In previous articles I gave practical tips for writing high quality articles and getting maximum visibility with great introductory short posts. Within these articles, I mentioned the importance of considering what your audience wants to see on LinkedIn.
Your audience on LinkedIn wants to see your knowledge, your experience, and your professionalism.
If you are a professional adviser or consultant with a professional audience, then your audience on LinkedIn wants to see your knowledge, your experience, and your professionalism.
And this is where so many LinkedIn trainings out there fall short – I am not afraid to say so. Most LinkedIn trainers take a generalised, often overly ‘salesy’ approach to teaching you to use LinkedIn, with little or no consideration for your personal brand and what your particular audience expects of you.
If you are connecting with people on LinkedIn and immediately sending them a direct message trying to sell your services, before a proper introduction or conversation, and without being asked for the information… you have been taking some bad advice from someone.
If you frequently tag a long list of people that you want to read your articles when you share them on LinkedIn… you have picked up a bad tip from somewhere. (Short term: great visibility. Long term: irreparable, widespread damage to your personal brand. There is a happy middle ground, but it requires a strategy or at least a moment’s thought.)
If you are firing off three posts a day and they are all promotional, repetitive, or don’t add anything of value to your professional sphere… you might be mistaking LinkedIn for Facebook.
For more extreme examples… check out the unbelievable but true behaviours I have observed breaking down people’s personal brands on LinkedIn.
I have previously spoken and written on the topic ‘Are you scared of LinkedIn?’ because many people are hesitant to give it a real go, not wanting to misstep and do their personal brand damage – fair enough. That is why you need to be clear on 1) what your personal brand represents, 2) what your particular target audience wants to see and 3) what the current expectations are around LinkedIn etiquette in your country/countries of business.
If you can answer those three questions, you will know what is and isn’t appropriate or effective in your communications on LinkedIn, and you will represent your personal brand with elegance and style.