I’ve been using LinkedIn with great success for some years now, however I didn’t want to make this article about how I use LinkedIn. I wanted to share with you some tips from some of the worlds most recognised LinkedIn leaders. These are people I have connected with and reached out to on LinkedIn which in my opinion demonstrates the power of LinkedIn. To be able to reach out and connect with influencers around the world, gives any business a head start over its competitors not making use of such opportunities. Enough from me, lets hears from LinkedIn experts.

Ten LinkedIn Experts Share Their Tips and TricksName: Mike O’Neil

LinkedIn Title: Keynote Speaker, Author, LinkedIn Trainer ♦ Social Selling & Sales Navigator Expert ♦ Awarded Forbes Top 50
Connect Via: Integrated Alliances

Question: What are the top three beginner LinkedIn mistakes?

1.  Chipping away at it over time, you need to dive in and you don’t wait until you are no longer employed. Push the pedal to the metal now. Dedicate a weekend or a couple evenings to getting yourself prettied up and educated. Dedicate 30 minutes a day to LinkedIn once you get settled.

2.  Copying/pasting from a resume, statistics and all, this makes you look like someone that takes shortcuts and is publicly or privately looking for a (new) job. On the flip side, your summary is more like a cover letter and that’s a good place to start for your wording. It’s always in the first person, everywhere.

3.  Not getting any training or education, just figuring it out on your own, there are tons of places to get self-educated and most are free. Try YouTube for starters.

Question: If you could share one tip for more experienced LinkedIn users what would it be?

Once your profile represents you well, both business wise and personally, Begin with personal conversation or a semi-business conversation. The business speak follows. I look for VP’s that list music in their profiles for example.

 Ten LinkedIn Experts Share Their Tips and TricksName: Brynne (Gordon) Tillman

LinkedIn Title: Transforming the Way Professionals Grow Their Business Through LinkedIn & Social Selling
Connect Via: Social Sales

Question: What are the top three beginner LinkedIn mistakes?

1.  Connecting with people without a personal note is a rookie mistake. There are a few places on LinkedIn that don’t allow you to add a message, and that often connecting from these spots creates bad habits. Be sure that you are connecting directly from their profile or your connections tab – so you can add a note with your connection request.

2.  Another beginner mistake is when people mimic their resume on their profile. It is so vital to make your profile audience engaging. Sharing insights, case studies and education that gets people to actually want to read your profile and maybe even have a conversation.

3.  And what I think is the biggest sin on LinkedIn is connecting and forgetting, especially if you are in sales or job search mode. The more conversations we have with the right people, the more successful your LinkedIn efforts will be. Have a little note that you send to everyone you connecting with that is either sharing valuable insights or asking to schedule a call.

If you could share one tip for more experienced LinkedIn users what would it be?

Have a plan. It is so easy to get lost in LinkedIn, quickly loose focus and gobs of time. Make sure you know what you want to achieve from your LinkedIn efforts, have your messaging templates pre-written and your activities that you would like to do on a daily basis.

Ten LinkedIn Experts Share Their Tips and TricksName: JD GERSHBEIN

LinkedIn Title: LINKEDIN FOR THOUGHT LEADERSHIP ♦ SPEAKER on LinkedIn Best Practices & Personal Branding ♦ LinkedIn Profile Architect
Connect Via: Owlish Communications

Question: What are the top three beginner LinkedIn mistakes?

Whereas I like to reinforce positive habits on LinkedIn (you can quote me on that!), we can’t correct the most common novice mistakes unless we know what they are:

1.  Not Completing the LinkedIn Summary Section

The Summary is the topmost dedicated and first-read section of the LinkedIn profile page. Many LinkedIn users ignore it or don’t know it exists. Instead, they go right to the Experience section and load that up with company content, which is often a direct take from their website or hard-copy brochure. The LinkedIn Profile Summary features the best of your brand story. It is designed to compel and heighten interest in you and your offerings. If you can capture the attention of visitors here, they will scroll down and read more.

