LinkedIn has long been a powerful tool for professional networking. When used correctly, it can make meaningful connections with others in your industry, as well as past and present clients. However, if you don’t know how to use LinkedIn to its full potential, you could be missing out on its advantages or misrepresenting yourself, which can negatively affect your brand.
Whether you are just joining this social network or looking to revamp your profile, below are just a few of the most common LinkedIn mistakes to help get you started.
Mistake 1: Your Profile is Incomplete
LinkedIn exists as a platform to show your connections what you have to offer, but you won’t get very far if your profile is missing important information like your education and professional experience. Luckily, these are easy updates to make.
According to Small Business Trends, there’s no need to fill out all of the sections if they don’t apply to you. But, you should still complete the main sections, including summary, work experience, languages, skills, endorsements, and contact information. It’s a great way for your connections to get a better sense of you.
Mistake 2: You Don’t Update Your Status
Just because your profile is complete doesn’t mean you should stop there. Keep your profile up-to-date and post status updates relating to your business to engage your network.
LinkedIn for Dummies suggests making updates about any goals or accomplishments you have for your business. You can also share articles relevant to your industry and comment on your connections’ updates and posts to build relationships.
Mistake 3: You Spam People
While interacting with others on LinkedIn is encouraged, make sure that what you’re doing is not considered spam. For example, sending unsolicited messages in an attempt to sell your products or services can come off as spammy. Sending out multiple connection requests without personalized messages can also be seen that way. This will not only look bad for your business, but can also result in being kicked off LinkedIn.
Mistake 4: Your Profile Picture is Blurry, Inappropriate, or Nonexistent
According to Jeff Bullas, people are about seven times more likely to click on a LinkedIn profile with a photo than a profile without one. That being said, your profile photo must not only be professional, but also clear. Putting up a blurry picture of you drinking a beer would not be a good idea. If your actions or attire in your picture would not be appropriate in the office, it is also not appropriate for LinkedIn.
Mistake 5: You Haven’t Personalized Your URL
Business Insider recommends that you replace your generic LinkedIn URL with a customized version. To do that, go to Settings and then the Public Profile URL section to change the default URL to your name. This provides a more streamlined address that looks better on business cards, websites and social media.
Mistake 6: You Don’t Network with Others on LinkedIn
One of the main benefits of LinkedIn is the ease of networking with others in your industry. Supporting Small Biz suggests connecting with your employees and colleagues and then reaching out to other professionals in your field who you would like to get to know. For best results, reach out to people who you have at least one connection in common with and include a personalized note explaining why you want to connect.
In conclusion, LinkedIn is a great resource to build your network, but like traditional networking, it requires effort and engagement. Our 2015 Beginner’s Guide to LinkedIn is packed with more information on how to boost your reputation and putting LinkedIn’s benefits to good use.Digital & Social Articles on Business 2 Community