LinkedIn Profile Pictures – Colour or Black and White?

Louise Axon both

LinkedIn Profile Pictures – Colour or Black and White?

I was working with a recruiter last month who was interested in having a new photograph for their LinkedIn profile. I was happy to oblige, it’s something I’ve done for other clients, so I took some pictures for the consultant to choose from.

Now the company policy is that all photographs on LinkedIn need to be in black and white so the consultant, Louise Axon, picked the above right image as her new LinkedIn profile picture.

(Louise is a head-hunter who operates within the furniture and medical devices sectors)

We were all quite happy with the outcome and none of us thought anything of it. Until about a week later when I was at another client’s office who said that they knew that black and white pictures got you more views on LinkedIn.

Now I am aware, because LinkedIn have told me, that having a photograph increases your numbers of hits by up to 40% but I am not aware of any statistics which show black and white being superior to colour in this respect.

So I thought I’d do some market research … and I posted both images as a status update and invited my network to cast a vote and share their thoughts. The response was amazing!

There ended up being over 400 comments on the update and some very interesting observations made which I thought I’d share below:

Crop tighter

“You should consider a tighter crop as with profile images it’s all about the eyes and facial engagement”

Olivia Brabbs, Photographer

Several people echoed Olivia with the suggestion that the pictures, either one, could do with a sharper crop. Something that on reflection I would agree with. I think this shows the value of having an editor or at least sharing your image with someone else before you upload it.

Black and white is so last century

“There is a reason we all got rid of our old B&W TV’s. Think about that.”

Wade Rohloff, Safety Consultant and Illustrator

“Black and white makes her look like the photo was taking in 1930 or there about”

Chileshe Mulenga, Executive assistant

I’m a big fan of classic black and white movies – no one ever looked cooler than Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca but, and I concede the point, such movies are from a while back. (Although I would argue there is a difference between ‘old fashioned’ and ‘classic’!)

It has been mentioned to me, by several people, that they feel that black and white pictures can become ‘samey’ and the very rigid ‘corporate authorised’ images that some companies, particularly recruiters it seems, go for can make everyone look the same. 

Playing devil’s advocate however perhaps the modern world is so used to vibrant colours and marketing that black and white is just a little ‘old school’ now? Clearly from the comments that we have had some people would argue that.

Personally I feel that the black and white images can look good, sharp and even modern but black and white images have to be done in the right way and with a little thought – more of that below.

People will judge what you wear

“Neither, the young lady’s top might be considered too revealing for a professional LinkedIn profile photo.”

Steve Elliott, VP, Chief Financial Officer

Steve was the most outspoken about things but both Louise and I got private messages from a couple of people who felt her picture was, to various degrees, inappropriate.

Now with the best will in the world I think that’s ridiculous. We are not living in the 1950’s anymore and in my opinion Louise is professionally attired and perfectly presentable. That said I asked for opinions so being more neutral I think it’s worth noting that not everyone will have the same level of acceptability as you so consider your market and what is acceptable in your professional industry.

I certainly see plenty of images on LinkedIn that I feel are not appropriate for a professional business image! I wrote about that here – Five LinkedIn Profile Picture Mistakes to Avoid

As a counter other people had, in my opinion, a more modern and realistic mindset;

“After some of the pictures I have seen on LinkedIn, this is one of the most professional”

Reg Russam, Recruiter

Reg also went on to say:

“Funnily enough, I was looking at a possible human resources candidate yesterday and her LinkedIn picture was her in a bikini, I’ll be honest, it sort of put me off contacting her – especially with employers scowering the internet for backgrounds etc.”

The point is this – people will judge so you have to be happy that you are appearing professional and appropriate for yourself and your market.

Get it done professionally

“If a portrait isn’t created correctly for B&W then it should be color. But I could show you portraits I’ve created just for B&W that would never look as good in color. The photo seen here should be in color.”

Russell Hansen, Master Photographer

Now many moons ago I went to art college and I was taught to use a camera – that doesn’t make me a photographer it makes me someone who has a very little knowledge of how to take a good picture … ultimately if you want a really good photograph then, like most things in life, go to a professional.

