Biz Tips: No, I Don’t Want to Connect With You on LinkedIn

Biz Tips: No, I Don’t Want to Connect With You on LinkedIn

GROWTH:

No, I Don’t Want to Connect With You on LinkedIn

I Don’t Even Know Our Mutual Connections

Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

I used to do seminars on how to use LinkedIn effectively in real estate. I told agents to just accept every connection request. Because who cares? Everyone transacts in the real estate space at some point, so everyone could be a potential client.

That was sh*tty advice. Not because it doesn’t hold true, but because LinkedIn has become a cesspool of overeager telemarketers spinning their same yarn via an online business connection portal.

Every day I get 5–10 new connection requests that message me like they would on OkCupid. Instead of going over the things in our profiles that we have in common (classic online dating first message connectivity speech), they are going over how we have connections in common and that we could have a mutually beneficial business relationship.

Except that I am not interested. Because I am not in those businesses anymore. And they didn’t even notice that. That’s how I know it’s bullsh*t. It’s spammy.

Where LinkedIn Went Wrong

When LinkedIn started you pretty much had to solve the Hodge conjecture to send a message to anyone. I don’t even think you could unless you had a paid membership. This was great. It was just connecting. A resume exchange. No spam.

Then at some point they wanted to allow more social activity. This, for me, was the downfall of LinkedIn and its use to me. I do like that I can message people, in case I am somehow not connected on another network, but it’s everyone else that bothers me.

It opened the doors for cold-calling behavior on social. Everything we were trying to avoid by being present on LinkedIn. We wanted professional relationships. A virtual resume portal. A way to connect to jobs. Not a message campaign with hard-sell calls-to-action. I can get that in my email every morning.

I do advocate that LinkedIn is your best first connection online for business. But there is still etiquette involved.

The Social Networking Connection Hierarchy

“Social networks do best when they tap into one of the seven deadly sins. Facebook is ego. Zynga is sloth. LinkedIn is greed.”

— Reid Hoffman

Why I Can’t Spend More Than Two Minutes on LinkedIn Right Now

Let me first say that I recently left standardized employment. So LinkedIn, in and of itself, is less useful to me now than it would have been if I was still working for the man. I do understand that.

But LinkedIn has changed. It tried to be more like Facebook. Instead of opening up for more information and more connection options, it should have tightened the reins a bit. And made it more difficult to connect. Because this is a business portal.

CEOs don’t really want every Tom, Dick, and Harry sending them connection requests because they want a job as mail clerk. I love that I can find the CEO of a company, but I shouldn’t be able to send them a message.

The feed is also a mess. But that’s partially my fault. Because I did what I used to counsel others to do. I accepted every connection request, for years.

Like when I was in the art world. And now I have 500 artists as connections. And I have to see their feeds. And unfollow them. 50 times a day.

Like when I was in real estate. And now I have 500 real estate connections. And I have to see their listings. I get it, I used to do this too. But I don’t want to see it anymore. So I unfollow them. 50 times a day.

But then the feed keeps showing me what my connections liked on LinkedIn.

Dear LinkedIn. I don’t give a rat’s ass what my connections liked on LinkedIn. I don’t even know 99.9% of these people.

Algorithms are the f*cking devil. On every network.

Photo by Victoria Heath on Unsplash

The True Value Left on LinkedIn

If you are in sales of any kind, LinkedIn is great for you. If you are in a business where you set and take a lot of meetings each week, LinkedIn is great for you.

Because the true value left on LinkedIn is in appropriate cyber-stalking. Note I used the word appropriate as I do not intend to advocate for stalkeresque behavior. I mean research in advance of meeting someone. That kind of cyber-stalking.

It’s gold for that. If you have a group of ten top targets that you want to sell to, LinkedIn can help place those in an order for you. By how much information you can glean from their profile.

It’s a great place to find commonalities so that when you do meet in person you will have something to talk about. Colleges. Charitable organizations. Past jobs. LinkedIn holds all the conversation starters you need for your next business mixer.

But that’s really it. Even finding jobs and hiring has become harder on LinkedIn. Because the platform is too open now. It’s too social.

I Thought This Was a Business Network

But it’s not anymore. It’s a quasi-social network based on business. But with showing likes, advanced messaging, sharing, and more, there are few differences from Facebook. LinkedIn just has less cute animal videos.

Is it still viable for the regular 9–5 business? It wasn’t for me. Does it still have the same happiness rate as it had five years ago for you? Definitely not for me.

I’m curious if I am the only one who has completely lost interest in LinkedIn. It actually makes me angry when I go on there. Because I don’t see anything important. Ever.

Is this another network that we feel we “must keep” to be business relevant? I hope not.

Photo by Julien-Pier Belanger on Unsplash

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No, I Don’t Want to Connect With You on LinkedIn was originally published in Marketing And Growth Hacking on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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