Get Over Your Fear of LinkedIn!

Launching Emily Writes was terrifying. 

I was afraid I’d pick the wrong company name. I was afraid I wouldn’t get any clients. I was afraid I would hate working from home. Most of all, I was afraid of letting myself and my husband down. 

I’ll save the story of how I overcame my fears for another day, but the point I want to make today is that I got past my fear. I put one foot in front of the other until I looked in the mirror and realized I was no longer afraid. 

If you’re reading this blog, you probably have fears of your own. Without delving too deeply into your psyche, I’m going to make a guess: 

You’re afraid of LinkedIn. 

Wait, what? Humor me for a minute. I’m going to explain why many people are afraid of LinkedIn, and then describe how you can overcome your fear and make LinkedIn work for you, no matter your job status.

Why LinkedIn Can Be Scary

Generally speaking, LinkedIn is a professional platform for professional development. Here’s why that can be scary: 

“What if I post the wrong thing and my boss or client fires me?” 

“What if I misstate something on my profile and it backfires in a job search?”

“What if I’m connected with people I really do NOT want to associate with, anymore?”

These are all legitimate fears, and if you take the steps I outline below, I promise you’ll get past them. But first, let me convince you that…

LinkedIn Is More Fun Than You Realize

If Facebook is a free-for-all, LinkedIn’s reputation is more buttoned up. We expect to see anything and everything – for better or for worse – on our Facebook feeds, but we don’t expect to see anything fun or interesting on LinkedIn. 

Good news! That’s not true anymore. Neither is the common belief that LinkedIn is just for job seekers and recruiters. That may have been true 5 years ago, but if you haven’t been on LinkedIn lately, you’re missing out. LinkedIn is vibrant. LinkedIn is interesting. LinkedIn works. 

Who is LinkedIn for? Anyone! LinkedIn is for B2B, B2C, and everything in between. It’s for college students and retirees. Anyone can learn on LinkedIn and make real, genuine connections.

When I scroll my LinkedIn feed, I’m presented with fresh perspectives. The majority of engaged LinkedIn users are courteous and intellectual – trolls are few and far between! It’s the Facebook feed you wish you had – well, maybe with a few more pictures of cute kids and cats. ?

I’ve observed LinkedIn become even more approachable in the last four months. People got real during the pandemic. They shared stories of struggle and job loss and pain. People rallied together on this platform and commiserated over losing work, working from home, and teaching their kids. 

People who know how to get “real” on LinkedIn – and are reaping rewards as a result – include Goldie Chan and Gary V. I got to meet Goldie at Social Media Marketing World (here’s more about that experience) and she is truly an amazing woman. Her advice is to find your voice and be unapologetically YOU on LinkedIn. 

That should ease your fears a bit! Of course, you still want to have a professional profile and refrain from using foul language on LinkedIn. But honestly, your professional network cares more about hearing from you versus seeing a perfectly polished profile. 

How to Make LinkedIn Work for You

Baby steps. That’s all you need to do. 

Step 1: Clean up your profile. I recommend this article for a 10-minute clean-up. 

Step 2: Engage and network. Your LinkedIn newsfeed will look pretty boring for your first week or two. But once you start engaging with content that you like, your newsfeed will show more content that you enjoy. If you’re not sure where to start – or what I even mean by “engaging and networking” – I’ve put together this simple handout – “LinkedIn in 10 Minutes A Day” – that is already working for me and several of my clients.

Be productive during those 10 minutes that you’d be scrolling a social media feed, anyway. Maybe it’s during a coffee break or while you’re winding down at the end of a long workday. Stretch your mind in a new direction.

Step 3: Post on LinkedIn. Notice that I didn’t recommend you do this first! It takes a little time to figure out what, exactly, you want to say. The good news is that most people who use LinkedIn do not actually post on LinkedIn. That means when you do start posting, your content will be seen by more people than, say, Facebook. Stay tuned for a future blog all about post ideas for LinkedIn.

I challenge you to give this a shot. Download my handout and give it one month. Use LinkedIn for 10 minutes/day and let me know what happens.  Most importantly, give it a month to get over your fear. 

I hope this blog has inspired you to at least track down your LinkedIn password and dust off your profile! LinkedIn has really helped me build my business, and I’m currently helping several clients do the same. 

If you’re interested in getting some 1-1 coaching for LinkedIn, or would like to learn more about my social media strategy and management packages, please get in touch! I’d love to chat about what you’re looking for and see if we could be a good fit.

Hey, you’ve got this! You can find success on LinkedIn. It’s time to get over your fear.