Who Is Your Accountability Partner?

Author: Mic Johnson, talking about the importance of accountability.

Over the nearly 9 years that Blue Gurus has been helping companies share their stories through blogging, better leverage LinkedIn, and create websites they can be proud of, I’ve come across several instances where organizational accountability issues have occurred.

Here are a couple of real world examples we’ve seen too many times over the years:

Accountability Example 1 – LinkedIn Training

We train employees on how to create a great LinkedIn profile and how to better leverage it for sales and content marketing. Companies pay us to do this and give their employees the opportunity to participate in the training.

But sometimes some of the people who went through the training never update their profiles. Even worse, they go back to not using LinkedIn effectively/regularly.

accountability

I often joke during the sales process, “Look, if you aren’t going to implement what you’re paying us to teach your employees, then just cut us a check and save all of us the time.”

Obviously it’s said in jest, but I want to get the point across. If you’re paying for us to train your employees on LinkedIn, then it’s important to hold them accountable once the training is complete. I’ve yet to hear a good reason to do otherwise!

Accountability Example 2 – Blogging Clients

We’ve been working with clients for years to help them share their stories and execute a weekly blog strategy. When we start working with a new client, the process is designed to be as simple as possible.

Here’s how it works: We meet with clients monthly to brainstorm ideas and topics. Next, we assign people on the team to write the posts (and they have an ENTIRE MONTH to write those posts). Finally, the content is due when we get back together a month later and repeat the process all over again.

The goal is simple: Give us four rough drafts a month, and we’ll do everything else. We edit, proof, come up with titles, publish the posts to their website, and then share them on their social media accounts.

Even though the process itself is simple, we’ve still had clients who struggle to get four rough drafts written per month. Sure there are legitimate reasons sometimes as life and business get in the way, but a big part of our job is to hold them accountable every month.

I often say “I’m a personal trainer for your blog.” Why? Because most of the companies we work with have told us that they know their blog wouldn’t get done if we weren’t their accountability partner. We don’t drop balls. And our job is to make sure you don’t either.

It’s easy to put it off or not do it when you’re trying to hold yourself accountable. But when we’re showing up every month, and you’re paying us to do what we do, then you’re going to feel more of a responsibility to get it done. That’s just human nature.

But again, I’ve yet to hear a good excuse why companies wouldn’t want to share their stories on a regular basis. How else will people know what you do, how you can help them, what you do in the community, etc?

What About You?

Do you do a good job of holding yourself accountable or do you need an accountability partner to make sure you do what you say you’re going to do? What other examples do you have of accountability issues? Leave a comment below or drop me an email at mic@bluegurus.com.

As always, thank you for taking the time to read. We appreciate it!

How My LinkedIn Profile Views Went Up 620% in One Week

Author: Mic Johnson, talking about how my LinkedIn profile views went up 620% in one week. 

My fellow Blue Guru Jason Terry recently wrote a post that talked about what to do when you have trouble thinking of a blog topic to write about.

And wouldn’t you know it, the Universe apparently decided to play some sort of cosmic joke on me. Why? Because I have been struggling all week to come up with a topic that inspired me enough to write about. I probably sifted through 100 ideas in my mind, but nothing was stirring my creative juices.

So I started thinking about all the things I’ve been doing over the last several days. One of the things that came to mind was some recent status updates I shared on LinkedIn that received some really good traction.

LinkedIn Status Updates….Dear Everyone

These were thoughts that, for various reasons, were top of mind with me. Instead of leaving them in my mind, I decided to share them on LinkedIn. They were short and simple and each one started with the phrase…”Dear Everyone”.

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it 1,000 times…To differentiate yourself from most people on LinkedIn, here's what you need to do: USE IT. Click To Tweet

LinkedIn Profiles Views Went UpAs a result of this activity, my profile views are up 620% IN THE LAST WEEK.

Now don’t think that my phone started ringing off the hook with people wanting to buy from me and Blue Gurus. That’s not how it works, folks.

But there have been people commenting and “LIKE’ing” the updates and, whaddya know, some actual, real human ENGAGEMENT has happened as well. I’ve also gained a few more followers on LinkedIn.

