Updated: Jun 15
For almost 20 years, LinkedIn has been the go-to for professional networking. With over 700 million members, it is a sure-fire way to help you increase your pipeline and land more sales. You can find hundreds of articles on what to do on LinkedIn, like optimizing your profile, using a professional headshot, use keywords, personalize your messages, and the list goes on. But do you know what NOT to do? Just because you know the best practices for using LinkedIn doesn’t mean you know what you shouldn’t do. Here are some things you should always avoid when on LinkedIn.
First thing’s first. You do not want to ask for a sale right after getting a connection. That doesn’t mean you can’t ask for a meeting, but don’t connect with someone then automatically say, “BUY MY STUFF!!” It’s irritating and goes against the “connections before transactions” rule LinkedIn has. On the subject of messaging, you also want to avoid sending irrelevant messages. Those can be worse than sales-y messages as it shows you really don’t have an interest in the connection you just made. Finally, don’t send a message that starts with “I see you viewed my profile…” Yep, they might have viewed your profile, but maybe they decided they didn’t have relevant information for you, or they thought you were someone else, or they accidentally viewed your profile. Whatever the reason is, don’t assume that just because they viewed your profile means you would be a quality connection for each other.
Another big don’t is not liking, commenting, or sharing. You want to be active on LinkedIn to build the relationships you have. You also don’t want to leave one-word comments. Leave that for Facebook and Instagram. Did you read the post before you left a comment? No, then don’t comment. We all know you want to promote yourself on LinkedIn. If you’re using it as a pipeline builder or hoping to connect with a recruiter, your profile should be what promotes you as well as your content. Don’t hijack someone else’s post and over-promote yourself. Finally, on the topic of liking, commenting, and sharing, don’t be a negative influence and don’t be unsupportive. This is a professional network, and you never know who will see your comments. Make sure you don’t say something that could cost you a potential sale.
We probably don’t need to say this, but we’re going to. Do not create a false profile, misrepresent your identity, or create a profile for someone other than yourself. This goes against LinkedIn’s user agreement.
Speaking of LinkedIn’s user agreement, you also can not use bots from third-party vendors to send spammy messages or use them for lead generation. That will most definitely send you to LinkedIn jail, or they can remove you from their platform permanently.
You don’t want to ignore your profile. You've worked hard optimizing your profile and making it look amazing (read our newsletter about the topic here if you missed it!), so don’t just leave it there. Make sure to keep updating it with the most relevant information about you. Once you have a new connection, avoid asking them to endorse your skills or write a recommendation when you just met them. They don’t really know you, so how can they endorse you? Finally, please don’t add your connections to your email list unless they ask. This can violate the CAN-SPAM Act, and that can come with a hefty penalty.
If you follow this list of dont’s, along with our list of do’s from our other blog, using LinkedIn will be a piece of cake for you. Don’t worry. If you still don’t want the hassle of following all of the do’s and dont’s, you can always contact Boundless Media and let us do the work for you!