As Linkedin becoming more and more popular, and many more people joining every day (latest stat – 1,000,000 new subscribers every 12 days!), it is time to talk about what is acceptable, and what isn’t, when using this networking tool.
- …use the standard linkedin invitation to connect, unless you’ve discussed this with the invitee prior to sending, and they know you well. Personalize your invitation, tell the person why you’d like to connect, and also indicate your existing relationship (choose from the menu of options)
- …tell me you’re my “friend”, unless of course, you are. If we had no prior interaction, you’d need to explain to me why I should accept you to my network.
- …spam! Even if I’m in your network, I haven’t opted in to get your newsletter. If I invite you to my wedding, you won’t go around handing out your brochures, would you?
- …advertise on group discussions. There is a time and place for everything. Group discussions are a great way to share information, show your expertise, and get feedback. Nothing else!
- …have a complete and attractive profile. If you’re sending out invitations, I want to be proud to have you in my network (so I can refer you to others in my network).
- …have a professional head shot. I want to SEE who I’m dealing with.
- …participate in discussions. It will add a lot of credibility, and will attract people to your profile, to learn more about you.
- …give people a reason to contact you. If you participate in discussions, ask and answer questions (especially answer!), people will be drawn to hear more from you.
- …advertise your blog. When you share useful information (not bluntly advertising your services), people will buy from you. Trust me – it does work!
Like in any other network, offline or online – learn the do’s and don’t’s , what is acceptable and recommended, and what isn’t. As a rule of thumb – give more then you ask for. OVER TIME, it will pay.