LinkedIn as a product, tool has great uses. HOW one uses it, varies from person to person. That creates an interesting challenge for you if you are a subscriber. When I joined LinkedIn I just wanted it to be a place where my professional career summary is available and there are “recommendations” from people I worked with to provide credibility to my experience & expertise.
In past few years, through my consulting and volunteering activities, I met a LOT of people. Attended classes, training(s), certifications, conferences and then conducted many! Many amazing individuals: sharing and learning. People started to the send me “friend” or “networking” requests and that’s when things started to get out of control.
In the recent past I realized, I have so many connections that I don’t know where I met them or even if I interacted with them or not. So, to take care of the situation, since few months I have started a practice. Here are few points I am following to help me manage the professional networking chaos:
- Only accept invitations from people you know or have interacted in some capacity
- Ask the person requesting to be connected, what’s the benefit in connecting for BOTH the parties? I’m not on LI to get brownie points for I have 5K+ connections.
- Validate if you get a response back
- Validate if the connection is beneficial BOTH to them and you!
- Ignore the rest
I try to reply back when I log in to individuals about, why should we connect using this format below. Let me know if you think I should make any changes:
Thank you for your request. Could I kindly request you to help me remember where we have met or interacted? Please accept my apologies for not being able to place our meeting.
What are your expectations from this professional connection we make, that would help both of us in future?
With Best Wishes,
I have seen this work pretty nicely so far as genuinely interested people DO write back and admit what they accept. I will continue this process and refine/tune as needed.
What’s your side of the story? Do you get overwhelming requests and what strategy works for you. Share with us!