Perfecting LinkedIn profiles, teaching people how to approach LinkedIn so it becomes a lead generation machine, prospecting on the platform… These are all things I talk about on a regular basis, whether it’s via a 121 appointment or during a speaking opportunity at an event. However, it doesn’t matter how many people I’ve helped over the years and shared my knowledge with, there are still those who destroy any opportunity they might have of making LinkedIn work for them because of a lack of LinkedIn etiquette!
Why do people fail on LinkedIn?
I was tagged into a LinkedIn post this week that discussed how people fail on the platform, and myself and several others were invited to contribute as experts in the usage of LinkedIn.
My response to the question was as follows…
1. Not dressing your shop window – people need to take the time to complete their profiles properly. Look at your profile, what perception are you creating?
2. Not showing up. If you’re going to have a presence here and build a network you need to be part of it. Reaching out in the newsfeed by engaging with content from others is as important as ensuring you post yourself.
I have a steady stream of people telling me they don’t get any business from LinkedIn, and these are the top two reasons why they don’t! The third is that the lights are on but nobody’s home, which ties into several of your points!
In all honesty, the comments in response to the question made interesting and entertaining reading! Especially when several male LinkedIn users were discussing the fact they hadn’t yet been propositioned on the platform! However, in all seriousness, here are my top ten that were raised in the conversation.
- Connecting with anyone and everyone
- Sending sales pitches via DMs to brand new contacts
- Being impersonal
- Not being responsive
- Hiding yourself either by not showing your face or using the incognito function
- Discussing Sex, religion or politics
- Too much self-promotion
- Spamming the newsfeed
- Tagging people into content that is not relevant to them
- Using LinkedIn as an alternative to Tinder (!!!)
So how do we overcome these things? Obviously, some of these are basic NO-NOs, but I can see how some of the things on the list simply require a change in approach.
LinkedIn Etiquette that will stop you failing on this platform
So, as a counterpoint to the list above, here are 10 responses that I believe you can use to avoid irritating the people you want to do business with!
- Think of building your connections as building your database. Fill it with quality data of contacts that match your ideal client or can help you reach them!
- Respect people’s inboxes. Warm up conversations before you pitch, just as you would in a face to face networking scenario. (You can also level up by NOT pitching at all within LinkedIn!)
- Look for opportunities to allow your audience to get to know you, sharing photos and videos of you rather than impersonal stock imagery is a big step forward.
- Always answer every engagement you receive, whether it’s a comment in response or simply a like!
- Be as public as possible on this platform – you want to be found! Include a headshot on your profile and check your privacy settings so you’re easy to find. Make sure you’ve optimised and personalised your profile.
- Add value by posting engaging content. Talk about industry trends and ask for the opinions of your network. Controversial subjects can work well, but avoid topics that can be offensive.
- Sales posts are not banned – you do need your connections to know what you’re selling after all! Avoiding being too salesy is simple when you stick to the 80/20 principle!
- Consistency is everything if you want to be seen on LinkedIn, but go with the rule of three. No more than three updates per day, and try to keep them 3 hours apart!
- If you’re going to tag people into your posts in order to get them to engage, make sure you’re only tagging people for which the post is going to be highly relevant and have the ability to add value.
- LinkedIn is a place to do business… keep the dating activity elsewhere!
How does that all sound? From my perspective, it’s all fairly self-explanatory, but I pretty much live on LinkedIn! If you’re looking to build your presence and feel like LinkedIn is an unknown, then we’d love to jump on a call and help you make sure you’re working this platform in a way that brings you new opportunities, new clients and essentially, money in the bank!