The LinkedIn connection requests that are most worthwhile are those from individuals who you have connected with beforehand via other means.

When I see the data in the chart below, all I think is “here comes the spam”. It’s the Twitter Follower Syndrome, only Twitter doesn’t exactly require approval for connections.

Since I left the agency grind to work with a partner and build up House of Copy, my LinkedIn connection request rate has skyrocketed.

Whereas once I would salivate for a LinkedIn connection request, now I see at least 10-20 coming in every day that are pure bullshit, and they are becoming a pain.

Obviously a lot of this is due to the enormous user growth. In just the last two years there has been a 67% increase in users on LinkedIn.

Linkedin User Growth Data

LinkedIn User Growth Data courtesy of: http://www.statista.com/statistics/274050/quarterly-numbers-of-linkedin-members/

How To Make Me Accept Your LinkedIn Request

linkedin spam connections

Image Source: http://campus-to-career.com/2014/08/11/linkedin-lets-get-personal/

Look, I’m not out there gunning for that “500+” number to appear on my profile. I don’t need that validation. I’d rather make this LinkedIn fiasco worthwhile.

So here’s how to get me to accept your request:

  • Be engaged in what I do
  • Be active in my field (Inbound, Search, and WordPress marketing)
  • Come at me with a GENUINE, RELEVANT business connection (not to push their “AWESOME NEW SALES LEAD PRODUCT” or offshore web design capabilities)
  • Offer to work with me by providing a RELEVANT service

How To Make Me Deny Your LinkedIn Request

1. Connect Before You Connect

This might sound counter-intuitive to the whole point of LinkedIn, but the core purpose of LinkedIn is to connect industry professionals and help them grow via employment opportunities and create/share content. If I don’t already know who you are via an in-person connection, email, blog comment discussion, or Twitter, I’m far less likely to accept a connection request.

Unless it’s a really good connection request.

2. Sell Your Shit In The Invite

Anyone can join LinkedIn and hock their product/service. Not everyone can email or call me with a good outreach effort. Find my email via all the services out there like VoilaNorbert [LINK] or a similar service. Or, you know, GO TO MY WEBSITE AND GET IN TOUCH FIRST.

3. Carpet-Bomb LinkedIn

I do not love the smell of spammy LinkedIn requests in the morning.

If I can tell that your connection request uses a template, I’m denying your request. Write something genuine that focuses on me, my business, my specific industry, etc. I already linked to this great post on TheMuse.com about LinkedIn connection request templates, but I’m doing it again: Here.

4. Have A Profile Photo Without A Smile

If you look pissed, if you have a flat expression, if you look like your photo is a mugshot or CIA photo, I’m likely to hit that “X” button on your connection request. I realize the situation or custom in many countries is not to always smile like an idiot in photos. Still, if you are hoping to create a business relationship, look like you want to create a business relationship.

LinkedIn has some great profile photo tips here.

5. Use A Logo For Your Profile Pic

A logo means a company. I am not a company. I am a person. I can’t connect with a company. I connect with people/human beings.

6. Lie About Your Experience

We all have to start somewhere in our careers. In fact, that’s what LinkedIn is for! But you’re really not going to get much farther than starting if you are listing out your 1-month tenures at Amazon, Disney, Apple, and Google within your first year out of college. People want to see that you’ve paid your dues via your profile, not just a list of brands you barely got to know.

7. No Sharing, Commenting, Or Other Interactions

What do you on LinkedIn? Do you post updates, write content, comment on articles? If I look up your profile and find that you only post sales messages for your software and share nothing…So Long.

8. Use Emojis In Your Title

Just…no.

Conclusion

Every tool on the internet gets abused for spam at some point. It’s a fact of life. This makes it tough to utilize all of the great social media platforms out their to their fullest extent. Hopefully some of the tips above can help you separate yourself from the connection wasters on LinkedIn and get you on track to making some meaningful connections.

For some additional help, Hubspot offers some great tips for using LinkedIn to network.

If you need more evidence of just how bad LinkedIn profiles can get, check out the 10 worst here.

If you think you can follow the guidelines above, connect with me on LinkedIn!

Hi, I'm Brian Thomas Clark.

Dad, Husband, and Founder of House of Search.

brian thomas clark

I help companies generate new search traffic using Data, Creativity, and People. I've been doing it since 2005 and worked with Yahoo, Disney, UCLA and more. I currently live in Orange County, CA, where no one uses turn signals.

I sometimes spill my guts about marketing. Want in?

* indicates required