A few weeks back, I posted a video about how to get your LinkedIn Connection requests accepted. I thought today it would be a good idea to go through some real life LinkedIn Connection Requests and explain why people continue to struggle getting their prospects to accept them on LinkedIn.
Rating Real Life LinkedIn Connection Requests

A few weeks back, I posted a video about how to get your LinkedIn Connection requests accepted. I thought today it would be a good idea to go through some real life LinkedIn Connection Requests and explain why people continue to struggle getting their prospects to accept them on LinkedIn.

If you missed the video, watch this before we jump into this:

These are real LinkedIn Connection Requests I got last week. Let's analyze them shall we?

Awful LinkedIn Connection Request Play #1: The Industry Call Out


This poor guy was doomed from the start. First off, they opened up with an “I” sentence about their goal. The fact that this person is looking to connect with experienced advertising and marketing professionals is amazing. Why is that a good reason for me to add them on LinkedIn though?

Good LinkedIn connection requests will focus on the person you are adding, and do more than personalize it just mentioning a vague industry I may or may not being. Name, company, title, and industry aren’t enough to prospect someone or add someone.

Try again!

Awful LinkedIn Connection Requests Play #2: The Resume Compliment


This is one of the newer ones I’m getting that makes me assume they are using software since I see it so often. It’s always great to compliment someone in a LinkedIn Connection request, but if I added this person (who I assume wants to recruit me), I’m guessing they have no idea what compliment they were giving me here. What part of my resume impressed them?

Hell if their automated software actually said “I saw you worked at Dyn.” I’d probably more likely accept.

If I cold called this guy right now and said, “saw you liked my resume…what did you like about it?” I guaranteed they’d stumble and have no clue who I am or why they reached out.

Don’t be afraid to mention experience as a trigger for a connection request, but keep it specific.

You always need intent when you are sending LinkedIn Connection Request. It’s ok to share that intent if it isn’t too selfish. If this guy said, “Ryan…I like LeadIQ’s marketing…I think you guys do a good job not being boring, wanted to connect up and talk with you sometime.” I’d add him, and maybe even take a call. You have to take your angle for the connection request to the finish line with the compliment. Be more specific.

Awful LinkedIn Connection Requests Play #3: Great Industry Post


Wow thanks REDACTED!!! I loved that you thought my INDUSTRY post was interesting. I also love that you used my first name in the post. Let me ask you something? What did you exactly like about it? Or…how about this…which of my 1000+ posts about sales and marketing did you like?

This is very similar to the last post, where the person failed to impress me because they didn’t go into specifics. If you are taking the time to add me on LinkedIn, use that time to mention why you are adding me, or what made you discover me. The more specific it is, the better off we’ll all be.

Always focus on talking about your connections, and your acceptance rate will go up.

You may be thinking, it’s easy to write and crap on other people’s LinkedIn connection requests, but my intent is to get us all better.

Let’s look at one that I thought was really good.

The Good LinkedIn Connection Requests


Kudos here to Natalie for making a good connection requests over LinkedIn. The reason this is good is because it’s specific, it’s personalized, and it has nothing to do with a product pitch.

What are you more like to respond to? Think of LinkedIn as an opportunity to get a prospect to subscribe to you. It’s very similar to having them sign up for a newsletter. Let’s get deeper and break it down by each sentence.

“I keep seeing your posts as I’m connected with Jeremy.”

This provides me with value because it tells me how she is seeing my content. As as a marketer I care about that. If you target a different type of buyer, it’s helpful for them building their brand.

There are two kinds of people who buy at companies. People who like their jobs, and people that don’t. If they like their job, they wanna waive their company’s colors and get the word out.

If they hate their job, they wanna build their brand and get out there to get another job someday. No matter who you go after, knowing how you found them is useful info.

She is seeing it because of my coworker, Jeremy Leveille, who is connected with. This not only shows that she supports Jeremy by following him, but it also shows social currency for her because she knows Jeremy. That’s a plus for me. Mention mutual connections. It’s not a bad idea.

“I saw the video on prospecting emails going to spam purgatory”

She is referencing a post I did last week. This is an easy way to get personalize something with a prospect.

This is all you have to do to come up with something to personalize:

Screen Recording 2018-10-23 at 10.52 AM

She saw me on her newsfeed because of Jeremy, but that’s all it takes.

This is the post she was referencing:

Let’s keep going analyzing her LinkedIn Connection Request.

“Now that I realize we aren’t connected, might as well make it legit.”

First off, I love how human this is. She’s so real with me. No business speak. No buzzwords. Just a stranger asking for something after giving me some insight and value on how she found me in the first place. I’ll accept it 100 times out of 100.

What if my buyer isn’t that active on LinkedIn?

Your target buyer may not be that active on LinkedIn. Let me ask you something. If they aren’t active on LinkedIn, why are adding them in the first place?

They aren’t going to see your posts, they aren’t going to interact, and they certainly aren’t going to accept your requests as you cold call and cold email them if they aren’t checking this stuff that often.

It’s a logical question that we all need to think about. Connection requests are not some easy commodity. You have to approach it with tact and care.

And remember, don’t pitch your product in the request! Come on now!

If you want to see me rate some LinkedIn requests live, check out this video:


Posted by Ryan O'Hara
Ryan O'Hara
Ryan O'Hara has been an early employee at several startups helping them with marketing and prospecting tactics, including Dyn who was acquired by Oracle for $600+ million in 2016. He's had prospecting campaigns featured in Fortune, Mashable, and TheNextWeb. Ryan specializes in branding, business development, prospecting, and coaching people on how to make good digital first impressions. He also mentors two accelerators, The Iron Yard and The Alpha Loft, and hosts The Prospecting

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