Jeff Zelaya

One Weird Trick To Rank #1 On LinkedIn

As a professional using LinkedIn I’m sure you know the importance of visibility in LinkedIn’s Search Results. For example, if you’re a Financial Advisor and someone searches the keyword “Financial Advisors” on LinkedIn, no doubt you’d like to appear in those search results and optimally you’d like your profile to be in the #1 spot because that means that you’ll get the bulk of the views and clicks.

Like with search results on Google, you trust that LinkedIn will serve up results that are relevant to you based on a top-secret algorithm that you hope would take into consideration factors like: degrees of separation, number of common connections, endorsements, location, recommendations, keyword prominence etc.. (you would hope at least!)

Jeff Weiner doesn’t want you to know this….

But unfortunately, LinkedIn’s Search Algorithm is broken and instead of seeing useful results you get a list of LinkedIn blackhat spammers or at best legitimate professionals that have a borderline spammy profile because they’ve too discovered this one weird trick.

Want to know the trick? 

You too can get your profile to rank #1 on LinkedIn for the keyword of your choice. The trick is simple, it’s called: Keyword Stuffing.

DISCLAIMER: Now before the hate mail comes pouring in let me make it clear that I DO NOT CONDONE doing this and HIGHLY RECOMMEND that you DO NOT do this and I’ll explain why in just a minute. 


What’s Keyword Stuffing?

Keyword stuffing is exactly what it sounds like, you stuff a target keyword onto the page as many times as you can fit it in. Back in the early days of Google, keyword stuffing was a tactic used by spammers to game the search engine, nowadays you’ll be hard pressed to find a webpage that’s keyword stuffed on the first page of Google. In fact, getting caught keyword stuffing could lead to getting your website penalized and banned from Google.

Keyword stuffing is completely outdated and an unethical practice that adds no value to rankings today and rest assured that Google cracks down hard on keyword stuffing violators.

But not LinkedIn.

Let me show you this example:

1) I searched my LinkedIn network for “SEO” & find that Joe H. beats out 1,477,556 results to claim the #1 spot. 


2) Wow! Impressive Joe H. must be an awesome SEO’er because he’s ranking #1. Let’s dive into his profile and explore his incredible credentials. The first part of his profile isn’t really impressive and he only has a paltry 167 connections, I don’t really understand why LinkedIn produced this result but let’s keep scrolling down….

3) And now you see the one weird trick in action. Blatant SPAM and Keyword stuffing takes over his profile….BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE.

4) WOW!! This is OBVIOUS SPAM. Could Joe being even more bold?

5) Why Yes! Yes he can! For safe measured he even stuffs: Search Engine Optimization

Now Joe actually continues to stuff these keywords into his profile for what seems to be forever. I actually stopped scrolling his profile after a minute or so because it just became too much for me.

This is an EXTREME example of keyword stuffing abuse on LinkedIn. There are also other legitimate professionals that know this trick and moderately abuse it because they claim it works.

HOWEVER, I DO NOT recommend using this tactic because even if you do get more visibility from the search results once the person clicks your profile and takes a closer look they can identify and smell the spam. Out the window goes your credibility and integrity.

Instead of relying on keyword stuffing to increase your profile views, focus instead on building real relationships, getting recommendations and increasing your group involvement to attract more visibility.

Here’s one not so weird trick for more success with LinkedIn.

Focus on quality over quantity.


And if Jeff Weiner is reading this…please fix this ASAP!


Would love to hear your comments/feedback below or on twitter.

You can follow at: @jeffzelaya


Originally Posted On LinkedIn Publisher

8 LinkedIn Cover Photo Examples from Social Sellers

If you were gifted a blank billboard on the side of a busy highway would you just leave it blank? Of course not!

You would seize the opportunity and make the most of it. Guess what? Your LinkedIn cover photo is like that empty billboard. Prospects, clients, recruiters and maybe your future boss will be passing by your LinkedIn profile today will you:

  • Stand out?
  • Showcase your skills?
  • Be memorable?
  • Drive a desired action?

