There are a few things business owners do on LinkedIn that unwittingly and negatively affect their potential customer’s perception of them.

Unlike other social media platforms, earning the sale on LinkedIn is not as simple as posting an image of your product with a great price, and voila’! SALE!

It doesn’t work that way on most of the other applications, but that’s another conversation, altogether.

Much of the published LinkedIn-focused content typically invites you to try this thing or that thing in an effort to increase engagement, improve reach, and get you on the right path to your next customer.

But let’s look at another page in the LinkedIn business book and review a few things that may be standing as a barrier to that all important relationship leading to your next sale.

Your LinkedIn Personal Profile Is Incomplete

Remember the rule learned in your high school English class – “Presentation is everything”? 

The same applies to your LinkedIn Personal Profile. Presentation matters – FULL STOP. It informs your audience about your professionalism, your attention to detail, as well as your industry credibility. Potential customers come to your profile – which is your own little, mini website – and make quick judgments about who you are based on what they see, or not.

Visitors who go the extra mile to review your profile typically review a few things:

The Background Image

This ‘front and center’ piece of LinkedIn real estate on your profile can’t be missed. Neglecting it makes your space look incomplete, and makes you look like an amateur. Even if they aren’t “looking” for your background image, it’s literally the first thing on your profile. If it’s empty, they can’t help but notice.

Find or create an image that represents you or your business and fill this space!

Your Headline or Summary

Don’t leave your headline summary blank or generically tell people you’re a “CEO” – no one cares. A title doesn’t tell your potential customer/partner what you can do for them. This is your opportunity to tell the world why working with you is beneficial to their bottom line. Remember, it’s about them, not you.

Recommendations from Clients or Former Colleagues

If you don’t have recommendations on your profile, you’re missing the opportunity to let others step up to the mic and sing your praises. Now, since they’re down at the bottom of your profile, most people will never scroll down to read them. But, if they do, that means they’re at least a little interested and are vetting you and your business. How awful for you if they had nothing to see.

Just a quick side note: recommendations and skill endorsements are NOT the same thing. I’d recommend spending time getting recommendations as they carry more credibility than endorsements. ANYONE can endorse skills, even people you’ve never met. If someone takes the time to write a recommendation for another person’s profile, you can almost guarantee it’s valid. Who has time to write one for random people? Who wants to?

In the end, if you’re the CEO of a business consulting firm or a media group and I’m thinking of using your services, at a minimum I’d expect your profile to have ALL the things. When your profile has gaps, doubt in your credibility creeps in.

You’re Professional, But Not Relatable

I regularly see posts and/or discussions on how “unprofessional” Linkedin has become over the last few years. There’s an ongoing debate about what’s considered ‘acceptable’ content, with some adamant about certain posts that would be better suited for other apps.

Before you stand on your soapbox about whether this post or that post isn’t LinkedIn material, consider this: people begin to trust you if they feel they know you or your personal perspective on business or industry topics.

NOW HEAR THIS RECENT UPDATE – JULY 2023! LinkedIn has recently changed its algorithm to favor content related to what your profile states you do professionally. But, that doesn’t mean you have to be all the way buttoned up! You can still allow your audience to see a side of you they typically wouldn’t. I would recommend relating it to your business or industry in some way.

For example, did you recently attend a golf tournament with colleagues or clients? Let your audience know and show the evidence! Video and images are still the favorite mediums to stop the social media scroll.

Did you grow beautiful tomatoes in your garden? You can relate the time you spend in your garden to the flexibility that your work/industry/service provides. Or talk about that fact that your business colleague/partner/client sent you seeds from their last harvest and these tomatoes are the result.

See where I’m going with that? You can still show a personal side of yourself while relating it to your business AND being relatable to your audience.

Relatable = like. Like = trust. Trust = increased chances of business relationships. Don’t miss out.

Sending Generic and Impersonal Connection Requests

Thousands of connection requests are sent through LinkedIn everyday. I mean, they’re bouncing all over the place and most of them are basic, non-personalized notifications.

Now, there is nothing technically wrong with sending that kind of request. Quite frankly, LinkedIn makes it easy on both mobile app and desktop to simply click the “Connect” button and keep it moving.

But that kind of request won’t help you make an impression with your audience and peers. Does it take a bit longer to personalize each request? Yes, but the extra effort is worth it as it gets you noticed and gives the recipient something to consider. How do you personalize a request?