And if you can’t do that then go to someone like me who has something of an idea of what he is doing. Photography is one of those areas where a little knowledge goes a long way and an enthusiastic amateur can be a perfectly acceptable option.

People see the details

“The eyes of the lady, being dark, seem more intense in the color version.”

Martin Fernandez, Graphic Designer

So people are looking at the fine details! Additionally several people commented that the button on the sleeve was distracting and others commented on the lipstick being noticeable with some people liking that and some not.

So details get noticed – I had manipulated the colour image to boost the reds so the lipstick was a design choice but I had missed the button. Another prompt to have an editor or at least someone who checks over your image before you upload it.

It’s all about the PR and your personal brand

Your LinkedIn image represents your personal professional brand so consider your image with care. Several people commented that black and white gave a more professional but colder feel to the image whilst the colour one was warmer.

It was suggested that some markets would welcome colour or black and white more depending on their cultures. The emotional impact of your picture definitely needs to be considered and how that fits into the bigger personal brand that you are striving to create needs to be considered.

A couple of people, including Liesbeth Leysen, Director of Public Relations and Media congratulated me on creating PR and marketing for Louise (and myself) through this exercise – a charge I can neither deny nor confirm!  

I would like to highlight that Louise did not share this update on her network as she didn’t want to be mistaken as an attention seeker. She is much more interested in establishing herself as the competent recruiter that she is!

And this was a decent picture

Consider the amount of discussion, debate and criticism that was provoked by this image and further consider that at the end of the day this is a fairly decent photograph of Louise. It doesn’t commit any of the usual profile picture sins e.g. no one else is in the picture, it’s a clear image, it’s been taken specifically for LinkedIn not just copied over from Facebook etc.

So it might be worth looking at your image and considering how well it measures up and how open it is to criticism!

And the verdict

I laboriously counted the votes and I can announce that the winner is as shown below!

 Louise picture results

 

 So 39% more people preferred colour to black and white. Now that might just be a reflection on this particular image so I wonder if it reflects a wider preference these days?

What do you think – not just with regards to this image but with LinkedIn profile pictures in general – which do you prefer, black and white or colour?

Feel free to share your thoughts below .

Finally thank you to everyone who commented on Louise’s image and to Louise for acting as a research specimen! As a result of the exercise and the feedback this final image was produced for Louise to use:

Louise Axon final

To be clear to the hecklers that we have had message us during this exercise – this was not a vanity exercise. This was an attempt to research how people respond to different image types – it’s science … sort of!

Until next time; be successful!
 
Stephen Hart
Development Specialist, Edenchanges.com

 

Five LinkedIn Profile Picture Mistakes To Avoid

Broken LinkedIn Logo

Five LinkedIn Profile Picture Mistakes To Avoid

It would seem that one of the most common places that people make mistakes on their LinkedIn profile is their profile picture. And this isn’t me making idle speculation, I provide a LinkedIn Profile Review Service (details here) so I look at A LOT of profiles and I can statistically say that the vast majority of people have pictures that could be better!

So here is a quick run-down of five of the most common mistakes – with examples!

(I have hidden the identity of the individuals with black lines across their eyes however in no other way I have manipulated the images and these were all in active use as profile pictures in 2014)

Logos

LI logo profile pic example

This is just simply wrong. A person’s LinkedIn profile should be a reflection of their personal brand first and the company brand second. Show that there is a person behind the profile and let people take a view of the real you. I’d almost have any of the other mistakes than see a logo in place of an individual … well almost …

Wearing underwear

bad LI photo example - anon

Now this lady is a perfectly attractive woman and such an image in the right place online might be entirely suitable but I think we can all agree it doesn’t say ‘business professional’ in quite the right way. Whatever image you use do please select one where you are suitably dressed for business networking.

Compromising views

LI compromising views example - anon

Yes we might as well address this one whilst we are here! Again in a different place online this might be acceptable but this isn’t what LinkedIn is about. LinkedIn is about creating and presenting a professional business profile. Yes a picture like this might get attention but it won’t get it for the right reasons and it’s unlikely to get the right kind of attention.