Do not waste a terrific branding & marketing opportunity! It’s time you optimize your LinkedIn real estate to attract more opportunities.

Here are 8 LinkedIn Cover Photo Examples from

Social Selling Experts: 


1) Have a Call to Action

Your LinkedIn page is essentially a landing page. You want to not just be seen but you also want to drive some type of engagement. What better way to increase your profile’s engagement then by asking for it directly and inviting your profile viewer to take action, i.e send you an invite (just make sure to share your email address). The header below increased invitations two fold, more connections = more possible opportunities. Don’t be afraid to test different CTAs to see what converts best for you.

LinkedIn Cover Photo Example

2) Share your current project

Over the past couple of months I’ve witnessed author Melonie Dodaro hard at work promoting her latest book: “The LinkedIn Code”. So it’s no surprise that she uses her header space to promote her current project as well as highlight what service she offers. What current project are you working on? Use your cover photo to prominently display your work, this will drive word of mouth and when people see your profile and then speak with you…watch how they mention your current project in the conversation.




3) Company Branding

Koka Sexton aka Mr. Social Selling is the Social Marketing Manager at LinkedIn. It’s no surprise that Koka uses his space to display his company logo. If you’re a Marketing Manager consider sharing a pre-made company branded header with your employees. Watch the proud and happy employees quickly post it and share their company pride with all their contacts. Drives awareness, word of mouth, recruiting etc…


4) Drive Traffic to One Link

LinkedIn expert, Viveka uses her LinkedIn cover photo to drive traffic to one link. This method is better than providing several links because it is simpler for the profile viewer to follow through. You can even track the link, for example if you use i.e: you will be able to figure out exactly how many web site visitors were referred from your LinkedIn profile page. Tie the link to a landing page for best results!


5) Share Action Pics

Mike O’Neil is a Social Selling Speaker and Trainer so he shares pictures of him on stage in action, Brian Solis also does the same thing along with other professional public speakers. Mike also includes a call to action and ask profile viewers to watch his speaking video in the summary section of his profile, thereby combining picture media with video media for the ultimate double whammy. Action pics are nice because it shows people at work. If you’re a Chef…use a pic of you in the kitchen cooking up a dish, if you’re a Scientist…a pic of you in the lab with your white coat would look killer.



6) Best Contact Info

Jamie Shanks keeps it simple and direct. He wants prospects and contacts to pick up the phone and call instead of hiding behind a computer screen or back and forth messages. This is a great approach for anyone in sales, since you want the “hot leads” to be able to reach you right away if they have questions or are ready to buy. However, beware of spammers, pesky MLM recruiters and the aggressive recruiter. Giving a phone number is great but if you’re really busy and can’t pick up the phone regularly (or don’t have a secretary that can at least screen the calls) it might be not be the most efficient contact method so provide an email just in case.



7) Be Creative

In the cover photo below I combine an arrow, a call to action (provide my email address), a question and a creative portrait of me holding up an iPad with my LinkedIn profile showing. Don’t be afraid to test creative outside of the box ideas to see what kind of feedback and engagement you get from it….all within reason of course. Stand out in a good way!


8) Third Party Endorsements

Logos from third parties add an aura of credibility to your profile. Lori Ruff uses the Forbes and LinkedIn logo in her cover photo to communicate her influence and authority. You can use media logos (if you’ve been published or featured), award logos, association logos or any others that might be relevant to your profile.

LinkedIn Q&A Episode 5: What’s the deal with LinkedIn endorsements?

LinkedIn Q&A Episode 5:

What’s the deal with LinkedIn Endorsements?

LinkedIn first introduced the endorsements at the end of 2012. Since then it’s picked up steam but getting LinkedI Endorsements is still not as important as getting LinkedIn Recommendations.

In this LinkedIn Q&A I explain what the deal is with LinkedIn endorsements and how to avoid the awkward situation of being endorsement from people you don’t know for skills you don’t have.

