Automated processes for our businesses are essential for getting our time back and creating space for us to focus on other important tasks to grow and scale the business.

When it comes to LinkedIn, automated or pre-scheduling your content is fine by me as it creates consistency, whereas if things weren’t pre-scheduled, you might go days or weeks between posts.

With that in mind, three things should never be automated on LinkedIn:

1. Your direct messages:

Automating your LinkedIn messages can be a negative thing for several reasons:

  • Lack of Personalization: Automated messages can often lack the personal touch that comes with a human touch. This can lead to messages being perceived as impersonal or generic.
  • Spamming: Overusing automation to send too many messages too quickly can result in spamming, which can result in LinkedIn penalizing your account.
  • Inappropriate Messaging: Automated messages may not always be appropriate for the recipient or the context, which can lead to misunderstandings or even offense.
  • Lack of Response: Recipients can often ignore automated messages, as they can sense that the message was not written specifically for them, resulting in a lower response rate.
  • Professionalism: LinkedIn is a professional networking platform, and automated messages can be seen as unprofessional or lazy. It is always better to take the time to write a personalized message that shows you care about the recipient and the relationship.

2. Your connection notes:

One of the biggest problems on LinkedIn right now is all the notes being added on LinkedIn.

In some instances, it is okay to add one, but most of the time, we receive many canned and spammy requests with the notes attached.

This is a topic of discussion for those who use LinkedIn regularly. Most of us, if not all of us, have received connection requests with notes added to them that have either been genuine, robotic, or sleazy sales pitches.

Now I understand that we have been told, not just by LinkedIn, that it’s better to “add a note” to a connection request rather than just hit “connect” with the hopes that it will increase the chances that someone will accept the connection request.

There was a study done by a third-party company that sent out thousands of connections with a note and thousands of connections without a note. They discovered that the acceptance rate was no different whether you added a note or not.

We are all looking for ways or “hacks” to improve our acceptance rate of connections sent out on LinkedIn, and some feel that “adding a note” is the way to do just that. In some cases, yes, but in most cases, no, and I will explain why.

One of those ways is “adding a note” to the connection request to personalize it.

In reality, it sounds like a great idea, but I have found that if it’s done too often, it gets lumped into the same category of “spam” messages being sent out.

In my opinion, there are three instances where it is appropriate to send a connection request with a note:

  • If you know the individual personally:

This is the most common example of when you should add a note to a connection request. You may be connected to this person on Facebook or Instagram, not LinkedIn. So, you end up seeing them pop up in the “people you may know section” or a search. This is when you send them a connection request and add a note to it that states something like this:

“Hi ______. So great to see you on LinkedIn. I know we are connected elsewhere but would love to connect here. Looking forward to reconnecting soon.”

It is personal. It is genuine. It is real.

  • If you were referred to connect with them by a mutual connection or colleague:

One of the best forms of connecting is referrals. It happens to me multiple times per week. I often get connection requests sent to me that state that they wanted to connect because a mutual connection of ours stated that it would be a good idea for them to follow me or to connect with me based on what I do within my business. This also acts as warm leads for the person who is receiving them.

If you referred to follow someone or connect with someone based on a conversation with one of your connections, here is what you should say:

“Hi _________. Our mutual connection ___________ suggested I connect with you based on what you do professionally, as they felt you would be a value-added connection to my network. Hoping to learn more about you and how you help your clients.”

This note states the connecting point between you and the person you are looking to connect with on LinkedIn. This, in turn, will increase the chance of that individual accepting your connection request.

  • If you found the person via their business (book, podcast, speaking engagement, networking event):

This is the type of note added to the connection request that I am most likely to accept. When someone takes the time to send me a connection request and state how they found me, whether it was from one of my books, my podcast, or training I had done, it shows how genuinely interested that person is in wanting to connect with me.

If you happen to listen to a podcast of someone, see or attend training someone, or read a book by a specific author and you find them on LinkedIn, add a note that is just like this:

(This was an actual note that was sent to me by someone)

“Hi, Scott. I am listening to your amazing interview with Nancy Juetten. She is a highly trusted mentor of mine. Love what you are teaching!”

As you can see, there is a right and wrong way to “add a note” to someone on LinkedIn. Let me give you a final example of what NOT to say when adding a note to a connection request to someone on LinkedIn:

“Knock, Knock…Now you’re supposed to say, “Who’s there?” Just Kidding, Scott, I am always looking for more leaders in the Coaching industry to add to my network. Would love to connect!”

This example speaks for itself. Don’t forget that being genuine, authentic, real, and creating a connecting point between you and that other person will always have you come out on top!

3. Your connection requests:

This is taken directly from the LinkedIn User Agreement, which can be found here:

The main things I want you to acknowledge is this,

8.2. Don’ts

You agree that you will not:

Create a false identity on LinkedIn, misrepresent your identity, create a Member profile for anyone other than yourself (a real person), or use or attempt to use another’s account;

Develop, support or use software, devices, scripts, robots or any other means or processes (including crawlers, browser plugins and add-ons or any other technology) to scrape the Services or otherwise copy profiles and other data from the Services;

Use bots or other automated methods to access the Services, add or download contacts, send or redirect messages.

As you can see from the above statements, people are actually in violation of the LinkedIn User Agreement if you are using automation to connect for them.

Which of the three do you feel should never be automated?

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