LinkedIn has been a game-changer for me, opening doors to countless professional opportunities and connections, and allowing me to trade ideas and resources with my network. But let’s be honest, with its vast user base comes an inevitable downside: the relentless wave of LinkedIn spam. From eager sales pitches to random connection requests, I’ve seen it all. If you’re active on LinkedIn, chances are that you’ve experienced this as well. Over time, I’ve developed some strategies to handle these with grace and poise. Here’s my personal guide to managing unsolicited, spammy requests and messages on LinkedIn.
- Ignore the request: Ever received a connection request without any message? I get them all the time. If they didn’t take a moment to introduce themselves or give a reason for why they’d like to connect, I usually move on without feeling guilty.
- Give a clear response to requests accompanied by messages: When a message accompanies a request, I give it a read. If it’s genuine, I’m all ears. Or if they’d like to connect to grow their network, I might say yes because it’s not hurting anyone and I’ve gained a connection.
- Practice reciprocity: I occasionally get requests to follow someone’s page. If it resonates with my interests, I’m on board. But networking is about mutual growth, right? So I’ll usually ask them to follow my company page in return.
- Respond with a question: Sometimes, I’m curious. Why did they reach out? Asking, “What about my profile stood out to you?” not only satisfies my curiosity but also helps me understand my online presence better. Oftentimes when I ask questions, they don’t respond at all.
- Be direct about the sales pitch: If they’re giving you an offer that straight up sales pitch be direct about if you’re interested or not. It’s ok to politely decline. And while I”m at it, I might suggest they check out my company page. Who knows, they might find something they like or there could be an opportunity for us to connect in the future. To their sales pitch, you can say something like “No thank you. By the way, would you consider following my company page?”
- Get clarity on their ask: Some messages are just… vague. I often get messages like “I have a podcast where I interview the best leaders” or “This service I offer has benefitted companies similar to yours”, without a clear proposition. In such cases, I ask outright “Are you asking me to be on your podcast?” or “Are you asking me to buy your service?”. It’s surprising how many times I don’t get a response.
- Use it as an opportunity for mutual growth: If someone is keen on offering a service, I suggest a mutual learning call. We spend time understanding each other’s services. It’s less about purchasing and more about learning. Most of the time, people ignore the request, but I still feel good about responding in this way. In the few times people have said yes, I’ve gotten to learn about their services and industry and they ask me questions about mine, which has helped me get better at selling.
LinkedIn is a treasure trove of opportunities, but it’s essential to sift through the noise. With these strategies, I’ve managed to turn potential distractions into meaningful interactions. And who knows? The next random message might just be the opportunity you’ve been waiting for.