how to use linkedin

Maintaining the Sanctity of the Business Network on LinkedIn

By Social Media

I have had a great deal of success using LinkedIn as a business development tool. When I first began using LinkedIn, I set out to maximize the time I spend there and to keep my profile consistently up-to-date. I learned all I could so that I could teach others how to effectively use it and frequently teach workshops or coach individual client contacts to get the most out of LinkedIn.

I’m a big believer in thoughtfully developing one’s business network and so after a number of out-of-context requests to connect from strangers, I published this update.

Dear people who wish to connect on LinkedIn: I think you’re probably great and a good contact for me to have. Unfortunately, we’ve never met, and when you sent your invitation, you didn’t send a note. I don’t know why you want to connect with me and doubt very much we will interact since you didn’t see fit to share that with me in our initial chance for interaction. I simply don’t connect with people with whom I don’t have a real, meaningful connection. It’s not a dating site. It’s not Twitter. It’s LinkedIn, the social network for business. You’re welcome to follow me on Twitter @marijean and maybe you’ll introduce yourself and we’ll get to know each other and that might lead us back here. But for now, I’m not going to accept your request.

Sincerely, Marijean


It seems I struck a nerve because so far, more than 6,400 users have seen the post, with several likes and comments. It also generated some online conversation, which I would like to open up here. Do you agree with my position on LinkedIn relationships? Why or why not?

More help: How to Block Someone on LinkedIn


From the Field: A Question About Accepting LinkedIn Contacts

By Social Media

From the Jaggers Communications World Headquarters Inbox:


What advice do you have as far as accepting/not accepting LinkedIn invites from people that one has little or no connection with? I’ve got about 15 sitting in my mailbox that I’m just ignoring. How close a connection should there be? I know some folks out there will just accept an invite from anybody, as there are folks who send invites out to all their connections’ connections. Is there an advantage or disadvantage either way?


Definitely ignore them if you don’t know them. Here’s the test to perform: think if I ask you about the person you’re considering accepting – I see that you’re connected to them and want to know what you think of them as a plumber/CPA/math tutor/web designer and you look at your connection and have to tell me you don’t know them outside of being connected on LinkedIn. You don’t want to have to do that. My advice is to know the people to whom you’re connected enough to say that you think they are good at their job/are pleasant to work with/be in a group with/seemed to do well in school … other than that, just hit ignore.

Have You Aged Out of LinkedIn?

By Social Media

Last night, I attended a lovely event at The Jefferson School to celebrate, roast, honor, and say goodbye to my dear friend Alex Gulotta, who is moving to greener pastures (California), to work (until retirement) and be nearer his grown children. I spent part of the evening talking with a fellow advisory council member’s husband who was telling me that he was thinking of scaling back his LinkedIn presence since he was nearing retirement, and was thinking about doing different small jobs going forward.

But wait! I said, rather excitedly. (These parties get me a little jazzed, and the opportunity to talk about what I do with a stranger is even better!) What about all the younger people in your network? You’ve reached a point in your career when YOU are the facilitator of future relationships, YOU are the connector, YOU are the recommend-er and endorser of others. It’s your time to give back. AND, since you’re looking for new, and different opportunities, it’s a great place to make that known and to find those new projects.

I convinced him! Right there, over a cocktail at a nice little party. And guess who’s my new connection on LinkedIn this morning?

Why is LinkedIn Important?

By Communications, Social Media

I’m asked often if it’s important to have a LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn can be useful for a number of reasons: it can help you connect to others in your field; it can help you find new business opportunities or a new job; it can help you learn good business practices and social networking technique.

LinkedinimportantWhat you do with your LinkedIn profile says a lot about you as a professional. Other business people will go to LinkedIn to connect with you after meeting. Before that, though, some will Google you. What do people find when they search your name in Google? For me, an admitted high-producing publisher of online content AND the only Marijean Jaggers in existence, it’s surprising, even to me that the third result in a Google search of my name is my LinkedIn profile. It’s important because LinkedIn profiles show up for anyone who has one, in the Google search of their name. If it’s a clearly neglected profile, a nearly blank profile, or otherwise suffering (you have 14 connections? Really?) then THAT leaves a distinct impression on the person searching for you. If you can’t be found online, THAT leaves yet another impression.

What does your online profile look like? Are you happy with it?

WTF? Friday: LinkedIn Bans Prostitutes, Allows Goofy Endorsements

By Social Media

It’s outrageous, right? That all this time, LinkedIn has had users whose professions include prostitution, and that endorsements like “rape,” “shoplifting,” and “manslaughter” have been WTF?allowed?

HOW DID WE NOT KNOW THIS? And really, who wants a prostitute with a well-developed professional net . . . oh, never mind.

LinkedIn is busy revising its user agreements while the rest of us grow weary of the request for endorsements. My friend, optometrist Mike Murphy, sent a message to his LinkedIn contacts this week:

I am sending a blanket email to all of my connections on Linked-In regarding endorsements.

Please be advised that I do not value empty endorsements. If you have never worked with me, been a patient of mine, or in some cases never MET me please do not endorse me.
Nor should you ask for or expect that I will endorse you for your skills if I have not experienced them first hand. I don’t want to seem ungrateful, but seriously if you do not know me how do you know that I even know which end of an ophthalmoscope to look through?

That said, I have received a few endorsements from people who I have a professional relationship with and those I welcome warmly and value highly.

Thank you for your consideration.

Mike Murphy

Endorsements have quickly lost their value. What still holds up, however, are the thoughtful recommendations that connections have written to formally recognize one another.

If you want to provide value to someone in your network, don’t endorse a skill, write them a recommendation.