You own or manage a retail store. Someone walks into the store. What would you do? Obviously, you’d say, “How can I help you?” Then engage in a conversation, right? After all, the person may be interested in what you have to sell.
LinkedIn has something similar to your very own retail store—your profile. You get profile views (people stopping into your store) each and every day. So why not take these visits seriously and engage in a conversation with your visitors?
LinkedIn’s Who’s Viewed Your Profile feature can help you with this. However, in spite of this feature’s tremendous potential, it’s a bit confusing to navigate, so most users fail to capitalize on this retail-like feature.
How to Access Who’s Viewed Your Profile
To access this feature, click the words Who’s viewed your profile on the left side of your home page.
If you’re on the free account, you’ll see some of the details on the last five people (“stalkers”) who looked at your profile. Premium members see the same amount of details but have access to a list of all of their stalkers for the last 90 days.
The details you see for each stalker is based on a setting chosen by the stalker and not by you. Thus, even with a paid account, you’ll see no more than the person has chosen to reveal to you. But the good news is that the vast majority of LinkedIn users give you access to their full name and title.
How to Adjust Your Settings
Go to your Settings & Privacy page by clicking the down arrow under your photo on the top toolbar and selecting Privacy & Settings>Privacy>Profile viewing options from the drop-down menu. There are three options to choose from.
Personally, I want my name and headline to show up in every possible place. Hey, it’s free advertising. But you may have a different strategy.
If you choose full disclosure but want to be anonymous for a short time while you stalk, say, a competitor, change your setting to Anonymous LinkedIn Member while you gather your competitive intelligence. But don’t forget to change it back when you’re done, because on the free account LinkedIn penalizes you for choosing anonymous. When you’re in anonymous mode on the free version of LinkedIn, you cannot see who looked at your profile. They also remove the five people who looked at your profile immediately prior to your choice to remain anonymous. So you’ll want to check out the list before changing your setting.
Why Should You Care?
People typically don’t look at LinkedIn profiles to pass the time when they’re bored. Trust me—if someone is on your profile views list, one of two things has probably happened:
1. Someone has referred you. In other words, someone you know has passed along your name and maybe some information about you with a statement like, “Check out Wayne Breitbarth’s profile; this guy really knows his LinkedIn stuff.”
2. You stood out in a LinkedIn search, a discussion, a comment you posted, or LinkedIn selected you to be listed in one of these features—People Also Viewed, People You May Know, or Suggestions to Connect—and the person was interested in seeing more, so (s)he clicked through to your profile.
But no matter how the person found your profile, it’s a good thing he or she is there!
What Should You Do?
There’s nothing you can do if they’ve chosen to be totally anonymous or mostly anonymous. If any of the others look interesting to you, click through and review their profiles to see if there’s any reason to message them (if they’re already a first-degree connection) or connect with them. They obviously have an interest in you, so you should probably contact them if they look interesting to you.
Remember, with a free account you only see the last five people who’ve viewed your profile. So check your list frequently. You wouldn’t want to miss someone who’s dying to be your next customer or future employer.
Final Thoughts on Profile Views
The more time I spend using this feature and discussing it with LinkedIn power users, the more I understand why Who’s Viewed Your Profile is a top-rated feature on LinkedIn.
And the more popular this feature becomes, the more important it is that you have a great profile, don’t you think?
For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Power Formula!
About the Author: Wayne Breitbarth is the CEO of Power Formula LLC. An experienced businessman, speaker, and author, Wayne shares his passion for social media with 40,000+ business professionals. Through private business consulting and presentations to audiences including Inc. Magazine and also the American Marketing Association, Wayne makes LinkedIn simple. Wayne is the author of the best-selling book The Power Formula for LinkedIn Success. Connect with him on Twitter.