My main takeaways regarding LinkedIn Endorsements are:

1. LinkedIn endorsements are “nice to have’s” but LinkedIn recommendations are “must have’s”.

2. Customize the skills that you can be endorsed for & the order that they appear in.

3. If you don’t want to deal with endorsements, then don’t. Opt out at anytime if you’d like.

4. Give them to get them. If you ask for them you are more likely to get them.

5. Maximize your endorsements by reaching out to those that have already given you some and ask more.

6. Endorsements to affect job searches and jobs on LinkedIn that you might apply for.

7. Most people don’t care about endorsements but doesn’t mean you should ignore them.

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List of LinkedIn Q&A Episodes Season 1

LinkedIn Q&A Episode 1: How Important Are LinkedIn Recommendations?

LinkedIn Q&A Episode 2: How Can I Maximize LinkedIn Recommendations?

LinkedIn Q&A Episode 3: How Important is a LinkedIn Profile Picture?

LinkedIn Q&A Episode 4: What is Social Selling?

LinkedIn Q&A Episode 5: What’s the deal with LinkedIn Endorsements?

LinkedIn Q&A Episode 3: How Important is a LinkedIn Profile Picture?

LinkedIn Q&A Episode 3:
How Important is a LinkedIn Profile Picture?

Having an awesome LinkedIn profile picture is crucial for success in using LinkedIn (or any social media platform for that matter)! Check out my LinkedIn Q&A video below and then CLICK HERE to go read the article where I cover in more details the importance of an awesome LinkedIn profile picture.

[show-logos orderby=’none’ category=’linkedin-videos’ activeurl=’same’ style=’hgrayscale’ interface=’grid4′ tooltip=’true’ limit=’0′ ]

List of LinkedIn Q&A Episodes Season 1

LinkedIn Q&A Episode 1: How Important Are LinkedIn Recommendations?

LinkedIn Q&A Episode 2: How Can I Maximize LinkedIn Recommendations?

LinkedIn Q&A Episode 3: How Important is a LinkedIn Profile Picture?

LinkedIn Q&A Episode 4: What is Social Selling?

LinkedIn Q&A Episode 5: What’s the deal with LinkedIn Endorsements?

LinkedIn Q&A Episode 2: How can I maximize LinkedIn recommendations?

LinkedIn Q&A Episode 2:

How can I maximize LinkedIn recommendations?

Another question that I’m going to answer today is how can I maximize my LinkedIn recommendations? Great question. And every one of us is focused on wanting to improve our image or improve our brand, right? You wouldn’t be watching this video if you did not value your brand and the value that your brand is going to be providing to consumer or your place of employment or your prospect, your future client.

So to maximize your recommendations, we know how important they are, we need to number one, rule number one, to maximize recommendations is that you have to ask for them. My mom always told me that our closed mouth doesn’t get that. Guess what? The same thing is true on LinkedIn. You want to make sure that if you want people to recommend you, ask them directly. Say, “Hey, Joe Smith. Can you please take a minute to recommend me and to showcase or tell other people how great of a job I did for you?”

And one of the key things to do as well when you’re asking for recommendation; timing is a very critical component of that. As soon as you deliver an amazing job, don’t wait until months pass by and that client has long forgotten about you. If they commend you on the extreme service that you provided them, right away you make sure you ask them and say, “Hey, I’m so happy that you’re happy and I want to provide more of my services to more clients and help more people out. And what will help me in doing that is your LinkedIn recommendation. Do you mind if I send you over a quick request and you help me out with that?” What’s that client going to say? No. Right? So they’re going to be more likely to help you if you’re asking for it as soon as you deliver that stellar job. So that’s key number two.

Number one is you got to ask. Number two is that the timing component is crucial. And then number three, the personal approach always works best. LinkedIn does a lot of stuff for you automatically. You send an invite to connect with someone. They will automatically fill that out, the subject line and the body. If you send a request of endorsement, they’re going to also – recommendation, they’re also going to fill that out automatically.

