LinkedIn and Social Proof

I’ve talked elsewhere about LinkedIn, and I often train people and help my business advice clients to use LinkedIn.  I see LinkedIn as a powerful tool for business development, but not as social media, which is where most people lump it.   Because it’s seen as a boring form of Twitter, and because we’re all busy, people often don’t understand the opportunities of using LinkedIn, even in a passive way.

I’ve got plenty of business through people finding me on LinkedIn, and I’ve seen clients who are regularly approached for speaking gigs, consultancy opportunities and joint ventures because people have found them on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn and Social Proof

But if people find you on LinkedIn, they need to find an up to date, well thought out, detailed version of your profile.  Otherwise, you’re going to look like a sad amateur.  I often meet very interesting intelligent people when I’m out networking, but when I come back to the office and follow up by inviting them to join me on LinkedIn, their profile is out of date, or sketchy, or just looks a bit neglected.  It’s not doing them justice.   And if you’re not on LinkedIn, or you’re there because you spent 5 minutes putting your details in when someone invited you to join them on LinkedIn in 2003, then you have no social proof.


What’s LinkedIn social proof?

This is a fancy term to mean what other people are saying about you online, especially on social media.  When other people say that we’re cool, or that we know what we’re doing, that gives a level of proof to other people. It means a lot more than when we say it ourselves, because it’s from a third party.

If I put a blog up saying that I was a fantastic footballer, scoring hundreds of goals and the world record for “keepie-uppie”, you might believe me or you might not.  This would be a terrible lie, as I can only just about kick a football without falling over.  But if it were true, if there were other people, on other websites saying what a great footballer Julia Chanteray is, you’d be more inclined to believe me.  That would be social proof.

LinkedIn is a good way of getting social proof for you and your business.  You write the profile, so you control the marketing message you give out, but you can easily get recommendations and validations of your skills from other people.  These, coupled with having a couple of hundred connections, instantly prove that you’re for real, and that people agree that you are good at what you say you’re good at.

What to do next to show social proof on LinkedIn

Have a look at your LinkedIn profile and ask yourself if you would believe what’s written there and if it gives the right impression to someone who might want to buy something from you.  Do you have social proof so people will believe that you’re one of the good guys?

Here’s my LinkedIn checklist so you can make sure you’re using it to best effect. And if you want more tips, here is my advanced class.

Want some help?

If you found this helpful and useful, let’s stay in touch.  You can follow me on twitter,or get my email newsletter, to get more tips and advice for your business.

Photo credit – me and my pals doing some “keepie uppie” and other football training.  What do you mean, you don’t believe that I play in the Malawi national team?