LINKEDIN QUESTION OF THE MONTH
Question: What do I do if one of my Connections sends me marketing emails almost every day through LinkedIn?
Answer: You could do a few things:
- Send them an email asking them to remove you from their marketing distribution list. This is the more direct way. Or, if that doesn’t work, you could:
- Remove them as a Connection.
Question: Do you ever contact the people that you see have reviewed your profile?
Answer: Yes! I think calling them would be a little too forward, but I believe that contacting them via LinkedIn message or email is ok.
For you Sales folks, some of the people who review your Profile are actually qualified leads. They are looking at your profile because they are shopping for your services. As a Coach, what I do is write back something like:
“I see that you have reviewed my LinkedIn Profile. Is there a question I can answer for you? Are you looking for a Coach? If so, would you like to set up a complimentary consultation? I’m available Friday at 1, Monday at 9, and Tuesday at 5. Just let me know which would work for you.”
For those of you who are looking for a job, if the person is a Recruiter in your field or possible hiring manager, I would write back:
“I see that you have reviewed my LinkedIn Profile. I have been looking for a new position as a _____. Do you have any current openings? If not, would you keep me in mind for future openings. If you have time, I would love to have a short conversation to meet you and review my qualifications.”
One caution though, if you are currently employed and concerned that your employer might find out you are looking for a new position, I would either just ask for a “get to know you” phone call or, if they look trustworthy, ask them to keep the fact that you are looking for a new position confidential.
Question from LinkedIn Conversation: What do you think about the authenticity of LinkedIn Endorsements?
Answer: I believe that the authenticity is linked to the integrity of the individuals involved. I carefully weigh, for each person, whether I have enough knowledge of that particular skill to make the Endorsements. And for my own Endorsements, I have removed 2 because I didn’t believe the person knew enough about my skills to Endorse me.
Question from Telecall: As an HR Practitioner, how would you suggest asking for recommendations? That doesn’t come easily to me. I also have a challenge because I’ve been with the same company (although some differences in roles) for over 20 years.
Answer: You can tell your colleagues, past bosses, and current boss that you are building your LinkedIn Profile, and that if you have a credible Profile, it will represent the company well and help you do your job.
Question from Samia K: “What should I do if my certification (i.e. ACC) doesn’t fit in the last name section of my Profile because my last name is so long?”
Answer: Good question. A certification is a huge selling point, and so you definitely don’t want to leave it out of your Profile due to lack of space. I’d recommend putting it at the top of your Summary section, and also in the Job Title in your Experience Section.
Question from PIHRA Telecall: “How do you go about inviting people to join your LinkedIn Network? For both people you know, and for people you do not yet know?”
Answer: Let the person know why you want to connect with them, what you have in common, how they might benefit from being linked with you, or complement them. Compliments work well in enticing people to link with you.
Here are some examples from one of my recent blog posts: Striking it Rich III: Personalizing “Link Requests” for Recruiters, Hiring Managers, Potential Clients and Referral Partners.
“I’m looking for a job in the area that you recruit within, as shown on your profile. I would love to have a conversation with you to talk about any openings you’re aware of that might match my qualifications.”
2. Hiring Managers:
Here are several ways to start a message to a potential hiring manager:
“I’m very interested in working for XYZ Company because _____. ”
“I was wondering if you would be willing to have a 15-minute informational interview with me where I could learn more about your company and any current or future opening you may have.”
After the introduction, highlight your qualifications and how you could be of service to the company. In other words, let them know how you can help them.
3. Potential Clients:
This situation can be tricky because you definitely don’t want to come off too “salesy”. In reaching out to them, highlight anything you have in common, complement them and then ask for a “get to know you” phone call. It is important that you take this approach rather than simply say that you’re looking for a client. Handling this type of “Link Request” requires a gentle touch and must be done very tactfully. In a future blog post I will tell you how to work toward moving the “get to know you” phone call toward a sales opportunity.
4. Referral Partners:
“I’ve been looking for a therapist that specializes in dealing with the stress of public speaking, as many of my clients have this issue. I would love to do a ‘get to know you’ phone call so that I can determine if you would be a good referral for my clients.”
“I see that there may be some overlap in the kinds of clients we serve. I wonder if we might set up a ‘get to know you’ phone call to determine if there are any ways we can help each other.”
