It is quite common for you to get LinkedIn invitations from people who do not know you. Many times, you wonder whether you should go ahead and accept the invitation or decline it. Sometimes, these unexpected invitations bear some fruit, and sometimes they are just spammy people looking to grow their network just for the numbers. So who should you connect with on LinkedIn?
Connect with people you truly know in real life
When you get an invitation from a friend, a former schoolmate, or colleague, then it is easy to connect with them on LinkedIn. After all, you had already connected in real life. LinkedIn has been called the social network for professionals, but your friends and former acquaintances can form a part of your professional network. You may get sales or valuable connections from linking with such people.
Connect with people you have worked with remotely online
Although you may not know the person physically, you may have interacted in a mutually beneficial manner over the Internet. If you have ever given work to a freelancer in another continent, got great results and the freelancer asks to connect on LinkedIn, you should go ahead and accept the invitation.
Connect with people who have an interesting profile
You may get a request from someone, and when you go to their profile, you realise that the connection would yield benefits for both of you. You should go ahead and accept the invitation. Interesting profiles include people within your niche or industry, individuals with the same connections as you have, people who write or blog interesting posts. You should not connect with people whose connections do not seem to have a direction since these are the ones who connect for the numbers.
Connect with people referred to you by trusted connections
LinkedIn is a network for professional connections. If a connection of confidence sends you an introduction to someone he is connected to, then you should accept that invitation. This is more like a business introduction by a mutual friend. The trusted connection has seen that you will both benefit from getting to know each other on LinkedIn.
Connect with people who send personalised invitations
There are times when you get invitations to connect, from people who have taken the time to personalise the invitation, letting you know why they chose to connect with you. This means that they value your time and potential, and have put some thought into how they should approach you. This kind of respect shows they value the interaction they can form with you.
Some people mistakenly take LinkedIn like Facebook, making it more about their interactions and not professional. There may be a grey area as concerns the personal and professional conduct on LinkedIn, but the pointers above show you the kind of people you should connect with when they send you invitations.