I want to get people’s take on this – I try very hard to limit my LinkedIn connections to only include people that I can pick up the phone to and ask a question. That way if you did really need a proper introduction to one of my connections, I can provide that service for you, should I so choose. I understand LinkedIn’s philosophy of building your network especially so you can find others, but I rely on the groups that I join to have that effect for search purposes. I also spend a lot of money per month having the best LinkedIn account money can buy so I can access and contact the profiles of others should I desire to.
I’m sure this happens to you as well – my news feed becomes too populated to really glean information from it without spending too much time scrolling through it! So I’ve wondered why anyone would accept LinkedIn requests from people they don’t know – most of the time I decline them. So if you really think I can add value to your network here are a few tips to encourage me to accept!
1) Don’t just send the message – “I would like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn” – this tells me you are lazy as you could not be bothered to say why. If you read Give and Take http://www.giveandtake.com/ by @adammgrant you will see you are a taker and should be more of a giver!
2) Don’t tick the “friend” option if you are not! This tells me you’re just milking the system.
3) Tell me how you came across me, why you think I would be a good person to know as it can work both ways! My recruitment brain will always think “hmmm, maybe there is a role for you”. It’s also interesting to learn where exactly you found me!
4) Tell me why it would be good to know you. Do you do something amazing? Are you really interesting? Can you grow a money tree?! I know I am being sarcastic here, but really I do love engaging with interesting people. People who challenge the norm doing great work or leaders in their field will always get an acceptance from me as these are people I want to engage with.
5) Be real – if all you think I can do is find you a job in paradise then say just that! I respect honesty more than anything else so if you open with “Hi Chris we don’t know each other but I really want to pay no tax and live in the sun could you point me in the right direction…” I am probably likely to help even if it’s only providing an introduction or giving you some advice. So be real. 🙂
Happy to hear other people’s take on this and how you actually use LinkedIn to help!