As a LinkedIn group owner I see too many marketing fails on a regular basis. The only good those posts have accomplished is to be the inspiration for my list of the 5 really bad marketing ideas on LinkedIn that you need to avoid. Please do not commit to any of these offenses:

Using LinkedIn connections to peddle your wares

Now that word has gotten out that LinkedIn can be used for generating leads and finding new clients, the number of connection requests I have received has gone through the roof. I even get invitations from coaches who think it’s a good idea to be connected with a…coach?!? Without so much as a glance at my profile, I get approached with a generic “We have common connections, so let’s connect”only to be followed by “Thank you. Here is my calendar. Book yourself some time to talk to me.”

You are better than this. Stop it immediately. This is such a turn off. You do this to me and our connection will be immediately removed. I am not on LinkedIn for you to market to me, and neither is anyone else.

Instead, focus on building the relationship first. Be strategic with your connection requests so that you build your network, not a sales platform.

Using LinkedIn groups to post and post and post and post the same tired topic without ever making a comment

That’s spamming, and you don’t like it either. My LinkedIn group is approaching 50,000 members. Some “very clever” (yes, those are sarcastic air quotes) marketing people who sometimes work for the SAME company figured it would be a great idea to include my group into their content strategy. Some of them post the same thing again and again, EVERY single day. I mean, how many posts does my group need about using video? In my group, it goes like this:

  • On your first offense, you are put in moderation.
  • If you continue to post irrelevant or repetitive posts, you get throttled.
  • And if you still don’t get that your strategy needs adjustments, you get removed.

Know your audience. Do less and do it well. Don’t half-ass it. Think before you post, use quality content, mix it up, and most importantly, evaluate if this matters to the group. For example, a recent post invited group members to a workshop without ever mentioning that it was in Tokyo.

Thinking of groups as your personal billboard

Groups were once great places to have conversations. Not anymore. Marketers have taken over and are using groups to drive traffic to their own websites. Here are all your no-no’s:

  • Using a link to your site without any explanation as to what the post is about
  • Posting a link that goes to a sales page
  • Posting a link to a page with an immediate pop-up to register or get a free report
  • Posting a link to your YouTube video
  • Having your colleague post the exact same article with a different headline
  • Using a post to offer your $49 website special, or your $99 expert logo design

If you want to be noticed, comment on other people’s posts when your expertise can be helpful. That will get you so much more attention, and the right kind of it.

Having a crappy LinkedIn profile

You know the kind. They are missing a personal image and show an animal or a logo instead, or have an introduction line like ‘looking for new opportunities.’

If you are unsure how to use LinkedIn effectively and respectfully, check out my friend Melonie Dodaro of Top Dog Social Media and author of the #1 Bestseller LinkedIn Unlocked who helps business owners and everyone else make excellent first impressions on LinkedIn. Check out her video on creating a powerful profile here.

Bragging about your connection mongering

Why an attorney in a little Ohio town would want or need 15,000 connections is beyond me. You don’t need that many connections (especially if you’re selective about the ones you do have) and you can’t maintain any reasonable form of ‘connection.’ I tend to ignore requests from people like that because it says quantity over quality, and that’s not my thing.

I hope this sheds some light as to why LinkedIn doesn’t work for so many of you, and why others can make it work like a charm. I touched on this problem in a previous post that you can read here: How To Not Be A Jerk In Business.

I understand it is very tempting to do what others are doing, but please refrain from connecting with the sole intention to sell. Rather, connect to build the relationship so that it can lead to much better referrals and sales.

Are there other bad marketing ideas on LinkedIn that you want to add on this list? I’d love to know about your own experiences on your own LinkedIn groups or in other social media channels you’ve been in to. Share it in the comments below.


Beate Chelette is The Growth Architect and a results-oriented businesswoman with an entrepreneurial spirit and a proven track record in growing, building and scaling women’s businesses. Once $135,000 in debt and a single mother, she successfully sold her business to a global entertainment media company owned by Bill Gates in a multi-million dollar deal.

Through her online courses, one-on-one training programs and live speaking events, she mentors women entrepreneurs with her 5 Star Success Blueprint, developed with the knowledge gleaned from her growing, scaling and selling her own company. Beate has a deep commitment to supporting women.

She is the creator of The Women’s Code, the fourth step of Growth Architecture that is focused on Supporting Balanced Leadership. Her proprietary methods specifically address women’s obstacles and she leads from experience, having survived in business in a highly competitive male-dominated environment.

She is a respected speaker and mentor and is the author of the book “Happy Woman Happy World How to Go From Overwhelmed to Awesome”, a book that corporate trainer and best-selling author Brian Tracy calls “a handbook for every woman who wants health, success and a fulfilling career.”

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