5 Ways You’re Messing Up On LinkedIn

Back in April I wrote my first true introductory post about LinkedIn, giving tips on how to use it effectively. Well, it seems that there’s still a lot of folks out there that are using it incorrectly. How do I know? If it’s irking other people then you’re messing it up in my opinion.

by Mattias via Flickr

Frankly, when it comes to your business the last thing you really want to be doing is getting on people’s nerves. Most of these things are minor, but why get irritate people to begin with I always say. So, here are 5 things one should either stop or start doing.

1. Stop going with the default message when reaching out to new people. Goodness, this was my #1 gripe in the last post and it’s at the top again. How hard is it to write something different, even if it’s just “I think we might be able to do some work together so I’d love to connect with you on LinkedIn”, or “I figure this is a good time to connect with each other here on LinkedIn”?

2. When reaching out to people you want to connect with, don’t lie about how you know them. I cringe when I get a connection message that says “so and so says you’re friends” when I have absolutely no idea who they are.

3. Why don’t you have a picture? Unless I personally know someone I refuse to connect with anyone that doesn’t have an image on LinkedIn. My thought is that you’re either trying to hide something or you don’t have enough knowledge to know how to upload a photograph. The idea of LinkedIn is business networking; why the heck wouldn’t you put up an image?

4. Say something in a group every once in awhile. I don’t belong to a bunch of groups but every group I belong to I participate in every once in awhile, sometimes even more then once in awhile. Sure, it’s free, but what’s the point in being in something you’re never going to do anything in? I called people out in one group that has around 1,600 members yet only 10 people ever talk; that’s just a shame.

5. Make your profile more dramatic than a straight up resume. You’re not auditing for a job, you’re hoping to get some kind of business out of it. If there’s a service or product you’d like to highlight, then do it there. It’s a great opportunity to do something a little different that you might not want to do on your website.

15 thoughts on “5 Ways You’re Messing Up On LinkedIn”

  1. I tend to use facebook and twitter more than linkedIn, but I do see that a lot of my readers are sharing my links on linkedIn. It’s one of those neglected social networks I think that actually has a lot of potential for promoting a blog.

    1. Actually Richard, it’s not so much in promoting a blog as it is about promoting yourself. LinkedIn isn’t supposed to be the same as the other platforms because it is geared towards business; that’s why it’s important.

  2. Hey Mitch!

    Man that number one really gets me too!

    I always try to say something unique to the person when I send a connect request because that default message is so dry.

    That said, I *still* don’t use linkedIn as much as I should. I’ve read so many posts/ebooks on how to really work it, but it seems like it’s the very last “social” network I ever get around to.

    I can’t work it if I don’t participate, so it lies stagnant right now. Someone was telling me how the slideshare presentations really get a lot of play on LinkedIn so maybe I’ll give that a shot.

    1. John, if you hope to really push your business LinkedIn is where you need to be. Even if you don’t do a lot you should have a presence there. I go there and push my message here and there on services I provide and products I have to market. I’ll also push out messages on projects I’ve completed without giving away too much, and I pushed the conference I was speaking at last week, not only hoping to generate interest in the project but who knew, maybe someone else would want me to come speak to them on that topic. You’ve got to take some time to work it in.

  3. I am not quite sure that most Linkedin users are aware of the latest option. In the last 1 year, Linkedin went under great development adding new functionality and reduced the gap between paid and free membership. Linking blogs, linking accounts for presentations, adding new apps like Youtube videos and even developing new one are possible now. Linkedin is bringing very nice amount of traffic to my websites everyday and it is becoming one of my favorite social networks.

    1. Carl, I haven’t checked to see if I’m bringing in much traffic through LinkedIn, but I’m definitely getting a lot more people wanting to connect with me there, and it’s given me the opportunity to meet quite a few local business people as well.

  4. I don’t use my account on LinkedIn very often, cause I still can’t understand what benefits it can bring me. I use Facebook and Twitter, which can also help my business and which also give me benefits. I think that war between these 3 sites will last for a long time

    1. Jeanie, LinkedIn isn’t at war with anyone because their purpose is different. The three major benefits it can bring you are: connections with business people in your own area; connections with business people around the world; getting the word out about what you have to offer that other businesses might be able to partake of. If you’re not in business then it’s not for you; if you are, even if you just have a job, then you need to be there.

  5. The ones that use the default are often fake accounts these days. You cannot believe how people trying to wing the system. I once had a guy who said he was a director of my company, how about that!

    I am still guilty of a Resume like profile, I need the work on that. Thanks for the reminder.

    1. It’s what I do Nik. lol Actually I’ve had a few people who’s tried to connect with me saying they worked at my company, and since I’m a sole proprietor I’d know better. I never add those people; it’s just a way to get around not having an email address for me.

  6. Thanks for sharing your insights.. i have my LinkedIn account and yet I don’t know how to use it.I put my personal info ,education and experiences there.still dunno how to use it.
    i will do all your tips here..many thanks!

  7. I heard linkedin had plenty benefits but for some reason I never joined, even if, many people, especially bloggers are really into it. I think I may be lazy or something, why the hell am I not attracted to anything social media related?
    I have the same problem with twitter, I just drag myself there…
    Don’t get me wrong I love developing websites, promoting and writing, but I don’t feel attracted to social media and I know in this business its like having just one hand…

    1. Cristian, I don’t think a lot of bloggers actually do sign up for LinkedIn; a lot of business people do though, and many of them blog. As a matter of fact, it seems that 79% of all bloggers have college degrees, and most business owners and the like will have college degrees. And those are the people joining LinkedIn; if there’s any medium I really recommend for business people, that’s it.

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