LinkedIn is a professional and commercial platform. It’s a unique part of your online arsenal, unlike any other social media, and you need to use it differently.
What you do on LinkedIn matters: it really matters, and if you’re not careful, your actions can backfire and tarnish your brand and reputation. I’m going to throw out a wild guess and say that you don’t want to get burned by your mistakes. Fair enough.
Here are three naughty LinkedIn mistakes made by business owners and professionals alike that you should avoid and what you can do about them.
- Mistake #1 Having an incomplete profile
An unfinished profile just screams “rookie!” It’s a pretty clear sign that you don’t understand the online business world and it’s a roadblock in the way of people taking you seriously
Luckily the solution is simple, don’t make it harder than it needs to be. Just fill out your profile. Waltz through LinkedIn’s automated prompts and complete everything until your profile achieves the “all-star” ranking.
Don’t overthink it, anything is probably better than what you have right now.
- Mistake #2 Treating LinkedIn like it’s Facebook
Even though LinkedIn is “social” it’s still a professional platform, think ‘suit and tie’ not ‘singlet and shorts’. Far too many people treat updates on LinkedIn as if they’re Facebook statuses – posting motivational messages, magical quotes, maths puzzles and photos of unbearably cute animals. Look, that’s unprofessional at best and career suicide at worst.
What should you do instead?
Think of it like this, If you wouldn’t do it in a business meeting, presentation, or newsletter, then don’t do it in your LinkedIn updates. And remember “Even fools are thought wise when they keep silent”! Sometimes it’s simply better to say nothing.
- Mistake #3 Not Choosing a Custom URL
You may have missed out on your favourite Gmail and hotmail addresses, but you don’t have to miss out on your LinkedIn custom URL
By default, your LinkedIn URL is a sleep-inducing amalgam of letters and numbers. It will show up as something like “www.linkedin.com/zgjhgseo/23/38j/382.”
Talk about ugly, unprofessional and un-optimised. You need to change that nonsense into a custom URL so that it shows up as “http://www.linkedin.com/in/yourname.”
How? Simply jump on LinkedIn, go to edit profile mode, find your URL (it’s just under your profile photo), click edit and follow the prompts.
Even if you don’t quite see the need for one right now, it makes sense to snag the custom URL with your name before someone else beats you to it.
THE BIGGEST MISTAKE?
But the BIGGEST mistake I see people making on LinkedIn is that they have been ignoring it ever since they signed up way back when.
Things have changed and if you’re not tapping into the power of LinkedIn, you are truly missing out.
Consider these recent statistics on LinkedIn:
– LinkedIn is the #1 social network for driving traffic to corporate websites
– 80% of LinkedIn members want to connect with companies
– 80% of B2B social networking leads come from LinkedIn
Business has changed forever and for the foreseeable future LinkedIn isn’t going anywhere.
So if you’ve been ignoring LinkedIn and making these naughty mistakes, it’s not too late. You just need to hop on LinkedIn and fix them – now.
I will be coming to Newcastle on the Monday, 31 August 2015 for the inaugural Movers & Shakers event, arranged by Janelle Gerrard of Design Change and sponsored by NAB.
It’s called “Unlocking LinkedIn: Learn how successful business owners and professionals use LinkedIn to get ahead.”
For more details and tickets please click here.