[UPDATE – 09/29/17 : 3 More things you are doing wrong on LinkedIn]
There was a time, not so long ago, before the invention of the internet or e-mail, when we used to write letters. We used to sit down and write with passion and strong empathy because we knew that it would take weeks before our correspondents get that mail. When it will arrive? Will they get it? How will they feel when they’ll read it? The anxiety was real. These are the common things most people do and that will undermine your success on LinkedIn.
Sending too much (not personal) invitations.
Ever asked your contact to introduce you to another contact and as an answer, you got: “I absolutely have no idea who that is!” Social media is not about the numbers it’s about great conversations. I used to think that the more connections I could get, the better. I was totally wrong. People have absolutely no reason to accept your invitation just for the sake of accepting it, the only question they are asking is: will you solve my problem?
There are easy steps you can take to maximize your chances of interaction on LinkedIn:
1-Go read their profile: don’t scan it. Read from top to bottom where their interests are.
2-Always send a personal invitation: introduce yourself, the reason you are contacting them, use “you” instead of “I”, add some humor in your message, make it short. The next time you see a profile and that blue button “connect” which is screaming for a click, don’t. You have the choice on the app and website to custom your invitation, use it.
3-Say thank you! A person stopped his activity to accept your request, it’s an opportunity to engage. Be thankful!
Running your (mouthful) sales pitch on me just right after we are connected
I’ve made that mistake once. I added a lady to my network and I was in a rush to talk about my art gallery to her that I totally forgot to read her bio. “If you had taken the time to read my profile you’d have noticed that I’m french..just like you!” She was right! You don’t say to people “Hey here’s my work!” right after you greet them. Send your material if they ask you to or when you know their story enough to talk about you. Remember, it’s not about you, be genuinely interested in the person you are talking to. It takes two to tango.
Giving me a Thumbs up emoji / Not sure / Thanks, message after I engage in a conversation with you
If only thumbs up could speak? I hate it! Seriously! You don’t realize it, but you come across as a rude and obnoxious person. A dumb person working at Linkedin had the idea to place these irrelevant buttons in a professional chat, bummer!
Some people are complaining that LinkedIn tends to be like Facebook and they keep the same reflexes in a professional conversation. If you are busy and you can’t talk, say it, write this instead: [copy this part]“Hey buddy, I’m busy right now, but I’m interested to know more about your story. Maybe there are possibilities we can explore to help each other grow? Can you give me a call at [Time] or email me at [Email address], would that work for you?” [paste this part]
Wrong answer to endorsements.
The endorsement is powerful on LinkedIn as they validate your expertise, and they are free! But why this is what I get 90% of the time I endorse someone: “Thanks for endorsing me for _________”. That’s it. End of conversation. Can you do better?
Saying congratulations or well wishes to strangers.
My agency celebrated its 10th anniversary a month ago. That day was fun, I was overwhelmed by the number of messages I received. Thank you! Unfortunately, they were almost all the same: “Congrats on the anniversary, I hope you are doing well.” and I’d go like “Well that’s very nice of you, I am well thanks! How’s your day/activity going?” Aaannnnd…no answer. Please don’t spam the “Congrats” button if you are not keen to engage with someone. It’s like showing up at a birthday party -without a gift 🙂 – and leave in the minute. LinkedIn placed that button for you to use it very carefully.
Reading my messages without responding
Busy is the new stupid. When you get a message it’s your obligation to respond. Hello! I know when you’ve read it because there’s a little icon telling me that. Do not play possum now! If you are busy say : [copy this part]“Hey buddy, I’m busy right now, but I’m interested… [you know the drill]
Connecting with people just for the sake of it
Some people are connecting with you on LinkedIn while they have zero activity there. They accept four months old invitation, and they land like flowers in your network. Thank them for connecting, kindly remind them about their lack of presence on the platform and ask if there’s a better way to reach out. If you get no response after the third attempt, jump to the next step below.
One more thing: remove some connections.
You can’t please everyone, thank God! Learn to ditch -politely- your LinkedIn connections. Let them know that you’re still open to the conversation by leaving your email for example. Don’t chase people: send one message, wait and set a follow-up reminder. If at the second message they still don’t respond, send them an email apologizing and reminding them that you tried to contact them. After that, don’t be a pest. Let them go and move on. LinkedIn is all about motion.
Of course, this is a short list, I can’t wait to learn from you. How do you deal with your social interactions on LinkedIn? Let me know in the comment section below.
Lionel Thomas, an Englishman of French-Cameroon descent, is a self-taught painter known for his rare ability to evoke not only emotion in the subjects he creates but emanating those same emotions quickly to viewers upon regarding the works themselves. To not miss his upcoming artworks, do this simple steps now! Follow his blog / Visit his art gallery / Like and share his Facebook Art Page (if you are not on Facebook, just subscribe to the newsletter at the right bottom of the art gallery.)