Now that there is Spam Legislation to guard against spam in your email, the spammers have now taken to LinkedIn. They assume that because you are in a Group with them, they can now send out thousands of emails through LinkedIn instead. I joined Groups to share and learn valuable information, not to hear from every "CON"sultant and sales person about products and services that have nothing to do with the Group. One may think that this is an odd comment coming from someone that is a consultant, but I get infuriated at what a bad name this gives the rest of us by those that continue to do this. You would think by now, that they would have figured out that this does not provide a sustainable way to gain clients. What I find worse, is that none of the emails are even targeted, they are just sent out in hopes that it might land on a relevant prospect.
In the last month I have received 5 emails from HR consultants from "pick a country" telling me they have a special offer or software platform that can help me get a job and improve my resume/CV. They have not even looked to see that I am self-employed and have been for almost 6 years, so my need for a resume or job is not likely. The best one yet was from a radio personality in Chicago who was providing an online scam. He would tell you that you were perfect for his show and would book an appointment with you. When I told him that I was in Canada and did not sell to the U.S. - he still proceeded to book the appointment so I played along as I smelt something funny. Come to find out what he fails to tell you that he is picking you for his show as long as you pay him money. At no time is this mentioned until you talk to his producer do you find out this is a scam.
All of this that used to come to my email and for the most part still does is now on LinkedIn as well.
This Starts at the Connection Level
I am not sure what has changed in the last couple of years, but there seems to be an influx of people who like to click the CONNECT button on every profile to add anyone as a connection. They do so whether there is a real reason to connect in the first place. Since I value my connections and their privacy, I will only connect with someone where there is some intrinsic value to both parties, otherwise - why would you connect?
Would you provide total strangers with your information and your contact list if it was not on a Social Media Platform? The answer is probably not. If someone just clicks the Connect button and cannot take 30 seconds to add a note of why they want to connect, they will get ignored or receive an email back asking why they would like to connect. The majority of those that just hit Connect- you will never hear from again, which tells you they are just looking to connect with anyone.
Most likely the real reason they connected with you is to have access to send you unsolicited mail, or go through your contact list and contact your personal contacts and eventually add them to their list. There are those that for some reason believe they should just connect to any live body. There needs to be a reason to connect with you and it needs to be of benefit to both parties. Relationships are two way.
I used to love Group, where you could go and have a conversation with like-minded professionals and gain and share a bit of wisdom. Instead this has become an advertising platform for consultants and sales people pushing their products and services. Even worse because they are in a Group with you, they can send you unsolicited emails as well without having any type of connection to you. This is how both the HR consultants and radio personality were able to fill my inbox on LinkedIn with SPAM.
Spam Does Not Make You Sales
For those that waste their time now sending SPAM through Social Media, ask yourself how many quality sales have you made this way? Have you thought about how many consumers and businesses that you have actually ticked off and sales you may have lost for you and your business by sending untargeted emails?
LinkedIn is about building relationships and provides you with tools to interact with potential partners and clients, but when used the wrong way can be more of a detriment to your sales efforts. Why not spend the time building relationships with others on LinkedIn or using the tools they have built like InMail to send targeted personal messages, instead of sending unsolicited SPAM. For the most part untargeted and unsolicited mail will get deleted or reported as SPAM.
There has been enough written lately on this topic that at some point continuing to do this will hurt you and your business reputation as this is not the right way to obtain clients. Instead you are ruining the use LinkedIn for those that join to build relationships and share and gain valuable information.
Spend the time instead to learn how to use LinkedIn and other Social Media platforms and make them work for your business instead of against it.
RK Fischer & Associates