In the spirit of warm weather, fresh-cut grass, fully booked tee times, and all of the PGA Tournament coverage, I have been thinking of the parallels between Golf and LinkedIn.
While it is easy to draw parallels to Golf’s challenges with life and business, I think it is interesting to evaluate Golf and LinkedIn’s commonalities. Both Golf and LinkedIn have various proficiency levels and can lead to business outcomes. You have to test and practice to get better; those who can navigate efficiently typically do better, and you should always be avoiding hazards.
Please take a read below to think about how you can lower your LinkedIn handicap while I work on my short game, consistently making good contact, and staying out of the sand and water!
Levels of Proficiency:
You don’t need to be a power user or power player to enjoy or get something out of it.
Golf: None of us weekend warrior golfers or the occasional golfer, or even the low handicap players have expert proficiency. For many of us, we are just trying to make good contact and focus on the fundamentals to get enjoyment out of it.
LinkedIn: At Intero Advisory, we stress that you don’t need to become a LinkedIn power user. We are big proponents of using the platform to get your desired results. Depending on your role, time available, and skill set, you can find your sweet spot.
Focus on the relationship.
Golf: You shouldn’t go on a business golf outing to pitch products and services. You go to build trust, strengthen a relationship, and have fun.
LinkedIn: We have all received a pitch right that is irrelevant to us right off the bat on LinkedIn. Almost always, it is evident that the person didn’t even look at your profile. LinkedIn is a place to create meaningful business connections. These connections could lead to a business transaction, a valuable relationship, or just an exchange of thoughts. The key is “could lead to” focus on the relationship and providing value, and the proper outcomes will come.
Testing + Practice:
You won’t know what works for you and your style until you test + practice repeatedly. Don’t be afraid to blend your style with best practices.
Golf: Bryson Dechambeau and Rory McIlroy, two household golf names, have a drastically different style. Rory recently made the mistake of chasing Bryson. Rory admitted that by trying to be Bryson, he hurt his swing. Bryson only got that distance by practicing and testing like a mad man. Looking back, I am certain Rory regrets chasing something that was not natural to his style.
LinkedIn: What works for me probably won’t work for you and vice versa. We see a common mistake in people doing activities they are not comfortable with because someone with thousands of followers said it worked for them. You need to test and practice an approach and strategy that is comfortable for you. If you don’t, you will give up or come off inauthentic to those that know you.
Golf: You have to know the course you are playing. Where you can take chances, how you should approach a shot, and where the green is. Without this knowledge, you are playing blind, and this can add unnecessary strokes to your round.
LinkedIn: If you don’t know how to navigate LinkedIn.com or the premium products efficiently, you are setting yourself up for failure or a lot of unnecessary time to do simple tasks. LinkedIn is robust and full of features to make it easier for you. Time is money, and time wasted is costing you precious time in your already packed week.
Golf: Sand traps, rocks, woods, and water are all undesirable places to be on the golf course. Spending too much time in these areas will hurt or ruin your round.
LinkedIn: While there aren’t any sand traps on LinkedIn, there are hazards. Automated outreach, fake profiles, inauthentic activity, inappropriate posting and commenting, and disclosing confidential information are all ways to get your profile banned, suspended, or lose your following. Avoid these pitfalls to ensure you can get the most out of LinkedIn.
When you want to get better at something, you need to put in the time. You can’t expect to walk out on the course or jump on LinkedIn and think something magical will happen. Focus on your goals and how to get there.
If you decide you need a coach, training, or want to learn at on your own, we are happy to have a conversation to see how we can help.
Start by checking out in:side, our LinkedIn mastery program with over 100 tutorials that will help you learn step-by-step the ins and outs on LinkedIn for your business and career goals.