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I recently performed some outreach work on LinkedIn and realized there’s a lot we can learn about ethical marketing from the LinkedIn business model.

Usually, when I get an inbound connection request, I don’t immediately send a reply. I must admit, I’m not a huge fan of the typical LinkedIn approach where you’re sent a connection request and you immediately get messages from people who go at lengths to let us know all about them and ask us to schedule a call with them.  

Obviously, that’s not an effective way to market on LinkedIn. There are other ways to start effective and memorable conversations. There are other ways to get advice and guidance with the LinkedIn business model.

Firstly, one of the approaches I like is when people ask me;

“What can I do for you? What do you need?”

Sometimes that’s just a veiled attempt at a sales conversation. So, what I typically do is I give people an answer to the question. I tell them who I am and what I do, and that PR is important to me.

What a typical innocuous, easy thing for me to do is to ask, “Hey, I’m trying to get on podcast interviews. Do you have a couple of suggestions on podcasts I should consider?” That seems like a pretty friendly, easy way to get a conversation started with someone. It deflects a “Hey, I want to get on a sales call with you,” or them trying to get on a sales call with me.

First of all, it’s valuable information for me, and it seems to be a pretty easy thing to do.

In one particular case, I got a connection request from someone and I accepted their request. It looked like they were in the same space. So, I got an inbound LinkedIn request from someone, I accepted the connection request, and then I didn’t have a message at all.

Instead, they came to me and said;

“Hey, thanks for connecting. What’s going on in your world?”

So, I give them my standard answer, which is, “This is who I am and what I do. And by the way, I’m trying to get some PR, so if you happen to know of any podcasts I should take a look at, let me know.”

His response back to that was to get pissed off at me for asking a favor before getting to know him.

I know that we have this permission-based marketing thing going on, but this was taking that a little too far. This was like getting ticked off about being asked about podcasts.

LinkedIn Business Model 1

So, I went ahead and said, “All right, so I think asking your opinion on podcasts is a pretty low threshold thing to ask about, but I’ll bite. What were you expecting from me when you asked, ‘What’s going on in my world?'”

And he came back saying he expected me to start a conversation, rather than ask something from a stranger.  Then I realized what he was saying, I replied back with a “Gotcha,” and moved on from that part of the conversation.

It was clearly not a conversation I was going to have.

You can’t make everybody happy!

The lesson here is pretty critical. Not everybody is going to react rationally to your sales and marketing efforts. Even in the LinkedIn business model.

I think sometimes we worry that when we put a marketing message or a sales message out there, that someone’s going to get ticked off, and naturally, we don’t want to tick anybody off. We don’t want to get anyone angry with us.

However, the fact of the matter is that the world’s a pretty big place, and people have their own emotional baggage that they’re bringing that into their interactions with you.

Sometimes, people are going to get pissed off for no good reason.

So, no matter what you do, you’re going to piss somebody off eventually, because there are people in this world who are just trying to get pissed off. They’re wired to be pissed off.  So be prepared and expect that. It’ll make you ultimately feel better in a way. And it can even come place where you least expect like inside the LinkedIn business model.

The gentleman who sent me a message asking what was going on in my world was kind of looking for a fight because I have no idea who this guy was.

It’s not like I’m going to have an open conversation with him about the things that are going on in my life. So clearly I’m going to say something about business. After all the platform we connected on is LinkedIn.   And we are subject to the LinkedIn business model.

But he still gets pissed off about it because it was not the answer he was expecting. There are people who are kind of wired to be angry and upset. If you dial down your marketing energies to basically not piss anybody off, you’re not going to talk to anybody.

LinkedIn Business Model 2

You’ll be dialed so far down that you’re never going to make any progress with anybody.

Lesson Learned

The lesson learned from this encounter with the LinkedIn business that you have to make a choice about what sounds ethical and honest and forthright, and not slimy and scummy from you, and then just go do it.

There are going to be people regardless who get pissed, and you just block their connection, ignore them and move on.

But don’t worry about it, and don’t let them stop you from getting your message out there, because there are going to be other people who are, in fact, really pleased that you reached out to them and that you have something intelligent to say about the problem that they’re facing that very day.

So, don’t let yourself get blindsided by people who are trying to pick a fight, because there are crazy people out there. They’re cuckoos. That’s just the way it goes.

Experience gained

My experience from this LinkedIn business model interaction is that, you carry on and do what you’re doing, do it well, do it ethically, and don’t get side-tracked by crazy talk.

Understand what’s right and what’s wrong in marketing ethics and do the best you can.

You have to get your message out there, and you have to sell.

Sometimes, it’s going to piss people off, and there’s just nothing you can do about it. Don’t let it stop you. Go out there. Do your thing. That’s what I want to encourage you to do, to keep talking, keep marketing, keep selling, keep putting your message out there, and keep talking about your High-Ticket Program.

Thanks for reading folks, I hope this was beneficial to you!