What do I mean, avoiding the void? Well, perhaps it’s better to think about this concept as a “digital vacuum”.

Let’s talk about expectations first. Our ideas about each other in the workplace have all evolved, slowly but surely.

With the advancement of technology, the rise of social networking, and the creation of platforms like LinkedIn, we (consciously or unconsciously) expect everyone to have something of a digital presence.

Here’s an example – you send someone a cold email. They read that, and then they look to your email signature, hoping to find a website or social media link that they can click on to check your credibility.

Maybe they find that, in which case – good for you! And maybe they don’t… That is your digital vacuum (and we all know what nature thinks about a vacuum!).

We all look for additional “evidence” to get a better understanding of new people – and critically, we do this before we engage with them – or they engage with us. You absolutely must factor this into your day-to-day business.

So if your personal LinkedIn page isn’t something you’d willingly share with a prospect, that tells you that you have a vacuum – not a profile. You’re letting the void dictate your success.

Check You Out!

Whether you like it or not, there is a digital vacuum that can only be filled by you. People expect to find credibility markers, “hygiene factors” that reassure them that you are legitimate and trustworthy.

People are going to check you out digitally. They’re going to go to Google, Facebook Instagram, LinkedIn, you name it – on a mission to gather more information about you.

Whatever they find on these platforms is going to tell them more about you. If you are on these platforms, it’s vital that you actually show up in the way you want to be perceived.

That last bit is essential. You can’t get away with “seeming” to be good. You have to work at being good, instead.

You’re in Control

If you know you’re going to be checked out online (and it is pretty much a dead cert), I have an old adage for you:

“You never get a second chance to create a first good impression’’

My twist on this is a little more modern – because that first impression is going to happen digitally.

It’s your responsibility to fill your digital vacuum with the type of information and digital experience you would like a visitor to have – but that’s a good thing! You are in full control – and that, in my opinion, is liberating.

Judgement Day

We all judge each other in a split-second. We’re not even meaning to be judgmental – we’re just gathering information.

What you have on your profile will guide (or even dictate!) that judgment. The information and content you provide tells someone if you can do the job, if you’re a good candidate, if your services drive value.

Why wouldn’t you want to stack the deck in your favour?

Having nothing on your profile is a risk you can’t afford to take – as is letting your profile get stagnant. Your digital presence should be a living, breathing, evolving entity – just like you.

A Fool’s Errand?

Now, you, dear reader, are wise and intelligent! You get it. You know that your presence has to be ship-shape.

However, many fail to do anything about their digital vacuum. I see firsthand how damaging this inertia is to their online brand and presence. They’re making a poor first impression – and they don’t even realise it.

So rather than tell you what you should be doing and sharing my LinkedIn experiences – we’re going to get practical today.

There are five categories I typically see people fall into. Which one is yours?

Category One: Me, Myself, And I

This digital representation focuses entirely on you. Symptoms of this category include:

·      A timeline of all your highlights (sometimes including your 300m swim badge or cycling proficiency award!)

·      CV content in your profile, and in your job history

·      An average description of your day-to-day role

·      Little to no focus on how you serve others

·      Too much text that’s dense to read

Apart from the obvious detractions of the above, one of the biggest issues that these profiles have is that no-one has the time to wade through them.

Would you like to read a densely-written four page CV when you’re busy and have lots to do? No! So why would you expect a visitor to your profile to do so?

When people visit you, they’re hoping to find evidence of the relevant areas of your expertise that could help them achieve their goals. Though you think you’ve done that, the way you’ve presented the information just isn’t working in anyone’s favour.

But don’t be disheartened – your profile is full of great information. You clearly understand the value of your experiences. Your profile just needs a little zhuzhing – so turn it inside out.

Select the real highlights of your career, and explain how your skills bring success to your clients.

Align your expertise with your audience. Anything you bullet-point will be read first (example above!) – so use that to your advantage.

Category Two: The Tumbleweeders

I don’t even have to explain myself, do I?

There are several factors that create a Tumbleweed Profile, and it’s usually a combination of the following:

·      This individual doesn’t value their online brand.

·      They don’t believe it’s important to showcase themselves.

·      They’ve not made presence a priority.

·      They have a LinkedIn profile, but there is absolutely nothing there.

If this is the case, then why are you on LinkedIn? If there’s no information on there about you apart from that you actually exist (and even then, your prospects could find that questionable!), there’s no point in having a profile.

