When seeking LinkedIn training, support and guidance you deserve expert help. But how do you know if a LinkedIn trainer is really an expert, or the right mentor or coach for you?
LinkedIn has a mission to connect the world’s professionals to allow them to be more productive and successful by enabling members to meet, exchange ideas, learn, and find opportunities or employees, work, and make decisions in a network of trusted relationships. But how do you do this? LinkedIn has inbuilt help, but often you don’t know what you don’t know, therefore you aren’t sure where to start or what to look for. This is where LinkedIn training with an expert is required.
Unlike some technology products, LinkedIn doesn’t have a certification program for independent trainers, coaches and mentors, making finding help challenging. The User Agreement can help you determine good practice from a compliance perspective, but how do you know what else to look for in a LinkedIn expert? How do you know they are the real deal?
It is said to be deemed an expert you must have at least 10,000 hours of practice. If a person hasn’t specialised in LinkedIn for at least 3 years, working entrepreneurial hours, are they really an expert?
We can make bold claims such as;
- “the Number 1 LinkedIn Expert in the World” (according to what and who?!)
- “Top 1% Most Viewed LinkedIn Profile” (true – but that was from 2012!)
- “Best LinkedIn Trainer in Australia” (according to what and who?)
- “#2 LinkedIn Expert in Asia Pacific” (it is true, but the link proving it has been removed)
- “Award-Winning LinkedIn Marketing Expert in Perth” (I have won an award, so this is true)
Bold claims are only credible if we can back them up with evidence and results. Simply making a claim doesn’t make it true, other than in our own lounge room!
LinkedIn is constantly innovating in response to how we work. Therefore, the practice and professional development must be continuing. It starts with staying up to date with LinkedIn news and updates, and taking time each day to press buttons, check the settings and functionality, ask questions, attend industry events, and following other well-respected LinkedIn experts. Having curiosity, creative thinking and an agility to adapt is essential for any LinkedIn expert.
Where do you find a LinkedIn Expert?
We may start with Google and some key phrases such as “LinkedIn Coach” “LinkedIn Expert Perth” or “LinkedIn Trainer Australia” or we may ask our trusted network, be it our LinkedIn network, our Facebook friends or a Facebook group supporting business like yours.
People love to recommend the person they know and often refer to them as a “LinkedIn Guru”, “Queen of LinkedIn” or “Number 1 LinkedIn Expert in Australia”, or “the world” as they are being helpful and connecting people which makes them feel good. Whether someone comes recommended or you discover them through search, always do your own background research. Watch their videos, read their content, and see what others say about them.
A LinkedIn expert’s best tool to demonstrate their depth of knowledge and expertise is their own LinkedIn strategy.
Make sure they have an enviable LinkedIn presence themselves, get a sense of who they are, how they work and determine if they are the right expert for you.
The LinkedIn Expert Check List
Use this check list to determine if I or any other LinkedIn specialist is the right fit person for you. It covers many considerations when qualifying someone who has been recommended as a LinkedIn specialist / guru / expert / influencer / rock star….
Here are some questions to ask, or seek answers to via their own LinkedIn presence, website and digital footprint;
- Google the LinkedIn expertise you are seeking – do they show up? (LinkedIn expert, LinkedIn Trainer, LinkedIn Coach, LinkedIn Workshops + location etc)
- Do they specialise in LinkedIn or are they a generalist?
- How long have they been specialising in LinkedIn?
- Do they have relevant experience prior to specialising?
- How long have they actively been using LinkedIn themselves?
- Does their profile focus on the problems they solve for their clients? Look out for too many statements starting with ‘I’.
- Are they up to date with LinkedIn changes and statistics, and do they share sources? For instance, LinkedIn currently has over 810M members.
- Are they actively using LinkedIn to share content to demonstrate their expertise with personality and purpose?
- Do they share insights and information about LinkedIn on other platforms?
- Do other LinkedIn and marketing specialists engage with them?
- Do they have brand partnerships or affiliations?
- When you speak to them, do they take the time to understand what matters to you?
- Do you feel confident in their depth of expertise to support you?
WALKING THE TALK
- Is their profile complete, branded and professional?
- Are they well-connected or do they have a following? Having less than 1,000 followers shows they are either new or haven’t attracted an audience. If they have a large following look into relevance of the following, such as how many people you have in common.
- Do they publish regular high-value content weekly? (warning signs are no recent content or copious amounts of content, but no engagement from their network)
- Do they have engagement on their content? Having 20,000 followers and no engagement or spammy engagement could be a sign of bad practice such as using automation tools or even buying connections.
- Are they active on LinkedIn? Do they engage with their network and respond to engagement? Talking WITH their network is as important as publishing content.
- Are they up to date with trends and LinkedIn features? Do they appear to apply context to new content that is relevant and relatable? Can they interpret and anticipate new developments?
- How do they professionally contribute? Is their content written well and do they demonstrate diplomacy and respect? (Watch out for controversial topics, emotional and social intelligence, personality and values displayed in responses)
- How do they respond to comments and questions? Do they respond appropriately or react emotionally? Are they gracious, defensive or aggressive?
- Is their profile written in the first person, with personality and credibility?
- Is their name just their preferred professional name and a relevant post-nominal? Positioning statements do not belong here.
- Do they commit to regular professional development in and around the LinkedIn services they offer? This may be evident in what they share or what shows up under courses and certifications.
- Do they comply with the LinkedIn User Agreement? Are they walking the talk by participating in good practice? Refer to section 8.2.
- Do they ask questions about your purpose and objectives, or do they tell you about themselves and their programs when you speak to them?
- Do they have the LinkedIn presence you aspire to have?
- Do they have recent and regular recommendations from clients they have helped?
- Are they published by respected media sources, blogs and podcasts?
- Do they speak at professional events and industry conferences?
- Do they have case studies or success stories available?
- Do they have an engaged network?
- Do they partner with other credible business leaders?
- Have they published a book?
- Have they won awards or being recognised for their expertise?
- Are they often referenced or spoken about?
- Are they transparent about their relationship with LinkedIn? (look out for claims of being an accredited LinkedIn trainer or endorsed by LinkedIn)
- Do they have the credibility and proof that makes you feel confident in their ability to support you?
One Size LinkedIn Expert Doesn’t Fit All
A professional of expert status will generally have a niche, be it a platform, a purpose or an industry. What works for one may not work for you. One expert may be a perfect fit for a colleague but may not be the best fit for you. Be discerning and objective in your decision-making process. Rather than being sold a product or service, qualify the LinkedIn expert to deliver a solution to your specific requirements.
Download my LinkedIn Experts Check List
Experts know other experts. If I’m not right for you, I likely know another expert who is. To determine if I can provide the right LinkedIn training for you, book a Discovery Call.