It’s a slow burn but I received 2 questions last week for this new series.

With appreciative apologies to the other asker, I chose George Torok‘s question and will answer below:

Is it advisable to use an automated reach out tool to make new contacts? What should we be aware of?

If that automated tool is scraping data from LinkedIn, well, no it’s not advisable, in fact it breaks a rule in LinkedIn against doing so. So that was easy to answer and worth mentioning here again. In fact heavy abusers of scraping will get kicked off LInkedin, from what I hear.

If that tool is automating messaging via LinkedIn, well, I believe that’s a gray area:

  • I get why this could be a time saver by employing technology to automate rote, routine repetition.
  • I advise you to go the extra mile to make it appear that the messaging tool seems it is personalizing the message.
  • I warn you that I have been able to discern bland automaton-generated messages and recoil in disgust that someone wants to sell me something I do not need without researching me with enough care and forethought to fashion the message towards my personal as described on LinkedIn vs. no where near my interest level.
  • Well executed messages will get attention, action and reciprocation.
  • Too many messages reported to LinkedIn as spammy advertisement or bait-and switch will also earn a spot in LInkedIn Jail, so beware.

My answer: don’t automate, personalize and initiate.

Thanks George for that question.

Every week I collect the questions I receive and choose one. No prizes given, just the self-satisfaction that you know enough about LInkedin to ask a great question. Others want to know too! 

Blogger’s note: no blog post tomorrow due to the Yom Kippur holiday. I’ll be back Thursday.