When a business associate told me last week that she couldn’t understand why LinkedIn froze her account, especially because she invited only a few dozen people to connect within several months, I had a pretty good idea how that happened.
Three out of four of the people who invite me to connect with them on LinkedIn make the same mistake she probably made. They fail to explain on the invitation how we know each other, or how they know me.
If somebody invites you to connect and you don’t know them, LinkedIn gives you the option of clicking on “I don’t know this user” and “Report as spam.”
Scott Allen, who was my guest during a teleseminar on “How to Use LinkedIn to Promote Anything–Ethically & Powerfully,” said that if too many people say they don’t know you, LinkedIn can freeze your account.
I always give the person who’s inviting me the benefit of the doubt. If they send the standard “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn” invitation, I always reply and ask, “How do we know each other, or how do you know me?” I ask that question so often that I’ve even created a macro key for it so I don’t have retype it hundreds of times.
Often, I learn that many of those people read my newsletter or heard me at a speaking engagement, or they were referred to me by a friend who follows me. So I usually connect with them and we start a conversation. If there’s no connection between us, I don’t connect.
Other LinkedIn users might not be so patient. It takes only a second to click on “I don’t know this user” or “Report as Spam.”
But it takes only several more seconds to type “I read your newsletter each week” or “I heard you speak when you were in Dallas” or “we worked on a project together at Bowling Green State University.”
What about you? Do three out of four people who invite you fail to explain how they know you? Do you click on “I don’t know this user” or “Report as Spam,” or do you probe like I do?
What’s the most annoying mistake you see people making on LinkedIn?