This morning I opened my Linked In messages to find 14 new messages – 2 from people I know well, 5 from people who have been connections for a while and message me every couple of months to tell me about there products and 8 from new connections who’s first contact with me is to try to sell me something. One even said ‘without my help your business will fail’ – I’d love to know what crystal ball he’s looking in.
On a more serious note though, in my mind social platforms – including LinkedIn, are about building connection, developing relationships and sharing good, helpful, value led stuff. They are not about connecting with as many randon people – especially those with plenty of connections, then flogging the guts out of your product and service, while at the same time destroying any potential relationships you might be building.
Does this mean I’m some fluffy coach who thinks selling is evil? Not at all, I have made money through LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. I sell stuff to people I first connected with on social platforms and I’ve even employed someone after building a relationship onLinkedIn. I have one guiding principle though, which is value first. Very few people actually like being sold at – by this I mean the unsolicited pitch that pops up in your messages – and this applies to all social platforms. I’m not talking about sales conversations after you have built a relationship, or established that the other party might be interested in what you have.
I guess what I’m saying here is if you want to use social media to grow your business – and there’s nothing wrong with that, use it for what its best for, engaging people in what you believe and what you do, expanding your reach and credibility, building relationships and getting to know interesting people.
If you do connect with me, connect because I am useful to you, you are interested in me or my business or because you may have something that I need, then take the time to get to know me. That way I may finish up doing business with you, I may recommend you to my network, or connect you with someone I know. Don’t look at my profile and think – target market or has lots of connection, and definitely don’t follow up my acceptance or your request with a sales pitch.
I’m sure I’m not alone in opening LinkedIn or messenger with a sinking feeling when I see 12 sales pitches.
Lets change this, lets get really connected with each other.