Professional Networking: Creating Credible Connection Invitations

LinkedIn is a business and career professional network.   Credibility is very important for making connections and building your professional network on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn has seven options for inviting people to connect with you.  Each option has advantages in terms of creating credibility and ease of use.  Here are the seven options.

  1. Colleague: Requires you to choose a company
  2. Classmate: Requires you to choose a school
  3. We’ve done business together: Requires you to choose a company
  4. Friend: No requirement
  5. Groups: Requires you to pick a group for which you and the other person both have membership.
  6. Other: Requires email address
  7. I don’t know: Blocks you from connecting. Look back up through options that are available to you.

Options #1, #2, and #3 place a burden, albeit a small burden, on the contact you are inviting. After accepting your invitation, the person gets a request to add this company or school to the person’s profile.

LinkedIn requests that the person add information to their profile based on the company or school you have chosen.

Friend option #4 is the easiest to use and may contain the greatest risk to your credibility.  Business people often think of each other as acquaintances or associates.  If the person you are inviting does not even know your name, you are running an obvious risk of credibility. However, if the person is a genuine friend, you may have added a connection who does not expand your network but may offer opportunities to make other connections.

Groups offer easy connection features and can give you direct access to people who can help you with your business and your career by allowing group members to select an option for receiving messages from other group members.

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Using this option is terrific for adding connections.  Most group members select the option to allow other members to send them messages, thereby making themselves available to receive invitations from other group members.

Since in becoming a member of a group, you are connecting with people who have common interest with you, it naturally follows that inviting group members to connect through the group option results in a very high rate of invitation acceptance.

The “I don’t know” invitation option does serve as a reminder not to invite people to connect whom you do not know and encourages you to seek people who can most help you build your career and your business.

What ideas do you use to build credible invitations?

“The World’s Most Noble Headhunter”

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