If you’re not prepared to take charge of your personal brand, what are you going to be like working with, when you have so little disregard for your own positioning and services?

It’s not a good look.

Another unfortunate feature of the Tumbleweed Profile – you’ve given me zero ways to contact you outside of LinkedIn. Do you even want me to get in touch?!

A profile is always radiating something – good or bad. And if it’s radiating nothing, you might need professional help.

Book yourself into to my Perfect Profile 45-min session. It’s free, no sales, no hustle, no follow up.

Just focused help on building your profile: https://www.b2bsuccesssystems.co.uk/free-events/

Category Three: Product-Pushing Pythons

These guys just want to sell you something. I feel I don’t really need much of an explanation here, but these profiles have some common factors:

·      Their profile is packed with buying messages (overt, covert, or embedded).

·      They’re product-pushing all the time.

·      They’re not really interested in you – just your wallet share.

·      Their approach is focused on getting you in their python-like grip, and squeezing you for all you’re worth.

·      They adhere to the rule of “Spray and Pray”.

Somewhere along the line they’ve forgotten that people need to trust you! Your buyers need to have a good feeling about your credibility and your expertise before they even look at your products.

Yes, everyone wants to make a sale. You do need a pipeline of opportunities, but you absolutely cannot fill it at the expense of your personal brand and reputation (unless you want the world’s shortest-lived sales cycle).

Don’t be disheartened – you actually do have an advantage here.

Because you understand all the features and benefits of your products and services, you can focus on communicating how these make your clients’ lives better.

Focus on building a relationship and serving your audience, and your sales will take care of themselves.

Category Four: The Accidental Timelapse

There are many of these profiles floating around in space and time.

At some point, these people were motivated to sort out their profile. The problem? That was a while ago.

Two things really stand out in this category.

·      The previous employment history is generally well filled-out…

·      But more recent roles only get a little or no mention.

This puts a question mark over your current role. By not updating your profile, you give people the impression that you’ve run out of steam: you’re losing interest.

I highly doubt that this is the case, but you must beware of the message you are sending.

The other giveaway is the headshot being somewhat (way) past its “sell by” date.

Update your profile! Spend some time on your current role/offer (and this will make you feel great about yourself, I promise).

Take some time to show that you care. Refresh that headshot. Communicate energy – it’s infectious.

Category Five: The Sin Bin

Last, and definitely least.

We’ve all had the misfortune of encountering narcissists, shock jocks, alpha hustlers, and people who are just in LinkedIn for the viral ‘win’. Their profiles share some commonalities:

·      Aggressive, extremely opinionated posts.

·      Snarky comments on other people’s posts.

·      Immediate sales-spam in the DMs.

·      Posts that say nothing much at all but clog up your feed.

·      Photos, videos, or carousels of their favourite subject: themselves.

In my humble opinion, these behaviours all belong in the Sin Bin.

These individuals are overexposed on LinkedIn. They will relentlessly fill up your newsfeed if you let them.

Fortunately, we are seeing fewer of these bids for attention. My recommendation? Avoid these voids!

You can work out your own personal threshold of acceptance and judge them on a case-by-case basis. Just remove them from your network if they’re not for you and engage with content that really does add value.

A Last Thought

Feeling a little bit uncomfortable with the category you might have accidentally fallen into?

That’s a good thing. Let it spur you on to action.

Remember – you’re in control. Take charge of your LinkedIn presence, create a profile that blends your strengths with your audience’s interests, and get ready to reap the rewards. You deserve it.

Book yourself into to my Perfect Profile 45-min session. It’s free, no sales, no hustle, no follow up.

Just focused help on building your profile: https://www.b2bsuccesssystems.co.uk/free-events/


Miles Duncan – founder b2b success systems. Transformative LinkedIn and CRM training for Professional Services

I set up my profile on LinkedIn in 2004 and fell in love with the platform. Since 2008 I have been helping organisations implement the rich resources of LinkedIn.

Team Training

For your team take a look at my website b2bsuccesssystems.co.uk

You will also find I offer a complimentary no obligation, LinkedIn team orientation session that many companies have opted for, check it out here b2bsuccesssystems.co.uk/teams

Group Training

I run an 8-week LinkedIn high performance training program, its one hour per week live with me, very small group so it feels like 121.

You learn in small chunks…

Even if you can’t make one of the sessions, everything is recorded and emailed on to you that day.

Take a peek https://startrunfly.co.uk/