In this episode, host Michelle J Raymond provides a detailed roundup of the latest changes and trends on LinkedIn™️, helpful for people who may have missed recent updates. She explores the differences between a free account, a premium account, and Sales Navigator.
The video also discusses the significance of LinkedIn events and Lives, highlighting their importance in building communities and engaging audiences. Further, Michelle takes a deep dive into the new changes on Company Pages and new trends.
The episode concludes with a clarification on LinkedIn's Top Voice badges.
Lastly, she invites listeners to take part in her free LinkedIn profile transformation challenge.
The key moments in this episode are:
00:00 Introduction to the LinkedIn for B2B Growth Show
00:14 Why You Should Stay Updated with LinkedIn
00:40 Key Topics for Today's Discussion
01:35 Free vs Premium LinkedIn Accounts: A Deep Dive
06:55 The Pros and Cons of LinkedIn Sales Navigator
08:57 LinkedIn Events and Live Tab: What's New?
11:21 LinkedIn Company Pages: Features and Updates
14:31 LinkedIn's New Short Form Videos: A Closer Look
16:39 Understanding LinkedIn's Top Voice Badges
21:00 How to Connect with the Host on LinkedIn
22:02 Join the LinkedIn Profile Transformation Challenge
23:28 Conclusion and Final Thoughts
ABOUT MICHELLE J RAYMOND
Michelle J Raymond is an international LinkedIn B2B Growth Coach. To continue the conversation, connect with Michelle on LinkedIn and let her know you are part of the community of podcast listeners.
Connect with Michelle J Raymond on LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/in/michellejraymond/
B2B Growth Co offers LinkedIn Training for teams to build personal and business brands and a LinkedIn Profile Recharge service for Founders/CEOs.
Book a free intro call to learn more - https://calendly.com/michelle-j-raymond/book-an-intro-call-15mins
LinkedIn™️ for B2B Growth Podcast is a fully accessible podcast. Audio, Video, Transcript and guest details are available on our podcast website - https://linkedinforb2bgrowthpodcast.com/
Subscribe to our YouTube Channel - https://www.youtube.com/@MichelleJRaymond
Michelle J Raymond: [00:00:00] Welcome everybody to the LinkedIn for B2B Growth Show. I'm your host, Michelle J Raymond. And this week listeners, if you've been a fan of the show for a while, you'll know I often interview guests and sometimes I do episodes by myself.
And this one in particular. Thought I'd just jump in and give you the latest roundup on what's happening on LinkedIn. Why am I doing this? And we're only a few weeks into the year. It's the pace at which LinkedIn is changing already. I thought it would be great to update people. Maybe you had an extra break at the beginning of the year, took a little extra time off.
Kudos to you, hope you enjoyed it, but you may have missed a few things and that's why I wanted to catch everybody up. So what are some of the things that we're going to be talking about today? I want to talk to you about some things that I think will have the biggest impact on your time on LinkedIn.
What are they? We're going to be talking about, should you get a free account or should you get a premium account or sales navigator? Besides that, what about what else is happening? We're going to be talking [00:01:00] about events and some of the changes that have happened there. There's been some changes to Company Pages that I also want to share with people.
And also is LinkedIn going to turn out to be like TikTok, with their short form video with reels or shorts, depending which platform you like to hang out on. That one is a curious one. I can't wait to talk to you about it. And also the Top Voice badges. They are probably creating the most buzz around the platform.
You may know someone that's recently been awarded that. And so they're the things that I want to cover with everyone today. Now let's start with free versus premium. Now I wanted to talk about this one because I personally have been through this myself. For other reasons, I canceled my subscription just at the beginning of December, wanted to sort it out going into the start of this new year.
And it's probably one of the questions that I get asked the most, Michelle, do I need a free account only? Can I get by [00:02:00] with that? Should I pay for premium or should I invest in LinkedIn sales navigator? And the question is often met with my answer of it depends. Now you knew I was going to say that.
But I am going to choose one that I think is a one size fits most. And then for those of you who kind of fall outside the average, then you can choose which one works best for you based on this. So let's have a look at what I would have said to you six months ago.
Hands down. I would have said to most people that you only need a LinkedIn free account. You can do pretty much most things with it. There's no point paying for something that you're not going to use. My advice was always until you come up against some kind of block or barrier, maybe it's too many searches or things like that, then there really is no reason to pay LinkedIn money.
Fast forward, we're now in, January, 2024, and I'm changing my advice on this one. Does that mean I think you should pay LinkedIn to have sales navigator? No, that one I'm still parking and I'll explain why [00:03:00] in a moment. What happened over the break and, towards the end of last year was that LinkedIn have changed their kind of tune around what you get for free and what you get in their premium accounts.
Now, when I had a look into this, I'm going to talk in Aussie dollars, drop 40 percent off it and you'll get US dollars. But essentially when I looked into it, they said, Michelle, when I filled out a few questions and how to look at the options, it was going to be around $60 a month for my subscription to LinkedIn premium business is what they were calling it, which is, I think the old LinkedIn learning from what I understand, because the LinkedIn learning courses are included.
Now, $60 a month, I thought, you know what, that's reasonable until I went to pay by the month. And it went up to almost a hundred Aussie dollars. So that's, probably sitting somewhere around the 70 US. Now, for me, that was a huge jump and a big incentive for me to pay annually. And I totally understand why LinkedIn wants me to hang around for [00:04:00] longer.
Why did I change my mind around this. And what is the difference between free and premium that you need to be mindful of? The big cut that happened was LinkedIn restricted the number of customized messages that we can send out to new people that we want to connect with. Now, what does that mean? When you send a connection request, it's always probably good etiquette to also send out a message as to why you wanted to do that.
Now, the numbers varied. I had it restricted to only 10 connection messages. I saw more, I saw it bump up and down. It was restricted down to 200 characters. Normally they're around 300. And so there was all kinds of movements around stopping me from being able to send customized messages.
And so that for me was one of the big reasons. For me to go, you know what, I encourage all of my clients to make sure that they customize messages. If I can't do it myself, I'm not [00:05:00] really setting a great example. So that's probably the trigger for me. I don't care personally about who viewed my profile.
I've never worked out why people like that. I don't know. It just feels creepy if I then go and message them, but I know lots of other people think it's a, a great idea. So whatever works for you is what I would always advise.
So I went in and had a look and, did it, as I said, answered a few questions that LinkedIn gave me to decide which was best and LinkedIn premium business, which I think was, yeah, like I said, LinkedIn learning before. The main thing that I saw was that it then gave me so many different options for other tools that were starting to come through.
Most of which were AI based. So AI tools, helping you to write different pieces on LinkedIn. I'm not a big fan, not going to lie. LinkedIn's AI leaves a lot to be desired. And for me, I was like, yeah, that's not really something I need. Others out there, you might [00:06:00] enjoy it. I think until we train LinkedIn's AI a little bit more, then it's pretty lame at best.
I'm just going to say it. I find it pretty lame. There are some other features that come with premium that were to do with job seeking. Now I'm not out looking for a new job. So from that perspective, that wasn't helpful to me either. So why am I doing it? Essentially because I want the ability to be able to find as many people as I need.
So I want unlimited searches. I want to be able to customize my messages. And there's a couple of other places like having links on your profile, which I think are cool and would be helpful for my business.
For other people, my advice probably still remains. If you're not paying for LinkedIn, not coming up against any problems, then just stay on the free account. Maybe you don't use it very often, but if you're reasonably active and looking to grow your business, I think premium is a good place to start.
Now, why am I so anti sales navigator? Don't get me wrong. [00:07:00] Sales navigator is a pretty awesome tool. In fact, it is super powerful and LinkedIn are really giving it more and more power as time goes on. There's so many new features about, again, how AI can help you during that process.
Where I think it comes unstuck for the people that I work with is that if you don't have a good process on LinkedIn upfront, If you don't have good habits, if you have no idea what your business goals are, where you're trying to get to, how you intend to get there, then all sales navigator is going to do is overwhelm you.
And I see it all the time. There's over 200 filters, the last time I checked. That is crazy. It sends notifications all the time and it's trying to be helpful, but if you're only getting to learn the platform. You are very quickly going to feel like stuff is just coming at you all the time. And this is why processes are important.
This is why having clear goals and targets is important, because if you [00:08:00] have those and do that work up front, then these tools will help you get there. Sales navigator, when I looked comparison, so if I was to pay, $60 a month for my premium account, the sales navigator equivalent was well over a hundred dollars, I think it's around $110.
So almost double. That is a huge jump for most people and businesses. So it is not something that I recommend that people go out and just throw money at sales navigator licenses in hope that you think you're going to grow your business. It's not quite that simple, but again, not saying it's not powerful, just it's learn to crawl, learn to walk, learn to run is how I would describe these three products.
So I've made a video over on my YouTube channel where we're going to dive into this some more. So if you want to have a look around and see the process I went through, Then make sure you subscribe to the YouTube channel so that you don't miss that video.
What else are we going to be talking about today that I've [00:09:00] seen and some of the notifications from my colleagues out in LinkedIn land.
So shout out to Kevin Turner, who keeps everybody updated with all the latest features that are coming through on LinkedIn. He does an amazing job. And some of the images that you'll see today are courtesy of Kevin. So thank you, Kevin, for all the work that you do to keep us updated.
When it comes to LinkedIn events, what we have seen with LinkedIn live is that now there's a LinkedIn live tab. So it's picture in picture. And what that means or the benefit of this, which I'm really excited about, if you are watching a LinkedIn live on LinkedIn, it means that you've got your main screen in front of you.
And then you've got a much smaller screen down out of the way that keeps playing the LinkedIn live, so you can continue to do other work. So it's picture in picture. What does that mean? Essentially, you don't have to just sit there and be fully engrossed in the LinkedIn live and not be able to do anything.
You could treat [00:10:00] it more like a podcast where you're listening, maybe doing some other things. And getting the advantages of being able to be a part of something without having to just be stuck glued to one particular screen. Now, should we be paying more attention? Maybe, but the fact is I'm always multitasking for the most part.
And there's oftentimes I want to support those that are running LinkedIn lives. LinkedIn lives are an amazing tool for businesses who want to build communities. And they're a great way to engage directly with your audience.
So if you haven't been to a LinkedIn live event, make sure you drop into one and go and check it out because it is something that in 2024, I am absolutely betting on that. If you have seen the second edition of Business Gold, the world's first and only book on Company Pages. It was the one section that between the first and the second edition, all around LinkedIn events, whether it's LinkedIn lives or LinkedIn audios, we are betting hard on that and suggest that you do as [00:11:00] well.
I don't know, I just think they're an amazing opportunity for you to get market intelligence directly from your audience and also just start having conversations. People are so tired of content, but I don't think we're tired of conversations happening, especially interesting ones.
And businesses should be able to lead that conversation. Now you all know, I love my Company Pages and some days you probably wonder why. And there are some features which I had hoped we would get. And we're finally starting to see some of those pop out.
Now, one of those ones is a featured section for Company Pages. So I just got this rolled out to my personal Company Page, B2B Growth Co. It just came maybe a couple of weeks ago. I know a lot of people got it before the Christmas break.
And what is it? Essentially, it's just like on your personal profile where you get the option to put Featured posts in this case only. So we [00:12:00] are limited to what we can put there and we're limited to three only.
So when a visitor comes to your Company Page and they are greeted by the Featured section, it's quite big when you see proportionately to everything else.
This is why you really need to be smart about how you use it. On our profiles, our personal profiles, we get the options of having links, newsletters, you can upload media and attach it to links. There's lots of different ways we can do it, but on your Company Page, all you can do is select from previous posts.
So if there's something in particular that you want to use or a particular way you want to display it, you're going to have to think about how can I put that in a post first and then you'll choose that post as part of your Featured section.
If you're wondering how to make all of this happen again, I've made a video over on my YouTube channel, which of the details will be in the show notes so you can get across easily. But I was a super fan of seeing this.
I think it's a [00:13:00] good step in the right direction. I'm hoping that we'll see some more. Because it aligns with what I've been telling people, think of your Company Page as a destination. Your Company Page posts are not showing in the home feed as much. I can't argue that point, that is just the reality.
We've got over a billion members. Unless we get, I don't know, size six font and start using magnifying glasses. There is no more room in that feed and this problem is going to get bigger. And I think this is something that we'll see LinkedIn start to address.
I know maybe 12 months ago, they talked about the discovery feed, which looks like a second feed almost where you could learn about new things. What LinkedIn did is they scrapped that idea and now everything's within one feed, which is kind of interesting.
One of the new features that I saw that kind of fits along those lines. And the other thing is when you're scrolling, your home feed is that sometimes it will come up with suggested events and you can just scroll through and have a look and see if there's any that [00:14:00] capture your interest.
Now, again, I've gone hard on events for the last two years, LinkedIn lives, LinkedIn audios. I could see where LinkedIn was going with this, that and newsletters. I think are still where LinkedIn is going to be investing more time and features.
Why? Think about what's on the other platforms, who's driving these professional conversations. It's all happening over on LinkedIn.
The next one that I want to talk about is something that I found a little bit of an eyebrow raise. And if anyone was on LinkedIn, when we had LinkedIn stories, that was where you would create a vertical short form 30 or 60 seconds. I can't remember, but it was short form that would last for 24 hours.
And it's very similar to Instagram stories. So it would be there, it would disappear and I'm going to say they weren't really popular at the time. But I think LinkedIn's realized that this vertical short form video that we see over on TikTok and YouTube [00:15:00] shorts and Instagram reels, that's not going away anytime soon.
So they maybe went too early from a LinkedIn perspective. And then at the same time have gone away and thought about how can we incorporate this in a professional setting. And that's the difference LinkedIn is coming at that from a perspective of it's professionals that are doing business and what kind of information do they want.
Where this popped up is that people started to see vertical short form videos pop up over in the LinkedIn learning section. And they're short videos from LinkedIn learning instructors, where you can grab some really short tips on how to do particular things.
It might be ChatGPT. It might be LinkedIn. It might be selling. All kinds of different places. And this is what made people start to think about this. Is there more coming? I don't know if there's a rollout even wider. I loved LinkedIn stories a lot, and I really miss having a place where I can put casual, more [00:16:00] personal kind of content up there that's going to disappear and not get stuck on there for days.
So these are the kinds of things that you can see LinkedIn starting to experiment with. I think we'll see a lot more where they'll enhance the tools that we've got rather than come up with anything new. LinkedIn is not really known as the platform for innovation.
Slow and steady wins the race in their opinion. I mean, they've been around for 20 years. There's a reason that they've lasted that distance and they really don't have any competition from what I can see.
If you've heard of any new platforms that you think are very similar to LinkedIn that are having some success, I would love to hear about them because, you know, I love to have an ear to the ground and see if there's anything else coming this way.
Let's talk about the LinkedIn top voices that you might've seen people on LinkedIn posting that they've just been given the top voice badge. And I'm absolutely excited for those people that have worked really hard to get those. I have even seen some funny posts where some people were left scratching their head, wondering why they got it.
And [00:17:00] everywhere in between. That's life that's called being human. That's part of the game that we call LinkedIn. I want to explain to some people, some of the changes that are happening on LinkedIn and why the top voice was actually called something previously. It was called the creators program.
Now I've seen some information come out from Dan Roth from LinkedIn and essentially the word creator it's out when it comes to LinkedIn. Their research shows that people on LinkedIn don't like to be called creators. We're professionals that also create content, but don't call us creators is essentially what the research says.
Now I can see where people come from in that. And I personally, I don't look at myself as a creator, even though I am creating an enormous amount of content every week. It's just not a word that resonates with me. So we've seen them take that word away.
Historically, if you got asked to be a part of the [00:18:00] creator program, and if that word doesn't resonate to you, then why would you want to be a part of it?
Fast forward, and we've now got collaborative articles. So these are the ones where you're invited to contribute your comments. And if lots of people like those, then you've been awarded a top voice badge in a particular area. It might be marketing, might be social selling, all these kinds of things. Now, those top voice in particular subjects were related back to the collaborative articles specifically.
And what do you know? Everybody loved them. Who doesn't want to be called a top voice? Because there's also a top voice program that LinkedIn ran a little while back, separate to the creator program, that was a much more exclusive kind of group of people. Maybe only three or four people would get invited per country and not even every country and in particular areas, it might be careers or, sales or things like that.[00:19:00]
And it's quite an exclusive club. One that you wanted to work to try and get towards. The creator club on the other hand was trying to inspire, much higher numbers. And when you take the word creator out, LinkedIn starts calling it the top voice. Yeah, I don't know. Is it a club? I don't know what you call it, but basically the LinkedIn top voices.
And so what we've got now is this confusion going on because there's so many different versions of top voices. And again, this isn't me taking away from anyone that has one of any of these formats. You've all worked for it. I totally understand that, but I just want to explain to you listeners that there is these variations on each of them.
And so if you missed out all that we need to do is keep focused on where are our business goals? Where are we trying to get to? How do we build relationships? How do we nurture those relationships and stay top of mind?
So top voices. Congrats to those that got it. If you're like me and didn't get [00:20:00] one, it's okay. Nothing has changed for you ultimately. And that's what I want to leave people with is that there will be features roll out, there will be features taken away. There are going to be features which are upgraded and some, which even when they come and they're brand new and they're shiny, you're going to be left scratching your head and think I'm never going to need this or use this. And that is LinkedIn. That is why there is never a one size fits all. That is the most important message that I have for you in this podcast.
As we wrap up the roundup of all of these, you know, kind of things that are being talked about so much on the platform. There was even like a new feature about LinkedIn Company Pages. We also have a specific help page for LinkedIn Company Pages. And I got excited. I thought it was a new feature. And then when I checked, it was just something I'd been using for such a long time, I forgot to share with people. And I'll put the link down there in the show notes in case anybody else needs it, because things change so quickly, that it's hard to [00:21:00] keep up.
So if we are not connected over on LinkedIn, your job after this podcast is to make sure that you come across the LinkedIn, type in Michelle J Raymond in the search bar, or go to the show notes and find the link that will take you directly there. Reach out and connect with me. This is the part where I tell people every show, connect with me. I love connecting with the listeners.
Let me know that you enjoy the podcast. It is one of the best things that I can have is when I actually know that I'm not just talking to anyone or no one out there who knows, but I'm actually talking to real life people that are people that can join my community. And that's what I love.
That's what I'm out to do in 2024 is build a powerful community. And my podcast listeners are part of that community. So please do come across to LinkedIn. So for some of you, as we start 2024, you might have had on your to do list, update LinkedIn profile. Now, if that is you and you haven't done it yet, maybe it's been on [00:22:00] your list of things to do for a while now.
I'm running a free LinkedIn profile transformation challenge. It is 30 days of videos that will step you through how to update your LinkedIn profile. It is absolutely free. All you need to do is subscribe to my YouTube channel and watch the videos.
You can even go back to video one and start at any time. You might be looking for help on a specific section, and so don't be afraid to just go in and jump in and watch what you need. It will work both ways, but what I don't want you to do is end this year without having updated your LinkedIn profile. I don't want it to undersell you.
I want it to be your digital twin. So I'm putting the work in, I've made it free. Everything you need to make the changes will be in these videos. And all you need to do is go across, watch and act. So winners take action. And I know my podcast listeners are these kinds of people. I think that for me as I'm putting in the work to make these videos, [00:23:00] I hope that you appreciate that I'm putting in this effort so that you can have a profile that really reflects you, that sets you up for success, that helps drive your business growth. And as I say, in every video over there, we want to attract the right opportunities and repel the wrong ones.
And a LinkedIn profile is just the foundation for that. It's one piece of the puzzle. Company Pages are another. Your content sits on top of that, but if you don't have that foundation set up, then it doesn't work. So that's the LinkedIn roundup for this week. I hope you've enjoyed it.
If you've seen anything else out there that you found interesting, then don't forget, drop it in the comments. Send me a direct message on LinkedIn. I always love to talk LinkedIn, if you haven't, got that message just yet. So I hope you all have a fabulous week and until the next episode, cheers.