Raz Chorev | Socially Acceptable..
building relationships, LinkedIn, network, networking, Social media

LinkedIn Tip #12 – 3 FREE ways to communicate

I don’t know what happened in the last couple of weeks, but I’ve been bombarded by invitation to join people’s networks on Linkedin, from people whom I’ve never met before, had no interaction with, and worst of all  – in their invitation message they gave me no compelling reason to be associated with them.

I have seen this on twitter as well, many times.

Let's connect on LinkedIn

I don’t get it!

  1. What kind of people are you trying to attract to your network, by using this method to connect?
  2. How will you use your network, accepting any arbitrary person into it?
  3. How strong do you think your network will be, when you really need it? for example, when you’re looking for a job, and need a reference from a person in your network you haven’t met, and had nothing to do with?


Your LinkedIn connections should be a reflection of your business network, and not a game to accumulate “numbers”.  There are two common points of view regarding connections:

  1. Some people are LIONs – Linked In Open Networker: These people will accept anyone to be their connection, as they see ANY new connection as a business opportunity.
  2. Some (me included) will pick their connections.  I will connect with people I had some sort of business interaction or correspondence with.  I also try to create offline relationships with people I meet online, if they are in my area, or when I go to where they are.

When you approach someone you don’t know or haven’t met yet on LinkedIn, it can be done in different ways:

  1. Sometimes LinkedIn will allow you to send a direct message, when you share a group, for example. When a person contacts you, and you go to see their profile, LinkedIn will allow you to send a message to them directly, as if they were already a contact. They can do one of two things – “Reply” or “Archive”.  If they archive your message, nothing will happen.
  2. Ask to be introduced by a mutual contact.  When you’re looking at a profile, you’ll see on the right hand side of the screen, how are you connected to them.  If that person is open for invitations or introductions (see Settings), you’ll be able to ask for an introduction from one of your trusted connections.  Again, stipulate clearly the reason for your contact, to make is easier for your contact, to connect you with theirs.
  3. Send an invitation to connect – give a compelling reason for the person to connect with you.  Every person, before making any decision, will ask themselves, consciously or not,  What’s In It For Me? (WIIFM).  Answer that question for them. If there is no obvious benefit for the other person to connect with you, try another way to contact.
    When you send this invitation to someone you don’t know, three things can happen:
    – They can accept your invitation
    – They can ignore your invitation
    – They can indicate that they Don’t know this person
    If the last option is chosen by 3 people you ask to connect to, LinkedIn will restrict the way you can invite people. You’d be sent to LinkedIn Jail, and only be released after reading and accepting LinkedIn T&C.
  4. Premium Account feature – InMail. When you upgrade your account, you can send a limited amount (based on your subscription level) directly to other people in the network, whether they are in your network or not, whether you know them or connected to them, or not.
    Use this feature when you need something from a person you had no interaction with before.

There are a few options available for you to use when communicating on LinkedIn. Adding to one’s network is not always the right approach. Always think from the recipient’s perspective. Use the right tool for the job. Like in any profession, using the right tool will get the job done easier and more effectively.



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  • Sally

    More Raz wisdom! Great article about connecting on Linkedin.
    I find that when you want to connect with someone and you pop their email address in, there’s no opportunity to add a personalised message helping the recipient to relate to me or the request for connection (WIIFM). And let’s face it, it’s not hard to find an email and just send off a bucket load of connection invites (having received my fair share of rubbish invites).
    When I get an invite from someone I don’t know, I will reply asking for clarification of how we met. If I don’t get a reply within 2 weeks I simply hit ‘ignore’. That’s not to say that we MUST have already met, I would just prefer to be clear about the type of connection and I also see it as a level of protection.
    Where I can add something that helps the WIIFM, I will.

  • http://snapwebmarketing.com Karri Flatla

    I’ll generally check the requester’s profile and if there appears to be at least some common ground/interest between us and their profile looks of quality (or I actually ALREADY know who they are! lol), then I accept the request. I’m probably not as “picky” as some would say I should be …

    On the other hand …

    I tend to put people I’m not sure about in a “holding pattern” in my LinkedIn inbox. i.e. I ignore the request until I decide what to do with it. (Usually more ignoring or an eventual delete.)

    Admitedly, LinkedIn is an odd one for me. I try to “maintain” but it’s not my go-to networking tool.

    I’m a twitter maven at heart. Facebook is in second place but it will never be my beloved twitter :)

  • http://saleskickstart.com TJ McCue

    You rock. I’ve been using LinkedIn for years and consider myself a poweruser, plus I often teach US small business owners about how to leverage it, but you hit the nail on the head. I’m like you – I don’t get it when people reach out without any logic. At the very least, make your introduction in the smartest way possible. Don’t leave it as the default LinkedIn message.
    Thanks for all the great tips.

  • http://www.YourSensibleSpending.com Kathy Church

    Well said! LinkedIn is a professional tool and should be used as such. I agree that your connections on LinkedIn should be people you have had some personal contact with so you have an understanding of their business, their personality and what would be a good business connection/referral for them.

  • http://www.predictivetext.com.au Tim Neary

    Howzit Raz – thanks for the good advice here. On the other hand, I prefer the LinkedIn platform to Facebook and Twitter. I just think it offers more business related variety.

  • Elyah

    Raz, you are a star!!!!
    I’ve paid attention to your previous comments on “customising” my invitations.
    We all respond emotionally and therefore better to a personalised invite.
    How can we turn our contacts into friends, if we haven’t met or don’t know them?
    Looking forward to catching up with you soon…..



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