It’s no secret that I see personal LinkedIn messages as the ultimate way to align your Linkedin Marketing and Social Selling strategies so that you can experience the kind of success that impacts the bottom line of your business. I’m always sharing hints and tips around best practice and what good looks like. However, over the last few weeks, there seems to have been an influx of people doing it, well… WRONG! I always like to share the positives – but in this blog, I’m going the other way and tell you the negatives. Here’s what BAD looks like when it comes to LinkedIn Messages!
#1 – The fake welcome message
Example: “Wow, thanks for the connecting! I am looking forward to reading your updates and finding out more about you.”
This type of message is unnatural and impersonal; it’s obvious that you are sending a copy/paste message to everyone who connects with you – you may as well type the words ‘You’re just a number. I don’t care about you’.
When you have just accepted a connection request, you do not need a response saying “thanks” – it’s unnecessary. A better strategy is to set yourself a reminder and send a warm message a few weeks later that relates to something that they have been discussing recently. Make them feel valued! I admit if you are connecting with people at scale, this is going to be a tall order, but that delayed message will come across as far more authentic.
#2 – The fake “we are adding value” type of content
You should 100% be using tactics that allow you to generate leads. Some sort of freebie is ideal – but don’t send it out via LinkedIn messages left, right and centre before warming things up first! Have you ever accepted a free consultation from someone that you do not know or have never heard of? We all like free downloads and ebooks, but we don’t like being “told” to download things.
We all know that downloads are another form of selling, and we don’t like to be sold at.
Imagine you’re walking through a shopping centre and there’s someone coming towards you ready to thrust their freebie in your hand – you see it coming and make a body swerve don’t you! And yet you don’t really know what the offer is yet – you’ve already thought ‘No’. Even if they do manage to get that leaflet with that free consultation offer into your hand, you’ll unlikely ever know it’s exactly what you need because you’re already looking for a bin to put it in.
If using free resources is part of your lead generation strategy, then always make sure to build relationships and rapport first before sending them a free download.
#3 – Get your information right
I have a little thing I call my ‘sickness’. When I receive a message from someone on LinkedIn offering me LinkedIn training, social media services, a new and better-performing website or anything else I’m known for doing, I respond. “Yes! A conversation would be fantastic, but if you could please take a look at my profile and website and give me one or two tips first, that would be amazing thanks!”
I’ve never had a response.
And I bet you’re not shocked by that, are you?
If you are going to message someone about your services, then please, for the love of all that is good in this world, do your research.
#4 – Ask people to connect with you on other sites
Your LinkedIn audience is completely different to the audiences you are building on your other channels. You should definitely cross-promote when appropriate via your standard posting, but via your personal LinkedIn Messages? It’s really just poor etiquette, I’m afraid. Please don’t do it, your conversions will be pretty pants, and it just makes you look desperate!
#5 – Don’t blatantly sell via LinkedIn Messages!
This one is the biggie…
Imagine you’ve had that ping. You’ve received a LinkedIn message, and it’s from a name you kind of maybe recognise; it’s certainly not someone you feel you know. Or, perhaps you do know the name because you literally accepted their connection request 3.5 seconds previously. You make that ‘Ugh’ sound, don’t you!
When you eventually get around to opening the message, or because you’re online, it’s popped up on your screen, you see this ‘War and peace’ length text, and again, there’s the ‘Ugh’. Although this time it’s also followed with ‘Here we go, here comes the sales pitch’.
Please, please don’t be that person.
It really doesn’t matter how well you craft that message when it’s received by someone you have not made the effort to build a relationship with, they are never going to prioritise reading it. At best, they’ll scan through it before disregarding it. What a waste of good copy!
LinkedIn Messages Should Be Personal
Take a moment and have a think about your current LinkedIn strategy. When it comes to shifting communications from the newsfeed to personal LinkedIn Messages that are 121 in nature, are you shifting your approach accordingly or are you guilty of any of the five points above? If you are, talk to us and let us help you get it right so you can get the kind of success on LinkedIn you deserve!