Asking to Build a Relationship First

I’ve just got to drop this right out on the blog – I know the article on LinkedIn SEO is “next”, but an exchange I had today on LinkedIn gave me a great boost and I have to share it.

How often do you get invitations to connect from people you’ve never heard of?

Given the subject of my book and blog, you probably won’t be surprised to hear that it happens quite often to me…

But not today – today I received an invitation to build a relationship!

Answering questions

The LinkedIn Answers section provides an interesting place to display your knowledge and writing skills – both as a questioner and by providing answers.

As you also might imagine, I tend to answer questions about using LinkedIn…

I’m somewhat selective of the questions I’ll answer because I’m not spending hours and hours a day on the site, and they can be a bit repetitive.

But just yesterday someone asked if LinkedIn can really help an individual find a job – so I pointed the questioner at the guest post where Mark relates his use of LinkedIn to help his successful job search.

Successful assistance

As it turns out, my article was just what this questioner needed to see – real evidence that LinkedIn helps.

The additional articles I have on how to use the site were a bit like cherries on top.

And he said so in reply to my answer.

No request to connect

And this is the place where a good portion of question askers go astray.

I’ve been quite vocal about a connection strategy here – that you should know and trust the people you connect to.

But still – a good portion of the people whose questions I answer follow up and invite me to connect.

A gentle let down

And my standard reply is that well – we don’t really know each other yet, so why don’t we build a relationship first – and then see about connecting…

Offered to me!

And so – it was with great satisfaction that I read the note that thanked me for the pointers and then asked about building a relationship!

My answer – of course!  And because I’m often writing in this forum, it might be easiest for him to comment on an article here and there.  That will keep each other in mind and help to come to know each other.

(and btw – anonymous commenting is ok – just pick a moniker and stick with it; adding a web site is your option, so there’s no real way for an outsider to know who you are if you don’t care to reveal it)

Much better

So – that’s a great example on using questions.  Ask for information, or offer advice, and then see if there’s a way to build a relationship.

To your continued success,


Steven Tylock