12 Things NOT To Do On LinkedIn


We all know that LinkedIn is an enormously powerful business tool and has now matured away from its “online CV” origins but are there any obvious bear-traps the hapless user can fall into?

Yes there are and here’s 12 of the most likely.

1)      Don’t only talk about your company on your profile

I’m going to be brutal with you… no one cares about your company.  If I wanted to know about your company then I would go to your company page.  On your profile page I want to read about you, sure a little bit about your company is acceptable, but I’m talking about a single line here; ‘A top 10 law firm specialising in large corporates’.  I want to know why I should choose YOU over the hundreds of other people who do the same job.  Remember people buy from people, not companies.

2)      Don’t be out of date

Don’t have awards on there that you won in 1999 or quotes from customers that you had in 2001.  If that is all you have then I am going to wonder why you haven’t had any quotes or awards since then, has your service slipped?  Did you become complacent and stop trying?  These are not questions that you want your prospective clients to be asking.

3)      Don’t use the common ‘buzzwords’

It’s the same as a CV.  No one wants to hear that you are a dedicated and trustworthy team player.  It may be true but these words have lost all sense of meaning.  Use words that are unique to the point that you are getting across.  If you are in employment law then talk about how conscientious you are about keeping up to date with the constant law changes, or how you have built your reputation on getting to know your clients culture so you can act accordingly.  Yes it means the same thing but it differentiates you from the crowd.

4)      Don’t send out the LinkedIn text

Never, and I mean NEVER, send out the text that LinkedIn automatically gives you, whether it be for an invitation to connect or a request for a Recommendation, people know this text and will not respond warmly to you.  Instead if it is an invitation to connect write about where you met each other, or how you help to be useful.  If you are asking for a recommendation then I would advise you ask them for it in person and then use the invitation on LinkedIn as a guidance tool.  Mention the work that you want to be recommended for and mention the topics you would like to be recommended for e.g. ‘As mentioned at lunch today would you recommend me for the work I did for you in February. If possible could you mention how I saved you money and was able to answer any and all questions you had quickly and effectively?’.  People will be grateful for the guidance.

5)      Don’t automatically recommend those who recommend you

This used to be the etiquette on LinkedIn, but times have changed.  Now it devalues any recommendations you may have and makes them look contrived.  Only offer recommendations to people you generally feel deserve it, remember you are putting your name and reputation on the line.

6)      Don’t have spelling mistakes

It’s exactly the same as in a CV or in a tender, spelling mistakes are like a plague to any potential business, it will stop it dead.  If you have problems with spelling (like me – Dyslexia runs in the family) then write everything in word first and then get someone else like a friend or colleague to read over it for you.  Better safe than sorry.

7)      Don’t accept competitors

Don’t accept invitations to connect from competitors, odds are they just want to scour your connections and rob them.

8)      Don’t have a casual picture

I have seen people use photos of themselves on sunbeds whilst on holiday, in a rubber ring in a pool and even one of a statue!  Your photo should be a corporate headshot of you in business attire.  People want to see your beautiful faces!

9)      Don’t have empty sections on your profile

Please don’t leave your summary blank, or fill in your work history for your current role but leave the others blank.  This shows lazyness and lack of pride in your work.  Think of your LinkedIn page as your own personal website; fill it with as much information as humanly possible!

10)   Don’t join groups and immediately start selling yourself

If you are in any groups you will know that nothing is more annoying than someone joining and immediately talking about themselves or their company or blathering on about all the offers that they currently have running.  People will immediately turn off and you may even find yourself reported to the group manager.

11)   Don’t join groups your competitors are in

Why would you want to surround yourself with your competitors?  Why, if you are a construction lawyer would you join a construction lawyers group? Instead join a group where your potential clients lay, join construction professional groups.

12)   Don’t have too many Skills and Expertise

Yes its exciting when you realise that someone has endorsed you for a skill, but if you have too many that aren’t your focus you can end up looking like a Jack of all Trades.  Focus on between 3-10 skills that you wish to be known for.

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Posted in Blog, LinkedIn, Social Media

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Making LinkedIn Work For You

If you are looking to generate conversations, create awareness of your business and brand then you should focus your attention on LinkedIn.

We have a range of resources for you to work through which will guide you through setting up a credible profile, making connections, to promoting your services, as well as some top tips on what not to do.