Selfies

LinkedIn Selfie ... example

This is a great example of a job half done. On the one hand I applaud that this gentleman has taken the effort to dress properly and adopt a proper stance for his photograph but couldn’t he have got someone else to take the picture? Does he not work with anyone else? This demonstrates either the wrong mind-set or a lack of thought. A bit like getting a penalty kick in football and then forgetting to take the shot. Not good enough but better than the following …

Not having an image

No picture LI

Whilst the above at least got the chance of a penalty shot this one doesn’t even make it onto the pitch. At best it says that the person is just too lazy to upload an image or at worst that they don’t care enough about their network to upload one. Overall it smacks of extreme laziness. 

The good news is that they will reap what they sow with something like 40% less profile hits than profiles which feature photographs. Serves them right!

How Good is Your Profile v2

Conclusion 

You can see from the above that it wouldn’t take a lot of effort to avoid the above mistakes and I trust it has given you some pointers of what not to do. 

The good news is that as soon as you upload a new photograph onto LinkedIn your old one is gone for good so if you have made any of the above mistakes it’s very quick to fix things up!

More LinkedIn profile photograph mistakes in a future article.

What about you – what was the best example of a bad LinkedIn profile picture that you have come across?

Until next time; be successful!

Stephen Hart
Development Specialist, Edenchanges.com

 

The reason why I have decided to shrink my LinkedIn network

LinkedIn Network Face

The reason why I have decided to shrink my LinkedIn network 

Yesterday I downloaded my connections list from LinkedIn and exported it into Excel. There is a new service being launched by Edenchanges in March specifically for recruiters and I wanted to ensure that my sales and email database had all my recruitment contacts in it from all my various networks.

As I was processing the contact list and removing all the non-recruitment clients it struck me just how few actual recruitment connections I have given that I spend the vast majority of my time working with recruiters.

Whilst I have over 4,500 LinkedIn connections what I discovered yesterday was that only around half are in the recruitment field. If my connections more accurately reflected how my time is split then the number would be much closer to 4,000.

Yesterday it took me quite a while to filter through the non-recruitment contacts to generate a list of names and people who I could present the new service to. Like everyone I hate irrelevant emails so I I worked hard yesterday to ensure that everyone I will email about the new service is in the recruitment field.

As I was wading through the names I couldn’t help but think how much easier this would have been if I had been more selective in my networking on LinkedIn.  

Now it can be argued that simply having a large number of connections is a good thing. It’s something that early in my time on LinkedIn I strongly argued. Indeed I blogged about it (How Many LinkedIn Connections Should I Have?) back in 2011 but since then my thoughts have been shifting. In 2012, in this article (Removing LinkedIn Connections) I advocated a large network but I offered the thought that you might want to focus your network.

During 2013 I thought about this a lot and started to really examine how people use their LinkedIn networks and where business tends to come from. That thinking combined with my experience yesterday has brought me to the firm conclusion that the best type of network is a large one that is in proportion to a person’s target market.

Consequently as I do 90% of my work in the recruitment field so 90% of my contacts should be in that market and to that end I am now in the process of removing contacts that don’t fit with the aim of reaching a 9:1 ratio of recruiters to non-recruiters in my network by the end of the exercise.

Yesterday was a specific event – going through the contacts and sorting them out and as such not enough reason in itself to keep a focused network. Rather it was for me a practical illustration of what I have been witnessing during 2013.

In 2013 I either saw people win business through LinkedIn with established contacts who they already knew fairly well and were simply keeping in touch with via LinkedIn or people won business from industry specific contacts. I didn’t witness any business won in a new industry simply as a result of a connection on LinkedIn; either by myself or anyone I worked with last year.

Yesterday when I was going through the list the people I recognised were, for the vast majority, in the recruitment sector. And those who I didn’t know were mostly outside of the recruitment sector and on inspection didn’t look like they would be likely clients.

