Three Ways To Alienate Just About Everyone on LinkedIn

Even though LinkedIn’s not Facebook, where virtually anything goes, I’m still often amazed at what I see happening on the platform. LinkedIn isn’t the place to forget your manners! It’s a business networking site, plain and simple. Not everything goes as it does on some other sites, which shall not be named. (Oops! I already did!) But joking aside, your goal on LinkedIn it to create business for yourself, to network with people who can help you, or even to get a new job. Why screw it up by acting stupid? What’s my definition of stupid? Here are a few things I see regularly on LinkedIn, all of which should be absolutely avoided.

Spamming! No, I don’t mean sending out a few million emails telling people about how they can save 50% on their next order of Viagra. I’m talking about unsolicited advertising to people through messaging. Virtually every day somebody hits my inbox with yet another five-paragraph long essay about their new, “ground floor” business opportunity. I’m not against advertising. I’m in marketing, after all! I’m just against stupid marketing, and this is stupid marketing!

Pretending you know someone in my network when you don’t. Look, I’m an open networker. I won’t IDK you if I don’t know you. I even say so in my profile. So, why pretend? Perhaps you’ve got something great I need to know about. Just because we’re not currently connected shouldn’t be a problem. Just connect with me for goodness sake! Then ask me if I’d like to know more about you. I’ll probably say yes.

Downloading my email from LinkedIn and spamming me again! If I didn’t subscribe to your email list, then I don’t need to be receiving emails from you. If you want to add me to a list, then ask my permission. It’s called permission-based marketing for a reason!

Look, I’m a pretty easy to get along with guy! But seriously! Some folks just don’t use common sense on LinkedIn. Don’t be one of them!

A Few Ways To Really Alienate People on LinkedIn

Alright, I’m going to just start out with my own pet peeve so you can see what I’m talking about here. Then I’ll show you some other ways to become really unpopular and annoying on LinkedIn. But to get the ball rolling in the right way, let me just unveil my number one annoyance.

Getting spammed with a five-paragraph message about something I don’t really care about!

There, I said it! And, if you’ve spent any time whatsoever on LinkedIn, I’m sure you know what I mean. (I get so much of this, I might hazard to say that a few of you reading this have been guilty of this practice! GRRRRR!)

Some days I go to LinkedIn, click on my messages and right there front and center is a huge, multi-paragraph thingy, usually about a biz op and full of meaningless hype. And, to boot, it’s from someone who’s connected with me but someone I don’t really know that well. I can just picture them sitting at their desk copying and pasting the same inane message over and over again to their entire network. Nothing screams Annoying Spammer quit like this practice!

Quit it!

Here’s another one, which is basically the same but done through email.

It’s getting an email from that same someone that I don’t even recognize saying that we’re connected on LinkedIn and that here’s the world’s most important, best offer for whatever it is, and that I can get in on the ground floor only if I act now, etc. Seriously, I get this stuff all the time. Well, not ALL the time, but enough to where it makes me cringe every time I see something like this.

My other pet peeve is the polar opposite of this. This next one happens less frequently, but it’s still hyper-annoying! It’s getting a message with the single word “Hi!” or perhaps something like “Hi, how are you?”. The problem with this is that I have to try to figure out who the person is and why they’re saying hello to me. I know what they’re doing. They think they’re getting my permission to message me and I appreciate that, but wow, just give me a short clue as to what this is all about.

So, bottom line here. If you’ve been guilty of any of the above, for Gosh sake, quit! You’re alienating and really annoying one of your greatest assets. Your network!

Three Mistakes You’re Making With Your LinkedIn Profile

When it comes to marketing on LinkedIn, the number one most important part of the process is getting your profile right. What I mean by that is the following.
1. You want your profile to be complete.
2. You especially want your profile to pre-sell you.
I see a lot of people’s profiles on LinkedIn that fail on one, or often both, of these points. In the rest of this article, I’d like to talk about the three most common problems I often see.
Problem #1: Poor Photo
LinkedIn is a business networking and recruitment platform. Unless you run a beach-side concession renting out umbrellas and sea kayaks, you don’t want your LinkedIn profile picture to be from your last vacation. You know the one I’m taking about, right? Yep—the one where you’re wearing your multi-colored swim suit, and you’re carrying around that boogie board you love so much.  Would you dress like that for a job interview? Go dress up as you would for that job interview and get your significant other to take a well-lighted picture with your phone. And above all please smile. Should do the job!

Problem #2: No Summary or Poor Summary
I see this all the time. People with otherwise great looking profiles, but their summary is either not there or it’s only one sentence long. That summary space has a 2,000-character limit. Use them all, or as close as you can.

Problem #3: No Recommendations
This one’s a little more problematic than the first two, because you actually have to get someone else to do the recommending. But, here’s the deal. People are actually scrolling down and looking for those recommendations. You don’t need many. Two or three will do nicely. So, do this, if you don’t already have some. Ethically get some of your closer business associates to fill out a LinkedIn recommendation for you. You can either write it for them, and they can copy and paste or they can do it all themselves.
The bottom line is this—you need a full and complete profile. LinkedIn even prompts you for this, so if you haven’t filled out everything, you should know better. Stop what you’re doing right now and get that LinkedIn profile in tip top shape. You’ll be glad you did.