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  • Writer's pictureGordon G. Andrew

"LinkedIn Settings 101" for Professional Services Providers Too Busy or Too Lazy to Figure

LinkedIn has become an important marketing tool for all types of businesses, notably professional services.

Despite its widespread use by accountants, lawyers, management consultants, and financial advisors, very few service professionals take the time to understand and adjust the basic parameters of their personal LinkedIn profile. Most often, they simply jump on the LinkedIn horse and ride it...without tightening the saddle or adjusting the stirrups.

Management of the settings and privacy controls on LinkedIn not only plays an important role in how and where their LinkedIn profiles are displayed, but more importantly, these controls have a significant impact on how effectively this social media tool showcases their public image – whether they're a sole practitioner, or member of a large or small firm.

As a public service, which will subject us to abuse from folks with different is a step-by-step tutorial, based on our highly subjective “do’s & don’ts” for professional services providers who have never been aware of, or ever bothered to adjust, their LinkedIn profile settings and privacy controls:

How to Access Your LinkedIn Settings:

  • On the LinkedIn home page, hover over your small photo located at the right-hand corner of the gray navigation bar at the top of the page. A drop-down box will appear.

  • Locate the “Privacy & Settings” selection in that drop-down box, and click on “Manage.”

  • You’ll be required to sign in again, for security. Re-enter your User Name and Password.

  • A page with all of your LinkedIn settings will open. “Privacy Controls” are listed at the bottom of this page.

How to Manage your Privacy Controls:

  • Turn on/off your news mention broadcasts

Recommendation: Check “Yes,” unless there is some reason why you do not want your contacts to be aware of current news in which you may be mentioned.

  • Turn on/off your activity broadcasts

Recommendation: Do NOT check this box. We see no benefit to broadcasting this type of information.

  • Select who can see your activity feed

Recommendation: Select “Only you.” We see no benefit to broadcasting this type of information.

  • Select what others see when you've viewed their profile

Recommendation: Select “You will be totally anonymous,” unless there is some reason why you want people to know that you are looking at their profile.

  • Turn on/off How You Rank

Recommendation: Do NOT check this box. We see no benefit to showing people how you rank, compared with your peers.

  • Select who can see your connections

Recommendation: Select “Your connections,” to prevent everyone from seeing your connections. (Note: Your connections will see any mutual connections you have.)

  • Choose who can follow your updates

Recommendation: Select “Everyone.” This enables you to gain visibility outside of your network of connections.

  • Show/hide "Viewers of this profile also viewed" box

Recommendation: Do NOT check this box. We see no benefit in showcasing individuals who may be your competitors.

  • Manage who can discover you by your phone number

Recommendation: Select “All LinkedIn members.” We see little benefit in making it difficult for people to contact you.

How to Manage Your Endorsements:

  • On the LinkedIn settings page, locate the “Helpful Links” section

  • Click on “Edit your profile.” (Note: This is distinct from “public profile.”) This will take you to a page that allows you to make changes to all of your profile’s content.

  • Scroll down to the “Skills & Endorsements” section of this page.

  • At the top of this section, click on “Add skill.” This will open a “Skills & Endorsements Settings” page.

Recommendation: Skills & Endorsements can be random in nature, and may not reflect how you wish to have your professional expertise presented or prioritized. Unless you intend to consistently manage this function, you should select “No” for “I want to be endorsed.” This selection will make the entire “Skills & Endorsements” section of your profile invisible to all viewers.

If you want your endorsements be visible to the public, you should manage the inventory and order of skills that are showcased on your profile on a regular basis, so that it's an accurate and beneficial reflection of your expertise. Keep in mind that showcasing and ranking of skills may serve to both qualify and exclude you from consideration by potential clients.

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