Why You May Be Struggling to Connect on LinkedIn (And What to Do About It)

As an entrepreneur trying to build your professional network on LinkedIn, few things are more frustrating than connection requests that go ignored or rejected. But don‘t take it personally! There are several nuanced reasons why you may be struggling to connect with someone. Understanding these reasons can help you adapt your approach and start building more meaningful relationships.

They‘ve Maxed Out Their Connections

With LinkedIn‘s connection limit capped at 30,000, users who reach that ceiling won‘t be able to accept any more requests until they remove existing connections. According to LinkedIn‘s statistics, the average number of connections for most users ranges between 130 and 150. However, more active networkers tend to have over 500 connections. If someone falls in that second category, chances are they‘re getting close to the limit.

What you can do: Don‘t give up! You can still engage with their content, join common groups, or leverage mutual connections to stay on their radar for when spots open up. Having a complete profile will make you a more appealing pending connection.

Their Settings Are Blocking You

LinkedIn allows users to restrict the connection requests they receive based on criteria like industry, geographic location, relationship strength, and more. For example, someone may only accept requests from people in the IT industry, or only 2nd degree connections. If you don‘t meet their criteria, your request will automatically fail.

What you can do: Thoroughly review their profile for any clues on what their connection settings might be filtering out. You may be able to tweak your own profile to align better with their requirements.

You Don‘t Have Enough in Common

People are far more likely to accept connection requests from those they share common ground with – whether it‘s a shared connection, company, school, or interest. If none of your backgrounds align, they may not see the value in connecting.

What you can do: Take the time to personalize your request by highlighting specific commonalities you share, why you admire their work, or how you could help each other. The more thoughtful your ask, the better chance it has of being accepted.

Your Profile Looks Suspicious or Incomplete

Profiles with scant details, no recommendations, and limited engagement come across as less legitimate. And if anything seems off, people will hesitate to connect. Make sure your profile accurately conveys your professional background and interests before requesting connections.

What you can do: Flesh out your profile with details on work experiences, education, skills, and interests. Having recommendations and a customized URL also improves your credibility.

You Haven‘t Confirmed Your Email

To connect on LinkedIn, you need to confirm the email account associated with your profile. If you skipped this step during initial setup, any connection requests will fail until you go back and verify the email.

What you can do: Check to see if you have a confirmation email from LinkedIn. Follow the instructions to validate your account‘s email. If you can‘t find the email, you may need to retrigger the verification prompt.

Their Privacy Settings Are Restricted

Some users maximize their privacy settings so only existing connections can view their full profile. In this case, your connection request may disappear into a black hole with no response.

What you can do: You can still send InMails to introduce yourself even without a mutual connections. Or find a shared connection who can facilitate a proper introduction – just explain how you align with the person‘s professional interests and goals.

Expanding your network on LinkedIn requires patience and persistence. But by optimizing your own profile, personalizing your outreach, and respecting people‘s preferences, you can make the right connections over time. As a fellow entrepreneur, I‘m happy to help strategize if you have any other questions! Just shoot me message.