LinkedIn can be a very powerful tool in developing and enhancing your career or helping you build your business. There are, however, common LinkedIn mistakes that even the most competent professionals make – and then they wonder why LinkedIn isn’t working for them.

Here are six common LinkedIn mistakes you need to watch out for.

1) Not using keywords properly

This is perhaps the most prominent LinkedIn mistake people make when crafting their profiles. They focus so much on polishing their profile’s looks that they totally forget to to put keywords in their profile headline and summary.

If you do not enrich your LinkedIn profile with keywords, you will never appear on the site’s list of results when a prospective client or employer types in their needs. For example, if you are a marketing consultant, then the phrase “marketing consultant” needs to be placed in your headline and profile summary in order for people searching for that phrase to find you on LinkedIn.

2) Joining groups but not participating

Another very common type of LinkedIn mistake is to join a myriad of professional groups but never taking the time to join in the discussions.

Groups are one of the most powerful tools available in the LinkedIn networks. They allow professionals to share their ideas and opinions about things, and users are empowered to display their professional competence in these  discussions. Join a group and take the time to share your own professional thoughts on the topics at hand.

3) Trying to sell yourself on group discussions

LinkedIn is NOT the place to explicitly advertise your products and services, although you can do so in a subtle and unobtrusive manner.

People bluntly promoting their wares are not welcome in LinkedIn. Advice and professional feedback are the topics of discussion, and these are your primary tools for marketing your products and services. Help out potential employers or give some advice to prospective clients and you are already marketing yourself.

4) Emailing people you don’t know

Some of the more common LinkedIn mistakes involve emailing people out of the blue. This can quickly get you kicked off LinkedIn if people report “I don’t know this person.”

Emails are closely guarded on LinkedIn, and are meant to be used by close contacts and professional associates. If you want to contact someone you don’t know on LinkedIn look for connections on the network who might be able to introduce you.

5) Not using a custom URL

LinkedIn allows its users to create a customized URL in place of the default URL, and this feature is often ignored by newer users.

Not taking advantage of this tool greatly reduces the chances of prospective clients and employers finding your account. You can change your URL where it says “Public Profile/edit.” Use your name, if it is available, as this will greatly increase your profile’s uniqueness and visibility in the network.

6) Not focusing on results in your profile

Aggrandizing yourself will not work in LinkedIn, but your achievements will work wonders in influencing others. One of the most common LinkedIn mistakes users make on the network is being too general and abstract in the work history portion of their profiles. Be as specific as possible about your accomplishments in your work history and you will do a much better job selling yourself to potential clients and employers.
If you want to take advantage of Linkedin and boost your web profits, don’t miss this free webinar – “How to Cross the Bridge from Linkedin to Web Profits.” To register, click >>

2 Responses to “The Top 6 LinkedIn Mistakes People Make”

  1. Chrisanne Sternalon 02 Jul 2009 at 10:23 am

    Great tips. I would also recommend adding your blog to your profile if you have one. It’s just one more way to increase traffic for your site and also let’s people see a little bit more about your interests.

  2. laltmanon 02 Jul 2009 at 10:35 am

    Thanks Chrisanne,

    My blog is on my Linkedin profile – it’s just a different blog. Check it out

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