Connecting then immediately selling. LinkedIn is for
relationship building and branding. LinkedIn it is not a hard
selling tool. Hard or in-your-face selling strategies
will lead to being ignored and possibly disconnected, the exact opposite of what you want to accomplish on LinkedIn.
Be genuine and make personal
connections. Connect with others
to build relationships and start
business focused discussions.
Have conversations with people,
ask questions and demonstrate expertise and knowledge. This process builds awareness and when done properly, trust. With trust will come opportunities and business.
Mistake: Using LinkedIn’s default message when connecting. Impersonal requests do not carry the same weight as a personal note with more information.
Connecting to LinkedIn users in
a personal way is the best
approach. If the person is
someone you don’t know well,
research them and tailor what
you say in the
connection request. If you know the person, say somebody you met at a networking event, the same rule applies. Find out more about them and create a personalized and
memorable request. Remind the person when and where you met and why you two should connect. This will make you stand out and be remembered by the new potential
contact. They will be more likely to accept your request as well. Building professional relationships is why you are on LinkedIn, and being personal and likeable from the first
interaction is important.
Not giving then asking for
and the recommendation function
is a two-way street; if you
don’t give you will not receive.
If you do not
have recommendations, your profile will not be as robust and effective as it should be.
An effective approach for
acquiring recommendations is to
start by giving. Your
connections are much more likely
to provide you with a
recommendation back if you
spend the time to write an effective one for them. Doing a recommendation sends the message that you are taking your time and that you are interested in the relationship.
LinkedIn helps to facilitate this process by asking the recipient to do a recommendation in return. If this does not prompt a response, contact the individual and see if they will
reciprocate. Either way the likelihood of getting a recommendation is increased and you have a new reason to communicate with the contact.
Skipping or infrequently
providing status updates.
LinkedIn users unfortunately
don’t use the status feature as
often as they should. By not
posting updates a user
shows that they are not an active member or user of LinkedIn. Simply being inactive is a mistake that must be avoided.
Update your contacts with
LinkedIn status posts regularly.
This will allow you to show them
what activities you are involved
in, who you are getting to know
and what articles and information are of interest to you. Users can also tout their accomplishments, authored articles and disseminate media coverage. Update your profile daily or
several times each week. The more often you post updates and information the more your contacts will see you and can learn about who you are and what you do.
Skipping the summary portion of
your profile. Filling out
the summary is crucial to being
found in search results.
An incomplete profile,
especially one that focuses only
what you do instead of who you are, can be a problem.
Every word in your summary
counts so make sure to fill out
a detailed summary of yourself
and what you want to achieve
with your LinkedIn profile.
Some people choose
to use bullet points to highlight activities and services. The design and layout is up to you and may depend on your goals and the industry you are in. Keywords in your profile and
your title assist you to come up in internal LinkedIn searches. Business owners, recruiters and consultants will search specific terms, and if you include these terms into your profile
the likelihood of you being found by the right people will increase significantly. You will get more views to your profile, and remember each view to your profile is a new business prospect.
Not adding past jobs or
volunteer work experience.
It may not seem important, but
adding these will present the
best image of who you are.
These activities as well as
involvement in real world groups and charities demonstrate that you are a person who is interesting and has connections.
Elaborate on past job history
and volunteer work. List as
much information about what
tasks you accomplished during
each venture and what new skills
For those with limited information or work experience, volunteer activities can help bolster a profile and give business contacts or even recruiters a better idea of who you are and
what personal assets you possess.
Mistake: Failing to be active in groups. Not participating in groups hinders a person’s ability to make connections and demonstrate knowledge and leadership.
Take part in discussions in
LinkedIn groups. This activity
will help to get you noticed as
a thought leader, job seeker or
expert. Discussions and sharing
you relevant and visible. Groups are a great place to ask questions, show expertise and enhance credibility.
Mistake: The final and worse mistake you can make is not having a photo or having an unflattering photo connected to your LinkedIn profile.
Make sure to have a professional
and clear picture of yourself on
your LinkedIn profile. You are
seven times more likely to have
your profile viewed if you have
A missing picture will lead to missed opportunities. A good photo will also help you in real world networking. People you meet will recognize you when you walk into a room. Remember
your photo is an important part of your image and your personal brand. You must always present the best image possible in the real world and online.
Take a few minutes to make sure that you never look like a fool on LinkedIn.
© 2011 by William "Bill" Corbett, Jr.