Have you ever had a salesman (or woman) say to you: “Let me automate your activity on LinkedIn to produce fantastic returns, increase your connections by 1,000%, automatically endorse your connections, view thousands of profiles, etc…”?
Ever been tempted by their seemingly unbelievable pitch? Do you know what my response is whenever I get asked this question (which appears to be quite often)?
“Nope, show me one genuine relationship built on automation?”
And do you know what most vendors say in response? “Drrrrrrrrr…”
I guess it’s because I am a LinkedIn practitioner that I get a lot of people seek me out to sell me LinkedIn automation tools. My advice to them is not to bother.
We’re all busy multitaskers these days but it’s only by someone taking the time to manually write a personal message with their Connection request or putting in the effort of actually reading a post I publish on LinkedIn, forming an intelligent opinion about it and sharing their thoughts in a comment or being inspired enough by some of my content to share it with their own followers, that I know a relationship is worth building with them in the first place.
When you’re honest with yourself, writing a few comments or a line or two on a Connection initiation to personalise it doesn’t take too long. If you want to build a relationship with someone you can spare the time – nothing worthwhile is ever easy and nothing easy is ever worthwhile etc. Personally, I would take worthwhile relationships over easy relationships any day.
In terms of LinkedIn activity, automation is nothing but a short-cut. The time automation saves you is a benefit spoilt by the superficiality inevitably infused in the process itself. In addition, automation is, quite frankly, rude. Think about it: you wouldn’t send a robot or another substitute for yourself, another individual, for instance, to meet a potential new client on your behalf, would you? Beginning relationships online should be no different.
Automation is a facade. Personalised and genuine engagement, on the other hand, is authentic and a solid foundation for meaningful, mutually beneficial professional relationships. This is why I would always say a firm “no” to automation of my LinkedIn activity and a resounding “Yes” to building genuine relationships.
To all my trusted LinkedIn Connections – no relationship has been harmed in the making of this post!
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