Here’s the wrong way to use LinkedIn’s premium features

LinkedIn is adding some great features to help you connect with people on the platform, but there are many ways you can make a bad impression using them. Here’s how to avoid doing that.

Today I was asked to reach out to Omar (esteemed senior editor
of The Hub Comms) in an email from
LinkedIn.

In the first communication like this I’ve seen from what’s
slowly becoming the Facebook for your professional life, LinkedIn is obviously
trying new tactics based on your behavior to increase engagement and
connections across the platform.

Now you’ll notice this was addressed to me as a premium
member. I paid about $260 a few months ago for the “Business” plan which
gives me a bit more analytics and demographic data about who’s viewing my
profile.

The premium accounts
also let you send a set amount of InMails (essentially emails via LinkedIn) to
anyone registered on the site. The idea is you’re paying to contact anyone
without having to be connected to them. I’ve not used any of mine up, which is
why I’m being prompted today with the email to ping Omar as I viewed his
profile recently.

Now these are all great features (and reasonably priced at
$7 per contact for the InMails on the “Business” plan) but I can’t help see
some issues with the way some approaches are being made.

Even though it should need no explaining that when
connecting with people on LinkedIn these days it pays to add a bit more color
and context to your outreach email instead of the generic “I’d like to add you
to my professional network” copy they provide, I’ve started seeing “creative”
people downloading their entire contact list and adding them as subscribers to
newsletters I’ve not subscribed to, and emails like the one below from people I’ve
not spoken to in years and hardly remember ever meeting.

Erm…really? You can’t even address me by my name and you
can’t even sign off the email with a polite thank you or even your name.

This is where I see LinkedIn becoming a bit of a pain and
having its brand damaged by foolish opportunists hell-bent on ruining theirs.

In my work as a Personal
Branding Consultant
, I’m constantly advising clients to take a breath and
really think about the language they use before approaching anyone in this way.
It might seem like a good idea at first. You might think, “Oh come on, what
harm can it do?” But closing your eyes and simply pressing send with little
thought about the impression you are about to make on the recipient, can be
damaging behavior.

In my next few posts I’ll outlining some tips on how to use
social media to amplify your personal brand, but do it in a relevant and
considered way.

In the meantime, I’m interested to know how you’re using
LinkedIn for business. Have some of the new features got your attention above
and beyond job hunting? Are you following Richard Branson and other
“influencers’” wisdom?

Comment below and let us know how “creative” you’re getting
with the platform!

 

 

 

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