“‘Cheshire Puss,’ she began, rather timidly, as she did not at all know whether it would like the name: however, it only grinned a little wider. `Come, it’s pleased so far,’ thought Alice, and she went on. `Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?’
‘That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,’ said the Cat.
`I don’t much care where–’ said Alice.
`Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,’ said the Cat.
`–so long as I get SOMEWHERE,’ Alice added as an explanation.
`Oh, you’re sure to do that,’ said the Cat, `if you only walk long enough.’” ~Lewis Carroll in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
It seems that many professionals are on LinkedIn but are doing nothing with it. Like Alice, they’re wandering aimlessly. Yet many think that LinkedIn’s going to miraculously deliver them some work.
Not unless you put the time and effort in and use it purposefully.
The top 8 ways professionals waste time on LinkedIn and a solution for each!
# 1: Not being clear about what you want LinkedIn to help you to achieve and how you’re going to use it
If you don’t have clear goals then what are you going to measure?
And how are you going to use the platform consistently over time to:
- expand your knowledge,
- position yourself,
- overcome being pigeon-holed,
- stay top of mind with your existing clients and/or
- attract more of your ideal prospects?
Solution: download our LinkedIn action plan template and use it to determine how you will use the platform.
# 2: Using LinkedIn in isolation
LinkedIn works best when it’s used to support your other efforts. It can be a catalyst for getting new work but it’s rarely the sole reason why. Yet it can add rocket-fuel to your existing business development and marketing initiatives.
If you want to know how, take a look at the posts highlighted below, each of which deal with a different aspect of professional services firm’s BD and marketing activities:
Solution: Think about how LinkedIn can support your existing initiatives and incorporate this into your strategy.
# 3: Having a sub-standard profile
There is NO excuse for a sub-standard profile.
You’re a professional.
You want to make a good impression on both your existing connections, business partners, referrers and prospects.
How are you going to do that if you can’t even pull a decent profile together?
Solution: If you’re on LinkedIn to develop your practice, PLEASE PLEASE (at the very least) do the following:
- Upload a professional looking photo
- Make sure your professional headline says what you do or who and how you can help
- Customize your public profile URL (so that you get found before others’ who share your name)
- Complete the summary section setting out:
- Who you help
- What you help them with
- Your approach to working with your clients
- Some results you’ve achieved
- A bit about your interests outside of work
- A call to action.
# 4: not taking an active approach to connecting with others
LinkedIn at a very basic level is a living, breathing address book where people update their own details. It’s likely to be much more up-to-date than many professional services firms’ CRMs.
# 5: Inactivity
If you’ve decided you ONLY want to use LinkedIn as a living address book then don’t worry about being active.
# 6: Taking a short-term ‘sales’ approach
No-one’s on LinkedIn to be sold to.
They’re on there to network, to learn and, yep, to sell. But to sell in a none-salesy way. Before you can even attempt to sell, you have to DEMONSTRATE your value and help others.
It’s fine to use Inmail and ask for introductions but you’d better be damn sure to spell out the VALUE to the other person of doing what you ask of them. And it’s going to be much more effective if people ‘know’, like and have begun to trust you first.
Solution: Be active by sharing helpful content, helping others and commenting on their discussions. Position yourself by being generous. Then, when you ask for help or a meeting, people are much more likely to say ‘yes’. And the outcome is much more likely to be positive.
# 7: Ignoring the power of LinkedIn groups
LinkedIn groups are a great tool to reach more of your ideal prospects and another place to position yourself with your clients and other connections.
By joining well-managed groups to which you can add value, you can begin to extend your reach.
You will need to find these groups though (which can be difficult given that the majority are a waste of space either because they’re inactive or full of spam).
Solution: join well-managed groups and consider setting up your own either as a team or in conjunction with one or two non-competing professionals. Building a group is a great way to set up a community of people with a common interest and to become a valuable resource to them over time. If you want to know how to set up and run a group that people want to join, get our Complete Guide to LinkedIn Groups eBook for NZ$18.97,
# 8: A lack of measurement or measuring the wrong things
There’s little point in measuring things that have nothing to do with you achieving your goals. Vanity metrics such as number of likes, shares etc. are flattering but are they helping you get to where you want to be?
If not then ignore them.
Solution: pick a few key measures that are aligned with your objectives. Measure your performance over time and in conjunction with your other initiatives so that you can assess LinkedIn’s impact. Where possible, benchmark against past data so that you know whether what you’re doing is working.
It’s incredibly easy to waste time on LinkedIn. Yet it can be an AMAZINGLY powerful tool if used sensibly.
What other mistakes have you made, or seen other professionals making, on LinkedIn?
If you want to stop wasting time on LinkedIn and start harnessing it’s power to grow your practice, sign up for our 10 week mini-course and be first to hear about our forthcoming online course with actionable modules “Grow your Practice with LinkedIn: for lawyers”, your roadmap to LinkedIn success.
Image Credit: elderderekbird.blogspot.com