5 Things Media Sales People Do Wrong on LinkedIn®

What does LinkedIn mean to you as an ad sales professional? Is it a tedious necessity, or just a social media site where you have simply parked your profile and left it there—just so you can say you have a presence online?  In ad sales training, all too often I hear ad sales pros talking about “……LinkedIn is a waste of time.”

My friends, you could not be more wrong!

Do you see LinkedIn as the useful, multi-faceted marketing tool it actually is?

Think of LinkedIn as a shop window for everyone in business. Then the question becomes: How effective do you want your display to be? I’m going to discuss what I believe to be the twelve most common errors ad sales people make when setting up and maintaining, their LinkedIn profiles.

First, I would like to think all of you out there at least have an account on LinkedIn. And you also agree with the importance of researching customers, current and potential.

From this starting point, my guess is that the majority of you will recognize yourselves somewhere in the below list.

  1. You don’t have a photo. Really? Did you know LinkedIn stats prove your profile is 11 times more likely to be viewed if you include a picture? Now don’t go overboard here. In fact, you may not want a stiff, formally posed shot because it will probably not convey the real you. Instead, a good photo might be one taken outside on a nice day with a pleasing background, or one of you in your office environment. Suit optional depending on the business you are in.
  2. Your profile is missing a summary. I am always surprised when people don’t bother to include a summary on their LinkedIn profile. This is the text that sits under the picture (you now hopefully have) that tells the world about you. You literally have less than 15 seconds to capture and hold a reader’s interest! Without a summary, your profile is no more than a resume; factual but with no real depth. So write a summary. List things that make you different from everyone else, both personal and the professional. If you find yourself stuck for inspiration, take a look at other summaries on other profiles. What impresses you? What inspires you?
  3. Text contains too many buzzwords. This is a common sin committed in many LinkedIn accounts. Avoid them! Words such as, media sales rockstar, ninja, ad sales guru, and media sales evangelist (Yes, I’ve seen that one used), simply bellow the message that there is a big ego trying too hard behind the profile. (We all know that sales are often driven by ego – but there isn’t the need, on LinkedIn, to show how big yours is.)
  4. Writing in third person. For example, “Ryan Dohrn has done this, Ryan Dohrn has achieved that…” It comes off less than empathetic. Most experts agree that writing in the first person is much more effective in creating a connection with a reading audience. And that audience may include the businessman or woman who might just offer you that dream job! Instead, write something interesting about yourself and include some personal details as well.
  5. Failing to include an email address or appropriate social media account. It is vitally important that people are able to connect easily with you through the professional channels you have set up. You should use the business email addresses you have and then check them on a regular basis. But don’t be tempted to display your private social media accounts. It is not really appropriate to have business messages on your personal Facebook page. The key here is to list all your social media business accounts.

Next time I’ll share MORE big mistakes for sales professionals to avoid when using LinkedIn.

P.S. Don’t forget, as much as (I hope!) you are now using LinkedIn to research others, they use LinkedIn to research YOU! LinkedIn is one of the single best resources available to sales people today. Many of your prospects will be using the site to look right back at you!


About Ryan: Ryan Dohrn is an award-winning ad sales training coach, a nationally recognized internet sales consultant and in international motivational speaker. He is the author of the best-selling ad sales book, Selling Backwards.  Ryan is the President and founder of Brain Swell Media and 360 Ad Sales Training, a boutique ad sales training and sales coaching firm with a detailed focus on ad sales training, internet consulting and media revenue generation. Ryan is also the Publisher of Sales Training World.


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