LinkedIn is currently the most important and fastest-growing professional network in the world.
As such, it is full of potential clients, connections, and different growth opportunities.
It takes only one wrong step to lose a deal of a lifetime or make a bad impression that could cost you money and your business image.
That’s why proper professional etiquette is so important for building your brand and maintaining the same.
To ensure this doesn’t happen to you, we decided to share 10 dos and don’ts for networking on Linkedin.
5 Dos For Networking On LinkedIn
Personalize Invites to Connect
LinkedIn is a place to network, but that doesn’t imply randomly adding anyone you run into.
It is rather a platform for meaningful business connections and as such it is highly recommended to reach out to people you either know or are interrelated with due to the nature of your industry.
Either way, it is always a good practice to send a personalized Invite to Connect.
Firstly, if you are reaching out to someone you don’t know, why risk being banned on LinkedIn in case they click on the I don’t know this person option? A certain number of these will get you restricted, you know?
Secondly, many people on LinkedIn appreciate Invites to Connect with an explanation of why they should connect with you. It doesn’t need to be a full-on sales pitch, but rather an interest or a reference in common. This is why targeting people attending the same LinkedIn event or those who are members of the same LinkedIn group can work so well to your advantage.
If you follow one simple tip such as this one, you will significantly increase your success on LinkedIn and stand out from numerous people who don’t consider it at all.
Just like with Emails, responding promptly to your Messages, Invites to Connect, and InMails is a sign of professionalism.
Good etiquette implies replying within 24 h.
Of course, the timeframe within which you answer is equally important to the content and tone of your message.
Any of the people you are responding to might be your future client, collaborator, or colleague. Make informed decisions and give confirmed information.
This way you will build the image of a trustworthy, knowledgeable professional with integrity.
And that’s what we all want, don’t we?
Introducing connections to each other creates positive social capital for you.
It shows that you genuinely care about people making meaningful connections that could benefit the industry.
Furthermore, a highly appreciated gesture of this kind will invoke the law of reciprocity.
Namely, your connections will most likely return the favor by introducing you to other professionals that are, in their opinion, good for you.
There is no better way of growing your business network than through positive word of mouth. Remember that the best advertising for business is free. But it takes time to build trusted and loyal connections.
So, stick to our dos over here.
Join LinkedIn Groups
One of the fastest and most effective ways to expand your network in a quality way is to join LinkedIn groups in line with your and your potential client’s interests and industry.
On one hand, being part of a LinkedIn group whose members are from the same industry as you give you a chance of learning from other people’s experiences, knowing what your competitors are up to, and connecting with your colleagues.
On the other hand, being part of a LinkedIn group whose members are your potential clients helps you understand their needs, concerns, and what they expect from certain products or services (that might be the ones you are offering).
In any case, it’s a win-win situation!
Extra tip: You can also target members of a specific LinkedIn group if you upgrade your LinkedIn plan to Sales Navigator. Getting through to your lead and personalizing your message by using the LinkedIn group as a reference will make your acceptance and response rates skyrocket.
Stay Top of Mind
Your lone presence on LinkedIn is not enough for staying top of mind of your connections.
- Post quality content.
- Respond promptly to Messages, Invites to Connect, and InMails.
- Congratulate people on promotions and new jobs in a professional manner, while still showing that you genuinely care.
- Respond to comments and reactions to your posts and tag people you are replying to.
- Post authentic responses to the most interesting discussions.
- Join LinkedIn groups.
5 Don’ts For Networking On LinkedIn
LinkedIn Is NOT Tinder
Avoid adding people just because you like their looks.
Avoid adding people just because.
Don’t start messages with “Hello Dear”, give compliments that are not business-related or argued, or send any type of messages with a strong personal note.
Not only will you be ignored, but you will be marked as a spammer, and most likely earn a reputation as a weirdo.
News travels fast.
People will not be eager to connect with you, let alone do any business with you.
Don’t Spam People
Sending irrelevant, long, impersonal messages that don’t bring anything to any of the sides involved cannot earn you a good reputation.
It’s like a story of a girl who cried wolf.
If you keep sending messages that are only spamming other users, once you send something meaningful, nobody will be interested in reading it or answering back.
Save your Messages and InMails for significant business outreach and communication.
Your contacts will appreciate hearing from you less but leading insightful conversations regarding your industries or any other business-related topic.
Don’t Post Self-Serving Content
Whether sharing content or replying to messages or a discussion, make sure to provide value first and foremost.
The biggest mistake on LinkedIn is the misconception that people care about what you have to say. They only care about finding solutions to their problems or gaining valuable insights into the industry trends and demands. That’s all.
There is always a way of giving something to your readers while managing to promote your product or services.
Don’t Ignore Job Proposal & Invitations
Even if you are satisfied with your current job, you never know what the future holds.
Don’t burn bridges.
Answer to any job or business proposal you might receive. Be polite and professional.
Firstly, you don’t know if life will take you in that direction. The offered position might not even be in line with your future aspirations. However, have in mind that that company has other departments as well.
Secondly, the world is small. The Human Resources Manager that contacted you for that particular job might be the Human Resources Manager for another company in no time. And they will remember if you ignored or were impolite when they reached out.
The same applies to LinkedIn users who write to you regarding business opportunities and collaboration. Maybe you are not interested at the moment, but that’s for sure not the reason not to keep the door open for future contact.
Don’t Talk Negative About Competitors
Social media can be such a negative space.
People have had it enough already.
Not only does everyone want to belong to a positive, proactive, and like-minded community, but posting negatively about your competition is a sign of bad sportsmanship.
Did you know that when you are talking badly about someone, people who are listening are subconsciously attributing all the negative features to you?
Treat others with respect just as you would like to be treated.
Also, have in mind that even when you are commenting on behalf of yourself, people might ascribe your opinion to the general attitude of the company you are currently working for. Be careful about it, especially on LinkedIn which is, as we said before, a professional network.
You are representing your brand, your company, and the industry at the same time.
Member and brand engagement on LinkedIn is the strongest it has ever been.
Therefore, LinkedIn is not just your online resume.
It reflects your entire way of doing business and communicating with your leads and customers.
Everything that happens on LinkedIn has consequences, positive or negative, that you have to be ready to take responsibility for.
Since it’s better to be safe than sorry, stick to our tips and you will be just fine.