They say that when you reach out to someone online (over email, LinkedIn, etc), you should give value before you ask for something from them, and I understand that. How do you provide value to someone who you've never met before? If you consider yourself influential (someone that other professionals are likely to respond to and connect with), what do you look for when you decide which contact requests to accept? If you are not well known, what strategies have worked (or not worked) for you? Thanks..

I've done a lot of work in this space (created the new art of conference network: Hashtags to handshakes). Here are a few thoughts for you:
-get clear on you goal(s) and the type of people who can help you.
-take inventory of what you have to offer(use this acronym Work history, Hobbies, Education, Network)
-once you see the people you want to connect with, do the online research to see if you already have something or someone in common(LinkedIn).
-read and comment on their content or something in their profile.
-Invite them to 15min virtual coffee as an introduction call. (Be in a "how can I be of assistant mindset)
-ask them two question during your virtual coffee (1. What are you working on that you're most passionate about? 2. What the biggest challenge?). Once you know someone's challenge you can find ways to be helpful.
-Be patient.
-let me know if you need more support ;)

Answered 8 years ago

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