LinkedIn is a powerhouse for leads. Be it business opportunities or gigs as assignments. But it’s important to show up well. LinkedIn is a platform where absolute professional people hop in every day. Therefore if not already, you should focus on representing yourself well to not miss any business opportunities. In this guide, I will be talking about what not to put on LinkedIn & things to avoid on LinkedIn.
The LinkedIn mistakes I will be mentioning in this post will save your day and help you generate leads directly from the platform that scales from small businesses to fortune 500 companies. You never know who lands up on your profile (that doesn’t have any of the below-mentioned flaws) and you bag a business deal without paying a dime.
As part of this guide, I will cover the following:
A brief note about LinkedIn
Jaw dropping statistics about LinkedIn
Sloppy LinkedIn mistakes you should avoid
With that said, let’s begin the guide.
First of, what actually is LinkedIn?
LinkedIn is a social network for professionals where B2B & B2C type professionals spend hours together on the platform. LinkedIn is on a mission to “connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful”
If you are business owners, you can attract talent to your business & scale multiple folds on LinkedIn. If you are a resource with skills, you can find jobs, find gigs & grow your career on number one professional network on the planet.
So basically, you can grow your professional career on LinkedIn be it as a job aspirant or business owners.
Why LinkedIn? Jaw Dropping Statistics About LinkedIn
#1 Two professionals join LinkedIn every second
With a network of over 600 million professionals, LinkedIn bags number one professional network across the globe.
In Q3 of 2016, Twitter scaled only 9 million(from 317 to 326 million) while LinkedIn scaled a whopping 128 million in the same period (from 467 to 590 million)
#2 154 Million Americans have LinkedIn profiles
LinkedIn has the highest number of users from the US, that’s nearly 50% of the US citizens. The remaining 70% from rest of the world. Furthermore, users engage in 24 different languages.
#3 50 percent of US citizens with a college degree use LinkedIn
Pew Research found that US citizens that are educated, urban, professionals earning more than $75000 per year. Furthermore, this network is highly popular among the 25-49 age group.
#4 45% of all the LinkedIn users are in upper management
There’s a reason why LinkedIn has soft corners for B2B lead-generators as more than 45% of users are decision makers. Imagine your efforts are seen by one of these users?
#5 57% of LinkedIn users are active through mobile
This is a professional platform, and I don’t think professionals have time to spend time on mobile phones. Hence the percentage of mobile users are so low when compared to Facebook(88%) and YouTube(70%)
There are a ton of such jaw-dropping figures I’ll restrict it to only 5, because I have way better content to cover.
Let’s dive in.
1. Boring & Not So Informative Headlines
The headline is the most important section of your LinkedIn profile. That’s the first thing people see when they come across any post on their feeds. Keeping it misguiding or plain is not cool at all. You should think of a headline that will resonate with your target audience and make them take some action, either interact with your post and/or visit your profile.
Here are some tips to create awesome headlines for your LinkedIn profiles:
Describe yourself in headlines. One word, to point and tempting.
Include keywords you want to rank for in the headlines. LinkedIn search scans headlines to determine search results. There’s no point in having a headline that doesn’t help you land in search results.
Don’t add puns in your headlines, you’re not stand up comedian. Be professional and speak on the point
Describe your achievements & area of expertise in your headlines
#2 Style Your Headlines To Increase CTR
When people see your profile in search results or in the feed, they notice the headline against your name. It tells 3 things about you:
What you do
Whom you work for &
Your designation or level of expertise
Now, there are three styles of headlines that are best to have on your profile. Here are the three styles.
Keyword Centered Headline: As I mentioned above, you can include keywords in your headlines to appear in search results.
Don’t overdo it. You’ll be marked spam like any other search engines.
Client Centered Headline: This is a little cheeky but it works for business owners. Attracting clients is not easy, especially on LinkedIn. You can be anyone, you might even fake like Yahoo CEO once did. Create a sense of urgency and make them believe you.
Credibility Focused Headline: Credibility is an entity that rules this platform. If you are credible, you will be rewarded accordingly. Include your credibility in your headline and when it appears on the feed or search results, you’re more likely to convert.
Here’s a helpfu video on headlines
#3 Utilize 120 Characters for Headline
You have 120 characters to win the visitors. Use it to show who you professionally are, what you do and for who you do. If there are some achievements under your belt, showcase it.
Use these 120 characters to convince the visitors that you are kind of a big deal.
