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13 LinkedIn Mistakes That Could Cost You A Prospect

Posted by Jamie Shanks on Oct 19, 2015 7:10:59 AM

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All the leads you need are on LinkedIn. You can contact anyone, even CEOs, and arrange personal introductions. Why would you want to screw that up? Nobody does – yet common mistakes keep occurring. LinkedIn is the largest professional network but many salespeople make major mistakes including poor photos, bad headlines, irrelevant experience, etc. This is detrimental to your personal brand because your prospects are online doing their research on you. Don't expect to make a great first impression if you're committing these big LinkedIn profile no-no's. Fix these 13 unlucky errors and watch your LinkedIn leads bloom like four-leaf clovers.

1. Bad Photos

Everyone has bad photos -- they just don't post them. Review what not to do in your LinkedIn photo and what the most common mistakes are. Then take a look at target="_blank">best practices for the perfect photo by using factors like your awesome smile, eye contact, and professional background. Look like the Social Selling star you are.

Good Linkedin Profile Photo

2. Self-Centric Headlines

You have 120 characters to generate intrigue. Talking about yourself won't do it. Write a customer-centric headline where you condense your value proposition into a single phrase. Spend the time to get it right because you've got to pause the glance. Most importantly your headline should speak to how you can help your prospects and not just “Account Executive @ Company ABC.”

Good Linkedin Profile Headline

3. Boring Summaries

People judge books by their covers – and with over 300 million people on LinkedIn, there's barely time to skim all the best covers to find the best books. A summary that offers value shows respect for the limited time of your future customers. Give them a reason to believe. On the flip side, not having a summary or having a summary that doesn’t include your value proposition, relevance to your prospects or a clear call-to-action then you’re missing out on new potential customers.

Linkedin Profile Summary

4. Random URLs

Do you introduce yourself as Your Name/pub/52/43b/ab4? Let's hope not. It only takes a few seconds to create a recognizable Custom URL so prospects can find you. Edit your profile, go to "your public profile URL," and then claim your name.

Linkedin Custom URL

5. Too Few Connections

Do you have half a thousand connections? Why not? LinkedIn becomes valuable only as you build connections. Work a little bit on this project every week. This is the new ABCs of Social Selling: Always be connecting. Make it a routine to build new relationships each day that can potentially lead to your next opportunity.

6. Not Posting

Elevators are awkward when nobody wants to talk. Don't turn your profile into an elevator. Prospects look for someone with something interesting to say. Create, curate, or comment, but you need to join the conversation. Work with marketing to help get the right digital assets that will drive more sales conversations.

Linkedin Posts

7. Blank Backgrounds

Do you have a plain white business card with black letters? That worked in the 1950's. Your LinkedIn profile needs a relevant and dramatic background image to distinguish your personal brand.

Good Linkedin Background

8. Staying Static

If pictures are worth a thousand words, quickly add up in your head how many words you can deliver with a video running at 24 frames per second. Your visual interest meter will peg when you add video and motion media to your profile like interviews, explainers, and narrated slideshows.

9. Going Off-Topic

It's really nice to know that you were field-trained in lion taming while on safari. Show why it matters for sales, or get rid of it. No one has time for irrelevant experience in a professional environment. Especially if you worked at a fast food restaurant during your time in university, do yourself and your prospects a favor and remove anything that lacks relevancy.

10. Being a Lone Wolf

You don't have any recommendations? Really? Social proof is all about trust and every professional has success stories. Contact good customers and ask politely for brief recommendations. If they are too busy, offer to draft samples for them.

Linkedin Recommendations

11. Skipping the Proofreader

Your-you're, than-then, active-passive – how do you remember it all? You're in sales, not grammar school. Good writers have great editors. Have a grammar expert proofread your profile for the tiniest mistakes. If you're sloppy with grammar, how can you be trusted with a multi-million dollar sales contract?

12. Accidental Stalking

They can see you, you know. Every time you view a LinkedIn profile, that person will see you under Who's Viewed Your Profile. It's one thing to stay on top of the prospects mind, but you don't want to look desperate. Search anonymously or sign out if you need to go back to the prospect's public profile. However seeing who has viewed your LinkedIn profile can be a very powerful tool. It’s a great opportunity to see if prospects can landing on your profile and if they are, don’t hesitate to reach out.

Linkedin Profile Views

13. Neglecting to Optimize

What is a profile? Essentially, it's a web page. Like all web pages, your profile should be optimized so prospects can find it easily. Mix Twitter-specific keywords with Facebook-specific topics to cover all your bases.

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Jamie Shanks

Jamie Shanks

About the Author

Jamie Shanks is a world-leading Social Selling expert and author of the book, "Social Selling Mastery - Scaling Up Your Sales And Marketing Machine For The Digital Buyer". A true pioneer in the space of digital sales transformation, Jamie Shanks has trained over 10,000's of sales professionals and leaders all around the world.

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