Too many people think that simply having a LinkedIn profile is going to drive a steady stream of business to their door.  When this does not happen, they declare the platform a waste of time.  Well, I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but it is not the platform that is at fault it is how you are using it.

If you want to benefit from having a LinkedIn profile you need to learn how to use it to achieve your goals.

First and foremost, if you have a profile, check it at least once a day and at least respond to any messages or invitations that have been sent to you.

I recently had someone that I had sent an invite to, come over to me at a networking event and ask if we could get together – my response, “Of course I would be happy to, did you not receive my message on LinkedIn with the invite to connect?”  At this point the person admitted to me that they never really check their LinkedIn profile. To make the situation even funnier was the person that I had been having a conversation with who said to me, “Oh I never really check mine either.”  Well if you don’t check your profile, why do you have it?? By not responding you are giving off the wrong message.

To fully take advantage of your profile you need to learn first and foremost how to send and accept connection requests.  It never ceases to amaze me how many people just click accept on the blue square in the email telling them that they have been invited to connect without ever reading the message that should have come with it from the person looking to connect.

On the other side, when you are sending a request to connect, take a minute to write a note instead of the canned message that LinkedIn generates automatically.

As an experiment, I have on several occasions put inquiries for people into my connection requests.  Most of the time the person accepts without ever responding to my inquiry.  Lost opportunity.  On the other hand, I am looking no further for a web developer for a major client project proposal than the person who responded to my connection request and responded to my inquiry promptly, within a day, with some suggested times that we could talk.  In all fairness, this web developer is someone that I have met on several occasions and I was familiar with another site that they built that has the features that we would need for this project.  However, I had several other names on my list to touch base with – they did not respond – search complete!

Lesson learned?  Not sure how to take that next step?  Wondering what to put into those messages when you offer to connect? Schedule a call to see if one of our Social Media Strategy Programs would be right for you.