Let’s face it! LinkedIn is a boon for professionals.
First-generation professionals, who earlier did not have access to the networks that people from more affluent or well-connected backgrounds did, now have outsized opportunities to reach out to people for entrepreneurial and business leads.
Personal branding is a popular way to gain reach in your specific sector. How can you do it? You can always use strategic methods to brand yourself!
Well-curated posts on the platform can go viral and gain incredible momentum for profiles—which would ideally have a summary of their professional experiences.
The ability to send connection requests to industry veterans and build lasting relationships was also never easy. In light of this, many might take LinkedIn for granted and think strategies are not required to succeed. However, this is incorrect – how your profile is structured is possibly one of the most important things that will decide your success on the platform.
Do you know that even huge companies are focusing on developing LinkedIn marketing strategies? In this article, we discuss some of the mistakes to avoid when you do personal branding on LinkedIn.
Here is the list of 10 mistakes to avoid:
1. Do not have an incomplete profile
In many circumstances, people tend to omit filling up details on their profiles. Check your LinkedIn account, see if you’ve filled in information about your previous work experience, provide a summary of your professional skills and experiences in your bio, and include links to your website or online portfolio as proof of work. These are the essential things that can make you more genuine in the eyes of potential leads.
2. Don’t mention “Aspiring” on your profile
Using an 'aspiring' is not a signal of skill! It might signal that you do not have the requisite skillset as a freelancer. You can just mention the work you do and add “Junior” before the job title so that it shows you will be lacking experience in the field.
3. Headshots matter
Your profile picture is one of the vital factors that you can use to demonstrate your professionalism. Do not opt for informal headshots—this might make you look like somebody who does not appreciate the seriousness and responsibility that come with professional mandates and, as a result, is amongst the most crucial mistakes to avoid on LinkedIn.
Importantly – do not omit to put a profile picture at all either, since that would, once again, make potential partners question the genuineness of your account.
4. Include your contact information
One of the LinkedIn features highly recommended that you shouldn't miss! Even if you have a fantastic account set up on LinkedIn, and people wish to connect with you, it would be impossible for them to do so without contact information or other call-to-action links on your profile.
Make sure to include them whenever you’re posting something as well! It will help people contact you instantly if required.
5. Be specific in your bio
Very often, people are incredibly vague in their bios—and it’s not really their fault! Nonetheless, unspecific bios are also LinkedIn mistakes to avoid.
To be frank, bios are hard to get right, and you will often come across bad examples when looking for inspiration.
Some pointers that you should keep in mind while drafting them are:
(a) Try using action words like “Designed a solution for..." and “Reduced costs related to… by X%”
(b) Be specific and focus on the projects or achievements you’ve previously worked on!
The rest of your profile will be there for you to elaborate further on yourself, but the bio needs to be the thing that gets your prospects hooked!
6. Personalize your messages
Copy-pasting is not just any other mistake – a complete deal-killer if things go wrong. Make sure not to copy-paste texts blindly when you try to reach your clients.
The reckless mistakes here might make you appear unprofessional and unfocused, resulting in significant blows to your ability to generate leads.
7. Be active
Have a go-out-and-get-it attitude. If you’re a newbie freelancer looking to make it on LinkedIn, there are chances that professionals in your field probably do not know you yet. Engage with their posts, leave insightful comments instead of blindly praising them, and consistently engage with them on relevant developments in your field through LinkedIn updates. All these things go a long way in adding visibility.
Being inactive is one of the prime LinkedIn mistakes to avoid.
8. Do not comment without research
As a freelancer, you’re a professional, and you need to look the part! Make sure that you make your knowledge pronounced and articulate. If you see a relevant post by someone, leave a well-thought-out comment. Take a stance and make your point by backing it up with facts.
Be a well-read professional in the LinkedIn community. And avoid comments and unnecessary engagement on generic posts.
9. Connect with people liberally
Do you know how to network? Do not wait for people to send you friend requests – search for relevant professionals across fields and send requests. The more connections you have on LinkedIn, the greater the visibility that your posts will get.
10. Be incremental about networking
Even though there aren’t any hard and fast rules on this, trying to connect with the professionals in your industry at the very beginning would probably feature among the LinkedIn mistakes to avoid.
Build a stable base of connections first (people accept requests quite freely in most cases – they too need the visibility!), make sure your profile is well-organized, and your posts have relevant content. Once these chips are in order, start shooting for the stars!
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