An Argument in Favor of Direct Messaging Strangers on LinkedIn-BountyBase
This is my story of how I sent over 3,000 direct messages to people on LinkedIn and started my business back before Linkedin was overrun by DMs
You’ve probably heard someone tell you that LinkedIn is only for connecting with people that you know. Ask anyone that requires you to enter their email before sending a connection request on LinkedIn. The haters say things like: “Don’t message strangers on LinkedIn” and “I get so many messages from people selling me something” and “LinkedIn isn’t for that.”
I’m here to tell you that the haters are wrong. I’m only one person, but I’ve sent messages to over 3,000 people on LinkedIn to start my business. Wouldn’t you know it, some of them actually responded. The first time 3% responded and the read-rate rivaled that of late 90s email (in the 90-percentile).
How LinkedIn Has Helped Transform My Business
Over LinkedIn, especially thanks to the direct messaging feature, I’ve built a business that is on pace to become 6-figures within the 2nd year. Besides the one childhood friend that connected me to the founders of Buying.com, I have built my entire career in blockchain over the last year and a half through LinkedIn and Medium. (Special thank you to Medium and Medium Staff).
You need to be on LinkedIn. You should be reaching out to people over it, even if it’s just a quick question to an opinion leader in your field. Put yourself on the radar. However, you should not be spamming people on it. Think of LinkedIn as a platform that promotes and encourages content that is valuable, reliable, and genuine. What you give to LinkedIn, it will be reciprocated. But that’s not really why I’m writing to you to encourage you to get on it. My reason is much more simple than that, actually.
LinkedIn is Seriously Undervalued
If you aren’t spending time on LinkedIn every single day, especially if you’re in an emerging tech industry (even if it’s just for emerging news and information), you need to do yourself a favor. You need to get on there while it’s still undervalued and under-utilized. Here’s the thing. Unlike platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, LinkedIn’s growth rate is not flattening.
It’s a HOT platform if you’re in some emerging industries, such as the following (broken down by the number of users in the industry on the platform as made available by the search result):
- Blockchain: 356,002
- Enterprise Cloud: 36,500
- Machine Learning: 1.1M
These numbers and industries are continually growing.
Reasons why LinkedIn is crushing it right now
The social platform is actually the total opposite of how someone might approach, for example, Facebook. I scrutinize every Facebook request I get. LinkedIn on the other hand, I’m much less selective (as long as you seem like you’re in Blockchain, Crypto, Digital Assets, Tech and Information Services, I’ll probably add you). People are generally more accepting to new requests. My requests per day and follows are much higher on LinkedIn compared to Facebook (I’m at 8.3K LinkedIn Followers).
LinkedIn is also a gem because it connects industries that aren’t closely connected geographically. American tech has Silicon Valley and Austin. But what about Blockchain? Of course, we have Malta and other havens like Estonia and Berlin, but they aren’t as influential and representative of the entire blockchain community yet.
LinkedIn Brings Together an Otherwise Siloed Industry
The thing about my industry, Blockchain, is that it’s very siloed. Developers want to work from home. Freelancers want to be digital nomads. CEOs are splitting time between companies, sometimes roles are in 2 different countries. LinkedIn is an easy way for all of these isolated groups to connect, and to stay connected with local gatekeepers and community leaders.
The inter-connectedness allows people to reach out to opinion leaders and see what they are posting about or sharing. It’s also a sneaky way to understand more about the target segments that I work with.
An Unconsidered Factor that Will Allow LinkedIn to Continually Grow
The global rise of freelancing is expected to rise in the coming decade. In countries like the USA, in which it’s expected to reach as high as 57%* within 10 years, freelancing will become a serious supplementary or full-time income. It’s the natural progression of the gig economy.
I’d even encourage LinkedIn to cater to this user base more, going as far as to create a payment mechanism that beats UpWork’s high transaction rate, and allows freelancers to complete work and/ or payment all in one place.
*57% of all workers are expected to have at least some exposure to freelancing by 2027.