But that’s not why I do it. I do it because I like to make people think, laugh, be inspired…and maybe something I post will help them change a behavior, try something new, or who knows what else.

Again, don’t miss this important point: I didn’t post these things for ME. I posted them to HELP people. Think about that the next time you’re sharing a status update or blog post on LinkedIn. Helping people comes in many forms.

I’ve included screenshots of the posts below. You can click on any of the images to get to the actual post in LinkedIn. I’d love to know what you think. Leave a comment or email me at mic@bluegurus.com.

(P.S. – If you want to try something new, do a short LinkedIn video and see how your audience responds. The first video I did is over 800 views now.)

LinkedIn Dear Everyone

 

LinkedIn Dear Everyone

 

LinkedIn Dear Everyone

LinkedIn Video is Here. So Now What?

Author: Mic Johnson, talking about LinkedIn’s new video option.

In case you haven’t heard or noticed, LinkedIn recently rolled out the ability to record videos as status updates on your LinkedIn profile. They originally gave the option to a few users and then expanded it to their entire user base.

My First LinkedIn Video

I tried it out because I train companies on LinkedIn. I also wanted to see how user friendly it was was curious on what kind of response I would receive.

Click the image below or this link to check out my first LinkedIn video. As of this writing, it’s received 701 views, which is pretty solid for a piece of content that only took a couple of minutes to create.

Mic LinkedIn Video

Now What? A Few Thoughts on LinkedIn Video.

  1. It didn’t work the first time I tried it.
    When LinkedIn first rolled this out and I noticed it was available on the app on my iPhone, I it didn’t work. I sent a couple of tweets to @LinkedinHelp. They suggested I delete the LinkedIn app and then reinstall it. Not exactly the best experience when wanting to try a new feature, but it eventually worked just fine.
  2. Recording yourself feels weird at first.
    I’ll be honest. It’s a bit of a weird feeling at first sitting and talking to a screen. I’ve noticed myself even looking away from the camera as I think about what I’m going to say next. It will undoubtedly feel more natural the more I do it.
  3. Should people use it?
    Yes. The thing about video is it HUMANIZES the experience for people who are watching it. Being able to hear a person’s voice, see their facial expression, look them in the eyes, etc. engages a person in your content in a way that you don’t always get from reading their content. Think about it. If you watched my video above, how was that experience compared to the words you’re reading right now? Both have value without a doubt. But there’s a lot of power in SEEING and HEARING a person, and FEELING their passion, emotion and authenticity through video. I’m always preaching about being human, real and authentic in your personal and professional branding. Video makes it that much easier.
  4. Will people use it?
    Time will tell. What I do know is this: We’ve been blogging for the last 8+ years and have long thought using video to create content for business would become more mainstream. We even did four videos for our website a few years ago (Check out the video we did on content marketing here.) But the reality (at least in what we’ve seen in the Kansas City area) is that there are still plenty of companies who still don’t even blog. For any B2B company in 2017, that’s still hard to believe. That (and the innate self-consciousness that many people have) makes me think it may take even longer for people to start using video on LinkedIn. I hope I’m wrong.
  5. What’s the easiest way to record video?
    As of now, the easiest way is to use the LinkedIn app in your smartphone. You click on the little video icon near the status update bar and you’re off and running. I tried it on my laptop but unfortunately it didn’t use the camera on my laptop like I hoped it would. Instead it opened a window for me to upload a video from somewhere on my computer. Hopefully LinkedIn will improve this so you can record directly from your laptop. (P.S. – As of the writing of this post, the video feature isn’t showing up on the Blue Gurus Company Page. I’m guessing that option will be coming soon.)
  6. How long should your videos be?
    I’m sure there are video experts out there who will tell you the best length for videos. My instincts say videos should, at least at first, be 2-3 minutes long. But, just as I tell people with blogging, I want you to get your point across in an engaging and authentic way. So take as much or as little time as you need in order to do that. But always be mindful that people are busy, so if they’re going to invest the time to watch your content, make sure it’s worth it.

