I have just about had it with these ridiculous LinkedIn requests. Here’s just 3 simple tips I want everyone to remember when trying to connect with someone on LinkedIn:

TIP 1. Please tell me WHY you want to connect. Don’t just send the standard “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.” Edit it. Tell me, have we met before? Do we belong to the same group? Did someone I know refer you to me?

So, this guy Frank requests to connect with me on LinkedIn. I don’t know him from Adam, but he did customize his message.

That’s where he went wrong.

TIP 2. Don’t start out with “Can I pick your brain?” Not only is it cliche, it’s rude. You don’t meet someone in person and immediately ask for free advice, do you? Well, if you do, please stop.

Here’s our conversation:


Right off the bat, I was irked by his question. I try to be helpful and friendly most of the time, so I emailed him back.

TIP 3. Keep it relevant. So first he wants to know about my work location. That sounds like a red flag to me. Then he asks about social media, so clearly he read my profile. However, his second message is entirely about SEO. (FYI, yes, there is a tie between social media and SEO.) Not only is he asking about two different online marketing tools, though, he is asking specific questions about strategies, as if I should provide detailed consulting assistance at no charge.

He also neglects to mention the industry he’s talking about or provide his URL.

Needless to say, Frank didn’t want to pay. I provided him links to a few resources and bid him farewell.

Now, after you read all this, if I catch *you* making a fool of yourself on LinkedIn, well we just can’t be friends.