By now, many of you know I am a huge fan of LinkedIn. The social media platform is the choice for business to business (B2B) connectivity. It can help you network, build creditability, ferret out information and leads, and basically rock your social selling efforts.
Yet, what if you are going about LinkedIn all wrong? Unfortunately, just joining LinkedIn and creating a minimal profile will not help you build your business. In fact, it might scare off your prospects because you look like an amateur. With 400 million members (122 million in the U.S. alone) and the addition of two more members every second, you cannot afford to ignore the power of LinkedIn.
So, how do you currently measure up your LinkedIn profile and activity? Not sure? Here’s my top eight signs you are using LinkedIn Wrong.
No Photo – People want to do business with people they know, like and trust. How can someone get to know you if they cannot see your face?
Non-Professional Photo – Did you quickly crop a photo of yourself from an event? Sure, maybe you looked great that day, but the random bits of people (arms, shoulders, etc.), the busy background, and the poor lighting can make you look like an amateur. Your best option is a photo shoot with a professional photographer, but if that’s not possible, enlist the help of a friend or co-worker—just pay attention to background and lighting.
Weak Professional Headline and/or Summary statement – These two sections are your place to shine, so don’t ignore them. Use the headline to succinctly state your value, and then use the summary to give connections a little insight on why you do what you do.
Resume Wording – Sure, LinkedIn can help you find a job, but if you are using the platform to build connections and grow your business with social selling then the Experience section needs to focus on the client and how you can add value to your clients – not just list out job experience like a resume. Specifically, what expertise and services do you offer that help alleviate your clients’ concerns and issues.
No Thought Leadership – Your LinkedIn updates provide an ideal way to share your smarts and build your credibility. Whether you create fresh content or curate and share relevant news (with a few of your own thoughts as to why the article is important), aim to post something at least once a week. You can also use LinkedIn to share content on your website by providing a summary and a link to the information (which helps drive traffic to your website).
Not Doing Your Homework – Before you meet with a current client or a prospect, use LinkedIn to gather valuable contact insight. Pay attention to what they say about themselves, and how they say it. Perhaps someone is very curt, to the point and favors bullet points; great, now you know to be the same with your interaction and presentations.
Not Cyber Sleuthing—Even with the non-paid version, the LinkedIn Advance People Search can help you find prospects by keywords, location, title, company, industry and more.
Forgetting Your Manners—Send potential prospects or someone you met at a meeting a personalized connection request rather than using the standard supplied text. Also, let them know why you want to connect with them, any references, and if you have met, where you met.