LinkedIn Fail: Don't Ever Send, “I'd Like to Add You to My Professional Network"

The absolutely most boring thing you can possibly read on LinkedIn is, “I’d like to add you to my professional network.”

There’s nothing like looking at my LinkedIn invitations and seeing this same message over and over and over again. How boring! How thoughtless! How… absolutely standard.

Is that the first impression you want to give somebody when your reach out to ask them to join your professional network on LinkedIn? Boring… thoughtless… standard… hmmmmm.

Make every action count. Usually, when I receive this message, I reply without accepting in order to determine whether you are actually interested in connecting with me, what that interest level is, and whether it makes to actually connect. Some folks respond. Some don’t. This actually helps me in two ways:

  • Responding opens up a dialogue, which is exactly what we are all trying to do.
  • Non-responses… well, that means there is no genuine interest so there is no reason to connect.
  • Connection requests only take a few moments to write. These are the messaging character limits:

  • 1:1 messages: 7,000 characters
  • Invitations with email address: 2,000 characters
  • Group posts: 2,000 characters
  • Invitations without email address: 300 characters
  • Invitations without email addresses = 300 characters. That’s it! Use it wisely, but definitely use it.

    Often times, I receive responses that they sent the connection request through their smartphone app so it sent the generic message. That’s a bad answer. You can customize your connection request from you smartphone app and your tablet.

    It’s true that depending on where you click “connect”, the generic message may send automatically, but knowledge is power. You simply need to know where to click “connect” in order to send a thoughtful, custom connection request.