I had simply connected with them at some point. What I realise now is that has little value and is in fact a detriment. So it’s time to trim down and focus my network where the bulk of my business comes from – recruiters!

I will talk more next week about how I am selecting who to remove and who to keep in an article entitled “How to Create a More Focused and Profitable LinkedIn Network”.

So those are my thoughts at the start of 2014 – what are your opinions on this?

Until next time, be successful;

Stephen Hart
Development Specialist, Edenchanges.com

How to Manage LinkedIn Skills and Recommendations

LinkedIn Guidance

How to Manage LinkedIn Skills and Recommendations

It’s important that your LinkedIn profile looks good to both the casual and more serious viewer. This then is an article on maintaining a tidy looking profile despite the best meaning intentions of your networked connections!

Last year LinkedIn introduced the ability to list specific skills that you feel you have on your profile in a way that your connections could then give you a ‘plus point’ against that skill. All good and straight forward. However your connections also have the option to give you a ‘plus point’ for a skill that you haven’t listed. In case you haven’t experienced that then it looks like the following:

Screenshot One

Image showing the LinkedIn endorsements that you can be given by your connections

The above is a direct screen shot from my profile this morning. None of the above skills are currently listed on my profile. All of the above skills are being suggested as additions by my connections. The next logical question should be –

Do I have the above skills or am I skilled at any of the above things?

Err … well yes … all of them in fact to a lesser or greater degree but and this is a really important – I don’t want to list them on my profile. There are a couple of reasons for that. And these are things that you should consider for yourself as well:

1) No list of skills is ever going to be totally comprehensive. You might be able to list all the attributes of a machine by component but you can’t do that of a person.

A person is far greater than their ‘skills’ and the smart person will be able to turn their innate abilities towards a new area with some success. Thus, it could be argued that we are all skilled at everything just to different levels of competency!

In all seriousness trying to fully outline yourself via the LinkedIn skills list is a futile exercise.

2) That said I do believe it is good to list some skills, so that people know what you might be able to help them with. The thing is only you truly know what your core skills are or exactly which ones you want to promote to your market place via your LinkedIn profile.

I would recommend you put some serious thought into producing a focused list of five to ten skills which should read well to your potential clients or future network.

3) I want my profile to look clean, crisp and smart. When you add more than ten skills to your profile they start to stack up underneath in, what looks to me, an ugly fashion – see below

Screenshot 2

LinkedIn Skills screen shot

As a comparison see what happens when you list ten or fewer skills:

LinkedIn Skills and Recommendations Compared

LEFT SIDE = More than ten skills listed RIGHT SIDE = Fewer than ten skills listed

Click the image to see it full size

4) People only read so much – if you list too many skills, regardless of any questions of aesthetics, it’s more for people to read and potentially it’s too much. Given a strong profile will use most of the 1000 characters available for the summary and current role you are looking at several hundred words of important text which have to be read, or skimmed past, prior to the skills being seen. Add in too many of those and I think it’s overload.

So in conclusion my recommendation would be to ignore the additional skills that people recommend you for. (Do this by clicking the Skip button which you can see in screenshot one) . The individuals don’t get notified and won’t realise that you declined their attempt at being nice.

For completeness let me mention that there is a third option and that is you can remove the skills you don’t want to accept a recommendation for and only accept the ones that remain. (You do this by clicking on the grey ‘x’ next to the skill – see screenshot one). I feel about that exactly as I do about accepting all of them and frankly I think the best route is to ‘skip’.

So what about you – do you accept all, accept some or skip all? Let me know in the comment section below.

Until next time, be successful!

Stephen Hart
Development Specialist, Edenchanges.com
 

LinkedIn’s New Status Update Feature Explained and Explored

LinkedIn Guidance

LinkedIn’s New Status Update Feature Explained and Explored

The latest feature from LinkedIn is being rolled out at the moment. If you haven’t got it already then it should just be a matter of days before your LinkedIn system changes.

This new feature is very similar to Facebook in that when you type the name of a contact or company LinkedIn offers to link to that person’s profile or the company’s LinkedIn page.

