I often coach clients who are working on better networking with LinkedIn. As I coach, I see some common mistakes that have been made that can be detrimental to making good connections. I thought it would be a good idea to pass some of these mistakes along to you so you can avoid these common pitfalls:
- Misleading Profile Title
When I visit your profile, I should be able to tell what you do as soon as I see your name, with your title beneath. This seems simple, yet time and time again I see titles that do not describe the job a person has. For instance, “Partner” is not a good title. It leaves me with too many questions. It’s better to have a title such as, “ Construction Attorney, Law Firm Partner” Another example of a bad title is “Consultant”. A better title would be “Business Consultant to Physicians and Dentists.” If I look at your title, will I be able to tell what it is you do? If not, you’re missing out on a good branding opportunity.
- Not Enough Information in Your Profile
The most powerful page of LinkedIn is your profile. Let’s say I see your name in a list of connections of a friend. Or maybe I see your name in a group discussion from a comment you have added. Any time someone sees you mentioned anywhere on LinkedIn, if they do not know you, they are going to click your name and come to your profile. They want to see who you are and what you are all about. Your profile is going to give them that “snapshot” of you. The more information you have on your profile, the better picture you will be giving. If you do not fill out your profile, your viewers have nothing to go on. You seem like a blank slate and they will click away and move on to other things. To avoid this, be sure to include lots of information about positions you’ve held, organizations you have been a part of in the past and present, awards, honors, degrees, et cetera.
- Joining the Wrong Groups
Really, the first mistake most people make when it comes to LinkedIn Groups is not joining any. If you are not in groups, it’s time to start. They can be a very powerful place to see others and be seen. When joining groups, don’t just join the obvious groups, such as you professional associations. Be sure to join groups that would be populated by your potential clients and customers. That’s why I belong to groups such as “Women in Insurance” or “Medical Writers Forum.” These are groups that have people who may be interested in learning more about marketing their businesses. I can share information on marketing and those who are trying to up their marketing game will come look at my profile and connect with me. Who are the people you serve? What groups would they belong to? Those are some of the groups in which you should be participating.
- Failing to Start Discussions in Groups
Discussions are one of those golden opportunities for branding that are not obvious. This is one of the biggest secrets of LinkedIn. If you are one of the few people who starts discussions in the groups you join, you will be seen by hundreds, maybe thousands of members of the group. Where else can you be seen so easily discussing topics that are relevant to your audience and that put you in the spotlight as an expert? Being seen a few times in a group will allow those members to become more acquainted with who you are and what you do. That’s what branding is all about. Don’t miss this golden opportunity. Start a discussion today.
I’ve used LinkedIn for several years now. I have seen first hand how having a strong presence on LinkedIn helps me get the word out about who I am and what I do. This type of branding has helped open many doors for me and helped start valuable relationships that have led to developing more business.
If you are looking for more information on how to use LinkedIn to grow your business, check out LinkedIn 101.