Not if you're serious about making the connection, says Lewis Howes, author of LinkedWorking: Generating Success On The World's Largest Professional Networking Website.
"Never send an invitation to connect with anyone without making it a personalised message," Howes says. "You want to be remembered; you want to connect with them on a personal level."
Here are three steps to follow the next time you're serious about making a connection on LinkedIn.
1. Do your homeworkBefore job seekers interview for a job opening, they research the company to learn everything you can about it, right? The same holds true for connecting with people on LinkedIn.
Before you click "Connect," browse their profile to obtain an understanding of who they are. Where are they working? What jobs have they held in the past? What LinkedIn groups do they belong to? What are their interests? Do they have a blog? Having an understanding of the person before you interact with them is key, Howes says.
2. Find common groundAfter researching the person you want to connect with, find and jot down at least two or three things you have in common, Howes recommends. This could be anything from sharing an alma mater, to belonging to the same LinkedIn group, to having another connection in common.
3. Craft a personal noteNow you're ready to connect. Instead of sending out the impersonal, standard message that accompanies LinkedIn invitations, Howes recommends combining the information above to generate a memorable introduction before you tell them why you want to connect. As an example:
I've heard great things about (fill in the blank) and thought it would be great to reach out and connect to learn more about it from you.
Would you be open to a quick call this Tuesday at noon or Thursday at 3pm to discuss it? Let me know if email works best for you instead, and I look forward to hearing from you.
Connecting with them on a personal level breaks a barrier," Howes says. "People only do business with people they trust, so you want to try to make them trust you right off the bat," he says.