In this article I’d like to discuss the top LinkedIn mistakes that you should avoid if you want to use the platform for growing your business.
I get a lot of questions around this topic from people who have tried to win clients with LinkedIn, but for one reason or another, they didn’t succeed, and then they abandoned the platform completely, because they think it just doesn’t work for them.
But in my experience, the reason why people don’t succeed on the platform can be easily fixed in most cases. So here I’ll list the 5 most common mistakes, and how you can fix them, to make sure LinkedIn becomes a top performing marketing channel for your business.
LinkedIn mistakes you should avoid
Mistake #1: Lack of an ideal client avatar
The number one reason why people fail on the platform is that they don’t have an ideal client avatar. Or, if they do have one, they don’t understand their clients very well. It’s that simple.
Who is your target market? Who are you trying to sell to? That’s really important, but even more important is understanding a little bit about them, their psychology, and their most important pain points.
So it’s really essential to understand your ideal client avatar in great detail, which is why we always start with this step in our done-for-you LinkedIn lead generation services.
Not only will this help you find your ideal clients on the platform, it will also help you to start a conversation with them about their challenges, and how you might be able to help them.
Mistake #2: Not optimizing your profile to speak to your ideal clients
If you don’t understand your ideal client avatar, it follows that you won’t be able to optimize your profile to speak to them and their pain points specifically.
The majority of people set up their profile in the style of an online CV. It’s all about them and their work history. But when it comes to inspiring your ideal clients to buy from you, your CV is arguably the most boring thing you could ever show them.
Instead, set up your profile like a client-facing sales page that calls out their pain points, and showcases the benefits of your solutions. What outcomes can they expect if they work with you? How will you improve their life? Try to make them feel like you’re someone who understands their challenges, and can help them find a solution.
Mistake #3: No outbound strategy (or a bad outbound strategy)
In order to get the best results from the platform, it’s essential to have a good outbound strategy. While inbound marketing can get you some results, the majority of deals are still generated from outreach to potential prospects.
When people ask me the question, “is LinkedIn marketing effective?” it usually turns out that they don’t have a good outbound strategy, and therefore have never seen real results.
One word of advice: if you do decide to do active outreach on the platform, one thing you need to avoid is pitching your services to new connections right after connecting. That’s worse than not saying anything to them, since most people will get annoyed with you, which means you’ll lose the opportunity of ever selling to them in the future.
Instead, approach your outbound strategy on the platform as if you were at a live networking event. Build up rapport with new connections first, and then ask them questions that will uncover whether or not they need your service. Then, and only then, tell them how you can help them and ask them if they’d like to set up a call.
Mistake #4: No follow up strategy
Most of the people you connect with on the platform don’t need your service immediately. There’s a Nielsen study that says only 1-3% of your ideal target market are currently looking for your service at any one time. But another 40% are open to it, and will be ready to buy in the next 1-6 months.
Another study shows that most people are more likely to buy a new product from a familiar brand. If you put these findings together, it’s obvious that you need to stay in front of your prospects with regular engagement until they are ready to buy.
But most people drop the ball after they connect with someone. They never communicate with that person again, which means they’re going to miss out on the majority of opportunities. It’s important to note that you should avoid being annoying in your follow up strategy (either by following up too often, or by being too pushy).
A great way to stay on the radar of your network without being intrusive, is by regularly posting high quality content. The organic reach on LinkedIn is currently excellent, which means your content is going to be seen by your ideal target market pretty much every time you post.
Again, make sure that the content you post speaks to your ideal client avatar. Discuss their challenges, and show them how you can help them.
Mistake #5: Giving up too easily
Many people try a couple of half-hearted things on the platform, and then give up because they don’t see any results. But if you’ve ever talked to some of the most successful people on this planet, they’ll tell you that they expect to fail whenever they try something new for the first time. So expect to fail the first time, and then come back with a better plan based on what you’ve learned.
If you want to get results on the platform, you really have to be consistent, and follow through on your strategy. The first step is to come up with a clear strategy, and the second is to implement that strategy consistently for at least one month, before you draw any conclusions. And once you start getting results, analyze them, and try to improve from there.
As mentioned at the beginning of this article, these are the 5 most common reasons why people fail to win clients with LinkedIn, but all of them can be addressed and fixed quite easily.