There is no denying that networking is important for a personal career as well as business. In both cases, you have a need to grow your network of valuable connections. This is all because in life, your connections can really help you go up the ladder.

And what better way of knowing people than through networking sites? For those mainly interested in social connections, there are the usual sites and apps. Although Facebook, YouTube and Instagram may rank highly, there are many other social networking sites worth checking out.

When it comes to career and business, still there are many ways to connect. But it goes without saying that the king over them all is LinkedIn.

With over 500 million users and 40% of users using the platform daily, it is not difficult to see where the future of jobs and career growth is going.

LinkedIn has evolved over the years and integrated many features as it grew. In the process, catering well for the needs of the professionals, it has earned its rightful place.

To those looking for jobs, LinkedIn has offered a great way of going about it. As job boards slowly but surely come to an end, it is sites like LinkedIn that will probably be left running. Many hiring managers attest to the great help that LinkedIn offers when it comes to searching for new talent.

LinkedIn provides hiring managers the opportunity to know you even before they meet you. As such, they can narrow down on the candidates to contact for an interview with much ease.

For business owners, LinkedIn provides many marketing and growth opportunities. It becomes beneficial to connect with someone in your industry and share insights or even collaborate with.

GHOSTING ON LINKEDIN

But did you know that your efforts to get connected on LinkedIn could get you ghosted?

Just in case you need help with the term ghosting, it simply means going silent on someone. This silence is in all areas through which a connection can be made.

For example, in relationships (where the term originated from), you may have liked someone and thought that you two were well matched. After a couple of dates, he suddenly stops communicating with you. He vanishes in the thin air. Calls are not answered, texts not replied to and you’re even blocked from his social media pages.

This will normally leave you confused and wondering what could have caused the reaction. It is this confusion and “being in the dark” that causes pain to the victim.

On LinkedIn, ghosting happens when the person you had connected to suddenly goes silent on you. You reach out but no response is forthcoming. It could be that they are currently busy. Or they just forgot to reply to your message(s).

But as comforting as these possibilities might be, they are rarely the case.

If you have been ghosted by a LinkedIn connection, don’t worry. We will tell you the reason it happened and advise you accordingly to avoid the same thing from happening again.

And since the reason you are on LinkedIn in the first place is to expand your professional network, we will also tell you what other mistakes you need to avoid. These mistakes may not get you ghosted but will definitely prevent you from getting some great connections.

The mistake that will get you ghosted

What caused you to be ghosted is a very small mistake. So small that you may not have noticed it. Unfortunately, not noticing the potentially harmful mistake is the very reason you made it and ended up with the experience you got.

The mistake is that you asked for help too soon. Yes, that is the mistake you made. And it’s the worst you can ever make on LinkedIn.

“What is the problem with asking for help too soon?” you may ask. And just how “soon” is soon?

Understand that the person you connected with, as much as you’re connected digitally, is a real person. And like any real person, your connections are looking for value.

We all want and even need value to be added to us.

This is why we go to school, befriend specific people, live in certain neighborhoods, pick certain people to get married to and the list goes on and on. It is all a calculated move to get more value around us. This is no different when you come to a networking site for professionals.

When you connect with someone and then ask for help too soon, you simply come across as someone who is just out to use them. This is because you have not taken time to build a genuine friendship with them. The fact that they accepted your request for a connection does not necessarily mean that you two have now become friends.

Keep in mind that the other person is also looking to add value to his professional network. If you connected with him and instead of offering value you are immediately asking for it, then what value are you adding to him?

You may argue that people connect to help one another. That is true. But just think about it for a second. Between your best friend and a stranger you met a few minutes ago, who are you likely to connect with a potential business prospect or a hiring manager?

Of course it is your best friend. Why? You have developed a relationship with him and shared much of life together that helping him gives you joy and fulfillment. This is the same way your LinkedIn connections are supposed to work.

You cannot be a stranger and expect to be treated like a best friend. When you however become a good friend, good treatment is sure to follow. The key then is in establishing friendship.

