Nudge Neil: LinkedIn, What Am I Doing Wrong?

Dear Neil: I have been trying really hard to take advantage of all of these social networking sites. I like them, but I really am not making much more money from them. Am I doing something wrong?

First, since you are a recruiter, forget about everything else for now until you master LINKEDIN. Twittter, Facebook, and the other sites just do not come close. The more connections for recruiters, the better! The ROCK BOTTOM, bare-minimum to have as a SHORT-TERM goal is 500! The real goal should be 2,500+.

Yes, you need this many, and you need them soon. Just like there is a great synergy once an office reaches, say 30 temps, or you have several job orders in your office consistently, so too works LinkedIn. LinkedIn, being all about connections, requires a strategy, to, well, connect.

Remember, your GOAL is to GET THE CONNECTION!

It is not to sell them your service (yet) nor is it to recruit them (yet). It is ONLY to get them to say yes to your connection request. Once they connect, you can then sell to them or recruit them. BUT DON’T make the common mistake that MOST make, where you send them an email either selling/recruiting or asking them to connect so that you can sell to them!

SIMPLY ASK for the connection and give them a compelling reason why connecting with you is a GREAT idea: show how your network will help them; how you will forward any requests; how you are very connected in their space (or will be soon), etc.

Set up a form letter that you cut and paste for each invitation that you send. Then, take a second and tailor a bit of the message, mentioning something in their profile!

Did you know that if you blindly invite people, your account will get locked after only three “I don’t know Neil’s”? Did you also know that you only get 3,000 LIFETIME invitations?

You can add connections without sending an invitation. Be careful and make the connection request very, very compelling — since you can message almost ANYONE in ANY group that you share with them (very few people turn off the feature not allowing other group members to message them), simply create a similar form letter and cut and paste that and send this to ALL of them.

Hundreds, thousands, you name it!

In this case, you will ask them to send you an invitation. There is no risk here since they can’t click “I don’t know Neil.” A decent percentage will indeed send you an invitation. It’s that easy. Just make your message compelling and don’t sell to them.

Outsource this cutting/pasting (see my outsourcing e-book in my free course), hire an administrative person, or do it yourself; it will pay huge dividends. This alone will get you to your 500 short-term goal literally overnight. Message directly from the groups, or even better, do an advanced search and only select your groups. Then email all that you can: cut, paste, send!

Groups Are Key

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Join all 50 groups and do it now! Join groups that hit all of the key blocks for your business (i.e., clients, candidates, peers, and industry experts). Join the groups with the MOST members, as the biggest benefit is going to be your ability to message ANY of them immediately and get them to connect with you (and even if they don’t, you can always find them in your searches and message them then).

The tricks and benefits derived from groups are far too numerous to get into here. Just do it!

Search LinkedIn Prospects OUTSIDE of LinkedIn

That’s right…why limit your search results to those who you have only connected with or are in your groups? If you use basic Google Boolean search parameters, you can search LinkedIn only and find any candidate you want!

Stop worrying about buying Inmails or using intro requests; instead, pick up the phone once your now-large network gets you to the right person.

LinkedIn is all about the network, and then it’s about you and your phone skills! That’s right, the phone!!

Don’t waste your time on many inmails or introductions; they make little sense. With the Internet, once you have a name and a company, you can get their phone number and call them. It’s so much better than an intro that may or may not go through. You also can then ask them to connect and give them the same compelling reason (no selling or recruiting YET). Sure, still use the person to refer you, but mention that in your call…. or DO BOTH (the online intro and the call). LinkedIn will find you the person you need to call and all you have to do is call (yes, winter, spring, summer, or fall).

To maximize your LinkedIn experience, take my online, recorded, 3.5-hour webinar or invest in any of the other products out there.

As always, Carpe Diem!

Neil Lebovits, CPA, CPC, CTS, before taking the industry by storm as a trainer, was a global president for Adecco, where he sat on the global executive team. Previously, Neil was the president and COO of Ajilon Professional staffing for North America, where he oversaw over 100 offices. Neil has done it all in the industry: Permanent & Temporary Placement, Sales, Branch Management, Regional Management, COO, & President. He founded his industry training & development company, http://www.TheDynamicSale.Com, in 2009. Neil shares the secrets and systems that he has developed and harnessed while working himself up over his 20+ years in the industry. A renowned leader, motivator, trainer, and speaker, he has appeared on Bloomberg TV, CNN, ABC news, CNBC, the Wall Street Journal, Fortune, and Smart Money. Learn more about Neil and sign up for his free online training course at www.TheDynamicSale.Com.


