You may be like me and often get invitations to connect on LinkedIn. I personally love these and welcome anyone into my network except the odd one or two that are obviously causing trouble. Doing this allows you to have a wide and diverse network. This is important as you never know what you might need down the road.

Now that I said that, it’s important to understand that connecting on LinkedIn and other social networks is a lot like off-line networking – you need to make a connection. Be careful, if you are the type that hits the connect button and never adds a short message to your request. Also on the other end, if you’ve been invited to connect why not say a quick hello. I usually say “Thanks for connecting. Let me know if I can help you in any way.” You won’t believe how well this works for building connections and creating opportunities to help others.

Now, if I’ve requested you to add me to your network I’ll also go one step further and create a reminder to reconnect with you again in the future. You can do this easily within LinkedIn. Here’s a screenshot of where to find this feature. (Note: this feature has been discontinued. Add a reminder in your calendar instead),

I usually set a 3-month time frame for the next connection point. I try to keep my ‘reconnecting’ messages simple. You know, “Hope you are well. Here’s what I’m up to”. The key here is not to burden the other person. Don’t ask them any questions. It’s just a simple hello. Oh, and always sign off with an offer to help. Trust me, you’ll feel better in the end.

If you’d like to connect with me on LinkedIn I’m right here.