Misc

My LinkedIn connection policy

How I decide whether to accept (or ignore) LinkedIn requests

My LinkedIn connection policy. Generally, I'll accept your connection request if I know you or if you are someone I'm interested in connecting with. But I’m more likely to accept your request are higher if you’ve left a message with your LinkedIn request. If you’ve left a message but I’m not interested in connecting, I might reply your message without accepting your request.

These thoughts have been living rent-free in my head for months now, so I thought it was high time I shared them 😂

How I decide whether to accept (or ignore) LinkedIn requests

Have you ever been to talks where the speaker wants to make a point about the importance of networking, and so they get everyone to stand up…

…and then ask people to sit if they have fewer than 100 LinkedIn connections, 500 connections, 1,000 connections and so on until only a handful of people with thousands of connections are left standing?

The last time I did this activity was many years ago and I think I sat down pretty quickly LOL.

And I don’t think my situation will have changed much since then, because I’m a bit more selective about the LinkedIn invites I accept.

When I receive a new invite, I ask three questions:

1. Do I know you?

If I know you, don’t worry—as long as I don’t have a good reason for not accepting your request, you’ll usually get in. Even if we’ve met just once.

But if you request to connect and I don’t know you, things are different.

2. Did you add a message to your connection request?

When sending a LinkedIn connection request, you have the opportunity to write a short note to go with it. (But I think LinkedIn recently capped personalised requests at 10 requests/month for free users.)

Your message could share:

  • Your reasons for wanting to connect. If your reasons sound interesting (e.g. you’re in the same space as me or you know me from somewhere) and I’m interested in connecting with you, I’ll accept your request.
  • Your interest in working with me. I almost always instantly add people who say this back!

If you don’t leave a message with your request, I become less interested in connecting and move to step three.

(So, unless you’ve run out of personalised requests, PLEASE ALWAYS say why you want to connect.)

3. Are you someone I’m interested in connecting with nevertheless?

This is where I check out your LinkedIn profile to see what you do.

If you look like a person worth connecting with, e.g. you do cool things or you could be a client down the road, I’ll accept your request.

But I’m less likely to do this because I don’t know why you want to connect (because you didn’t leave a message).

Replying to your message without connecting

I discovered this recently—maybe it’s a new feature! Either way, it’s awesome.

It’s possible to reply to a person’s message in their connection request without accepting their request.

And this is what I might do if you’ve left a message with your connection request but I’m not that interested in connecting.

I find people generally don’t mind if this happens.

Sometimes, they request to connect not because they genuinely want to connect, but because they want to ask me something.

To sum up, here’s a low-effort diagram I made in MS Word to illustrate my thought process when receiving LinkedIn requests!

My LinkedIn connection policy. Generally, I'll accept your connection request if I know you or if you are someone I'm interested in connecting with. But I’m more likely to accept your request are higher if you’ve left a message with your LinkedIn request. If you’ve left a message but I’m not interested in connecting, I might reply your message without accepting your request.

Want to connect on LinkedIn? Here’s my LinkedIn profile.

My profile’s main button is “Follow” instead of “Connect”, but connecting is still possible if you know where to find the option. And don’t forget my connection policy 👀

More freelancer news

Transitioning from employee to self-employed

Some people don’t get into self-employment by choice. Like John Lim, who left his full-time job and couldn’t get another despite sending more than 270 applications over 29 months.

Since then, he’s been taking on gigs in training, writing, marketing and more. He’s also started a media agency.

He’s shared his experiences here. I admire his tenacity and I hope his story will inspire you if you feel like your business is struggling!

“Will freelancing benefit me in the long run?”

That’s the question someone asked on Reddit. Honestly, I don’t know the full context because the OP had deleted the post by the time I saw it lol.

The only part of the post I managed to read (from the Google search results) was:

“Im a full time freelancer, earning around 6 to 7k per month (depending on the season of the year and I need to top up CPF every month myself).”

Judging from the replies, I think OP was asking whether freelancing is a viable long-term career because they think it comes with limited career progression options and salary growth.

Some replies are interesting and I suggest checking them out in full. Some highlights (summarised):

  • Try to earn income from other sources apart from freelancing, e.g. investing
  • If you’re earning a lot every month, it doesn’t matter if you continue to do the same thing for the next X years
  • Keep yourself relevant by learning new skills or starting new endeavours

I agree there can be a cap on your earnings after a while because there’s only so much clients are willing to pay.

I’m guarding against this by investing my earnings. I’m also looking to diversify my offerings.

This post was first published in my email newsletter on 28 Mar 2024. If you liked it, sign up for my newsletter here:

Tan Siew Ann
I’m a freelance writer for some of the most amazing software businesses in the world. On this blog, I share tips on how you, too, can run a sustainable and meaningful freelance business. Let’s forge your freedom. 💪

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