How to Put the “Connection” in a Connection Request On LinkedIn
Content is informational interviewing at scale. Consume it to prep for the face-to-face informational interview that you may be seeking
Read their profile BEFORE!
BONUS: Read their website. Watch their videos. Listen to their podcast.
I want to help you but I can’t help you if you don’t even know what I’m helping you with. Someone messaged me for a connect at Facebook but I’m not at Facebook now nor have I ever been? It’s a win-win situation when both of our times can be used for critical information that helps you as much as possible which is hard to do if we spend time on questions I cannot answer or have already answered. Help me help you efficiently and go straight for what you’d like to know that you know isn’t already answered in my content. Otherwise, I’ll do what’s most efficient and link you back to my content that already addressed your question.
I’ll admit. I still ask people questions their content answers because I missed it in their website or blogs. No one is perfect but we can all grow. Do you know what they do when I ask them something they’ve already put thought into answering eloquently previously? They send me a link to the content.
Send a ->personalized<- connection request.
Spell their name right and apologize if you don’t. Names are important. Don’t try to gain access to someone without even putting care into what their name is. I like to think of the personalized request as thinking out loud. We don’t always get insight as to what other people are thinking of us. You know you want to connect with an author on LinkedIn because you loved their book. They don’t know what your intentions are and that you just want to keep up with their content after enjoying the book. Don’t rely on others to infer your goals; be explicit.
Get their pronouns right.
This is a touchy subject for me and I have yet to determine my approach to asking about pronouns. However, if someone explicitly tells you their pronouns USE THEM. These are not “preferred” pronouns. To me, calling them preferred is a microaggressive way of delegitimizing their gender identity. These are their actual pronouns.
Say thank you.
I like the plastic bags that have thank you repeatedly written on them. Katy Perry asked us “Do you ever feel like a plastic bag?” I hope to be one of those plastic bags actually: saying Thank You repeatedly and showing awareness for the ways that others are kind to me. I say thank you for connecting, for supporting my content, for meeting with me, for anything that others do. If I appreciate it internally, I want to make that explicit to others that what they did for me, no matter how little, was noticed and valued.
Keep it going.
It can be hard to keep track of who to keep in touch with and track the relationships that you have in your heart to maintain. I’m still learning to maintain my relationships so I can’t give advice that I don’t have the experience to support. I will say though, when you think of someone, message them. I often do that only to realize that I mistakenly didn’t respond to the last message. It’d be methodical to keep logs of everything to get back to but sometimes that doesn’t happen so have your subconscious be the log and hit people up when they pop up in your mind.
Today, I recorded a podcast discussing how I think that LinkedIn could be improved to facilitate the relationships within the community. I suggested being able to receive a flag when you leave a message not responded to as Gmail does for emails that have yet to receive a follow-up.
I am also working on an app that allows you to input contacts and it will automatically manage reminding you to keep in touch with said contacts. Building the web version this week and mobile version to come. I noticed that a lot of people claim to be bad at keeping in touch as a person. At the very least, we can be forgetful. Bill Gates believes that tech can solve anything. I’m hoping this product solves the relationships that accidentally end up drifting.
Anyway, LinkedIn has a lot of power to bring people together. It has blessed me so much so far in leading me to be the creative director of Product Buds, a community for budding product managers to sprout, grow, and flourish with an amazing team of people that met each other through LinkedIn. Join our community!
I hope you tap into the power of LinkedIn with some of these tips. You can start by practicing with me! Let me know if this wasn’t helpful to you at all and how I can improve the value that I provide.
Thank you for reading!