A lot of people create LinkedIn profiles for the first time when they are looking to start growing or promoting their business and I love to see that. LinkedIn is a fantastic tool for anyone looking to market their business but if you’re new to LinkedIn (or marketing) it’s easy to accidentally miss the mark…
Why You Should Be Using LinkedIn
What makes LinkedIn such a powerful resource in the first place is its potential for organic and authentic connections with other people who put personal connections first. That’s what makes it so much fun to use after all! By making the personal connection the most important and thoughtful part, the people you connect with on LinkedIn are more likely to be interested in what you’re doing or your business. This will in turn help your business be the best that it could be and it will ensure that the content you’re putting out will have the highest impact with an eager audience.
The Connection Request That Misses The Mark
We’ve also talked quite a bit on the GMI Rocket blog about when to accept or reject LinkedIn connection requests and some warning signs, but I think this one type of LinkedIn connection request gets to the heart of using LinkedIn and how to use it to your (and your business’) advantage.
When I see a personal profile on LinkedIn that features photos with the person’s company or firm logo instead of a personal photo, I think that these people have missed the point of connecting in the first place. By making their profile all about their business, they can come off as more aggressive about their business than they realize and they end up hurting their chances to grow or effectively promote themselves.
The people who tend to think ‘business first’ could also end up being the people who are likely to cold sell by sending a business pitch to anyone and everyone without caring about who they are connecting with on LinkedIn. It will be hard to make genuine long-lasting connections or get people interested in your business if their first interaction with you after ‘connecting’ on LinkedIn is a business pitch that could be meant for anyone.
I’ve received the cold sales pitch many times from people in completely unrelated fields or whose pitches were not based on anything in my profile or work experience. These requests often come from the same people who do not have personal profile photos. So, now when I receive a request from an account that has a company logo as their personal profile photo, I deny the request.
My 4 Rules for Growing Without A “Business Before People” Mentality
If you’ve done the generic cold pitch or if you haven’t set up your profile photo before, don’t worry! We’ve all made a faux pas on social media and learned and improved from those mistakes. I still truly believe LinkedIn is the best place online to grow your business. So, if you are looking to grow your business, here are four rules I’ve come up with to keep in mind:
- Think of the human connection before the business pitch
- Don’t put your company or logo as your profile photo
- If you connect with someone you don’t know, don’t pitch them right away
- If you must pitch right away, make sure your pitch is custom and well researched
And if you’re on the receiving end of a connection request from such a person, my recommendation is to reject it. Some people say that connecting with everyone and then purging connections is easier, but personally, I think a smaller and more curated LinkedIn network that cares about what you do and your content is far more powerful than a massive, broad network that doesn’t care all that much about what you do.
I want to keep my LinkedIn for genuine conversation, learning new things, and making authentic connections and I don’t think I’m the only one who wants that! If you’re looking for some more resources on how to get started on LinkedIn, check out my blog post on creating content for LinkedIn or my blog post on best practices for posting.