If I ignored your invitation to connect on LinkedIn there is a reason.
It’s not because I was sitting on this dock intoxicated by this sunset, although that would be plausible. The reason is – you gave me no reason to accept.
As simple as that.
While I generally do not like to ignore anyone, I think it’s rude and bad karma, in the digital world I sometimes do. My general rule of thumb is that if our paths have crossed, I’ve met you at a function like the S.H.E. Summit, worked with you, went to school with you, or are connected because of blood lines I will say yes. If we share a LinkedIn group, an industry or have mutual connections I’m also likely to say yes. Otherwise, I need a reason.
That doesn’t mean I won’t connect with a complete stranger.
I like meeting new people. I talk to strangers every day.
But LinkedIn is about my business and if you and I are going to connect, you need to give me a reason why.
More and more people are asking to connect with me for no other reason than to pitch me something.
Old school, old rules, pushy pitching. Abusing my LinkedIn email. Nothing personal about it. Sometimes not even my name. Nothing that gives any indication they did anything more than type in some key words that matched up that I might be a likely prospect.
That stuff does not work anymore!
Just because you see people and businesses using new digital tools with old school tactics does not mean it works. Consider the amount of noise coming at us every day. Our only chance of surviving is to exercise triage and tune out what has no relevance to us. Or be annoyed.
I choose not to be annoyed when I can avoid it.
I am not willingly accepting an invitation to connect on a social network like Linkedin without some convincing that it’s a good idea. There are enough people I’m already connected to, who don’t understand that the essence of digital marketing for a product, service or ourselves is engagement, not solicitation.
LinkedIn is about my business.
I’m there to expand it, to network, to share useful information and to find information I might find useful. Which means I’m going to be thoughtful – maybe even a bit choosy at times – about who I want in my circles.
So if you want me to connect with you and you’re a stranger give me a reason to want to engage with you.
Tell me who you are. Show me your face. Let me know why you think connecting will be a good thing. For both of us.
This article was revised and updated on October 10, 2015