Why won’t I Link In with you?


I’m pretty open to new connections. First of all, I’m the Editor In Chief of a marketing research magazine called Vue so I am always in search of new connections who could be potential authors (could you?). Second, I know that the future isn’t written in stone and I could be unexpectedly job hunting tomorrow. In both cases, the more connections the better.

At the same time however, I do not Link with every Tom, Chris, and Susan who asks. I am not a LION. My criteria may be broad but they are simple.

  1. Are you a person? There is a new trend of creating LinkedIn profiles for companies as opposed to people. I refuse to link with companies. I can’t have a conversation with a company. I can’t debate a new ethical issue with a company. I can’t ask a company for its perspective on a case study. Sorry. No wait. Not sorry at all. I only link with human beings.
  2. Are you in my field? I love to link with marketing researchers in all walks of life. But if you’re in a related field, that works for me too. So, marketers, advertisers, neuroscientists, ethnographers, statisticians, field managers, data scientists, linguists, community managers, moderators, and more all meet my criteria. All of these types of people have an abundance of unique and valuable skills that Canadian researchers could learn from in a magazine article.
  3. Have we met before? No worries, that doesn’t matter to me at all. You can’t help it if you live in Australia and I live in Canada, and there’s no way our paths will ever cross. I value expertise not geography.
  4. Is your profile filled out? I examine the profile of every single person who requests to link with me. Some profiles are completely empty or have just a couple of job titles. It’s nearly impossible to figure out whether we could have a meaningful conversation about surveys or data or charts. For all I know, you created the profile today and have no intention of coming back. Since LinkedIn limits the number of connections you can have, it doesn’t make sense to Link with someone you will never see again. Come back when I can make an informed decision.
  5. Did you welcome me with a sales pitch? LinkedIn is indeed a social network for business people and an important place for creating new business relationships. But there is no need for your first message after linking with me to be a dissertation on how you are guaranteed to provide me with the best product ever and we need to talk immediately to outline our amazing new partnership. I will unlink you before I finish deleting your welcome message. Chat with me first, share a blog post, ask for opinion, let me get to know you. You might just find that I ask YOU about your services and that’s a far better business bet.

Go ahead. Try me.

4 responses

  1. I found much more value out of LinkedIn when I only connected with people I had met in person. The proliferation of groups, enabling me to connect with group members, means that now I don’t know many of the people who “Link In” to me. That’s an aspect I enjoy of Twitter, but I wish I had ignored their requests on LinkedIn. I preferred it when it was my dynamic address book and a record of people I actually knew.

    1. It sounds like it’s time to do some unlinking🙂

  2. Amen!

    I actually have in my Linked profile section “Advice for Contacting Me” the following statement:

    Although I am widely open to expanding my network of serious professionals, I have limited interest in connecting with somebody who won’t take the time to personalize a message AND tell me why we should connect, when we met, etc. Spend a minute or two doing this and I will spend time responding and getting to know you better. If you do not do this, I will likely not respond and not connect. In other words, if your invite says “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.” or “I’d like to add you to my professional network.”, I may just have enough time to press Ignore.

    I also reference in my Summary, which is at the top of my profile, to read this section of my profile.

    1. I wonder how many people read that🙂

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