Please tell me who you are and how we know each other. Because I do not have ESP. Nor do I have a photographic memory of recent people whom I’ve met. Please, help me with a reminder of how we know each other and a compelling reason to accept your invitation.
On LinkedIn I usually only connect to people I know. This includes people I’ve have met face-to-face, and those I’ve worked with virtually through national teams or committees or gotten to know on social media sites. I have given a few exceptions to some people who are fellow members of organizations of trusted advisors. In my world currently this includes ProVisors, The Association for Strategic Planning, and The Institute of Management Consultants. I also give exceptions to those people who send me a compelling invitation explaining why we might have some business or professional synergies.
For the rest of you, here are other reasons I am not likely to accept your invitation to connect on LinkedIn.
1. You have very few connections on LinkedIn, which means you’ve put little effort into your presence on the platform, and I have less chance of finding valuable connections through you.
2. You did not write a custom message in your invitation, explaining why we should connect.
3. You do not contribute any content or interesting links to articles or studies on your LinkedIn profile.
4. You do not have your photograph on your LinkedIn profile. As my colleague Jeff Gotro says, it’s as if you are at a face-to-face networking event with a bag over your head.
5. You invited me because we are in the same LinkedIn Discussion Group. But we’ve never discussed anything. Or if we did, you didn’t remind me of it.
6. I think you want to connect because you want to sell something. For me, our connection has got to be a win-win!
7. We are known by the company we keep. Search engines are increasingly serving up search results based on whom we connect to. It’s as much if not more about quality, not quantity.
I’d love to read your opinions on LinkedIn invitations. What makes a good invitation? Are you an open (accept all) or closed networker on LinkedIn? Why? Please comment below.