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Social Media DON’T: LinkedIn Presentation Blunder

File this in the “Oh NO you DIDN’T!” category…

Some of you may know that I’ve had a linkedin profile for a while, but never really used it.

I started making a few connections a couple of months ago, and I’m starting to think it was a bad idea.

From what limited info I have about linkedin, you’re only supposed to “accept” real people that you know. So that’s what I did.

This week, I got a peculiar email from one of my linkedin “contacts”.

In essence this person sent me a slide show to review under the guise of getting my professional opinion. This person said they had “just finished” the presentation and wanted to get my honest feedback on it.

OhhhhhhHHHHhhhhh. I don’t really think they want my honest feedback, so I’m going to share it publicly so that YOU can learn what went wrong and how you can prevent looking like a total flake when you’re using LinkedIn.

1. The presentation was posted over a month ago.
This was not a NEW presentation, which was the first giveaway. If this person reeally wanted help, why wait a whole month to have someone review your presentation?

2. The FIRST Slide was titled “Why is NOW a graet time to join XYZ Co.”
Oh NO you DIDN’T! When I clicked through to the person’s profile, I saw that this presentation was one of the most viewed presntations on LinkedIn… for obvious reasons. This person was capitalizing on the good nature of people to view the presentation, when in reality the goal was either to get people to join the biz, or to push up the popularity of their presentation. Either way, it’s a limy, underhanded tactic, and to use it on smeone in yuor own profession HAD to be one of the most ignorant moves on the planet.

Yep, I’m seething a bit here, but there’s more.

3. It was not a personalized invitation.
Now I’m not one to consider myself arrogant, but this person didn’t use my name ONCE in the email that I recieved to review the presentation. That tells me I’m just another name on the list getting this email. God knows how many other unsuspecting folks have been hit with this same email. This person played the “I know you’re a busy professional, that’s why I want your professional opinion” card. Yes, shame on me for clicking through, but if it saves you a world of grief, my work here is done.

4. The entire presentation was TOO wordy.
Since they really asked for my opinion of the persentation, here’s the long and short of it. The slides had WAY too many words on most of them. Instead of using them as visuals, they were sales pages, loaded with way more content than you could even READ in the micro-sized format that linkedin offers in the preview pane.

Now I’m pretty verbose myself, so if I think it was wordy, it was REALLY horrible. The slide was so full, it sscrolled off the page! I couldn’t even READ the entire story of the company founder – not that I really needed to, or WANTED to. But if I did, I couldn’t. This person needs to brush up on Seth Godin’s ‘Really Bad Powerpoint’ Post before composing another presentation.

5. The final slide was a cheesy graphic of themselves with all their contact info.
Now really, if you weren’t convinced that this person was actually just trying to recruit me, nothing says it more than the final slide. I mean, seriously, if you’re giving a presentation to people that already know you, WHY would you need a whole slide just about you – with contact information too?

Let’s get to the heart of the matter. This person was pitching their product/biz opp to anyone with a puls. Granted, these were at least business professionals, so I applaud their desire to work with business builders, but if you’re wasting your time in LinkedIn or any other venue (online or off) trying to push your presentation on someone, you need your head examined.

Yep. I’m still seething. But I feel a little better now.

But here’s the cherry on top of the sundae: This person is connected to the owners of the direct sales company this person represents.

Everyody say it with me now: TACKY!

Not only is this a horrible reflection on Direct Sellers in general (I’ve ‘dis-connected’ myself from this person), but it also means that the company will get a black eye to boot.

This is exactly why we need more online marketing strategists and social media coaches working with direct sellers. At such a critical time, when companies are FINALLY embracing social media (or as Jennifer Fong pointed out, at least they’re dipping their toe in), we’ve got galactic blunders like this hurtling about cyberspace just TRYING to ruin it for everyone else.

So while I doubt this person will EVER see my review of their “presentation”, let my advice to you be plain: DO NOT BE THIS PERSON!

Lest you incur my wrath as well. 🙂

4 Comments

  1. Jennifer

    Hats off to you on this one Lisa. Nothing bugs me more than spammy emails through LinkedIn. Talk about a turn-off. Thanks for pointing out this blunder. Hopefully it will help others from making the same mistake!

    It's ALL about providing value, and that's done through giving people the info THEY need…not pitching yourself or your opportunity. It takes longer, but the payoff is SO much more effective.

    Cheers!
    Jennifer Fong

  2. Linda Lucas

    This type of tactic is what turns people off on the profession of direct sales. I admin the LinkedIn DSWA group and it is amazing how many "discussions" I have to move to Jobs, or yes – even delete. LinkedIn is to provide professional value to members not propagate the negative image that is so wrong about this profession. Thank you for aa great article

  3. Deb Bixler

    Hi Lisa,
    I actually just wrote an article about poor recruiting techniques and how technology is taking all of the art out of sale and marketing. Keeping the emotional connection in the process is essential. I hate video presentations of opportunities as well. Even worse is when I say, OK I will watch it then they never send it to me!

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