Question from PIHRA Telecall: “As an HR Practitioner, how would you suggest asking for recommendations? That doesn’t come easily to me. I also have a challenge because I’ve been with the same company (although some differences in roles) for over 20 years.”
Answer: You can let your colleagues, past bosses and current boss know that you are working on building your LinkedIn Profile and that if you have a credible Profile, it will represent the company well and help you do your job as an HR Professional.
Question from PIHRA Telecall: “I have come across several examples regarding the LinkedIn Profile Summary portion. On one side, there are professionals who type their summary in third person, and on the other side they write it in first person. You stated that first person is best to use, but I would like a further explanation as to why? Which way is correct/better?”
Answer: I believe first person is more compelling and allows you to write your summary in a more personal way. It will allow you to show your passion about your work.
Remember that this is a new section that a resume doesn’t have, so the rules for a resume do not apply. The only caveat I would add is that if you work in a very formal industry (Education) or function (possibly Accounting or Finance), you may not want to write your Summary in first person because it is less formal. So use your judgment.
Question from PIHRA Telecall: How often should we update/refresh our recommendations?
Answer: At least yearly, so that your recommendations don’t look out-of-date. I’d advise updating/refreshing them quarterly, if possible.
Question from Darlene S.: Thanks for the great Telecall. I have tried unsuccessfully numerous times to upload my picture on LinkedIn. Any suggestions?
Answer: Darlene, I’m sorry you’ve been having so much trouble with this! Having a tasteful LinkedIn Profile picture is of the utmost importance, so let’s see if we can figure this out:
Your picture needs to be under 4 MB in size, in a common file formats such as JPG, GIF, or PNG. Photos will display best as long as they are at least 80 x 80 pixels and have a maximum limit of 4000 x 4000 pixels.
Question from Joyce C: I have always seen LinkedIn as most useful to exec/business coaches. I am a life coach — what is the best way I can use LinkedIn?
Answer: Good question, Joyce — glad to hear from a fellow Coach! While LinkedIn does have many well-known perks for business coaches, it can be just as helpful for Life Coaches.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Link to people that would need your services, for example busy Executive Moms. If you’re not sure how to reach out to people, check out my “Striking it Rich” blog post series. These posts give several examples of ways to personalize Link Requests, which is an important step in reaching out and building your LinkedIn Network.
- There are all kinds of Groups on LinkedIn, not just professional Groups. Find Groups that relate to your Niche.
- Post status updates that help people with their lives – how to de-stress, how to juggle work while focusing on your health, etc.
Good luck, Joyce — and happy Coaching!
Question from Julie M.: I have a man in my Connections on LinkedIn that seems to view my Profile at least once a week. I find this somewhat strange and it is starting to make me uncomfortable. I would be interested in your thoughts on this.
Answer: I understand your concern about this “LinkedIn Lurker.” First I would look at the person’s LinkedIn Profile to see:
- If he has a legitimate looking LinkedIn Profile. Is his Profile filled out completely? Is he a professional?
- Does he have LinkedIn Recommendations that look legitimate?
- Does he have a reasonable number of Connections?
- Do you have any shared Connections or LinkedIn Groups?
- Does he look like he might be someone who wants to sell you something?
Then I would ask myself: Is there any reason this person would want to learn more about me? Is he a potential client, customer, recruiter, or hiring manager? If there is a good reason he is reviewing your LinkedIn Profile, I might contact him and ask him if you can do anything for him. Or just wait until he contacts you.
If there isn’t a good reason for him to be looking at your LinkedIn Profile so frequently or if it goes on for a long time, you might decide to remove him from your Connections. Depending on your Profile Settings, he could still be able to view your Profile, though.
The problem is, if you set your LinkedIn Profile as Private, potential employers or customers will not be able to see you in their LinkedIn Searches.
If you don’t know how to remove a Connection, the last video in the Network Videos of my “6 Weeks to More Success Through LinkedIn” E-course shows you how to delete a Connection.
Question from Kevin R.: Do you think I should link to everyone that sends a LinkedIn “Link Request” to me? Or should I make sure they are quality people?
Answer: Good question Kevin. As I’ve mentioned before, it’s imperative to have a defined purpose on LinkedIn and a LinkedIn Connection philosophy. Why are you on LinkedIn? What do you hope to get out of being on LinkedIn? I’ll be talking more about how to create your LinkedIn Connection philosophy in my next blog post.