One thing, and this is a very important tip, do not let LinkedIn customize anything for you because everyone knows, requests are not very personal and because of that, they fall on deaf ears. They’ll never get a response. I get tons of invites, are not personalized, I’m quick to ignore those. Requests for recommendations that are very generic, I won’t even bother. I don’t have time for that.

However, if you invest time in making sure that that request, that ask is personalized to that person that you’re sending it to, the more likely it’s going to happen, the better recommendation you’re also going to get. And not only is it critical to customize it within the email, within that LinkedIn request but it’s also important that you customize it by doing it verbally like picking up the phone and calling them and saying, “Hey, Mr. Client. I’m going to send you over this request. Is it OK if you help me out with this?” So the personal approach is always a lot better.

[show-logos orderby=’none’ category=’linkedin-videos’ activeurl=’same’ style=’hgrayscale’ interface=’grid4′ tooltip=’true’ limit=’0′ ]

Click here to watch the next LinkedIn Q&A Episode


List of LinkedIn Q&A Episodes Season 1

LinkedIn Q&A Episode 1: How Important Are LinkedIn Recommendations?

LinkedIn Q&A Episode 2: How Can I Maximize LinkedIn Recommendations?

LinkedIn Q&A Episode 3: How Important is a LinkedIn Profile Picture?

LinkedIn Q&A Episode 4: What is Social Selling?

LinkedIn Q&A Episode 5: What’s the deal with LinkedIn Endorsements?

Why Your Business Needs a Linkedin Presence

linkedin_logo-630x192In many ways the jury is still out over the question of whether Linkedin is an indispensable business marketing tool, or is merely the ‘nearly man’ of the social media fraternity. As the world’s largest business networking forum, the potential of Linkedin is enormous. In theory at least, even your humble Linkedin profile is only a couple of clicks away from some of the biggest players and CEOs in the business. This is what makes it so exciting, and is why social media bloggers have predicted a big breakthrough for Linkedin every year since at least 2009.

Facebook’s dull older sister?

So far however, Linkedin’s big break is yet to materialize. In 2014 the situation remains the same, with opinion divided between a minority of enthusiasts and the majority of Linkedin users who are indifferent to the social network. Certainly some industries, such as recruitment consultancies, have been quick to pick up on Linkedin’s networking potential; and many job searchers treat their profile like an online resume. But what about the rest of us; are we just not using Linkedin properly? Perhaps the ‘Facebook for business’ nickname is too close to the truth. People use Linkedin for the same mundane personal updates they post to Facebook or Twitter, when they should be focusing on forging meaningful business relationships in their target industry.

So do we need Linkedin at all?

To this question I would answer an affirmative ‘yes’, if for no other reason than the social network has serious staying power. It is a little known fact that Linkedin is one of the most venerable social networks, having been established a full year before Facebook in 2003. Since that time it has grown from a nucleus of 4,500 members to more than 84 million registered users in the USA in 2013. By not having a Linkedin presence you are choosing to remain part of a rapidly shrinking global minority. My advice is to stop using Linkedin as a Facebook surrogate. Set up a full profile for yourself and your LinkedIn Company Page, and then take some time to explore the unique networking tools than set it apart from all the other social media platforms.

Want to learn more about LinkedIn?

Check out our upcoming LinkedIn Webinar and sign up

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Get Free Publicity for Your Business While Paying it Forward

Interested in getting free publicity for you and your business?

You are in luck because I am looking to feature some more awesome and interesting business people and companies on my YouTube channel and blog to help them get massive exposure and free publicity.

Google+ Hangouts with Jeff Zelaya

Get your message broadcasted to thousands online via a Live Google+ Hangout, YouTube, my blog and all of my social media networks.

