Like most people, when I signed up for LinkedIn years ago, I did not give much thought to it. I simply provided my email address and created my profile. I filled out my profile as much as I could, but I only thought about my profile as an online resume.
Earlier this year my perspective changed, when I began to focus on using LinkedIn to grow my business and the impression that my LinkedIn profile was creating.
For most people, our LinkedIn profiles are our most important digital asset.
Our LinkedIn profile is an example of our passive social presence. Even when we are not using LinkedIn, people encounter our profile and it creates an impression.
That impression is created based solely on the LinkedIn profile. Nothing else.
This is different from our active social behavior.
Our active social behaviors are the things that we do when we are using social media. For example, sending connection requests, posting content, posting original articles, liking, commenting, and sharing on posts.
Let’s take a closer look at passive social presence by looking at two leading consultants based in the UK.
Let’s look at the first profile below. Let’s call him John. We see that all our friend John has done is sign up. He created a headline, a one-sentence summary, and for his experience, he just provided the number of years that he’s worked at his current job.
When people who don’t know him encounter his LinkedIn profile, they form an impression of him based on the profile alone. Regardless of what he actually does or what he has accomplished.
Now look let’s look at James.
James has filled out the profile completely. He has a headline, profile summary and he has completed all of his work history and education.
If you had to guess between John and James, who is the leading expert in their industry, you might come to the conclusion based on the profiles that it’s James.
However, in reality, the most highly regarded consultant in their industry is John.
He’s the expert.
But you can’t tell that from his profile.
First impressions matter, whether they happen in the physical world or in the virtual world.
We need to be very thoughtful about the impression that our passive social presence is creating. It will only reflect what is in the LinkedIn profile. It does not reflect our actual expertise or accomplishments.
If you’re not actively using LinkedIn to grow your business, you might not consider the impression that your profile is making. This is a little bit like caring little for how you dress for networking events and work functions.
We understand that our appearance is relevant to perceptions of us when it comes to networking in person. In the virtual world, the LinkedIn profile serves a similar purpose.
The impression that our LinkedIn profile is making is best measured by our connection acceptance rate, the percentage of people who accept our requests to connect. If our LinkedIn profile is making a good first impression, our connection acceptance rate will exceed 50%.
My connection acceptance rate is almost 60%.
So, how do we make a good first impression when virtual networking?
First and foremost, we must complete our LinkedIn profile. Every section plays a role in telling our story to the world. It's best to avoid hiding behind titles and accomplishments.
Second, we must create a headline that helps us to stand out and encourages people to read our profile summary.
Third, our profile summary must make people want to know us. The best way to get this to happen is to write a profile summary that humanizes us. People do business with people who they know like and trust. So, we want to write a profile summary that helps people to go through that process quickly.
The combination of your passive social presence and your active social behavior creates an impression of you that people will either be attracted to, repelled by, or made indifferent.
Learning how to use LinkedIn to network, market, and sell is mission-critical. Gartner Group, the world-leading technology research, and advisory firm predict that 80% of business interactions will be virtual by 2025.
So, now is the time to get started.
My goal is to help my community to win at digital.
I partnered with Tim Hughes, best selling author, co-founder, and CEO of DLA Ignite and the #1 social selling influencer in the world to get that done.
Our virtual selling learning experience trains users in DLA Ignite’s proprietary process that is proven to get results.
Networking is the key to growing your business, but doing it in-person is a thing of the past.
For more information on how you can be a part of the 12-week launch in January, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Whatever you do, don’t let people jump to the wrong conclusions about you!