We’re back.

In the last post, I discussed laying the groundwork for building a lead list using social media.

Today, we’re going to go into a little more detail about LinkedIn.

Let’s begin with a simple question:

So why can’t I just connect with everyone I see on LinkedIn to get my base built faster?

There is nothing wrong with connecting with as many people as you know, but the key is KNOWING them. If you don’t know them, you face a “Stranger Danger” scenario, which could land you in the same restrictive crowd as the spammers and abusers of the service. Nonetheless, LinkedIn recognizes that the purpose of their network is for professionals to build their name, business, and professional brand, so they’re forgiving of “I don’t know this person” notifications but in moderation.

So what is the safest approach to connecting? My favorite sales speaker, Steve Nudelberg, founder of “On The Ball” and author of “Confessions of a Serial Salesman” suggests that five connection requests a day keeps it in moderation; manageable while staying aggressive. He also teaches seasoned salespeople to ditch the mobile app to perform those five connections a day. He argues it is best to take the time to write a customized, carefully written connection request. A hastily typed note from your phone won’t cut it.  Your request should include something personal about them, your interaction with them, or something you read about them. Or you can also comment on something they have shared on LinkedIn.

You may resent the extra few minutes it takes to write a meaningful personal message, but you need to ask yourself: “If I can’t take a minute to write something nice, am I really ready to grow a successful business?”

For more insight into Steve’s work, or to learn his 27 rules of engagement, check out his website at http://www.nudelberg.com