When you connect with someone, ask yourself this one question: What value can I add to this person? And generally, what value can I add to all my connections? Put aside for a moment the fact that you need some help and instead offer help.

Remember your job interviews? You are always, or often, asked a similar question. Those companies looking to hire you want to know what you have that will add value to them. The same applies to your connections.

Find out your unique strengths and perspectives which can make you valuable in other people’s lives. The section on using LinkedIn groups discusses this some more. If you follow the advice given in that section, you will realize that becoming a consultant is not a difficult thing.

MAKING THE MOST OF LINKEDIN

There are many benefits you can derive from signing up with LinkedIn and maintaining an active account. In this article, we will focus on three major ones. If you don’t have an account with this site, or think it is not necessary, then consider the below:

1. Strategic connections

Of course, anyone on LinkedIn can request to connect with you. In this case, you are the important person who someone wants to connect with. Congratulations and keep it up. But what if you are the one looking for someone to add value to your business or career?

While networking events are great and should by all means be attended, they are not the easiest for strategic connections. Why?

  • You can only meet as many people as reasonably possible. And just how many could those be in a single day? Twenty? Thirty? Quite unlikely. If you focused on meeting many people you will come across as desperate. You don’t want that label on you. To maintain professionalism, you will stick to a few people and sustain the conversation so as to really connect. But at the end of the day, you may end up with only one or two contacts you deem valuable.
  • You can only rely on what the contact tells you. This is obvious and normal. Not that you should walk around suspecting people to be possibly insincere, but what if you spent 1 hour with someone who exaggerated his credentials just to get your attention? LinkedIn can help reduce the chances of this by giving you the chance to view someone’s profile. From that profile, you can see a lot of things and if something doesn’t add up, you don’t even have to accept the person’s connection request.

Note that we are not advocating for more non-human ways to interact. We do need live human interactions. However, services like LinkedIn can certainly make it easier to choose who to interact with.

If someone lies on his profile, it will not be very difficult to detect it. For example, why would someone say they have worked in company ABC as a Logistics and Operations Director but has no connections to show he was there? Obviously, there can be explanations for that.

But the biggest gain here is not the sincerity test. It is the ability to choose who to connect with. If your business needs a certain type of person to connect with, then you can focus your search accordingly.

If your career needs a certain kind of growth, then you know which professionals to connect with. This is more efficient than being in the midst of 200 professionals and you’re looking for sales managers who have worked for companies bigger than the ones you’ve worked for.

Watch the below video for tips to get more LinkedIn connections.

2. Building your brand

As dynamic as marketing is, you will always do well to define your target market. In fact, failing to do this can make you suffer losses in finances and time as you seek to win the wrong type of customers.

You will be like the farmer who throws seeds around his farm without caring that some are actually falling on trees. There is no way those seeds will grow, yet he expects a huge harvest.

Building your brand becomes easier with LinkedIn primarily because of the above benefit—strategic connections.

Let’s face it. No marketing is better than word of mouth. When someone says something good about your product, that goes a long way. You can count on at least half of the recipients of that message responding positively.

The opposite of that is equally true. One negative comment from a customer and your brand may go down faster than you can say “sorry.” This is the nature of the online network. This also shows you why good customer service and PR teams are important.

When you get your new connections to see the value your product or service offers, they can give it a try. And if they are impressed, then you will have many reasons to smile. Not only will they buy, but so will their friends (connections). That means new and increased business.

3. LinkedIn groups

Instead of signing up and just requesting connections, get yourself busy with something productive. Whether you are looking for employment or business customers, LinkedIn groups give you the opportunity to make yourself an authority.

Join a group that discusses topics of relevance to your business or career. Answer the questions asked by others. And the good thing is that this is not a forum where you are all in one big room with limited chances to respond.

You can read a question, do a quick research then give the answer. Just make sure it’s correct. If you are able to answer among the first ones, the better. This will definitely earn you some respect.

Note that the person who asked the question could as well have researched but did not do so. If you are good with research, why not utilize it? You have helped someone and have also learned in the process.

Keep the knowledge as it may come in handy during a conversation later on. The goal here is to learn and not merely produce answers to questions. If you work mechanically, you will be recognized as one trying to get attention so be wise enough.

