More and more business owners realise the value of LinkedIn, but most still do not know how to leverage it correctly. Being successful on LinkedIn is not about the number of connections you make, it’s about how connected your audience is with you and your brand.
To help you to determine how engaged your connections will be with you, you should first determine how engaged they already are with LinkedIn as a platform. We like to rank LinkedIn members as either being curious or serious users.
In this article we will explain the difference and why it is essential for you to understand this before you start reaching out for new connections. This is a crucial lesson that we have learnt in our six years of fine-tuning the art of building a community and making meaningful connections on LinkedIn, otherwise, you’ll be connecting with inactive users.
Many of our clients come to us with thousands of connections asking why they are not getting any engagement or business from them. The answer is simple; their connections are not active on the platform. They are curious users. As you can imagine this makes it very hard to build meaningful relationships with an audience, who are not even noticing you to begin with.
Curious users are dormant and inactive. They do NOT notice content, connect with other users or engage in conversations. This is the wrong audience to be connecting with. Curious users won’t know who you are or what you do and it will be impossible to build meaningful long-term relationships with them. It’s highly unlikely they will respond.
A serious user, on the other hand, is already active on the platform. They DO notice content, connect with other users and engage in conversations. This is who you want in your LinkedIn community and build meaningful relationships with. So now that you know the difference, we will explain how to identify a user as curious or serious.
Most people started using LinkedIn as a recruitment tool. Business owners would create a LinkedIn company page purely to advertise job openings and would only jump on the platform when a new role needed to be filled. Other users would set up a basic profile just to have a face on the platform that potential employers could find them with.
Those who never evolved beyond this level are what we call curious users. They may or may not know the value of LinkedIn, however, they certainly do not know how to leverage it correctly.
Curious users are inactive on LinkedIn and will not notice you or your content. They are very unlikely to accept connection requests from whom they do not know, if at all. And they are not willing to open up conversations. A curious profile will look something like this:
Curious users will have splayed and incomplete profiles. They will likely have sections missing, use dot points to display information, and have broken or missing links.
Their profile picture will be poor or non-existent and use the default LinkedIn header image. They may have no skills listed or far too many suggesting they are a generalist, not a specialist. They will also have very few or no skills endorsed at all.
This is absolutely who you don’t want to be connecting with. Curious users won’t know who you are or what you do and it will be impossible to build meaningful long-term relationships with them. And that’s because they simply only check the platform sporadically so they won’t notice your approach.
Serious users absolutely understand the value of LinkedIn and are not afraid to invest in the platform. They have evolved along with the platform and see the benefits of leveraging it correctly, networking and take other users and their roles seriously. You can pick a serious user just by checking out their profile; it will look like the one below:
Their profile will be compelling and tell a story of their experiences and what drives them, rather than read like a resume or sales pitch. And all sections will be complete.
They will have a customised header image, professional profile picture and more than 500 connections. Their news feed will show they are posting and actively engaging with other users content. Serious users should also have five to seven skills listed with a good number of endorsements (preferably 10 or more).
The main thing is that they are active on the platform and are more likely to notice and engage with you. This is who you want to be connecting with. Now you know who’s curious or serious, keep this in mind when deciding your target audience to connect with.
As we’ve reiterated, an engaged community is more important than a large network. So the first step to building an engaged community is to ensure your community consists of serious users.
By taking a little extra time to check out the user profile of those already in your community and who you are looking to connect with, will set you up for long-term success. Connecting with serious over curious users will ensure:
1) You will get a higher connection acceptance rate;
2) You will get more engagement and reach; and
3) You will build more meaningful business relationships.
So stop building a large network and start building a community of serious users. If you want to know how to build a compelling profile to be seen as a serious user yourself, read our blog How To Develop A Compelling & Targeted LinkedIn Profile.
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