Why I Hibernated My LinkedIn Account

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(Please read through for updates.)

This week, I chose to hibernate my LinkedIn account. This isn’t a permanent deletion, but it’s basically putting it on indefinite hiatus.

More than any social media platform, I’ve found LinkedIn to be very much Not My Place. However, I kept pushing myself to slog through it because theoretically, that’s where my audience is.

However, I’m not so certain that’s where my absolute favorite dream clients are. In fact, I’m not convinced my absolute dream clients are in any specific place. I do know that they’re on my email list. I do know that they find me via search. I do know that they’re reading my blog and my newsletter.

Image of a tree in winter representing the hibernation of a linkedin account for blog post on the subject
In this post learn why SM & Co. took a break from LinkedIn and what a hibernated account on the platform can look like for a small business. Learn more!

Why? Because when I talk to them, they tell me so!

So, when I look at the time it takes to create content, I just can’t justify the investment in networking on that website. The unpleasantness of LinkedIn is only amplified by the constant spam in my inbox sent to me by people who connect with me and the lack of responsiveness from LinkedIn to both spam and, well, even grosser behavior that happens in their inbox system.

It’s tiring and frustrating and ultimately not serving me right now.

Will I rejoin LinkedIn? Maybe! Will I delete it permanently? Also maybe! That’s the beauty of these things—we can change our minds as we get more information.

Want to hibernate your LinkedIn account? Here’s how:

  • Click the “person” icon at top of your LinkedIn homepage and select Settings & Privacy.
  • Select Settings & Privacy again (very confusing!)
  • In the Account management section of the Account preferences tab, click Hibernate account.
  • They’ll make you tell them why you’re hibernating your account
  • Enter your password and click Hibernate account

Update 10/22/2021:

I reactivated my account with some new boundaries and strategies to use it in a more strategic manner. Time will tell.

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Update 11/10/2022:

How we made LinkedIn marketing manageable and beneficial.

We’ve spent the last six months exploring if keeping my LinkedIn profile active is worthwhile, and we’ve finally come to the conclusion that we can leverage the platform without it becoming a burden. Here’s what we’ve done that’s work.

  1. We changed my personal LinkedIn to a creator account. This greatly reduced the amount of spammy, creepy, and salesy messages that landed in my inbox.
  2. I actively connect with new colleagues on LinkedIn each week. Basically if someone comes across my feed that I’ve noticed is posting interesting things, I connect with this. This means that the feed I see is more relevant to my interests rather than being full of job seekers.
  3. Because my feed is now more tailored to my own circle, I comment on posts relevant to my industry and clients, which amplifies my visibility. I don’t spend a lot of time on this, a few minutes each day.
  4. We have developed a repurposing engine for LinkedIn. Essentially, we take pieces of other content we’ve created and those are now LinkedIn posts. This means no blank screen or blinking cursor, we simply follow our marketing framework with repurposed content.

This simple four-step systemization of LinkedIn has resulted in several new clients and referrals.

Even better, it’s allowed me to find new people in my own industry to recommend. Right now, LinkedIn is a sustainable ecosystem without being too onerous in terms of time and stress. As with everything, we will continue to evaluate its success and if it’s still aligned with our marketing strategy in the future. (And I’ll update this post again!)

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