Using LinkedIn as a tool for business exposure and growth has been proven to be a good investment in time. The question is are you wasting time or building a brand that builds your business?
LinkedIn is ideal for business consultants, coaches, advisors, speakers or other B2B professionals to connect with their ideal customers. In fact, LinkedIn remains the #1 social network for professionals looking to connect and generate B2B leads.
Before I get all tactical about all things LinkedIn, this article is challenging you to stop the activities that could be time-wasters and mistakes that you may not have realized.
Here are 6 Things That Are a Waste of Time or a Mistake on LinkedIn
1. Stop SHARING other people’s posts
If you DO want to share someone else’s post, immediately in the first 3 lines of your description text, explain why you are sharing the post and what the reader will get from it.
The bottom line, if you want to position yourself as an authority in your industry, your original content/posts are a better approach.
2. Using too many hashtags
It’s downright annoying and isn’t helpful. LinkedIn’s algorithm isn’t the same as Instagram who suggests you use 30 hashtags.
The sweet spot as of this writing is using between 3-5 hashtags. I suggest the hashtags you choose are relevant and have followers in the 100K range. Now that isn’t always possible, so combine the hashtags with a higher follower count with 2 that are lower,
Research the top hashtags for your industry, that also align with your ideal client and what interests them. You do this by typing a hashtag symbol #, followed by the word that represents your topic, results will show by a total number of followers.
More than 5 hashtags won’t help the reach of your post.
3. Stop posting OUTBOUND links
Posting relevant content is an ideal way to build your credibility and authority in your niche, but the biggest mistake is sharing content with an outbound link or in other words sharing a link to an article that is posted someplace else.
This form of post gets the least amount of reach in the newsfeed. LinkedIn wants people to stay on their site and you are rewarded for doing so.
LinkedIn is 3x as trustworthy for delivering worthwhile content, compared to other social platforms.
It’s the go-to platform for getting more eyeballs on the content that informs and helps your target audience.
4. Never add connections to your email list without permission.
This is a mistake because you will make a bad impression that in most cases you will never recover from. Also, this practice is just unethical and against email laws in many countries.
Why not ask someone you have started to nurture a relationship with if they would be interested in receiving your updates and let them know what they can expect in those updates.
This is adding value and not assuming someone needs or wants your services. Adding people to your email list without permission is the fastest way to get a bad reputation.
5. Sending your connection requests WITHOUT a personalized message
It’s a waste of time because if the invitee accepts your invitation, they will probably do it without asking you any questions. When this happens the opportunity to make a great first impression is gone along with starting a conversation. LinkedIn is all about relationship building and there is no value in a network you aren’t willing to put effort into.
According to an article in Entrepreneur, “You may think first impressions don’t matter, but plenty of science proves this belief wrong. A first impression sets the stage for how people view you in the future, and there’s nothing you can do to change that: This is a direct byproduct of the way the human brain stores information.”
A first impression is part of building your personal brand and your personal brand is all about how you show up in the world. Are you the person who people remember for sending cheery, fun or engaging messages?
It easy to accidentally send LinkedIn’s default invitation from your “Network” tab, LinkedIn shows you people they think you are interested in connecting with or following. As shown in the image below, if you click the ‘connect’ button it auto-sends the default invitation not giving you the opportunity to write a personalized message.
There is an easy fix to this problem, simply click on the person’s name and their profile open’s up. Now click on the “Connect’ button and a box opens up where you can click add a note to personalize your invitation. Now, take the time to craft your personal note letting the person know why you want to add them to your network.
6. Not converting connections to conversations
Building a thoughtful network takes effort and knowing who you want to build relationships with is step one. Once you know who you want to get acquainted with, build rapport with your invitation message, and follow-up messages. I suggest taking the same approach as you would at a social gathering when you meet someone new.
At a social gathering you never ask someone if they are interested in your services, so why would you ever lead with that on LinkedIn!
At a social event you might say, “So tell me how do you know the host?” on LinkedIn you might say, “I see we both are connected to <mutual contact name>, how well do you know her/him?”
The idea is you are looking for a commonality to open the conversation.
At the social event you might say, “So what do you do for a living?” to get a conversation going, on LinkedIn you already can see where they work from their profile so don’t ever ask that question. You could say, “I see you’ve been employed at <name company> for quite some time, what do you like best about the company and your current role?”
It takes time to build rapport, don’t give up. After you feel comfortable and depending on the direction of your rapport building conversations, you could ask for a call. That might look like this…”Thanks for sharing <mention something from previous conversation>, would you be willing to set-up a call for 20 minutes to further discuss <topic>? I think I have someone to refer to you or mention something else that would answer the question “what’s in it for them?”
Personally, when I ask for the conversation I also include a link to my scheduling calendar to make it easier than going back and forth to select a date and time because sometimes that can be annoying or a deterrent for busy people.
Avoiding these 6 LinkedIn mistakes will ultimately save you time and get you better than average results because you will stand out from those who ignore these 6 brand-building steps.
This isn’t really rocket science, it’s people science combined with knowing how to use LinkedIn’s features in your favor.
Don’t leave your LinkedIn and relationship marketing to chance. Schedule a 20-minute call with me so I can learn more about your professional goals and if I have a solution that can help you reach those goals faster.
Great tips as usual Joanne. Have I told you how much I’ve learned from you about standing out from my competitors through LinkedIn and Marketing, in general?? Time to reenergize sites once again. I’ll be in touch!
Thanks Joanna, glad you found the article useful.
Thank you Sheila, I really appreciate your leaving such a positive comment. Happy to know the updates, blog posts, and consultations have been helpful.
JoAnne, I found this article to be super helpful. In particular, I got great value from your advice on how to manage a relationship-building conversation. Comparing it to managing a conversation at a social event is a great analogy. Thanks!
Hey thanks Ken! I think too often people force conversations into transactions rather than just having a conversation! Glad you found some value in that.
Thank you Joanne, You are the most sharing person, you always give good tips.
Thanks Linda, nice to know you found the info in this article helpful.
REally great tips Joanne! I will start implementing your tips!
Thanks Michael for taking the time to comment. Glad to know these tips were useful.
Joanne, thank your for sharing these tips. They are both practical and easy to implement. I don’t know why it always feels more awkward reaching out to others in writing than in person. I look forward to putting these tips to use and learning more from you.
Thanks Lisa for your comment. Remember, people crave connection in writing or in-person (or Zoom)