Don't ask me why, but lately I'm just full of questions. For example, why does it seem every time I receive a LinkedIn invitation from someone I don't know, the invite text starts with "Since you are a person I trust...?"
On a related note, what's your 'connection strategy' on LinkedIn? To be completely candid, what's the basis for you to extend or accept an invitation on this medium?
Do you consider yourself an 'open networker' or are you selective with whom you connect no matter which way the invitation is moving? There are as many opinions on this topic as there are profiles on LinkedIn and the only one that matters is your own, as far as I'm concerned. Since I joined in February 2004, I've changed my approach to a much more selective one versus the 'numbers game' of the early days that meant getting as many connections as quickly as possible. I've shed many connections over the years and am very purposeful in how I extend and accept connection requests. Since adopting my new philosophy, rule number one for me is not to send or accept generic requests based on the canned text in the messages. First, it's impersonal and lazy (I'm saying this about myself too!) and I shouldn't have to 'search' for a reason to accept your invitation, you should supply that with your introduction. On top of that, LinkedIn has made it pretty easy to get introduced to folks you don't know. Just use one of your direct connections and request a referral to warm up the intro. If they really 'know' the recipient, they will be able to guide you in how to make a good intro, with their help. It also helps to read the 'Advice for contacting Guy' section in LinkedIn profiles. This can often help determine how receptive someone might be to your reason(s) for requesting to communicate or connect.
Bottom line, unless it's someone I know, without accepting their invitation, I reply with a nice note asking why they would like to connect and then I make a decision based on their response, or lack thereof.
I mention all of this because of a recent article in the Washington Post with the title 'To accept or not accept that LinkedIn request.' It caught my attention. Check it out and let me know your thoughts.
If you are a government contractor, have you figured out the value of LinkedIn? Whether you are trying to increase your visibility, your insight or simply want to shore up your position to win for a certain opportunity, the information and the people you seek are there, often in plain sight.
In the meantime, since you're a person I trust...
Peace.The Chief Visionary
"The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it."