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I accept everyone that requests to connect with me on LinkedIn. As a result, I get about 15-20 LinkedIn messages every single day, and I virtually never respond. This insane influx of LinkedIn messages probably stems from the fact that everyone is ignoring email solicitations now.
Even though LinkedIn is a new platform, please don’t throw all of the various emailing best practices to the wind. In fact, they’re even more applicable if you want people to actually read your LinkedIn messages. Here are the most common reasons why I never reply to your terrible LinkedIn messages.
I have no idea who you are
This is pretty self explanatory. If I am going to respond, I need to really know who you are. If I have no idea who you are, there is no reason for me to respond to your message, and there’s nothing differentiating you from all the other random people trying to sell me things.
It’s clear your pitch sucks, even from the first few words
Building off of the first point, LinkedIn only lets you preview a few characters before you actually open the message. If you spend all of those to say “Hi Adam, how are you” and we don’t know each other, then it comes off wrong. It’s clear that you don’t really care how I am, you just want to sell me something. Make these few characters count- most people aren’t going to bother to open your full message.
The messaging is unnatural
In a lot of these messages, it seems like they’re being mass-produced (and they probably are). The wording is often a bit off, like it was automatically generated and no one bothered to proof-read the message. For example, instead of saying “your company, Spiro” some messages I get say something like “your company, Spiro Technologies, inc.” This comes off as fake, and I’m not going to reply.
Your calendar invite is a mess
Also, that preview is not the place to paste your calendar link so I can book an appointment with you. If you just copy and paste your link, it comes out a jumble of characters and words. This just looks a bit sloppy and careless, and doesn’t give your recipient the best impression. Instead, take the time to schedule a meeting a different way, or at the very least get that calendar invite to work correctly.
You don’t know when to give up
If I don’t respond to your first message, it’s not because I didn’t see it. And, if I wasn’t interested the first time, I definitely won’t be the second, or the third, and especially not the fourth time. Stop wasting your time, and unintentionally annoying everyone you message.
What You Should Be Doing
In the rare occasion that I actually do respond, it’s because someone had already engaged with something I posted on LinkedIn. If someone likes, shares, or comments something insightful on my post, I’m more likely to be interested in what they have to say. If you’re going to ask for something from someone else, then try doing something helpful for them first. For example, there are a few people who consistently like and comment on my LinkedIn posts. If they were to message me, I would likely respond because I know who they are.
Also, make sure you are keeping your message “subject line” or the first few characters super relevant, because that’s probably all someone is going to look at to decide if they should actually open your message or not.