Monday, February 17, 2020

Lesson from LinkedIn

This year, I vowed to expand my network in savvy, professional ways including attending South Tampa Chamber luncheons and accepting everyone (with a profile picture) on LinkedIn. Making connections on LinkedIn seems like a solid approach to enhance my contacts for learning and idea-sharing. With that, nearly 200 invitations have been accepted so far as of this update.

Of those 200 "connections", I have received 29 solicitations. And, when I say solicitations, I mean true solicitations...and nearly all of them were sent immediately...

What a lesson learned!

That lack of true interest in learning about me or one another and the attack on my senses was a huge turnoff. These messages ranged from insulting the number of connections I have to insisting I probably "needed" to take a workshop on Public Speaking since that person said "you seem like you want to be a speaker", and others offered to get me my "1st Gig". Really? That's the approach people are taking? Wow! Does that work? I wondered, and yet the thoughtless messages just kept coming.

In fairness, a couple of them had some business approaches that could work, meaning they addressed that we hadn't met yet, and shared a little about themselves. Still, not one of them did any research. I am not sure if more than one or two even read my full LinkedIn profile! I feel 100% confident that nobody Googled my name!

Imagine if we saw an ad for spending 5 minutes to be doubly productive - most of us would listen or even buy-in, right? Googling someone after seeing a potential business match is a way to productively attempt to really connect business-wise.

So the lesson learned about LinkedIn is that while I will still accept connections, I do, and will also continue to send the following response to the impersonal messages:

Hello Name!

Thank you for your outreach.

Since we have not met, and you may or may not have fully read my LinkedIn profile, please consider a message such as yours, in particular, so quickly after my acceptance of your connection, comes across as a cold solicitation.

Respectfully, I am not interested.

Here's wishing you the best in your business pursuits,

And then, I remove the connection. While technology and being linked are both important, being truly connected is even more "In"!

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