Knowing why you are on LinkedIn will help you build a LinkedIn Connection philosophy that will guide you in determining who to accept “Link Requests” from. And purposefully building and selecting your LinkedIn Network will help you achieve your overall LinkedIn goal.
I personally prefer to link to quality people. Quality people are people who are successful in their careers or businesses, and who are hardworking, ethical people with a good reputation. They’re people who want to give to others. Not people who are just trying to sell you something or trying to build a giant LinkedIn Network by connecting to everyone they can possibly connect to.
To figure out if someone is a quality person, I first carefully review their LinkedIn Profile and LinkedIn Connections. Then, I ask to set up a “get to know you” phone call. I personally believe that you need to make a personal connection with the people you meet on LinkedIn to build a relationship. Otherwise, they are an empty online connection with no business value. That’s what true online Social Networking is all about, building relationships.
Effective business relationships are about:
- Referring business to each other
- Connecting each other with job openings
- Letting each other know about recruiters that are recruiting
- Giving each other information and resources
- Letting each other know about events
- Helping each other become aware of opportunities
- Connecting each other to other like-minded people
In other words, great business relationships are about helping each other!
I hope that answers your question. Good luck building your LinkedIn Network, Kevin!
Kevin R.: I think you’re right, I prefer quality as well! Thanks for sharing your wisdom and strategies to enhance my LinkedIn network and Profile. I’ll spend time this weekend making revisions to my LinkedIn Profile.
Question from Laura M.: “What if someone asks me for a LinkedIn recommendation that I don’t want to give? How do I respond?”
Answer: Good question Laura – this is indeed a tricky situation! LinkedIn Recommendations are great to give – when you give them to the right people, you improve your own LinkedIn page rating while supporting the work of your colleagues and LinkedIn Connections. It’s a win-win situation!
Recommendations get tricky though when you’re asked to give one that you don’t feel comfortable writing. Maybe you don’t know the person well enough, or maybe you don’t have many positive things to say about their work.
Remember, you are never obligated to give a recommendation for someone. Only give one if you have positive things to say about the person. Giving recommendations to people just because you feel obligated to do so can hurt your reputation or mislead someone.
If you don’t want to give the LinkedIn recommendation, I would archive the request. Then, send the person a message that says something along the lines of, “I don’t feel I have enough information to recommend you.”
Thanks for writing in Laura! If you have more questions about LinkedIn recommendations, there’s a segment in my Get LinkedIn Now! training videos dedicated to writing and requesting recommendations.
Good luck Laura!
Question from John S.: How do you decide whether to accept a “Link Request” from a stranger?
Answer: I check to see if they have filled out their LinkedIn Profile to a reasonable degree and I also look at the quality of their Profile. If it is blank or poorly written, I archive their Link Request.
Then I check to see how many LinkedIn connections they have. If they only have a few connections and a blank or sparse LinkedIn Profile, I archive their Link Request.
If they have a lot of LinkedIn connections, I check to see if they might be trying to sell me something. If it seems like sales is their only reason for reaching out to me, I may not accept the Link Request.
I also examine who they are connected to if they haven’t blocked access to that information. If we have connections in common, I will usually accept the request.
But my main litmus test is this: do I want to spend talking to this person on the phone? If I don’t, I archive the Link Request. Why would I want someone in my LinkedIn Network that isn’t worth my time to talk to?
If I do want to talk with them on the phone, I ask for the “Get to Know You” phone call.
Question from Michele H.: “What do you do when you have a “Get to Know You” phone call with someone who has contacted you with a LinkedIn Link Request and you don’t want to link with the person?”
Answer: Great question Michele! This has happened to me, although the good news is, it has happened once out of approximately 75 “Get to Know You” phone calls. What I did was just not accept the “Link Request.” I archived it. And, I didn’t hear anything back from the person, so that took care of it. If they had come back to me to ask why I didn’t accept the request, I would have written back: “after thoughtfully reviewing the content of our conversation, I determined that a LinkedIn connection between us did not meet my criteria for building my network. Thank you for contacting me and I wish you luck in your business endeavors.”
Need a guide to help use LinkedIn more effectively? Try: