Catherine O’Mahony dislikes LinkedIn email, according to her article in today’s Sunday Business Post*. She doesn’t like unsolicited invitations to connect. She doesn’t like unasked for endorsements. She’s not sure what ‘connections’ are all about. In short, she doesn’t like LinkedIn much at all. She’d rather be ‘Linked Out’.
I’m interested in what O’Mahony has to say because she echoes criticisms I’ve heard other people make about LinkedIn. People really do hate those LinkedIn email invitations and it seems most don’t know how to turn them off. (If that’s you, you’ll find instructions for how to change your LinkedIn communication preferences at the end of this short article.)
Where I differ from O’Mahony, however, is that I find LinkedIn useful — not so much for viewing profiles or checking who’s viewed mine — but rather for following the comments and market insights of people whose opinion I value. Typically, these people are not so-called ‘influencers’. They’re more likely to be people I encounter in real life and do business with.
Of course, not everyone has something interesting to say and those who do, don’t always share their insights on LinkedIn. But some do, and those — for me at least — are reason enough to log on from time to time and have a read.
What I do use LinkedIn profiles for is background research. It can be helpful when a new customer is someone you didn’t previously know. Seeing the connections you have in common is reassuring and can be helpful in establishing trust when building a new business relationship.
LinkedIn is also useful for following up contacts made at meetings and industry events. Every so often, I take out those business cards I’ve collected, have a look through them and then send a short message. It’s surprising how often following up these contacts opens up business opportunities.
But, like O’Mahony, I’m not a fan of LinkedIn email. I changed my preferences to cut it out. If you want to follow suit, here’s how to do it:
How to change your LinkedIn email preferences
- Log on to LinkedIn and click your image in the top right corner.
- Select ‘Privacy and Settings”
- Then select ‘Communications’ and update your preferences so that you only receive the email you want.
* Sunday Business Post (magazine section) 26 June 2016.