Strategically, you’ll want to create a wide but selective network.
More is better–but not for the reason you may think. The true value in a large network is the power of indirect connections. The wider your network, the closer you are to someone who personally knows the lawyer or executive you’re seeking.
But what about random invites?
So now the next question is, why is this person sending you an invitation?
- Could you have met in the past and forgotten?
- Could they be a potential client who found your profile?
- Could they be a referral from a prior client or colleague?
- Could they be looking for a partnership or collaborative opportunity?
Don’t just ignore them. One of LinkedIn’s great features (one that few people know about) is that you may send a message to anybody who requests to connect with you before you accept their request.
The action is located in the arrow next to the “Accept” button:
I always send a message to a person to ask how they found my profile. It’s a great way to open a conversation, learn more about a connection, and prospectively form a relationship or decide against adding the connection.
Your takeaway: Building a wide network without any relationship never ( I mean never ) will monetize your online networking via LinkedIn.