Professional Network on LinkedIn: Who to Invite and Who to Accept

When you receive an invitation to connect on LinkedIn, it’s important to do a bit of quality control on who’s in your network and who is not. A LinkedIn invitation message can be very positive, but some annotations can be quite irritating and even persistent.  LinkedIn invitation spam isn’t exactly unknown, either, and it really can be quite infuriating.

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The “personalization” or otherwise of LinkedIn connection invitations is now a major issue. Add to this a certain amount of klutz-like awkwardness on the part of new members and rather dubious behaviour from undesirables, and you have a series of issues to deal with.

“Personalization” is really a combination of social courtesy and business etiquette. In normal life you wouldn’t make a nuisance of yourself will be impolite by introducing yourself to someone discourteously. The idea of “bot connections” doesn’t appeal to anybody much.

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Managing LinkedIn invitations

Invitation to Connect on LinkedinFortunately, there is plenty you can do about LinkedIn invitations:

  • Obviously, you need to be wary of nuisance invitations. These invitations tend to be from quasi-anonymous LinkedIn members, and are usually made as a result of buying a mailing list. These invitations are therefore totally worthless, and should be eliminated ASAP.
  • Genuine LinkedIn invitations come from a variety of sources. Many of these people will be friends, workmates, business associates, and other people in your basic social group. On LinkedIn, however you will find that the social group extends and can extend quite rapidly through online interactions and your own business and social synergies.

Managing your LinkedIn connections

At this stage, we have described two basic types of invitation and connections – The completely useless and utterly worthless types, and the extremely valuable, bona fide connections.

There are some points to be made here before we go any further –

  • Your LinkedIn connections and friends are high-value assets.
  • You do not want to create a messy network for yourself.

If you have a lot of people in your network, and you can’t even remember who they are or what they’re doing there, you know that you have a real problem. Your network is at risk of becoming dysfunctional, and you have a large number of people who are no use whatsoever sitting on your list of connections.

Some people don’t get it – Innocent LinkedIn connections

For some strange reason, some people think that they can actually follow and meaningfully connect with thousands of people on LinkedIn. Even the most “people person” will tell you that you manage your social contacts on a functional basis. You simply can’t follow large numbers of people on Twitter, or even on Facebook.

On LinkedIn, that’s not what the website is for, to start with. LinkedIn members are people who have lives, and who are in the process of doing business. It’s a social media site, true, but it’s also a functional social media site.

If you find yourself getting invitation from people who are obviously new members, be slightly tolerant, but not at your own expense. If there is no good reason to these people want to connect, and if they can’t be bothered sending your message explaining why they want to connect, why should you connect? Don’t be rude, but don’t waste your own time, either.

Quality controlling your LinkedIn network

There are, in fact, a couple of ways of quality controlling your LinkedIn network to get the people you want.

  1. Search friends and acquaintances, and create your own network as well and as thoroughly as possible right from the start. If you haven’t been doing name searches on LinkedIn, start doing them. It will be worth it, and you will find all the people you need to find much more quickly.
  2. Use LinkedIn’s People You May Know information as a useful starting point. Or Indian Central and the other which is In recent times, LinkedIn has drastically improved the functionality of this operation. You will find at least some people you know, and you will definitely find some companies you know.

Quality control of your network also gives you one other advantage – You know that your LinkedIn personal branding is fully functional and contains the people you want, giving you a major businesses asset. That’s worth achieving.

Image credit: http://linkedinprofilegrader.com/follow-these-5-tips-before-connecting-on-linkedin/