  • Mention that you have connections in common. If you truly know those common connections, mention them by name.
  • Mention the last blog/article they wrote or that they were featured in and tell them what you found interesting about it.
  • If you saw/heard them on a podcast or webinar, tell them when and where you heard them.

Need help crafting your own connection requests? Download your free LinkedIn Connection Request Swipe File.

You’re Pitching Your Product or Service in the Connection Request

The last one brings me to this next point. I truly feel like a broken record writing this one, because I’ve written it, created videos about it, and it still amazes me when I get one of these connection requests. 

So, here goes, again. The sales process on LinkedIn is THE LONG GAME. Most sales transactions are B2B and so there is much more thought, and sometimes more than one person, involved in the buying process. 

No one is buying from you just because you present what seems to be a great product or service. 

No one is scheduling meetings just because you hop in their DMs immediately after connecting with some form of, “I’ve reviewed your profile/company page/website and it looks like I/we might be able to help you blah, blah, blah and increase your blah, blah, blah. I would love to set up a Zoom meeting with you to show you how you can achieve this too! It’s free, no strings attached!”

It’s annoying and disingenuous. Is there a time to send a potential customer this type of direct message? YES! But it’s definitely NOT with or immediately after your connection request. People want to get to know and trust you before deciding to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars with you. Give it time.

You’re Only Using the Application to Promote Yourself

How many times have you been watching your favorite show and a commercial comes on that you’ve seen too many times? You roll your eyes and say through clenched teeth, “If that commercial comes on ONE MORE TIME!”.

This is how your audience feels if the only content you offer is self-promotion.

Your audience IS interested in getting to know you – the person behind the brand. But if all you’re saying is, “Look at me…look at my product, look at me…look at my product, look at me…”, they tune you out, unfollow you, never engage with your content, and quickly block any direct messages you send. 

PEOPLE AREN’T ON LINKEDIN TO BE SOLD. They’re on the app to learn and build industry relationships that can help them reach the next level. 

So, how can you help? How can you educate them? What information can you offer that they’ll appreciate? Remember, their time on the app is not at all about you. Foster trust with your connections as they perceive you as someone genuinely interested in providing value rather than solely promoting yourself.

There are many small things business owners can do to increase their LinkedIn currency. Small changes can have a major impact on how you’re perceived and how successful you are in building trust and productive relationships with potential clients.

If you need assistance building your profile or a monthly strategy, I’m happy to help! Let’s get on each other’s calendar!

LinkedIn: Your More Than Capable Business Partner

  • mannette
  • April 1st, 2022
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Content updated April, 2022.

There’s so much more to this app than showcasing your past work experience!

“I’ve never really looked at LinkedIn.” 

“I’ve been told my business needs to be there, but…I just don’t know how it works.”

“Isn’t it just an online resume?”

I often hear these and similar refrains from business owners, potential clients, networking attendees, and…well, the list goes on and on.

LinkedIn seems to be this distant social media cousin that no one’s quite sure what to do with. Most people I talk to get into a good marketing groove with other applications like Instagram, Facebook, or even Tik Tok, but LinkedIn just isn’t a part of their conversations.

I’m here to open your eyes.

LinkedIn may not be the most popular social media tool, but don’t be fooled! Using LinkedIn for business can help you get noticed, generate leads, and build partnerships that take you to the next level!

There are more people on LinkedIn than you think

At least 775 million people use LinkedIn, and that number is expected to increase to 840 million by the end of the year.

If those numbers aren’t impressive enough, here’s another – in 2016, 40 million of them were high-level decision-makers. I can only imagine what that number will be by the end of 2022. 

LinkedIn is also the most used social media platform amongst Fortune 500 executives

This means that creating a profile and/or a business page on this application offers a great opportunity to market yourself, your product, or your service to the right people. 

These ‘right’ people are the all-important decision-makers that sign service agreements and get you paid.

They’re CEOs, Directors, Vice-Presidents, District or General Managers, and Principals of small to large businesses or corporations. They are the people that allocate money and determine who to spend it with.

Let’s say I told you about a great networking space, less than a 1 mile from your home, where the top 5 CEOs in your industry stopped by every single day to mingle, meet new people, find new business solutions, and maybe, make purchases. 

