Here’s Some Novel Things to Do on LinkedIn to Really Stand Out

I’ve spent a lot of time on LinkedIn, both helping others master the platform and building out my own account. I’ve seen a lot of things done wrong and a few things done right. Standing out, branding yourself, positioning yourself (whatever you want to call it) on LinkedIn doesn’t have to be difficult. It’s really just a matter of common sense, and a slight bit of old fashioned sales skill. In this article I want to give you a few good ideas that will make your presence on LinkedIn shine!

Don’t Use the Generic Connect Request!

When you send someone a connect request on LinkedIn, you’re offered the opportunity to write your own message or use LinkedIn’s generic message. It’s so tempting to use the generic message because it’s so much faster! Don’t do that, because if you do, you’ll a: look like everyone else, and quite frankly b: look like you don’t care about the person you want to connect with. And, in point of fact, you don’t do you? Because if you did, you might want to go over to their profile, find some commonality, and mention that so that people know you care about them.

Don’t Use Messaging to Spam!

Well, actually, don’t spam at all! Get someone’s permission before you send them information about yourself, what you do, your business, what you sell, etc. If you don’t get people’s permission, you’re going to come off as a spammer of sorts. Remember the old Zig Ziglar mantra, “People don’t care what you know until they know that you care”? Well, you’re not going to be coming off as caring, are you?

Really Follow Up!

I can’t tell you the number of times someone has contacted me and I’ve messaged them back only to have the conversation drop at the point. It might take some work to keep up with all of this, but you want to follow up with your connections. I follow up with everyone a couple times a year. And, I definitely follow up with conversations that I’m started.

Big Mistakes Managers Are Making on LinkedIn

LinkedIn connects virtually every serious business person on the planet. There are slightly over seven billion people on planet Earth right now. Over half a billion of them are on LinkedIn. Given the fact that LinkedIn rigorously polices their accounts looking for duplicates and bots, you can bet that virtually all of those half a billion people are real! Think about it. One out of fourteen people on this entire planet are on LinkedIn!

Not only does this give you an amazing reach as a job seeker, recruiter, freelancer, sales person, or corporate executive, but it also poses a little problem for you. If all your peers, colleagues, and competitors are on LinkedIn, then just BEING on LinkedIn isn’t going to make you stand out. No, you now have to do more than just have an account.

Here’s what a lot of business professionals do. Or rather, what they fail to do. They fail to create and maintain a vibrant LinkedIn presence. But, since everyone else is on the platform, it stands to reason that many of their peers and competitors are indeed creating a vibrant presence. So, look at it this way. Check out your own LinkedIn profile and then check out some of the profiles of your competitors, and what do you see? Unless you’ve spent some time updating your profile and posting content to it, you’re going to look like a, well for lack of a better word, slacker! Your peers have upped the bar, which means you have to up your game too!

So, how do you do this without killing yourself? LinkedIn isn’t your occupation. It’s just necessary to it.

One way is to use automation. I use Hootsuite for instance to auto post status updates and articles I write to the platform. Speaking of articles, another way is to post articles you’ve written on LinkedIn Pulse. This is LinkedIn’s blogging feature. If you want to go a step further, uploading slides you use in presentations to SlideShare and sharing them on LinkedIn is a perfect way for you to look like a thought leading pro. There are other ways, sure, but these three ideas will get you going in the right direction.

Three Ways To Alienate Just About Everyone on LinkedIn

Even though LinkedIn’s not Facebook, where virtually anything goes, I’m still often amazed at what I see happening on the platform. LinkedIn isn’t the place to forget your manners! It’s a business networking site, plain and simple. Not everything goes as it does on some other sites, which shall not be named. (Oops! I already did!) But joking aside, your goal on LinkedIn it to create business for yourself, to network with people who can help you, or even to get a new job. Why screw it up by acting stupid? What’s my definition of stupid? Here are a few things I see regularly on LinkedIn, all of which should be absolutely avoided.

Spamming! No, I don’t mean sending out a few million emails telling people about how they can save 50% on their next order of Viagra. I’m talking about unsolicited advertising to people through messaging. Virtually every day somebody hits my inbox with yet another five-paragraph long essay about their new, “ground floor” business opportunity. I’m not against advertising. I’m in marketing, after all! I’m just against stupid marketing, and this is stupid marketing!