Was this helpful? Will you try LinkedIn video? Leave a comment below or share your thoughts with me at mic@bluegurus.com. As always, thanks for reading! (and watching)

LinkedIn Etiquette…How to Be Your Best Self

Author: Mic Johnson, talking about LinkedIn etiquette. 

Blue Gurus LinkedIn Training In Kansas City

LinkedIn launched as a platform in 2003. It’s older than Facebook (February 2004) and Twitter (March 2006).

Even though LinkedIn is 14 years old and boasts 500 million users worldwide, there are still plenty of users who could use a LinkedIn etiquette refresher.

One thing is certain: Extended lapses in LinkedIn etiquette lead to confusion and negatively reflect on you and your employer.

That’s just one of the reasons why we’ve been training companies on LinkedIn for the last 8 years.

With that in mind, here are a few LinkedIn etiquette tips to keep in mind as you continue to use the platform.

LinkedIn Etiquette Tips

Customize Your LinkedIn Invitations

Don’t ever send the “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn” message ever again!

Not personalizing your invitation requests creates awkward and unnecessary confusion for the recipient. Tell the person why you’re interested in connecting and why they should consider connecting with you. Always be personal, human and authentic in your messaging.

Don’t use LinkedIn as a Dating Site

This one really should go without saying, but unfortunately it happens. I’m guessing some of you reading this post have dealt with it yourself or have heard stories from people you know. There are plenty of dating sites/apps out there. LinkedIn isn’t one of them.

When Someone Engages with You on LinkedIn, Respond Back in Kind

This falls under the “treat others as you’d like to be treated” mantra.

With few exceptions (annoying sales pitches, pushy recruiters, someone asking you out on a date, etc), if someone comments on something you’ve published or shared on LinkedIn, reply back.

Even if your reply is something as simple as “Thank you for the comment. I appreciate it.” And when someone sends you a message on LinkedIn, (yep, you guessed it), reply back.

You never know where simply engaging with other people will lead to. Let them know you’re paying attention. Let them know you care enough to reply back.

For the Love of All Things LinkedIn, Complete Your Profile

This is another one we’ve been preaching for years in our training sessions. If you have a profile on LinkedIn, do yourself and everyone else a favor and complete you profile.

-Upload a smiling, current headshot with a clean background.
-Write a LinkedIn Summary using “I” language that tells people who you are, what you do and how you can help.
-Complete the Experience section of your profile so people know what you’ve done in your career.
-Include relevant contact information and links to your website.

Those are just a few of the basics. Ultimately, your profile should be easy to read and be an accurate representation of who you are personally and professionally.

Write a Well Thought Out Recommendation for Your Most Awesome LinkedIn Connections

When was the last time you wrote a LinkedIn Recommendation?

If the answer is somewhere just short of NEVER, set a goal of writing a recommendation for someone in the next week.

Think about a person you’ve worked with, or referred business to, or who has helped you professionally, or someone you have great respect for.

When you have that person in mind, go to their profile, click on the three little dots to the right of their profile picture, and write a well thought out recommendation. Let me know how it felt and what you heard from the person you wrote the recommendation for.

Thank you for taking a little time out of your day to read this post. If your company, or a team within your company, could benefit from LinkedIn Training, give me a shout!

Have You Seen LinkedIn’s Infamous Three Little Dots? (…)

Post written by Mic Johnson, Blog Coach | LinkedIn Trainer | WordPress Builder | Rational Optimist | Sushi Fan | Jayhawk | #micnuggets | @MJMeetings

(NOTE: If you receive our blog via email, this post may be best viewed in a web browser due to formatting issues. Click here if that’s the case.)

3 little dotsPsssst. Hey…you. Over here. I’m going to let you in on a little LinkedIn secret.

Have you seen the infamous three little dots that appear in various places throughout LinkedIn?

If you’re like a lot of people, you may not have any idea what I’m talking about because (and this is a #LinkedInFail from a user interface standpoint) the three dots aren’t particularly obvious.

They’re like the shy, insecure cousin of the much more popular and well known ellipses.

But those three dots have a lot of power…

They allow you to copy links from posts, hide posts, follow and unfollow people and companies, report abusive or offensive posts, share a person’s profile, save a person’s profile to a PDF, remove a connection, write a recommendation for someone, personalize your LinkedIn connection requests, mute conversations, and more!

