Don’t be a buffoon on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the world’s most powerful professional networking site with 10 million+ Australian members. The opportunities are boundless and debates of the platforms power obsolete.

But how LinkedIn is used will determine the level of success and impact experienced. Circa 44 per cent of members use LinkedIn multiple times daily or weekly so it essential to get real and review how you are showing up.

There are many articles on what to do on LinkedIn.  But of equal importance is what NOT to do. Here are six key areas that can and do reduce impact, repel people and compromise brand  integrity.

Profile

Don’t appear disconnected and pompous by writing your profile in the third person. Get real here – unless you are super elite or a TV mega star you look egotistical. Always write in the first person.

Kick off your summary with the problems you solve and your value proposition. No clichés, cut and pastes, and childhood narratives.

The headline is not the place to be a smarty-pants. It’s a search section to list your expertise. Common keywords are the critical and if space is available sure add extra. Keep the quirkiness for your summary and banner.

Don’t put your mobile or URL in the headline or extraneous information in the name fields. It’s against LinkedIn’s User Agreement and you just look desperate.

Photos: no partners, logos or sunglasses, those taken when you were 15 years old etc. Show them who you really are.

Connection requests and networks

Don’t be lazy and spray and pray all over the place. Get real about your strategy and connect with target markets and those of real interest. Don’t be fooled by the belief that everyone needs a huge network – they don’t. Some businesses need to build a big network others don’t.

Do not use automation plug in connection tools. It’s illegal and you risk profile suspension.

Always send a short but personalised invitation on why you would like to connect. Make people feel a tad special – not just a number in the LinkedIn supermarket.

Manners

Big one here around the perception of your personal brand. Always respond to messages from your first degree connections and all comments on your posts and articles. People observe how you treat others publicly.

Engagement pods

Exercise caution. Most pods are designed to simply game the algorithms to inflate visibility and reach with disparate industry members. They can harm your personal brand, feed display and have a host of other issues.

Videos

Videos are powerful when done well. But 75 per cent of videos shouldn’t see the light of day. Don’t follow the craze without strategy. Car videos, seatbelts fastened whilst driving, running down the street, out of bed hair, just wanted to share my thoughts etc. Does it translate to new business or just vanity view metrics?

Content and strategy

Sharing quality content builds expert authority and personal brand credibility. It’s not about how successful you are but the learning and value you give to your ideal client and networks.

Some personal stuff is OK in moderation. Ideally tie the personal to a business value and message. Share a mix posts, articles, and pdfs. Videos. Mix it up – don’t flood with all my events, look at me how well I’m doing and smashing it. Create a strategy of value marketing and intent.

Humblebragging is boring. There are clever ways to position yourself without self-aggrandisement and the covert: I’m so humbled – I was privileged – It was an honour.

Sue Parker, Founder, DARE Group Australia

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