I regularly receive requests to link on LinkedIn, but I also get messages. Some are very nice, some are self-serving, some are insincere, and some are just stupid. The one thing that these messages have in common is that they all reflect the person sending them.
Knowing that this profile and your interactions on this platform shed light on who you are as a business person, here are some things about LinkedIn to make you think, re-think, and act:
- Your picture is not an option. Show a professional but approachable image. Be proud of who you are. Smile.
- Have a LinkedIn profile that gives insight, not just history. Don’t show just what you’ve done, but also who you are and how you help. Your profile is both an affirmation of your expertise, and your pathway to attracting connection.
- Do not use stock LinkedIn messages. It shows your laziness, lack of creativity, and overall lack of professionalism. Standard LinkedIn messages need to be replaced with your own. Every single time.
- If you’re looking for a job or working a lead, tell me why I should connect. Where’s the value in your connection?
- If you’re looking for leads, use the keyword feature rather than the job title option in the “advanced search” link to the right of the search box. It’s free, and you’ll find hundreds of people in your industry or backyard that you never knew existed.
- With any message you send or post, where’s the value? E-cards are a total waste unless it’s family. I don’t want a birthday card. I want a sales lead or a referred connection.
- If you’re asking me (or people) to join your group, tell me why I should or how I will benefit.
- If you’re asking me to connect you with one of my second-degree connections, don’t. The only way to ask, and the only way I refer, is from first to first. Also, tell me in a sentence or two why you want to connect. Don’t ask people you don’t know to make connections for you. You have to have a deep connection with your first-degree connection first.
- If you have to ask, it’s probably because you don’t deserve it.
- Don’t tell me you “found something interesting” in your group message, especially if the link is to attend your “free” webinar.
- Allocate 30–60 minutes a day to utilize this vital business social media asset.
LinkedIn is the business social media site of today and tomorrow. Harness its power, do not abuse its options, and you will reap its rewards.