I often write about things you should do on LinkedIn to maximize your effectiveness. Today we’re going to look at the other side of the equation…the mistakes. The five mistakes listed here are related to your ability to eventually monetize LinkedIn.
1. Not Having a Purpose or Not Understanding Why You Are On LinkedIn
Quite simply if you don’t know the answer to this question then how do you know what actions you should be taking on LinkedIn? There are numerous reasons to be on LinkedIn and you may have several. The actions you take should be done to support your purpose.
My ultimate goal is to grow my business (make money) so I focus on growing my networks and communicating my message as often as possible. Because I know my purpose, have determined what actions support this purpose, and implement my strategy on an ongoing basis, I have been successful in developing new business clients.
a. Write down the top 3 reasons why you are on LinkedIn
b. Determine what actions will support each reason
2. Failure to Participate
There are 50 million people on LinkedIn and a large majority do not interact with others on a consistent basis. This is a direct result of mistake number one. Without understanding your purpose you can’t know which actions to take that will produce a positive outcome.
There are only so many hours in a day and people tend to repeat what works. Social media marketing rarely provides quick results. Most often success is built over time only after people get to know you, like you, and trust you. You have to have the patience to continue participating when you’re not seeing the results.
There are no guarantees that your efforts will produce results, but if you do not participate consistently, I guarantee that you will not find success.
I spent almost a year providing value and interacting before I started seeing results. Now I can count on several inquiries each week from potential clients looking to engage my services.
a. Commit to taking action on a weekly basis
b. Schedule these activities
c. Post them next to your computer or in your electronic calendar
3. Presenting an Incomplete Picture
On LinkedIn people get to know you through being connected, belonging to common groups, the information your share, and your profile. People want to look at your profile and have a clear understanding of who you are and how you might be of service to them.
If you don’t provide enough information for them to know those two pieces they are unlikely to go looking for the information. You need to make sure you have a detailed profile. You need to include a professional photo. You need to have links to your websites, blogs, etc.
If you’ve been fortunate enough to get them to view your profile, you’ve accomplished the hardest part. It would seem a shame to lose them for simply failing to provide enough information.
a. Look at 20 profiles to see how others are presenting themselves
b. Spend an hour each month working on your profile
c. Personalize your profile–add keywords, personalize your public URL, and Change your Web URL’s to the name (go to edit and choose “Other”)
d. Look at the LinkedIn application to see which make sense to add
4. Not Sharing Information or Providing Value
Mistake number three is about people getting to know you. Number four is all about getting people to like you. It’s a simple fact: If you provide value to others without asking for something in return people will start to like you.
The quickest way to generate goodwill on LinkedIn is to provide value to others. Directly this might be responding to a connection or introduction request. You can also build goodwill by providing thoughtful responses to questions in Answers and in group discussion posts. Another great way to provide value to others is through writing recommendations for those who have provided great service or assistance to you.
Everything you do on LinkedIn either adds to or subtracts from your online brand so make sure you put some thought into what you say. Participate consistently and you’ll notice that your profile visits increase and people will start interacting with you.
a. Find at least two connections to introduce each week.
b. Answer at least three questions each week
c. Identify connections that deserve a recommendation and write it. Try to find at least 15 people to recommend. Make sure these are 15 people that deserve it. If you can’t find 15 now, build this up over time
5. Failure to Build Credibility
By addressing the previous four mistakes you will have reached a point where people know and like you. You may have even started to build some credibility. There are six ways that I document to build your credibility. These include:
A. Your Profile: first impressions count.
B. Answers: In number four we addresses answers from the perspective of providing value. This is also a great way to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise. Whenever you answer a question it is available for anyone on LinkedIn to view. Your Direct connections are also notified that you answered a question on their Home page.
C. Recommendations: Nothing beats having another sing your praises. I have found that my client recommendations have been a huge part of building my online brand.
D. Your connections: Who you are connected to can have an impact. When I seek to connect to others I will often reference a common connection in the invitation.
E. Your Groups: With groups you have something in common with fellow members. I reference common groups in invitation requests as well.
F. Providing Value: This will help others grow to like you but it also is very helpful in building your credibility.
a. Answer at least three questions each week in your field of expertise
b. Try to get 10 recommendations. You can request recommendations but only do so from people you know that you have provided great service or help to. If you don’t have 10, keep providing great service and you’ll get there. When you do, join The “Top Recommended People” group on LinkedIn.
c. Grow your connections based on your connection strategy
d. If you don’t belong to 50 groups find 50 that are relevant and join.
e. Seek out every opportunity to help others.
There are many other LinkedIn mistakes I could mention including avoiding typos, having multiple accounts, etc. These 5 though are fundamental mistakes that will impact your ability to monetize LinkedIn.
I’m a firm believer that the true value in LinkedIn is as a vehicle to add to your bottom line. You may have joined to network, to find a job, or to advance your career…all are great reasons… and all that at the end of the day are about monetization.
It’s OK to be on LinkedIn to make more money. It’s what will keep you coming back and participating, which in the end helps every other person on LinkedIn.
SONARconnects is a full service advertising and marketing agency. We help our client’s by showing them how to develop strategies and tactics to build communities of people, communicate their message, and monetize their social networking/media presence. Our client’s include Lenny’s Sub Shop, Copeland’s New Orleans Style Restaurant (ATL), Action Business Coaching (ATL), Aussie Pet Mobile (ATL), The Frederick Group, and MyCustomDay.
If you’re struggling to understand how to use social networking/media to build brand awareness and drive new business call us for a Free consultation at (404) 663-3997 or visit our site: http://www.sonarconnects.com.