Everyone in business should be a member of Linkedin because Linkedin is a powerful networking community of business professionals. And as it’s full of professionals it’s the last place on earth you want to screw up, it’s not like Facebook where sharing what you ate for lunch or telling everyone you have been to the gym seem to be the norm. Linkedin is a place to share professional updates and information about your business and industry. With this all aside let’s go over four common mistakes to avoid when using Linkedin.

Identity Theft or Use Of A Fake Name

Linkedin is a repository of your professional information, the worst thing you can do is to try and be someone you are not or to want to be anonymous. We all hear about identify theft and the need to keep information private, but with Linkedin the aim of the game is to share your professional life. Being found on Linkedin is the name of the game, the more times you are found the larger your network grows. If you do not use your real name, the one you use at work and in business, business associates will not be able to find you and eventually you will be found out and you’ll lose the trust of the network of people you have built up.

In addition, you will want to ask for endorsements and recommendations from former colleagues and you can’t do that if they don’t know who you are. You must be the most authentic you that you can muster on the LinkedIn.com network in order to make it fruitful. If you cannot do that, and be yourself, you may as well not join.

Avoid Using a Crappy Picture or Posting No Picture

4 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Using LinkedInYour photo on LinkedIn.com is a graphic representation of your most professional self. It’s perfectly okay if you work at home in your PJ’s, but on LinkedIn, it’s important to try to capture a good close up image of your face (what you have on won’t matter). People want and need to see your eyes, nose and mouth. It’s how colleagues will recognize you, and how new people will feel trust for you.

You can snap a simple image with your webcam or Smartphone to use on LinkedIn but think about it harder than you do other social media networks like Facebook. On Facebook it’s common to use different types of photographs and be creative, the same with Twitter. But on LinkedIn the face matters. So take a close shot of the face, and try to blur out or make the background less noticeable. Also try not to pose too much, a good natural picture always beats one of those self-important posed pictures, you know the ones with the person holding their chin trying to look superior.

Finally, don’t skip the photograph. If you don’t put a photograph on LinkedIn people will ignore you completely. You’re not even a person yet until you have a photo on LinkedIn. If you’re trying to find a job, or find new clients, or make sales of any sort, you need a good picture, but no picture is worse than a bad picture. You can always improve upon it later, so put up a picture.

Do Not Create a Half-Hearted Profile

Some people join LinkedIn and are so overwhelmed by the profile that they skip parts or just never finish it. The profile is key to your ability to connect with others, obtain recommendations for work that you’ve done, and to provide the social proof that shows you as the hardworking professional that you are.

Fill out all aspects of the profile that you can and then take note of the parts you’ve not completed. Come up with ways to fill out the profile completely. From your photograph, to how you want people to contact you, it’s all important. The more complete your profile is, the more people will trust it.  Remember, you can reorganize the profile to showcase and highlight the most important parts of your profile putting the less important parts toward the bottom.

The more time you spend getting your profile right the better your Linkedin connections will be, you can go from zero to here with the right profile so give it the time it deserves.

Non Participation Can Kill You

One you create your profile and you’ve jumped in connecting with current and former colleagues, it’s important to maintain and active account by participating. Participating in discussions, groups, and by commenting on, “liking” and sharing updates from others is a great way to build trust and promote reciprocity.

Set out a little time a few days a week to spend 10 or 15 minutes commenting, liking, and sharing. You’ll find it enjoyable, and you’ll get a lot out of the interactions. You can demonstrate your expertise by entering into discussions within groups, or by starting your own targeted group too. If you spend any time on any type of social media, choose to spend time on LinkedIn participating.

Please feel free to connect with me on Linkedin you can find a link on the right hand side, near the top of the sidebar.

4 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Using LinkedIn
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