Each and every day new professionals join LinkedIn. According to the latest numbers over 40% of the world’s professionals – 350 million – now have a profile on LinkedIn.
As well as being the world’s largest job board it is also becoming the number one marketing tool for those operating in the B2B space. And yet over and over again in my LinkedIn coaching sessions I see the same critical mistakes being repeated time and time again. Here are the top 5. Stay away from these and your effectiveness on LinkedIn will jump dramatically.
Stop Selling – Be Social
We all want to grow our business or our brand. And usually that means growing our revenue and sales. However, when you are using a social network like LinkedIn don’t make the mistake of selling too soon and too often.
Think of it like dating. You don’t usually ask someone if they would like to go to bed with you on the first date. (OK, maybe not the best example, but you know what I mean) And using LinkedIn to build your network, make connections and find opportunities is no different. Before I will do business with you I must first get to know you, second I need to like you and finally, and most importantly, I must trust you.
The philosophy of “Givers Gain” should be your number one rule on LinkedIn. You should always be trying to help others before helping yourself. Sharing your expertise and knowledge will help you to build that trust.
Personalize Your Communication
We have all received that templated invitation to connect. You know the one I mean. “Dear Occupant, I would like to add you to my LinkedIn Network”. Doesn’t that make you feel special? Don’t you get a warm and fuzzy feeling when you read it? Probably not. Personally, I hate them. If you cannot take the time and trouble to personalize your invitation then why should I bother connecting with you. When you find someone with whom you want to connect at least read their profile. Do you share connections? Do you have similar interests? Incorporate these into your invite and you will have a much better chance of them connecting with you.
Sitting On The Sidelines
This one is huge. If you are on LinkedIn to build your business or your brand you must participate. Sitting on the sidelines will never get you across the goal line. First, join some groups. But just joining is not enough. Listen to the conversations and then participate. Comment and demonstrate your expertise. Show people that you want to help.
Also, publish content. LinkedIn has now made this so easy. And, this is a powerful and effective way to build your brand and establish your expertise. it is also a great way to drive traffic more to your website.
But don’t just publish original content. Also share content. When you come across an article that you think would be of value or interest to your network share it. Again, it is about trying to help others while establishing yourself as an authority in your field.
Hiding In The Corner
Stop hiding in the corner. Get up and participate. Help others. Give Recommendations. They are gold on LinkedIn. If you have worked with someone and you liked their services then write them a recommendation. You never know where it might lead. And don’t be afraid to ask for recommendations. If you don’t ask…you don’t get. And keep on giving them and asking for them. Remember each one is dated and people may wonder why you have not had a recommendation since January 2011!
Don’t forget to endorse people for their skills. Remember givers gain. It takes so little time to help someone else.
Not An All-Star Profile
There is no excuse for this one. Complete your profile. All it takes is a little time and effort and it makes all the difference. If you want to show up in the LinkedIn search results you must complete your profile to the very best of your ability. Include keywords in your headline, summary, past work experience and skills. And for goodness sake use a professional photo. Your LinkedIn profile is a credibility statement about you. Make sure your profile is representative of how you want people to see you.
So what about you? What are the critical mistakes you see people making on LinkedIn over and over again?
Until next time. Share the love of LinkedIn.
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