Do you get LinkedIn messages in your inbox that you consider spam?
Maybe you’re wondering what you should or shouldn’t do (or send) on LinkedIn?
Many people are confused as to what to do, what not to do, who to connect with and what to send to new connections on LinkedIn. One of my most popular blog posts was one on LinkedIn etiquette. This leads me to believe that people really do want to know the right way of doing things on LinkedIn.
However, every day I’m surprised by the number of message I receive from my connections or fellow LinkedIn members, which break some of LinkedIn’s most important rules of etiquette.
These messages, will often hinder rather than improve your ability to achieve your goals on LinkedIn whether it is to connect with like minded professionals, find a new job or generate new leads for your business. Maybe you have seen these message in your own LinkedIn inbox or perhaps, you have sent one or more of these yourself without knowing better.
Here are seven messages that you should never send on LinkedIn and why.
1. The Default Connection Request
It is rare that I accept these. I usually just hit Ignore. If someone takes the time to write to me and tell me why they want to connect with me, I almost always accept their connection request.
TIP: Particularly on mobile devices, it is easy to accidentally send the default connection request before you have had the chance to personalize it. Make sure you go to the person’s profile and from there; you can choose to send a personalized connection request. (Check out Tip 18 on how to Personalize Connection Requests on Mobile).
2. Requesting a Recommendation From Someone You Don’t Know
Yes this really does happen!
If you don’t know the person, DON’T ASK for a LinkedIn recommendation or an endorsement.
When reaching out to someone who knows you and the work that you do, the key to successfully requesting a recommendation is to invest some time into personalizing your request.
TIP: When you writing your request for a recommendation, it is helpful to tell your connection why you are asking (you can simply say you have been working on your profile and now it’s time to get some recommendations).
Also include some bullet points that would be relevant for them to mention in the recommendation they write for you on LinkedIn. This can be very helpful and actually increase the likelihood someone will take the time to write you a recommendation, because many people don’t know what to write.
If you ask them to address specific things about your product, service, or their experience in working with you it can give them the inspiration they need to craft a thoughtful and effective recommendation.
Recommendations = Social Proof
Recommendations are a very important part of “Social Proof” as when people are in doubt of who to do business with, they look to the decisions others have made. Just think about Amazon reviews or on any other review site. People want to see what others are saying before they make a decision as to which product or service to invest in.
3. I Saw You Viewed My Profile
While it is a great idea to regularly check who has viewed your profile and to reach out to them, find another reason to explain why you are connecting, rather than simply saying “I see you viewed my profile.” There can be many reasons a person may have viewed your profile, so rather than addressing why they viewed your profile, tell them why you would like to connect with them.
4. Requesting Too Much Too Soon From New Connections
One example I get a lot is brand new connections requesting to have a call with me for no apparent reason. I don’t know anything about them, I don’t know what they want to talk about and they are requesting to take time out of my already very busy day.
TIP: You wouldn’t ask someone you just met to marry you, instead you would date and get to know the person first. It is the same in business. You need to build a relationship with people before you ask for their time. And if you are going to ask for their time, give them a reason why you want to chat with them.
5. Pitching Your Product Or Service
This is a great way to get blocked and/or reported as spam. It will definitely turn most people off.
LinkedIn, like all social media, is a platform to find, connect and build relationships with your ideal clients. Don’t pitch your services if you haven’t built some kind of relationship. To get the best results, provide value and build some credibility and trust first, then ask to take the relationship offline before making your pitch.
6. Mass Messages
While I used to support sending the very occasional mass message if you unchecked box that says “Allow recipients to see each other’s names and email addresses”, this option is no longer available in the new LinkedIn Message Center rollout. You now have no way to send mass messages without sharing everyone’s contact information with everyone else included in the message. Because of this change, I would recommend not ever sending out mass messages, except in cases where you are either:
- a) introducing your connections to each other or
- b) all participants are willingly engaged in a conversation.
It is important to note that anytime anyone in the conversation replies, everyone will see it and there is no way to remove yourself from the conversation (although you can mute receiving notifications for the conversation).
7. Overtly Personal Messages
Regardless of whether you think you are being respectful in your approach to sending this type of message, you need to think about how the other person will receive it. The person on the other side might not feel the same way in which you meant it to be received.
Remember LinkedIn is not a dating site, it is a business platform. Always keep it professional.
For a thorough explanation of each of these seven messages you want to avoid sending on LinkedIn, watch this video.
What types of LinkedIn messages do you receive that drive you crazy? Is there anything I missed on this list of messages not to send on LinkedIn? Let us know in the comments below.
Want to learn more about what kind of messages you should send on LinkedIn? Check out this comprehensive online training Cracking the LinkedIn Code 2.0.