Every business owner, freelancer, and entrepreneur knows that social media channels are a super important component of your marketing strategy. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, and Pinterest give you unique platforms to deliver your content to a (hopefully) ideal potential client or customer. But in the craziness of 2020, I am willing to bet that you are missing out on the one social media outlet that is built to grow your professional network. Yep, LinkedIn.
I know I know, it’s not flashy or sexy. No one wakes up like ‘OMG I have to check what Sarah’s consulting firm is up to on LinkedIn’. I would even go so far as to say that LinkedIn is often to the forgotten social media outlet. But it really shouldn’t be. LI is replacing mixers, networking events, and traditional face-to-face exchanges of information. More often at a professional event, I give out my IG handle or LI link rather than my business card.
But there is a right and a wrong way to approach any platform. To help you out, I’ve listed out eight of the biggest mistakes I’ve seen on LinkedIn. Give your profile and engagement a quick review keeping these in mind.
- Non-professional photo. This is a professional platform, and too many profile pictures look like a selfie from a bar. Only use a picture that you would be comfortable using as your bio picture on your website.
- Incomplete profile. Fill out all of the sections of your profile. This is essentially your live resume. Leaving sections blank is doing you a disservice. I highly suggest putting some time and effort into the volunteer section- this is a great way to grow your connections.
- Outdated profile. When you changed jobs 2 years ago and you never updated your profile, you are missing out on opportunities and connections that are more relevant to your current situation. Give your profile a quick review monthly or at a very minimum quarterly.
- Missing or incorrect contact information. If you want to grow connections, you have to be open to contact. You wouldn’t take out a billboard ad with an incorrect phone number or website, why would you treat a free listing online any differently?
- Not asking for and giving recommendations and endorsements. LinkedIn gives you a free way to nurture your connections and leave some love for those people who’ve impacted you. Most likely they will return the favor.
- Not growing your network with connections. Add your LinkedIn information to your physical or digital business card. Connect with new personal and business contacts. Accept and engage with connection requests. Growing this network organically, not spamming a bunch of strangers, will give you a stronger more engaging LinkedIn experience.
- Not posting original content. Write your opinions as an article. List out tips and advice for clients or colleagues. Post images of your work. Support charities and organizations that align with your business and personal goal. You will be pleasantly surprised at how supportive the LinkedIn community can be!
- Failing to engage with other people’s content. Like, comment, share. Leave some love and others will do the same. Remember, the goal is to serve others and this is social media, be social and be of service.
Did you have a custom URL? A custom URL is a simpler, better way to share your profile. Update your personal URL to display like this—linkedin.com/in/yourname —and eliminate their default URL with those pesky extra characters at the end. It’s a clean and easy improvement that will go a long way when you share your link.
To do this (on the desktop version) go to your profile and click ‘Edit public profile and URL’ in the top right corner.
Then ‘Edit your custom URL’
And presto- you look more professional than your average user!