Why Linkedin Isn't Working For You (and How To Fix It) - Social Media Explorer
Why Linkedin Isn’t Working For You (and How To Fix It)
Why Linkedin Isn’t Working For You (and How To Fix It)

You joined Linkedin because someone said it’s a great place to find work, or freelance clients. But, somehow, it’s just not fallen into place for you. Sounds familiar?

There are many reasons why Linkedin isn’t working for you, or for many people. But, done properly, it’s easily one of the best tools for building your personal brand, to connect with recruiters or even to win top paying clients.

The problem though is that you shouldn’t be treating it as a sale platform. Because that isn’t what it is. Linkedin is – first and foremost – a social media platform. And there are things that people just don’t like on social media, even if it is a professional networking tool.

Take a look at these common problems to find out if this is why Linkedin isn’t working for you…

You don’t add a personal note when you connect

When you add a connection on Linkedin, it gives you the option to add a note. Never use this? Well, that is mistake number one.

One reason why Linkedin isn’t working for many people is that they don’t try to make a personal connection.

And the best way to do this is to introduce yourself. Think of it as if you’re at a business networking event, and you’re handing out business cards.

Would you just go up to someone, give them your card and walk away? Nope. You’d say hi, exchange pleasantries and then exchange business cards. This is what you need to do on Linkedin (albeit in a more simplified manner).

The best way to leave a personal note is simply to say, ‘Hi {name}, I saw you work in {sector}/I saw we have mutual connections/I’m just trying to build my network in {industry} and thought I would connect. Thanks’.

This is a simple intro that establishes your motives and opens a channel for discussion if they would like to.

Always. And I do mean ALWAYS, add a personal note when you connect.

Your profile isn’t up to date

Half completed profiles, no images, no current job, no employment history… You do want people to find you, right?

Like any social media platform, Linkedin works best when your profile is complete (or at least mostly complete).

So if you’re finding that Linkedin isn’t working for you, take a good look profile. Add in a quality image, ideally a professional head shot, or at least a smiling portrait. Update your title (more on that in a moment) and add in a bio.

You should also add in relevant experience, educational history and any other context such as certifications, languages spoken or projects worked on. The more content on your profile the more there is for recruiters and connections to get their teeth into.

You don’t engage

Lurking on social media, we’ve all be guilty of it at some point. But if you want Linkedin to perform for you, you will need to engage in some capacity.

Do you need to post daily? No, not really. But it does make a huge difference to how you’re perceived on the platform.

Do you need to like or comment on other people’s posts? Well, it does help your visibility – so yes.

As Linkedin is a professional network, sharing business tips, experiences and perception is the norm. So if you want to build a following and get Linkedin to work for you, you’ll need to engage.

Accounts to follow on Linkedin

Want some examples of people to follow on Linkedin? There are tons, but these people are all doing a great job of building their audience, building a buzz and generally making Linkedin work for them.

  • Troy Hipolito – a Linkedin business coach sharing some very useful insight
  • Cole Hayden – Another Linkedin coach, shares some useful content
  • Carol Tice – Freelance copywriting guru
  • Alex Searle – Audience building expert sharing engaging video about how to build client relationships
  • Justin Welsh – Business coach
  • Mandy Fransz – Recruiter specialising in Linkedin and remote work

Each of these profiles has a unique and strong approach to making Linkedin work that can be very useful for budding freelancers or job seekers on the platform.

You’re selling too much

As a social media platform, it’s all about sharing useful information and engaging with your peers. You know what Linkedin isn’t for?

Hard sell.

Yeah no-one likes a salesman. Sorry. Even if your job is sales…

The way to build engagement and to generally make Linkedin work for you is to be useful, be helpful and be engaging. There is nothing worse for most people on Linkedin than the ol’ connect and pitch.

For most people if they see a connection request, and the note says, “Hi Bob, I offer this service, it would be great to connect”. What they’re seeing is, ‘Hi Bob, I’m going to be really annoying and try and sell my service at every opportunity’.

Spoiler alert; this approach doesn’t work.

Equally, connecting and then sending a message about your services is usually a surefire way to get unconnected.

Very simply, don’t be sales-y. No-one likes it or wants to hear your sales pitch. There are other ways to win clients on Linkedin, which you can read up anywhere on the internet.

So if you want to make Linkedin work for you:

  • Optimize your profile
  • Be professional, engaging and useful
  • Don’t be salesy

Remember, Linkedin is a professional social media platform for networking and building your contacts. It’s not a site for doing the hard sell, dating or spamming people. Treat the people on it as your equals, and peers, and you’ll see Linkedin start performing for you too!

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About the Author

Gesten van der Post
Content marketer, blogger, occasional journalist and casual crypto trader.

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