Default vs. Customized Connection Requests

What are the best practices for growing your professional network?

I recently received a question from a respected career coach who shared that for years he taught clients to personalize invitations to connect on LinkedIn. The coach observed at the time that this no longer worked because of a change in LinkedIn that restricted or eliminated the invitation. This led the coach to raise the issue with LinkedIn customer service. He could not get a straight answer.

Those days are over. You can now add a personalized message to a LinkedIn connection request, but the question still stands. What is the best practice regarding the use of the generic vs. customized connection requests?

Like any tool, it is how we use it that determines the outcome. Therefore, I am basing my response upon the science (hard data) that reflects the way I utilize LinkedIn on my own behalf and that of my clients. Here is the sort of results I see:

New PictureNew Picture (1)My research and data suggest that it is far less about whether the request is generic vs. customized but it’s FAR more about who is asking and how they are presenting themselves.

Since every connection request is scrutinized with the following in mind “will the addition of this person raise the quality of my professional network or not?” If yes, then there is a high likelihood of acceptance. BUT if the profile is poorly put together then even customized requests get declined.

The more people you ask, the more opinions you get, and the more confusing things become. I don’t utilize opinions; I utilize data to make changes to optimize results. Checkout the approach I use in this article to find out more about  our repeatable process that yields consistent results.


Beth Kelzer
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