If you are an interesting and insightful business professional, I would like to interview you for my show! (No boring people need apply) 

You can be a great fit for my show if you are a…

  • Successful Business Person
  • CEO/Entrepreneur
  • Public Relations Professional
  • Professional Public Speaker
  • LinkedIn Expert
  • Marketing Professional
  • Social Media Expert
  • Social Selling Thought-Leader

Expand the awareness of your business by letting thousands of people know on my Google+ Live Hangout without paying a penny. Being a featured guest on my show is also a great way to pay it forward by sharing your golden nuggets and valuable wisdom with folks that might just be starting out on the same path that you once traveled.

As a business expert, you probably know that publicity like this can be more effective in producing word of mouth buzz, leads and sales than an advertising campaign. An appearance on my show could be just the thing to take your business to the next level.

You can see some of my guests below, click their picture to watch the video of our interview:
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Are you ready to hangout? Enter your contact info below and I’ll follow up right away with details.

LinkedIn Keynote Speaker for the 2014 TRSA Sales & Marketing Summit Announced

TRSA Sales and Marketing Summit

Jeff Zelaya has been confirmed as the LinkedIn keynote speaker for the 2014 TRSA Sales & Marketing Summit.

The event will be held at the Sheraton in Baltimore City Center on July 17th-18th.

Jeff Zelaya will be teaching members of the Textile Rental Services Association (TRSA)  about leveraging social media – specifically, LinkedIn for marketing and sales.
Topics that will be covered in this one hour workshop are:

  • What is LinkedIn and how to create a LinkedIn profile that gets you more visibility
  • How to use LinkedIn to build your company’s brand and your personal brand
  • What is social selling and how can you can make it work for you
  • How to gather intelligence on prospects, partners and competitors
  • Best practices on professional networking to increase referrals and partnerships
  • Creating an inbound social lead generation strategy
  • How to use LinkedIn to find more opportunities and close more deals
  •  Using LinkedIn groups for education and insights gathering

Click here to see the full agenda for the TRSA 2014 Sales and Marketing Summit 

TRSA offers national, regional and online education and training resources, conferences, institutes and events for members that provide innovative approaches and proven best practices for streamlining operations, reducing costs and increasing productivity and profitability. Their Sales and Marketing Summits is one of the more popular events and is attended by Sales Managers, Marketing Managers, CMO, CEO and Sales Executives.

Interested in learning more about how to book Jeff for your next conference? Click here.

LinkedIn Keynote Speaker Jeff Zelaya

Jeff Zelaya


Step #1 to LinkedIn All-Star Success: Have an Awesome LinkedIn Profile Picture

The first step in becoming a LinkedIn all-star is that you got to have an awesome picture.

Here are some guidelines to ensure that you choose an amazing LinkedIn profile picture that gets you tons of likes, comments, views and LinkedIn invites to connect.

No party pictures.

What type of representation is that of you if you’ve got a red solo cup in your hand or you’re flashing gang  signs or have a very short dress on or something inappropriate?

No party pictures. Keep it clean. Never forget that LinkedIn is a professional network.


Also, it’s OK to smile.

Many people get afraid of LinkedIn and they think it’s all full of suits and stuffy individuals. That’s not the case. We want to be approachable. We want to make friends, make business partnerships and to look approachable and look happy, you got to smile. Don’t be afraid to flash a nice smile but don’t overdo it and be too happy either. If you overdo it you’ll come across like you’ve overdosed on Prozac and that’s really creepy. The key is a genuine smile and to look friendly and approachable.


No misleading profile pictures.

If people recognize you the day or people met you in person the day after they saw your LinkedIn page, would they recognize you? If the answer is no, get rid of that picture.

You need a more up-to-date picture or a picture that actually looks like you in person. That’s ideal because it could rub people the wrong way when they request an interview with you and you come to their office and they can’t even recognize who you are.


A quality picture is key.

No blurry pictures, no pixelated photos. This is not Instagram, so don’t add or customize filters into that picture and nothing that has a flowing – words in it. You want to avoid that. That’s against LinkedIn’s terms of service for profile photos. So you do this instead and here are some awesome profile picture examples:

Linkedin Profile Picture Examples

These are people that look very approachable. They look very welcoming and warm. I would want to do business with these individuals. Shawn’s profile picture (top right) is a great example of an action pic and something that I really enjoy seeing.


