The 7 Biggest Mistakes You’re Making On LinkedIn

personal branding Apr 28, 2022

I am always on LinkedIn. Heck, I used to work for them, so it was my core responsibility to be on the platform constantly. So, of course, I’ve seen a fair share of people making the same mistakes over and over again on LinkedIn. And it kills me inside to see these mistakes made by job seekers, solopreneurs, and business owners.

Errors that could potentially derail their efforts with generating leads or connecting with a recruiter could lead them to land their dream job. 

So, what are these seven mistakes that I see people repeatedly make on LinkedIn? 

 

7 Biggest LinkedIn Mistakes

  1. Unprofessional Profile Photo
  2. Boring Headline
  3. You’re a Lurker
  4. Making Random Posts
  5. Requesting Connections Without Purpose
  6. Your About Section is in Third Person
  7. Not Using the Recommendations Section

Let’s take a deeper look into each of these mistakes. Plus, I will share helpful tips on how to reverse the curse of these harmful practices and behaviors that are killing your LinkedIn game.

 

LinkedIn Mistake #1 - Unprofessional Profile Photo

Does your LinkedIn profile have an image of you:

  • With sunglasses
  • In a far off distance (full body shot)
  • On your wedding day
  • Not looking at the camera
  • Shot inside a car
  • With your pet

These types of pictures are a big mistake to use for your profile image.

Your LinkedIn profile picture should be like a professional headshot.

Yes, just like how a movie or T.V. actor uses for auditions.

We’ve all watched a scene like this before, where an actor passes their headshot when trying out for a part. The headshot has a clean background with only their face in the picture. This image needs to instantly sell their “brand” image, even before speaking one word.

And that’s what you need to keep in mind when selecting your profile image, a picture that sells your professional brand, which is you.

Here are some tips on how to take the perfect profile picture:

  • A clean background
  • Attire that matches your line of work
  • Ask someone to take a photo of you, if this isn’t possible- stand directly in front of a window with sunlight directly reflecting on your face.
  • Make sure your face is at the center of the frame. Use the guidelines on your phone or camera. 
  • Look directly at the camera and give a natural smile. 

[IN] Tip: If you have an iPhone, use the "Portrait Mode" to take your picture. This setting can help your picture look like a professional photographer took it.

2. Boring Headline

The second biggest (and most common) mistake I see on LinkedIn is a headline that only has a person’s job title. This is not only boring and unforgettable, but you’re missing out on the opportunity to communicate your personal brand statement. 

What is a personal brand statement?

A quick summary of who you are, what makes you unique, and how you serve others in 2-3 sentences.

I know this can sound overwhelming to put together, but it’s pretty simple to come up with the statement. Start by answering these questions.

  1. What are you passionate about? 
  2. Who do you help?
  3. What valuable skill or talent do you bring to the table? 
  4. How do you like to solve problems?

Answering these questions will be the key components you can use to string together a personal brand statement for your headline.

Here is the complete formula to crafting a perfect LinkedIn headline:

Who you are | Mission Statement | Skills/Achievement | Unique problem you solve

By crafting a LinkedIn headline that captures your personal brand, it shares what you do professionally and creates an instant connection with other LinkedIn members. 

Want to go more in-depth on crafting the perfect LinkedIn headline with real-life examples? I wrote an article that shares six ways how to create a compelling and impactful headline. 

 

3. You’re Lurking, Not Joining in the Conversations

Another mistake people make on LinkedIn is not taking advantage of meeting new people on the largest professional network in the easiest way possible, leaving comments on posts. 

Notice how I didn’t say you have to make a post? You can still reap the benefits of growing your network on LinkedIn just by commenting on others’ posts.

Now, there are some rules when making comments on posts that are intended to meet new people and establish your professional brand on this platform.

Here are some quick Don’ts and Do’s when commenting on LinkedIn posts:

  • Do not leave generic comments that only say, “thanks for this post” or “well said.” or just an emoji
  • Do not use comments for self-promotion or add your website URL
  • Do not leave an inappropriate comment with people’s look
  • Do share your thoughts on why the post resonated with you.
  • Do offer your expertise if the post asks a question to the audience.
  • Do share a similar experience that relates back to the posts
  • Engage with other people’s comments

Engaging in other people’s posts is an opportunity to gain exposure to your profile to a broader audience. Just make sure to make thoughtful comments that make a person want to click on your profile. Trust me; you can grow your network by making comments. 

