This is the number one way to save your time and energy while using LinkedIn: Prevent spam connection requests and most unwanted sales outreach. Change your privacy settings so that only people who know your email address can connect with you. Trust me, you’re not going to be missing out and anyone who needs to get in touch can find you many other places.

Others can simply follow you — which is actually the more appropriate type of interaction for true strangers. Connections are really supposed to be for people you know (even if only from Twitter, but somewhat know) – at least originally.

This is open to opinion, but here’s mine, and here’s how it has saved me hours a year from reading through requests I don’t want/need.

You wouldn’t save a stranger’s contact into your phone unless you had a reason to – so why add them to your LinkedIn connections? They’re going to pop up in your feed and demand a little bit of your finite attention in a given day. It just adds noise. Sometimes it adds value.

If so this valuable person would probably be willing to guess your email address. It’s not a real hurdle. It’s just a little hoop that most spammers won’t bother to jump through.

That said, it’s fine to connect with someone you don’t know if you personalize the invite and give a reason, context, mutual friend, or other business purpose. But if it’s a real stretch, start with simply following them. That Follow button exists for a reason. Connecting is higher up the totem of communication. #GIRLS

LinkedIn blue bicycles

How to Control Who Can Send You LinkedIn Invitations (Connection Requests)

To manage who can send you invitations to connect on LinkedIn:
  1. Click the Me icon at the top of your LinkedIn homepage.
  2. Click Settings & Privacy.
  3. Select Communications on the left.
  4. Under the Who can reach you section, click Change next to Invitations to Connect.
  5. I suggest this setting (pictured): Only people who know your email address or appear in your “Imported Contacts” list
LinkedIn communication settings

Bonus Upgrade: New Voice Feature on LinkedIn (Say Your Name)

This is a cool new feature (launched in 2022): you can record yourself saying your name or a short intro and it lives next to your name on your profile as a clickable loudspeaker icon. This is especially helpful if your name has a unique pronunciation. Here’s a quick podcast about it:
name pronunciation feature on LinkedIn profile


Under 5 minutes, about twice a week: