The Small Business Guide to LinkedIn Changes

By Maria Peagler

Feb 25

LinkedIn Changes 2013Social networks are constantly in a state of flux, much to the frustration of their users, and LinkedIn is no exception.  It has seen MAJOR changes to it design over the past six months, focusing on a more streamlined personal profile and removing some of user’s favorite features.

Which of these changes will impact you, as a small business owner, and how can you take advantage of them?  Let’s take a look:

Multimedia Gallery in Personal Profile

The feature with the most potential for small business is the new multimedia gallery, allowing you to add photos, video, PowerPoint presentations, mp3 and PDF files to your profile.  Did I mention it’s easy to do?

The gallery replaces Apps, which were required to import any type of multimedia.  It was cumbersome and clunky, and not surprisingly, most professionals never took advantage of them.

LinkedIn Multimedia Gallery

There’s no limit to the number of multimedia items you can add to your profile, and you can add them anywhere.  So if you list a book you’ve written, you can display its cover in that section of your profile.

This is a great place to add an introductory video, free ebooks or other giveaways that offer value to prospective clients.

Reorder Profile Sections

A simple, yet powerful, change to your personal profile is the new ability to drag and drop sections in any order you choose.  This allows you to display your most impressive accomplishments at the top of your profile, below your Summary.  This is an easy tactic you can use today to make your profile work harder for your business.

One-Click Endorsements

Amazon has spoiled us all with the One-Click Buy button, as it has become the gold standard to super-easy user interaction.  LinkedIn offers its own version of the EZ button with Endorsements:  the ability to give someone a quickie endorsement for a specific skill by clicking one button.  You don’t have to add any specifics, and your photo appears next to the skill you endorsed.

LinkedIn Endorsements

Endorsements have come under fire because of their lack of credibility and depth:  because you offer no specifics as to why you endorsed this person, how much value does an endorsement really hold?  LinkedIn also has an odd habit of suggesting skills and people for endorsements, which is also a questionable tactic.

So endorsements appear to be a double-edged sword:  they’re impressive when you see a profile with a lot of them, but because you don’t know any details of why the endorsement was given or under what circumstances, they’re a shallow tactic at best.

My recommendation is to evaluate them carefully, and do not decide to enter a business relationship simply because someone has a profile full of endorsements.  It could simply mean they are a popular and charismatic individual.  Do your due diligence.  Recommendations are still the best way to offer and receive credible testimonials.

Answers Are Gone

LinkedIn removed my favorite feature, Answers, in 2013, much to the disappointment of thousands of people who turned to this area to ask questions and get savvy answers from experts.  LinkedIn is full of people blasting their marketing messages, and Answers was free of most of that.  However, the majority of LinkedIn users didn’t take advantage of it, so it’s now history.

Home Page Offers News from Connections, Larger Images

Lastly, your Home page offers LinkedIn Today, offering news from top leaders.  Most topics focus on digital and media, and you’ll need to evaluate whether these have specific relevance to your business.

LI101 Home Page

The Home page also offers larger images that stand out on your News Feed.  That’s an opportunity for you:  when you share an update on LinkedIn, adding an image with it makes it far more visible than the stream of “this person is now connected to” type of news.

My Recommendations

The biggest wins for small business with LinkedIn’s newest changes are the multimedia gallery and larger images in the News Feed.  These allow you to easily make your profile and status updates more compelling and visual.  Take advantage of these changes by:

  1. Move your most impressive section to the top of your profile, followed by the areas of strength for your small business
  2. Add multimedia to each section that introduces your business and your skills.  This is a great place to offer a video, free white paper or ebook.
  3. Add an image to every post so you’ll stand out in your connection’s News Feeds.

Related Resources

LINKEDIN 101 CLASS:  Get Leads & Sales on the World’s Most Affluent Social Network

Get Serious About Getting Sales on LinkedIn

5 LinkedIn Strategies to Use to Grow Your Business

LinkedIn Webinar:  Get LinkedIn Not Locked Out with Barbara Giamanco


About the Author

Founder of, Benjamin Franklin award-winner for independent publishing, award winning author of eight books, wife, mom, quilter and watercolor artist.