How to ruin your LinkedIn Personal Brand? Spamming your Network!

I coach people on “Building their LinkedIn Personal Brand”, “LinkedIn Profile Optimization“, and “How-to-use-LinkedIn” to help market themselves. So, I know we all make mistakes when starting to use social and professional networking sites.

That being said, there is no better way to ruin your personal brand than violating Rule #1 –

Never SPAM your LinkedIn Network!

Unfortunately, I’ve been getting a lot more “unsolicited emails” in my LinkedIn Inbox lately. Getting spam in my normal email inbox is pretty easy to deal with. (I use gmail for email. Google does a great job of getting rid of spam for me.)

Getting “unsolicited emails” in LinkedIn is a completely different animal.
With over 13,000 first degree connections, it’s to be somewhat expected that I’m going to get a couple of emails a week from people in my network who break this rule.

I’ll get emails from people I have no relationship with other than a 1st degree connection on LinkedIn, sending me emails to “Click on their Facebook page”, or “Review my resume!”, “Let me know if you hear of any job openings!”, or “I just got sold some great new multi-level marketing scheme. I just spent $500 dollars to learn how I can spam 1,000 people on LinkedIn and then watch my bank account fill up!… Click on this link and you can be an edit too!!!! ”
* The last one is a joke, but I hope you get the picture.

The problem is that LinkedIn doesn’t handle spam very well. In fact I don’t know how it “handles” spam, other than simply giving you a button to tag a single email as “Spam”. I could only hope that they are doing something with the “user indicated spam” emails that ultimately will keep your Inbox clean.

Today, though, I got something even more disturbing… REAL Completely Unsolicited Inbox SPAM.
Look at the email below!

Ruin Your Personal Brand - LinkedIn Spam Image

Ruin Your Personal Brand - LinkedIn Spam

Gold from Ghana!

Great, just what I’m on LinkedIn for… to buy Gold from Ghana.
While this email doesn’t have to do anything with Personal Branding, I think the story is the same.

Don’t send crap emails to people you don’t know, or haven’t explicitly opted-in to receive your marketing messages. It isn’t cool. It wont’ get you friends. And, it certainly won’t promote your personal brand as a friend and expert.

Friends don’t spam Friends!

LinkedIn is about Professional Networking, Building Relationships and Adding Value to your community.
Engaging people in your niche, or industry, or community, while keeping the above in mind should always lead you down the correct path.

Sending emails to people you don’t know, will only make them resent you… and of course, you are the loser… You loose all of your likeability and authority with that person.

If you are going to send emails to your wide network of connections emails… Add Value to their lives. Don’t try to sell them something. I stopped going to “business opportunity” meetings a long time ago… so have most successful professional networkers.

Doing anything less, weakens your own personal brand, because the next time you try to send them something, or ask for advice, or input, they aren’t going to open your email… Even worse, they could decide to remove you from their network!

P.S.
I’m an Open Networker (LION) = Linked In Open Networker. I believe increasing the size of my 3rd Degree Network, allows me to get my profile viewed more often. As a result, I welcome all legitimate LinkedIn Invitations. If you would like to connect to me on LinkedIn, please send me an email through LinkedIn using my networking email address: LION{at}gojobs.com

Comments

  1. D. Montano says:

    Jonathan, I saw an article somewhere saying that it’s a good idea to post your “contact policy” somewhere on Linkedin where it’s easy to find. Maybe this will help.

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