LinkedIn Tip of the Week

I recently posted this update on my LinkedIn.  “If you want to connect to someone you don’t know, DON’T use the auto-populate message. Tell me why you want to connect and personalize it. Give me a reason to say yes.”  I actually posted it twice because I wasn’t sure people saw it.  It then occurred to me that the people I wanted to see it, weren’t in my network and so they aren’t going to see my updates.

I continually get requests to connect from people I don’t know. They indicate they are “Friends” but we both know that isn’t true.  I make my email address very easy to find so this isn’t an impediment.  I want to connect and build my network.  I want to help others build theirs.  I am selective about saying yes.  No matter what box someone checks though, I hate getting the auto populated message that LinkedIn provides.  Did I say hate?  Yes, I HATE it.  It shows me that you have nothing more to say, you don’t take an extra 20 seconds to introduce yourself, you just want to take advantage of my network.  Here’s an analogy- imagine someone walking up to you at a cocktail party and rather than saying hello, shaking your hand and introducing themselves, they reach into your pocket/purse and take your wallet.  Yes, that may be a bit of a stretch, but it makes sense, doesn’t it?

So, slow down.  Give me a reason to accept your invitation.  Maybe, just maybe, there is a relationship to be built and cultivated.

About annspoor
Ann Spoor is the Jerry McGuire to Corporate Executives and Professionals. She is an Executive Talent Agent, Executive Coach, Career Manager, Executive Branding Expert, and Social Media Coach. Ann lives in Denver with her husband Mark and their 2 kids. The Leadership Lattice is an interview series conducted by Ann Spoor CEO & Founder of Executive Lattice. The series focuses on Leadership in the private & public sector. Please subscribe to this blog to follow along in the discussion.

2 Responses to LinkedIn Tip of the Week

  1. See Ann, I tend to agree, but there are times when LinkedIn won’t allow someone to personalize the message!

    Of course, if they indicate they are a friend, that means they have your email.. they could also choose other, but many people don’t know that.

    If in doubt, ask. You can reply without accepting.

    I equate someone sending me an invitation as them extending their hand to shake mine. Some people are naturally more adept at networking. I try not to penalize the ones that don’t know, or don’t have the option, to say hello while they do it.

    • annspoor says:

      Hi Lori- Thank you for your thoughts and comments! We may have to agree to disagree on this one though. In every case, when you ask someone to connect on LinkedIn you have an opportunity to personalize your request. This is true regardless of which drop down you choose- friend, colleague, groups, etc. Even if you say- “Hi, you don’t know me, but I’d love to connect with you because…” this makes a big difference in how I perceive you. For me, I am not trying to penalize someone but being intentional, strategic and selective. I would never extend my hand and not introduce myself. Ann

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