Here are four key tips for sending and accepting connection requests.

Have you ever wondered which connection requests to accept, or how you can send a connection request in a way that will make the recipient excited to accept it? If so, here are a couple of tips to keep in mind:

1. Personalize your connection requests. Be sure to tell the person in the connection request why it is that you want to connect with them. Do you have common connections? Have they produced content that you related to? Whatever the case is, make your request personal.

2. Send them a thank-you note after they accept your request. Tell them a little bit about yourself, and if you have a call to action, include that. Do remember, though, that LinkedIn is a platform for serving, not selling. 

3. Stay out of LinkedIn jail. You’ll go to “LinkedIn jail” when five or more people have clicked “I don’t know you” after you’ve sent them a connection request because your activity might seem like spamming. Here is some suggested language to use when you send a request: “If you’d like to accept my connection request, that would be great. If not, just click ‘Ignore.’ No worries!” That way, if they don’t accept your request, they’ll be more likely to click ‘Ignore’ as opposed to ‘I don’t know you.’ If you’re personalizing your requests, you shouldn’t have this problem to begin with. 

4. Know how to use a personalized request when using a mobile device. On your mobile device, you have to click the […] in order for the personalized option to appear. Without it, it just shows up as ‘Connect,’ and there’s no way for you to make a personalized connection request. When I get requests that don’t have a note with them, I’m less likely to accept them. I also won’t likely accept any requests from someone without a photo or someone who begins their request with a sales pitch. That’s the fastest way to turn someone off.

If you and I haven’t connected on LinkedIn yet, send me a personalized request telling me that you’ve received some of my newsletters, who our common connections are, or simply how we know each other. I’d be more than happy to accept! 

Remember: If you’re not LinkedIn, you might be left out. Go out and connect responsibly.