How To Use LinkedIn: The 3 Biggest Missed Opportunities

A few weeks ago we shared a video with valuable tips on how to listen to your LinedkIn network, then we wrote about three deadly mistakes to avoid. Today it’s time to unfold opportunities you’ve been missing on this phenomenal business platform.

First, I’d love to share with you the real KEY to seeing results on LinkedIn as a general rule: Achieve a perfect balance between integrated offline and online activities.
Many professionals that use LinkedIn see it as an “after-work”, “homework” activity when this should be blended in your activities every day. Let me share three examples:

Maximise networking and prospecting efforts

I was at a tech event last week and met with a trainee lawyer. She seemed to be doing really well meeting with everybody in the room, shaking hands, smiling, connecting. I asked her: “If you don’t see me in six months, how will you remember my name, what my company does or maybe what I’m up to?
Chances are that you will come back to the office with a few names/companies in your head and more likely several business cards. Will you let all that go?

Simple solution: Proactively ask every person you’re interested in: “Are you on LinkedIn? Regardless of the answer, then go and connect with them! Remember: It’s all about quality, not quantity of contacts. Over time, you will start visualising a very relevant network that will help you stay connected and updated even if you haven’t made face-to-face contact in a long time! The word “relevant” means that you’ll see the faces of people that you shook hands with and not strangers. There’s a lot of value in that.

Maximise personal and business exposure

There’s a lot of activity on LinkedIn. For example: people share news, go to groups, answer questions, etc. However, here’s the big opportunity missed: Your profile.

Let’s think about it. What’s one of the main goals on Linekdin? That professionals discover you and end up on your profile in order to learn more about you and your business. If that important piece is incomplete, they will bounce off and all our efforts to drive relevant traffic to you will not provide any results. It would be the same as turning up on time at a specific business event and not knowing what the event is about, not carrying business cards (equivalent of not having links on your profile pointing to your website or blog) and finding out that instead of wearing business clothes you’re actually on shorts and flip flops!

Simple solution: Have a 100% complete profile, embed a blog, add a presentation about your solution, include all links to your site, blog and Twitter account and very importantly, make sure that you check your security settings. In my opinion your profile should be as public as possible, otherwise people will find no picture or very limited information from you :(

Maximise your reputation record

LinkedIn gives you the opportunity to request a personal recommendation (shows on your profile) and a business recommendation according to one of your products or services (shows on your company page). Both are important but I’d say that the personal one is even more important because that one moves with you. If tomorrow you work for another company, different project, etc, that recommendation stays with you.

Here’s the important question: Are you proactively asking for recommendations?
As active professionals, we meet loads of people, works on several different projects and as a result, we certainly delight many customers. There are very little chances that they will make a move and recommend you, therefore you need to go ask for it. Don’t be shy. You will be surprised at how many people will do it with pleasure.

It strikes me that, for example, people that work for companies find themselves running after managers to have them write a “letter of recommendation”. I’m not against it, go ahead but, come on folks: How many people will see that? Your potential future employer only? WHY? That should be public 24/7, for anybody in the world to learn more about you who you are.

Simple solution: Have you just finished a project with a client or an internal team? Have you done a good job and some people could clearly vouch for you? Then request a recommendation please! Also, become proactive at recommending if you can vouch for somebody. You will certainly surprise them and contribute to their reputation :)

What opportunities have you or professionals you know been missing on LinkedIn?



Comments ( 2 )
  • Tim Vogel says:

    Fred,nnSorry, but I agree nor endorse your third point!nnquid pro quo recommendations are often sneered at as useless and indicative of a penchant for buddyism more than one’s ability to actually do a good job for any prospective employer.Such characterizes the LinkedIn. In order to get a recommendation you often have to give to get. In that way few LinkedIn recommendations end up being pure “references”. If you ask for a Linkedin recommendation and are asked to give one in return you are now boxed in, again,Do you want to automatically recommend someone who recommended you? I won’t allow strangers in my network despite overlap, friends in common, or similarity in profession. LinkedIn is NOT Facebook. It’s far more serious since it’s about my career, not tracking down old friends or establishing new ones to trade photos and have political arguments.i can’t vouch for them. The 3-4 recommendations i have were unsolicited, spontaneous displays of thanks for me or my prowess, and strong stuff when weighed against the milquetoast of a you-show-me-yours-and-I’ll-show-you-mine recommendation!I told the Director of Research I could identify such qpq recommendations and flag the “free recos” in a class by themselves so employers wouldn’t have to. Of course they declined. COnnectivity is their bread-and-butter, not the quality or depth of any connection.So, while it doesn’t matter to the sponsoring soical.Net doesn’t mean it ought not be important to you. See how critical context is? I am in charge of my career, not LinkedIn. But, here, they prove how complex it can be in the world. As it is in real life, so that’s not so surprising.The willingness to yield to such an obviously potential for detriment to you and strong risk-free benefit to them that cannot be controlled or separated by you is not in your career’s best interest. Or yours, for that matter!TV

  • Channelship says:

    Thanks for the comment Tim.nI’m afraid that are some points you mentioned that I did not say or suggested. For example:nI did not talk about asking for recommendations to your “friends of buddies”. I talked about real recommendations. At least those I have in my profile are the results of three years of work and there aren’t any “buddy” opinions there. Also, I never suggested that you proactively “give” a recommendation in order to expect one.nIt makes sense that if you’re building your reputation as a professional, we are not selfish enough to “ask” for recommendations the entire time and not “genuinely” give one to those that deserve it.nFinally, yes, LinkedIn will not be the only reference worldwide for my reputation, the idea is that you build that as you wish with other platforms of choice, but it is a very important one indeed.nAll this being said, if you don’t believe in LinkedIn or recommendations in LI, that’s absolutely fine. They have worked for me and other professionals :)

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