LinkedIn has long been a powerful tool for professionals to gain exposure by networking. When used right, the benefits of LinkedIn include making meaningful connections with other professionals in your industry, as well as past and present clients. But if you don’t know how to use LinkedIn to its full potential, you could be missing out on its advantages or even misrepresenting yourself, negatively affecting your brand.
1: Your Profile Is Incomplete
This site exists as a platform to show your connections what you have to offer, but you won’t impress anyone if your profile is missing important information, such as your education and professional experience. Luckily, this is one LinkedIn mistake that’s easy to fix.
According to Small Business Trends, you don’t need to fill out all of the sections if they don’t apply to you, but you should at least complete the main sections. At the very least, include a summary, work experience, education, languages, skills and endorsements, and ways to contact you.
2: You Don’t Update Your Status
Just because your profile is complete doesn’t mean you can stop adding content. If you want to get the full benefits of LinkedIn, you should make updates as often as you can. This means keeping your profile up to date, but it also means posting status updates that relate to your business.
LinkedIn for Dummies suggests that you make updates about any accomplishments or goals you have for your business. You can also share articles relevant to your industry, and don’t forget to comment on your connections’ status updates once in a while.
3: You Spam People
While interacting with others on LinkedIn is encouraged, you should make sure what you’re doing is not considered spam. For example, sending unsolicited messages to people in an attempt to sell your products or services is spammy and a clear sign you don’t know how to use LinkedIn properly. Even sending out multiple connection requests without personalized messages can be seen as spammy. Not only will spam look bad for your business, it can also get you kicked off LinkedIn, so make sure you avoid this mistake.
4: Your Profile Picture Is Blurry, Inappropriate, or Nonexistent
According to Jeff Bullas, people are about seven times more likely to open a LinkedIn profile with a photo compared to a profile without one. But this doesn’t mean you should put just any photo up. You should make sure it is not only professional but also clear. Putting up a blurry picture of you drinking beer would be one of the more embarrassing LinkedIn mistakes you could make. If your actions or attire in your picture would not be appropriate for a business meeting or even just a day at the office, it doesn’t belong in your LinkedIn profile photo.
5: You Haven’t Personalized Your URL
Business Insider recommends that you replace your generic LinkedIn URL with a customized version. This is one of the LinkedIn mistakes that can be solved very easily, by simply going to Settings and then the Public Profile URL section so you can change the default string of random numbers to your name. This will provide a more streamlined address that looks better on business cards, websites, and social media.
6: You Don’t Network with Others on LinkedIn
One of the main benefits of LinkedIn is the ease of networking with others in your industry. So if you haven’t connected with many people on this site, you’re missing out on one of its main uses.
Supporting Small Biz suggests you start by connecting with your employees and colleagues on LinkedIn. Then you should reach out to professionals in your field whom you would like to get to know. For best results, send invitations to people with whom you have at least one connection in common. Make sure you include a personalized note that explains why you want to connect so you don’t come off as spammy.
Now that you know about some of the LinkedIn mistakes you might be making, you should feel more confident using the site to network for your business. If you don’t have the time to take this one, we can help!