I’ve been struggling with whether to write this article for a long time. However, after the last messages I received, I decided to address the handling on LinkedIn and I have to state: The measure is slowly full!
First and foremost, LinkedIn is my absolute favorite platform when it comes to making valuable business contacts, building networks, and having factual, high-level conversations.
I now have over 20,000 contacts that I try to interact with on a daily basis. This often happens through my articles, in private messages, by phone or through comments and I really appreciate this exchange.
The catch with LinkedIn as a business platform
Lately, however, two types of contact take away any joy I may have had from interacting on this platform:
- Category: Men who want to get to know me “privately”. This, however, with the knowledge that I live in a partnership.
- Category: Wannabe marketing experts who want to convince me to buy your service using bad NLP methods (NLP=Neurolinguistic Programming).
With the first category, I wonder if other women (and maybe men?) also experience getting inappropriate and intrusive requests.
To those who haven’t caught on yet: LinkedIn is a BUSINESS PLATFORM and not a Tinder or Elite Partner. I am even quite tolerant here. After the first romantically influenced message is discreetly point out that I am in a partnership, after which I usually receive no response and the matter is also done for me. Unfortunately, there are also people here who don’t seem to care at all whether there is already a partner in my life or not.
What are these people thinking, please? Has this really been successful before?
I can make a clear statement openly and transparently at this point: Dear men, even if I (or another woman) were single, I would NOT look for my partner on LinkedIn. Why? The address alone would be completely out of place and I would also feel a bit unprofessional to address a contact who obviously wants to promote his business and has no other intention.
LinkedIn is a paradise for marketing experts who want only the best
In fact, however, the previous addresses of men category 1 here did not seem to me yet sufficient to write a separate article about it, until (with me at least predominantly) men category 2 joined.
Isn’t that beautiful? Someone comes around the virtual corner and writes to you. He doesn’t know you, but in his sales mania, he scanned your profile in 5 seconds, found an incredible number of deficits, of course, and wants to help you (selflessly as he is) out of this unbelievable misery. For God’s sake, what am I poor woman doing without a “scaling guru” by my side to get me hundreds of new clients?
How nice that he has identified a problem (of which I, clueless as I am, obviously know nothing) or sees a need for optimization and immediately has the appropriate “remedy” ready. Of course, he immediately wants to have a 15-minute conversation (why is it always 15 minutes?) with me. Of course, we are already on a first-name basis, because he already feels connected to me by looking at my virtual profile.
If you’re going to advertise on LinkedIn, then please do it right!
When I get these requests, I always feel like I’m standing at the bakery and instead of asking me if and what I need, the saleswoman first explains her entire display and tells me in detail why I absolutely have to buy this and that.
Sometimes I wonder if these people all learned from the same marketing guru and that’s why they’re so incompetent.
Seriously, have you ever heard of storytelling or social selling? At least an inkling of the sacred law of networking? In essence, it is quite simple: I am interested in others and not in myself, because it is not about my sale, but about the feelings, needs, desires and values of the other.
9 ways to improve quality on LinkedIn
For those who didn’t understand what LinkedIn is really for, here are my 9 uses:
- Creation of a (virtual) BUSINESS network
- Objective and constructive exchange in groups, comments or private messages
- Use of cooperations
- Generate visibility and reach through valuable content
- Use of recruiting functions (both for employers and employees)
- Participation in offline meetings through online invitations
- Expanding your own horizons through exciting articles and contributions
- Expansion of its German contact density through international network partners and thus the creation of cooperation opportunities on the international stage
- Understanding on a factual level, far away from beauty ideals (Instagram) and private exchanges (Facebook) or short-term communication (Twitter)
With this article, I would like to draw attention to the fact that contacting people via LinkedIn should be done in an appreciative and advertising-free manner. Perhaps LinkedIn will also soon introduce the status button (single, married, engaged or similar). While I never thought this would be necessary, if this is the only way to protect men and women from intrusive contact, I applaud it.
Let’s continue to communicate constructively, factually and on a business level. Only in this way can a relaxed dialog work and great projects, inspiring thoughts and exciting collaborations emerge.
Dear members, how do you feel about the above thoughts? Have you also encountered such requests? How do you deal with it?
What do you prefer to use LinkedIn for and why?
About the author
Kinga Bartczak berät, coacht und schreibt zu Female Empowerment, neuer Arbeitskultur, Organisationsentwicklung systemischen Coaching, und Personal Branding.
Zudem ist sie Geschäftsführerin der UnternehmerRebellen GmbH und Herausgeberin des FemalExperts Magazins.