Ahoy Mateys! Captain Obvious on Networking

Captain Obvious on Networking

Ahoy mateys from Captain Obvious! Make networking a habit. Engage in networking on LinkedIn. Personalize those introductions.

Ahoy mateys! Captain Obvious on networking – make it a habit and engage on networking on LinkedIn.

Here we are, one year into the pandemic. How’s it going? Captain Obvious wants to know how your networking is going … on Zoom, of course!

Are you building your network? Are you networking on LinkedIn or did that party ship leave without you because you missed the boat?

You DO have a LinkedIn profile, right?

LinkedIn now has about 740 million members in 200 countries and is “the world’s largest professional network” and your electronic Rolodex. 

It is NOT just a platform for job seekers, but a platform for the global workforce (or about to be workforce). That means you can be employed, self-employed, unemployed, a veteran, a student, or even a retired individual who wants to connect with your former colleagues. 

With all the Zoom networking meetings going on, no business cards are being exchanged, so the best way to maintain that connection and start building a relationship is to connect on LinkedIn.

Don’t buy into any third-party automation tools to prospect for you, as they are against LinkedIn’s user agreement. Make genuine human-to-human connections. Bots don’t make sales calls out in the field, so they should not make them online either.

Not a week goes by without me receiving a pitch by a bot. As soon as I accept someone’s connection request, an auto-reply comes in my inbox to try to sell me some goods or services. 

I used to be the Western Regional Sales Manager for a ceramic tile company and I never walked into an office and said “hi – buy my stuff.” 

When you reach out to make connections, you want to personalize them. 

But, what if you receive connection requests that have not been personalized. Watch John Espirian’s YouTube video and see what he does when he receives a connection request that is not personalized. 

In the video John mentions shortcode. He was using something called Textexpander.com

A similar tool for shortcode is Google’s Auto-Text Expander.

Standard messages that you send out can be populated through some shortcuts and it is a real time saver.

I first learned about the Auto-Text Expander from Brynne Tillman. She also has some excellent templates to make connection requests in her book, if you need some inspiration and have writer’s block.    

Since you need to have over 500 connections to make the algorithm work in your favor (just Google that), start connecting to get there or keep adding to expand your network if you have already reached that milestone!

Happy networking!


Lynne Williams is the Executive Director of the Philadelphia Area Great Careers Group, a 501(c)3 nonprofit, that provides career education and networking. Lynne also writes for vista.today, montco.today, delco.today, and buckco.today