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LinkedIn Connections: The Mirror to Your Brand

Two people each with a jigsaw puzzle piece trying to connect them.

We know that our professional journey can be shaped by our connections and interactions, in person and in the dynamic world of LinkedIn. Relationships matter.

If you think about your LinkedIn activities over the past month:

1. How many people did you proactively reach out to connect with?

2. How many incoming connection requests did you receive?

3. What was the uptake?

Each connection request we send impacts our personal brand. It’s an opportunity to leave an indelible mark or fade into the digital background. And yet, too often, these requests arrive like unaddressed envelopes—no context, no personal touch.

Let’s dissect a common canned message—one that I have received from different people repeatedly:

“Hi Grace. I just stumbled across your profile, and I’d love to discuss if we could create a synergy to work together.”

Maya Angelou’s wisdom echoes in my mind:

“People will forget the things you do, and people will forget the things you say. But people will never forget how you made them feel.”

So, let’s break it down:

  • “I just stumbled across your profile”: It feels accidental, lacking intentionality. So random.

  • “I’d love to …”: Ah, assumptions! Assuming that because you “love to,” I’ll be equally thrilled.

When reaching out to connect, consider these three strategies:

1. Research with Purpose:

  • Their story: Dive into their LinkedIn activities, posts, and comments. What drives them? What ignites their passion?

  • What’s important to them: Uncover their values, interests, and professional journey.

  • Context matters: Use this knowledge to craft a personalised message that resonates.

2. Intentions, Transparency and Authenticity:

  • Why connect: Be clear about your intentions. Are you seeking inspiration, collaboration, or shared insights?

  • Mutuality: Consider what’s in it for them. How can this connection enrich both their and your networks?

  • No hidden agendas: Avoid veiled sales pitches. Authenticity trumps all.

3. The Personal Note:

  • Purpose: Share what prompted you to reach out. Was it a shared interest, a recent article, or a mutual connection?

  • Intention: State your purpose. Are you seeking mentorship, industry insights, or a genuine conversation?

  • No Spam, No Sales: Assure them it’s not a canned pitch. Show respect for their time.

Remember, behind every profile is a human story—a tapestry of experiences, aspirations, and goals. Let’s connect authentically and build meaningful interactions that deepens relationships.

Looking forward to connecting and learning from each other!


Grace Thomas, PCC, believes that leadership team culture and effectiveness shape the entire organisational fabric. Enhancing leadership team effectiveness drives positive change and outcomes. Senior executive leaders, leadership teams and emerging leaders in complex, global, multi-national and Australian organisations work with Grace to enhance and accelerate their leadership growth and impact in their work, life and ever-evolving world.

Grace is open to genuine requests to connect on LinkedIn as we never know how and when paths cross. Allergic to sales pitches or spam!


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