1. Click on ‘Viewers of this profile also viewed’
2. Change it from ‘Yes’ to ‘No’
3. Have another look at your profile and soak in the exclusivity you now have when someone is checking you out.
Pro Tip: Explore the other options for what you can show or hide in your profile to really make it feel like home.
Did you mean to give me your email address?
There’s plenty of good reasons for sharing your email address publicly on LinkedIn. Sure, you might get the odd unwanted sales approach, but you might also get headhunted or contacted by someone who you can partner with etc. It’s a quirk of life that lots of people want to sell things, but people don’t want to be sold to. Get over it. We’re all selling something. Your kids are selling you the idea of later bedtimes, the takeaway is selling you a slightly larger portion of fries. It’s what makes the World go around.
But, it’s good to be in control. And with LinkedIn you are very much in charge of what you choose to expose.
You can set whether your email is visible only to you, your 1st connections only, 1st and 2nd connections or everyone on LinkedIn.
We recommend that you set this to ‘1st connections only’. Afterall, if you’ve agreed to connect with someone on LinkedIn, they can now message you directly already, so it’s not a huge step allowing them to email you as well.
If you are really concerned about it, you can always use a separate email address as your primary email on LinkedIn, that way you’re still in control of which inboxes are getting LinkedIn related email.
How to have a sneaky look at someone without them knowing
When you look at someone else’s profile on LinkedIn you are like a snail leaving a little trail of profile viewing slime behind you. It leaves a mark on the person’s account who you’ve had a look at. This is quite a good tool for social sales. If you want to let a person, perhaps a target opportunity or possible buyer, know that you’ve been thinking about them, take a look at their profile and they’ll see you in their list of people that have looked at them. A consequence of this is that some of these people will inevitably look back at your profile and it’s a great time to start a conversation.
On other occasions, you might not want the person to know. I can recall seeing a former colleague, who I was not on good terms with when I left, had been looking at my profile after we had become successful in business. I was interested to see they were wanting to know what I was up to and where our company had progressed to, but I couldn’t help feeling that they probably hadn’t meant for me to know they were interested. Other examples might be you’re considering approaching someone to do some business, but you’re not sure whether you want to proceed, so you’d like to have a look without leaving a snail trail for them to see.
LinkedIn provides 3 levels of visibility for how your details are exposed to others when you view their profile. They look like this:
Your name and headline:
Private profile characteristics
Anonymous LinkedIn user
Best of all, you can toggle between these instantly. So – no stalking please, but if you want to have a look at at the competition, business acquaintance or possible future business opportunity but you don’t want them to see, this is how you do it:
Click ‘Profile viewing options’ (In Privacy)
Switch to the setting you want
Pro Tip: Unless there’s a good reason why not, we recommend leaving your setting to full, aka ‘Your name and headline’. It’s a great conversation starter and can be exciting to see who has visited your profile.
Ads are a fact of life. You may as well see what you are interested in
LinkedIn provides several advertising options for businesses from sponsored posts, through to job ads and even banner adverts. Overall, it’s not too spammy though and it doesn’t really interfere with the user experience on the site.
What you might not know is that because LinkedIn has large numbers of geniuses working on doing super clever things with data, they make decisions and judgements about what you are likely to be interested in (and ultimately engage with) based on the actions you take on the site. These include what’s in your profile, the content you engage with and even how you use Bing (if you are the person that uses Bing).
In this area, you can either turn this off wholesale and tell them with the flick of an internet switch that you don’t want them doing that for you, or (and better in our view) you can allow them to weave their twisted machine learning magic, but give them a steer about what you want promoted at you.
In settings, click on ‘Ads’
To turn off the personalisation wholesale, switch the ‘Can LinkedIn use interest categories…’ option to ‘No’
If you are going to leave it on ‘Yes’, then here’s your chance to dive in and make it clear that you just don’t care about ‘Agriculture and Farming’, but that ‘Artificial Intelligence’ is right up your street.
Since you’re going be on the platform anyway, you may as well see the ads that are relevant and targeted to you.
Pro Tip: Flick through all the different pages of interests. It’s a real eye opener to see just how many ‘interest categories’ LinkedIn is able to determine just based on what people do on the site.
What have we missed out from our short list? What are the other killer settings we should have included?? Let me know in the comments below.
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