Are You In It To Win It?

Are You In It To Win It?


Posted by Coach Federation on 06 Jan 2014 / 13 Comments


LinkedIn began rolling out an important new feature in December — a new system that indicates an individual member’s “contribution levels” within each group of which he or she is a member. To measure contribution, LinkedIn uses sophisticated algorithms to showcase those who have contributed to meaningful discussions.

LinkedIn’s stated objective is to encourage those group members who sit on the sidelines to move into an active role.

However, there is another reality. As LinkedIn continues to grow as a powerhouse of networking and communicating among professionals, it will overtake the world for corporate branding and advertising, and become the way of the future for advertising to your target market.

Advertising will not be as we have known it, but rather will appear in a new format. This format will be marketing your services by showcasing your expertise through knowledge-sharing platforms aimed at your peers. Savvy professionals have already figured this out.

Clients will do a baseline check on LinkedIn (much the same as recruiters and hiring managers are already doing for job seekers) to determine how your peers and colleagues perceive you—what is the degree of your professional knowledge as viewed by these individuals.

LinkedIn has now made it easy for your client base to ascertain key basic information about you, for example: industry critical thinking, industry participation, how you brand yourself and your respect for gifts differing.

Contribution levels are group specific and recalculated every day. The contribution levels are:

  • Getting started
  • Finding an audience
  • Making an impact
  • Building influence
  • Top Contributor

Top contributors are members who post the most interesting discussions and comments. They will have a text indicator under their headline any time they post a discussion in the group. Clicking a profile image or name will take you to that member’s activity page. The Top Contributor indicator will also appear on a member’s profile.

Important: To increase your contribution level, start interesting discussions and comment thoughtfully on other group members’ discussions. As people interact more with you, you’ll see your score go up. Your contribution level will go down if you are not active or your posts are promotional or inappropriate for the group.

Colleagues, the future is today, I strongly advise each member of a group to begin their journey by contributing first to their profession related groups, and then to other areas of interest. LinkedIn allows you to join over 50 groups. I encourage you to think of the amount of new-wave “free advertising” this offers you, and to take advantage of this opportunity.

As a point of confirmation, Victoria Ipri, a LinkedIn consultant for the Association of Corporate Executive Coaches, tells us, “LinkedIn often states, “Group participants get 4x the number of profile views.” Why are views so important? Because without them, you essentially do not exist on the platform, regardless of how talented or capable you may be. Keep in mind we’re not talking about how many times your profile appears in a search, but how many times members actually come to your profile to learn more about you. This is a ‘view’.”

Further, remember that press release programs can cost over $3,000 each year verses zero dollars for LinkedIn. Of course you cannot blatantly market your expertise as you would through a press release; however, consider the ROI– zero dollars versus three thousand dollars, targeted audience verses scatter gun marketing, and direct reach verses indirect reach, just to name a few.

LinkedIn may not be the best Social networking platform out there, as it is filled with secret quirky algorithms that can result in your being shut out seemingly without rhyme or reason, but it is today’s strongest player among professionals…stay tuned. There will be bigger, stronger and less mystery in platforms to come, but waiting can mean that you miss the bus leaving the station now.

CB Bowman 5CB Bowman, MBA, BCC, CMC, MCEC, is CEO and Founder of the Association of Corporate Executive Coaches and CEO of Executive Leadership, LLC ( ELLLC is the go to company for emerging leaders, mid-level managers, senior leaders, and organizations seeking human capital repositioning, development and/or growth through coaching, counseling, and/or strategic advice. Her focus is in corporate executive coaching, training and human capital initiatives involving the development of cognitive listening, leadership skills and behavior, transitional coaching, executive presence and branding, knowledge transfer, performance evaluation, strategic career management and marketing. Additionally, Bowman is an adjunct professor at Rutgers University, in the Center for Management.


Chris Chaves

Very insightful analysis of the future of LinkedIn. It’s amazing how much change is going on right now especially in social media. The impact of these repaid changes can be huge. Google+ may surpass Facebook, LInked-in is growing, Pinterest, etc… Just like choosing a niche for you coaching business is hugely important, making sure your niche is clear on your profiles is increasing in importance as well. You mentioned in your post that Human Resource professionals are already reviewing candidates and applicants on linked-in. With so many part-time coaches out there who also have “day jobs” that are completely different than their coaching niche, this could make their self branding quite a challenge. You’ve inspired me to a new topic to my list of future blog posts… How to make sure your social media profiles don’t have Multiple Personality Disorder.


CB Bowman

Chris thank you, I love your analogy of MPD with coaches having multiple careers or as I coined the term back in the 80′s Parallel Career Path(ing).

However, my concern is not so much with their branding but with the quality that they deliver if their parallels are not converging and at some point making their coaching deliverables stronger. So I guess what I’m saying is let the conflict stay it is a way of helping the vetting process.

I know this contradicts your market space but coaches need to decide if they are in it to win it and focus on the target audience that supports their knowledge vs. using clients as a beta test. CB


HT Lee

Thanks for much for the update on the new features and I appreciate the explanation on contribution levels. I was just reading a book yesterday on the Power of LinkedIn and I’m just getting started. So this post is really timely for me.


CB Bowman

Thank you HT,
If you are just starting may I suggest that you join one of the LinkedIn groups for LinkedIn users. You will be exposed to current and valuable information.


Brenda Dooley

Good article CB – it’s clear users need to be much more strategic about which groups to join and then actively contribute to them…. off now to tidy up my groups!


CB Bowman

LOL As long as you don’t delete our group..”Corporate Executive Coaches” :) !
As a side note once a month or so…I review my groups to see which ones have remain current for me and I determine if the type of information that I can share will benefit their members.

Additionally I consider If a group is tightly managed… everything has to be approved.. then I check to see where the manager is placing my contributions …to discussions, to promotion or ignored.

I use all of this information to determine if I will stay in the group.

The other thing that I do is join only a few groups in my profession the others that I join are ones that will give me knowledge in areas I need to know more about that would effect my work i.e. LinkedIn Strategies or Twitter users.


Kevin Oubridge

Thanks for this CB. I had no idea they were introducing this functionality. I’m intrigued by what the ‘algorithms’ they will throw up. For example, if I post discussions and comments 20 times a day but nobody responds or interacts, will my score go up or down?



@ Kevin Thank you unfortunately we’ll never know LinkedIn’s closely guarded algorithms which are guarded as much as the formulas for making Coke, KFC and/or Pepsi)!

However, I think your scoring mark is only based upon you posting a discussion….I’m sure that it is not that simple but that is when I see the biggest change on the score board. I also noticed that the score board does not go to zero at the end of each month, I am assuming this requires you to continuing posting to some degree to keep your score up.

I hope this helps.
Feel free to check out my new blog


Jennifer Whitcomb

4 days ago

Thanks CB – this is helpful and I too will need to be more mindful of my groups and my participation.


CB Bowman

Jennifer, Good to hear from you! I’ll be looking forward to seeing your discussions in our group:)! It will be awesome to learn from you..



CB Bowman

Iva, thank you.
I took the liberty of looking at your new website is terrific, congratulations and your LinkedIn profile is impressive. I’ve sent you a link on LinkedIn, I hope you will accept so we can have the opportunity to learn more about each other professionally.