The following screen shots show you what happens. 

Screenshot One

LinkedIn New Status Update Trick 01

When your profile gets the new feature this will appear.

Screenshot Two

LinkedIn New Status Update Trick 02

As you type your status update the system prompts you with likely matches.

Screenshot Three

LinkedIn New Status Update Trick 03
Names that you select will be highlighted with a shading as you type you update.

Screenshot Four

LinkedIn New Status Update Trick 04

When you post your update the names will be highlighted as a click able link. If a link is clicked on you will be taken to the person’s profile or the company’s LinkedIn page.

If you don’t want to make the name a link then simply don’t click on the suggestion when it comes up. You have to actively select for the link to occur which I’m pleased to say means we all get to stay in control of our own status updates!

Be aware of this Addition FeatureSay nice things

Feature LimitationsFeature limits

So that’s the new feature explained but the bigger topic perhaps is how to use this new feature to your best advantage.

I’m still thinking about this myself to be honest so the following are just my initial ideas. What I’d love is to hear how you might use this feature … please do add your thoughts in the comments section.

Use it to help people make connections with your clients or suppliers

LinkedIn New Status Update Trick 04

So I posted the above status update which refers to a training session I delivered at the Larson Group. Now they are what I’d describe as a ‘progressive recruitment company’ i.e. they treat their staff well, invest in them and manage them like adults. They also have big expansion plans and have just moved to brand new offices in the centre of Harrogate, North Yorkshire.

I know they are actively looking for new consultants, both experienced and newbies to the recruitment industry so I thought I’d be helpful and mention this in a status update. Because of this new feature people can quickly and easily click through to the relevant profiles.

So that’s one way you can use it.

Pro’s – your clients or providers will no doubt appreciate the shout out so you gain some brownie points also it might help others for whom the update is relevant and you get to mention that you are working with a particular company which shows your network you are busy

Con’s – all your competitors now know at least one of your clients so it’s best only to do it when you are happy that you have a really rock solid relationship with the company. A lot of recruiters read these articles and I wouldn’t recommend recruiters mention their clients by name in their status updates. Whilst it would help candidates look up who the role is with it would also potentially lead to the candidates applying directly or rival recruiters following up, what to them, will be a tasty lead.

Suggestion – Do if you can but use with caution.

Use it to highlight your colleagues and company

If you posted something like

“My experienced colleague Frank Smith at ACME Supplies Ltd is attending the NEC Conference on Digital Widgets today. He’s interested in talking to any Widget manufacture who needs a supplier of X”

Then you would promote to your network where Frank was, as well as them having a quick click link to his profile.

Pro’s – get’s your colleague and company name out there in front of your network

Con’s – if your network is not directly in the same market as Frank then it’s potentially a pointless advert which if done too often might lower your reputation

Suggestion – pick colleagues whose work your network might be interested in and always mention the company name in the status update to maximise the impact

Summary

Over to you now – what other uses can you think of for this feature? Comment below!

Until next time; be successful!

Stephen Hart
Development Specialist, Edenchanges.com
PS The official LinkedIn blog about this feature can be found here

Another Easy Tip To Instantly and Easily Increase Productivity

Reversed out image of a watch - another efficiency tip

Another Easy Tip To Instantly and Easily Increase Productivity

So following on from the very popular article I wrote a week ago on saving yourself time online by using the Google book mark toolbar here is an equally easy and effective tip for saving yourself time in Windows 7.

(As an aside I’m advised by several IT professionals that you’re better off sticking with Windows 7 rather than upgrading to Windows 8 – their the pro’s so I share that without being able to judge but as every tech I have spoken to has said the same thing there might be something in it!)

This tip is going to give you instant, once click access to the programs of your choice and to the files of your choice!

Activating the Taskbar

The bar of icons that appears at the bottom of your screen in Windows 7 is called the task bar – it’s the glassy looking ribbon that has the windows logo in the left hand hand side.

To create instant short cuts what we need to do is set up the task bar so that we can pin short cuts to it. And this is very easy to do!

