Just recently I've noticed a flurry of random LinkedIn connection requests. I'm finding myself ignoring more than accepting these days which has inspired me to write this post. Over the last 12 months, the interest in LinkedIn has grown exponentially. Here are some stats:
- Over 562 million members in over 200 countries
- 106 million active monthly users
- The average number of connections per user is 400
As with most platforms, rapid growth attracts opportunists and just a couple of weeks ago LinkedIn updated the community on how they're tackling abuse and fake accounts on the platform.
Sending random requests and receiving multiple rejections will most likely get you flagged as a 'spammer' to LinkedIn HQ. Don't be that person.
5 LinkedIn connection requests I ignore and why:
Hi Sarah, I'd like to add you to my LinkedIn professional network [Standard invitation request from someone I don't know]
Hi Sarah, I saw your profile whilst browsing through recommended connections and thought it would be great to connect. Regards John [You need more reason that that]
Hi Sarah, great to meet you at the event last week in London. Thought we should connect after our conversation. [I didn't go to the event - awkward!]
Hi Sarah, our agency helps businesses like yours find leads on LinkedIn. Interested in connecting? [Please don't sell to me - especially when I know it's not that simple!]
Hi Sarah, I came across your profile while looking for experienced specialists, and was impressed by how much you accomplished. It would be an honour to connect with you here on LinkedIn. [I'm flattered but why should we connect again?]
Everyone has their own set of LinkedIn connection rules. Some choose to connect with everyone. Others will only connect if you have spoken to them on the phone (true story).
My LinkedIn Rules For Accepting & Rejecting Invitations
- I don't know you but you've personalised the connection request with a relevant message (not a copied and pasted message)
- You don't try to sell me something in the invitation request. Too early!
- I check your profile out and you look like a real person - no fake profile red flags
- I check your profile out and learn something about you
- I check your profile and you don't look like a serial networker e.g. 10K+ connections
- We have at least 10 mutual connections
If you're in sales then relationships will be top priority. Focus on quality. Choose carefully.
If you're selling a book, then reach is paramount. You may go for the quantity approach.
At Tribal, we always encourage quality networking because relationships are key to everything. It takes longer because you have to vet connection requests, personalise invitations and reply to those who invite you. Ultimately it pays off by future-proofing a quality network that will support your career and role long-term.
What are your tips for networking?
How do you decide who you let into your network?