Don’t Fall for the “As Seen On” Con on LinkedIn

We have all seen the LinkedIn profiles: the smiling head shot next to the “As Seen On” ribbon featuring the logos of the major television networks.  But have you ever actually looked at the person’s profile or gone to their website?  If you have, did you find links to their appearances “On” television or the actual videos?  If you have, and you have found the links/videos, I’ll be surprised because I haven’t.

In fact, I recently had a friendly exchange with one person who used (note the past tense) the As Seen On ribbon.  When I asked her why she did not have links, or the actual videos, on her profile of her TV appearances she was honest.  She explained that she had not actually appeared on the networks, only that she had paid someone to get her quoted on their websites.

I then explained to her that I have been quoted in just shy of 400 different publications from newspapers to TV show websites to blogs.   When I go to a career fair, for example, I have a little sign I put on my table (booth) that shows the logos of the Today Show, CNN, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, US News & World Report and others.  But it is clear that I have been quoted in the papers or on the websites.  I don’t claim to have been appeared on television.

Why is this important?  It goes to trust and credibility.  If you are promoting yourself as someone with actual television experience, but you have none, what does that say about you?  What does that say about other statements you will make?  What does that say about your brand?

Well the lady with whom I exchanged messages realized her error and has removed the ribbon.  She’s honest.  She made a mistake.  She got caught.  So will you.

If you use the ribbon, there better be links or videos on your profile to your TV appearances or the glory you were seeking by using the ribbon will disappear quicker thank a prospective client realizing she’s encountered a con artist.  (No.  Wait.  That’s wrong.  That’s exactly how quickly she’ll disappear!)