What to Avoid on LinkedIn: Don’t Make These Mistakes
If you’ve been putting off time on Linkedin because you don’t understand it, you don’t see the point of it, or you feel you don’t know how to use it well, I’m going to tell you right now…
It’s time to get on LinkedIn!
Linkedin is free to use as a sales platform, the reach is incredible, and it’s a super-duper efficient way to network with members in your target audience (whether you’re looking for partners, clients, mentors, etc.).
Linkedin is so much more than a resume board (that was so 2005…).
Lots of business owners don’t leverage it to its full potential. I get clients ALL THE TIME who aren’t using Linkedin’s tools to the fullest. Maybe it’s because:
- You’re anxious about using a platform they don’t know much about
- You’re worried it will suck up even more of their social media time
- You just don’t know what’s possible
- You’ve dipped your toes in, didn’t see an immediate return, and gave up quickly
Linkedin has the potential to be THE single greatest lead-gathering tool you use for your business.
What makes LinkedIn so powerful for entrepreneurs?
Remember what Facebook Business Pages were like a decade ago? Huge reach, no algorithms limiting the number of your followers who would see your posts? It was the wild west of doing business on Facebook.
In a lot of ways, that’s Linkedin today.
You have the ability to reach a massive audience of engaged members with your posts, messages, invites, groups, connections, etc. There are tons of ways to get in front of the eyes of potential clients with your offers.
Now with all that said, there are plenty of ways I see users NOT making the most of their Linkedin profile and outreach.
With the potential to bring you great-fit clients on the regular, it’s worth spending some time learning about mistakes NOT to make on Linkedin.
I don’t bring up these mistakes to shame you if you’re already on LinkedIn, or scare you if you’re on the fence about using it as a lead-generating tool.
I’m pointing out these Top 10 LinkedIn Mistakes so that you can make changes and transform your Linkedin presence from ho-hum to your top (and maybe even favorite) sales tool. It’s mine.
And I’m going to suggest: as you’re reading through these common mistakes, open your Linkedin profile in another tab, get yourself over there, and start putting these changes into action!
Top 10 Linkedin Mistakes (And Tips For Fixing Them)
1. You Aren’t Using Your LinkedIn Cover Photo Real Estate
You have that blue, default banner. Bummer.
This is an incredible opportunity to showcase your business front and center on your profile. Use a creative tool like Canva or Photoshop, and create a cover photo image that speaks to what you do simply and clearly. You MUST do this.
Make it so that when people click on your profile, they can learn more about what you do right away on your banner. You can head over to my Linkedin page and can see mine as an example.
2. Your LinkedIn Headline Sucks
Your headline is generic, lackluster, or non-existent (you haven’t completed it yet).
Remember, your headline shows up when you comment, post, or get recommended.
So make it stand out.
Your headline should have keywords that tell people what you do, to help you show up in searches, too. Think about the terms people are typing into the search bar when they’re looking for services like yours.
And if you have an exciting headline, include that in there, too (up to about 100 characters).
The great thing about the digital world is that we can update our information all the time. Try something new, and keep making adjustments until your headline is a great fit for you and the people looking for you on Linkedin.
3. You Aren’t Using Your LinkedIn About Section Very Well
You only have one or two paragraphs. Big walls of text.
Your About summary needs to be compelling, not just a lump of words that’s hard to read.
Make it easy for your audience to quickly take in your info, and do the same thing you would do on other social media platforms: use one-sentence paragraphs, try bullet points, or write headlines to separate your text.
Include your keywords here, too, to get found in searches.
Again, you can view my profile here as an example.
4. You Haven’t Completed Your Full LinkedIn Profile
According to Linkedin, members with complete profiles are far more likely to receive business opportunities through the platform. If that’s not a hint, I don’t know what is.
Linkedin will give you “All-Star” status if you’ve completely filled out your profile. Your school, your work history, your about summary, your headline, etc.
It’s up-in-the-air as to if Linkedin shows your profile more often if it’s complete, but they push this hard, so it’s in your best interest for visibility to fill all of this out and get your All-Star badge.
5. You Aren’t Asking Regularly for Recommendations on LinkedIn
You have this incredible tool at your fingertips called Recommendations!
Ask previous employers, coworkers, past clients, current clients, people you’ve had a great discovery call with, someone who has engaged with you elsewhere (this doesn’t have to be someone who paid for your services) to give you a Recommendation.
Linkedin makes this easy: just click on someone’s profile and ask (use the “More…” button).
If there’s one thing you can (and should) do TODAY, it’s ask for Recommendations.
Another strategy: pay it forward! Give others Recommendations, and watch them reciprocate reciprocate. Be a go-giver!
6. You Aren’t Making New LinkedIn Connections Every Day
I typically recommend my clients make 20-30 new connections every day.
If you’re not actively adding connections, your audience is going to grow v e r y s l o w l y.
I know it sounds like a lot, but if you put it into a system, it’s really quite easy to do.
Here are some quick tips to find great-fit connections:
- Enter a keyword related to your target audience in the search bar (FYI, Linkedin only allows so many free searches per month, or you can do a paid account).
- Add your second-degree connections to be able to comment on your posts.
- If you’re planning a trip to a conference, convention, expo, etc., search for the event and connect with others engaging on the page.
7. You Aren’t Using Linkedin to Convert Your Audience
You’re not using Linkedin to send your connections to your email list or website, or making offers.
My action item for you: get out of the “friend zone.”
It’s nice to give helpful tips and post about your life, but you’re in business to TO DO BUSINESS!
I make offers on Linkedin all the time. It’s what’s going to keep your business growing month over month.
If you have a lead magnet, direct people there. You can also put your offers in your About summary, your Cover Photo, etc., but really you should also be posting about your offer once a week.
8. You Aren’t Consistent on LinkedIn
Straight up, you should be posting once per day.
Show up regularly.
If you’re not, do it now.
9. You’re Simply Posting Quotes or Links to Other Articles
Don’t go promoting other people’s content when you can be promoting your own!
Instead of posting a Tony Robbins quote, post your own. Or better yet, make it a sentence or two.
And don’t have all your posts link to other articles (even your own!) because Linkedin will suppress your reach. Write your posts, add “find the link in the comments,” and add it there.
10. You’re Not Using Linkedin Messenger
Yes, I’m talking about the dreaded DMs! This has been incredibly useful in my own business.
It doesn’t have to feel icky or pushy or inauthentic.
Don’t pitch hard, don’t be slimy, and treat people as people. Simple.
Personalize your direct messages, and be sure to use them for following up with new connections in the face-to-face world.
Here’s a Mad Lib example you might use to message someone after a meet-up:
“Hey there, ________(name)! I really enjoyed touching base with you at ___________(event/place). If you ever want to talk shop about_______________(your services), I’m always game for a good brainstorming session. Take care!”
It’s simple, personal, and a great way to get on another Linkedin member’s radar.
Don’t Make These Linkedin Mistakes
These mistakes on Linkedin range from simply keeping you hidden from the people you want to connect and build relationships with, to (in a worst-case scenario) making you look unprofessional and possibly getting you blocked.
Instead, use these tips to make a great first impression and generate new leads on the regular. It’s free, it’s easy when you get the hang of it (promise), and it’s so worth your effort and time when you do it well. Believe me.
If you’re ready to attract more high-end clients, build meaningful connections, and reach other influencers, then this is the way to start making it happen today.
I invite you to connect with me on Linkedin too — it can be good practice to reach out in a safe space first if you’re feeling nervous.