LinkedIn is a great tool for prospecting perspective clients. But you must be careful to avoid some common mistakes that can make your efforts backfire. Here are some common mistakes people make when prospecting with LinkedIn and some helpful hints to avoid them.

You do not Have a Well-Defined Audience

Of course, you want to have a lot of connections. But, the quality of your connections is far more important than the quantity of them. Although it may seem smart to build up your connection list, doing so may actually hurt your chances of winning new business. To make sure you are hitting the right audience, follow these guidelines:

  • Determine your ideal prospect. You will never attract the best prospects if you do not know who they are. Take some time to think about who you want to attract and why. Once you fully understand who your ideal audience is, you will have an easier time connecting with them.
  • Search for potential prospects the right way. Use LinkedIn’s tools like the free search engine and Premium Sales navigator to look for the right prospects using these tools will help you connect in an efficient and timely manner.
  • Create a high-quality profile. If your profile page is impressive, then it will draw sales prospects to you easily. Avoid using your profile as a complete sales pitch, though, as that tactic can backfire. Instead, focus on inspiring people by providing helpful advice.

Making the Wrong Connections

When you connect with a prospect via LinkedIn, you want to be sure you are creating a genuinely mutually-beneficial relationship. If you try to connect with the wrong people, you may harm your chances of turning prospects into sales. Only connect with someone if there is a good reason to. To ensure you are connecting with the right people, keep these factors in mind:

  • If the prospect showed interest in your business by reading a shared article, downloading your content, etc., there is a good chance he or she has an interest in your product
  • If you have met the prospect in person, use LinkedIn  to connect again and begin to develop a working relationship.

When you connect with someone on LinkedIn, make sure to use personalized connection requests. Do not use a generic template, as it may hinder your success. Be clear about why you want to connect and provide a reminder of any previous meetings you have had. Always keep in mind that the number of people who accept your connection requests affects your social selling index score. So, make sure you carefully think through every request you send and make sure it is both valuable and relevant.



You have not Optimized Your Profile

If may be cliche, but it is true, you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Prospects see your profile before anything else, so it needs to make you shine. Avoid keeping outdated information posted and make sure your page is free of spelling errors and grammatical mistakes. Further, to ensure you create a strong first impression, follow these guidelines:

  • Use a professional picture. LinkedIn is decidedly different from other social media outlets. Pictures that work for Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram are not always appropriate for LinkedIn. Selfies are a no-no, so are pictures you took at the bar last weekend. If you do not have a professional-looking picture of yourself, ask a friend to take one. You can also go to a professional photographer to have it done.
  • Optimize your profile for search. The way you optimize your profile is important. Using keywords in your summary, headline and job title will help maximize the chances of appearing in searches both on LinkedIn and elsewhere.
  • Make sure your profile is complete and up-to-date. Also, add as much detail as possible, as vague profiles cause people to doubt your credibility. Provide additional methods of contact beyond LinkedIn messages, as this will add a more professional tone to your profile. Also, do not forget to add a link to your website if applicable.
  • Get endorsed. Endorsements and recommendations are a great way to let prospects know you are trustworthy and an expert in your field. Obtain as many recommendations and endorsements as you can by reaching out to coworkers and colleagues. Beyond that, share “pulse” posts that contain relevant and interesting content. Sharing information this way will help you reach your entire network and increase your reputation as a thought-leader in your industry.


Avoiding these common mistakes will help keep you on the road to success. If you need help developing a plan, LinkedIn Lead Ninja has a solution for you. Do not keep wasting your time on marketing efforts that do not work. Contact us today for a 15-minute discovery call and start making your LinkedIn marketing strategies work for you.