Terry Rice

3 Red Flags on Your LinkedIn Profile That Are Scaring Clients Away

published13 days ago
6 min read

I was debating whether or not to send you today’s newsletter. Reason being, I read and respond to every one of your replies.

And, I remember a member of the community stating they enjoy my newsletter because I provide exclusive, valuable information here that you won’t find anywhere else.

I’m going to walk a fine line here by sharing my content that is available outside of this community, but you’d have to pay for it.

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Is it worth the $5 per month subscription fee? Yes.

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3 Red Flags on Your LinkedIn Profile that Scare Clients Away

You know LinkedIn provides the perfect opportunity to build your brand and revenue. Unfortunately there are a few common - and costly - errors that can prevent you from getting the most out of the platform.

To make matters worse, they can scare your potential clients away; even if you’re fully qualified to help.

Ok, enough of the doom and gloom here. You can’t solve problems you’re not aware of, so we'll walk through these common red flags and what you can do to fix them.

1. Your About section is about you, not your audience

Do you know anyone who constantly brags about themselves? If so, do you ever hang out with them on purpose?

Sure, we may have to tolerate a narcissistic relative or two, but you wouldn’t voluntarily work with someone who only talked about themselves.

Guess what? Your clients feel the same way about you. When writing your About section it’s tempting to just rehash your resume or brag/exaggerate about all the cool stuff you’ve done in your career. But taking this approach will accidentally scare your prospects away.

Here’s why.

To attract and convert clients your About section must answer the following three questions for your audience.

Does this person understand me?

Can this person help me?

Can I trust them?

Take a look at your About section to see if it answers those questions. If not, here’s what you should do.

Does this person understand me?

Mention a few questions or concerns your audience may have. This is important because you can’t solve your audience’s problems if you don’t understand them. Mentioning their problems is the first step to making a connection.

Here’s how I make that connection with my About section.

“I know what it's like when you have good ideas, but it feels like you’re wasting time, energy and talent”

Can this person help me?

Now is the time to mention the solutions you offer that address the questions or concerns expressed by your audience. But don’t just talk about what you do, mention the outcome they’ll experience as well.

If you have multiple offers or a step by step process I suggest including bullet points to make it easier to read.

Here’s a sample from my About section.

🤝 Brand Partnerships, where I make content that helps you help others.

📩 The Solopreneur Shortcut, a weekly email where I share one tip, one time-saver and one tactic to grow your business (

💻 The Solopreneur's Fast Track, my video course which teaches you how to start an online business with the skills you already have (

Can I trust them?

Your biggest barrier will be establishing trust with your audience.

There are a few ways to do so:

  • Press
  • Awards
  • Case Studies
  • Client Testimonials

I prefer testimonials since they’re written by people who share similar experiences and characteristics as your target audience.

Again, here’s an example from my profile.

“I have been using the tools Terry provided over the last year, which has given me the confidence and structure I needed to grow my business by almost $50K year over year.” Tina Serio | Founder, Modern Digital

This one is extremely helpful since it mentions the revenue impact I was able to provide. So when I tell someone that I charge $4,000 for a VIP day they can see someone just like them got a 12x return on that investment.

Action item:

Updated your About section to answer the three critical questions your audience is asking.

2. Your content is too sales focused

I know how challenging it can be to post content on LinkedIn. It takes time, creativity and perhaps even some courage. Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs put in all that effort and wind up getting disappointed by the results.

A common reason why? They focus on selling instead of sharing.

The easiest way to avoid this pitfall is to share content that provides value to your specific audience. The Honeycomb of Value (pictured below) highlights many ways for you to do so.

“Participatory” is one of my favorite approaches since you can learn from your audience by asking them to comment on your post. And, the more comments you get, the more people will see your post in the LinkedIn newsfeed.

As a bonus, ask your audience about their problems and then reply to their comment with a solution. This interaction could easily lead to a private conversation and eventually, a business relationship.

Action item:

Audit your current content to determine whether or not you’re providing value to your audience. Going forward, be sure to include at least one aspect of the Honeycomb of Value in your content.

3. You don’t have any recommendations

Undoubtedly, the recommendations section on your LinkedIn profile is the most effective way to establish your credibility. Each recommendation serves as an online review of your work and the experience of working with you.

And, unlike other testimonials, it’s easy for your audience to verify that these recommendations come from real people who are also visible on LinkedIn.

So, how do you get recommendations?

The best time to ask is when someone gives you positive feedback. You can then say “Thanks for saying this. Would you mind sharing your feedback as a LinkedIn recommendation? Stories like yours are a great way for me to grow my business so I can help others as well”.

And, here’s an example from my LinkedIn profile.

I recently led a speaking engagement based on my Resilience Roadmap and several of the attendees reached out to say they appreciated my content. I thanked them for their feedback and then asked if they would provide a short testimonial.

You can see the result below.

These recommendations will make other organizations feel more comfortable connecting with me for their next speaking event and I can use them to proactively land deals as well.

Need more convincing?

According to a marketing survey conducted by Texas Tech, 83% of satisfied customers are willing to refer products and services. But, only 29% actually do. Want to take a guess on why they don’t?

Another study by Heinz Marketing found that only 30% of companies surveyed have a formalized referral program.

So what does this mean to you? If you want to stop scaring clients away and make more money, ask for recommendations. But when you ask, make it as easy as possible for the other person to help.

You do this by providing bullet points that highlight the impact of your work. You’re not writing the testimonial for them, but you’re giving them ideas that they can quickly implement.

Action item:

Identify three people you can ask for a recommendation. Don’t have any clients yet? Consider asking previous coworkers or anyone else who can speak to the quality of your work.

Next Steps & Additional Resources

Now that you’re aware of the red flags, it’s time to remove these barriers to success. Block off 60 minutes to apply what you’ve learned.

If you need to quickly audit your LinkedIn Profile and determine areas of opportunity, download my free guide How to Sell Your Services on LinkedIn.

Need help creating engaging content? Check out Justin Welsh’s online course, The Operating System, where he teaches you how to go from undiscovered to growing and monetizing your LinkedIn account.

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