Pretending you know someone in my network when you don’t. Look, I’m an open networker. I won’t IDK you if I don’t know you. I even say so in my profile. So, why pretend? Perhaps you’ve got something great I need to know about. Just because we’re not currently connected shouldn’t be a problem. Just connect with me for goodness sake! Then ask me if I’d like to know more about you. I’ll probably say yes.

Downloading my email from LinkedIn and spamming me again! If I didn’t subscribe to your email list, then I don’t need to be receiving emails from you. If you want to add me to a list, then ask my permission. It’s called permission-based marketing for a reason!

Look, I’m a pretty easy to get along with guy! But seriously! Some folks just don’t use common sense on LinkedIn. Don’t be one of them!

A Few Ways To Really Alienate People on LinkedIn

Alright, I’m going to just start out with my own pet peeve so you can see what I’m talking about here. Then I’ll show you some other ways to become really unpopular and annoying on LinkedIn. But to get the ball rolling in the right way, let me just unveil my number one annoyance.

Getting spammed with a five-paragraph message about something I don’t really care about!

There, I said it! And, if you’ve spent any time whatsoever on LinkedIn, I’m sure you know what I mean. (I get so much of this, I might hazard to say that a few of you reading this have been guilty of this practice! GRRRRR!)

Some days I go to LinkedIn, click on my messages and right there front and center is a huge, multi-paragraph thingy, usually about a biz op and full of meaningless hype. And, to boot, it’s from someone who’s connected with me but someone I don’t really know that well. I can just picture them sitting at their desk copying and pasting the same inane message over and over again to their entire network. Nothing screams Annoying Spammer quit like this practice!

Quit it!

Here’s another one, which is basically the same but done through email.

It’s getting an email from that same someone that I don’t even recognize saying that we’re connected on LinkedIn and that here’s the world’s most important, best offer for whatever it is, and that I can get in on the ground floor only if I act now, etc. Seriously, I get this stuff all the time. Well, not ALL the time, but enough to where it makes me cringe every time I see something like this.

My other pet peeve is the polar opposite of this. This next one happens less frequently, but it’s still hyper-annoying! It’s getting a message with the single word “Hi!” or perhaps something like “Hi, how are you?”. The problem with this is that I have to try to figure out who the person is and why they’re saying hello to me. I know what they’re doing. They think they’re getting my permission to message me and I appreciate that, but wow, just give me a short clue as to what this is all about.

So, bottom line here. If you’ve been guilty of any of the above, for Gosh sake, quit! You’re alienating and really annoying one of your greatest assets. Your network!

Three Mistakes You’re Making With Your LinkedIn Profile

When it comes to marketing on LinkedIn, the number one most important part of the process is getting your profile right. What I mean by that is the following.
1. You want your profile to be complete.
2. You especially want your profile to pre-sell you.
I see a lot of people’s profiles on LinkedIn that fail on one, or often both, of these points. In the rest of this article, I’d like to talk about the three most common problems I often see.
Problem #1: Poor Photo
LinkedIn is a business networking and recruitment platform. Unless you run a beach-side concession renting out umbrellas and sea kayaks, you don’t want your LinkedIn profile picture to be from your last vacation. You know the one I’m taking about, right? Yep—the one where you’re wearing your multi-colored swim suit, and you’re carrying around that boogie board you love so much.  Would you dress like that for a job interview? Go dress up as you would for that job interview and get your significant other to take a well-lighted picture with your phone. And above all please smile. Should do the job!

Problem #2: No Summary or Poor Summary
I see this all the time. People with otherwise great looking profiles, but their summary is either not there or it’s only one sentence long. That summary space has a 2,000-character limit. Use them all, or as close as you can.

Problem #3: No Recommendations
This one’s a little more problematic than the first two, because you actually have to get someone else to do the recommending. But, here’s the deal. People are actually scrolling down and looking for those recommendations. You don’t need many. Two or three will do nicely. So, do this, if you don’t already have some. Ethically get some of your closer business associates to fill out a LinkedIn recommendation for you. You can either write it for them, and they can copy and paste or they can do it all themselves.
The bottom line is this—you need a full and complete profile. LinkedIn even prompts you for this, so if you haven’t filled out everything, you should know better. Stop what you’re doing right now and get that LinkedIn profile in tip top shape. You’ll be glad you did.