Getting LinkedIn from Spammy to Effective

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LinkedIn is Getting Spammy- Tips to Improve your experience and effectiveness

LinkedIn rules of the road

“I’ve been trying to reach out about your car’s extended warranty”. That’s the phrase that often comes to mind when checking my LinkedIn account. In fact, I’ve been logging in less often being somewhat fatigued having to clear a cluster of sales pitches in my inbox.

The problem is what LinkedIn’s network marketing has evolved into a mass of marketers seeking to make a connection with you for the sole purpose of selling you something. The question isn’t so much if you should promote yourself and your services (you should), but rather if the approach only serves to annoy one’s intended audience and how we can do better ourselves.

Unsolicited sales pitches don’t work as few people want to ‘be sold’. Where LinkedIn shines is its ability to connect with individuals in your profession and other industries that often interact with reverse mortgage prospects, lenders, financial advisors, or real estate professionals.

In April 2014 LinkedIn published 20 Etiquette Dos and Dont’s. Here are a few selections:

  1. Don’t send spammy messages to your connections
  2. Do send a welcome or thank you message
  3. Don’t extract emails from your LinkedIn account and add to your email list
  4. Do personalize your recommendation requests
  5. Don’t send a message with “I see you viewed my profile” (reverse voyeurism)
  6. Do post useful content regularly

LinkedIn Spam in Real Life

The most egregious practice are those who send you a connection request only to bomb you with quickie sales pitches. Unfortunately, I’ve accepted a few of these connections- a decision I quickly grew to regret. Here’s a message I received just yesterday.

“Great to connect with you Shannon Hicks! Quick question, do you (or your sales team) have potential clients that are slipping through the cracks…?”

Well, that’s a question most of us would privately admit saying, ‘yes I do’.

Why did I accept the invitation in the first place? Because we shared 26 mutual connections. The lesson here is the more discriminating each of us is in accepting connections, the less likely we are to accept someone who’s going to spam us. Also, it’s a good practice to stay away from connection requests with little or no mutual connections, however, in this case, we can see that’s not a bulletproof strategy.

What Works?

So what works? Prospecting professionals in your area you could collaborate with or build a relationship with is just one. The best approach is to see if you share any mutual connections and then ask one of them to introduce you. This way the message is coming from a trusted business connection, not some random stranger online. You’ll want to ask your mutual connections just how well and how long they’ve known your prospective contact. Let them know your purpose is to learn more about them and to see if there are any ways your mutual expertise is mutually beneficial.

Another positive way to build meaningful business connections is to post relevant content. You can author your own or share articles that bring value to your network. No selling, just sharing. After all, everyone likes a sincere giver. When your network shares these posts your value is boosted.

I still consider myself a relative LinkedIn novice, but I’ve learned a few tricks along the way and I’m still learning. Please share your tips for an improved LinkedIn experience below.

Resources:

LinkedIn Etiquette Tips

How to handle unwanted LinkedIn messages

How to send a strong LinkedIn introduction

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