If you want to generate new leads and increase sales, you have to prepare, and the better prepared you are, the better your results will be. That preparation also extends to the things that you shouldn’t be doing. When you are setting up your LinkedIn account, there are several things that you need to avoid if you want to create a LinkedIn account that will achieve results.

Content Not to Post

LinkedIn is a professional network and needs to be treated as such. The connections you make on LinkedIn have no interest in your social life, your family, knowing what your kids are up to right now, or looking at the endless cat photos that are prevalent on other social networks. All of that content has its place on the other social networks like Facebook and Instagram.

LinkedIn is the place where you share information that serves your connections and followers. Everything that you add to this platform should be things that will benefit your connections in some way.

Privacy Settings

One of the most significant mistakes that you can make is setting all or part of your profile to Private. When you have all or part of your profile set to Private you are limiting the information people can obtain on your company. This is not something that you want to do, especially if your goal is to generate more leads and increase sales.

Adding Your Connections to Your Email Database

Aside from being illegal, this is a really bad idea. Just because someone has requested to connect with you, or have accepted your connection request, does not give you permission to add these people to any form of database. What you can do is contact them directly through LinkedIn. More and more emails that are being sent outside the LinkedIn platform are being reported as spam.

Over-posting Updates and Publishing Too Many Articles

While you want to create content on LinkedIn and provide updates about your company, you want to do it sparingly. When you add to much content, either through posting links to content on your website, or publishing directly to LinkedIn, you run the risk of being seen as unprofessional and worse a spammer.

Sharing a minimal volume of content means you can save your best stuff for LinkedIn. Think of it like inviting your best customers to a dinner part where you bring out the best cutlery and plates. LinkedIn is your fine-dining experience, whereas Facebook and other social media platforms is for the block party.

Spamming Your Groups

When you are a member of a LinkedIn group, you have the ability to message other members directly, however, this doesn’t mean you should message them all the time. Before you message anyone in your groups you have to consider whether what you are sharing serves them more than it serves you.

Sending Generic Messages

LinkedIn allows you and encourages you to send messages to your connections on their birthdays or work anniversaries. This is a lot like a post they share, a reply to an InMail message, or a recommendation you have requested. LinkedIn will also provide you with a default message for each instance.

Sending one of the generic messages LinkedIn suggests is about as engaging as handing someone a birthday card that simply reads Happy Birthday without any personal message from you. The likelihood of the recipient feeling warm and thought of from these messages is highly unlikely.

Instead, you need to think of contacting your connections in a way that makes them feel appreciated. All you need is a few seconds to change the impersonal default message to something different that actually means something.


Again, LinkedIn is a professional network, and to get the most out of it and generate new leads you have to provide your connections with value added content. This means that you shouldn’t only be posting self-promoting content or sending messages that don’t provide any value to your network. There is a big difference between social serving and self-promotion.