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How to find the right person to help you on LinkedIn

With over half of the business professionals in the world on LinkedIn it can sometimes be difficult to find the right person to help you, the real “expert” and the person that could transform your outlook, your business and yourself.

So how do we filter through to find the person we need?

I thought it helpful to share what I do when I look for someone to help me on LinkedIn.

The obvious starting place is to use search to find the sort of person you are after. I rarely use keywords like expert as there are over 1.5 million of them on LinkedIn globally (really? You are all experts?) but I do use terms that match my expectation such as:

  • industry related terms (that demonstrate currency in their profiles)
  • personal traits or behaviours
  • recommendations, ensuring that they come from their clients, rather than their staff and run away from anyone that asks for a recommendation in their profile itself! Eek. I recently had a horrific email from a mailing list from someone and on the first email (sent to over 100,000 people they proudly said) it said if you had enjoyed any of this please write them a recommendation, well if I had asked for the newsletter in the first place it might have helped …
  • the level of relationship that they have to me, for example do they work with or know someone I know (level two connection) and if that is the case I would talk to my connection about them (yes talk on the telephone or face to face – it works well)

Once I have found a list of people I would carefully read their profiles:

  • does the style they craft their profile in fit with my style of working
  • do I like the personality that comes through the profile (does it come through at all or is it all boring work?)
  • do they only do one thing and hence specialise or have a broad portfolio of business interests? Does that make them efficient, effective, average at a few things or …
  • Is the profile consistent with their expertise? Do they say they are an expert in what I seek and just that or are they a social media expert
  • If they say they work with large companies are their connections in large companies? Are there groups for large companies? And if not I start to wonder if the lack of coherence is a lack of focus or perhaps a truism of the business as opposed to what they write which inherently affects my trust of the content.
  • Do they consistently post “buy my stuff” type messages on LinkedIn? in which case I wouldn’t touch them with a barge pole, they have no work and there is a spamming style clash.
  • Another obvious tell is that they are blatantly looking for work within their profile, if they truly are an expert they wouldn’t need to surely? This is especially true of “highly influential”, “networked” or business development experts – if they were good at what they did why would they do that??

It is critical that your personal brand, your focus and your activity on LinkedIn is consistent with your profile otherwise you don’t help yourself, you don’t reinforce your value, your expertise and the level of trust that I should have in you – I am afraid you do the opposite.

Have you had any examples of bad profiles on LinkedIn?