I see a lot of common marketing mistakes on LinkedIn. Faux pas ever-so-slight that those who commit them may not recognize they’re doing anything wrong.

The only problem? Those marketers aren’t generating results.

Keep reading if you want to learn more about the three biggest mistakes I see on LinkedIn, and how to fix them.

1. Being A Copycat

One of the most prevalent mistakes I see is being a copycat: trying to replicate what someone else is doing to find success for yourself.

There is a significant difference between being a copycat (trying to replicate) and being resourceful (using someone else’s method to inspire your own).

When you try to replicate what someone else is doing on LinkedIn to a tee, you can come across as inauthentic. LinkedIn users are smart, and can see when someone is working a “three-step plan” they took from someone else.

Make sure you are working a framework instead of someone’s template.

When you follow a framework, you are working within a general structure while applying your own ideas and insights. When you follow a template, you are copying item-for-item what someone else has done to generate success.

My advice: take inspiration from what others are doing, but apply your own twist.

2. Not Pitching Properly

Each of us is on LinkedIn for a reason — sales, recruiting, job search, partnerships, speaking opportunities. To believe LinkedIn should exist solely for “quality conversation” is to have your head in the sand.

But a mistake I see people making is pitching way too much or in the completely wrong manner. If you are selling on LinkedIn, it is critical to approach your sales process the same way you would off of LinkedIn.

Case in point: if it takes you six months to nurture someone to buy off of LinkedIn, it’s going to take six months to nurture someone to buy from you on LinkedIn.

You can only bypass that by identifying someone further along in the sales cycle through their profile or by asking them.

Think of pitching on a spectrum. The closer you are to being able to identify your target audience before talking to them, the more effective a direct pitch will be.

If you can’t easily identify your target audience before reaching out, consider adding relevant connections to your network and letting your content do the nurturing.

3. Not Mixing Your Content

Content is great, but the same content all the time gets stale. As human beings, we adapt to things that are constant or repetitive. To get your audience to stop and pay attention, you have to change things up.

Three ways to mix up your content:

  • Format: Switch between videos, images, and text. (Remember that one video view is equivalent to three image/text views.)
  • Subject Matter: Talk about different elements within your job, industry, or life. E.g. If you are in public relations, you can post about the fundamentals of communications, photos of yourself with clients, and events.
  • Tone: Switch between light and serious. Whether you’re funny all the time or serious all the time, throwing a curveball (or a changeup) in there every once in awhile can snap your audience to attention.

The moral of the story: there is plenty of room to play. Have fun with the process and test. You can’t know what your audience wants if you aren’t willing to try different things.

The worst that can happen is no one sees your post because they aren’t interested.

Find A Balance

Success on LinkedIn is all about finding the right mix of being (genuinely) you while still thinking about your audience.

To engage only for yourself is to lose your audience. To engage only for your audience is to lose yourself.

You have to strike a balance.

By avoiding these three mistakes, however, you can get off to a great start!

Remember:

  • Use others as a guide, but don’t be a copycat! Framework, not template.
  • Think through your sales cycle before you pitch.
  • Switch up your content to keep things interesting!

Alright, now get back to engaging on LinkedIn!

About Chrissie Wywrot

Chrissie Wywrot is the President and CEO of e-Link Consulting, which works with businesses to increase LinkedIn visibility. To learn more about e-Link’s services, visit e-linkconsulting.com/services.