If you do business networking you’ll be familiar with the concept of meeting other business people, getting to know them, building relationships, educating them about how your business helps people and seeing if there’s synergy between you to become a customer or a supplier. 

Of course, there are some people who think you can attend one networking meeting and sell at everyone and come away with an order.  It doesn’t work like that!

So why do many of these same people complain that LinkedIn doesn’t work?  When I ask a few questions they:

  • Haven’t optimised their profile to help other members to really understand what they do, or better still how they help their customers.
  • Don’t open conversations with the people they connect with.
  • Open conversations with a sales pitch – often pitching something that the contact already does themselves (I can’t count the number of times a web company has pitched ‘copywriting services’ to me – haven’t they read my profile?)
  • Don’t continue conversations beyond ‘thanks’ or the automatic LinkedIn responses (and, yes, I know when someone has pressed the button and when they’ve bothered to type something).
  • Don’t actively look for the kind of people who fit their ideal client profile and make connections.
  • Haven’t found out which groups their ideal clients are active in and haven’t joined them OR
  • Have joined a group and proceeded to pitch the members instead of being helpful and knowledgeable.
  • Don’t refer other connections where appropriate.
  • Don’t engage with posts on the home feed by liking or commenting.
  • Don’t post updates on the home page.
  • Don’t post articles on their profile.

There’s more – but this is beginning to sound like a serious rant. 

At present all these things are possible with a free account.  If you’re not using them to their utmost, don’t pay for a Premium account.