As published by LinkedIn on March 15

I get a lot of requests to link with people. I’ve permitted LinkedIn to use me and my stories for marketing, so my visibility is great. And I know a lot of people from my speaking at conferences. Some who request to link I know. Some I don’t. And some come to me from trusted friends.  Which ones do you think I accept?

I don’t reject those I don’t know out of hand. But don’t bother to try to link with me if we don’t know each other and…

  • You don’t have your picture posted. Actually that’s true if I know you too. Pictures bring back to me a view of when I met someone and what we talked about. I am unable to do that with just a name. BTW-That’s why I like Facebook too, but I use that for more personal connections.
  • Worse, you post your company logo instead of your picture. Where did you get the idea that I want to link, hang out and have lunch with a company rather than a person.
  • You are a telemarketer clearly trolling for more customers.
  • You use a standard LinkedIn written template rather than say something to me that could get me to want to connect with you

I accept requests from:

  • Those I know and remember
  • Those I have met and pick up the string of a conversation we had or started (which helps me to remember)
  • Those in my industry where I think there might be common ground for a connection
  • Those whose request is forwarded through a trusted mutual contact. I am surprised how many people do not use this function, but just ask for intros. Or refer to a common friend. This connect through a friend function of LinkedIn is a great feature.

I use LinkedIn a lot. I write. I post items that I think my contacts will be interested in. I reconnect with old and new contacts. I ask for advice. Because of the connectivity it brings me, I always try to follow the advice of only linking with those I know and trust. Trust can be conveyed through a mutual friend or through some common ground.

I want to grow my network. I work at it every day. And I am proud of people I have been able to help. And happy that others are willing to help me. But please, don’t think that my number of contacts means that I link with everyone. Give me a reason. Meet me halfway. That’s how friendships start.