But having a complete profile isn’t always enough. Just because you’ve filled in the sections, it doesn’t mean the information given is suitable. Errors, irrelevant content - there are many factors that will cause the leads who find your profile to give up and move on.
LinkedIn profile mistakes are common. If you can avoid them, you’ll have a competitive edge, a better profile and a much higher chance of securing leads. These are our LinkedIn profile recommendations for a perfect, lead optimised profile.
LinkedIn profile issues to avoid
Issue 1: Failing to consider your profile picture
Having a profile picture is usually better than not having one at all! But using a bad picture (something unprofessional, or irrelevant to your job or business) can occasionally be worse.
A profile picture makes people trust you, boosts faith in your abilities and encourages leads to click through and connect when your profile is seen across the LinkedIn network. If your picture gives the wrong message, you’ll lose traction fast. Examples of typical picture mistakes include:
Poor quality images
Images of pets
Images of children
Images of other halves
These images are perfectly acceptable on personal social networks, but on LinkedIn you’re aiming to show your professional, not personal side.
Make sure your image is up to date - it can be confusing if you turn up to a meeting, or event, and you look nothing like your photo.
Stick to a good quality headshot of yourself with a neutral background. Remember it’s not a passport photo, you can smile!
Issue 2: Poor profile optimisation
You control of a lot of text on your profile. To attract leads, this copy should be checked regularly and kept up to date.
Optimise your job title, descriptions and summaries. With your job title, keep this truthful and include key terms to be specific on what it is you do. Rather than ‘Digital Marketer’ for example, you might say ‘Inbound Marketing Specialist’. With longer text sections such as the summary, the key is balance. Consider using bullet points for reading ease, and as with your job title, make sure you include relevant keywords. Keep it first person, keep it relevant and keep it short!
Use spellcheck. If you want to be perceived as professional, your profile should be error free. Spelling mistakes and grammatical error are the scourge of modern professionals, so if your browser does not pick up on errors for you, proof your text by spellchecking it in a word processor. Check over all profile fields, summaries and descriptions. A quick copy and paste could save a lot of grammatical embarrassment!
Don’t link back to personal social profiles. If you have a work Twitter account, or want to use your profile to promote your business blog, great! But linking back to your personal Twitter or Facebook page could be dangerous - you may not want potential leads finding those less than professional Facebook pictures. Reviewing your privacy settings on all networks is a good idea (they could still Google you!) but it’s best to avoid promoting your personal life on a professional platform.
Issue 3: Lack of recommendations and skills
If you’re looking for a professional, you’re going to want reassurance of experience and reliability. Reviews are a usual go-to for credibility, and on LinkedIn, the recommendations section fills that need.
If you can get reputable people - likely your clients - to write a LinkedIn recommendation that speaks of your experience, expertise and reliability in your field it will boost your credibility encourage leads on your profile to trust you. The best recommendations are those that make you stand out uniquely - by detailing the specifics of a project you have completed, not just how hard a worker you are.
When it comes to your skills section, try to list topics that LinkedIn can recognise. This will help you appear better in LinkedIn search. Feel free to recommend the skills of your connections too; you’re likely to get a few back in return!
Continuing to generate leads
Lastly, make sure you reach out and engage. It doesn’t matter how strong your profile is if you’re not showing your face around the site, or engaging in discussions. If you’re actively seeking to speak to relevant leads: using InMail to reach out for example, as well as posting regular updates and discussions, you’ll dramatically improve your lead generation potential.