Do's and Don'ts of connection requests on LinkedIn

One of the most frequently asked questions by advisors is, "How do I write an effective LinkedIn message to request a new connection on LinkedIn?"

Spending a few extra minutes crafting a personalized note can help you be more successful in making the connections you are looking for.


  • Introduce yourself. Let the prospective connection know who you are up front. This message is your digital first impression and a terrific way to let your prospects know what sets you apart from other advisors.
  • Mention commonalities and mutual connections. LinkedIn is all about building a quality, effective network. Mentioning commonalities that you have with others can speed up the relationship-building process and increase the likelihood that your connection request is accepted.
  • Add an actionable item to gauge interest. Whether it's a request for a meeting, an invitation to an event, or a resource to review, adding an actionable item at the close of your connection request can help you gauge your prospect's level of interest.


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  • Send generic connection messages. Research shows generic messages on LinkedIn are less likely to receive a response, as they either make you appear disengaged or they may be considered spam.
  • Come on strong in your first message. Just as you would not walk up to a stranger and jump right into a sales pitch, the same is true for LinkedIn connection requests. The goal of the connection should be to get the potential connection into your network so that you can begin to build an informed online relationship.
  • Use more than 300 characters (including spaces!). Connection messages are limited to no more than 300 characters. Message previews limit the view to even fewer characters. For most success, keep your messages short and to the point and never bury the lead.

According to the Putnam Social Advisor Survey, in addition to messaging, advisors who initiated new relationships during the Covid-19 pandemic are more likely to use LinkedIn Messaging. These successful advisors are also more likely to use one of LinkedIn's premium membership levels, such as Sales Navigator, which provide greater messaging features and flexibility.

Putnam's team of Practice Management Specialists can help you assess the different levels of LinkedIn memberships so you can begin leveraging your relationships as an asset for prospecting and networking.

Learn more about Putnam's social media business building offerings for advisors.


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