Have a default profile pic but change it up too.

This is kind of the default profile picture that you always go back to and that’s kind of your theme throughout for maybe a couple of months. This one should be professionally done and of the highest quality possible.

However, don’t be afraid to change your LinkedIn profile picture every so often for events or upcoming shows. For example, if you’re going to an upcoming trade show, maybe a profile picture of you at the booth would be nice to show. If you’re speaking at an event next week, maybe one of you actually public speaking would be great plus it would provide additional marketing support and awareness for your event. Changing pictures is a great way to stay top of mind with your LinkedIn network.


Showcase your personality and dress for success.

Dressing for success is different for everyone. If your work as a chef, you shouldn’t be dressing up in a suit. Dress up in your chef gear. Make your LinkedIn profile picture and the wardrobe that you wear match up with whatever industry you are part of. It’s OK to have a quirk or a little personality that shines through your picture. That’s ideally what you want. I have a buddy of mine, Sebastian Rusk who is well-known for his bow tie.

Sebastian Rusk profile picture

Sebastian’s Personality Shines Through


Sebastian like to wear very colorful bow ties and its part of his brand. That’s what he’s known for. It resonates with people that meet him and it makes him memorable, in a good way.


Definitely have a LinkedIn profile pic.

LinkedIn profiles that don’t have a photograph do not get views. The LinkedIn profiles that have pictures get seven times more views. Remember that a key to success in using LinkedIn is to be visible and you need a good quality profile picture to make that happen.

No LinkedIn Profile Picture

No LinkedIn Profile Pic = No Bueno


Check out the other steps to becoming a LinkedIn All-Star watch my video below:

LinkedIn All-Star Status in 5 Easy Steps from Jeff Zelaya on Vimeo.

LinkedIn Keynote for the New Orleans American Marketing Association

LinkedIn Keynote Speaker Delivers: Driving ROI with LinkedIn

Jeff Zelaya to present on April 16th in New Orleans

In this LinkedIn keynote presentation I will be teaching you everything a marketer needs to know about getting the most value from LinkedIn for yourself and your organization. My goal and personal mission is to guide and motivate you to take your LinkedIn presence to the next level and to get you to discover the vast opportunities that await within LinkedIn.

What you will gain from this presentation?

  • Increase your personal brand awareness
  • Increase your organization’s awareness
  • Increase your influence
  • Shape the perception of your brand
  • Generate leads
  • Drive revenue and profit

You’ll also learn:

  • Why your organization needs to market on LinkedIn
  • How to leverage LinkedIn’s Company Pages, Sponsored Updates, and more
  • How to expand the reach and targeting of your content marketing strategies
  • How to use Social Selling to find decision makers, build rapport and close more deals
  • And much more…

As a top recommended sales executive, speaker and marketing consultant I’ve been able to teach organizations and individuals how to drive more revenue from social media and I have personally used LinkedIn to generate $1.2 million dollars in 18 months by using only LinkedIn. Want to hear my story? Then come to my LinkedIn keynote presentation!

You don’t want to miss it.

Here are the details:

When: Thursday, April 17, 2014

Time: 11:30 AM – 1:30 PM

Where: Cafe Reconcile, 1631 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd, New Orleans, LA 70113


See you there!

Neel Sus Profile Picture


“We’re very excited to have Jeff present to our chapter. It’s important for our members and other professionals in New Orleans and the surrounding areas to learn how to take advantage of LinkedIn as an opportunity for building relationships and increasing business.” – Neel Sus, President of AMA NOLA



Interested in booking Jeff Zelaya as a LinkedIn keynote speaker? Contact Jeff for more information

LinkedIn Speaker and Social Selling Expert: Jeff Zelaya from Jeff Zelaya on Vimeo.