Tell me if this has happened to you before…

As you check your e-mail, a LinkedIn invitation pops up. You log-in to your account to view the invitation only to find that the person has no photo and the message is the generic: “I’d like to add you to my professional network”. The name looks vaguely familiar but you’re not completely sure who this person is.

This happens more than people care to admit. You don’t want to ignore the person completely because you two do have a connection in common but there’s no information that can convince you otherwise. If you have not gotten your photo on LinkedIn yet, (maybe you’re waiting on that professional head shot) here are some things you can do to make it easier on the people you’re trying to connect with.

1. Write A Personal Note
Please don’t use the generic “I’d like to add you to my network”. People meet people every day and if you don’t have a photo on LinkedIn, it’s less of a chance that they will remember you. In your invitation, recount a piece of the conversation you had with him/her or something interesting about yourself that they would remember.

2. Why Do You Want To Connect?
If this person is in a LinkedIn group with you, explain why would like to connect with them. Having previous conversations with the person you are trying to connect with helps because it improves name recognition. But explaining why you would like to connect can give the person a better idea on how they can help you.

3. Let The Relationship Develop
I don’t connect with people who don’t have a profile picture on LinkedIn. I like the fact that I’m talking to a real person that I can see. However, if there is a connection in common, I’ll send a message back to you to get to know more about you. It takes me a couple of messages to decide whether to connect or not. Since I can’t see you, I have to get to know who the person is.

4. Get A Profile Picture Please!
The easiest thing to do would just to get a snapshot of yourself and post it on LinkedIn. If you don’t trust your kids to take the photo of you, find a photographer and get a professional head shot. Don’t hide behind a company logo. We want to see you and get to know the real you! That’s what social networking is all about!

Connecting on LinkedIn is more than networking, you are giving access to your digital Rolodex and some do not take this lightly. Adding a profile picture on LinkedIn, makes you a real person and people like to “see” who they are doing business with.

Any other LinkedIn tips? Let us know in the comments section!

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