Many months ago, Arik Hanson and I were having a Twitter conversation about LinkedIn. His question?

How do you feel about getting “I’d like to add you to my professional network” requests without any mention of how the person knows you?

That drives me nuts. I do a ton of speaking and I “meet” a lot of people through that, as well as online. If you don’t tell me how you know me, or how we’ve recently met, you’re making me do an awful lot of work to figure it out on my own.

At the time, Ari Herzog jumped into the conversation and said the whole point of social networking is just that: To be social and network.  His point is that you should just accept people into your network.

I disagreed a little bit, at the time. But I disagree even more today.


I’ll bet I get at least five spam “I’d like to add you to my professional network” requests a day. You can tell they’re spam because the name is usually  something like “Money King,” but sometimes they’re not that obvious. If I went with Ari’s notion, I’d have a good few hundred people in my account, spamming my real network.

Would that piss you off if you were in my network?

Because I have this innate need to want to be liked by everyone, I used to take time to click on the invite, go in to the person’s account, figure out who we know in common, and decide whether or not they’re a good fit for my network.

But that takes a lot of time.

A lot of time that can easily be solved with a, “Hey Gini! We met when you spoke in Omaha last week and I would love to connect with you here.”  Or a “Gini, we follow one another on Twitter. My handle is @imcourteous.”

So. Much. Better.

If someone takes the time to do that, even if I don’t really know them, I will take Ari’s advice and accept them into my network. I’ll also make a note on how we know one another so that when I get an introduction request, I can be courteous back and say, “Hey Paul. We met when I spoke in Omaha last April. A girlfriend of mine is interested in working at your company. May I make an introduction?”

You see, without that point of reference, I can’t be helpful. And THAT is the point of LinkedIn.

What is your policy?

Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder, CEO, and author of Spin Sucks, host of the Spin Sucks podcast, and author of Spin Sucks (the book). She is the creator of the PESO Model and has crafted a certification for it in partnership with Syracuse University. She has run and grown an agency for the past 15 years. She is co-author of Marketing in the Round, co-host of Inside PR, and co-host of The Agency Leadership podcast.

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