When was the last time you checked your LinkedIn profile?
Come on, be honest. It’s been a while.
And that’s not for lack of caring. You want to engage with your colleagues, peers, clients, prospective business partners, whomever — but no one’s knocking on the door.
Don’t let your LinkedIn profile’s shabby engagement stats get you down. Plenty of successful people have perfunctory or completely nonexistent LinkedIn presences. But, for ambitious professionals or business owners serious about advancing their careers and making fruitful connection, there’s no denying the power of LinkedIn either.
Assuming you want to do something to improve your LinkedIn presence, check out these six probable issues. Chances are good you’re beset by at least one — and its suggested solution might just be the juice you need to thrive on the world’s most important B2B social media network.
Issue #1: Your Recommended Jobs Are Irrelevant
Still getting alerts about entry-level roles when you long ago graduated into the ranks of senior management? Take a peek under the hood — you probably need to update your work history.
Solution: Bring Your Work History Up to Date
Even if you’re not actively looking for a job or opportunity at the moment, you never know when you’ll be open to the idea. Make sure your work history lists all relevant career-track positions you’ve held, shows continuity between said positions, and explains any gaps. (That year off earlier in the decade? You were in the Peace Corps, obviously.)
While you’re at it, delete references to early-career jobs that have no bearing on your current work. It’s great that you have lifeguarding experience, but that’s probably not what gets you the web architect job you’re seeking.
Issue #2: You Don’t Look Like an Expert
You might be a senior leader at your company or a respected expert in your field, but how’s anyone to know if your profile doesn’t make this clear? It’s time to burnish your credentials (without looking like a total braggart, of course).
Solution: Go on an Endorsing Spree
You scratch their backs, they’ll (hopefully) scratch yours.
Start by selecting the LinkedIn-provided skills that you legitimately excel at. Don’t stretch the truth: if you’re not really a Python expert, don’t claim to be. Chances are good you can come up with enough skills to create a pretty well-rounded profile.
Next, begin endorsing others in your network for their skills. Again, don’t stretch the truth: only endorse people for whose proficiency you can actually vouch. They’ll see that you’ve endorsed them and, if all goes well, return the favor. When the smoke clears, your profile could look something like this entrepreneur’s LinkedIn profile: a hotbed of endorsements, many from prominent leaders in his field.
Issue #3: No One’s Commenting on Your Updates
It’s like crying into the void. For whatever reason, your pithy updates (or lengthy missives) just don’t attract the attention you know they deserve. Time for some triage.
Solution: Make Your Updates More Engaging
Maybe it really is your fault. Not in a bad way — in the “not everyone is born a LinkedIn content expert” way. Follow these best practices for more engaging LinkedIn updates:
- Include one high-quality image whenever possible, even if it’s just a link preview
- Mix short and long updates
- End your updates with targeted questions for specific follower sub-groups: something like, “WordPress devs: what’s your favorite SEO plugin and why?”
- Use LinkedIn to tease longer original posts — share just 100 or 200 words from the post, then link out to the full version
- Mention followers and groups in your update
- Tag followers and groups in the comments, if you don’t want to clutter up the text field
Issue #4: No One Likes Your Content
They might like it fine, but they’re not telling you. No worries: you just need to make it obvious that you’re in the market for affection.
Solution: Make the Ask (and Make It Good)
Don’t be afraid to literally tell your readers to “like” a post or update if they feel like it’s worthwhile. Or include a call-to-action that makes it clear you’d like to see your post shared far and wide. Your followers know the score — this is about visibility.
Issue #5: You’re Not Getting Enough Impressions or Views
When followers aren’t even seeing your profile or updates, you’ve got a problem on your hands.
Solution: Follow More People and Groups
You can grow your network and increase your profile’s visibility without investing a single dollar in boosting or promoting it. The secret: literally following as many people and groups as you realistically can.
LinkedIn makes this easy by recommending “people you might know.” If you know these people, by all means, follow them! And join relevant groups while you’re at it. They’ll further expand your network and ensure that your profile gets in front of active members, some of whom are likely to be influential in your niche.
Issue #6: Your Profile Isn’t Driving Traffic to Your Personal Website
If you want your LinkedIn profile to serve as a lead-generator for your personal or professional website, this could be a problem.
Solution: Throw Yourself a Link or Two
No need to bombard your personal site with backlinks from your LinkedIn profile, but a couple judiciously placed shout-outs never hurt. Take the opportunity to tease original content posted on your personal site: blurb it on LinkedIn and link back to the full version on your blog.
LinkedIn Is a Publishing Platform
Just as Facebook began life as a sort of digital yearbook for college students, LinkedIn got its start as a directory for professionals — Facebook for business, if you like, though of course that term is now all but taken.
In the years since, LinkedIn has grown into something more. Much more. It’s now only a slight stretch to say that LinkedIn is first and foremost a publishing platform — a place for researchers to share reports, for thought leaders to drive industry- or sector-wide conversations, for up-and-comers to make their opinions heard on a whole range of topics that could affect their industries’ futures.
Whatever else you do to shore up your LinkedIn presence, never forget its power to enhance your visibility in the marketplace of ideas. That could make the difference between a fruitful but anonymous career and a rocket ride to the pinnacle of your field.