6 LinkedIn Errors that Are Diminishing Your Profile
LinkedIn is one of the most valuable personal branding resources you have – when you use it correctly. Using LinkedIn effectively is something successful professionals do.
Here are some of the things that get in the way of maximizing the value of LinkedIn.
1. Thinking of it as a resume.
When LinkedIn emerged a decade years ago, people thought of it as an online resume. They created their profiles as digital replicas of their analog CVs. Despite massive enhancements to LinkedIn, many people continue to use it that way. It’s time to ditch that mindset and start using LinkedIn as your personal customizable web site and online portfolio. When you start taking advantage of all the LinkedIn features at your disposal and make it the hub of your online networking, you’ll unleash the rewards of this powerful platform for building your brand.
2. Using your job title as your headline.
Think of your profile headline as the headline of an ad. The job of an advertising headline is to get the audience to want to read more. Job titles are boring. And they’re not unique. Worse, they often don’t include all the keywords for which you want to be known. Having the right keywords in your headline is crucial for showing up in relevant searches. When creating your headline, include:
what you do the keywords for which you want to be known something that piques readers’ interest It may seem like a tall order to do all that in 120 characters, but these are probably the most important 120 characters of your LinkedIn profile.
If you don’t create a headline, LinkedIn will use your dreadfully dull job title as your entrance sign.
3. No headshot.
Wrong headshot. Bad headshot. The web is a nebulous place. People want to connect a face with a name. You are twice as likely to receive a response to your connection request if you have a photo. But just having a photo is not enough. It must be of high quality, and your face should cover about 80% of the real estate. In addition, you need to be looking forward or facing into your content. Avoid the selfies and the full-body shots, and don’t hide behind a logo or other image. By using a professional-looking photograph, you’ll make a deeper impression.
4. Not engaging in groups.
Groups provide the greatest access to the largest numbers of people who share your interests. They are the single best opportunity to increase your presence while establishing and nurturing relationships with people in your brand community. I added up the total number of members in the groups I belong to, and it came to 8,963,219. Even if 75% of them are common among two or more groups, I still have the potential to engage in conversations with over 2 million people. Where else can you have that kind of reach? Being active in groups helps you build visibility, stay current, source staff, and shape your field. If you haven’t experienced the power of groups, find the right one for you, join it and become part of the conversation. You’ll soon become a fan!
5. Being text-only.
I’m still amazed by how few LinkedIn profiles showcase multimedia. One of the best LinkedIn enhancements ever was the ability to integrate pictures, presentations, videos, reports, infographics, and more into the Summary and Experience sections of your profile. In addition to delivering proof of performance, these give you a unique platform for sharing your expertise in a visually compelling way. You likely have all kinds of content you can add to your profile to make it more interesting. Perform an inventory of slide shows, clips, whitepapers, photos, etc. and choose the ones that reinforce your unique promise of value. Integrate them into multiple sections of your profile.
6. Not blogging.
LinkedIn gives you one of the best opportunities to build your thought-leadership and express your point of view. The long-form publishing feature helps you stand out when you commit to using it regularly. And the best part is that your posts show up at the top of your profile, differentiating it and giving visitors a way to get to know you and what's on your mind.
By avoiding these five LinkedIn missteps, you can start reaping the rewards of this incredibly versatile personal branding tool.