Sometime ago I wrote about how to position yourself as an expert on LinkedIn. In this article I talk more broadly about how you have positioned yourself on LinkedIn
What impression does someone get from your profile?
So how have you positioned yourself on LinkedIn? By this I mean what impression does someone get when they visit your LinkedIn profile. Some have positioned themselves as experts in specific areas, others entrepreneurs and others as academics for example. Why does positioning matter? People will decide whether or not they are going to connect or interact with you based on how you have positioned yourself. It can play a critical part in the decision-making process for someone who visits your profile, strongly influencing the next steps they take. These steps may be whether they are going to read more about you, invite you to their network or just move on to something else on LinkedIn.
Your headline and summary can make or break
Your headline and summary on your LinkedIn profile are very important in your positioning. By the time someone has a look at your full profile they have already seen your headline. Your summary and other information on your profile will add more flesh. Based on your headline and summary alone, a visitor to your profile may already have enough information to answer the following question, ” Do I want to talk to this person?”
Incorrect positioning means your message is lost.
Incorrect positioning means that visitors to your profile miss your point. The message that you intend to convey to them is lost. They might think that you are looking for job but in actual fact you are looking for business partners and are not in the job market at all. How can someone make such a mistake? They might misinterpret the way you have written your summary because perhaps it places excessive emphasis on your attributes or qualities as an ideal employee.
How do you know how well you are positioning yourself?
How do you know how well you have positioned yourself on LinkedIn? You can ask a friend to just take a look at your LinkedIn profile and to give his or her honest feedback on what they think. Take a look at your own profile every now and then and measure it against your brand values and objectives for using LinkedIn. How does it measure up?
Is there a trend in the people who visit your profile?
Take a look at the people who visit your profile every day. Can you pick up some sort of trend in the kind of professionals that are visiting your profiles. Maybe you are getting a lot of recruiters coming to your profile. Have you indicated that you are open to career opportunities? If you have, you may appear in their results when they use that filter for their search results.
Viewers of this profile also viewed
One feature that can come in very handy on LinkedIn is seeing what other profiles viewers to your profile saw besides your own. When you view your profile, see the other profiles that LinkedIn shows. What do you share in common with the other profiles? Are you in the same field or there are some keywords that you have in common?
Position without desperation or urgency
Whether you are looking for a job or more business avoid showing desperation. No one wants to do business or interact with a beggar. Don’t give the impression that urgent action has to be taken after people have viewed your profile. Why the hurry? Why the need for alarm? Let people decide in their own time how they wish to proceed.
Don’t hawk or sell
Some LinkedIn users are hawking products and services very strongly right from their profile. The risk with this approach is that it takes away the focus from you the individual and moves it to your products and services. So the person who is looking to buy or invest in your products and services is discouraged.
Relationships before products and services
LinkedIn is a professional social network driven by relationships and people can only discuss products and services once they are talking or interacting. Therefore in positioning yourself on LinkedIn you should foster relationships and everything else will spring from there.
Be careful with buzzwords
Be careful with using buzzwords and jargon in your LinkedIn profile. It can drive away people or really limit the number of people that might interact with you. On the other hand you could use buzzwords to intentionally filter the number of people that you interact with.
In conclusion your positioning on LinkedIn will work for or against you in your career or business. It will pull others into your space or push them out. The power is yours to determine that.