(“Part One” briefly outlines some background. If you are only interested in “how-to”, please jump to the “Part Two” below.
Please note, that I think that inviting others for no good reason is NOT appropriate.)
Part One. Reasons to Connect
LinkedIn is a business networking site, where people can “connect” with each other. Connecting provides for ways to keep each other’s contact info; track interactions; perhaps get on the phone or meet in person; or follow-up after having met; follow each other’s business activity; refer business to each other, and more. In fact, LinkedIn is “the” Business Networking site.
LinkedIn provides us with a number of choices on why we’d like to connect with someone, including: colleague, classmate, we’ve done business together, and a friend. Up until a few days ago there was also a “fellow group member” option, that seems to be gone as of now. This could be just a bug (or not).
(Here’s a post about the missing feature: OMG! LinkedIn Invite No Longer Has “Groups” Option. If it is a bug we’ll hopefully see it back soon.)
Whether the absence of groups among choices is “a bug or a feature”, sometimes it’s hard to find the reason to connect and network among the offered “radio button” choices. Sometimes there’s not a group in common either. How about these reasons:
- “I [read your books/posts/ listened to your presentations] and would like to connect to hear more and stay up-to-date”
- “I met you at a business gathering/conference, enjoyed our conversation, and would like to stay in touch”
- “We have not done business together (yet) but from your profile information I see a really good reason to discuss the opportunities”
- Such-and-such has advised I connect with you because…
NOTE: I think inviting people who (you suspect) may NOT want to connect with you is a bad idea. This is spamming.
Compare with the InMail choices for the Reasons
Thanks for reading through the brief intro. Comments are welcome.
Now, here are two workarounds. Here’s how to invite while avoiding the limiting choices for the “reason”.
Part Two. How to Connect if the Reason is not listed
Let’s say you have a good reason to connect with this person (listing a co-worker here as a real life example):
OPTION ONE: Search (for what you have already found!)
Select the person’s name and a few keywords from the headline.
Search on LinkedIn for the selected text. In the search results page you can now connect without stating a reason.
The advantage is that you can do this really fast. The drawback is that you cannot customize the connection message.
OPTION TWO. Save and Invite
If you are able to Save the profile
(which is subject to some LinkedIn limitations), you can then invite the person from your Contacts page and customize the text as well.
Save the profile.
Go to the Contacts Sorted by New – see a way to invite – with customization text (and no selection list for the “Reason”)…
… and send a customized invite:
Thanks for reading 🙂 I hope many readers will benefit from the “how-to” part.