Each time I receive an email crowing about a new linkedin connection endorsement, I shudder in anger. Because I'm endorsed in my former profession: banking.
To the uninitiated, linkedin is a professional site equivalent to virtual business card exchanges. While still a banker, I enrolled in this site hoping the connections made would facilitate a job change. No fucking way. In my experience, it's all BULLSHIT.
Yet, I'm one of those people who continue to do the same thing repeatedly expecting a different result. I updated my linkedin profile to author when I published my first novel. And received the same reaction as when I was a banker: zippo.
Still treading the thin line of sanity, I joined associated linkedin online groups for authors. It was my mistaken belief that I'd meet people, network and discover innovative ways to sell my books. Well, I did learn one thing - it's a fucking time suck!
Every motherfucker in these groups self-promotes. Just like me. Even worse, people purportedly make a living from giving tips on how to optimize linkedin as well as their coaching services tailored to your particular industry. At a cost, mind you.
For years I was plagued with these momzers trying to get me to pay for their linkedin optimization services. As well as linkedin itself and its promotions. Talk about going down the rabbit hole! I refuse to spend money on nonsense and believe these services are as effective as paying for additional followers on twitter.
Yes, people PAY to get more twitter followers.
Last spring, some guy contacted me through a grammatically incorrect email rife with typos extolling the virtue of paying $25 a month for 40,000 twitter followers. Unbelievably, it was targeted specifically to authors. Within the body of the email, he referred to my linkedin account. At least this guy acknowledged me as a writer.
Let me tell you, that was one email I couldn't pass up!
Of course, I clicked onto the link to take a peek at the guy's website. Sure enough, I had a field day with the misspellings, typos, and heavy handed marketing aimed at authors seeking book sales. That's when I knew I had a live one!
Yes, I'm perverse. I was bored and knew the entertainment value would end up somehow in my blog. In two seconds, I phoned the guy with one question: "If I pay $25 a month for 40,000 twitter followers, how many book sales would I get from that?"
"There are no guarantees."
With those words, I transformed into a pitbull with a bone. I couldn't let go. I sank my fangs in further. "Then, tell me how many book sales those other authors on the testimonial page received in one month from 40,000 additional twitter followers."
The guy sighed at the other end of the phone. "One."
Would you believe this schmuck thought he had a slam-dunk sale with me?
Getting back to linkedin, except for befriending one absolutely brilliant author, Richard Crasta, my endeavors in networking, finding new and innovative ways to promote my books proved entirely fruitless.
Let's just say, over the past four years as an author, linkedin has proven to be a fucking suppurating sore. Including the invitations through linkedin from other marketers to participate in video conferences, free for the first time.
One, in particular, harasses me through emails. Politely, I declined, "I'm sorry, but I'm neurologically deaf and can't hear so these videos won't help me."
I thought the matter was over. NOPE! They provided me with a complete schedule. I wrote in response, "I guess you guys don't know what the word, "Deaf" means, right? Do you also work for NYS Disability? They don't seem to understand as well."
Recently, I got roped in with linkedin's new gimmick where people endorse each other in skills and qualifications. Which I find absolutely moronic, especially when people don't know each other! Remember baseball card exchanges? Yep. If you give me a Babe Ruth, I'll give you two [insert names].
This is what I found on my profile page which people put up on my behalf:
Have you noticed something slightly unusual? Like the fact that I received NO ENDORSEMENTS as a published author, blogger and comedy/satire writer?
Which makes me wonder. Are these people critics of my work? Are they trying to tell me that I should give up the comedy writing business and go back into banking?
One guy, a published nonfiction author, has endorsed me for my banking acumen and added skills related to my former profession. While a nice gesture, it really puzzles me. Because he doesn't know me as a banker. If anything, you'd think he'd support a fellow writer. Or perhaps not.
So, I went back in and endorsed him for everything on his profile. He returned to mine and added a few more banking skills. That's when I was ready to strangle him.
The other day, after receiving more endorsements from strangers in India, Thailand and Norway, I went into linkedin to reciprocate. I had time to kill. Thankfully, my Macbook Air 11" is small enough to to be placed on my lap while on the toilet.
Which really goes to prove the efficiency of some of these online sites. Somehow, I doubt that paying for additional services is worth it, or as they say in French (my fluency only endorsed once), "Ça ne vaut pas la peine."
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