Would you make it your business to be there E-V-E-R-Y D-A-Y? Of course, you would!

Well, that’s LinkedIn.

With over 260 million business people logging in every month, there’s always SOMEONE available for you to connect with…SOMEONE looking for the product or service you offer.

So, here’s the takeaway from your last 2 minutes of reading. 

If you’re a business owner, especially in the business-to-business market, you NEED to have a presence on LinkedIn. If not, you’re missing a huge opportunity to grow your brand and your profit.

Take advantage of a space that’s not content-saturated

Only 1% of LinkedIn users log in and do more than make connections or like someone else’s posts in their feed. ONE PERCENT.


LinkedIn is similar to other social media applications in its ability to help you present yourself as an industry expert. There may be 120 businesses similar to yours on LinkedIn, but if you’re the only one actively providing valuable information and resources to a network, you stand out. 


If you’re in the hospitality industry, conventional wisdom tells you to connect with all of the general managers, directors of sales, revenue managers, and management company executives you can find. 

Most people would take just enough time to request or accept a few connections, then like, comment “Great post”,  or share an industry article they found once a month. 

There’s so much more to do! 

To make more of an impact, you might also consider sharing:

  • Tips on how to increase revenue during a slow season
  • Data on customer meetings expectations
  • Video of behind-the-scenes preparation for an upcoming event
  • Any of this information in an industry group

Simply having a login and profile isn’t making the most out of the application. Offering content gives you the opportunity to market your company and ideas alongside Fortune 500 companies sharing this very same space.

Use the application as an industry monitoring tool

LinkedIn also offers you the ability to keep an eye on influencers and industry changes. By connecting with or following industry leaders, you can maintain a grasp on hot topics and trends that can inform your content, in-person conversations, and business decisions. 

Let’s go back to the hospitality example above. If you’re interested in doing business with Marriott International, you might decide to follow the company page, as well as its CEO, Anthony Capuano.

This allows you to see what the company deems important and what the CEO is involved in. Has he been honored in any way? Did he give his own views on the future of the industry 20 years down the road?

In addition, LinkedIn has now fully vested in using hashtags to index content. So, you can also search and follow hashtags like #HotelTrends, #HotelRevenue, or even #AnthonyCapuano. Likewise, when you produce content and include hashtags, others can use them to find your posts or articles.

Linkedin can open your business to so many growth opportunities. But in order to take advantage, you’ve got to be there and be active.

Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are great! But LinkedIn, if utilized correctly, can work as your long-term, 24-hour, digital business partner!

Creating a social media or content marketing strategy If you’re looking for help in establishing your social media or content marketing strategy, let’s start with a conversation. We’d love to assist you in finding your digital voice to positively impact your overall business goals.

I’ve previously written about people who ONLY use LinkedIn as an online resume, and how that’s a very limited way to view and use the application. It bears repeating that, used strategically, LinkedIn can help bolster your subject matter expert status and share your insight with potential partners and paying clients. 

My advice remains the same – be active and engaged.

However, in regular conversations with current and potential clients, I’ve noticed a trend. For many,  what passes for ‘engagement’ isn’t truly…engagement. When completing my usual onboarding reconnaissance for people who tell me they’re relatively active on the site, I quickly realize our definitions of ‘active’ and ‘engagement’ don’t line up.

Let me explain. 

If you’ve made the decision to ramp up your LinkedIn engagement in 2020, yay you! But please… clearly define what that means. Engagement is NOT spending 20 minutes a day scrolling through your feed, finding posts that pique your interest, and hitting the “Like” button. I mean, the ‘Like” is appreciated, but how have you really engaged in a meaningful way that will add to that particular conversation or impact a thought process? What connection did you make, literally and figuratively, with that half-second act?

Not much, if any.

So, what should you do?

When a post impacts you in a way that inspires you to ‘like’ it, that means you’ve surely had a thought about the content, however brief that thought may have been. So, go to the comments section and inform your tribe of that thought. It’s okay. You can do it…there’s no right or wrong answer. It’s a discussion. It’s a conversation. It’s ENGAGEMENT.

Let’s say the post REALLY resonated and gave you pause. Share the post and give even more details on your thoughts. Tell your audience why this subject is important to you. Communicate your past experiences with this topic. Let them know why you agree or disagree with the previous commentary. Tell people what you think…they’re interested to know.