A friend from New Mexico was telling us all about a baffling interaction she had on LinkedIn.
Now, before we tell this story, we want to point out that this is a perfect example of what NOT to do on LinkedIn.
She accepted a connection request from someone from across the world who she didn’t know, but his tagline sounded vaguely important and helpful: sometimes when you are evaluating a new contact you make a snap decision based on how they describe themselves.
But once she connected, one of the first questions he asked was “RU Miret?”
“What in the world did he mean by that?” she wondered, and actually asked what he meant. She assumed he meant to ask “Are you married?” and her suspicions were confirmed when he started to share photo after photo of himself posing in a leather jacket, on a boat, on a motorcycle and in front of a big building.
We don’t know if he even realized how ridiculous he was being. He literally lived on the opposite side of the planet. Does he have any idea how inconvenient it would be for our friend to date him?
And then there is the natural paranoia that comes when someone from far away is trying to flirt online. She wondered, “What does he want from me? Money? Marriage? A Visa?”
It was a big NOPE for her. She blocked him right away.
LinkedIn no-no #1: Using LinkedIn as a dating site.
LinkedIn is a professional networking platform, not a dating site. People expect you to make connections on a professional level, and they are coming to the site hoping to improve their career. So when you start to flirt, the other person will be disappointed because you’re wasting their time and also insulted because they’re trying to be professional and you’re not treating them with respect.
And while we’re on the subject of treating people with respect, there is another thing that you can do to disrespect your new connections….
LinkedIn Surefire Path to Failure #2: Sell Sell and…..Sell.
So many people believe that LinkedIn is a place to sell, and immediately shoot pitches to people they have just met.
But that’s not the best approach… in fact, it may be the worst. It comes across as desperate when you pitch to someone you barely even know, who may not be ready to buy from you right away.
You may be wondering, if you can’t sell on LinkedIn, what should you do instead? After all, you’re there to grow your business.
We recommend that you focus your time on LinkedIn building better relationships, networking effectively and helping others. You'll find that the new business comes to you in time.
When you meet a new connection, instead of selling them immediately, send them a piece of content that you have written that will be useful to them and ask what they think about it. This will get the conversation started in a more natural way.
When you meet someone new, the idea is that you should look for a way to add value to their life. It’s just a good way to make a good first impression.
LinkedIn Etiquette Faux Paux #3: Asking for too much from your new connections.
When you just connect with someone, don’t forget that you just met them. So asking for something huge, like a full time job or your most expensive premium offer, might not work because the relationship is still too new.
In addition to finding a way to help your new connection, try to think of an ask that will be easy to say yes to.
Unforgivable mistake #4: Posting or engaging with controversial content on LinkedIn.
You may feel like LinkedIn is the perfect place to vent your political or religious beliefs. But if those beliefs don’t don’t directly relate to your career, please don’t share them with your connections. You don’t want to turn people off in a way that prevents them from engaging with you professionally.
The biggest way to fail on LinkedIn: Not be on LinkedIn at all.
LinkedIn is the best platform to pursue your professional goals. If you’re looking for new employment opportunities, more clients, collaborators, or investors for your startup, you can reach your goals on LinkedIn.
Just put your best foot forward and treat people as you would want to be treated.