Zero Parallel

The Value of Connections on LinkedIn


The online world is all about networks. Facebook has its friends, Twitter has its followers, and LinkedIn has its connections.

These various forms of social media are constantly bringing people together and having them build relationships. The first step, of course, is making that connection.

If you have ever made a request for a connection on LinkedIn, you have likely seen the standard template that is created for you. This default text, which simply notifies your potential connection that you want to add them to your professional network is rather bland and impersonal. In lieu of this message, you can send a more personalized one, which briefly focuses on your relationship and history with that individual. In fact, this can be something as simple as a note that states how nice it is that you found them on LinkedIn.

In addition, oftentimes people will want to connect with someone that they don’t know, personally or professionally. The question then becomes if you should reach out to them and make a connection. If you are connecting with someone who you don’t know, and simply want to make a connection, that’s okay; perhaps it’s because of similar interests, or maybe you came across their profile after seeing one of their posts, or maybe you simply want to connect with them and have them part of your network.

The standard message that LinkedIn prepares for you can become a place where you make note of why you are connecting with them. This can be something along the lines of how you came across their profile and you wanted to connect with them for whatever reason you have. The chances are that the individual on the other end of that message will appreciate that you reached out to them. In fact, oftentimes connections on LinkedIn will be made and forgotten; don’t have people wonder who you are and why they accepted your request months or years ago. In other words, set yourself apart from the crowd and make your connection more individualized.

It’s no wonder why some people may decline your request for a connection, especially if it’s someone you don’t know. The personal message, however, helps them understand what this connection is for. This may be a request for keeping in touch with you other and possibly collaborating together down the road, but at the very least, such a message provides context for the other individual. They know who you are now. They may look into your profile. They may realize you both do, in fact, have similar interests.

It’s like introducing yourself with someone during a party; you don’t just inject yourself into their lives, you introduce yourself first. It’s the same concept. LinkedIn, or any form of social media for that matter, isn’t about the number of connections you have, it’s about the quality. If you are connected with hundreds of people that don’t even know you, what’s the good in that? It’s likely a better idea being connected with people who know you, are familiar with your work, or have an understanding of who you are and why you reached out to them.





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