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Don't Use Linked-in This Way to Find Clients

This is from Carolyn Howard Johnson's guest post on Sharing with Writers and Readers:

By Jacquelyn Lynn originally for her Shareable Saturday Newsletter

LinkedIn is a great business networking tool. I’ve found great resources through it, and some of my best clients discovered me on LinkedIn.

But recently, in the span of fewer than two days, I had two people who offer book marketing services send me requests to connect on LinkedIn.

That’s fine.

After all, I write books, and I help my clients write and publish books, and we have mutual connections.

But immediately after I accepted their requests to connect, both of these people sent me private messages asking me what I write.

One wrote this:

Hello 👋 It’s Awesome connecting with you How are you doing today?

I can see you are an author, what genre do you write?

The other wrote this:

Hello Jacquelyn How are you doing?

Are you a published author?

Excuse me? Did either of them read my LinkedIn profile? That would be the profile that clearly describes what I do and lists the books I’ve written.

Apparently not.

I ignored their messages.

I understand people use LinkedIn to prospect for clients — that’s a big part of the purpose of the platform. But if your prospecting irritates your targets and makes you look incompetent, you might want to rethink your approach.

A message that essentially says, “I would like you to buy my services, but first take your valuable time to engage in trivial chitchat and tell me everything about your business” isn’t likely to get much of a response — especially if it includes errors.

A better approach is to read my profile, check out and engage with some of my posts, and then tell me why what you offer might be a match with my needs.

Does that take more time? Yes.

Is it more likely to produce positive results? I’m not a sales and marketing expert, so I don’t have any proof, but I think the answer is yes.

Why not give it a try?

And if we’re not connected on LinkedIn, here’s the link to my profile:


Jacquelyn Lynn is an inspirational author, ghostwriter, and self-publishing consultant. Her more than 45 books include The Simple Facts About Self-Publishing: What indie publishers need to know to produce a great book and How to Avoid Being Ripped Off by a Publisher. Learn more at Get 10 seconds of inspiration delivered to your inbox every Saturday morning: Join Jacquelyn’s Shareable Saturday community at

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