Why Do Consultants Have Crappy LinkedIn Profiles?

Originally written for the Women in Consulting (WIC) blog.

I just read a content marketing article that said I should be provocative and emotional in my headline.  My style is usually much more supportive and complimentary. However, now I’ve got your attention, let’s look at some of the problems consultants have with their LinkedIn profiles.

Consultants are smart

We know we should be paying attention to our LinkedIn profiles. We’ve read the statistics on how many people are looking at it. We know that although we may not get business through LinkedIn, we certainly might be losing it and never even know that we’d lost the deal.  Can you hear the sound of a consultant kicking themself? It’s often the result of recognizing that we should have done something about our LinkedIn profiles but we haven’t.

Consultants are perfectionists

We overthink everything!  Let’s check the stats, the competition, find the perfect photograph that represents us, find the perfect background image to represent our brand. Oh – and that summary and current job description!? What should we write to powerfully represent ourselves?  We need to watch some videos and read the latest articles first.

Consultants are over-thinkers and questioners

I’ve found that often we get less done in the time allotted when overhauling a consultant’s LinkedIn profile than my other clients. Consultants like to constantly stop and second guess themselves. They like to understand every little thing rather than just take action.  This relates back to my first heading about being smart and the second heading about being perfectionists. And if it sounds like I’m complaining, I’m not – I’m a consultant too – and most of my friends are.  I love you/us but we are not easy clients!

Consultants are busy

As consultants, we’re either very successful and crazy busy taking care of our clients or we’re less busy than we’d like and need to do whatever it is that has worked best for us to get paying clients in ASAP – call past clients, ask for referrals, get that newsletter out, etc. Not to mention we may have kids to pick up and dogs to take to the vet and a ton of emails to answer.

Consultants will do anything to avoid the attention being focused on them!

From the photographer who had her logo as her profile picture because she professed that she wanted to keep people’s attention on her work and not on herself to the marketing professional who had her headline as “Owner, Smith Inc. “(name changed to protect the guilty!) and from the graphic designer without a scrap of a sample of their beautiful work on their profile to the leadership coach without a single recommendation, I have to tell you enough already – it’s time for the spotlight to be on you.

Consultants don’t like change

I might ask who does like change? But it seems that consultants should be among those most open to change that would help their business but they like to settle back into what’s most comfortable.  That boring summary was what they’ve had for the past 10 years and it feels just fine now that they look at the proposed new version.  They love the name of their company, carefully chosen and the major part of their branding so they want that in the headline, even though it’s listed right below their headline in their profile.  Can’t they just fill up space with the company name and the title “owner”?  I have to warn you that the only people on LI who use the search term “owner” are the sales people prospecting to sell to you – not the potential clients looking for your services.

My love letter to consultants

Here’s to all of us – smart and perfectionists and over-thinkers all!  And have I mentioned that it was months ago I was asked to write something for the WIC blog before my presentation in but…I wanted it to be just right. I wanted it to be perfect. I wanted it to give something of value.  Most of all I wanted consultants to feel my love and respect for you all. So here it is, not so smart and not so perfect and not too over-thought since I’m up against a deadline. But it’s done and I hope you feel the love.

I would love to talk with you about the benefits to you of having a great profile on LinkedIn, how to use it without it taking up more time than you can afford, what’s appropriate for you to share on LinkedIn, and how I could help you with your professional goals. Please schedule a free 20-minute strategy consultation to see how I might be able to assist you.