Does your LinkedIn profile sniff of desperation? Are you damaging your personal brand?

People can generally get the vibe and smell of desperation a mile off.  It may be overt or covert, but the feeling is clear.  Does your LinkedIn profile sniff of desperation?  Are you damaging your personal brand on LinkedIn?

There is a long line between clever, bold and creative on LinkedIn versus being dodgy and manipulative   The former sets business and personal brands apart with trust and impact.   The later erodes trust by with a sniff desperation and being  unprofessional. 

Platform Growth & Advice

The commercial opportunities and networking value on LinkedIn is well proven and huge.   Equally large is the platforms ongoing growth.  As of May there are over 950 million global and over 14 million Australian members.

With that growth (and LinkedIn is now in its 20th year) has been a relentless stampede for visibility, success and influence.  

Everyone who seeks results from LinkedIn will find a plethora of  opinions and advice.  Its a bloody minefield with so many opinions, from specialists and those who profess to be.   And humans, being human, will use either ethical or unethical means to reach their goals.

Ignorant or Arrogant?

But to be fair and upfront, many actions and behaviours by members stem from pure ignorance and bad advice. Education here is key.  The sheep mentality for ‘doing what others do’ lulls people into a false sense of security. 

Whereas, arrogance comes with a ‘couldn’t care less attitude’ which  is both disturbing and prevalent.  Having awareness, yet a blatant disregard says a lot about  a person’s commercial and moral compass.  

Expertise positioning, trust and values branding are key runners for success on LinkedIn.  However, social media in general is the least trusted of all industry sectors as found in 2023 Edelman Trust Barometer Report.   

LinkedIn members have a unique responsibility to raise the bar for not only their own businesses but for trust broadly.  Ignorance is solved by education. 

So what are the main areas members look desperate?   And what are the consequences if any?


There are real risks and consequences of desperate looking actions.  Members risk being suspended or temporarily booted  from the platform.  Whilst it doesn’t happen 100% it does happen and the risks are just not worth it. 

LinkedIn have detailed User Agreements (UA) and Policies which they can and do enforce.  Whilst enforcement is not 100% it does happen regularly and the risks are just not worth it. 

This is part of the mindset of ‘well so many do xyz so I can too’.  WRONG.  Even if you don’t get penalised you look desperate.

Risky & Desperate

There are many fields and areas to create a WOW factor including banners, headlines and the featured section.    The following not only looks desperate but risks profile suspension and membership:

1. Name Field is just for your name and suffixes /certifications as per the UA here.   Adding marketing messages, taglines and other extraneous information is prohibited and looks manipulative and cheesy.

It also negatively clutters the UX and newsfeed.  Everyone having long extensions to the name just looks damn messy also   Members can and do get warnings for this and get penalised/booted off with repeat offending.  It doesn’t happen every time, but the risks are too great.

2. Gender Pronouns. LinkedIn introduced a gender pronoun field alongside the name field for the expressed purpose to list preferred pronouns.  Using any other messages is prohibited and looks and is, disrespectful tacky.     

3. Paid Followers & Engagement & Pods   Not only are these against the UA under Section 8, they tarnish your reputation. People can see clearly who has a raft of dodgy comments and followers and are involved in engagement pods for manipulation.

Read further information here about  Engagement Pods and Paid Followers & Likes.

Tacky & Desperate

Whilst the following won’t get you booted off the platform or risk your profile they look desperate and tacky. And some will negatively reduce your posts distribution with an AI SPAM flag.

1. Over Tagging Tagging a heap of members in posts is desperation 101.  Ok to tag a few relevant people if the topic of the post is related. Over tagging looks manipulative just for gaming attention.

2. Hashtag Stuffing  Adding too many hashtags (aka like Instagram which bombs with them) looks disassociated and cluttered. It gives the appearance you are unclear of your message also and just copying and pasting.

I have research and published the Top 600 LinkedIn hashtags.  Download the eBook here to get the top tips and strategies to use them correctly. 

3. Long Signatures/CTAs Putting long CTA’s, explanations of what you do and other LI URLs at the bottom of every post looks a little strange.   Sure add a line or two.  But hold your value without the full sales push.

4. Over Posting More than one post a day can start to look desperate. And it compromises reach.  Use your Company page for other posts.

Hold your nerve

Looking like a desperate  won’t help your success.  It may not be directly felt and seen but a sense builds over time destroying your reputation and brand.

Being super creative, unique and daring in the right places with good intent and ethics  will elevate your professional  influence and reputation.   So hold your nerve, so others don’t need to hold their noses.

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