Updated: Jan 3
LinkedIn is a great platform to connect with others in your industry. And while people can go from one extreme and see LinkedIn as a place to store your resume and not engage at all or see it as a social media platform like Twitter or Facebook. The value of LinkedIn actually lies somewhere in the middle. It gives you a place to store and update your resume, but it also allows you to connect with others in your industry, niche, or community group and build those relationships for future partnerships and opportunities.
And last month we covered networking tips on LinkedIn which you can check out here. This article focuses on the things you should avoid doing while using LinkedIn. This not only will help you expand your network but help you to grow an authentic community.
Don’t connect with everyone
The advice to be selective on who you connect with is very important no matter if you are running a small business, working to be an influencer, or just working a normal 9-5 job. Some people recommend only connecting with people you know. But instead, I think it is better to look at your connection requests profile and see if they are industry or have a commonality that you value, military service, attended the same college, living in the same location, etc. Connecting with people you don’t know expands your network and therefore opportunities. And you can always block or disconnect from people after the fact.
Don’t Spam people
Examples of spam are pitching your business or service without getting to know your new connection. Also, don’t send out the same message to multiple people in hopes someone will bite. Or even worse, following up with a previous unanswered message with the same message again. LinkedIn is about building relationships with the potential for collaboration in the future.
Don’t forget to post regularly
Posting on LinkedIn regularly is a great way to start building your platform or connecting with others in your network. Some people choose to post daily or during the week while other people post once a week or once a month. And some people don’t post their own content regularly but comment and share other people’s posts. All of those options are good. Posting your own thoughts, tips, experiences, and wins is a great way to connect with others in your field and start building your network
Don’t post self-serving content
This topic connects with the topic of not spamming people. You want to find a way to not only share about the work you are doing but also add value. I like the philosophy of jab, jab, jab, hook. Three pieces of content that help and support your community with one piece that promotes you or your product/service. The best part is that by following a rhythm that continually pushes out content that provides value. When you post something where you are selling or asking for something people are often excited for you and want to celebrate or share what you are doing with people who they are connected with. Because they know you and value your experience.
Don’t forget to reply to comments
If you are sharing engaging content. People will respond. Comments are good for the algorithm but you can expand the value of the comments by responding to the person who commented on your post. You can ask questions, share deeper thoughts, or opinions. This can help you connect with people and build your network.
Don’t forget to comment on other people’s posts
And just like you should be responding to comments on your post. You should also comment on other people's posts. You can use your newsfeed as a guide. Or you can search through content people who have commented on your posts feed to help build a deeper relationship with them.
Don’t Lock down your profile
Your profile is your resume. And it shouldn’t have detailed personal information that causes you to not want to share it. If you are worried about security, keep your location area vague. I have always put my location as the closest biggest city. This is a place to network and build community in the work environment. And if you are worried because of your Security Clearance or other certifications check out Clearance Jobs. Clearance Jobs is the largest security-cleared career network.
Don’t ask people you don’t know for recommendations
Getting recommendations is sometimes really important and positive recommendations make you feel great. If you need recommendations, the best thing to do is to give people you know recommendations. They might reciprocate and give you one as well but you shouldn’t expect it. You can also ask people you have worked with if they would be willing to post a recommendation.
Don’t give people recommendations you haven’t worked with or seen their work
When you are giving out recommendations in hopes of getting recommendations of your own do not recommend people you don’t know or haven’t worked with.While it is nice to give recommendations to people who have given you recommendations you are not obligated to. If you haven’t worked with someone or seen their work you shouldn’t recommend them. When you recommend them your credibility is on the line.
Don’t forget to think before you hit post
Lastly, people get passionate about different topics. And while LinkedIn seems to be a place where primarily political topics are not shared. Some issues can cause controversy. It is always good to take five seconds and breathe when you are frustrated. Don’t hit send in anger without taking time to think about what you are writing and if you want it to be out on the internet.
What things have you seen people do on LinkedIn that they shouldn’t be doing?