This post was originally posted on Linkedin and now expanded further here.

 


We are all suffering in our own ways due to Covid 19 outbreak. Some worse than others. This does not give you an excuse to become sloppy!

 

Linkedin Rules

Here are a few tips to consider:

  1. If you want to connect with someone, make sure you include a personalised message in the connection request.
  2. Do not try to sell them a service or product in the first message.
  3. Use initial messages to get to know the person you connected with.
  4. Only hit them with a sales message, if you think there is a good fit.
  5. Make sure you do the research first.
  6. Be careful about using automated tools.

 

The Why habit

Every time someone sends a connection request, I always review their profile. Here are some tips worth considering when accepting a request:

  1. Incomplete profiles, e.g. display just one job but no indication of previous jobs.
  2. Too good to be true profiles, e.g. number of degrees.
  3. Too sexy and the picture does not fit with the profile and content. Some cases, too provocative.
  4. Avatar isn’t the face, e.g. company logo or your superhero.
  5. Tag line – I know I have one of those tag lines, but I can defend mine.
  6. Too many emojis – this is just my pet hate and it also shows how old I am (I’ll be 52 this year).

 

Just before you accept, do ask why you want to accept:

  1. What’s the chance of the contact hitting me with sales messages? If it’s high, consider rejecting.
  2. Could the contact add value to me directly? In my case, see my preferences below.
  3. Could the contact add value to my network? Who cares? The old adage that your network adding value to my network does not stack up any more. It’s so easy to connect with anyone on Linkedin these days. People want to know you first. The network comes second.

 

Connection Requests without a message

Don’t reject just because there is no message in the request. Some don’t actually know how to use Linkedin effectively or the etiquette. If you decided to accept, then send the following message or similar after accepting the request.

 

Hi [name], What grabbed your attention to my profile?

Or

Hi [name], Its good to connect. What grabbed your attention to my profile?

 

Consider removing the connection:

  1. If there is no reply and you cannot really see a benefit with having the contact in your network.
  2. Reply with a vague message that does not make any sense.
  3. Try to sell you something immediately.

 

Automated Tools

I for one, do not use automated tools. I believe Linkedin should be used to build a personalised network, which would surpass your current job and interests.

Since everyone started to Work From Home (WFH), many are trying to turn Linkedin into the wild west. This may work for some, but it won’t for the majority.

Hence why it’s important to understand and appreciate etiquette.

Linkedin Personal Stats

 

Automated Messages

When you have a conversation with a contact, all your conversations will usually be on the same thread. If you suddenly received a message that created a new conversation, then you know, it most likely came through automation. The first message in the below example is distributed via automated software.

 

Linkedin Automated Messages

 

My Preferences

In my case, I reject more invites than I accept. I also disconnect if you try to hit me immediately with a sales message.

Type of connections I am open to:

  1. Tech Founders and CxOs
  2. Angel investors, VCs and PE
  3. Potential Partners for Techcelerate
  4. Any MBAs from Manchester Business School.
  5. Those who think they can learn something from me or the combined knowledge of Techcelerate
  6. I rarely buy things so it’s unlikely you have something I want to pay for. This goes from videos to SEO to coaching.

 

Summary

Quality matters more than quantity. The downside of the above approach is rejecting someone who might later become a good fit. But, hey you can’t win them all!

Lastly, the more you accept, the more messages you have to deal with. So make sure you have your own rules of accepting requests. Good luck!