LinkedIn is a great professional space to market our talents and connect with other professionals. I've been sitting in on webinars about making your profile more visible and increasing the number of connections. The good news is that I've definitely had more views. One week I was up 167% from the prior week! The other side of that is I’ve gotten a few what I call “stranger requests” – i.e. requests from folks that I don’t know, that aren’t part of any of my LinkedIn groups, and aren't connected to anyone in my network.
Full disclosure – I’m a skeptic by nature, so I’m not falling for a bot or anyone looking for another kind of connection. 🙄
So I started researching. I immediately found three articles on LinkedIn that were helpful: Andy Lopata's 8 Things to Consider Before Sending a Connection Request on LinkedIn and 7 Things to Consider Before Accepting or Rejecting a Connection Request on LinkedIn and LinkedIn Etiquette: 20 Do's and Don'ts by Melonie Dodaro. I highly recommend these articles if you want to clarify your reason for connecting and/or learn how to be polite when requesting to connect or responding to a request.
I decided my purpose for connecting is to be helpful and to help others. So I want to make sure that I can nurture these relationships by sending a message periodically to check in, recognize an accomplishment, or throw out a link to something someone might be interested in. I know I can't do that if my network too large.
Based on what I've learned, I started a list of questions I try to answer while viewing the profile. Here’s what I have so far…
Andy’s article gave me two ideas if I want to give someone a chance before hitting ignore. First, I can InMail with a message that says something like 'I usually only connect with people I already have a relationship with, but I don’t want to ignore anyone. Can you tell me why you want to connect?' Andy says that 50% won’t even respond. I experimented with this approach four days ago. To date, I haven't gotten a response from either of the two 'stranger requests'. Second, if I think there might be an affinity, the alternative is to 'Follow". So I can ask in the InMail if we can ‘Follow’ each other for a while to see if there’s an alignment.
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Elle is my nickname. I love learning new things. I can't help it.