LinkedIn is the number one way to grow your small business in 2019, but
it can be a scary platform to jump into, especially in the growth stages of
It’s a place where people in all industries can go to forge new
relationships with new prospects, catch up with old colleagues all the while
demonstrating their experience and expertise.
With such an important platform,
the last thing you want to do is look like an amateur
(or worse open yourself up to trolls (unfortunately they do exist on LinkedIn)
by making a mistake (how dare you!))
To help you get started, we compiled a list of things you’ll want to
avoid if you can:
1.1 Not having a profile photo. This might seem like a
no-brainer, but not having a photo can have a big impact on the overall
appearance of your profile.
1.2 Using an unprofessional profile
photo. When using a funny or relaxed/easygoing photos you
may think it makes you look more approachable, but in fact, maybe putting
prospective customers off.
Pictures to avoid – playing spots (unless your brand is
sports related), drinking at the bar, sunbathing on the beach, group pictures,
topless photos (men (and women, but that’s obvious)), this might sound like a
random mix, but these are all photos we’ve seen (apart from topless women).
1.3 using a poorly-cropped profile photo. It’s quite common
to see profile photos that are not sized correctly for LinkedIn.
2. Not updating your contact information. It’s
important to keep your information up-to-date. Why? You want your prospects to be
able to be able to contact you easily.
3. Not completing your entire profile. Having an
incomplete profile doesn’t only make your profile
stand out (in a bad way), but it will
also turn off prospects who can’t see your accomplishments or what you can offer!
4. Not including a personalised
message. With every connection request you send out, you should always
include a personal message. Messages with a
personal note make it more likely someone will connect with you.
5. Not posting appropriate content. LinkedIn is a
professional networking site. The sort of content you’d see on Facebook, might
not be appropriate on LinkedIn, avoid
meme’s, lunch pictures and posts of a personal
nature. Keep content professional and relevant.
6. Not proofreading your posts. An extra comma here and a misspelt word there may be forgiven every now and
again, but it does make you look less professional. Keep posts as grammatically
correct as possible.
7. Not being selective about the connections you accept. Don’t accept just every invite that comes your way, make sure
that they are within your target audience.
8. Sending too many connection requests. Don’t bombard
the same people with request after request. It gets annoying. Make sure you
only connect with your target audience
and only resend a connection invite out if it’s been a few months between
If you get too many ‘I don’t know this person’ flags your profile will
9. Not being truthful about your
responsibilities and accomplishments. Don’t embellish about what you
do; it’s just better not to be liberal
with the truth when it comes to your role and responsibility, people will soon
see through it and could lead to a damaged brand.
10. Not asking for endorsements or
recommendations. These are the things that can boost your
LinkedIn credibility. A good recommendation tells people that you are a trustworthy expert, and boosts your reputation
in your target audience industry.
11. Not using visual media If a picture is worth a 1000
words, how many is a Video worth?
Don’t forget to add pictures and video where appropriate to help you stand out from the crowd, make sure they are professional looking and not blurry smartphone images.
12. Not joining the right groups. The groups you choose to join, are visible on your profile. Make sure they’re relevant to your industry and reputable, then make sure you post in it.
13. Not letting people know you’re on LinkedIn. Include links to your profile on your email signature, your mailing list and your business cards.
14. Too much self-promotion. Don’t just share what you do on
LinkedIn, provide tips, advice and guidance that will provide value to your contacts.
15. Not customising your
professional headline. The professional headline is the text right
below your name. Customise it so that it
grabs attention and lets your contacts know what you actually do.
16. Not having a LinkedIn profile! LinkedIn is perfect for B2B and B2c organisations; it is a valuable tool for growing your network and finding opportunities that other marketing and social networking channels can’t provide.