win friendsHave you noticed a disturbing trend on LinkedIn lately where people are becoming much more aggressive with their in-your-face, self-promotions?

I expect that behavior from other social media communities like Twitter and Facebook but LinkedIn used to be a spam-free sanctuary (outside of the groups of course where spamming has become the norm in most groups).

As LinkedIn grows and my network grows, more people are sending me long, self-promoting emails right after I accept their invitation request. They don't bother to build a relationship. They immediately ask me to marry them in the first five minutes of our date.

What happened to establishing a relationship before asking for the sale? How do you know what I need if your first communication with me is selling me on your services that I don't need?

And it gets even worse!

The other day I received an email in my personal email inbox from a LinkedIn connection who I've never met or done business with. His email was titled “Driving New Sales & Revenue From Backing Up & Sharing Your Linkedin Connections”

I won't name the author of this article because I'm not one to call people out by name or discredit them publicly. Let's call him Mr. X.

The information Mr. X sent me was actually helpful because he showed me how I can back up all of my LinkedIn contacts so I don't lose them in case LinkedIn hiccups which occassionally happens. Great information, thank you very much.

But then I couldn't believe what he recommended next.

This is exactly what he told me to do:

Tough Talk:
It's highly unethical to share individual e-mails or lists of Linkedin connections without the email owner's permission. Best to stick with sharing your list of Open or LION networkers emails in the same way as hundreds of thousands of Linkedin Open & LION networkers do every day on Linkedin.
Top Linkedin Tip:
If you want to share your email addresses with me just email them to me at and I will send you an equal number of my email addresses.
Why? Because everything & everyone you need to grow a profitable business exists on Linkedin.
Mr. X is telling me to export my LinkedIn contacts and send their email addresses to him and he'll send me an equal number of his LinkedIn contacts and email addresses so we can directly email these contacts outside of LinkedIn.
First he says “It's highly unethical to share individual e-mails or lists of Linkedin connections without the email owner's permission” but then he invites me to share my connections email addresses with him and he'll share his with me.
This is so wrong in so many ways.
When I connect with someone on LinkedIn, I'm agreeing to share my contact information with that person on LinkedIn. I'm not giving that person permission to export and share my contact information with his network and especially my personal email address.
When I connect with him on LinkedIn, I am not giving him permission to add me to his email newsletter list or to include me in bulk promotional emails. If I want to be on your newsletter list, I will go to your website and sign up.
Adding people to your email list or sending them bulk promotional emails is not only unethical, it's illegal.
How often do you respond to spam emails and purchase the product or service? I only do business with people I know, like and trust. I don't do business with people who send me unsolicited offers or add me to their email list without my permission.
What do you think of this? Let me know because it's a real hot button for me as you can see!
Please comment below and let me know if you would be willing to share your LinkedIn contacts with others.

About the author 

Ted Prodromou

Would you like me to help you?

I'm the #1 best-selling author of Ultimate Guide to LinkedIn for Business and Ultimate Guide to Twitter for Business. People call me America's Leading LinkedIn Coach.

I'm the founder of Search Marketing Simplified, LLC, a full service online marketing agency. The SMS team designs and implements advanced LinkedIn and social media lead-generation strategies for small to medium-sized businesses. SMS will set up and manage your marketing funnels using organic, social and paid traffic.

Did you know I've been working with the internet since 1991, long before Al Gore invented it?

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