Why your LinkedIn activity isn’t working for you. (Now with templates)

Are you working overtime on LinkedIn? Posting, Sharing, Liking, Commenting and not getting anywhere? No one answering your Inmails? Emails left unopened. Here is the answer to increasing your engagement results by 30%

For those who follow me regularly, you will already know I am an advocate of the use of the Ethical Persuasion strategies, as outlined by Dr Robert (Bob) Cialdini in his book, Influence – The Psychology Of Persuasion.


I have successfully used Bob’s 6 principles of persuasion in everyday conversations, LinkedIn Inmails, emails, telephone calls and more to drastically increase the chances I can get someone to agree with my point of view or with my request. For example: With my request for a meeting. Let me show you HOW I do that.

The 6 Principles of Persuasion are:

1 – Reciprocity

2 – Consistency

3 – Social Proof

4 – Liking

5 – Authority

6- Scarcity


Let’s take a look at how these persuasion strategies work here on LinkedIn so that you’re successful in drastically increasing the levels of engagement you’re able to achieve. I believe engagement is the key metric on social to measure, not connections, not views, engagement.

Here I break down these 6 principles with examples of how you might be able to leverage these principles within your everyday LinkedIn activity.



I will feel more obligated to reply to your message, accept your connection request, refer you to a colleague, or even take a meeting with you if you have first shared valuable information with me. This could take place by sending me something via Inmail or just tagging or mentioning me in a post that I will find of particular interest. (Gavin, I noticed you recently shared an article of mine on social selling. So, it just made sense I also send you this checklist infographic I’ve created. Hope you find it helpful. Rgds Mark)


If I have previously liked your articles, posts and comments and generally supported your LinkedIn activity, I would be more open to meeting with you or accepting another request, such as a connection or referral request. Especially if I am reminded about those previous activities. (Hi Gavin, really appreciate all the support for my sales training articles recently. I was hoping to connect with Bob in your office so I can share them with Bob as well, would you mind facilitating a connection to Bob? Rgds Mark)




Regularly seeing your profile in my feed makes me feel closer to you than I actually may be and therefore more likely to accept requests from you. I also feel closer to those connected to both you and I, than those who are not connected to either you or I.

If we are in the same LinkedIn groups and you highlight that we share this, I’m more likely to accept your message requests. (Gavin, as we are both in the ‘Sales Leaders for World Peace’ group here on LinkedIn, made sense to reach out for a connection. Hope you agree. Rgds Mark)

Should you provide a complimentary comment on one of my posts or articles, especially if it is a public comment, then I’m more likely to accept requests from you.


By carefully crafting your profile and with the ongoing support from others (comments, shares and likes) you have higher levels of perceived authority to me. Meaning I’m more likely to respond positively to your requests.  Especially if those requests are congruent with your areas of authority.


I want to be accepted into your network and be part of your ‘select’ group of connections. Also, as not everyone communicates with me through LinkedIn, those who are on LinkedIn and communicate with me may also be considered ‘scarce’.

Alternatively, an Inmail can be positioned as scarce as the communication takes place outside of the public forum. (Gavin, just wanted to send you this directly rather than into your feed. I noticed you posted XXX so this article on YYY made sense to send you as I think it might help with your ZZZ. Rgds Mark)

Social Proof:

If you have a large number of connections who are just like me, or lots of supporting comments and likes from people who are just like me then, to me, you are perceived as more believable and desirable to have in my network. If people, just like me, are publicly approving of your comments, posts and shares, I’m more likely to as well and be more likely to accept requests from you. (Gavin, this particular article has really received some great responses from Sales Directors who are also in financial services, so it just made sense that I send this to you, as I thought you might find it valuable as well. Rgds Mark)

So there you have it an overview to the use of Ethical Persuasion on LinkedIn. As Bob says, use with caution and only for good. These strategies are designed to make our brains look for the safest, easiest decision based on what decisions we’ve made previously. Ethical persuasion, used well, makes your request seem like the best option to take.

There are lots of other ways you can use these strategies on LinkedIn and I’d love to hear what you’ve been successful with, in the past OR simply, try these out and see if you can’t increase your engagement effectiveness.

The Science of Persuasion explained in a YouTube animation in just 11min.


If you found this to be useful please share amongst your connections, like or comment. It’s how the social media thingy works. If we are all only passive viewers, eventually the content will stop. I know I’d hate that.

As well as being a sales execution coach and trainer to Australia’s corporate sector. Mark is the #1 ranked Linkedin Social Seller in Australia. Contact Mark via Inmail message or  for a discussion around sales growth, coaching, social media, golf, cycling, AFL and sales effectiveness. 

Twitter: Mark McInnes @mamcinnes

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