Step One

Move your mouse over the task bar and right click to bring up the following menu.

Windows & Task bar properties menu - activate it by right clicking on the Windows 7 taskbar

Make sure that the box next to Lock the taskbar is clear i.e. no tick in it. And make sure there is a tick in the box next to Use small icons – as we want to have as much space to work in as possible.

(Aside – if you have a widescreen computer screen or laptop then you should also locate the task bar on the left to maximise your up and down viewing area)

Second Step – Open up a program that you use a lot

I’m going to use Paint.net as an example (it’s a free drawing package that I use for photo-manipulations).

Once the program has opened right click on the program icon in the task bar and a menu will pop up as shown below – I’ve added the red box to illustrate the bit you want

Right click this

Left click on Pin this program to taskbar and the program will now be pinned to the task bar. That it – job done!

Now when you shut the program down the icon will stay in the task bar and the next time you want to open the program you can simply click once on the icon and it will open. 

No more having to click on the windows icon and navigating to the program you want. As as I talked about before saving seconds add up when you repeat the activity multiple times. Also having one click access to your most used programs makes for a more streamlined experience which reduces the stress of using your computer – which has to be a good thing doesn’t it!

Taking things further and making things even more efficient

So now you can have one click access to your favourite programs lets take it further and give you two click access to your most used files …

How to create a link to a specific program

If you regularly open up the same files, for whatever reason, it would be efficient if you have virtually instant access to them so let’s do that.

There are two ways to do this – the first is the way most of you will use so let’s talk about that one.

Step One

First open the file that you are wanting to create a link to. For my example I’m going to use a Powerpoint slideshow that I use when I deliver the first session of my Management training.

Then right click on the program icon on the taskbar which will open up the following menu.

Screenshot of how to pin a file to the toolbar in Windows 7 - which also lists a few of the courses that Edenchanges runs

You will see that it is split into three sections. The first section shows you any specific files that are opened by this program that you have previous pinned. In my example that is the course Selling through LinkedIn. The current file that is open, and the one that I want to now pin is the Management Introduction file.

Step Two

All you have to do is hover the mouse over the file name and click on the pin icon that will appear next to it. As shown below:

Pin icon

And now that document will appear, forever, in the Pinned section of the shortcut menu. As shown below:

Pinned now

And when I say forever I mean until you repeat the process but this time unpin it by click on the pin icon again. It really is that simple!

By doing this you now have two click access to any file of your choice or one click access to the program of your choice.

Link to Folders

As a final tip for this week you can also link to folders using the same process – simply open Windows Explorer – pin that program as shown above and then select the specific folder(s) that you want to have quick access to and pin them as I showed you above with individual files.

In Summary

If you have Windows 7 then you should be doing the above – there is no reason for anyone to be clicking through menu after menu to finally get access to the program or file that they want. Save yourself time and increase your efficiency by setting up some instant links!

Until next time; be successful!

Stephen Hart
Development Specialist, Edenchanges.com

One Easy Tip To Instantly and Easily Increase Productivity

Efficiency through setting up online book marks

One Easy Tip To Instantly and Easily Increase Productivity

Okay so here are two questions for you – do you go online much and do you want to increase your productivity?  I’m just going to assume the answer is yes to both of those!

I’m also going to assume that you have certain websites that you use frequently – whether these are social media sites, forums or other web locations. Wouldn’t is be nice if you had instant access to those sites or your pages on those sites?

For example if you use LinkedIn wouldn’t it be great to be able to, with a single click, go direct to your inbox rather than that normal home page?

Let me show you how.

For this tutorial I’m assuming you are using the Google Chrome browser. (If you use a different browser I believe the principles are much the same.)

To start with you need to activate the Google bookmark tool bar and make sure that it is displayed on your machine as this will give you permanent access to your short cuts all the time you are using that browser.

Activating the Google Bookmark Tool Bar

Using the keyboard press and hold down CONTROL and SHIFT and then press B.

This toggles the bookmark tool-bar on and off. (If a tool bar just disappeared off your screen then press the above combination again to bring the bar back.)

