Better Boilerplates

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boilerplate.gifOne of the things that’s considered a big “no-no” on LinkedIn among savvy users is to invite people using one of the canned “boilerplate” invitations. Those are there as a guideline – a starting point. But for active users, seeing a boilerplate invitation is a sure sign that the person sending it has no real personal interest in you and is just sending out mass invitations to everyone in their email contact list.

In a conversation on MyLinkedInPowerForum a while back, Liz Ryan came up with some ideas for some variations on the boilerplates that might work better for certain situations:


I’m like, totally using this LinkedIn thing, and it’s like, everyone’s doing it and if you’re like, not connected, you’re like, so not even ANYONE. So I’m all “let’s connect,” and you like only have to hit this one button and stuff, so like do it, and let’s GET TO KNOW SOME PEOPLE!!



So boss,

You want we should connect, a what? Dis guy, behind da guy, he knows a guy and he wants we should talk to dis guy, in Jersey, so get connected over here and we’ll do dis ting. Bada bing, bada boom.
Click on the link. Fuhgeddaboutit.




The unconnected person
waits for the invite:
connection. It’s here. Join us!



And so it came to pass that the word spread, and the blessings came down upon the people, and spread throughout the nations. And the prophet Vincent said, “Let us connect,” and one unto the other they connected, they of the first degree and of the second, and lo, all the degrees thereof. And so the people connected, one to another, each according to his needs and his unique selling proposition, and it was good.

Feeling inspired, I came up with a few of my own:

SMS (When is LinkedIn Mobile Edition coming out?!?)

u hv 2 chk out li
gd biz tool 4 u



LinkedIn is the place to be!
Would you like to connect with me?
Give it a think,
Then click on the link,
And on LinkedIn connected we’ll be.



Paw always said, “Junior, it ain’t whatcha know, it’s who ya know.” I reckon between four aunts and uncles, five brothers and sisters and about fifty cousins (heck, I lose count), and all the folks they know and their kin, ya could find about anything ya needed if ya just knew where to look fer it. I dunno bout you, but I shore can’t keep track of it in my head. This LankedIn thang’s s’posed to do all that fer ya. Sounds purty good to me.



Hey dude, check this out – LinkedIn is SO sweeeet! It ain’t exactly MySpace, but that might be a good thing. No bogus lamers and leeches — just people who can help you get $#!+ done. Works for me, but whatever…



When you’re looking for that someone
Who can make a job connection,
Or someone who’s an expert in
Inflection or convection,
Or maybe you are headed on a
Trip to Machu Pichu
And you want to find a tour guide
In Lima who could meet you,
And you know you must know someone who knows
Someone who could help,
But finding them’s like looking in
A forest full of kelp
For the legendary Hammer-headed
Bottle-nosed Blue Eel,
And you dread it in your head so much
It makes you want to squeal,
Then, my friend, LinkedIn would be
The perfect tool for you
And if you’ll link to me I’ll open my
Connections up to you!

As did Daniel R. Sweet:


I saw you on LinkedIn and you seemed like kind of a Girly Man. But, read my e-mail now, hear me next week, and believe me in a month, if you connect to me, your network will be PUMPED! UP!
Click on the link to the right if your pathetic Girly-Man finger can handle it.



Weeeeee’re off to go to LinkedIn; the wonderful place to connect.
Because, because, because, because, because…
Because it’s where wonderful people collect.

We’re off to go to Linked in,
So click on the link-y below.



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That’s right! Just click below and we will send you your very own LinkedIn today! Operators are standing by.

Not to be outdone, Liz fired back a few more:


I can’t tell you if you still like me. I know you’re busy, so don’t be mad at me for asking, but do you HATE ME or what? I’m sorry. It’s my fault. I’m such a loser. What is your problem? Why are you such a jerk to me?

Do you want to CONNECT? Only if you want to. Probably you don’t. It’s okay. You hate me. I can tell. Do you want to connect though? Click on the link. Okay, don’t. Just be your arrogant self. Die.


I saw your profile and I must say, it’s spicy…you seem like a person who knows a lot about….life. You’re so — accomplished. You’ve got that smoky air of success about you. I read your profile over and over and tried to picture your resume, and believe me, I did, and I couldn’t sleep afterwards. And people are attracted to you, it’s obvious. You’ve connected with a lot of people, haven’t you? There’s something dangerous about you. I want to connect with you RIGHT NOW – can you feel it?


Higgledy piggledy, my LinkedIn
Bring your whole address book in!
Austin, Boston, Rome, Berlin,
Globally, mobile-ly, my LinkedIn.



Oh hello dear,

Is this how you do this? Tell me if you get this. Am I doing this right? I want to invite you to – what? This is so complicated. Honey, I just can’t keep up with you with all your fancy websites and gadgets. I have to be honest, the digital camera you bought your father for Christmas in 1999 is still in the box. You’re such a bright boy. We’re so proud of you, sweetheart. What about that girl you mentioned at Aunt Janet’s 80th birthday party, are you still seeing her? I don’t mean to pry. There was something I was supposed to ask you – oh yes, do you want to click with me? Clink? Link? Or whatever it’s called. Connect. Oh yes, that’s it. How silly, to connect with your mother! Do you still listen to Earth, Wind & Fire? You loved them in high school.



happyaboutonlinenetworking.jpgThere’s just no doubt about it, canned messages are lame — no one wants to feel like a number. The messages above may be a bit over the top, but seriously, do take the time to personalize your invitations — if not for every single invite, at least put it in your own style of writing and make it appropriate to the context of the invitation.

Be sure to also check out Liz’s Top Ten Linked-In Do’s and Don’ts and her new book, Happy About Online Networking, which contains these boilerplate ideas and over 100 pages of other great advice for building relationships through LinkedIn and other online tools.

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  1. Lol this is the funniest thing that I’ve seen in awhile. I actually just started enhancing my network and used the import tools to send the email to people already connected through my Outlook address book. Unfortunately, I did use the standard boilerplate. Lol I should’ve used a few of these instead!

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