Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Three Common LinkedIn Mistakes

LinkedIn is the #1 venue where business professionals are vetted. That first impression your profile makes can either lead to more business, or to being passed by without a second glance.

In many instances, it is your first chance to gain credibility for yourself and your company.

There are several tactics to get more people to view and read your LinkedIn profile. These are often overlooked because too little time and planning has gone into the profile development. 

Here are a few things for you to consider. 

The first mistake is the photo - a picture of you. LinkedIn has been pretty consistent over the past several years saying that profiles with photos are viewed 11x more than those without. 

A professional head shot is always best, business attire with you smiling. Avoid photos of pets, boats, group shots (which one is you?) and stick to the basics. Selfies don't cut it, nor do bar, wedding or party pics. 

Be professional. 

The second mistake is not using the background (banner) area, the space behind your head shot.  

Here you have several options, including your company logo, a company "team" photo (depending on the size of your company), a word cloud displaying the areas of expertise you and your company bring to the market, or in my case, a photo of me speaking at an industry event. 

The default is something you see frequently: the pale blue background with the dots being connected.

The background/banner area is great, free advertising space that is grossly underutilized on LinkedIn. 

The third mistake is the headline, the line under your photo. 

Too many people have the default, which is your current job title.

Unless you are the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, your headline should convey more than a nebulous job title. 

Tell people what you do and who you do it for. If your company sells cybersecurity tools or services and you are the marketing manager, why not say "Cyvbersecurity Brand Strategist" instead of "Marketing Manager"? If you sell trade show give-aways, you are a "Corporate Brand Ambassador", not a trinket merchant.

Each of these areas is on your opening screen shot. 

When someone pops in to view your profile, and each tactic will lay a role in determining if your profile visitor stays to read a little more, or moves quickly to the the next profile. 

Developed with careful planning and used properly, these three tactics will make your profile stand out from your competitors. 

I welcome your feedback.