How to Be a LinkedIn Ninja - 10 levels

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  • Still unsure about how LinkedIn really works?
  • Need help letting go of your training wheels and getting more confident on the platform?
  • Just maybe you need to aim for LinkedIn Ninja status - executing bold, audacious LinkedIn connection, engagement and positioning tactics with grace and effortless ease.

Here are some typical LinkedIn profile types and behaviours to avoid so you gain mastery more easily.

Which profile type are you?

1. The Naysayer – totally in denial about the platform. You refuse to sign up for the platform, and criticise/judge those who do actively engage.

As unbelievable as this sounds, there are people out there who have yet to buy the LinkedIn dream. But as you’re reading this on LinkedIn I’m guessing you aren’t one of them!

What would I say to those who haven’t bought the dream yet? Social selling is a skill that is becoming increasingly more important. With flexible working arrangements, remote teams and globalisation of customer bases and followings, you definitely need to be able to persuade, influence and sell you and your ideas, both face to face AND online. LinkedIn is a great training ground and enables you to do this efficiently, smartly and affordably. Be there or be square. Don’t miss the boat.

2. The Loser - you have less than 100 connections, you’ve never heard of the 500+ connections unwritten ground rule and it’s obvious you’d really rather not be on LinkedIn.

Time to switch up your thinking. Start strategically connecting on a weekly basis – up, sideways and down – and with your future career goals in mind. Also, don’t forget to sync your mobile and/or your email device as a quick hack. Crack that 500+ barrier sooner rather than later.

3. The Near Enough is Good Enough - your profile pic is a selfie, or a glamour shot, or it looks like you cut your significant other out of the photo in a rush, and any of your LinkedIn activity is by happy accident rather than by design.

If you think of LinkedIn as a high end department store window display, that might help. In that window display you want to have next season's fashions on show. Not last season’s stock or end of line run-outs.

So how does that impact your LinkedIn profile? Your profile pic needs to be you on a good (and professional) day at the very least. And if you’re really serious about this, do invest in a photo-shoot done by a professional with your aspirational career goals in mind. Your profile needs to be pitched for the job you want, not the one you have.

4. The Behind the Times - you think of your profile purely as an online CV, and not even a very good one at that, and you’re playing a passive waiting game

A few years back the pundits were predicting that LinkedIn would replace the CV. And we’re seeing that right now, with some organisations providing interview panels with LinkedIn profiles only, not CVs, to help with candidate selection.

However, as the candidate, LinkedIn also enables you to demonstrate so much more than a regular CV, with the three tools of Executive Branding - presence, personal branding and positioning. For those aiming for LinkedIn Ninja status, go beyond the notion that LinkedIn is an online CV and focus more on carving out a powerful Executive Brand instead.

5. The Cheer Squad - you limit your involvement to random 'thumbs up' and 'great article' comments, and you wistfully observe others who are more confident expressing their opinion.

This is particularly relevant to those in the business of creating a movement. Quite possibly The Cheer Squad activities provide a great training ground, but you’ll need to move onto commenting, sharing and publishing sooner rather than later, or your movement may end up being more of a ripple.

6. The Stalker - you passively read articles and view profiles in the background, maybe even with your identify hidden.

Given the importance of trust in building meaningful on and offline relationships, stalkerish behaviour will undermine trust. 

As Lao Tzu said

"He who does not trust enough will not be trusted."

Obviously there are some situations where protecting your identity is paramount. But in most circumstances, being more overt will help build trust more easily.

If you are in the business of leading, then as Jesse Lyn Stoner reminds us

"People follow leaders by choice. Without trust, at best you get compliance." 

7. The Now You See Me, Now You Don’t - where you are super active in fits and starts, but when work gets busy you are least in sight. You try anything once or twice but with no plan, no system and no strategy.

You’ve probably heard of visibility as part of a career strategy. This is where you need to ensure you are seen and heard by decision makers inside and outside the business to ensure your own career progression. Well it works the same online. In a nutshell, if people can’t see you, they’ll forget about you more easily. Remember the rule of thumb ‘consistency trumps frequency’, stick a weekly LinkedIn visibility appointment in your calendar and you’ll be fine.  

8. The Squeaky Wheel – you’re on a mission with a cause with articles you like, share and publish clearly articulating a problem set, but never offering solutions.

Just like the boy who cried wolf, you want to make sure that people stay tuned into what you have on offer. It’s great to critique, but even better if you can then back that up with painting a picture of the future that others will want to inhabit. Unpack your key messages in multiple ways, to ensure you don’t sound like a broken record. Share positive and aspirational messages also, to ensure you don’t get a reputation as as ‘The Department of No’.

9. The Dominator – where you dominate the feed morning, noon or night, leaving others wondering when you fit work in, and you yourself begin to wonder why your post engagement is dropping.

Stop being busy, start being strategic. Think about how someone already super successful in your industry would typically behave on LinkedIn and emulate. If people start believing that all you do is sit on LinkedIn all day, you’re defeating the purpose and appearing desperate rather than successful. Bashing someone over the head with an idea, won’t make them believe in it any faster. In a nutshell, entice people in and leave them wanting more.

10. The LinkedIn Ninja – aka Linked-Ninja - you have fine tuned your social selling abilities and execute them effectively, efficiently and with effortless ease. You understand that LinkedIn is predominantly about building engagement, trust and rapport, so all your efforts are nuanced, coordinated and graceful. By way of metrics you’ve got;

  • A top 1% viewed profile in both your industry AND in your network,
  • A social selling index of 90% (check it out www.linkedin.com/sales/ssi/)
  • 3000+ connections with a repeatable plan for both engaging with those connections and growing new connections in the direction of your goals
  • Your average viewing rate on shares = 3000+
  • Your thumbs up rate on shares averages 50+
  • You have an average of 300+ viewing/eyeball rate on articles published
  • Your activity is all branded or themed and in alignment with your long term goals
  • Most importantly, you have a game behind the game – a long term goal that you hope to achieve with LinkedIn as just one part of the plan. And for the LinkedIn Ninja you are achieving in all those other areas of your life as well.

It’s a wrap!

Don’t mistake the map for the territory. Person to person connection and networking should still make up a significant part of your plan.

And here's wishing for you to achieve LinkedIn Ninja status with ease.

Share if you dare! And help a friend achieve LinkedIn mastery more easily.

And here are a couple more articles you might also like

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  • Amanda Blesing is a speaker, mentor, trainer and thinker on all things Executive Brand
  • She has accidental LinkedIn Ninja status and helps busy experts and executive women to avoid making the same mistakes that she did!
  • Sign up for weekly inspiration straight to your inbox www.amandablesing.com

 

Vive la révolution! #ambitionrevolution #LookOutCSuiteHereSheComes #feminineambition #success #career #executivebranding #personalbrand #standout #leadership #executivewomen #careerfutureproofing

 

 

Feel like your leadership journey has stalled? Email ablesing@amandablesing.com to set up a 30 min one on one to learn more. Helping clients shift from feeling invisible to becoming invincible in just 12 months