From a client: “Quick question for you on LinkedIn.  They’ve changed a setting somewhere that I can’t figure out.  How do I send a customized connect request?  Everytime I hit “Connect” it sends that “I’d like to connect with you” static message automatically, and no longer gives me the option to customize it…”

OK, good question, and an easy answer although LinkedIn (once again) recently made this important action a bit difficult at first, but you will get used to this. Here’s what you do:

Look up the person. LI_new_connection_invitation_1Next to their picture you will see a white button “Send {first name} Inmail.“ Just to the right of it click the downward pointing arrow.

It opens a box that looks like this and click “personalize invitation.”


You then get a box to key in a message.

Be sure to personalize your invitation.

I give the invitee the context in which we met (the other day I had someone accept an invite that I had extended 6 months ago!).

Then I say something like, “I would be pleased to include you in my amazing group of professional connections on LinkedIn so we can stay in touch.”

Be professional but be yourself in all your business social media interactions, especially on LinkedIn.