As I have explained in previous blog posts, I don’t use Linkedin as a numbers game; instead I use it as a very effective networking platform connecting with like-minded people, networking buddies, local business people, potential clients and industry contacts to help the business develop.

When I receive a connection request and I don’t know who it is and there is no personalised message I will email them to thank them for the connection request, mention I don’t know them and ask how I can help. This normally leads to a conversation that explains the reason for the connection request… however sometimes it doesn’t. (Full details here)

Parveen has given the perfect example of how NOT to connect and engage on Linkedin, our message went as follows;

Me: Hello Parveen, Thanks for the connection request but I am not sure I know or recognise you and without a personalised message I am unsure how I can help.

Parveen:  Hi hazel …thanks too for connecting with me

Parveen: Where are you from

Me: I haven’t connected with you – I asked why you were requesting a connection? My profile confirms where I am from

Parveen: Oh yes

Me: So, why the connection request? How can I help?

Parveen: You have any vacancy for graduate?

Me: In Peterborough? (Knowing he is based in India, as per profile) Doing what?

Parveen: Job

Me: What job?

Parveen: Electrical engg

Me: Have you looked at my business?

If you are going to connect with someone on Linkedin take the time to look at their profile, check out what they do and any interests they may have and send a message with the connection request that explains why you would like to connect.

This person also had one connection in common and further to this discussion it seems that person is also just using Linkedin as a numbers game because I know they also don’t have any graduate options for an electrical engg.

Think before you connect – how can this person help my network or business.