Take a look at the screenshots below to see what I’m talking about. I’ve broken it down so you can see some of the options when you’re on your computer vs. a mobile device:

{COMPUTER}

These are your options when you click on the three dots on a post in your home feed.

HomeFeed

 

These are your options when you click on a “promoted” ad in your home feed. 

HomeFeedAd

These are your options when you’re on a person’s profile on LinkedIn.

LIProfile

When you click the three dots in the upper right hand corner, you get the options that appear in Randy’s image below. You can also click the dots at the bottom to adjust the behavior when you’re messaging with someone on LinkedIn.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

{MOBILE DEVICE}

These are your options when you see a post from someone in your home feed. 

 

These are your options when you’re on a person’s profile on the mobile app.
(Pro tip: If you ever invite someone to connect from your mobile app, use the “Personalize Invite” feature!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Did  you know about the three little dots? Do you use them? If so, what do you find yourself doing the most? Let me know by leaving a comment below…and, as always, thanks for reading the Blue Gurus blog!

How I Stood Out From 2000 Lazy LinkedIn Users

lazy

I’m too lazy to respond to your LinkedIn Connection request.

Post written by Mic Johnson, Blog Coach | LinkedIn Trainer | WordPress Builder | Rational Optimist | Sushi Fan | Jayhawk | #micnuggets | @MJMeetings

A few months ago I got a LinkedIn connection request from someone I didn’t know. It was the dreaded, impersonal, default “I’d like to join your LinkedIn network” message.

While this happens to just about everyone several times a week and a lot of people blindly accept people they don’t know or haven’t interacted with, I typically don’t accept connection requests without some kind of interaction.

Call me crazy, but I want to know WHY you’re interested in connecting, and if you don’t personalize your invite, you leave me (and anyone else you do this to) confused.

When I got this particular connection request, I replied back with the following (name removed to protect the innocent):

“Hi XXX, Thank you for the connection request. As a general rule, I typically connect to people I know, trust, respect, can vouch for, etc. It’s nothing personal…just how I choose to grow and protect my network. I was curious on what interested you in connecting with me. Was there something you were interested in that Blue Gurus does? Thank you, Mic”

Oftentimes when I send a message like this, I won’t hear back from the person or, even worse, they don’t really have a reason to connect other than “You showed up as someone I might be interested in connecting with and so I hit the CONNECT button.”

In this case, I got the following reply:

“Hey Mic, Thanks for the reply. I have the same approach to my LinkedIn network. Unfortunately, when browsing the LinkedIn app a couple of weeks ago, it asked me if I wanted to invite everyone in my contacts to join my LinkedIn network. I thought I hit the button that said cancel, but I seem to have sent invitations to over 2000 people who I don’t or just barely know. We may have had an email exchange in the past, or perhaps met briefly at a conference. To be honest, I’m not sure where or when we interacted, but you seem to be in my Gmail Contacts, so we must’ve had some kind of interaction in the past. As you can imagine, my request was accepted by many sales reps and recruiters. It was ignored by others. So far, you’re the only one who wrote to ask how we know each other. Kudos for that! I like the language you used in your reply. I may steal it for future replies to people who request a connection and who I don’t otherwise know.”

Wow. Can you believe that? Out of 2000 people who received the connection request, I was the ONLY one to respond back with a personal message.

So how did I stand out from 2000 other LinkedIn users? I WASN’T LAZY.

I took a few seconds to reply back to this invitation and we ended up exchanging several messages, found out we had a couple of people in common, and had a nice online interaction. And now we’re connected on LinkedIn.

Who knows if we’ll do business together or be able to help one another out at some point down the road, but the door has been opened. Taking this simple step when you get an invitation from someone you don’t know can help you stand out from the pack.

Going forward, how will you handle LinkedIn requests from people you don’t know? Do you want to be the ONE or are you ok being a part of the LAZY 2000?

Here’s how to customize the URL to your LinkedIn Company Page… and why it matters.

