LinkedIn is Not Just a Rolodex…

...well it’s not supposed to be, anyway.

Do you remember the old Rolodexes that used to sit on everyone’s desk? How they would hold hundreds of business cards from every person you have ever met.

Tools like LinkedIn have replaced those, for the most part. But the problem is that many people use LinkedIn as simply that—a static device for holding contact information.

I just got back from a conference and it’s interesting to see if and how people are choosing to follow-up. Many don’t follow up at all. Some are sending a LinkedIn connection request with the generic “I'd like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.” And a small portion are at least including a personalized message about meeting me. Then there is one who mailed me a book that we talked about and wrote me a personalized message inside.

While that last one is an anomaly and certainly not expected, it is the one I remember the most and not the point of this post. 

While yes, LinkedIn can and does store your contacts for you, connecting with someone should be more personal. If you are asking for the connection, explain why you are interested in connecting with them personally. Reference something about your meeting that stood out to you or that you appreciate about them. Give them a reason to not only confirm that connection, but to remember you.

Back in the days of Rolodexes, after you met someone at a networking meeting you would send them a thank you card or call them on the phone. Today, you can send that thank you card through LinkedIn. Make it personal and give them a reason to remember you.
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