 

4. Making Random Posts

If you are publishing posts, then I would say you are in the advanced group of users on LinkedIn because only 1% of the members create posts on the platform. Meaning your posts have low competition with other posts and a higher chance of being viewed by a large volume of people.

But even advanced users can make the fatal mistake of not posting consistently.

You don’t have to make a post every day, but posting 2-3 days a week consistently will help build an audience that can count on you showing up with your weekly post. Find a posting frequency that works best for you. That’s what I would call building trust.   

So, commit to a schedule and number of posts to publish weekly. It doesn’t have to be every day, just consistent every week.

 

5. Requesting LinkedIn Connections without Purpose

I’m going to fill you in on a secret.

When people ask me how many connection requests they should accept on LinkedIn, my answer always circles back to connection quality over quantity. It’s not how many people are in your network but who you choose to be in it.

A big mistake I see people make all the time on LinkedIn is sending a ton of connection requests to people unrelated or irrelevant to that person’s background. They are sending a connection request to increase their connection number.

I am not saying you can’t connect with people outside your industry; you should. But make sure you send the request with a personalized note explaining why you want to connect.

Writing a note of what sparked your interest in reaching out to that person will help boost your acceptance rate and build a network of quality connections that will be more likely to engage in your posts and activities on the platform.

And by the way, even LinkedIn updated the algorithm with the number of requests a person can make. As of 2021, a member can only send 100 connection requests a week- a drastic drop from requesting 100 connections in a day. If you go over a certain amount per day, you could possibly have your account blocked for too many connection requests. 

So, the goal is to stop making random requests for connections and be more intentional. Think quality over quantity. 

 

6. Writing in Third Person

This mistake I see often made on a person’s “About” section on their LinkedIn profile. They are writing their summary in the third person.

Writing in the third person reads in a narration about a person, not in your voice or to the reader. The sentences are written in he or she rather than “I” or speaking to the reader by including “you.”

Writing in a third-person manner can instantly eliminate the connection between you and the reader, completely taking you out of your “About” section. This section is an opportunity for you to speak directly to the reader looking to hire you for a new position or interested in working with you and your services.     

Don’t make the mistake of writing in the third person. Re-write your summary that creates that direct line of communication to the reader.

 

7. Not Using the Recommendation Section

Not using the recommendation feature on LinkedIn is one of the biggest mistakes a job seeker, solopreneur, or business owner can make. A recommendation from a credible source could be the difference between you getting hired or being overlooked.

I get it.

Most people do not like to talk about themselves. Let alone talk about how good they are at their job or how people love to work with them. Feeling uncomfortable is entirely normal and may stem from your upbringing. But not sharing what makes you excellent at your job or sharing the winning qualities of your personality could cost you a slight advantage to win over a client’s decision to work with you or take you out of the running for that new role or position.

People need and look for social proof when working with a person or adding them to a team. They rely on other people’s opinions and experiences to help validate their decision to go with that person.

So, stop making the mistake of not asking for a recommendation from a former colleague or manager. Send a personalized message to 3-4 people who will vouch for your work and brag about their experience working with you.  

 

Interested to learn more, click here to check out my Video about 10 Deadly Sins of LinkedIn Etiquette.

 

The Final Takeaway- The Biggest Mistakes Made on LinkedIn

Whether you are a beginner, advanced, or somewhere in between type of user on LinkedIn, I hope shedding light on these seven big mistakes will significantly improve your visibility with more people and opportunities.

The key takeaway. Be more intentional with your actions on LinkedIn and be mindful of how they could positively or negatively impact your professional brand. 

Need help with your online presence and personal branding on LinkedIn? Book a 30-minute discovery call to learn how you can stand out as a coach online to attract more traffic to your funnel that transforms prospects into clients.

Not ready for a 1:1 call yet? Want to see me teach in action? Join my FREE LIVE MasterClass: How I Convert My LinkedIn Connections into Sales

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