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Monday, 22 June 2015

Do you have a bag on your head?

Would you connect with someone on LinkedIn if you did not know them?

How would you feel about friending someone who never answered their door?

Let's say a friend of yours tells you about this wonderful person who lives on your block in town, and that you should reach out and befriend them, because they have some awesome service that you really need and want. So you go up to their door, and knock. You have a bag over your head because you are shy and self-conscious. You get no response, but you know someone is home because you can see through a little peek hole in the corner of your bag, shadows moving inside, and hear music playing. So you knock again...still no response...a third time...same response.

What do you do now?

You go back to the friend who suggested this new friend possibility for you, and they suggest you go reach out to someone else this time,  This time you remove the bag and they respond by answering the door and inviting you inside. You discover what things you have in common and can help each other with, and set a time to meet more formally.

Sound familiar?

How do you think the first person felt about you? Why do you think they would not answer their door?

This is real life. This is how most of us would respond in real life. Am I correct?

Let's take this to building relationships online.

Say that someone sends you a connection request on LinkedIn. They do not have a headshot, or they have a logo, or a baby picture, or one with their spouse, or their favourite car, or a nice vacation spot. How do you feel when you receive a request to link up with these people?

Did you know that hiding your picture is not going to save you from online goblins? All someone needs to steal your identity is your full name and birthdate. That is all they need to build a solid profile on you. They can steal your house, your car, your bank accounts, your credit. I know because I had someone try to do it to me.

Here's the straight goods.

The more active you are online and the more connections you have, the less likely your profile/identity will be stolen. When you have a lot of friends who know you well online, they will know immediately when you start doing strange things online that are not in keeping with how they know you. When they see strange things happening with your online presence, they will probably do like I you and ask why you are "stuck in Scotland and in need of funds."

The more you try to hide from people online and still try to do business, the more you risk identity theft and phishing challenges.

Here's the shtick.

-If you are online to build relationships with people you want to know and do business with, they are also looking for the same thing. When we try to hide by not using a professional headshot, it sends a message to everyone that we are trying to hide something from them. They will be hesitant to connect with you and even more hesitant to do business with you.

We are now living in the "Age of Connectivity".

You would not go to your neighbour with a bag over your head trying to build a relationship with them for business. The same applies online.

We need to be just a tiny bit transparent online, in order to build those relationships where people will get to know, like and trust you. If you are like most people in business, you also want to do business with people you know, like and trust.

Bottom line is use a professional headshot.

-And never put your birthdate on any of your profiles. If you do, put the wrong one.

Need some help with your LinkedIn?

Christine Till
The LinkedIn Marketing Mentress

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