It’s no secret that LinkedIn is the number one social platform for today’s professionals. The social network can be quite an effective and powerful tool in helping build your business or develop and/or enhance your career. That said, there are a number of common mistakes that even the most competent of professionals make on LinkedIn. If you’re wondering why LinkedIn isn’t working for you, then there’s a good chance that you’re guilty of one or more of the following:
1. Your profile is bare-bones
An nondescript or empty profile definitely won’t do you any favours. If this is the case, your profile desperately needs your help. Remember, you only have a few seconds to make a good impression on LinkedIn. Make it count! Take the time to add your headline, personal details, summary, job descriptions as well as some of the stellar results you’ve achieved in the past. Don’t worry, LinkedIn will help you along the way.
2. You’re only using it because you need a job
Usually, it’s not too hard to tell when one of your connections is on the job hunt. All of a sudden, a virtually non-existent profile is revived with descriptive content and a slew of user activity. The short of it is, like anything, you’ll be much more successful offering value and being active all along, rather than simply reaching out when you need something. So, make sure you’re keeping your profile and connections current.
3. You’re not making the most of keywords
Often, LinkedIn users focus so much on polishing their profile’s appearance that they forget the all the important stuff. In the LinkedIn community, keywords are your golden ticket. If you’re not using them, then it’s no surprise that you’re missing out on valuable business or employment opportunities.
The Solution: optimize! Creating a keyword-rich profile will help people find you or your company. Brainstorm a list of keywords or phrases relevant to you or your business and implement them into the copy of your profile.
4. You’re not using a custom URL
LinkedIn allows users to create a customized, personal URL in place of the default URL. A custom URL is much cleaner and will greatly increase your profile’s uniqueness and visibility in the network. It’s absolutely free and takes no time at all, so no excuses!
5. You’re not sharing anything useful
LinkedIn is no Facebook or Twitter, but it’s still important to share useful and relevant content. When you publish a great blog post or your company creates a valuable white paper, you should definitely share it with your LinkedIn connections.
6. You’ve joined a hundred groups, but you’ve never said a word
Groups are also great for sharing content. Post articles and links that are of interest to your groups’ audiences. Not only will this help establish you as a thought leader, if the content is your own, it can also generate quality leads. Don’t make the mistake of joining a collection of professional groups, but never actually taking the time to jump in on the conversation.
7. You have 7 connections
Again, you should never wait until the moment you need something. Reconnecting with someone by asking a favour can be a bit awkward. “Not sure if you remember me, but I’m hoping you can help me with…” It’s far better to stay in the loop and take a genuine interest in other people’s lives and needs and help them out where you can. Instead, make it a practice to regularly add and accept both personal and professional connections. That way, when the time comes that you need assistance, you’ll be in a great position to ask for it.
8. You make it difficult for others to help you
We’re all busy people, so if you’re asking for a recommendation or an introduction, you should really make it as easy as possible for the other person to do what you want. In the case of a requesting a recommendation, be sure to suggest points that you’d like the reference to focus on. Likewise with an introduction, be clear about why you are asking for their help and include all the necessary contact information. The easy it is for the other person, the more likely they are to carry out your request and help you out again in the future!
9. You’re too salesy
While it’s still possible to do so in a subtle fashion, LinkedIn is definitely not the place to advertise your products or services. Offering advice, professional feedback or your opinion are great marketing tools for LinkedIn users. Instead of a blatant sales pitch, try helping out a potential employer or providing advice to a prospective client. It will go a long way!
What are your LinkedIn dos and don’ts? Share them in the comments below!