Duration (In Minutes)
LinkedIn Profile ChecklistN/AOpen
How To Create Your LinkedIn Profile24:33Open
How To Manage Your LinkedIn Settings10:04Open
How To Get To Grips With The LinkedIn Basics9:13Open
How To Use LinkedIn Groups6:31Open
How To Utilise The Search Function On LinkedIn3:14Open
12 Things NOT To Do On LinkedIn2:15Open

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Mike took everyone on the course to a new level as business developers, with ideas and techniques to make us more professional, effective and focused on winning more business.
Mike delivered a really practical half-day workshop to my group of entrepreneurs within the Academy for Chief Executives. Based upon his creative “Latch-Key” concept, we learned how to generate very practical tools to boost and support our business’ sales success. The members really enjoyed the session and went away with loads of ideas to implement in their businesses. I have taken a major action-plan away myself! This is my second group to participate in Michael's session and Michael has made sure that it is getting better and better. I will do this session with my other groups, and I am keen to try Michael's other session on using Social Media to SELL (rather than for marketing, leads-generation or networking). Recommended
Mike has definitely had a huge influence on me both at work and in my personal life. I have just been part of a group on the 6 month Flair programme. The 4 days were spaced out with assignments in between. This gave us the opportunity to put into practice the skills and techniques we had learnt rather than being bombarded with information. Mike is attentive, inspiring and encouraging. He is a mentor as well as a coach. My team have noticed a huge difference in me in subtle ways and I am hoping to hire Mike back to run a similar course for my team. I would not hesitate to recommend Mike.
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I had the pleasure and benefit of working alongside Mike on his inspiring Flair programme and can confidently state the course was thought provoking, inspirational and relevant to the ever changing business world. As a Learning & Development consultant, I would strongly recommend any individual seeking improvement to their business & personal skill sets to attend - it developed me hugely and I still refer back to my notes and goals from the course (3 years ago.)
I attended the Flair behavioural change programme during 2008. The programme is designed by Mike to encourage behavioural change and entrepreneurial ethos. The course itself is very motivating and encourages great positivity and a feeling of personal well-being. Some of the course material, some found challenging on a personal level, and at times quite thought provoking. Mikes personal attention to these students was in itself very inspiring. Students will gain from this course a new and highly effectual approach to time management and business development. They will feel empowered, discovering that their own productivity will increase with little effort and thought. The constant throughout the programme is Mike Ames. This mild mannered, Midlands answer to Paul Mckenna, is one of those coaches one comes across in a lifetime who really does change your view on life for the [...]
I have had the absolute pleasure of working with Mike over a period of 8 years. My relationship has extended through several companies and has involved scores of recruitments into many and varied roles. No matter how demanding and short notice our request, the team got straight on to it and Mike never failed to deliver. There were always connections to someone that was a close to fit any role we requested. Mike's integrity and commitment to getting the results for the client is second to none. He has also built a team around him instilled with the same values. I would highly recommend Mike as a source for finding work or finding people for work at any level in an organisation.
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Mike is a sales and marketing guru and I have been lucky enough to work with him and see him in action. There is no substitute for knowing your subject and Mike is Mr Sales Effectiveness. I also participated in a Flair programme run by Mike and was stunned by the positive impact it had on my personal effectiveness and time management. I hold Mike in high regard and have learned a huge amount by working with him.
Mike has armed me with the confidence and skills to win new business...and that has come my way as a result. Many thanks, Mike. All the best John
Mike has the ultimate credibility in having successfully been involved in BD for many years. However, the key thing for me is that he has simplified what he does into easy to understand chunks and he can communicate these in simple but effective ways. In other words, we understand him and can apply what he tells us. I cannot recommend him highly enough if you need to change things to get better results.
As a coach, Mike is inspirational. I come away from conversations with him armed with new ideas and a boost of energy with which to implement them. I value the wisdom of Mike's insights and counsel, which are invariably rich in new forward thinking and lateral but practical solutions - things that work. Important to me also is that Mike's views and the coaching he delivers are balanced - looking at business yes but recognsing that a career is or should be part of a life that has other aspects - home, interests learning etc. I am also very grateful for Mike's willingness to say what he thinks and his obvious complete integrity. Simply Mike is excellent at all he does and a pleasure to work with.
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I have worked with Mike and his various companies since 1993. Mike has always instilled an ethos of integrity, hard work and just as importantly fun into all of the people he has had working for him and has maintained those values in his own personal business interactions. He has always been prepared to go the extra distance and provide the benefit of his advise and most importantly practical experience in helping to deal with issues / problems when I ask for his advice
It is a real pleasure and honour to write a recommendation for Mike. I have known him for many years – he is clever, innovative and very charming! But what I really admire about Mike is his humility, his integrity, his thirst for learning, and his passion for personal development (both his and others) – how often can you say these things about a highly successful owner of a recruitment business?!
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