“Melanie, I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.” Of course you would.
But who are you?
How many of these invitations do you receive?
Well, LinkedIn, www.linkedin.com, is a great, social-media tool for networking, staying in touch with key contacts and more. But if you just send out random invitations, you are not using it to your advantage.
Yes, it’s easy to use their automatic invitation. But, does it work?
I receive invitations like the one you see above on a weekly basis, and they go straight to my wastebasket.
Well, I have a few rules about using LinkedIn, and you may want to take them into consideration too:
Rule 1 – I only connect with people on LinkedIn that I know.
Why? The main reason I have a LinkedIn account is to network and make referrals. However, how can I possible refer someone if I have no idea who they are?
If I refer a complete stranger to someone I respect, and that stranger turns out to be a nightmare, there goes my reputation and credibility.
And it goes both ways. How would you like it if one of your contacts referred a complete stranger to you for an important project?
Rule 2 – If I receive an invitation, it had better be personalized.
If I receive a LinkedIn invitation, I want to know who the person is and why they want me to be part of my network.
I may receive an invitation from someone I worked with in the past, a fellow speaker at an event or an old classmate. But if it has been some time since we spoke, I may not remember that person.
By adding a little note in the invitation that states who you are and why you want to connect with me, I’m much more likely to add you to my network.
Rule 3 – Please don’t take advantage of our connection.
Great! You are part of my LinkedIn group. But now, you are sending me advertisements and marketing messages on a regular basis and constantly asking me to introduce you to others in my network.
That’s not cool. Social media is all about being social (see my previous post about this), and the communication needs to go both ways.
If you use LInkedIn as a marketing tool only and take advantage of my connections, you are out of my network!
What Do You Think?
These rules may not be for you, but you do need to think about why you are using LinkedIn and what you want to accomplish when you spend your valuable time on the site.
By remembering that it’s a social-media tool to communicate with people, you’ll be able to provide valuable information, help others and increase your network.
But if you just use LinkedIn to build a huge list of strangers in your network, constantly advertise your services and don’t really care about helping anyone but yourself, you are going to see very negative results and waste a lot of time and effort.
Do you need help with your social media and SEO strategies? Please let me know here or at www.rembrandtwrites.com.