9 School Boy Errors That Undermine Your LinkedIn Success

**For Small Business Owners – Complete With LinkedIn Profile Checklist**

LinkedIn is the most up to date database of its kind in the world. We all have a vested interest in keeping our profile up to date and looking great!

However, there are some school boy/girl errors that we need to overcome to ensure we are not shooting outselves in the foot when it comes to succeeding on LinkedIn. And let me say, if you are guilty, you are most certainly not alone!

This article focuses on your profile and your presence as a business owner and covers my top 9 mistakes. Are you making them?

1. Your Photograph Is Too Personal (or non-existent)

Wedding photos, holiday snaps and night out are for Facebook. It is always best to opt for a nice head and shoulder shot on your profile without a busy background (unless it is related to your work). This doesn’t have to be taken professionally… but it does need to make you look professional.

If you have no photograph at all, this is a quick and necessary fix. Without one, those seeking you out will think that you do not keep your profile up to date, and therefore are unlikely to engage with you.

2. Your profile is misaligned to your reasons for being on LinkedIn

You may be very clear in your head that you are on LinkedIn to get leads for your business, or to show off your credentials and authority to win new contracts. However, if you don’t show this in your profile, then you are doomed!

So if you are on LinkedIn to generate business, make sure your profile represents this to those checking you out; and not simply a CV… like those individuals looking for a new role may show.

Consider how you can show what you are about and what you offer in your LinkedIn, as well as providing the right type of material to share on your profile, e.g. video, case studies, results etc. You are representing your brand, so it needs to be tiptop.

3. Your LinkedIn Headline is Wishy-Washy

Your headline will be more effective if it shows the value you provide to those that you are trying to appeal to; not just some generic information. If you are using generic terminology and just a job title, this is going to lack the punch when you try and connect with them or contact them.

Those looking for businesses like yours will often use the search facility in LinkedIn, and also Sales Navigator (the paid for service), so your headline must also pick up on key search terms that people looking for you and your services may use.

4. You are not talking in the same language as those you wish to attract

When writing your profile, it is always better to try and write in a way that attracts the right people; and use the right words and terminology to reel them in. It might be based on the industry you want to work with, the job titles of those you do business with, or a view of the key services or products you have.

5. You don’t have any recommendations that tell others you’re tried, tested and trusted

There’s nothing more believable than testimonials and recommendations of others you have worked with. That will be more powerful than anything we write ourselves.

If you’re missing this feature of your LinkedIn profile, then why not go and ask some clients to write a recommendation for you, right now!

6. Not taking the time to connect with others on a personal level

I get inundated with connection requests on LinkedIn; and so do you, I am sure. And for that reason, it is often good to understand why they are connecting in the first place, to make sure it’s a worthy connection for you.

So to make sure that your connection request to others is ‘worthy’, ensure you personalise this request and explain why it is you want to connect with them. It makes a huge difference to your success.

7. Not giving others the opportunity to check you out in more detail

You are doing yourself and your business a disservice if you do not hook up your LinkedIn profile to your website and your other social media assets. This is a chance for those looking at your profile to find out more about you and what you do; and to drive traffic to your website. Make that a key call to action on your profile.

8. Infrequently using LinkedIn means a lack of progress

With most team sports, we have to take part in them frequently to get better at it, and to connect well with the players in the team. And it’s no different on LinkedIn. If you want it to perform for you, then you have to put in effort with your connections to nurture the relationship; whether that is posting useful content from your profile, sharing and commenting on their posts, or sending relevant and useful personal messages to them.

You need to speculate to accumulate. This is the same with any social media channel. It’s hard to find the time (I know that myself). But it does pay off, and I can genuinely say I have won business because of interactions on LinkedIn. Be interested, interesting and helpful.

9. You’re being creepy!!

If you want to have a little stalk on other’s LinkedIn profiles that is fine. But it is worth considering the ‘stealth mode’ if you want to continually look at them in an unknown fashion! You’ll need to change this in your settings, under profile privacy.

Right, that’s it! Why not start to improve your personal presence on LinkedIn now!

Here’s a nifty checklist to get you started….

This checklist tells you what to do… and how to do it, to get the very BEST from your Personal Profile & Presence on LinkedIn. Just click here.

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