6 types of LinkedIn users; which are you?

Spending as much time on LinkedIn as I do, I notice how often my network contributes. Some are consistent and strike an even balance, others do not. In this post, I’m going to address the six types of Linked contributors.

Man on phone 2

I’ve always asserted that there are three components of your LinkedIn success:

Creating a profile;

connecting with LI members; and

engaging with your connections.

It’s the third component that can be as important as the other two, if not more. By engaging with your connections, it keeps you top of mind. I use the familiar cliche when I explain the importance of engagement by saying, “Out of sight, out of mind.”

Let’s take a look at the six types of LinkedIn contributors

1. The non-contributor

Some of you might relate to this. You were an accountant until recently laid off. While you were working, one of your colleagues—maybe your colleague—said, “Hey, you should join LinkedIn. I hear it’s important to be on it.”

So you joined, not quite sure why, and let your profile sit. You accumulated 10 connections, because these were the 10 people you knew at work. You would get invitations, which sat in your My Network queue.

Now that you’re looking for work, you have no activity to speak of. In other words you’re nonexistent. You’re not getting any hits from recruiters, have no endorsements, not getting invites, don’t know how to share an update.

There’s a lot of work ahead for you.

2. Enough to be dangerous

If this is you, I want to say it’s almost worse than not contributing. You’re trying to do what you’ve been told by someone who was kind enough to give you advice. Perhaps your heart just isn’t into it.

Your profile is strong. There’s no problem here. In fact, you hired someone to write it for you. You were pumped when it was done. The person who wrote your profile mentioned numerous times that you have to 1) connect with ten quality connections a week and 2) engage with them.

The problem is that you are forgetting the last piece. You’re hoping that optimizing your profile with keywords will draw recruiters to you. However, optimizing your profile with keywords only works if you’re active and well connected.

You have potential, though.

3. Contribute too much

Someone managed to get it through your head that being a contributor on LinkedIn is crucial to being found. Your profile is strong and your network in good shape.

You’ve been contributing, which includes: sharing articles, mentioning industry trends, giving sage advice, asking questions, sharing news about your colleagues. All good stuff, but it’s gonna take awhile before your getting noticed like you want. So you overdue it.

I see you on LinkedIn contributing like a fiend. I see you six times a day. I won’t say your engagement reeks of desperation, but…. Here’s the thing, there is such thing as contributing too much.

It will take time to establish yourself, so be patient.

4. Addicted to LinkedIn

This is a bad thing, but you can’t help yourself. The worst thing you did was install the LinkedIn app on your phone. Just like people who are constantly checking their Instagram or Facebook accounts, you’re opening your LinkedIn app.

In fact, you’re posting updates and answering questions while you’re waiting for your son to get out of school, your wife to get off the train, during family gatherings. Yes, you’re concealing your phone underneath the table. You’re on LinkedIn every day, four hours a day.

I tell my LinkedIn workshop that at minimum they should be on LinkedIn four days a week. Their jaws drop. After pausing, I tell them that the optimum amount should be every day; yes, this includes Sunday. And I finish by telling them not to be like me.

Perhaps you should seek professional help.

5. Take too much or give too much

There are some people who just take and others who only give. Both attributes can be detrimental to your engagement. There are three major areas in which LinkedIn members take too much or give to much.

Recommendations: Takers will ask for recommendations but don’t think of returning the favor. When you look at the numbers of Received and Given, the numbers are extremely lopsided. It’s almost as bad to only give recommendations and not ask for them, as it looks like people don’t think highly enough about you.

Endorsements: Takers receive endorsements but don’t return the favor, whereas Givers will endorse their connections as soon as they connect. They’ll continue to click on others’ skills until the cows come home. But they won’t expect to be endorsed in return.

Long posts: Takers think that only their content matters in the eyes of their connections. They write multiple posts a week but don’t comment on what others write. Givers only comment on others’ content but don’t write their own. They are hesitant to write, thinking their expertise won’t be appreciated.

Not every LinkedIn user strikes an even balance. The next section talks about the takers, givers and the ones who share the wealth when it comes to engaging with the LinkedIn community.

6. Strike an equal balance

When I think about the people who strike an equal balance, I admire the humility my connections demonstrate when I’ve sent recommendations out of the blue to them. As well, my connections have sent me recommendations without my asking.

This is the way it should be. Will giving and graciously taking recommendations be 50/50? No, but the ones who strike an equal balance show a more balanced Received and Given ratio.

The same formula applies to endorsements. A golden rule of mine is that when someone endorses me, I send a quick personalized note thanking them for the endorsement/s and ask which skills they’d like to be endorsed for. This might shock the endorsers, but it only seems right to return the favor.

Another golden rule of mine applies to long posts. I believe in sharing long posts two or three times a week. When people comment on my posts, I do my best to interact with them. If they only react with a Like, Insightful, or Celebrate, that’s fine.

There are LinkedIn members who receive many comments on their posts because they comment on others’ posts. Their comments are sincere and fairly lengthy. Certain people come to mind because this is their policy.

Is striking an equal balance easy? No, it takes work. But the work you put in to strike an equal balance will be remembered by the people who truly matter.

The LinkedIn algorithm wants to see you participate in both manners. Comment on others’ posts and write your own.


Now that you’ve learned about the six types of LinkedIn contributors, which one are you? Are you barely on LinkedIn to the point where you shouldn’t bother or are you a LinkedIn addict like me. Or, do you strike a nice balance? I would love to hear your story, and I promise not to judge.

How could I judge?

If you want to learn more about LinkedIn, visit this compilation of LinkedIn posts.

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