Getting the most from Who’s Viewed Your Profile page

Whenever I’m running training sessions, one of the areas we talk about that always gets a big thumbs up from the attendees is the “Who’s Viewed Your Profile” page on LinkedIn.

In almost all cases, when I ask if people check out who’s been looking at their Profile Page, I get a resounding “Yes!” from the majority of those in the room. That’s great! However, their reasons tend to be more personal interest than anything else and any solid action that they take afterwards, using the information they find there, is much less clear cut.

For me, I’d encourage you to make it as practical as possible. It’s a source of potentially very valuable information and if you are already using it as such, then congratulations! For me, that more how it should be used, something which is much more useful than a simple area of interest as the information it contains can lead to both new potential contacts and opportunities.

How do I find it and what do I see?

You access your “Who’s viewed Your Profile” page from the link on the left hand side of your homepage (short link to the page) and what you see there will depend on a combination of the level of account you have (ie. free or one of the Premium accounts) and your current Settings.

Who's Viewed your Profile

If you are on the free account, then the best scenario is that you will be able to see the last five people who have looked at your page. However, this gets reduced depending on their settings – if some people have looked at your profile while in ‘Private mode’ then these still count and you will only see the remainder of the people – ie. two people look in Private mode, you will just see the other three, which can in itself be annoying.

It’s also feasible that you may see nothing at all – this is probably because of your own Profile visibility settings – if you have turned your own settings to the ‘Private mode’ or ‘Private Profile Characteristics’ (semi private mode) then LinkedIn won’t allow you to see who’s been looking at your profile at all.

PTN (Point to Note) – To change this you don’t need to upgrade – although LinkedIn will encourage you to do so! – you just have to change your settings to ‘Open’ which you can do in the Profile Visibility section of your Settings page.

If you are any of the Premium accounts, then you should see three months worth of results and this will not be influenced by your Settings.

Personally, I’d encourage you to make sure that that setting is Open as your default – you can still change that at your discretion for research purposes but having it as full visibility gives you the ability to use this information effectively.

How to benefit from Who’s viewed your Profile

From a business (and certain from a sales) perspective, this area is certainly more than just an area of peripheral interest – instead it is quite fundamental to the sales process and I’d encourage you to build it into your daily routine on LinkedIn.

Essentially, think of it not just as a list of names but more of a list of caller IDs – people who have called but, for one reason or another, have decided not to get in touch at that time. Let’s face it, they could be in research mode and are perhaps in the process of compiling a list of potential suppliers or looking at partners.

Presumably, that could still be someone you would be interested in talking to – would you just wait and see if they call back, or might it be more appropriate to get in touch and see whether you can help them. Hopefully it’s the latter or else we are effectively leaving potential business on the table.

Certainly, I would also consider getting in touch with someone who has looked although how and in what way will depend on who they are and any contact that I have had with them previously … and that’s what we look at below.

How to respond to the visit

Well, you could of course do nothing, gloss over it, ignore it, pretend it never happened. You get my drift …

But that seems a waste – not everyone is going to want to make contact, it’s true, but you’ll only find out by asking. Of course, the type of response you send will depend on who the person is, any previous relationship you may have had and of course what’s going on in the real world. If you’ve just had a meeting with them then I’d be surprised if they didn’t check you out but it would of course influence the response I sent.

Personally, I start by picking out the following:

i) 1st Level Connections

You are going to have people in there who you are already connected to (1st level connections) and who have returned to look at your profile. What might have triggered that? It might be you’ve just met or you’ve got a meeting coming up, in which case that’s great – a bit of due diligence going on and hopefully your profile will come into its own. No further action needed.

Likewise, there’s no need to write back to someone you know well, a good friend who might just be checking you out of curiosity and perhaps to introduce you to a potential connection.

But if I haven’t been in contact for a while I’d certainly drop them a line to reestablish contact in any case! It’s possible that you connected at a point when they were happy to connect to but weren’t looking actually to buy anything. But now, maybe on the back of the posts and information you’ve sent, this might now be the very moment when they’re interested in taking that further.

It would seem a pity to waste that and allow that opportunity go by, especially as they have also connected to some of your competitors and might very well right now being on the phone to them taking their potential purchase a little bit further.

ii) 2nd Level Connections you know

There will also be people who I know in the real world who appear on this page screen and who I am not already connected to on LinkedIn – the logical option here (so long as I get on with them obviously) is to ask them to connect.

PTN (Point to Note): I don’t do so by clicking on the ‘Connect’ button just below their name, but instead visit their profile in return and then connect from there, giving me the option to put a personal message in saying hi and just joining up the dots, so to speak.

iii) 2nd Level (and beyond) you don’t know

The choice here is relatively simple – either you can let them walk off into the sunset or you can get in touch with a short message to start the conversation which may ultimately lead somewhere or at least give you another avenue for communication if you don’t know them.

I would especially encourage reaching out if they work in a role which fits one of your target audiences – it would seem a logical idea to go and ask them if you can help. A message which does just that might take the form of:

Hi {name}, I noticed you passed by my profile – can I ask what brought you there? In any case, I wondered if there’s anything I can help you with and if you’d care to connect?

but anything which shows you’d be interested in starting a dialogue and which elicits a response would help you progress the situation.

Opinion seems a little divided as to whether you should mention that you are responding to their looking at your profile but personally I see no issues with it and would certainly use that as a potential hook.

Of course, there are likely to be others who are not of interest – perhaps they have mistaken you for someone else or they are simply of less interest because they don’t fit the profile of those people you are targeting yourself in your proactive sales or marketing activity – just like in the face to face scenario, I would leave those.

But in most cases I would really encourage you to take a good look at it and if you’re on the free account to do so on a daily basis so that you’re not missing any of the valuable information that can be contained in this area

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