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Let’s All Agree To Stop Growing Our Networks Via Random LinkedIn Connection Requests

By February 10, 2021April 6th, 2021No Comments
J. Kelly Hoey - Build Your Dream Network

I reunited recently for an interview with my friend Marty Wolff, founder and host of the Business Builders Show podcast. One of the questions Marty asked was:

How have social platforms changed since the pandemic?

A lot…but in oh so many ways, there has tragically been absolutely no behavioral change at all.

Case in point over on LinkedIn an “exchange” on the platform that was trending (ugh!) which LinkedIn thought I should comment upon or participate in, read as follows:

Let’s connect and grow together
Like and comment on the post
Accept and send connection request

Putting it out there in no uncertain #BYDN terms:


And I’m pretty darn sure this is not the comment LinkedIn and its algorithm was seeking from me.

Connection requests made with no previous knowledge of the person, made with one goal in mind…fueling a vanity social platform metrics of having 500+ connections?…please enlighten me, what is the purpose of that? Collecting random, unknown names. Creating a digital contact list of people you can’t vouch for, whose reputation or ethics are unknown…and now, their credentials are aligned with yours, based on a single silly post suggesting you “accept and send a connection request”.


Why would you engage in such ridiculous, baseless, superficial and transactional digital networking exchange?

For the love of the activity of networking (which already has a pretty crappy brand) please stop this. This = immediately.  

All this being said, here are some ways to engage MORE meaningfully on LinkedIn at this very moment in time (+ going forward) to begin building your dream network with people you’re never met IRL at a safe 6ft distance:

  • Stop worrying about what you’re posting and start seeking out interesting posts instead. THEN commit to embarking on a networking journey to converse with the post’s author starting with a particular post.
  • Do more than “liking” the post. Reflect on what they’ve said then comment on their post (really!). Inquire. Asking the author of the post a follow-up question is a smart networking strategy (whether or not you think you have something intelligent to add to the original post).
  • Commit to investing the time to build the connection. A single comment on a single post is not an invitation to connect. It’s a single comment (which hopefully will transition the post from being a one-off comment into a dialog). The single comment on a single post is a small but rather major starting point of your network building.

I know! I know! You want to the hack, the fast-track tactic to making a connection and the truth is…THERE ISN’T ONE. You have to be a sensible, kind, considerate human (which we’ve all observed is a challenge for many people). You have to be the type of person you’d like to network with. If you’d be put off by someone you know nothing about landing in your inbox demanding an introduction or meeting on the first email, WHY ON EARTH would you send such a communication to someone else?

Mull this over, change your online networking behavior and if you need more motivation on this subject to change your poor networking ways, don’t stress! I got you covered:

J. Kelly Hoey

J. Kelly Hoey is a problem solver who believes that most professional challenges—whether funding, landing a board position or getting a new job—are solved by tapping into networks.Kelly is a popular speaker on networking, community building and investing issues, especially as they relate to women, and has worked with the IEEE, PGA, Bank of America, Apple and countless others. Follow Kelly on Twitter @jkhoey and on Instagram @jkellyhoey and join the #BYDN community at