Top 3 LinkedIn Mistakes

February 1, 2014

Every year we speak with hundreds if not thousands of people on the topic of LinkedIn and the biggest mistake we see across most entrepreneurs regardless of age, industry or country is that there is so much emphasis on them and their business. ‘Me, me, me’ posts just don’t attract people to your profile. Potential clients need to be engaged first and foremost before they will even connect with you let alone interact with your posts.

We’re sure that both you and your business are great, and of course, you want to shout about that. The bad news is that frankly for most people outside of the self-cleaning plastic widgets industry! It’s just boring (well you probably don’t make widgets but you get the drift).

Ask any savvy business owner and they will tell you that LinkedIn is single-handedly the best way to network online. People from all over the world use LinkedIn to grow their online business, but many make easily avoidable mistakes.

Whilst we have made and seen every mistake possible, in our opinion, there are three that are most common. Any of these mistakes could turn your LinkedIn profile into a major professional liability. Here’s how to identify them–and get them fixed:

1. Planning

Just like anything in life, building a solid foundation is the backbone to being successful. You wouldn’t build a house without first laying the foundation or framework, you wouldn’t start a business without first conducting market research and developing an effective LinkedIn campaign is no different.

There are many steps required in order for you to succeed on LinkedIn but none more important than knowing your objective and outcome for using LinkedIn. We see so many business owners use LinkedIn because they hear or see other business owners using it.

Fix It: Before creating your profile or thinking about building your network, gain some clarity around your LinkedIn strategy by looking at your marketing objectives over the next three, six, 12 months and work backwards to help identify who you need to connect with in order to reach those objectives.

2. Add value

Nobody and we really mean nobody likes to feel like they are being ‘sold to’. Hammering your new connections inbox with messages about your product and services straight away is not going to win you any friends … Or customers for that matter.

The clue is in the title … Social media is meant to be exactly that – social. Ok so LinkedIn is very much a professional and business based forum but the underlying principle remains.

Whether you are connecting with a potential partner or customer, you need to build value and rapport in order for them to have any interest in who you are and what you do. Just because they accepted your connection invite doesn’t mean they are interested in what you have to say. Remember: to be interesting, you have to be interested.

Fix It: Before you start emailing marketing to your contacts, think of a few ways you could add value to them.

For example, it may be that within your connections there are about 100 accountants of whom you have recently connected with in order to create a joint venture partnership. Your first email could be sending a link to a recent article you read/noticed in SMH.

This shows you were thinking of him/her. Your second email could be a FREE eBook you have found that helps accountants generate more business etc. This will help develop the trust and rapport necessary between your connection so that when you contact them to hold a meeting they not only recognize you but most importantly are interested.

3. Segmenting their Database

Our founder Alex Pirouz learned the importance of segmenting your connections the hard way. Within his first 6 months of using LinkedIn he had connected with over 1000 people within 3 different industries: Media, Accounting & Events.

His aim was to use the media contacts to get some PR exposure, accounting connections to create a few joint venture relationships and connections within the events industry to hopefully get some speaking gigs. There was just one problem though: all his connections were mixed in with one another, not by choice but by default.

You see, little to his knowledge he wasn’t aware that all new connections are automatically tagged under a folder which LinkedIn calls: Untagged. He knew that in order for him to reach any level of success he would have to personalize his communication and because he could not properly assess who was who quickly within the tags section he had to go through the entire (1000) connections in the Untagged folder and re-tag them accordingly.

Whilst it was tedious and frustrating at the best of times it was also very empowering. By the end of the process, he knew precisely how many connections he had in each industry, which therefore helped him effectively communicate his message.

Fix It: Learn from our founder’s mistake, before adding even one more connection take one step back and segment your connections so you can take two steps forward.

You can do this by going to the contacts section within your LinkedIn Profile where you will be able to create, manage and tag existing and new contacts into certain folders to ensure the right message is sent to the right people within those specific folders. Again the more specific you can be the greater your level of effectiveness will be when looking to market and communicate your message with your contacts.

If you’re concerned whether if you go out and market yourself on LinkedIn alone you may make similar mistakes then it’s always best to work with experts to ensure things are rolled out successfully. When venturing into anything new that is going to be so critical for your business it’s not worth the risk to your company and personal brand.

Lead Management Simplified

Say goodbye to spreadsheets, poor performing campaigns and hours of wasted time manually handling your leads on LinkedIn. Jayla will help you develop your overall strategy, manage your opportunities, set automated reminders to follow up prospects you’re in conversation with and track your ROI.

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On top of all that you'll get priority support and an invite to an exclusive live masterclass with our founder Alex Pirouz. This is strictly limited to only 500 VIC's available.

We’re celebrating the launch of Jayla by giving our first 500 customers access to our VIC club. As a ‘Very Important Customer’ you get access to Jayla weeks before the public, price of your subscription fixed for life, priority support and an exclusive live masterclass.

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