Greg Hoffman



LinkedIn Lessons

According to Marc Freedman, I had a chance to make a substantial impact by using LinkedIn's email update service, but I failed. I agree with him. I should have maximized the impact of notifying my 90+ connections what the changes were on my profile in the email, not just counting on them to read the profile and notice the difference.

Here is the message from Marc, reprinted with permission:

re: Your LinkedIn Profile Update Notification

I know this probably isn't an issue for many of your other contacts. But it is for me. I receive dozens of such updates from my contacts each week. Your email notice contains no information other than the fact that it is changed. You had a chance to tell me what is new in the email. Instead you said nothing.

Profiles contain lots of information. You're asking me to review your profile and guess what's new, or perhaps I should somehow magically know what is different? That doesn't work. Just tell me what's been updated.

There's yet one more reason for avoiding the empty LinkedIn update - my spam filter thought it was spam and put it in that folder.

Now I know LinkedIn doesn't provide a lot of information or support on using the update. In fact they make it quite easy to send the meaningless default update. Please allow me to make a few suggestions so you can improve on this in the future.

Make sure you customize the default profile update email message. The other items on the list below are for general advice only. Thank you!

*** BASIC ***

> RESPECT YOUR NETWORK. Many of us are executives and professionals and receive hundreds of emails a day. Send LinkedIn notifications only when you have significant news and only when it is of interest to most of your contacts.

> CUSTOMIZE THE NOTIFICATION EMAIL. You can edit the email subject and body at LinkedIn before you send it. Please do so.

> THE EMAIL IS THE MESSAGE. LinkedIn would have you drive your contacts back to the web site. That's understandable as that's their business. But your contacts have already seen your profile. The only real reason to get them back to the profile again is if you completely rewrote it. 99.9% of update notifications can be handled much more directly. You have a new job, a new professional interest, you moved, you solved world hunger, whatever. Just cut and paste the new copy from your profile into your update email.

*** ADVANCED ***

> SELL: HAVE AN OBJECTIVE. LinkedIn is a business network. It aint Friendster, which is going down the tubes anyway. You don't use LinkedIn to say 'hey'. Be sure to have a Call to Action. Reading your updated profile does not count. Ask your contacts to call, write, or refer as appropriate.

> MARKET: DON'T WASTE THE OPPORTUNITY. Every contact, especially a broadcast like this that reaches millions, or at least dozens, is an opportunity to present yourself. Don't just tell us about the great news. Tell us why it's significant. Anchor it into your personal story. Build your brand.

> NETWORK: REMEMBER, IT'S NOT ABOUT YOU. While it's nice to share your good news, what your contacts want to know is what's in it for them.

EXAMPLE. You could say "I'm excited to announce I have a new job as Director of Business Development for RazorPop." ... But wouldn't it better to say "I'm excited to announce I have a new job as Director of Business Development for RazorPop. It's an ideal position. I can continue to make great music. And RazorPop will help me promote it! Plus I can leverage my tech contacts in the Bay Area. RazorPop is a fast-growing cutting-edge company at the convergence of consumer technology and entertainment. Our customers are consumer marketers, electronic and computer manufacturers, content producers and distributors, and artists. We build powerful consumer communities. Our unique software, networks, and marketing programs extend your brand, attract and retain customers, and save you money unlike anything else available today. Are you involved with digital media or consumer technology? Can I help you or your company? Please call or write me to learn more."

Who's your daddy?

Best Regards,

Marc Freedman
> Profile at Who's Your
> Be a with select LinkedIn and Networking Resources
Ok. I agree with everything but I think his "I am your LinkedIn Daddy" tagline is a bit overkill. Granted, he has more than 5,000 connections, but it's a little strange. Don't you think?

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who's your daddy? that is weird...

9:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm connected to Marc Freedman through LinkedIn, but he's never yelled at me before. You should feel privileged.

He is connected.

By the way, your second LinkedIn update was much better. It got me here and to your LinkedIn profile. I'll see what I can to help you find your dream position.

9:51 AM  
Anonymous Des Walsh said...

Yes, I find the daddy bit rather strange - for me that would make him about 88 years old, even as a young daddy :)

The advice on communicating with our Linkedin networks is excellent and as anonymous said, you should feel privileged.


7:14 PM  
Blogger WrightHandBlogger said...

I ditto Des' remarks. I like that Marc broke his advice out into an "Advanced" section. Good stuff.

10:00 PM  
Blogger Richard Upton said...

"Who's your daddy"..."Marketing Gorilla" seems Marc Freedman isn't the only one using words to attract attention and be memorable.

10:09 PM  
Blogger Greg Hoffman, Marketing Gorilla said...

When I read "Who's Your Daddy?" I think of Muhammed Ali standing over Sonny Liston in 1965:

When I think of Marketing Gorilla, I think of my accomplishments:

Both grab attention, absolutely, but it's the tone that sets them apart.

10:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, the "who's your daddy" comment is weird -- I rejected his non-personalized invitation to me because of that. (Ironic that he's complaining about your non-personalized update, isn't it?)

I remember thinking when I got hsi invite, "This guy not only doesn't personalize his invites, he also uses a weird email address to trumpet his ultra-connectedness,"

Now I see he has smarts and offers good advice. Just goes to show how important first impressions are!
- Dennis McDonald (

10:27 AM  

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