“Come on girls, do you believe in LinkedIn? Well I have something to say about it, and it goes something like this!”
I think I inadvertently gave away my age; by quoting the 1989 hit ‘Express Yourself’ by Madonna. However, if we actually analyse it for a moment, not much has changed since then. Women are still not expressing themselves especially with ‘love’ for themselves. No I have not become a life coach empowering women, but LinkedIn evidence now shows that women are losing contracts to their male competitors.
William Arruda a columnist for Forbes magazine says that 17% of the women who approach him to connect via LinkedIn do not have a profile image! Through my own networking and workshops over the years I’ve heard of many varied excuses. “Oh I don’t like my photograph being taken”; “I like to be behind the camera”; “my photo is really outdated and I’m just too busy to get another one done”.
The major problem with that thought process is, that people relate to people. It’s like going to a networking event and the woman tries to talk to you with a paper bag over her head. If all the women at the event had similar paper bags how would you remember whom you spoke to and to make sure to say hello when next you meet? Without a face, you have nothing to relate to, no eyes to connect with, no woman’s face to put her name to or what she does.
I have painted that interesting picture for you; now let me give you the facts. Statistics reveal that people are 11 times more likely to be selected for profile views when they have a photograph. That is searches via what they do, rather than by name, i.e. new prospects. Without an image you not encouraging someone to go to the next step and check out your profile.
“Women are notorious for ‘hiding out’ in business, preferring for their work to speak for itself” says Arruda, whereas men are loud, proud and happy to shout their strengths from the rooftops. “For men and women alike, a LinkedIn profile provides a much richer portfolio, but a majority of LinkedIn members are men. This makes it even more important for women to start seeing LinkedIn as essential, not optional.” Something I’ve been saying for years.
Many women believe it is bragging or conceited if they type their achievements into LinkedIn. The problem with that is 86% of the 6 million LinkedIn users in Australia compare LinkedIn profiles before they decide to award a contract or sign up as a new client. This lack of confidence in writing achievements is costing women business. Make no mistake ladies. When a potential client is within the buying decision process, you are being checked out on LinkedIn. Is it selling you?
We can still learn a lot from empowered women like Madonna, especially looking back at her early years. During the famous interview with Dick Clark of American Bandstand, Dick asked her “what are your dreams?” Madonna didn’t answer with a demure “Oh I’d rather not say as that could be bragging”, hell no. Madonna confidently answered “I want to rule the world!”
Come on girls, what does your LinkedIn profile say: that you are just another singer song writer or are you expressing yourself and going to rule the world?