Don’t Be a LinkedIn Loser

My recurring rants about LinkedIn Losers often generate reader reaction and commentary – both positive and negative. So … here we go again!

  • 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?’ Your network should be about quality, not quantity. 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.
  • Second level connections don’t make much sense either. How could we effectively connect people we hardly know to other people we hardly know just because we’re all second level? Didn’t think so.
  • 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 still network without much style, class or finesse. So. please share your thoughts about avoiding being LinkedIn Losers.