LinkedIn: Dos and don’ts for an impactful profile

LinkedinIs this the real life? Is this just fantasy? Thank you to Freddie Mercury for penning these questions 45 years ago in Bohemian Rhapsody – questions which many colleagues and I have been asking ourselves for the past five months.

Being online 60-80% of every business day still seems strange, but we may need to accept that this way of working is now real life, for a while, at least. Remembering that could be the key to business success.

Being an extrovert, I love in-person events. Meeting with people, catching up with them and yes, hugging them, is (was?) part of my business success. Lockdown created an alternate universe which we had to get used to. Socialising virtually is still strange for me, but at least we know what to do for business and work. We just need to do more of it to compensate for the absence of in-person communications.

LinkedIn offers one of the best ways to build your professional profile, but many people still don’t understand it or use it to their advantage. I have posted on all social media more in the last few months than before the pandemic. Have you? With LinkedIn in particular, people expect a certain professional behaviour. No different from in-person communications then.

Remain Professional but Be Personal

To remain professional on this platform, pretend you are in-person, watch your language and remember your manners. It is never appropriate to speak or write with disrespect to others, but there are platforms that allow and even encourage that. I’d say leave that at the door when going on LinkedIn. If you get a mention, comment or share, thank the person. And please go out of your way to mention people in your network who are doing great things.  The world needs more positivity right now.

In Some Ways, It’s Better to Engage Online

One thing social media does better than in-person communications is allow people to engage with content and conversations when most convenient for them. You have to assume that when someone is reading your profile, your content or your comments that they have chosen to pay attention at that time. Therefore you can relax and post your content confidently, knowing it will be read by the right people at the right time. Because it is not live, I suggest you do put extra thought into what you post online, and strive to say something truly interesting, original, exciting or even disruptive. Your followers need real thought leadership from you.

Karen J. Hewitt offers us a great example of using the platform to introduce a new concept and narrative. After launching her book Employee Confidence, she went on to garner lots of media coverage in the UK and the U.S. In parallel, she has kept up a consistent conversation about employee confidence, following Einstein’s recommendation of ‘solving a problem from another level’ in her book Employee Confidence – The New Rules of Engagement. She noticed that many CEOs and HR Directors see motivation as key to engagement, productivity and performance and suggests that confidence, combined with leadership skills, are the missing ingredients.

How to Promote Like a Pro

Getting the balance right when self-promoting is essential. If you don’t post enough thought-leading content, you will not be noticed. If you over-promote, it will put people off. The correct ratio seems to be one to four – as in one promotional post to ever four inspirational or educational ones.

Do all of the above in whatever way feels right and natural for you. LinkedIn is your new home and you need to feel ‘at home’ when you spend time there.

Mindy Gibbins-KleinAbout the author

Mindy Gibbins-Klein is a global thought leadership expert and founder of Panoma PressREAL Thought Leaders and The Book Midwife®. Her latest book The Thoughtful Leader is available from Amazon and all good bookstores. Find out more at

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