Author: Jason Terry

Hello friends! It’s time yet again for another weekly Blue Gurus blog post. If you find this helpful and you aren’t subscribed to our weekly newsletter, please consider signing up! Also, if you know someone that might want to learn how to claim their LinkedIn Company Page URL, please forward this tip to them. Okay, here we go…

Recently, I was presenting a LinkedIn Deep Dive training class for a client. One of the things I teach people is to “claim your personalized URL” to your LinkedIn profile. For example, the URL to my profile on LinkedIn is: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jasonterry. This looks so much better than something like: https://www.linkedin.com/pub/jason-terry-9234080980af… right? This is even more important with recent LinkedIn changes, because your URL is what’s displayed whenever someone goes to your profile on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn Company Pages

LinkedIn Company PagesAnother topic we cover during our training sessions is LinkedIn Company Pages and how individual profiles need to be connected properly to a company page. While I was talking about this, someone asked the question, “is it possible to claim your Company Page URL like you claim your personal LinkedIn profile page URL?”

The short answer is yes. The longer answer is that it’s not nearly as easy to do as claiming your personal profile URL.

Why it Matters

The reason it matters is simple branding. By default, your LinkedIn Company Page URL looks something like this:
https://www.linkedin.com/company-beta/493455/

How much better does it look when you’ve claimed it and it looks like this?
https://www.linkedin.com/company/blue-gurus

Claiming your LinkedIn Company Page URL

Currently, the only way to customize the URL to your LinkedIn Company Page is by contacting LinkedIn using this form.

Step One

You have to be logged into your LinkedIn account, and your account needs to have admin rights to the LinkedIn Company Page before you submit your request.

Step Two

You also want to test the LinkedIn Company Page URL you are trying to obtain before submitting your request.

Start with this: https://www.linkedin.com/company/your-company-name-here
and change the “your-company-name-here” part to your actual company name separated by hyphens.

Press enter to try going to that URL and hopefully you will get the following error message from LinkedIn:

We’re sorry, but the company you are looking for does not exist.

If you get that message, the URL you want is available. If not, keep trying different URLs until you get the message that the company you are looking for doesn’t exist.

Step Three

When you fill out the form, you will need to provide the following information… I am giving this to you in a way that you can simply copy and past the text from this blog post into the form.

Hello! We would like to customize the URL to our LinkedIn Company Page.
Our company name is: [INSERT COMPANY NAME]
My company email address with admin rights to our company page is: [ENTER YOUR COMPANY EMAIL ADDRESS]
The existing URL to our LinkedIn Company Page is: [INSERT LINKEDIN COMPANY PAGE URL]
I would like the URL to be: [INSERT WHAT YOU WOULD LIKE THE URL TO BE]

Step Four

Submit the form and then be prepared to wait for 8-10 business days to get a response. (It seems that LinkedIn is having growing pains and their support takes a while to get back to you.)

And that’s it! You should get a response from LinkedIn that they’ve customized the URL for you.

Thank you so much for reading and commenting… it means so much to us. Let me know if there’s a question or topic you would like me to cover in a future blog post. Have a great week!

How To Turn Off LinkedIn Birthday Notifications (and why you might not want to)

Post written by Mic Johnson, Blog Coach | LinkedIn Trainer | WordPress Builder | Rational Optimist | Sushi Fan | Jayhawk | #micnuggets | @MJMeetings

My friend Tim Marks recently left a comment on Jason’s blog LinkedIn. Changed. Everything. Where the heck do I go to find and edit stuff now? and said:

“Thanks for the post. I have a question for you. I’m now getting notifications for people’s birthdays — much more than I used to, I believe, and perhaps in conjunction with the recent overall changes. Is there a way to opt out of birthday notifications? Please??”

From your mobile device…
If you’re on a mobile device in the LinkedIn app, you can swipe to the left on a birthday notification and a gear icon will appear that will let you opt out of all birthday notifications:

LinkedIn Birthday Notifications on cellphone app

From your laptop…
If you’re on your laptop, you can click on the three dots in the upper right-hand corner of the birthday notification and you can opt out of all birthday notifications:

LinkedIn Birthday notification on desktop

BUT WAIT! Here’s why you might want to think twice before you opt out of birthday notifications…

Who doesn’t like to be told Happy Birthday on their birthday? I don’t care what people say, telling someone “Happy Birthday” is a nice gesture and makes a person, for at least one day a year, feel extra special. Additionally, from a business standpoint, telling someone “Happy Birthday” on LinkedIn is a great way to reconnect and maybe start a conversation with someone you haven’t talked to in awhile.

