In our continuing series of blog posts on LinkedIn, we will share the top things that we see people failing to do on LinkedIn and how you can fix the problems quickly and easily.
Mistake #1 – Failing to get recommendations
One of the things we like best about LinkedIn is the transparency. Unlike other social sites where spam is prevalent, LinkedIn offers you the ability to read and see if the people you interact with are real and credible. For instance, if you have a recommendation in your LinkedIn profile, anyone you are connected to can click through the recommending person’s profile. This lends tremendous credibility when I can see what type of person is making the recommendation.
It therefore goes without saying that having testimonials are very helpful on your profile. They’re a great indication of the quality of your work and the relationships you maintain.
Ask and you shall receive...
The reality is that testimonials won’t just shot up in your profile without a little work. You have to ASK for them. Remember that everyone has a few hundred connections and if we all took the time to write recommendations about everyone we know, we’d never get to work. So be sensitive that others are busy too, and send a note asking for a recommendation to someone you think can provide a good one.
Tip – the easiest way to GET a recommendation is to GIVE one first. When you write a testimonial for someone else, LinkedIn asks the person to approve it, then suggests they write one about you. It’s quick, easy and the fastest way to get testimonials showing up in your profile.
Mistake #2 – Waiting for people to come to you
This is one of the big mistakes, and unfortunately one we see all the time especially in our social media training courses. Someone sets up a profile and then sits and waits, then complains that LinkedIn doesn’t work as they don’t have any connections coming in!
Just like any other form of networking, if you want this to work take the initiative to reach out and make connection requests yourself.
Here are some easy ways to promote your profile:
- Include your profile link and icon in your email
- Promote your profile on your website and traditional marketing materials
- Look for mentions of LinkedIn profiles on Facebook and Twitter
- Use all of the connection tools LinkedIn offers including Outlook Connector and Search
- Answer questions on the Q & A boards
- Look into mobile apps for your smartphone to make it easier to post updates
- Consider LinkedIn ads
Mistake #3 – Wasting new connections
After all this work, you finally get someone to connect with you. Now what? I suggest you type up a quick “Thanks for connecting” email and send that to new connections. Think about what you are trying to get out of your LinkedIn participation and craft the message that way.
For example, if you were in real estate and were using LinkedIn to make new connections and maybe sell more houses you could try something like this:
“Hi New Connection,
Thanks for taking the time to connect with me on LinkedIn. I look forward to keeping up with you on this great tool. As you know I am in the real estate business, and if you would like to keep up with information about real estate in your area, take a moment and checkout our blog http://blog.example.com where we update the most important information buyers and sellers need to know.
Again thanks for connecting with me on LinkedIn!”
Remember, tell them why they should care that they connected with you and what they can get out of it. Don’t sell hard, just remember to remind them of the value you bring to the table.