We decided to answer the questions we are frequently asked to give you a little help.

What is my LinkedIn profile like?

Generally speaking most people don’t reflect their value as well on LinkedIn as they express it in real life. The statistical wizards point to many profiles being only 50% complete, but in fact it is far worse than that.

We have reviewed thousands of profiles for law firms, accountants, sales teams, corporates and global companies over the last five years and the consistent feedback is “wow I never knew” or “I never thought of it that way”.

We have a tool that scores profiles so everyone can see how good their profile is and make you think a little more. You can find that here.

Whilst a quick automated score will never be as good as a personal one it will give you a flavour of where your profile is at and if it reflects you, your value and others perception on LinkedIn.

I hate networking face to face what should I do?

The important thing if you are not comfortable is to take the pressure off yourself. Don’t set yourself up to fail before you go by setting yourself targets or forcing yourself to hand out X number of business cards. Just pick an event where you already know someone who is going, go there with a mindset to just talk to people, to learn about them and explore who they know or who you know that could help them. Take the stress away and it will be much easier and much more successful for you.

Should I pay for LinkedIn?

Once you have reached the point where you have fully exploited the free functionality, or you need some additional search criteria (FORTUNE, employee count etc) or are getting an average of five profile views a day then you should pay, but you can get all of this for free:-

Three lists of referrals emailed to you.

  • The ability to search, identify and engage over 550 million professionals.
  • Get your profile found by potential clients (often even if they look for competitors!).
  • Create a company profile that morphs to suit your clients’ expectations.
  • Collect important social proof and recommendations for you.

To make LinkedIn work you need to take a holistic approach to address not just the process, your personal, company profile and platform but all of them to make it really work for you.

What is the most important thing to do on LinkedIn? What should I focus on?

The most important thing is to be there and to use the platform fully. It is not a place where you can do a single thing to make it work but you need to take a holistic approach to it.

I’ve got x connections, now what do I do?

If James had a Pound, Dollar, Yen or Euro for each time someone asked this then he would be a rich man.

Firstly James would suggest that you check if you really know them all, and if you called them would they know who you were? Secondly remove the ones that fail the first test, talk to the ones you’re not sure of and then you’re in the right place with your connections.

A connection is someone you can pick up the telephone to and talk with, ask for a referral, trust with a referral you pass to them and someone that will help you if you ask.

Then use the functionality LinkedIn gives you to find the referrals you seek from the great asset of your own personal network, leverage the reach and influence by sharing with them what you are doing and most importantly the value you share with them through updates, ensuring your profile is full of value and investing your referrals into them too.

What’s the number one mistake people make networking face to face?

Everyone talks to the person in front of them, often trying to sell that person something – yet none of us when we go to these events want to be sold to and then we wonder why it doesn’t work – go figure! Never forget that everyone you talk to probably knows hundreds of people and talk to those people about who they know that might benefit from your expertise, insight or product not just the person in front of you.

Is a photo on my LinkedIn profile important?

Yes, question done. But seriously it is hugely important. LinkedIn themselves did some research and found that you’re twenty one times more likely to be viewed if your profile contains a photograph! Twenty one times!

It also appears that you’re not the only one to think less of someone when you view their profile, as 86% of people polled on LinkedIn said they don’t trust someone they cannot see (that includes avatars and logos too!)

What face to face events should I go to?

If you had the time you could spend your life at a networking event over breakfast, lunch and dinner but you would probably be bust pretty soon.

When you are thinking about events think about the audience. Are they the right sort of people for you? Will they know the people you are trying to reach?

If you aren’t sure it is the right event for you then ask the people you know, ask the organiser for an attendee list up front or ask your connections on LinkedIn for their views of the event.

If you are still not sure don’t go! There will always be another event and your time is precious.

What should I say on LinkedIn?

The biggest fear of users that I meet is that they do “it” wrong or say the wrong thing. This often causes such a fear that they do nothing.

If you imagine LinkedIn to be like a big room full of business people, for that truly is what it is, then think what you would say if you were at that networking event or mixer. The sorts of conversation you have about the work you’re doing, the projects you’re working on or what you did today – that is what you talk about on LinkedIn! It is just the same.

“Really enjoying working with the engineering industry where we helped them too….”

“Just finishing an aerospace project where we put 200 days of consultancy into a …”

“Tired out after three months straight in Dubai where I was …”

Just share these things in status messages and more.

How can I learn more about LinkedIn?

There are two sides to making LinkedIn work, one is the LinkedIn application which changes constantly, and the second is how it works in reality. For example, what do users look for in profiles.

It is not that we are biased, but we would genuinely say get yourself on a course so that you can benefit from a greater understanding of how LinkedIn works and from the research we do on what works in the real world for you and your business.

If you want some examples check out our case studies and testimonials.

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Let us know your questions! We hope you found this section useful but if you have any suggestions of what you would like to add let us know.