Social networks (especially business networks like LinkedIn) are about ENGAGING with/HELPING/GIVING to other people…a simple Happy Birthday message takes two seconds. Are you really too busy to take two seconds to make someone in your professional network smile and feel grateful that you took a minute to think about them? Something to think about before you turn off those birthday notifications.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you have any questions or comments, please leave a comment below. If you’d like to know more about our LinkedIn Training, Blogging or Website services, you can reach me at 913-645-6650 or mic@bluegurus.com.

LinkedIn. Changed. Everything. Where the heck do I go to find and edit stuff now?

Author: Jason Terry

Over the last few months, LinkedIn has been rolling out some pretty major user interface changes. People are saying that it resembles Facebook a bit more, and I tend to agree. It’s taken me some time to figure out where things were moved to and the new way to get to them. Sadly, some things were taken away completely.

The screenshot below is an example of what your new Home layout looks like. The icon bar across the top has Home, My Network, Jobs, Messaging, Notifications, Me and More. If you’ve subscribed to Sales Navigator, you will have a link to that on the far right as well.

LinkedIn - Home Screen

View and Edit Your Profile
To view and edit your profile, you can simply click the badge or your profile pic on the left sidebar, or you can click the Me icon in the top menu bar and then click the View Profile link that comes up.

Public Profile URL
When you view your profile, the URL in the browser is now your public profile URL. It wasn’t always like that. We’ve been teaching clients to “claim their name” by personalizing the URL to their public profile for eight years. It’s even more important now that this public profile URL is displayed when anyone views your profile. Mine looks like this: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jasonterry.

If you haven’t claimed your name, it would look something like this: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jason-terry-b1945211.
See all those extra letters and numbers? It looks more professional when you customize your LinkedIn URL. (To change it, go to your profile, click the edit public profile link in the right sidebar, your public profile page comes up and in the upper right corner click the pencil icon next to Edit Public Profile URL.)

Summary
A big change that I’m not a fan of is how they handle your LinkedIn Summary. We believe the LinkedIn Summary is incredibly helpful and therefore important for the person checking your profile out on LinkedIn. It takes a little work to fill it out… and we see profiles all the time with poor summaries or no summary at all.

LinkedIn decided to hide everything but the first 240 characters of your summary behind a “Read more” link. So make sure the first couple of sentences of your summary are interesting with the hope of getting the person viewing your profile to click “Read more” for your full summary.

Profile Section Order
The Education, Volunteer, Experience, Recommendations, Skills and Endorsements sections are all still available, but you can’t reorder the order in which they appear on your profile. They are fixed in place in a specific order.

Your Connections
You can view your connections in the “My Network” area of the site. It’s been redesigned as well, it’s more spacious, and I think the layout is cleaner. The left sidebar has the number of connections you have displayed prominently… you used to have to hunt a bit to find that number.

The main area of My Network lists open invitations you’ve received to connect as well as the People You May Know section.

To see all your connections, click “See all” under your connection count in the left sidebar. The resulting screen shows all your connections. You used to be able to sort and view your connections in lots of ways, but now you can only sort on First Name, Last Name and Recently Added. Not a big deal for me, but might be frustrating for others.

Search
A lot has changed in search functionality. I used to use the Advanced Search feature most of the time. It had tons of filters that you could use to narrow your search results. Advanced Search is no longer available. BUMMER.

You can still filter your searches with general location, company and connection level (1st degree, 2nd degree, etc.)

LinkedIn moved much of the Advanced Search functionality into Sales Navigator. So if you used to use Advanced Search in your prospecting, you might have to upgrade to Sales Navigator to continue prospecting the way you were able to before all the changes.

In Closing…
These are just a few of the changes that were made recently on LinkedIn. I’m still figuring out where things are at. Overall, I like the changes because the layout is easier to understand and there’s more whitespace so things don’t feel so cramped.

