21 Nov 2020

Use LinkedIn to Create Business Without Alienating People

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In my profession, I depend on LinkedIn for as much as 50% of my clients. This article goes over some of the tasks that I perform regularly to build engagement, establish credibility, and define myself as an influencer and expert in my field.

Actions that will increase engagement

Focus On LinkedInStart with an optimized profile – Before you do anything else, optimize your profile. Write a story for your summary about you – how you got to where you are, your major achievements and so on. You’ve got 2,000 characters and that’s all, so be succinct and to the point. Next, fill in all your experiences, which are the jobs you’ve held, and your education. Don’t forget to list any times you’ve been published, any certifications you’ve earned and so on. Fill out everything that makes sense for your brand. If you prefer, you can get your LinkedIn profile written professionally.

Update your profile regularly – Allocate some time each month or quarter to review and revise your profile. Presumably you change from month to month, and your profile should change to reflect those differences. I’ve found monthly reviews are best. Each time you make a chance, everyone in your network is notified. Search engines, including LinkedIn and Google, also keep an eye out for changes and you’ll get a boost because of that.

Comment on posts on your feed – Spend time time several times a week commenting on posts in your feed. You can do this in just a few minutes each day. Like and share those posts (but don’t overdo it) that add value for your own followers, and be sure to tag the original poster.

Comment on posts in groups – Once a week or so, or more often if you can swing it, go through some of your groups and make some comments,

Add your own questions and posts to your feed – A few times a week, drop a question or two into your feed. Make sure that you don’t post any sales related posts. Your purpose is to build your credibility and get noticed, not to sell directly to people on your feed. Don’t worry, as you build up your reputation, sales will probably follow.

Add questions and posts to groups – Be sure to scan your groups and drop in a few questions and posts. Make them informational, not sales.

Leave comments on blogs – Many times others post links to blogs on their feed. Scan those blogs quickly, then leave a comment on each of them if you can add value in any way. Again, avoid sales related commenting.

Send messages regularly to your important connections – Go through your connections occasionally and send messages to them to maintain relationships. Scan their profile first, and note something relevant. Keep sales out of these messages unless invited. If you see they are working on some kind of project or something like that, you might ask them how you can help.

Post interesting information to your feed – As you work on the internet, you probably run into articles regularly that have some value to your audience. Post a few of these to LinkedIn now and then, with an explanation about why you are sharing them.

Actions that will decrease engagement and drive people away

Posting anything sales related – Any time you write a post or comment that is sales in nature, you drive people away from you. This defeats the whole purpose of being active on LinkedIn, which is to build engagement and relationships. After all, who wants to have a relationship with a billboard or television commercial?

Cursing – You might think foul language makes you look cool or it’s part of your style, but it has no place in a professional environment. You will drive away potential customers if you swear.

Personal information – Just don’t do it. Don’t post any personal information at all on LinkedIn.. It’s a professional network, not a social club. Save your personal posts for Facebook.

Math puzzles, jokes, comics, etc – None of this is acceptable in a professional environment. For example, lets say you post a Dilbert comic that shows the workplace in a negative light, and you do that often. Guess what? Some potential employers and customers will gain the understanding that  you have a negative attitude. You might think it’s funny that the comic shows the boss as a simpleton, but the employer who looks at your LinkedIn feed before hiring you might not.

Also, remember humor is very relative to region, culture and religion. What you think is funny may be insulting to someone in another culture. This is especially true of humor or sarcasm in written form because the written word does not communicate emotions, body languages and facial expressions, so it may not be clear that your joke is intended to be funny.

Responding with “Why is this here?” – If you see a post, such as humor or a puzzle, that you think is inappropriate for a professional social network, just leave it alone and get on with your day. Don’t waste your time and attract the trolls by pointing out it was not appropriate.

Anything insulting or demeaning – This can be tough, as different cultures interpret things differently. Just use your common sense.

Sharp criticism – You might disagree with a post or comment. That’s cool, we all have disagreements. But keep your replies civil and avoid criticizing the author or other people.


Your reason for being on LinkedIn is NOT to sell, at least not directly. LinkedIn is a tool for you to use to build relationships, establish and maintain your credibility, and define yourself as an influencer and expert in your subject area. Once you’ve accomplished that, sales will follow.

You don’t have to spend a lot of time on LinkedIn. A few hours a week, 15 minutes a day, or whatever, will suffice. Don’t overdo it though. Dropping a dozen posts into each of your groups in a day will not win you any friends.

Also, keep in mind that everything you post to LinkedIn (or any social media) is available to anyone who takes the time to search for it. Don’t depend on privacy settings as they can fail or be circumvented. Employers and others will find what you’ve put out there and make judgments about you based on what they find.

LinkedIn, when used correctly, will attract people to you. If your profile is written properly and you post information that is related to your brand, you’ll find many of them will be helpful to you in various ways.


Write in the comments some of the things you’ve found to create business using LinkedIn.

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