5 Comments on “Nudge Neil: LinkedIn, What Am I Doing Wrong?

  1. While Linkedin can be a valuable tool for recruiters and sales professionals alike. I think it important to remind people that LI also serves the prospects we as recruiters call everyday as well. Many clients and prospects use LI to monitor their phone messages. For instance, over the past year I have heard from several clients and candidates that when a call comes into their VM the first thing they do is check LI to learn more about the person calling prior to calling them back. Therefore, personally becoming a web superstar makes it easy for a person to look at your online profile and lump you into the, “oh a head hunter calling category”. Rather I try and promote my organization on places like LI and keep my personal info private. I once again remind people that technology is not always a recruiters best friend. Use it wisely!

  2. This article was a wonderful reminder why Linked-In is becoming a sophisticated Monster or CareerBuilder. Yes many of the people on LI are not active, with a resume broadcasting their desire for a new job, so they must be “passive.” Well… I would argue that anyone who makes themselves so readily available to these random and non-targeted invites is in fact anything but “passive.”

    Now, I LOVE this site as a tool to identify and network with people. And I think this is a great way for people to share ideas and showcase their talent. But much in the way that a resume tells you very little about a prospective candidate I would argue that most of the time, LI is no different. Simply finding where people are and connecting with them adds very little value… this article does a wonderful job of showcasing that anyone, ANYONE, can do that. It is how you weed through all of this information that will differentiate you from the rest of the “resume services.” Your clients could hire someone for $50K a year to manage the finding and “linking-to” of talent and then let their in house recruiters get the resumes and send them along to hiring managers.

    The point here is that I don’t think that LI does much but provide a way for people to look for a new job without being so blatant as they had to be in the past. There needs to be a better way to get past the resume, LI profile, etc. to get to the heart of what someone can DO not what they have DONE (though it is still important). Most “recruiters” don’t truly know how to evaluate talent and if you don’t have the ability to manage the rest of the talent management process (the other 90% of what you should be doing besides uncovering where the talent is) then you are not adding very much value.

    Just some thoughts based on what we hear everyday from clients and candidates alike (even the ones on LI)

    Great article though!

  3. Great points and thanks for the kudos, Geoff. WT, I haven’t heard that before, but suspect it becomes for of the exception than the rule.. Heck, who has time to really do that.. That said, don’t let that deter you from the great benefit (That should easily outweigh that risk) that you get by being very visible. Geoff, you are very right.. ONce you get to 2,000 or so contacts, then you almost always hit when you put out a broadcast.. The real value in LinkedIn for me and for who I train is to find new ways to learn more about people and companies and to reach them.. For example, in my training at, I train people to use the peer approach. So, it’s just great to use as a research tool BEFORE you ever pick up the call and make a cold call. Once you have this huge network, you will almost always be steps away from your target client (or recruit).. So, this should help take away a lot of the “cold” part of the cold call, as it were.

    Glad you enjoyed!

    Carpe Diem!,


  4. From one Neil to another:
    Great stuff! But…LI is another technology trap if not used VERY carefully, creating web superstars rather than placement superstars. Make your list of who to call, do a quick LI search so you have an educated call…and pick up the phone. Anything which reduces outbound telephone connect time is a danger to our industry. Neil McNulty

  5. LOL, Neil and I hate when people spell it Neal, as most are with the I (NeIl).

    I fully fully agree! It is a theme that I talk about in my training program

    In fact, It’s all about the phone (or should be)! The LinkedIn network is all about the NETWORK! Connect to people who are connected! You don’t need to connect to your targets (although that is great). Then, you will always have someone connected to who you need to call. Then you have and can get great info and then pick up the phone!

    In fact, when I first started on LinkedIn, I sent someone an intro request that I know.. They they replied “Sure, I’ll do this for you, Neil.. But, why don’t you pick up the phone. You can mention me and you can find his number online”.


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