Connecting on LinkedIn with the standard “I’d like to add you to my professional network.”

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I was assessing a client’s LinkedIn profile which has sparked off this short blog.

These assessments are in the interest of making our clients’ Social Media activity more productive and effective. There are 85 LinkedIn Connection invitations so I thought I’d investigate to see why they haven’t been accepted.

I have decided I’m not surprised why my client hasn’t done anything with them. The vast majority of the invitations don’t say where they met, why they are connecting or anything personal. It is the standard LinkedIn template of:

“I’d like to add you to my professional network.”

Personally, being the recipient of a fair number of invitations to connect from people I have never met (which by the way I don’t accept), my first response to this is always “Thanks that’s really nice but who are you and why should I?”

It frustrates me when people can’t be bothered to personalise the message. Every person that I train on LinkedIn gets this lecture from me! Surely it is common courtesy to explain who you are and why you wish to connect if you have never met someone or only met them once at a networking meeting? Or are LinkedIn users so busy hitting the ‘Connect’ button to anyone and everyone in a bid to get the most connections that they don’t have time to write one?

If you are genuinely interested in connecting on LinkedIn I believe it is polite and proactive to take the time to compose a short message telling them why you wish to and a reminder where you met them (if you have). This will increase the positive responses to your invitations, open up opportunities for conversation and provide you with a greater number of connections who understand who you are and what you want to achieve.