Most of us are on LinkedIn to build our network, so it’s no surprise that we’re open to random connection requests. Most are innocent, genuine requests, but there has been a rise in fake accounts and potential scammers on LinkedIn recently.
So what can we do about it?
Take a strategic approach to who you connect with.
We can set our own rules/guidelines for who we connect with on LinkedIn. Our connections influence what we see in our feeds so why clog it with people you have no interest in working with or hanging out with?
We are in control of our profile and network.
Here are the 7 LinkedIn red flags I pay attention to when considering a connection request
Red flag No.1 –No network
If I check out the profile and notice they don’t have any LinkedIn connections or the few they do have look like they could be fake too, I stay well clear.
If you suspect this could be a fake profile, consider reporting to LinkedIn
Red flag No.2 –Ridiculously good looking (oh hey Zoolander)
The picture is either over-polished (think stolen from the internet) or it’s totally out of whack with their name.
They choose a very good-looking person (any gender) to ‘honey trap’ you.
Think really glam stock photos easily grabbed from the internet.
Red flag No.3 – It’s too good to be true
That old saying fake it till you make it doesn’t hold up here!
If the profile has amazing credentials but you’ve never heard of any of the companies they have worked for and they don’t have any recommendations or skills endorsements my flags are waving wildly.
Red flag No.4 – No social proof
Have their connections validated anything their profile claims?
If you truly want to build connections on LinkedIn you understand the importance of Social Proof.
If there are no recommendations or skills endorsements featured that speaks volumes.
Red flag No.5 – Location, location, location
While the location isn’t always an issue, I’m always cautious when international people want to connect with me. I make sure there are no other red flags or obvious signs that their profile may not be legit.
If you have a global business and want to work with people all over the world you can ignore this red flag, but check out the others before you blindly connect.
Red flag No.6 – Activity has flatlined
If the profile looks like a ghost town with no recent activity or engagement with other users visible it tells me they are only ‘spamming’ connections and aren’t socialising on the platform.
The No.1 goal on LinkedIn is to start a conversation and that means engaging with other people’s content.
Red flag No.7 – Incomplete profile
There are thousands of incomplete profiles on LinkedIn, and no doubt each person has their own reason for not completing their profile, but for me it’s a red flag.
Especially when it’s paired with any of the other red flags.
Remember, you control your network on LinkedIn
So even though you want to grow your LinkedIn connections, it doesn’t mean you have to say Yes to everyone. Learn how to say no and strategically grow your network with connections that enrich your LinkedIn experience.
A small quality network will win over a large, random audience who don’t fit with your goals for LinkedIn.
It means your feed will be filled with the people you want to hear from over random sales posts.
Need help with LinkedIn? Let’s talk.
About the Author
Rebecca Cofrancesco is an experienced marketing strategist and content creator.
She works with professional services brands and offers freelance services without the overhead of a full-time employee.
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