How good manners on LinkedIn build trust

Want to build greater brand trust and traction on LinkedIn? Then good manners should be a top priority. It not only decent but smart commercial practice demonstrating personal brand integrity and business trust.

And like a healthy diet, it’s the “most days” that matter not the “occasional” so whilst we are all human, forget, misplace and life happens it’s the most times that matter.

The impact of professional manners will deliver above and beyond. Who should be a recipient of yours? Everyone or just those who you deem are important? It should be everyone!

Manners stems from a “mindset of care and respect” vs “narcissistic gain”. The world flicks around and today’s sellers and candidates can be tomorrows clients and staff. And referral opportunities are vast with manners polishing each window of opportunity.

Here are my top eight tips for building trust on LinkedIn.

  1. Sending invitations
    Try to always send a request with a personal note. Be personal and not tick and flick. Read their profile and have full profile visibility turned on.
  2. Accepting invitations
    If you accept a personalised invitation and note – respond with at least a thank you. This is the start of an online/offline relationship. Be gracious.
  3. Private messages
    If someone takes the time to craft a clear personalised and relevant message it’s simply rude not to respond in any way once you have read it (ok time constraints may mean you can’t respond instantly but aim for 3-5 days max).
    Why have someone in your network and ignore them? And don’t be lazy with auto icons of Thumbs up etc.
  4. Engagement responses
    Content is the jewel in the crown for building your expert authority on the platform. If someone has taken the time to engage on your content always respond. And not just tick a Like. Unless a comment is rude or weird it’s a must do. Not only good manners but feeds the algorithm for greater content reach.
  5. Introducing networks
    Introducing your connections is a great way of adding value and demonstrates a professional commitment of support. As a marketing and branding activity, I encourage mindfulness of the benefits of this. Always respond with gratitude and thanks to all parties. It takes time to craft an introduction and you want to encourage more of them. Don’t take them for granted.
  6. How to say no thanks politely
    A lot of folks do an ostrich and ignore when they don’t know how to respond to a personalised message. Ignoring is not a good idea generally. Try and always respond by reflecting if the shoe was on the other foot. Humanise the response but craft it in a way that shows gratitude and respect but a clear statement of your intentions that you are not interested at this time… A little caveat here: I’m referring to current connections NOT spamming messages from MLMs, overseas spruikers etc.
  7. Attribution and tagging
    When sharing an article (whether found on LinkedIn or another digital platform) you should always attribute and tag the author. It is not only courteous and respectful but alerts that author you have done so.
  8. Plagiarism and content sharing
    No covert and underhand content sharing as if your own or outright plagiarism of any kind. Be aware of the legal ramifications and morality of conduct and authorship issues. Respect and permission must be front of mind.

Manners on LinkedIn are like muscles at the gym. The more you flex them the better results achieved. And, if you don’t have strong muscles, the rest of your body struggles with strength.

Sue Parker, Founder, DARE Group Australia

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