My favorite change is that LinkedIn FINALLY added a button labeled “Add a Note” when sending a connection request to someone. We’ve been coaching people to customize their invitations for a long time, and now it’s a lot easier to remember to do that.

Have you been struggling with the new LinkedIn layout? Let me know with an email or comment… I would love to hear from you!

Who Tells You When Your LinkedIn Profile Sucks?

Post written by Mic Johnson, Blog Coach | LinkedIn Trainer | Website Builder | Rational Optimist | @MJMeetings Cheerleader | #micnuggets | Jayhawk

If I had a dollar for every time I’ve been in a training session and asked the attendees, “Who tells you that your LinkedIn profile sucks?“, it’s safe to say I’d be retired and traveling the world right now instead of writing this blog post.

Your LinkedIn Profile SucksLinkedIn is almost 14 years old and has over 460 million users worldwide, yet so many of those users have profiles that suck. Why?

The answer is simple.

Because no one tells someone that their profile sucks.

Think about it…when you pull someone’s profile up on LinkedIn and have a negative first impression, what do you do? Do you drop everything and contact that person and say:

“Hey, I was just looking at your profile on LinkedIn because you were referred to me for a job/business opportunity/networking suggestion/expertise request/fill-in-the-blank, but I decided to pass because your profile sucked. I mean, like, totally sucked. Anyway, I figured if you didn’t have the time to take an hour a year to make sure your LinkedIn Profile accurately reflected your personal and professional brand…and that of the company that you work for…then you probably aren’t someone who cares enough to put the time into other things that matter in business.” 

No, of course you don’t do that. No one does. So that person goes on, day after day, week after week, year after year, oblivious to the fact that their LinkedIn profile is negatively impacting their personal and professional brand (and that of the company they own or work for)

MicLII often joke (but if I’m honest I’m really only half-joking) that I’m going to start letting people know when I come across profiles that suck.

Look, I don’t want to do it to be a jerk. And it’s not because I think my profile is perfect. It’s also not because I don’t have anything better to do.

It’s because I CARE. And I shouldn’t care more about your LinkedIn profile, the online representation of your personal and professional brand, more than you do.

If you’re excellent at what you do, if your clients love you, if your coworkers love you, if you’re well respected in the business community…basically, if you’re awesome in person…then there’s no reason your LinkedIn profile shouldn’t reflect that too. It’s common sense, but far from common practice.

So if you suffer from MyLinkedInProfileSucks Disease, let Dr. Mic help you out. Do what I do at least once a year…review/edit/clean-up your profile. I just did it myself recently and was amazed at how many things I needed to tweak.

Here are just a few tips for getting your LinkedIn profile where it needs to be:

  1. Background photo – A lot of people don’t even have a background photo. If your company’s marketing department doesn’t have some options for you, create your own. I created mine for free in a few minutes using Canva.
  2. Picture – Been awhile since you’ve updated your picture? If you have a current professional headshot, upload it. If not, have someone you trust take a picture with a smartphone. Use a clean background…and SMILE.
  3. Professional Headline – Is your professional headline boring? Does it only have your job title and nothing else? Mix things up and add in some of your hobbies and passions. This simple step goes a long way in humanizing your profile.
  4. Summary – What does your Summary tell people who visit your profile? Be sure to tell them your professional story, how you can help them, why you like what you do, etc. and mix in a little bit of your personal story…what you do when you’re not working.
  5. Experience – List the positions you’ve held in the Experience section and let people know what you accomplished at each of those positions and what your key responsibilities are/were.
  6. Use “I” Language – There are few things worse than a profile written in 3rd person. Use “I” language when talking about your personal and professional accomplishments. It makes it feel like you’re talking to the reader.

If you can do just these few things, you’ll be well on your way to creating a profile that doesn’t suck. And if you don’t do these few things, you just might be hearing from me sometime in the near future.

Was this post helpful? Do you have any other thoughts or recommendations for LinkedIn profiles? Could you and your company use some LinkedIn Training? If so, leave a comment below or email me at mic@bluegurus.com