I found myself getting slightly annoyed with my LinkedIn inbox yesterday and felt the need to put pen to paper (or finger to keyboard), and write an article about annoying things that people send you on LinkedIn. Please feel free to add your thoughts below as I know not everyone will agree with me, but here are my top five pet peeves.
Pet Peeve #1 – The fake welcome message
Back in the early days, I would teach people to send automated messages to say “thanks for connecting” but those days are long gone.
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 not natural, and it is obvious that you are sending it to everyone who connects with you – it's just creepy).
If you have just accepted a connection request, you do not need an email saying “thanks”. A better strategy is to use the reminder feature within LinkedIn and send them a warm message a few weeks, or a month down the line (unless you are connecting with hundreds of people every day).
Pet Peeve #2 – The fake “we are adding value” type of content.
I received one of these messages yesterday and instantly hit delete. These are the message which make you think that the person is going to give you something for free. It may be a free download, or a free checklist or consultation. Ask yourself, have you ever accepted a free consultation from someone that you do not know or never heard of? We all like free downloads and ebooks but we don't like being “told” to download things. If this is part of your strategy, then I suggest looking at building relationships first before sending them a free download. We all know that downloads are another form of selling, and we don't like to be sold at.
Pet Peeve #3 – Get your information right
If I had a penny for every person who messaged me on LinkedIn trying to sell me social media services, or website development services then I would be a millionaire! (slight exaggeration). If you are going to message someone about your services, then, at least, have a look to see what it is that they do for a living first! Do not just copy and paste your pre-prepared email!
Pet Peeve #4 – Ask people to connect with you on other sites
If someone has messaged you on LinkedIn to say “come and like our Facebook page”, would you click? The LinkedIn audience are a different breed, and although it is fine to publicise your other social media channels on Twitter or Perhaps Facebook in the mainstream, it is not something that is acceptable as a personal / direct message on LinkedIn. Please don't do it. You will rarely have conversions and it just makes you look a bit desperate.
Pet Peeve #5 – Don't sell!
This one is my biggest bug bear of all! If I don't know you, I won't buy from you. No matter how good the content of your email is. When I receive a LinkedIn message from someone who has not taken the time to build any type of relationship with me, then the last thing I am going to do is buy from them. Instant file 13 I'm afraid. Your profile will go straight into the LinkedIn bin!
Have a think about your LinkedIn strategy. Are you committing these deadly sins? If you are, then please stop and think “would this person really benefit from this email?”, before clicking send.