LinkedIn shy or LinkedIn shark - Which one are you?

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LinkedIn shy or LinkedIn shark - Which one are you?

On LinkedIn, there are three types of people:

  1. The ones that do nothing

  2. The ones that do everything

  3. The few in the middle that hit the sweet spot

Using LinkedIn isn’t hard and it isn’t scary, but there is a knack to it that only those in category three have perfected. Finding that sweet spot doesn’t mean using LinkedIn 24/7, nor does it mean just letting it run its course. It means you need to make small, consistent, daily efforts to see any returns.

What do we mean by returns? Well, first and foremost, LinkedIn is a tool - a networking tool, a marketing tool, a brand development tool. So no matter what it is you are looking for on LinkedIn - a new job, partnerships, or clients - you need to know how to use the tool to get what you want. Using LinkedIn means knowing how to build your circle, knowing how to create the right content for your feed, and knowing which content to re-post, all from your fantastic personal profile. Then there are the conversations.

So, when someone reaches out to you, it’s nothing to worry about, and even if they’re trying to sell you something, it’s nothing to be offended about. But when you’re the person sending that introductory message - which you’ve packed full of every minute company detail while boasting about your service and how good you are, including even the smallest details like your inside leg measurement - you’re probably saying too much.

Do you think you’ve hit the sweet spot in knowing how to use LinkedIn to reach your goals? Are you LinkedIn shy or a LinkedIn shark? Let’s find out for ourselves.

Question 1 - The connection request

Someone new reaches out to connect with you. Do you…

  1. Accept all. More connections equal more opportunities.

  2. Look to see if that person is within your catchment region. You read their profile to see if there might be synergy between you.

  3. Decline. You don’t know them, so you’re not interested in connecting.

Results

If you answered 1…

I like your style - a free spirit, up for anything, with a ‘more the merrier’ attitude. This attitude will get you so far in so many walks of life, but on LinkedIn, it has its downfalls. On LinkedIn, quality over quantity definitely comes into play. Although it’s an online platform, networking on LinkedIn is very similar to in-person. If you walk into a room of fellow networkers, you will probably never work with 75% of them because they are either irrelevant to you or you don’t like them. That’s fine. The same goes for LinkedIn; target the ones you want and need. For example, if you work in the UK, be wary of accepting connections from abroad, unless they have a branch/headquarters in the UK in a relevant industry, as it might be hard to conduct business, wasting both of your time. Accepting everyone might dilute the impact of your networking as it clutters your feed and network.

If you answered 2…

Congratulations. You found the sweet spot. Looking at the people who request a connection is the first step in building an effective business network. However, it’s always good to know that not everybody declares what they do on their profile. Some people have second businesses they are starting, or running secretly, and they provide a variety of opportunities on the down-low. So, while it pays to be a little selective on LinkedIn, being open-minded is crucial to snagging those rare opportunities.

If you answered 3…

We are a little confused as to why you’re on LinkedIn, and it seems you might be too. As a networking tool, the best thing about LinkedIn is that you can broaden your business circle. By only accepting those you know, you’re not opening yourself up to new opportunities. If you would like a platform where you can talk to people you know on a personal level, Facebook, WhatsApp, or email might be better options for you.

Question 2 - The LinkedIn profile

Look at your profile. Remember nobody besides you knows the results of this quiz (unless you tell me in the comments, by all means, please share). If you were an external personal looking at your profile, would it pique your interest and have you dying to know more? Or are you confused, perhaps just a little bored?

  1. My profile is succinct, clear, and adds value to the reader.

  2. I suppose there is room for improvement.

  3. No, my profile says nothing of value/says too much, and I don’t know what to do.

If you answered 1…

Excellent, your profile is probably a welcome sight for most people who won’t have to clamber through paragraphs of useless information, anecdotes, and word vomit. This is what we’re aiming for on LinkedIn. You want to make it as easy as possible for people to like you. But beware: a clear profile doesn’t always equal a good profile. For example, would someone look at your profile and think “WOW, I want to know more?” Do people interact with you and the things you post? If you’re looking at a mundane profile, no matter how clear and succinct it is, you need to find what makes you interesting and unique and use it to grab people’s attention.

If you answered 2…

You’re not alone. There’s always room for improvement on LinkedIn, and as you develop professionally, so will your profile and profile writing skills. In the meantime, it’s worth looking at some quick fixes:

  • If it’s boring, don’t be afraid to add some flair and spice up your profile.

  • Don’t ignore your headline. This is the single most important part of your profile. Spend time on it.

  • Incorporate keywords into your profile.

  • Turn your summary into your story. Don’t just list your skills and job titles; bring to life why these things matter and inject your personality into it.

  • Spread the endorsement love. After all, what goes around comes around.

If you answered 3…

It sounds like you know of the problem but haven’t gotten round to fixing it yet. The sooner you get your profile in tip-top shape, the sooner you can see the results you want. Try using the quick fixes listed above. Then, you might have to put in some work to see your profile come to life. If it’s empty and boring, spend time crafting your story, finding the perfect profile picture, and considering what you want it to say. If you say too much, take a leaf out of person A’s book and cut it down. Make it clear, concise, and easy for people to get to know you.

Question 3 - The conversation starter

Using LinkedIn as a networking tool means giving people a reason to talk to you, showing you’re active with fresh ideas and engaged. Did you know, 40% of LinkedIn members log on each day looking for new content? So, are they coming to your page?

  1. I regularly post content, sometimes even creating original content specifically for LinkedIn.

  2. I re-post interesting things I see on my feed.

  3. I don’t post content, but sometimes I comment on other people’s.

If you answered 1…

Thank you for making LinkedIn an interesting place to be! You don’t only brighten up everyone else’s feed, you also ensure you are spreading your message, particularly when you use your own content. You can show your beliefs, values, share helpful tips, and connect with other people and businesses who have the same mindset as you. One comment from an interested person could be the start of a beautiful partnership. If you continue to post relevant, shareable content, you stand to attract potential clients. And these are the people who will want to choose you, rather than silent Steve, for their next big plan.

If you answered 2…

Re-posting is better than not posting content at all. People can see what opinions you share with other brands and people, where you position yourself, and where your interests lie. However, with no original content, you cannot share your voice and your story, only those of others. This is just more advertising for them and their business, not you. The next step in being able to use LinkedIn to its full potential is to create your own engaging content and take control of the conversation. Don’t just be part of it.

If you answered 3…

Commenting on your connections’ posts is an excellent way of sparking up conversations and getting to know possible clients. But, this way, you will always be talking about what everyone else wants to talk about, never sharing your own unique message about who you are. Without the occasional comment on other people’s posts, there is no way to tell if your profile is active meaning you might miss out on valuable opportunities as people assume you aren’t interested. If this is you, it’s time to interact with others on your feed. Spread your thoughts, good vibes, and post content that makes you seem like a person people want to get to know.

So, whether you’re LinkedIn shy or a LinkedIn shark should be a little clearer by now. In simple terms, the sharks are those who harness the power of LinkedIn and use it to go after what they want. They are the ones whose profile entices their audience. They post the content to reel in the audience, and they can snap up anyone’s interest with a perfectly tailored opening line on chat. The shy are those who aren’t yet showing their true, interesting selves on their profile, and who may not yet know how to carry the conversation or post their own content. If this is you, you‘re not making the most of LinkedIn, and you probably won’t be seeing results any time soon.

The good news is that Coster Consultancy can change this. Here, you can learn everything you need to know to become a LinkedIn leader, set yourself apart, and build a network that provides endless opportunities for professional development. The best time to start is now, so give Coster Content a call on 0161 850 9395 today.

Alia Coster