LinkedIn: You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know

How well do you know LinkedIn?

There are many levels of LinkedIn training you can undertake: some people just want to build connections and relationships, while others intend to use LinkedIn as a key part of their marketing strategy.

Whichever the case, there are essential skills that everyone needs to learn, such as how to update your profile. This may sound simple, but as one MD found out, mistakes can still happen – and are not best made in front of your entire professional network.

Here’s how the story goes…

As the managing director of an established IT company, Lisa had built up a sizeable LinkedIn network, including: colleagues, vendors, clients, business associates and leads. The business was booming: she was in the process of setting up a subsidiary company, while reassuring clients, associates and prospective clients that the existing business would remain her primary focus.

Excited for the launch of the new business, Lisa booked some LinkedIn training for her marketing team, so they could start raising awareness of the new venture. They would need to update their profiles to reflect both businesses, which was a core part of the initial LinkedIn training.

Creating a Professional Image

A paragraph of universal wording was agreed for the ‘Experience’ section of all personal profiles within the company, so a consistent message would be created regarding the developing business. Lisa attended the training along with her marketing team, but when it came to actually updating the profiles, she said she had ‘other things to do’ and ‘knew how to do this anyway’.

On went the training, and by the end of the session the marketing team felt confident in using LinkedIn to promote the business, the new Company Page had been created and they were proud of their smart new personal profiles! The trainer left, happy with the results and off to prepare for her next client.

Where’s the Panic Button?

Very early the following morning, the LinkedIn trainer had 3 missed calls with voicemails from Lisa to her mobile – all with an air of distress and urgency. It transpired that instead of adding her new business venture to her profile, Lisa had replaced any mention of her existing business with the new company – she had effectively shut down her own business overnight.

In amongst the many messages of surprise, and hesitant congratulations, Lisa received a number of private messages from her clients and prospects: demanding answers and raising concerns. Her calls and messages to the trainer were cries for help – she didn’t know what to do, or how to explain her rather public mistake.

Damage Limitation

What followed, were many hours (at a cost) spent rectifying the profile mistake and offering apologies and reassurance to her valuable clients and prospects. It was a simple error.  The remedy was to use the profile ‘Experience’ section to add the new business; then rearrange the order so the existing business would appear on top, as her primary focus.

Sharing profile edits swtichThis knowledge was built-in to the LinkedIn training schedule, just after Lisa left to attend to other things. So too, was the advice that when making any major changes to your profile you should ALWAYS switch off ‘Sharing profile edit’ – so you have the chance to review and move things around before your network are notified of the change.

To find this, go to Settings ➡️ Privacy ➡️ How others see your LinkedIn activity ➡️ Sharing profile edits ➡️ Switch to No

The Moral of the Story: You don’t know what you don’t know

If you are aware that training is needed, then book a trainer you trust to teach you and set aside the time to learn, even if you think you know it already. Like other platforms, LinkedIn regularly adds new features and updates existing ones, so a professional trainer will have the expertise to guide you through these.

Lisa is now happily running both businesses and has not lost any clients or prospects fortunately. However, following step-by-step instruction for something so important could have avoided unnecessary time and money spent, and removed the risk of damaging her business reputation.

 

💡 For more information on using LinkedIn to grow your business, or to book a targeted training session, please contact Linda for a no obligation conversation.

 

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