Do This FIRST Before Using Automation to Grow Connections

automation linkedin for business development linkedin tips Apr 19, 2021

I received a VM from a client today with a question I'm asked frequently. It involves using automation to grow their sales team's network on LinkedIn for prospecting.

Q: "We are looking into having some prospecting done, and the companies we've been talking to all seem to do an automated process. It sounds like it's the same thing our sales people are doing but it's automated, which will save them some time and generate more leads faster.

They would send out 100 requests a day, 7 days a week and then be able to feed warm leads back to our sales people.

I wanted to get your feedback on these processes and see if this something you would do, or a service you provide as well."


A: Any use of automated services (where someone sends out LinkedIn invites on your behalf) is a violation of LinkedIn's terms of service and it may result in your LinkedIn account being restricted (aka: you'll be thrown in to "LinkedIn Jail."

If you're considering automation services, it's because their pitches sound SO attractive. For example:

  • We help you land clients!

  • "[service] helps you start reaching out to potential customers on Linkedin quickly, to drive more meetings, sales and profits completely on autopilot."

  • "[service] automates every stage of your LinkedIn outreach, connection and engagement process."

  • "LinkedIn lead generation on steroids."

Automated invites are a big NO-NO:

Here's what I would recommend:

  1. Look at their company website and read the fine print. Quite often there is a disclaimer someplace on their site. For example, on the page footer of one such site" "Using [site] may not comply with LinkedIn's User Agreement and may lead to the restriction of your account. You understand that you are using this software at your own discretion and risk."

  2. While on their website, try to find a list of their team members. A lack of real people or an ABOUT page without mentions of the company founders or company leaders is a red flag that they want to be hidden (and there's a reason to hide!).

  3. If they offer testimonials, look up those people on LinkedIn. Their profiles should be active (posting regularly, profile filled out and optimized). 

  4. Look up their team on LinkedIn and see if they have client recommendations on their profile. If not, that's a red flag. Not all of my clients will give me a recommendation (some won't because I'm helping with an executive considering a career move, for example), but many will. 

  5. Ask them how many clients have had their LinkedIn accounts frozen due to using their service. And read their response carefully.

  6. Ask them if their service violates LinkedIn's terms of service, and what proof they have. Have they had conversations with anyone at LinkedIn? Can they show you anything that documents this? I am connected with many people who work at LinkedIn. They know of me and people like me. I am very open about reaching out to LinkedIn. If there's nothing to hide, these service providers should be open, too.

No, I do not provide any assistance with automating invites or "grow your network quick" through automation. But I DO help clients unlock the power of LinkedIn by coaching them how to optimize their profile, send invitations that have a higher likelihood of being accepted (and generating dialog), and improve their network engagement.

Read these blogs from other experts. They agree with me, too.

I'll add additional blogs as I find them.

Obviously, do whatever you want to do. But I would not advise any automation tools to help you generate leads.


FOLLOW ME: (and click MORE and mention this blog in your invite to connect) for tips and inspiration.

FOLLOW MY COMPANY: where I frequently share LinkedIn strategy tips


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