2.  Headshot Issues

Oh, the photos that people upload to their LinkedIn profiles: Shots of poor quality, that are terribly composed, have a bad expression, reflect bad clothing choices, were taken in an improper setting, or that are now outdated. Or, they violate LinkedIn User Agreement and upload avatars, logos, or irrelevant subjects. LinkedIn is a vibrant visual medium. The time is right to invest in quality business portraiture. No selfies or webcam shots, either. No photo? Think again. People don’t buy from or hire ghosts.

3.  Failure to Send a Personalized Invitation

This could be the greatest transgression of all. With all that we are hearing about the importance of developing trust-based business relationships, it is amazing to me that people still send the default, generic invitation to connect on LinkedIn. Show your professionalism. Take the time to craft an invitation that frames the relationship properly, and why you feel connecting is mutually beneficial.

If you could share one tip for more experienced LinkedIn users what would it be?

Pay attention to Who’s Viewed your Profile. It is the only metric I care about on LinkedIn. This is the best targeted list that we can possibly compile through our use of the site. Consider that these are people who have gleaned some information about us and may be receptive to our follow-up. Vet the profiles of each visitor. Make a determination if they would be good connections, and reach out to them (or connect directly) in a respectful manner. For those visitors you know, touch base and continue the conversation.

Ten LinkedIn Experts Share Their Tips and TricksName: Jean L. Serio, CPC

LinkedIn Title: Nationally recognized LinkedIn, Social Content and Branding Strategist | Speaker | Trainer | Workshop presenter | Author
Connect Via: Get Your Buzz On

Question: What are the top three beginner LinkedIn mistakes?

1.  Failing to effectively utilize keywords. 

Keywords are the top way people discover you on LinkedIn. Simply put, LinkedIn is a search engine.  It searches to find people whose skills and expertise match the words typed into the search box at the top of a Profile Page.

What are keywords?  These are specific, or related words, which best describe your expertise and skills. These must also be words people search for when looking for someone with your expertise and background. So using a keyword search tool, or Google, is important.

Not sure which keywords best represent you or your skills?  Do a simple Google search on competitors, or those with similar backgrounds, to uncover keywords which best describe your skills, background or expertise.  Add at least one or two to your Headline. Dividing each using commas or pipes. And 1 to each paragraph of your Summary Profile.

2.  Failing to join groups and actively participate.

Participating in groups, and adding your own discussion, helps develop your ‘expert status’.

In time, if you regularly offer good information, answer questions, provide resources, you begin to become well known, not only in that group’s community, but on LinkedIn and on the Internet.  This brings your Profile Page more views. And you expand your reach to get more clients or a job and a variety of great new opportunities.

Also, very important – when you regularly participate in the groups you join – you can become known as the ‘go-to’ person, or an ‘influencer’.   And become a ‘top contributor’.  All of this helps others see you as an individual they want to hire and need on their team. One who really is a pro.

3.  Failing to search for and build connections.

It’s been said by many – a strong network is like money in the bank.  And it is in a variety of ways.

For example – your network can help you build visibility, connect you with influencers, open doors to new opportunities, help you secure a job or clients.  In short, building and nurturing a network is a powerful strategy which can help support your career, business goals and advancement. Not to mention if you have good relationships with your connections they can freely market you to their own connections and clients.

LinkedIn suggests 500 connections is the optimal number members should have. Less than 500 suggests you aren’t actively involved in networking on LinkedIn. If you aren’t active, you won’t be recommending, endorsing or joint venturing with anyone else, or few. That said, active networkers will avoid connecting with you.

An average of 500 connections also provides you plenty of opportunities to get introductions to connections of your first connections. In short, by regularly adding new connections you are exponentially expanding your network to thousands more. Opening yourself up to far greater opportunities; perhaps even global opportunities. On the other hand, having 500+ connections provides you with a wide variety of individuals whom you can ask for help, suggestions, support; sell your services and products to.

