There are a few things I want to say about LinkedIn and certain people’s approach to using it.
Recently, respected SEO Rishi Lakhani wrote a blog post on the matter. In it, he states that he is:
“genuinely tired of getting linked in requests from people I don’t know or have never spoken to.”
I’ve never met Rishi, but I have seen him speak a couple of times at SEO events. I also follow him on Twitter and we are connected on LinkedIn, so he obviously doesn’t see me as too much of a nuisance.
Anyway, I think Rishi talks a lot of sense when it comes to SEO, I’m just not so sure about his attitude towards LinkedIn.
How I use LinkedIn
Anyone who is connected with me will know that I use it an awful lot. I connect with as many people as possible and most of the time these are people that I have never met.
My ‘strategy’ (I’m loath to use the word) is as follows:
1) Connect with people who are likely to post information that is relevant and useful to me (Rishi falls under this category) – As a result, my updates section offers a wealth of valuable insight into what is happening in online marketing.
2) Connect with people who may be interested in using Copify – If I think you might be interested in using us, I will drop you a friendly message with my contact details. I won’t be pushy (it’s not my style) and I certainly won’t bombard you with phonecalls or emails.
In an average week I might attempt to connect with around 100 people. I don’t, as Rishi suggests I should, reach out to all of these people individually with a tweet or a customised message. If I did, however, it would go something like this:
“Hi, I’m connecting because I’m interested in what you have to say, and maybe to see if you might be interested in using Copify.”
I don’t do this because A) I don’t have time, and B) It’s implied.
Don’t want to network in a professional sense? Here’s an idea, don’t hang out on a professional networking site. Do us a favour and stick to Twitter and Facebook instead.
LinkedIn bills itself as a professional social networking site. In my eyes, that makes it like a virtual business networking event. In the real world, these events are designed specifically for people to meet people they haven’t met before, so why should LinkedIn be any different?
Incidentally, I don’t actually attend that many networking events for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I have really sweaty palms, so I avoid subjecting people to handshakes (really, I’m not kidding!) Secondly, I find that little useful ever comes of them. This is actually one of those rare occasions that I agree with esteemed copywriter Tom Albrighton.
So for me, LinkedIn is the perfect way to network with people I have never met. I fully intend to carry on using it for that very purpose.
Don’t want to be my friend?
No hard feelings, just say no. It’s dead easy, It only takes about 5 nanoseconds to click the reject button. I won’t be offended (much), but I probably won’t be in a hurry to link to your blog, retweet you, or maybe even refer you to someone I know either.
Accept me, reject me, whatever, but don’t make a big song and dance about it.