Please Don’t be a LinkedIn Loser

My comments about LinkedIn several months ago generated lots of reader reaction, especially when COSE (Cleveland’s Council of Smaller Enterprises) posted them on their Linkedin discussion group. Here’s a sampling of my responses:

  • Every year, it makes sense to review everyone in our network and ask ‘Have we interacted at all in the last year? Is this person someone I’m still willing to help if asked? Is this person someone I’d ask to help me?’ Each name should need at least two ‘yes’ answers to stay in your network.
  • The endorsement feature has become worthless. I only endorse people where I have personal and relevant knowledge of the specific skill in question. Just because a casual contact has ‘CPA’ on the profile, do I really know how knowledgeable he or she might be in financial reporting? And I chuckle whenever someone, who has no recent or relevant knowledge of my work, endorses me in a given skill area. Another good idea taken to a ridiculous extreme.
  • One of my Core Values is to interact with ‘Uncommon Courtesy’ with everyone. A ‘generic template request’ to Link In from a stranger is like SPAM or junk snail mail addressed to ‘occupant’. I’m continually amazed at how few of them respond to my suggestion to get better acquainted via an email dialogue first before Linking In.

Call me old school, but strangers need to ‘earn it’ first when trying to create potentially new business relationships. LinkedIn is just a high tech, low touch version of what business people have been doing live and in person for decades – getting to know new people at networking events. And far too many people even today network without much style, class or finesse.


  1. Holly
    Posted June 7, 2013 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    I like your first point especially. I have wondered how to “maintain” my contacts over time. These are great tips.

    I also like when someone reaches out… I accept and send them a friendly message and then they don’t even reply. What is the value of asking for the connection if you don’t even both with a cordial “nice to meet you, hope we can help each other” interaction?

    There are also the folks who ask to connect… you have never met… and they don’t say why. Always a mystery…

    • Phil Stella
      Posted June 20, 2013 at 9:43 am | Permalink

      Holly, I really appreciate your comments and I’m glad my rant resonated with you. Because LinkedIn is so easy to use, it helps people look dumb with just the click of a button. The really good thing about all the LinkedIn Losers out there is that they make us pros really look good by comparison. Thanks again … Phil Stella

  2. Mark Madere
    Posted June 7, 2013 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

    Hi Phil,

    The generic, “I’d like to add you to my professional network on Linked” really bugs me. Everytime I get an invite from someone I know with that note, I send them a message suggesting they personalize it with how they know the recipient to increase their acceptance rate. I wonder how many of them take the advice and put it into action?

    Mark Madere
    Social Media | Internet Marketing Strategist

    • Phil Stella
      Posted June 20, 2013 at 9:38 am | Permalink

      Thanks for your comment, Mark. Sounds like we’re singing the same tune. Too bad most people aren’t listening to it. Regards … Phil Stella

  3. DejaUDayrit
    Posted July 13, 2015 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

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    • Phil Stella
      Posted July 14, 2015 at 9:55 am | Permalink

      Thanks … glad you like it. Keep coming back for more.