The Upside

How to build meaningful connections on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the must-have social network for anyone in business, providing users with unlimited opportunities for digital networking and career growth. I’m often asked: What’s the best way to build new connections on LinkedIn?


As someone who receives dozens of new connection requests per day, my answer to that question is: always send a short note when requesting a new connection.


The people you are trying to connect with may have no idea who you are or why you want to connect, so why would they take the time to connect with you if you don’t take the time to introduce yourself and explain why you should be connected?


Also, we’re all busy and we all receive the types of requests that seem innocent at first but end up being people trying to sell us something. You know the types. After falling for this a few times, I stopped accepting new LinkedIn connection requests without a note.


And if you want to build a quality network through LinkedIn and not just volume, be sure to use the following introduction formula to stand out from crowd.

Sentence 1: How did you find me?

Did you read about me in an article? Or, maybe you read something I wrote. Or maybe we have many people in common or you’re a member of an organization I’m also a part of. Tell me how you found me. Bonus points if you throw me a compliment.


“Erin, I enjoyed reading your article in Working Mother Magazine and share your sentiment about the need for safe childcare options during COVID. I took a look at The Upside’s website and I’m so impressed with what you’ve built.”

Sentence 2: Who are you?

Tell me what you do in just one sentence. I want to know who you are and why I should know you. Weave in anything we have in common.


“Like you, I used to work in the real estate investment space and recently launched a new business aimed at helping professionals negotiate better pay and flexibility at their companies.”

Sentence 3: Why should we stay connected?

Why do you want to connect with me? What can you do for me? What can I do for you?


“We clearly have similar values around changing the work culture in America, so I’d like to connect here on LinkedIn and stay in touch.”

Extra Credit: Close with a call to action

What do you really want from me? Do you want to just stay in touch? Or hop on a 15 minute call? You could suggest grabbing a virtual coffee over Zoom. Tell me, what are our next steps? Bonus points for being a giver more than a taker.


“I’d also like to offer you 30 minutes of my time if you want to chat about future of work trends that I’m seeing lately, and so I can learn more about what types of people I can introduce to The Upside.”


This proven formula will hands-down help you build much more (and much higher quality) connections through LinkedIn.


Speaking of connections, connect with me here on LinkedIn (and be sure to include a note).


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Erin Halper

About the Author

Erin Halper is the founder and CEO of The Upside and the leading authority on independent consulting. Since launching The Upside in 2017, Erin has helped thousands of professionals transition from corporate life into consulting to achieve flexibility, autonomy, and a renewed sense of purpose in their careers.

Erin has been a frequent speaker at Columbia, NYU, Harvard, and Brown and has been featured as a leading future of work expert on dozens of podcasts as well as in Forbes, Business Insider, Nasdaq, Crunchbase and many more.

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