The Top 5 Mistakes That Sink a LinkedIn Profile

Your LinkedIn profile can do wonders for your social selling efforts – if you get it right. Here we highlight five common profile mistakes to avoid.

March 28, 2017

  • Signs Reading Stop and Wrong Way

There’s plenty of talk about ways to enhance your LinkedIn profile by showcasing your personality, expertise, experience, and professionalism. And doing so is a smart move since your profile directly impacts your social selling efforts.

In this post, we focus on five misguided LinkedIn profile practices. If anything below causes you to say, “OMG, I do that!” or bury your face in your hands, don’t fret. You can optimize your profile in a matter of minutes – which is a good idea to do on a regular basis anyway.

1. Posting That Questionable Photo

Let’s not pretend: People make snap judgments based on your appearance. While we can’t all look like movie stars, we don’t need to come across as clowns either. LinkedIn is not the network to post that photo of you in a compromising position or looking like a doofus at a party. Actually, if you need to maintain your professional reputation, you should probably avoid posting these types of photos to any public-facing network. Replace that photo with one that gives people a reason to keep perusing your LinkedIn profile.

2. Mistaking Personal Branding for Loudly Tooting Your Horn

You want to get people excited about interacting with you on LinkedIn. And the best way to go about that isn’t by making your profile an exercise in “me, me, me.” Remember: it’s a fine line between boasting and sharing your success. Yes, you want to establish credibility, but beating your chest can be a turnoff. Ask yourself – am I giving prospective clients a reason to follow or accept my invitation to connect? If the answer is no, try to find more tactful ways to boast. And if you’re still not sure, ask a friend or colleague you respect to give you blunt feedback about your profile.  

3. Not Using All the Real Estate at Your Disposal

You get 2,000 characters to sum up who you are, so don’t limit your summary to a few vague sentences. For a better idea of what constitutes 2,000 characters, it’s essentially the post you’re reading up until now.

Do you have experiences to share? Can you deliver value? Do you want people to do something after reading your profile? If you feel challenged to write much about yourself and entice people to connect, it’s a good time for some self-reflection.

4. Sounding Like Everyone Else

Unless I’m mistaken, you are not an order-taking automaton. I’m also guessing you’re not a clone. So why come across as “a-dime-a-dozen” sales rep?

Take some time to figure out makes you uniquely you and sets you apart. Is it that you’ve helped more customers than anyone else in your industry achieve a certain goal? Are you able to drive consensus in the toughest of multi-party situations? Do you have a knack for finding insights when everyone else just draws the same old conclusion? Are you the rep who requests to be copied on all the implementation team’s status updates? Can you leap tall buildings in a single bound? Clearly I’m joking with that last one, but it is okay to inject some personality into your profile. As long as it’s the real you shining through and you’re keeping it professional, put it out there!

5. Letting Your Profile Go Stale

If you rarely visit your profile, you’re missing a big opportunity. Remember, the LinkedIn platform is a social network and you’re certainly not being very social if you just pop in once in a great while.

Do you know who has looked at your profile? Any idea how many people are following your activity? Does your profile include your latest achievements and point people to content they may find interesting? Have you revisited your connections to see who you may want to reach out to? By “showing up” on LinkedIn, you’re far more likely to see an impact from your social selling efforts. 

Ready to make your LinkedIn profile be the best it can be? Download The Professional Profile Kit for everything you need to know.