One reason why less is more on LinkedIn

On Monday, I shared my thinking that on LinkedIn, less is more when it comes to things like skills and connections. Well, the truth is, I believe that about most things. Getting traction is a careful balance between completeness–doing everything you should be doing–and conciseness–being as succinct as possible in the process. The primary reasons are:

1. Time and attention are finite. If you try to connect with everyone, or claim 50 skills, it’s going to be harder to focus on the people who matter most or focus their attention on the skills you most want to be known for.

2. We live in a sound bite society. Ask sometime to read one paragraph you’ve written and it’s possible that they’ll read at least some of it. Ask them to read five paragraphs, though, and they’re likely to read none of it.

All of this is exacerbated by the increasing likelihood that content will be consumed on a mobile device. If you think your audience has a short attention span when reading on paper or on a desktop computer, just wait until you ask them to read something on a tablet or phone.

Is this relevant to LinkedIn profiles? Absolutely. Take a look at how quickly mobile use of LinkedIn grew in just one year:

mobile

If people are posting from mobile devices more often, you can be sure they’re also consuming more content via mobile, too. That means you have less time to get and keep their attention. If you try to say everything you can possibly say, then, you may end up saying nothing at all. If you’re disciplined, however, and focus on saying only the things that matter most to the people who matter most, you just might get a little of the most precious resources today’s audience has to give: their time and attention.

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