If you could share one tip for more experienced LinkedIn users what would it be?

Regularly leverage the power of LinkedIn to market and build your business and your brand. Keep your Profile Page updated, always be asking for recommendations, submit articles and resources to your ‘Home’ page, always be making connections. Do this and LinkedIn will work for you 24/7.

Ten LinkedIn Experts Share Their Tips and TricksName: Melonie Dodaro

LinkedIn Title: International #1 Bestselling Author of The LinkedIn Code ♦ LinkedIn Expert ♦ Keynote Speaker ♦ Social Selling Evangelist
Connect Via: Top Dog Social Media

Question: What are the top three beginner LinkedIn mistakes?

Three of the most common mistakes that I see beginners make, which impairs their success on LinkedIn include:

1. Having an incomplete profile

A profile that is incomplete not only appears unprofessional (and potentially mistaken as a spam account) but also hinders your ability to be found by your ideal clients.

2. Writing your profile like a resume

If you are an entrepreneur, business owner, professional service provider or part of a sales team, you are wasting a valuable platform that can be used for lead generation and relationship building.

3. Not accepting connections from people you don’t know

LinkedIn is a professional platform and your network does not need to be protected like you would for example with your personal Facebook profile. Just as you wouldn’t go to a network meeting and ignore people you don’t know, neither should you decline an invitation from someone you don’t know unless you think it might be a spam account or have another reason for not wanting to connect. It’s important to note that you can only search for and be found by people who are your 1st, 2nd and 3rd degree connections or people that you share a similar group with.

If you could share one tip for more experienced LinkedIn users what would it be?

One of my best tips for more experienced LinkedIn users would be to take advantage of LinkedIn Publisher. Posting on Publisher has a number of benefits such as establishing your as an authority on your topic and increasing your credibility. It also allows your content to be shared beyond your existing network, expanding your reach and influence.

Ten LinkedIn Experts Share Their Tips and TricksName: Viveka (Vivica) von Rosen

LinkedIn Title: LinkedIn Expert & Author: LinkedIn Marketing Hour a Day | International Keynote Speaker | Forbes Top 20 Most Influential
Connect Via: LinkedIn to Business

Question: What are the top three beginner LinkedIn mistakes?

1.  One thing that I see a lot of people new to LinkedIn doing, is not uploading their image to their profile (never mind the new header image and rich media options!) You have an 87% better chance of someone connecting with you if you add a photo. And make sure it is a good one! The picture of you with your husband or wife or dog or even your Company logo is not relevant to your LinkedIn profile.

2.  Don’t ever ever ever ever put anything other than your last name in the last name field (i.e. “Viveka von Rosen: LinkedIn Expert and LION”) Someone out there is teaching people to put keywords and phone numbers and the word LION in the last name field. That goes against LinkedIn’s end-user agreement, and if someone reports you, LinkedIn will black list you and make your profile harder to find. How do I know this? Because I did it! (Someone gave me REALLY bad advice.) And it took seven years for even my name to show up in a LinkedIn search (I’m still not readily findable under my keywords.)

3.  Do not create two profiles! LinkedIn has Company pages – so if you want to profile for your company – go there If you have more than one focus, use Company pages. Having more than one profile on LinkedIn also goes against LinkedIn’s end-user agreement. If someone reports you for having more than one profile, LinkedIn will make you choose one and shut down the other. How do I know this? Because I did it! Again – someone gave me REALLY bad advice.

If you could share one tip for more experienced LinkedIn users what would it be?

LinkedIn has a data export tool that you can find under settings – account – export data. (Or go here)
There is a treasure trove of information there. Besides getting a CSV file of your latest connections, their first name, last name, title, place of employment, and email address – you also get a CSV file of the people who endorsed you and what they endorsed you for. (Plus a ton of other things – read more here
). So if you combine the people who endorsed you the most, with their contact information in the connections file, you now have the email addresses of your super fans! These are the people that are most likely to share any news, product releases, webinars, blog posts, or updates that you want to share. Make them your influencer’s list – and let them know whenever you have big news that you want to get out there.

