For some people LinkedIn has become the professional equivalent of a video game, where users attempt to score relationship points by randomly connecting with as many people as possible. As in most things however, quality trumps quantity. While having a large number of connections or followers may make you feel better about yourself, it won’t produce much if they aren’t actively engaged or at least passively interested in what you have to say. Remember, a lot of people still get a phone book and see a roadside billboards, but rarely do they capture attention – rarer still that they prompt phone calls or spark action.
The same can be said for obsessively coveting endorsements and recommendations. In the case of the first, they are just a button click, the LinkedIn equivalent of a Facebook like. If you have none, alarm bells may go off. On the other hand, having the 99+ is attractive, but it offers no substance. The best strategy is to limit the number of things people can endorse (a tricky prospect) so you can focus your personal brand.
Recommendations by their nature are much more personalized and impactful and thus should not be sought randomly. To ensure your recommendations resonate with your intended audience they should ideally:
- Give a nod to what you’ve done – mention past accomplishments
- Align to your brand – illustrate what you are known for
- Be forward looking – aligned to what you can do and/or want to do next
- Be credible – come from seasoned professionals in your space
There are a variety of superficial, presence-related techniques you can use to increase your on-line traffic. And while having a professional headshot and premium banner may draw someone’s eye, it’s the substance that causes them to read on. So here as with all things, mind your style, but focus primarily on substance. This includes who you choose to recommend you and why.
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