At the same time, your answers should not be authoritative in themselves as you may put some people off. Remember it is a discussion. Be polite and professional.

With the potential gains of being on LinkedIn, you do not want to lose the opportunity to benefit. Therefore, after signing up, ensure you keep off some mistakes commonly made.

COMMON LINKEDIN MISTAKES TO AVOID

There are quite a number of mistakes which many people make on LinkedIn. These have especially been noted on rookies. Make no mistake though. You might also have been on the site for a long time but end up making one of these mistakes.

1. Grammar mistakes and typos

You might be wondering how someone could make a grammar mistake on his LinkedIn profile. Ask those who scrutinize these profiles and you will be surprised. People like recruiting managers always witness these. And when they do, they often respond accordingly—they look elsewhere.

But do you know that not everyone is good at grammar?

Unless you are a writer or professional journalist, you might be one of those who type just as they would speak. Spoken words often come out in ways that are not grammatically correct. You will notice this when you look at those words which are pronounced similarly but have different spelling.

For typos, they can happen in similar circumstances. Most often though, they happen when you are in a hurry to update some details in your profile. Your quick typing, maybe out of excitement or because you don’t have enough time, gets your finger hitting the wrong letter on your keyboard.

Despite being quite understandable, you really don’t have any excuses. Grammar mistakes and typos simply deduct valuable marks from your overall score with a potential connection. Any time you are typing something, ensure you go through it before clicking the Submit/Send/Enter button.

2. Boring headline and summary

As opposed to the networking event where you interact with live humans, here, you are interacting with the digital versions of them. Something else, whereas the event may have 200 people attending, LinkedIn has given you access to thousands, if not millions of people to check out.

One thing is for sure. You don’t have the time to go through them all. So what do you do? You do a quick check of the person’s profile picture (you can’t ignore that) then their headline and summary. That decides it. The picture may tell you that the person is a professional. Maybe he also looks credible.

The headline and summary however tell you who that person is. At least in a nutshell. And with very many potential connections to check out, you just can’t dig further or you’ll run out of time.

These two parts of a profile will either attract you and convince you that there is more to the person or just tell you flatly that the person is not what you’re looking for. Hiring managers will tell you that the most tedious part of their job is to sift through the many resumes they receive after advertising a job.

That is exactly what happens when someone receives a request to connect with you on LinkedIn. Or when your profile shows up in a search results. If the headline and summary don’t cut it, you may not get that connection request.

Check out the below video on how to write a great LinkedIn summary.

So what should you do? You need to attract people to your profile. If you are really green on how to make that happen, spend some time checking some profiles and see how people talk about themselves. You can also learn from this site some quick Do’s and Don’ts of LinkedIn headlines and summaries.

3. You are not using keywords

You have definitely heard about keywords. If not, don’t worry. They are simply words used to drive traffic to your profile. They are the ones which will make your profile appear on the top pages of searches.

Everyone has access to keywords but what is interesting to note is that some people utilize them very well while others don’t.

As important as they are, you should be careful to choose the right keywords to avoid giving a false impression of your skills and experience. So, how do you go about these?

First of all, you have to choose your keywords correctly. To do this, understand the skills you have and what you can offer. Secondly, search for people who offer similar services or have similar skills and check those who come up top. These will give you an idea of what words to use as keywords.

Having decided on the words, you now need to use them strategically. One important thing to know about keywords is that they heavily determine search results. This is because they are what search engines look for. More than that, search engines look for them in particular areas.

This means that where you use your keywords matters. As a general rule of thumb, ensure your keywords appear at least in your headline, summary and past and current job descriptions. As you do this, ensure there is a good flow in what you write.

For more help with keywords, you can check out this practical guide to keywords on your profile.

CONCLUSION

LinkedIn connections are great and offer a lot of marketing potential. If well utilized, the amount of career or business growth that can be realized is enormous. Take advantage of this platform to establish yourself in your field and reap the benefits from those connections.

Why this 1 Terrible LinkedIn Mistake Will Get You Ghosted

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