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As a leader, you can leverage your LinkedIn presence and become the face and voice of your brand. But many leaders make lasting mistakes that hinder their long-term success on the platform.
With 180 million senior-level influencers on LinkedIn, a lack of engagement or posting will cost you visibility in your industry and the opportunity to maximize revenue. LinkedIn is unlike any other platform, in that it creates niche communities and topic threads for specific industries. This is a goldmine opportunity for leaders to shine as authorities in their respective topics.
LinkedIn has 900 million members worldwide as of 2023, an untapped pool of leaders for you to network with. Once you find your industry tribe, you can easily connect with them through authoritative, original and engaging content.
So, why not start growing your personal brand on LinkedIn today — and avoid these eight LinkedIn mistakes in the process?
8 LinkedIn mistakes to avoid (as a leader)
- Profile content in the third person — A LinkedIn profile isn’t a public relations biography. Authenticity and personalization are important traits that will help you succeed on LinkedIn, and writing your profile “About” section in the third person is anything but authentic. Write the copy to be approachable and relatable. Your biography is an important first impression, so mistakes here are best to be avoided.
- Not being relatable — Think strategically about your voice and how your voice represents not only your company’s brand but yourself. Leaders often leave the “voice creation process” in the hands of their corporate branding team. It’s okay for the branding team to have input, but your LinkedIn profile is your personal brand. The last thing you want is a profile written by the marketing team that isn’t relatable to your voice and to you as a person. Leaders that thrive on LinkedIn have a relatable tone that is authentic.
- Focusing on yourself too much — Your content and profile messages shouldn’t resonate with narcissism and only include personal achievements. Remember that your audience and the community that you’re trying to build are at the heart of your LinkedIn strategy. Without your community, your personal brand wouldn’t thrive, so shift the focus to them (and not just you).
- Sharing company posts without commentary — The social pressure to share content has exploded in recent years. But most leaders are sharing content incorrectly. When you scroll your feed, you likely will see leaders hitting the ‘share’ button from their company posts and broadcasting them to their profiles. This has very little impact on growth and success. Instead, write at least two paragraphs and add your individual wisdom to the company post before you hit publish.
- Not publishing original content — If your feed is full of company post reshares, then you might be a victim of this mistake, too. Writing original content is the number one way to grow your personal brand and position yourself as a leader in your field. Thought leadership is a strategic lever for every leader. To make this work, you must integrate yourself at all levels of the content production process. As the leader, you’re the brains and the original insight for your brand. Your marketing team writes and creates, and maybe your personal assistant is the person actually to publish the content. Multiple people might be part of the process, but you must be at the center of the project.
- Posting long texts (with no varying content types) — In a report shared by Similarweb, a LinkedIn user will only spend an average of 7 minutes and 38 seconds on the platform per day. Conclusively, we can say that you have a very short amount of time to capture the attention of your readers. Large blocks of text are a terrible viewing experience. To get more growth from your posts, add a balanced mixture of documents, polls, images and text posts to your content calendar. This will help to ensure that a portion of those 7 minutes is dedicated to your content.
- Not responding or commenting on employee content — If you made it this far in your LinkedIn strategy by checking off points 1 through 6, your company’s brand strategy is likely strong and an employee branding program might be part of it, too. Your employees are likely actively writing and publishing content on their personal LinkedIn profiles. As a leader, the next common mistake is not engaging with employee content. Besides being a supportive leader, your insights on their content will not only elevate your personal brand but also encourage your employees to continue the great work.
- Lack of transparency — Many leaders are on LinkedIn to generate sales for their company. That is a reasonable goal and one that makes total sense, but likely, your traditional sales messages aren’t working on LinkedIn. Rather, they’re too sales-driven and “me-focused.” Those that succeed on LinkedIn are community builders and engagers. Transparency plays an important role in how you develop relationships before the first sales message.
Now that you’re equipped with eight common LinkedIn mistakes by leaders, you can take care to avoid making the same mistakes. LinkedIn is a valuable opportunity for a leader to grow their personal brand, position their expertise strategically and generate leads. Avoid these pitfalls to thrive!