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How to Fail on LinkedIn – My Humble Opinion

I love LinkedIn.

LinkedIn has consistently been the best way for me to build my professional network, keep current on relevant trends, learn new things, and serve as an enjoyable distraction during the workday.

I have invested a lot of time on LinkedIn and have seen people who are winning on the platform by being smart, sharing, and engaging. They make LinkedIn a place where I want to visit.

On the other hand, I also see a lot of failures. I am writing this blog as a plea for these people to stop, but I know that it will go nowhere. Coincidentally, Tom Fishburne published a hilarious cartoon about LinkedIn connect failures. Click here to check it out.

Nevertheless, here is my list of how to “fail” on Linkedin. Practicing these bad habits will help you turn off people and make LinkedIn a place people will want to avoid (sarcasm intended).

Here is my list of how to fail on LinkedIn:

Connect and Then Go Into Auto-Selling

First, I have nothing against salespeople. I am also in business development, trying to connect the solutions that we provide to the challenges that HR leaders face every day. What I do not understand is how business development people still use LinkedIn connection requests as an open door invitation to start selling immediately.

This past week I have been approached by people selling me SEO, Recruiting, Materials Management, Copiers, Compliance Services, and Business Brokerage. Every one of these salespeople used a canned email and did not research my company to understand if their proposal was relevant to my needs (it was not).

Picking Fights

While Twitter remains the WWE of social media, LinkedIn has its moments where someone feels compelled to use snark, confrontation, and condescension to take someone else down. Simple advice – don’t do it. Last year, I wrote how LinkedIn had established itself as being the safest place in social media.

My advice, there is a right way to offer a different opinion. We are all adults. You know how to do this right. If you do not, Twitter is waiting for you to launch a few missiles.

Connecting, Then Disappearing

I have also encountered interesting people who connect and then ghost me. I do not understand this at all since a first-degree connection little value if you do not use it to communicate (it is why the term “social” media was created). While this does not happen to me that often, I always feel let down when it does.

Only Using LinkedIn as The Platform To Communicate

LinkedIn is the best platform for building business connections. Once you establish a first-degree connection, you need to move the conversation off of the LinkedIn platform and onto a more convenient like email, text, or phone. I find that communication is slower when it is all done on LinkedIn (this even includes the app). P.S. It also helps if you can add your phone number in your contact information. I realize many avoid this due to privacy concerns, but it does help.

Being an Observer, Rather Than A Participant

I understand that we are not all writers, and our days are time-compressed. While not quite exactly a fail, I see the missed opportunity people make when all they do is read their newsfeed and like posts. There are so many ways everyone can professionally grow by stepping out and contributing. You will find LinkedIn a warm and receptive audience.

I certainly have.

I want to close this blog out with an invitation to connect with me on LinkedIn. We can get to know each other and find out ways that we can help each other - the way that LinkedIn was intended.