“I would like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.”
It is a bland unimaginative invitation, lacking any effort or thought, and for me it is becoming the most unwelcome calling card in the social media world.
We all like to be liked, and in business we like to be generally viewed as being well-connected, and what better way of doing that than having vast numbers of connections on LinkedIn?
Yet, LinkedIn is surely about relationships, not just numbers.
The real strength of LinkedIn is that you can ask your connections’ connections for introductions – an immensely powerful tool for generating new business or sourcing suppliers or associates.
Yes you can use LinkedIn to broadcast news, but there is also Twitter and e-mails and newsletters and direct marketing and press releases and websites and blogs – better options than collecting names on LinkedIn to target.
The discussions, if you have time, can be useful – I have given referrals and gained pitching opportunities through such groups. I am not saying LinkedIn is not multi-purpose, but to link up without any connection misses the point.
So if someone is allowed to enter into your LinkedIn realm, would you be happy to make an introduction or ask for one from somone you don’t know, like and trust, with perhaps, a valuable and highly regarded contact or friend?
Yet I continue to get the standard, “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn” from people I have never met, who have sometimes the most passing things in common.
One contact – who somehow connected with me – even asked for a testimonial even though I had never done business with him nor indeed recall meeting him!
You might like to add me to your professional network, but at least tell me why. If you can’t I am happy for you to follow me on Twitter no questions asked.