LinkedIn is known as the professional social network, however, I do think it’s important to point out the word SOCIAL. The power of LinkedIn must not be under estimated in your marketing strategy, however, there are ways to go about it without spamming contacts, or without putting people off by an air of desperation. If there is an individual whose name you have, and you want to connect, by all means send a connection request, however, please be sure to personalise the message so that people know why you are requesting to connect. Not everyone has photographic memory, and if it’s been some years since you’ve seen that person, be sure to mention where you met them. If you have sent a connection request as you would like to do business in future with that person, be sure to mention your area of business, and ask an open ended question to engage the recipient of your invitation. If you send a request to connect, most people will be suspicious about your ulterior motive, so be sure to add a line or two of personal message to the invite. Maybe there is someone that you’ve seen through a group that you’re a member of that you’d like to connect with? Firstly, if you’ve had no previous discussions, or if you’ve never met them face to face, it’s always worth joining a discussion that they are a part of first, or alternatively mailing them directly referring to the conversation that you have read. Or have you found someone that works at a company that you’d like to connect with, but have never met yet? The best way to approach them is by direct message, or to see if they are active in any of the groups that they belong to, so that you have a reason to engage with them. A blatant connection request to someone you have never met can be done in a less aggressive and more SOCIAL way than a standard connection request with no personalisation. Oh, and don’t forget to read the profile of the person that you are connecting to first either, it may be that they are not your target market after all…. Caroline Thomas will help you to increase sales by providing sales and marketing strategies and social media marketing solutions  – to find out more or to book an appointment, please call 0844 556 5116 or email [email protected] – Caroline is also easily found on Twitter and FacebookCaroline on Google +  ]]>