Lessons from LinkedIn and online dating profiles

Most readers here will be seeking new clients. And some may also be seeking a new romantic relationship. And LinkedIn and reputable dating sites are key channels to achieve those objectives.

Now before anyone starts throwing darts of outrage or grits their teeth to the gum, let me state clearly that dating sites are not intended for business. Neither is LinkedIn the platform to find a date or spouse. Yet the core elements of success, mistakes, lessons and intent of both are comparable.

LinkedIn and several dating sites provide great opportunities for visibility, impact and influence. Profiles that authentically reflect the brand promise achieve the best results.

Profiles that are clear, honest, creative and engaging aren’t always easy to deliver. Having been a LinkedIn trainer and marketer for many years, along with meeting my current husband on RSVP nine years ago, I have waded through thousands of profiles. I know a thing or ten on what will, and won’t, cut the mustard.

Duplicated banality

Does any of the following sound familiar?

LinkedIn: “I am a seasoned, results-driven professional with a solid track record. I have a proven history of solving problems. I care about my clients and building new networks.”

Dating sites: “I love quiet nights at home and going out. I enjoy walks on the beach and good food. I have a great sense of humour and my family is very important to me.”

The above are recurrent examples of lazy, duplicated boring clichés that could apply to any other Tom, Dick and Mary. They have no value or context, are subjective and are as inspiring as a sack of rotten potatoes.

Delusion vs optimism

Trust is the foundation of all successful relationships. It’s useless attempting to portray yourself as 2 metres tall if you are 1.5 metres; as extroverted if an introvert; or as a global influencer if you are a local TAFE graduate. Rhetoric must match reality.

It’s a rabbit hole of delusion when initial interest is driven by pretence and hence not sustainable. “Fake it till you make it” is complete nonsense. It causes undue stress as it’s impossible to be the answer to everyone’s prayers and needs. You will attract some and repel others as your vibe will attract your tribe.

Top LinkedIn profile tips
  1. Self-reflection and courage is the backdrop to attract ideal clients, position your value and expertise.
  2. Share what makes you tick and what is important to you. Put a spotlight on your who, what, why, where, when and unique differentiators (you have 2000 characters).
  3. Show some personality and even a glimpse of your life passions (as appropriate).
  4. A current and clear photograph which is a realistic best version of you. No sunnies, wedding, group and out of focus photos.
  5. The headline is a critical identification search field. With circa 180 characters, add your profession, areas of expertise, target markets, key information and focus.  Leave out extraneous and salesy fluff.
  6. A branded banner makes a real impression. Add logos, images, taglines, media and website elements.
  7. Name field – only for names (and suffixes and qualifications), extra information is tacky.
  8. Voice recording feature. Introduce yourself in 30 seconds.
  9. Show don’t tell, weave your unique story conversationally.
  10. Ditch clichés, banal and blanket statements. Add context.
  11. Make it easy to be contacted and include your details.
Summing up

LinkedIn profiles that are unique, relevant and engaging along with a strategic marketing plan will deliver top results.

Oh, and unless you are a food, you are not seasoned and not everyone enjoys walks on the beach!

Sue Parker, Founder, DARE Group Australia

DARE Group Australia is a valued content partner of Inside Small Business