How I Boosted LinkedIn Profile Views By 400% Week Over Week.

For the longest time, I’ve been meaning to become more involved on LinkedIn. I think it.s a great resource that is not yet plagued by auto posting bots and terribly placed ads. You can actually make a connection with anyone in the world, then hop on a call with that person the next day. With that kind of culture, it’s a fantastic resource for anyone looking to gain insider knowledge of an industry.

I knew there was potential in LinkedIn that I was not tapping into. So I decided to run a two-week experiment. The goal of my test was to drive more traffic to my profile, interact with 2nd and 3rd connections, and connect with more people.

Though my profile has the LinkedIn “all-star” rating, I was suffering from a lack of interaction with other accounts. All I had to show for myself was a few shares and a like once in a while.

How could I drive more traffic?

I started thinking of ways to drive more traffic to my profile. After a brainstorming session, I came to the conclusion that the best way to drive more traffic is to view a person’s profile. If I view their profile, they’ll receive a notification with my profile picture, name, and description.

Okay, so it was decided, the main tactic to drive more traffic would be to view profiles of people I wanted to learn from and connect with.

Next, what profiles should I visit?

Click the search bar on LinkedIn and press enter, you’ll receive about 4 million results.

There was no way I was going to visit all 4 million. Sure… it would drive a bunch of traffic, but no offense to Sheryl, the air traffic controller from Washington, I don’t think we have much to connect over.

I am very interested in content marketing and want to learn as much as I can from content marketing professionals. For this reason, I started filtering the search in favor of my interests.

Then I filtered it down to 2nd and 3rd connections only. The results were still too large, over 150,000. Time to add another filter, I decided to start right here in Philadelphia. By adding, “Greater Philadelphia area” to the filter, the list of profiles was achievable, around 100 total.

From there it was simple, I started viewing content marketers who were located in Philadelphia. It takes around 15 seconds to view one profile. If you stay focused for one hour, that’s 240 profile views an hour, but keeping that pace is nearly impossible.

Scaling profile visits

I needed a tool that would visit profiles for me. It also needed to allow access to LinkedIn while it was running. Most importantly, I needed to make sure I wasn’t breaking the LinkedIn terms of service. After viewing the terms of service, I noticed it is not permitted to collect user data using bots. However, it did not say anything about the use of bots to view profiles.

Tool #1

After an extensive search, I found a tool called Linked Helper, this tool sits in the LinkedIn dashboard and has several different features. It will visit profiles, collect profile information (not emails), and allow you to export data to an excel spreadsheet.

The tool’s abilities were a bit different than what I needed. The “collect profile information” works very well, with that feature you can collect information on 5,000 profiles in a single work day. However, the auto-visitor feature is buggy and slow. With no other programs running it took around 2 minutes to visit one profile. The more I used my Mac, the slower the bot ran. Simply put, less than 30 profiles an hour wouldn’t cut it.

The search wasn’t easy, I frequently had to go beyond the 3rd page of Google results and follow pages of threads on forums to see reviews and recommendations.

Tool #2

The next tool I found was Social Lead Machine, version 1.6.

This tool is fantastic! It views LinkedIn profiles in a unique way. It requires 2 tabs open, 1 is the LinkedIn search, the other is the Social Lead dashboard which displays the profile pictures and names of the search results on the other tab. SLM will also make sure you don’t double view a profile. So there is no worry about pissing people off.

This tool helped me to visit 600 profiles per day. 600 per day is the recommended cap for LinkedIn.

My reaction after pressing start visiting for the first time, “Boom, yes! Scalability has been achieved!” Now I finally was able to slowly chip away at the 150,000+ profiles that contain content marketing.

The Profile Descriptions Experiment

My profile picture is in line with recommendations, a well-lit photo with a smile and business casual clothing. However, the description attached to my name is very common on LinkedIn. “Cofounder @XYZ Startup”. I had a feeling that no one would want to connect with me because it meant an impending pitch in their inbox. So, it needed to change. But to what?

Here is where the experiment came into play; which description would drive the most traffic to my profile?

I wanted people to feel happy about my visit to their profile, and I also wanted them to think about pressing that, “invite to connect” button, so I optimized the first headline for Joy and openness to connect.

Connecting with brilliant content marketers

It read, “Connecting with brilliant content marketers”. The tone of this headline was analyzed as 74% Joyful.

Appreciating incredible content marketers

For the second half of the test I removed connect from the description and went for the highest possible Joy rating. “Appreciating incredible content marketers” The tone of this description was analyzed as 84% Joyful. I used the Boost Editor Beta to determine the emotional tone of both descriptions.

The two would be visiting the same number of profiles in the same category. The only thing that would be different is the geographic region in which one is served. The first description was served mainly on the east coast; Boston, NYC, Philadelphia. The second description was served on both the east and west coast. This difference was due to the limited number of content marketers in each city.

Here’s what you would see if I visited your profile.

The Results

Things did not start slow, the results came in immediately. Within 3 days my profile views went from 100 in 90 days to over 200. Each of the descriptions was served to 4,800 people. In 14 days I visited a total of 9,600 LinkedIn profiles.

The breakdown of views on my profile per day.

Views on my profile per day

We can see that the first description, “connecting with brilliant content marketers” outperformed the second. The total number of visits caused by that description was 226. The total for description two was 175. In total, my profile received 401 profile views in the two weeks.

With profile views comes invitations to connect, these have a much better effect on your profile’s ability to make it on other users’ feeds.

Invitations to connect on LinkedIn per day

Here is a look at the invitations I was receiving per day.

The second description, “appreciating incredible content marketers” lead to a larger amount of invitations. The total number of invites for description two was 26. The total for description one was 14.

In all, that’s 40 new invitations to connect in two-weeks time. All of which I happily accepted.

Of the 40 invitations, I started speaking with 10 users. They are all directly in my area of interest and turned out to be very valuable connections I will continue to learn from. David Rynne just to name one.

Lessons learned

There are some big takeaways from this two week experiment. Some of which I hope will help you with your own LinkedIn goals.

First, viewing profiles is the best way for a low traffic profile to stir up visitors. If you don’t have much going for you, i.e your a college student with 15 connections, this is a great way to improve your profile. Reaching the 500+ number can look great for an entry level interview.

Second, if you are going to be viewing users, be sure to view profiles relevant to the interests displayed on your profile. If I tried to connect with all certified CFAs, it would not have been nearly as successful.

Third, make people feel good about their industry, job, content, or whatever else they’re displaying. The second description, “appreciating incredible content marketers” led to more invitations, this came directly from me telling users I was looking at and appreciating their work.

Fourth, LinkedIn has a trickle effect. If you visit a profile, do not expect that user to see your visit right away. It could take days or even weeks. The two-week experiment ended with 401 views, but the grand total after four additional days was over 500.

From here on I task you with drawing your own conclusions and applying them to your LinkedIn tactics.

Happy networking,

Jeff