11 Fundamental Truths About Using LinkedIn



If you keep these ideas in mind, you will make better use of LinkedIn and the time you invest in it.

Individual LinkedIn users will never get the respect companies do

Money talks. If you have lots of money to spend on lots of premium subscriptions, ads or sponsored updates, LinkedIn will be keen to talk to you. I have had two people from LinkedIn reach out and take an interest in me and what I was doing in the past six years. In both cases once they realized I did not have twenty-five thousand dollars a quarter (I’m not kidding) to spend on job or marketing related ads on LinkedIn, it was like I was radioactive. The calls ended very quickly.  

You are a data point to be sold

Expect recruiters and salespeople to try contacting you. That’s the price of admission. Be gracious to people who approach you intelligently and respectfully. But if they don’t approach you intelligently and respectfully, all bets are off. Spammers and people who send automated crap messages should be treated with the lack of respect they deserve and reported with extreme prejudice.  

You’ll Pay For Everything On LinkedIn

This idea looks prescient after the User Interface changes we have just gone through. A lot of LinkedIn users have problems with this idea, because they are used to using LinkedIn for free. But using LinkedIn as a place to build your business’s credibility, and to find and interact with prospective customers and still expecting it to be free?  

LinkedIn will never be a fabulous user experience

There are too many different constituencies inherent in five hundred million users. You have people who use it every day and people who show up once a year. You have people using it for sales, research, recruiting, networking, job search and a hundred other reasons. And each of those groups has a laundry list of features they wish LinkedIn had. As far as user experiences are concerned, “serviceable” is probably the best you should hope for.

If you don’t have a plan, you can waste an awful lot of time on LinkedIn

Plan what you need to do to accomplish your LinkedIn related goals, do those things, and leave.

Using automation on LinkedIn makes you less social

You can have quality and be one-on-one social or you can have automation and go for quantity. But treating your connections like an email list doesn’t seem very social to me. Engage one on one with your connections and other people on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a contact sport.

LinkedIn makes LinkedIn impersonal too

LinkedIn is partially at fault for making LinkedIn impersonal too, courtesy of the one button “congratulate” features for things like birthdays, work anniversaries, and new jobs. Here’s what I think when I receive one of those canned responses: “Wow, that person reached all the way to their mouse and moved it over the “congratulate” button. Then – using their other hand, mind you – they reached all the way over and pressed “enter”.  How thoughtful!” Actually I don’t feel that way because LinkedIn has trained everyone to think this is something we should do.

Social selling on LinkedIn is just like regular selling

In that, if you do it well, it works. Unfortunately, there are not a lot of people doing it well (just like regular selling).

You get out of LinkedIn in direct relation to what you put in to LinkedIn

By all means you can do LinkedIn in ten minutes a day, just expect to get results corresponding to ten minutes worth of effort.

It’s still a give to get world

The minute you start looking at someone’s profile and figuring out how you can help them, instead of how they can help you, is the minute you will start moving towards effective results using LinkedIn

And one final thought. For business professionals, LinkedIn is still the best game in town

I have tried a lot of the flavor of the month social networks and despite all its warts, LinkedIn beats them all. The only social network that could challenge LinkedIn is Facebook. Everyone else is just too tiny.