Adapt or Die!

Billy Beane, Moneyball

A thoughtful response to Augie Ray’s Pulse Article about Linkedin Spam:

(Btw, I had to use my own blog for the response because Linkedin Pulse has a character limit for Pulse Comments. WHY???)

Augie, short answers your questions

Your POV seems fair. Your response may or may not be helpful to the recipient – it depends on them. It could be perceived as arrogant – again, it depends on them. I’d give it a 10% chance or less of impacting spam around the network, even if it was a common practice. (By the way, I did the exact same thing yesterday.)

Going deeper

It looks like there are two issues in play – 1. Strategies around connecting with people, and, 2. Strategies around communicating with connections.

  1. Initially I only connected with people I knew well enough to ask for a referral to someone I didn’t know. That was my measuring stick. Then I began connecting with people I wanted to know and build relationship with, hoping that they would see my shares and thereby establish a reputation as a recognized expert. Now I’m back to connecting with people I know, with occasional exceptions. I have built Connection Requests into my routine interactions in the run of business.
  2. I rarely use the tool for messaging people I don’t have a strong relationship with. And when I do message new connections or people I want to know, I state my intentions very clearly. Here’s an example:

Hi ___, can I send you more info? Some friends suggested _brand_ re a career move I’m making. You came up in a search of _brand_, insurance, technology, and leadership. Please click through to see Shared Connections and thought-leadership. I can help the _brand_ Insurance practice solve for growth. Regards, Mike

That connection request was accepted. I then sent the email:

_____, thanks so much for connecting via Linkedin. It’s a great honor. After looking across your search and social graph, I am deeply interested in supporting your efforts. Thanks for considering. It is understood that an accepted request is not necessarily an open door, so I will only send this one note.

___value prop with related attachment___

___, thanks again for connecting. I promise not to reach out again without your request. If you would like to go deeper, I can share “5 Real Stories, Impacts, Opportunities, & Competitive Advantage”, a second more detailed discussion.

Thanks again for connecting. I’ll wait to hear from you.

Best regards,
Mike Wise

I didn’t hear back so I’m keeping my promise.

Meanwhile, I share useful articles about my corner of the world once a day. I’ve noticed Likes and Comments are starting to pick up, but I think that’s more about people starting to understand the importance of regular activity within the network and less about my posts – perhaps a little of both. And I also regularly hear from connections I meet in person at events that they appreciate what I post even though they don’t often engage with the posts.

In conclusion

It’s early in the game for most people, Augie. You were an early adopter and saw amazing results because of that. Over time, you have developed a very mature strategy and process, one that I watch and interact with, one that is built on experience and deep thought. I genuinely appreciate your thought leadership and perspectives and the content you choose to share.

Please comment back on Augie’s original post, or copy and paste into both spots. Thanks!