Alternatively – If you don’t like using the keyboard to do this you can click on the three line icon that is displayed on the top right hand side of Google Chrome. Then click on Bookmarks and Show Bookmarks Bar

However you have done it lets now add a short cut to your bookmark bar.

Adding a Short Cut to the Bookmark Tool Bar

Step One

Go to a website that you use frequently and would like to have an instant link to on your toolbar – I’m using Quora.com as my example.

Then highlight the web address until it is blue – as shown below

B2

Step Two

Left click anywhere within the blue highlight text area and, holding the left mouse button down, drag the address down until it is over the bookmark bar.

You can move it left and right along the bar and a black line indicates where it will be placed once you let go – as shown below – 

B3

My Quora link is about to be added to my Google bookmark tool bar between my Pinterest short cut and my tumbler short cut.

Step Three and Finished!

When you have the black line in the right place simply let go of the mouse button and the short cut link will be placed in the bookmark bar – as shown below and highlighted with the red arrow 

Google bookmark efficiency tip

Now when you want to go to the bookmarked site you can simply click on the icon shown on your tool bar – instant access!

Now we have done the basics lets look at using bookmarks cleverly…

Using Bookmarks Cleverly

A clever way to use bookmarks is to use exact ones – i.e. use ones that direct you not just to a website but to a specific part of a website.

So for example in the image above you can see that I have four blue W icons with different text next to them. Those are four different links to different parts of the Edenchanges website which is hosted on WordPress.

With the four links I can jump directly to the part that I want rather than just going to the front page and then navigating from there. All these things save only a few seconds but those seconds add up when you consider how often you are online.

Many of you reading this will use LinkedIn a lot so you might want to set up a direct link to your LinkedIn inbox rather than your main LinkedIn page – or indeed set up both.

The power of this technique is that you can set a link to any specific address on the internet. 

Editing Bookmarks – Let me now show you how to edit your bookmarks.

Editing Step One – Simply move your mouse over the shortcut that you want to change and RIGHT CLICK. That will bring up the dialogue box shown below

B4

You can edit a number of things about the link but let me show you one particularly neat trick which helps you save some space on the toolbar.

You can only have one bar of bookmarks so it’s possible to run out of space and not have all of the saved links displayed at the same time. Whilst they are still available via a drop down menu this isn’t as efficient as I want it so let’s save some space on the toolbar and thus make room for more bookmarks!

Saving Space on the Toolbar Example

Do Editing Step One above and then click on Edit as shown above.

This will bring up a dialogue box which lists the name of the link (which appears on the toolbar and the link itself – as shown below

The website name is listed ‘QUORA’ in this example and to remove that I simply delete all the name text using BACKSPACE. B5

The toolbar now looks as follows and as you can see the icon is still there – the Q in the red box.

Tip – For new links it’s good to leave the text in until you are familiar with the icon and then you can remove the text – which is what I’m doing with the RecBlogs link shown below.Google bookmark efficiency tip

Renaming the Link Example

If you do want to leave a text description then instead of deleting the name of the site you can enter in something more memorable. The toolbar will only show 20 characters of text however so do bear that in mind.

You can see in the following example that the Advanced Marketing Institute shortcut title has been truncated by the Google toolbar. That also isn’t very helpful for me as it’s not the site I’m interested in but rather one of the tools that is available on it. (A very neat headline marketing analyser, great for anyone who writes or blogs, that I blogged about here).

Anyway let’s make the title more useful – and shorter … as we did before right click on the shortcut to bring up the first dialogue box and then click EDIT. This will give you the name text dialogue box – as shown below

B6

Now instead of deleting the text you can enter something in that works for you – keeping it to less than 20 characters. I’ve chosen to call it ‘Headline Analysis’ as that’s what it does! Click SAVE and the result is instant – as you can see below.

B7

In Summary

We all go online a lot and revisit the same sites. By using the toolbar in this way you can save considerable time, make your online travels a lot more streamline and fundamentally increase your productivity.

Until next time; be successful!

Stephen Hart
Development Specialist, Edenchanges.com