LinkedIn reminders for marketers

by · July 8, 20148 comments

Of late, I have been bombarded with a number of unsolicited sales messages from people I do not know on LinkedIn. And I am not even talking about the hundreds of generic “Connect with me on LinkedIn” connection requests from people I do not know that I get in a given month. This is straight up sales pitches via LinkedIn’s platform. I am talking “Buy now” stuff and “Hire our firm to do xyz”. And it is annoying to say the least. It makes me use LinkedIn less. I am growing tired of getting mail that I don’t want in exchange for being visible to people I used to work with. It is a dangerous place for LinkedIn. It is possible that this is happening because people see an opportunity to use the LinkedIn platform to go deeper within their marketing efforts and launch direct marketing via the channel. Sounds awesome in theory, but like the email channel, people do not like unexpected solicitation in their inboxes. No one signed up for your sales pitch and just because we share a group does not give blanket permission to directly solicit people. LinkedIn is supposed to be about relationships and networking. And too many of us are skipping that part and trying to go directly to the sale. We should not skip that step…it’s the whole idea of LinkedIn! With that, here are a few reminders for marketers to be better marketers on LinkedIn. There are five things you can do that will increase your chances of getting my attention and not getting marked as spam and ending up in LinkedIn Jail

Make it personal

Screenshot 2014-07-07 13.36.48This is basic blocking and tackling in marketing, people! Make it personal, mail merge my name in there and make it at least seem like you know something about my interests. Because without that, I click delete faster than you can imagine. I am like a Cyberman when it comes to LinkedIn messages: “delete, delete, delete” And since you have taken the time to find me, construct a message and so on, shouldn’t you at least get me to open your message?

Start a conversation

Since we are talking about LinkedIn and social networking, don’t you think we should have a conversation first before you try to close? Your messages should be hitting on things that are top of mind to me. Your notes should make me want to schedule a meeting with you because your insights are so powerful that I cannot live without you or your company. This is not at all what I am receiving today. People want to a conversation not a pitch. And I recognize this is a shorter sales cycle for you if you are always focused on closing, but I can tell you that you cannot sell someone something when they won’t even read your pitch. It’s like I used to say to my friends in sales regarding commission “0% of 0 is still 0”

Tell me what’s in it for me

When you want to sell me something, you’re going to need to tell me what’s in it for me. You know in a measurable and tangible way. Are you going to save me time? Money? Make me more money? What? Whys should I care? Oh wait; I don’t, because you never told me what I get out of the sale. Delete!

Do your research!

This one will make me crazier than anything else. I literally throw things when I get messages from people who did not do one iota of research into me, my background or my business. I have a lot of interests and a lot of projects that I work on. It is so easy to see what I do and yet, people seriously send me sales pitches for marketing automation, headhunting services and so on. And then I throw things. In fact, I have worked on various revenge scenarios for this level of ignorance! #BeAfraid

Curate your list

Too frequently I feel like the message went out to the entire group I joined. Which makes me go in and leave that group pretty much immediately. Unless of course you make it personal, do your research and tell me what’s in it for me. I understand the inner workings of the sales funnel. I get it. It takes a lot of eyeballs at the top of the funnel to get to the bottom of the funnel and convert into a sale. I totally get that, but, if you want to have better conversion on LinkedIn, let’s not send marketing automation help to agencies that do marketing automation or send headhunting services to recruiting firms. Knowing your target and making a really amazing list of people to message can create so much success. Blasting creates low conversions. It is plain and simple. LinkedIn is a great tool to connect and network. Direct selling is a stretch for the platform so, if you want to use LinkedIn in your marketing efforts focus less on direct sales and more on networking your way into sales. We need to stop skipping that step.

Did you enjoy this blog post? If so, then why not:Leave Comment Below | Subscribe To This Blog | Sign Up For Our Newsletter |

About Tracey Parsons

Tracey Parsons

Since 1995, Tracey has been developing digital solutions. Currently SME Digital’s lead strategist, she continues to be dedicated to bringing cutting edge, thoughtful and measurable solutions to marketers. With more than 15 years in digital, Tracey not only brings vision, but the tools and strategies to execute against complex next generation concepts. She has worked with some of the world’s most recognized brands to develop and devise cutting-edge social, mobile and digital marketing practices.

Other posts by

Comments & Reactions

Comments Policy

Comments on Social Media Explorer are open to anyone. However, I will remove any comment that is disrespectful and not in the spirit of intelligent discourse. You are welcome to leave links to content relevant to the conversation, but I reserve the right to remove it if I don't see the relevancy. Be nice, have fun. Fair?

  • http://indispensablemarketing.com/ Patrick McFadden

    Great reminders Tracey! My thoughts on email messaging (no matter the platform) has always been that free marketing exists in its most free state: email. Which is far more than a free message with free postage. Email is the most valuable of all when it’s personal and relevant. It works when there is trust. When it becomes just another form of spam (violating people’s trust), it fails to be effective.

    • Tracey Parsons

      Patrick, spot on…spam violates trust.

  • http://www.postplanner.com/ Scott Ayres

    I’ve been on Li longer than any other platform, yet it’s the one I ignore the most. I get so many of these messages now it’s ridiculous. I don’t mind the random connection requests, that’s fine. But the sales pitches.. uggg

    • Tracey Parsons

      Scott, I would say you are likely the majority. My favorite was the day this went live, I got three generic connection requests and a sales pitch. I was tempted to reply with a link to this post.

  • Chris

    Great article! I am not even able to count the number of times I have made similar comments on LinkedIn. One time I even wrote- “Since when has LinkedIn become a Spam fest?”

    • Tracey Parsons

      Chris, it might get more interesting with today’s acquisition of Bizo. More ads, more lead gen…sigh.

  • Tony Borgese

    Tracey, that is so spot on, it was suggested by people in my company to build my LinkedIn profile so I can network with like minded people and grow my business . I noticed immediately how many people were pitching their opportunities . It hurts everyone, people looking will become disillusioned and people with good, ethical opportunities will get tuned out. What can be done ?

    • Tracey Parsons

      I think you are hitting on the risk that LinkedIn faces. The disillusioned will stop using the site as regularly because of the spam and lack of focus. What can be done? I think social should be about beginning a relationship and not really all about the close. Let’s get to know each other before we ask for the sale. It is going to take a behavioral change, one that I am worried about happening in reality.