#4 Standout on LinkedIn Search
LinkedIn search enables you to search for resources & businesses. Either way, if you want to be found on LinkedIn as yourself these three questions:
Can your client easily find out what you have to offer?
Where do you rank in advance search of LinkedIn?
How many views your profile has weekly?
You can find the number of people who viewed your profile on your dashboard. You can find your weekly stats in the search appearance section.
Based on this data, you can modify your headline.
#5 Not Having Real Name
That’s elementary. This is not Facebook to have fake profiles & reap benefits. Here’s a checklist you should check about your profile name:
Avoid personal information
Avoid symbols in your profile names
Unprofessional name formats reduce your credibility
Professional & educational abbreviations are fine like Dr. & PhD
#6 Professional Profile Photo
The profile picture is important, you are the face of your business & skills. It’s recommended to have a professionally dressed photo where you are looking straight into the viewer’s eyes and have a neutral background.
You represent your business, look good & fresh.
#7 No Cover Photo
If you don’t have a cover photo or have a photo like on Facebook, you’re mistaken. The cover photo is a space you can utilize to showcase some more information you couldn’t fit in the headline of your profile.
Utilize that space to grab the visitor’s attention.
#8 No Summary or Current Experience
Another section you have to pitch yourself in the summary section. If you are having the summary as blank, you are leaving a lot of money on the table. Visitors will have nothing to know about you and hence leaving the summary empty or not relevant is nothing but a crime.
Furthermore, the summary is a place to talk to your visitors, audience & users. Add compelling work experience and do the following:
Describe the company you work for or the company you own.
Most inspiring information about your company.
Describe products/services you offer
#9 No Recommendation or Skills
One of the most fruitful features LinkedIn has is recommendations. You can seek recommendations from credible people. Recommendations are social proofs that you’re are worthy resources. When you appear on search results visitors, especially the business owners, look for recommendations from credible people.
As best practices, I recommend having at least 5 recommendations from credible. Reach out to the credible people on LinkedIn ask them if they can recommend you for skills you are good at. If you have worked with someone, seek recommendations from them for that work.
#10 No Custom URL
When you sign up on LinkedIn, your profile URL is a set of random characters meaning nothing and is not friendly enough when you share or someone notices it.
LinkedIn lets you customize your URL so that you can have your name in the URL and make it readable and hence more credibility and professionalism. Above this, people can easily find you, simply add your name at the end of the domain name.
Unless your name is from another planet, you should customize your name right away.
Here’s how to customize your Public Profile URL
Click the Me icon at the top of your LinkedIn homepage.
Click View profile.
On your profile page, click Edit public profile & URL on the right rail.
Under Edit URL in the right rail, click the Edit icon next to your public profile URL.
It’ll be an address that looks like www.linkedin.com/in/yourname.
Type the last part of your new custom URL in the text box.
If you want to do this on a mobile browser, here’s how to do it.
Tap your profile picture.
Scroll to the Contact and Personal Info section and tap the Edit icon.
On the Edit contact info page, tap on your personal Profile URL. You’ll be redirected to the Public profile settings page.
Under the Edit URL section, tap the Edit icon next to your public profile URL.
Type the last part of your new custom URL in the text box.
#11 Having a LinkedIn Profile like a Resume
Unless you are a job seeker, this isn’t going to be fruitful for you. Having an impersonal tone in your profile summary of headlined can quickly turn off the visitors. Furthermore, if you are seeking potential clients from LinkedIn, this is not the right strategy I’d recommend for you to have.
Having an active & first-person tone throughout your profile is highly fruitful.
#12 Don’t reply or Engage
Say you have a perfect profile and people get in touch on LinkedIn direct message, but you don’t reply for any reason. Feeling ignored is the worst feeling for someone. When the potential client reaches out you better reply as soon as possible at least use the suggested replies. Once you have time to attend the message, customize and respond to it professionally.
#13 Not Personalizing Your Messages
You can make the senders feel good by visiting their profile finding a little bit about them. Do this for all the messages you send, it makes them feel good. Study their work and talk about it, at best, rightfully appreciate it.
When you get something personalized you love it, don’t you?
The same thing is for the people who send messages to you. Furthermore, personalized messages resonate & convert better than otherwise.
Avoid LinkedIn Mistakes That Reduce Credibility
It’s okay if you are already committing these mistakes, you can rectify it right away. I myself had a couple of these mistakes on my LinkedIn profile, but I changed it before writing this post. LinkedIn is a professional network, let’s not make it Facebook or Twitter. Spend 15 minutes to make your LinkedIn profile look super professional.