Just Who Is Visiting Your LinkedIn Profile? And Why?

“Did you check the Captain’s LinkedIn profile?”

 

Most people think their LinkedIn profile is something they can use so that whoever it is they want to have find them – suppliers, customers, potential business partners, possible future employers – can find them. 

But is that the case? 

In one word: No. In two words: Heck, no.

How do I know this? Well, I did some research. As most of you know, I have a Sales Navigator account. And with that account comes an expanded version of WHo Viewed Your Profile. I can see who viewed my profile for the past ninety days. When LinkedIn can identify where your individual profile viewers came from, they do so. You will see such things as: My Network, Homepage, Messaging and Search.

I was reviewing my profile viewers and one thing that struck me was hardly anyone seemed to be finding me via Search. So I went back and counted them all over the past ninety days. Out of all the people who had viewed my profile over the past ninety days, the percentage who came across my profile via search was….a smidgeon over one percent. 1.08% to be exact. 

Now, my LinkedIn profile is pretty good. I know my SEO basics and I know the keywords that should be there, and what people should be searching for to find someone like me. But one percent? That’s it?

So where was everyone else coming from? We’re talking about hundreds of people a month here. Well, some came from Messaging, which makes sense when you think about it. In a typical situation, you are trading messages, usually with a new connection, and you want to check something on their profile. But the vast majority of my viewers had either seen something I had written, or I was mentioned, or someone they knew had mentioned my name, or I had commented on something and that brought them to my profile. The bottom line was people were coming to my profile for one of two reasons. They are asking:

  • Just who is this guy?
  • Is he who he says he is?

What it amounts to is people are looking at my profile as a kind of reference check. They are curious about me and they want to know more, in my case, usually more about why I talk like I am an expert at using LinkedIn.

So what does this imply for you? 

Your profile does not have to be an SEO machine. There just are not that many people looking for you or what you do. 

Or if they are looking for someone like you, they are doing it through their network, not LinkedIn search.

What your profile has to be is a reference check. When someone comes to your profile they want to know why you are an expert in your field and the implied question they have is “What can this person do to help me?” 

And there you go. Those are the questions your profile needs to answer:

  • What can you do for your ideal reader?
  • What benefits can you provide?
  • What questions are you uniquely qualified to answer?

The idea that someone will find you via search is a myth. They will find you from your display of what you know, or from hearing about your from someone else. So what does your profile have to do? It’s not a showcase, it’s a reference check. 

 

The Only LinkedIn Profile Advice You Really Need

 

Yes they are nice, but be honest, they all kind of look the same.

 

This is the opportunity that more people miss on LinkedIn than any other.

And it’s partly LinkedIn’s fault. LinkedIn is the place people put their online resumes to get a better job. And what do you put in your profile? How great you are now, and how great you have been everyone else. 

This creates the missed opportunity for sales people. When someone comes to check out our profiles, they don’t want to see how great we are, they want to know what we can do for them. 

Instead, think of framing your profile so that it answers their “what’s in it for me” question. Ask yourself, “What are the benefits that accrue to someone that is a customer of mine?” After a while you will start rethinking your profile in ways that a prospective customer would appreciate. 

Here’s a simple example: 

“I made President’s Club the past three years.”   That’s all about you. 

“98% of my customers from three years ago are still with me.” Now it’s all about them. 

Small change. Big difference. 

This applies to all things you do on LinkedIn: less on your features, more on their benefits. 

Why Would Someone Create A Fake LinkedIn Profile?

I wrote an article a couple of months ago on some of the ways to identify a fake LinkedIn profile. One comment I received quite a bit was “why would someone do this?” It seems like a lot of work, for some nebulous benefits.

And it does not take a lot of work. I could build one in ten minutes and it would likely fool most people. Start with an email address and come up with a new name. Then just cut and paste everything from another profile…like yours, and copy your photo too. There. Done.

Here are four uses for fake profiles. The critical part is getting you to connect with them, because they can then indulge in a little…

Email address collection

This is the obvious one. Harvest email addresses from connections.

Identity theft

When added to the information most users include in their LinkedIn profiles, this is a good start. In addition to their email address, many LinkedIn users list their birthdays, and this is viewable by their connections.

Phishing, spear phishing and other scams

If a connection sent you a message with an attachment, would you open it? It could contain malware. How well do you know and trust this person?

Connecting adds credibility

This is the sneaky one. When you connect with someone there is your implied  endorsement that they are a real person. When they go to connect with someone you are connected with, that someone sees  you connected with them. They connect. They open the email with the attachment.

How do you fight this? When someone you don’t know invites you to connect, ask them a question. One other aspect to look for is comments on posts and articles. Faking activity by liking content or sharing it without comment is easy and fast. Taking the time to make comments on that content is not. It’s time consuming.

It’s one thing to cut and paste a profile together, but another to be taking the time to comment on posts, or publish posts.

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Be careful out there.