Appropriate Expectations for LinkedIn Introductions

Posted By Debbie on January 29, 2013

I recently got an email on LinkedIn. Someone I barely know (but am connected to on LinkedIn) asked me to introduce him to a very famous ex-CEO I’m LinkedIn with so the guy I barely known can pitch the CEO on investing in a startup I’ve never heard of.

I told him I wasn’t comfy making that introduction.

I can be a bit precious about my LinkedIn network. But I think that’s what gives it value. If I make every introduction for everybody for every reason, I’d probably see a lot of these people unlink me.

If a friend noticed on LinkedIn that I’m connected to someone at a place he wants to work, and I know this friend would be a good worker, I would make that introduction. There, I have some knowledge, and I wouldn’t feel like I were wasting someone’s time or being disrespectful. I would be happy to introduce my friend in case there’s a work opportunity there.

If a friend came to me and I knew their startup was amazing, I would probably have made that introduction. That’s someone I know well and I know their biz.

That also means I’m a bit picky about who I add on LinkedIn

That also means I don’t accept every invite I get. I try to keep it to people I’ve met in person and would want to stay in touch with or network further with.

If someone doesn’t approve my add request, I never bug them about it. That’s very awkward. A guy I met at a conference in October added me on LinkedIn. I didn’t really like meeting him, and felt that I wouldn’t be keeping in touch with him. I didn’t accept his add. Since then, he has emailed me THREE times telling me he added me on LinkedIn, and I should please go approve that.

Awkward. I didn’t reply to his emails or add him on LinkedIn. I mean, what was I going to say in my reply? “I didn’t think you had your s**t together, and thought you might be as annoying as you turned out to be.” ????

LinkedIn may be considered social media, but I don’t use it to be social

To me, it’s a serious networking tool. I go in from time to time and remove people. I want my network and connections to be people I like and trust. Someone I met at a conference in 2010 and never heard from again is probably not REALLY in my network. LinkedIn might as well reflect that. I don’t think I get extra points for more connections. I want GOOD connections, and I want to build relationships.

I know not everybody agrees. But that’s how I play it!