Okay. But you knew all that. So the developers behind LinkedIn have thought of everything, and have built tools to help you make new connections as quickly and effortlessly as possible. So quickly and effortlessly, in fact, that you don’t even have to create your own personal message when you’d like to connect with someone you know, or in many cases, someone you’d like to know. Here’s what the standard, boilerplate connection request looks like:
Which leads me back to Mr. Weed. Because he chose to use the boilerplate invitation text, I had to click on his name to get to his profile, scan his information, and then try to figure out why he felt a connection would be mutually beneficial. In other words, although he initiated the introduction, he placed the onus on me to do the work and invest in the relationship first. That’s rude and disrespectful. Especially since you do have the option to take a few nanoseconds to type in a more personal introduction, like this wonderful example from my new connection Glenn Watson:
If you’re taking advantage of the magic that is LinkedIn, and you are a busy person, there is a very good possibility that your invitations currently read more like Mr. Weed’s than Mr. Watson’s. That’s okay – when I first started out building my network, I was guilty of sending the dreaded disrespectful boilerplate invite, too. Until I received a gracious, personal, sincere invitation from one of my old employees who said she’d be “thrilled and honored” if I joined her professional network. Wow, what a difference a few words and some extra respect can make (okay she wanted a reference, but still)! It was then I made a decision to put the “social” back into “social media,” and I hope you will, too. Want some practice? Let’s connect!