LinkedIn private messages – apparently the new way to get business

Not another spammy message!

Recently when I read through my LinkedIn messages, it feels like everyone has been on a course, one that tells you how to send “warm and personal” messages via LinkedIn.  I’ll concede they’re a step up from outright spam, but a small one.

I guess other people must be getting these type of warm and friendly messages from outright strangers too.

No doubt the senders have been told that sending messages via LinkedIn is a successful way to gain clients.  And I’m sure if the recipients were the right target market then it would be a great strategy.  But when they’re not targeted to the right people, then the reading and writing of said messages becomes a colossal waste of time for everyone involved.

Unsolicited uninvited messages to the wrong target market just doesn’t make good business sense.  Then I wondered, what’s the excuse for getting your target market wrong?  With LinkedIn, you actually have tonnes of upfront information to go at.  If your recipient has filled in their LinkedIn profile fully and correctly then you pretty much have access to their full online CV, meaning there should be very little reason to ever target the wrong people with offers they’re unlikely to want to take up.

It’s interesting to watch trends in how people behave on various social platforms and people have upped their game on LinkedIn for sure.  I do feel that the aim has surely got to be true connection, authenticity, clearly defined purpose and a clearly defined target market.  Working on tailored messages would therefore make sense.  Yes it takes longer to craft them, but nurturing real relationships takes time in every area of life – and the rewards reaped are far greater where care has been taken in the first place.

Open ended questions do work well in terms of engagement, but not so open ended that there is zero point in responding.  I frequently get messages from people I don’t’ know whatsoever saying things like “hope business is good, how’s your week?”


I have like at least 100 people who I’d like to connect with and tell them how my week is going if only there was the time.  Responding personally via direct message to someone I don’t know is not only a long way down the list, it’s simply not going to happen.

So, advice from someone who has definitely not been on a LinkedIn course but hangs out on LinkedIn for my 2 jobs:

1.       Define your target market very clearly
2.       Only contact people who are in your target market
3.       Spend time thinking about next steps – what do you want to happen next – craft your message appropriately with this in mind
4.       Test out on small handful of people before going wild
5.       Always remember, quality over quantity