Don’t use the default messages from LinkedIn, Ecademy, Xing, Ryze and other online business networks

Do you also get so many unpersonalised requests to connect with someone on LinkedIn, Ecademy, Xing, Ryze or another online business network?

With “unpersonalised” I mean a message like the default message from LinkedIn: “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.”

This might work with the people you already know pretty well and who also use LinkedIn, but what with all the others?

Although more and more people have already heard of online business networks, there are still lots of people who haven’t.

When you send a message like the one above via the website itself to someone who has never heard of it, what you think will happen?

They will delete it, because they think it is SPAM !

– It is a message from an unpersonalised and to them unknown e-mail address (for example:
– It is an e-mail with the header and the looks of a company they never heard of
– It is an unpersonalised message that anyone could have sent

So please write a short note with a personal message (and maybe also the reason why you are a member of that network). Don’t use the default messages !

By the way, also send a personalised invitation message to the people you already know. This is a moment to reinforce your relationship with them. Take this opportunity to really reconnect and write a personal message (for example: refer to a common hobby or the event you have met them).

Please remember: the purpose of online business networks and tools like Plaxo is to help you build and maintain relationships, not to have a trophee collection !

Have a great networking day !



5 Responses to Don’t use the default messages from LinkedIn, Ecademy, Xing, Ryze and other online business networks

  1. Hilde Blondeel says:

    Dear Jan,
    You’re completely right on pointing out that those who use the business networks should invest more time and effort in giving a clear explanation to those with whom they seek to remain in contact. I include myself.
    True, when I receive an invitation I feel concerned but secondly I’m left with the question: “What does (s)he wants from me?”. Afterward not a lot or nothing happens.
    In my opinion making people aware of how to establish human contant throughtout the internet is important. You’re a pioneer. Go on with the good work! Success, Hilde

  2. Peter says:

    Hi Jan,

    Congratulations! Once again, the wisdom of this article lies in it’s simplicity. Indeed, nothing is more annoying than receiving a default message from someone you haven’t met before, as it degrades you as a (business) person to a number and most of the time it doesn’t result in anything. Personally, I find online networking the easiest way to meet new people but at the same time, by far the most dangerous one. Unpersonal invitations or seeking for new contacts to have a nice – as you say it – trophee collection, is the easy way out and only gives satisfaction in the short run. But building on long term relationships and a succesful network, asks for more efforts and especially: more time.

    As the internet in general and online networking in specific are still a bit like the new kids on the block for lots of people, I think we all must ask ourselves the question: Are we still respecting the human aspects through our networking actions? I think such “standing for the mirror” moments would already allow us all to avoid falling into the trap of cold and unsuccessful prospecting.

    Looking forward to reading more from you!


  3. […] By the way, ALWAYS personalize your invitations, responses and other messages (see also a previous post about this […]

  4. Fran Steele says:

    In the last few weeks it seems like LinkedIn won’t allow me the option to personalize my invitation before it is sent. Can someone show me how to fix this problem? Thanks!

  5. Ian Cleary says:

    If you’re e-mailing someone to connect with them you wouldn’t write an e-mail saying you want to connect. You would give them a good reason for connecting. Make sure you have a good reason for connecting on LinkedIn also. If you don’t then it’s not worth your while.

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