Ten LinkedIn Experts Share Their Tips and TricksName: Sonja (Odgers) Firth

LinkedIn Title: ✰ LinkedIn Trainer & Speaker ✰ Marketing Professional ✰ Outsourced Business Support Expert
Connect Via: Business Influencer

Question: What are the top three beginner LinkedIn mistakes?

1. Not personalizing your invitations.

LinkedIn isn’t a contact gathering exercise, it’s not an address book, it’s not a numbers game. If you feel that someone is valuable enough to be connected to you should tell them why, ‘We met at last nights function, LinkedIn is a great platform to share resources and information, would you like to connect?’, ‘I notice that we both members of the Technical Writing Group on LinkedIn….’, ‘I’ve followed your posts for a while now, thanks for your insights…..’, ‘I came across your profile through John Smith who is a contact of yours, we all operate in the same space….’ . You get the idea! See my post on the LinkedIn Ninja who sneaks into networking events and steals business cards from under people’s noses…. http://www.linkedin.com/pulse/id-like-add-you-my-professional-network-linkedin-sonja-firth

2. Being ‘on Linkedin’ as opposed to ‘using LinkedIn’.

If you use LinkedIn as a CV repository and to general just hang around in and not engage with others, then it’s akin to entering a networking event with business cards in your hand but standing behind the curtains, occasionally peeping out. Get out there! Use LinkedIn to find allies, customers and valuable information on business in general and on your industry specifically.

3. Underestimating the impact of your profile.

You have less than a minute to make a first impression on LinkedIn. Research has show than viewers will view your photo first, then across to your Headline, down the page through to your content, media and Summary and then back up to your photo. Spending some time to think about how you ‘group’ your content, where information is listed based on priority, what keywords to use and what to actually include, is so important in making that crucial first impression. See my post on ‘How to maximize your first impressions on LinkedIn’, which had over 1300 views. http://www.linkedin.com/pulse/how-maximize-your-first-impressions-linkedin-sonja-firth

If you could share one tip for more experienced LinkedIn users what would it be?

Make LinkedIn a part of your business strategy, not in addition to or lump it in with ‘social media’. LinkedIn is, and will only increase to be, a key part of how smart operators do business day to day. Throw out the ‘social selling’, ‘content marketing’ and ‘digital marketing’ titles, it’s about doing business and talking and listening to your peers, customers and potential customers. It’s about sharing your knowledge, your thoughts and ultimately about enjoying and benefiting from the relationships you create. We don’t need to call it anything if we do it properly, it’s just about doing business.

Ten LinkedIn Experts Share Their Tips and TricksName: Jerome Knyszewski

LinkedIn Title: 223 Recommendations. We get our clients results.
Connect Via: LinkedIn Profile

Question: What are the top three beginner LinkedIn mistakes?

1. Expecting LinkedIn to be like a professional Facebook. A great number of newcomers display poor quality pictures as well as not very professional etiquette:
Posting pictures of vacations
Posting updates with riddles cats or silly memes
Assuming that LinkedIn is dead because the interactions can be slow or negligible, unlike Facebook where you may get quite a bit of chatter very fast

2. Sending “””personal””” messages to 50 contacts and forgetting to uncheck the box at the bottom of the message that disables recipients to see other recipients
This is a great way to fry a network, burning connections

3. Not being active enough:
Like more posts and updates in your network
Comment and share articles found in Pulse
Endorse connections

Your level of activity will raise your quote on quote LinkedIn klout and allow your reach to go deeper into your network therefore making you and your profile more visible

If you could share one tip for more experienced LinkedIn users what would it be?

Publish articles
publish articles
publish articles
publish articles

Then support other publishers!

 Ten LinkedIn Experts Share Their Tips and TricksName: Alex Pirouz

LinkedIn Title: Business Advisor & Journalist
Connect Via: linkfluencer.com/linkedinmastery

Question: What are the top three beginner LinkedIn mistakes?

