Strategically, you’ll want to create a wide but selective network.
More may be better–but not for the reason you may think.
The true value in a large network is the power of knowing each connection personally. And of course, the indirect connections within their network, your second level. The wider your network, the closer you are to someone who personally knows the executive you want to meet.
But what about random invites? The ones generated from the “People you may know” section?
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 greatest 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, as long as the invitation was written with a personal message.
LinkedIn algorithms propose and suggest people who are look-alikes from your current network. It’s up to us to decide if strangers without any link to our business is a good idea or not.
When a random invite is sent to me, I recommend to be cautious. The invitation might want access to your network or rather, may be an innocent request to add you into their network which is appropriate strategically.
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 potential connection, and prospectively form a relationship or decide against adding the connection.