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LinkedIn is the best social media platform for professionals in all industries. With over 310 million monthly users, you have a large base to develop new connections and build relationships with potential clients.

However, there are several LinkedIn “mistakes” that can haunt you and affect your credibility and your reputation. 

Here are a few things to avoid doing on LinkedIn:

1. Judge others for their choices. 

No matter what their choice – whether a prospect chose a different coach or chose a dumpster fire branding color palette – posting your negative opinions on LinkedIn serves no purpose. If your prospect chose another coach, you can ask them privately what influenced their decision. Feedback is useful, public shaming is not.

2. Start political arguments. 

Unless you’re an aspiring political strategist, politics don’t have any place in your business. You are certainly entitled to your political opinions, but it’s best to save those debates for Facebook or Twitter.

LinkedIn has the most professional atmosphere of any other platform, and with today’s political climate, you will only scare away a large number of prospects if you start political disagreements.

3. Add my network’s email addresses to my list. 

Just because you have access to your connections’ email addresses via their LinkedIn profiles does NOT mean they give permission to add them to your email list. The same is true of any prospect you meet who gives you a business card.

Not only can these prospects mark your messages as spam, but this also goes against the CAN-SPAM Act, which requires permission to add people to your email list. You can add them to your inbox as a personal contact, but NOT to your email autoresponder.

4. Post personal photos or reminisce about partying. 

Save those fun stories for less professional sites like Facebook. LinkedIn serves a professional purpose and those types of posts will give pause to anyone looking to hire a professional.

We’ve all heard the stories of college graduates who lost job opportunities because of what they posted online. If it has the potential to harm your reputation or credibility, keep it offline.

5. Use others strictly for introductions or job opportunities. 

No one likes being used. Put yourself in that same situation, where your connections didn’t really care about you; they only cared about who you know. Instead of hitting up new connections immediately for introductions or job interviews, build a relationship first, then ask.

These examples are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what you should NOT do on LinkedIn. Across all the social media platforms, you’ve probably seen plenty of tacky things that made your eyes roll. Use your common sense and think before you post on LinkedIn. How will your posts be perceived?

These LinkedIn tips are not meant to discourage you from being your authentic self; they are instead meant to act as guidelines for maintaining your professional credibility so your ideal clients will find you and trust you.

Want to get SMART with your LinkedIn marketing? Take the Smart Marketing Quiz and find out.

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