1. No plan

Building a solid foundation is the backbone to being successful and all of that starts by having a plan. You wouldn’t build a house without first laying the foundation or framework, right? Well developing an effective LinkedIn campaign is no different. If you don’t have a plan any road will get you there right?

Before designing your profile or building your network, get crystal clear on what your looking to achieve on LinkedIn and how that fits in with helping you achieve your marketing objectives over the next 3, 6 to 12 months.  In turn this will help you identify who you need to connect with in order to meet those objectives.

2. Add value

Ten LinkedIn Experts Share Their Tips and Tricks

Nobody, and I really mean nobody likes to feel like they are being ‘sold to’. Hammering your new connections inbox with messages about your product and services straight away is not going to win you any friends … Or customers for that matter.

The clue is in the title … Social media is meant to be exactly that – social. Ok so LinkedIn is very much a professional and business based forum but the underlying principle remains.

Before you start email marketing to your contacts, think of a few ways you could add value to them. This will help develop the trust and rapport necessary for them to be interested in what you have to say. Remember, to be interesting, you have to be interested.

3. Profile Photo

Ten LinkedIn Experts Share Their Tips and Tricks
You would never go to an in-person networking party naked, dressed in your dirty old sweat pants, or without any shoes. Why? You want to make a good first impression.

Yet, failing to fully optimize your LinkedIn profile has the same effect online as coming to the party dressed wrong. Studies show that people are seven times more likely to click on your LinkedIn profile if there’s a picture than if you don’t have one.

Your photo should be up-to-date, clear, professional, and an expression of you, preferably the smiling you. If you are a casual guy, no one expects or wants to see you in a suit.

In a virtual world we may do business with someone we have never met. The connection provided by a photo, especially when you can see the eyes and a warm reception can go a long way.

If you could share one tip for more experienced LinkedIn users what would it be?

Create a clear plan on what you’re looking to achieve from the platform. Over 90% of people we speak with have no real plan or purpose as to what there looking to achieve through LinkedIn.

Drafting a plan requires: “looking over [your] marketing objectives over the next 6-12 months, identifying the target market [you] would need to connect with in order to achieve those objectives, designing a LinkedIn profile that resonates with this audience and then going out and building your sales funnel of target leads.”

Just like you would plan your editorial calendar, you should plan your LinkedIn activity.

Ten LinkedIn Experts Share Their Tips and TricksName: Steve Cartwright

LinkedIn Title: I help you identify online goals & I help you achieve them using ✔web design ✔content marketing ✔conversion optimization
Connect Via: LinkedIn Profile

Question: What are the top three beginner LinkedIn mistakes?

1. No Goals

In my opinion everyone needs to have an end goal in mind for everything they do on LinkedIn. By understanding what you want to achieve you can then work out who you need to connect with. For each goal you are normally seeking to connect with a different audience persona, knowing your goals helps keep you on track.

2. Profile Pictures

You see this every day of the week, people using company logos, cartoon characters and pictures that are completely out of character with LinkedIn. People connect with people and as such you need to present your face, eyes (no sun glasses) in a professional manner and in appropriate surroundings.

3. Instant Sales

Many people are so eager to make sales that as soon as they connect with somebody they are sending messages that are simply sales letters. LinkedIn is about developing relationships first and sales and opportunities automatically follow as a result. So spend your time building those relationships which in turn builds your reputation.

If you could share one tip for more experienced LinkedIn users what would it be?

I’m a massive fan of Long Form Publishing on LinkedIn, I publish an article daily and this leads to numerous inquiries, leads and opportunities. The secret to long form publishing is to ensure your articles are educational in nature and not sales related, to ensure they are properly search engine optimized and to share your opinion because this is what interests people the most and especially your target audience.

I don’t know about you but there are some real gold nuggets above, I know that I’ve learned lots, have you? If you’ve found this of value do share and if you’ve a few tips of your own similarly share them below in the comments section.

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