Another imposter enters the fray.

I came across a LinkedIn profile today.

I'm not going to embarrass her because that's not the way I work.

She calls herself a LinkedIn Angel.

She admits she's new to LinkedIn and figuring it out.

Her profile is a mess.

For some reason, she doesn't want to share her last name or her contact information.

I'm not sure if she's positioning herself as a LinkedIn expert, promoting her art, or teaching people how to speak and have conversations.

I have nothing against this person but nothing in her profile tells me she's qualified to call herself a LinkedIn Angel or to charge people for LinkedIn consulting.

I'm not worried about these people taking business away from me.

My clients are smart enough to see she's not qualified to help them.

The internet is full of snake oil salesmen.

Sure, there are many legit experts who help businesses.

Seems like for every legit expert there are a dozen frauds.

When people hire a fraud and get ripped off, it reflects on the entire niche.

In February 2020 there were 2 million people on LinkedIn with "coach" in their profile.

Today, there are 3,990,000 "coaches" on LinkedIn.

How can you find the legit coaches who can really help you?

Here's how I vet experts on LinkedIn.

𝟏. 𝐈𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐢𝐫 𝐋𝐢𝐧𝐤𝐞𝐝𝐈𝐧 𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐟𝐢𝐥𝐞 𝐟𝐨𝐜𝐮𝐬𝐞𝐝 𝐨𝐧 𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐞𝐱𝐩𝐞𝐫𝐭𝐢𝐬𝐞 𝐨𝐫 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐲 𝐚 𝐣𝐚𝐜𝐤 𝐨𝐟 𝐚𝐥𝐥 𝐭𝐫𝐚𝐝𝐞𝐬?

Imagine you needed a hip replacement. Would you want the surgeon to be an expert in hip replacements or a general surgeon?

When my mother broke her hip, the surgeon told me he does 8-10 hip replacements every day and he does them in 25 minutes or less.

I told him we're in no hurry so take your time.

If you're going to hire an expert to solve your problem, their LinkedIn profile should position them as the best in their business and make you feel confident that they can help you.

𝟐. 𝐋𝐨𝐨𝐤 𝐚𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐄𝐱𝐩𝐞𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐞 𝐬𝐞𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧

How long have they been in their current position?

If you're looking for a good coach, do you want to hire a coach who has 10 or more years of experience with a solid track record, or do you want to hire one of these newly minted coaches?

𝟑. 𝐖𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐟𝐨𝐫𝐦𝐚𝐥 𝐭𝐫𝐚𝐢𝐧𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐝𝐨 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐲 𝐡𝐚𝐯𝐞?

Sure, you can be self-taught and do a great job, but nothing beats formal training and experience.

When I was thinking about becoming a coach in 2000, I attended an introductory 3-day coaching class at The Coaches Training Institute.

The instructors were top-notch, and the class content was life-changing.

I immediately committed to their year-long certification program.

Eventually, I attended their year-long Leadership program too.

At the time, CTI was one of two accredited organizations, so I felt confident investing in their training.

Did I need all of that training to become a good coach?

When I was in the corporate world, I loved coaching people who reported to me.

I didn't have any formal training at the time, but I was a natural.

Going through the formal training taught me a proven coaching methodology and helped me feel more confident as I was getting started.

Most new coaches are not formally trained (or they attended a weekend workshop) and often cross over the line into therapy. It's very dangerous and illegal to provide therapy if you are not licensed.

In my formal training, we learned the difference between coaching and therapy.

𝟒. 𝐋𝐨𝐨𝐤 𝐚𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐢𝐫 𝐋𝐢𝐧𝐤𝐞𝐝𝐈𝐧 𝐑𝐞𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐝𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬

Do they have Recommendations?

Are the Recommendations related to the service you are hiring them for or are they from previous careers?

Do they have testimonials on their LinkedIn profile and website?

How recent are the Recommendations and testimonials?

𝟓. 𝐋𝐨𝐨𝐤 𝐚𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐭𝐞𝐧𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐲 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐩𝐨𝐬𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐬𝐡𝐚𝐫𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐨𝐧 𝐋𝐢𝐧𝐤𝐞𝐝𝐈𝐧

Do you feel this person is a real expert in their niche or are they just sharing general information?

Does their content make you feel confident enough to pay them money to solve your problem?

𝟔. 𝐋𝐨𝐨𝐤 𝐚𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐢𝐫 𝐋𝐢𝐧𝐤𝐞𝐝𝐈𝐧 𝐧𝐞𝐭𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐤

Who are they connected with?

Jim Rohn once said, "You're the average of the five people you spend most of your time with."

Could they provide value to your professional network?

Would you want to be associated with the people in your network?

𝟕. 𝐋𝐨𝐨𝐤 𝐚𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐢𝐫 𝐨𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫 𝐬𝐨𝐜𝐢𝐚𝐥 𝐦𝐞𝐝𝐢𝐚 𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐟𝐢𝐥𝐞𝐬 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐢𝐫 𝐰𝐞𝐛𝐬𝐢𝐭𝐞

Does their LinkedIn presence match their website, Twitter, Facebook, and other social media profiles?

I see a lot of people present one image on LinkedIn and an entirely different brand on other social media profiles.

They should have a consistent brand presence everywhere on the internet.

These are just a few ways I vet experts before I do business with them.

How do you vet experts before you do business with them? 

About the author 

nicole goldsberry

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