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7 Big Mistakes on LinkedIn That Will Make You Look Dodgy
Do you have your business social media all sussed out and under control?
While one in three Australian businesses has a social media presence, Small Businesses are still lagging behind in using social media as a powerful brand-building, marketing and recruitment tool.
The Potency of LinkedIn
With over 400 million members globally, LinkedIn has become a force that you and your business can no longer afford to ignore. In Australia alone, almost 30% of the entire population uses LinkedIn; that’s a whopping 7 million people!
So whether you’re building your personal brand online, are spruiking your business to potential clients, or want to attract the brightest and best staff and suppliers – it all has to start with connection and trust.
Does My Bum Look Big in This?
I don’t want to go and start inducing complexes, but … you do know that your new potential client is going to check you out on LinkedIn ASAP after getting your card or finding your website, right? And they will make a snap decision on whether they like and trust you. Just like that.
Think of it like internet- or speed-dating: so many people to choose from … and all they have to go by is what you give them to check out. Cruel? Perhaps, but there are a lot of fish (and similar business like yours) in the sea.
You Had Me at ‘Hello’
You really want your reader to sort of fall in love with your profile from the word go. Having had a personal profile on LinkedIn for over a decade – first as an employee, then a business owner – I’ve seen gazillions of features that failed and those that have soared. It’s taken time, and a few spectacular fails, but now a strong personal profile is reinforcing my brand. It’s created many business opportunities that I would never had dreamt of otherwise.
A decade is a long time – so let’s fast-track you conquering LinkedIn. Here are my top tips and tricks on making your profile a winner – and the only fish in the sea your clients will ever notice again:
Typos are painful. They are one of the fastest ways to erode trust, quick smart.
- TO DO: Proofread, proofread, and proofread your profile once more.
You have no photo? Bad. You’re not the only one in the photo / are all fuzzy / are wearing sun-glasses / having a jolly good time at the pub? Also bad. Adding a quality photo makes it 14 times more likely that you’re found.
- TO DO: Your photo can show some personality, but make sure you are looking into the camera, wear appropriate (for your business) clothing and it’s a recent shot.
3. Professional Headline
The headline (under your name) is one of the first things any reader of your profile will notice. When you update roles in the ‘Experience’ section, this will update automatically, so keep an eye on it.
- TO DO: Customize your professional headline with keywords you want to be found for.
The summary is one of the main sections visitors to your profile will read. So not having one, writing it in the 3rd person, or as if you’re looking for a job when you’re trying to attract clients isn’t a good look.
- TO DO: Write an informative summary in the first person, ensuring you highlight your key values and, yes, the benefits your business offers. Make me feel connected with you.
Asking for a LinkedIn recommendation is often chucked into the ‘too hard’ basket, because it takes a bit of creativity and follow up to get a time-poor client to write a testimonial. You are throwing away a super-charged opportunity: this is someone else telling the world they should trust and hire you!
- TO DO: Create a friendly, short message when asking for a recommendation. Make it less scary by not mentioning ‘testimonial’; ask how you did instead. Send it to your clients (and staff, suppliers and ex-colleagues) with a personalized headline. And don’t forget to post the recommendation on your profile once you’ve got it!
6. Be Yourself
Even if you do all of the above you may not stand out enough amongst 400+ million fellow members.
- TO DO:
- Personalize – upload a relevant background image; create your unique URL; list the causes you are passionate about; visually break up the profile
- Use multimedia – work samples, video testimonials, projects you’re involved in
- Sweat the small stuff – write proper job titles; ensure you pick the LinkedIn URL when adding a company; properly complete your contact details; add skills, courses, etc.
Is your profile just sitting there, idle? It’s time to get active and start sitting pretty.
- TO DO:
- Been networking? Invite your new connections.
- Who’s viewed your profile? Invite/message them if you sense a good business fit
- Find and join relevant LinkedIn groups: alumni, places your clients/suppliers hang out
- Share – post interesting stuff on your profile, on Pulse or in your groups
- Say ‘thank you’ when people connect with you, and respond when members leave comments on your posts
So, there you have it: my top tips for a successful personal LinkedIn profile!
What else has worked for you? Share away in the comments (oh, and don’t forget to connect with me on LinkedIn).
“The opinions expressed by Smallville Contributors are their own, not those of www.smallville.com.au"
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