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When you joined LinkedIn, did you think about what you were trying to achieve with your profile? Like most people, the answer is probably NO. You likely did not think about the WHY when you joined and for this reason are probably making some of these common mistakes on LinkedIn.
1. Your profile is incomplete
Your profile is the first impression with new connections. People decide whether or not to connect with you based on what they see on your LinkedIn profile. Yet so many are incomplete. When thinking about your profile, the following items are essential:
- A welcoming, professional profile picture
- A cover photo that is either branded to your company or showcases something unique about you and what you offer
- A headline that clearly tells people your company, title, skills and expertise
- An engaging summary written in the first person that expands on your headline and shows your personality
- A completed “Experience” section linking to the company pages of your current and past employers
Beyond this, you can add your education, skills, certifications and volunteer experience to round out your profile – the more complete, the better!
2. You don’t know who is in your network
Did you know you can download your LinkedIn connections? Depending on when you joined LinkedIn, you have been collecting connections for quite some time. You are only seeing a handful of your network when you scroll the newsfeed based on the current LinkedIn algorithm, so of course there are people in your network that you’ve forgotten. Downloading your connections is a great way to jog your memory – there are likely some people you should re-connect with as potential business contacts/ targets.
3. You aren’t connected to your targets
Now that you downloaded your connections, you may be surprised to see that you actually have a very small % of your overall network that you would consider to be a target client or professionally valuable. When you joined LinkedIn you probably started connecting with everyone and anyone you knew – co-workers from your first job, friends, family, random people you went to high school or college. This might help increase your network but it won’t generate new business or support your professional goals. Now is the time to make a strategic and deliberate plan to add new people to your network who are more in line with your business targets.
4. You aren’t leveraging your expertise
LinkedIn is a credible source of information in the professional world, in fact it is the top platform for B2B content. Does your network see you as an industry expert? Are you posting content that adds value to your audience? Developing a consistent and meaningful content plan helps to elevate you as a thought-leader and keeps you top of mind in the newsfeed. Engaging with other people’s content will further cement you as an industry expert.
5. You aren’t building relationships with your network
Authentic personal messages on LinkedIn are a powerful tool to build relationships. It’s easy to spot a spammy sales message but when decision makers receive something of value in a LinkedIn message, they are more likely to take notice. Start small with a simple “Thanks for connecting!” message and see how your network responds. You always want these to feel authentic and valuable.