The Digital Handshake: Introduce Yourself!

Pulkit Singhal from our team writes on meeting and connecting with people over social media.

Pulkit is an avid technology blogger and active in several open source communities. He likes to write on software technologies and on startups. You can read more of his works here.

The original blog can be found here.


The Digital Handshake: Introduce Yourself!

Surely, everyone’s experienced the momentary confusion that comes with an unsolicited Facebook friend request or a LinkedIn invite. In a world driven by “social” technologies, a digital handshake has become the norm but the frequent lack of an introduction makes you wonder just what is going through someone’s mind when they try to connect.

LinkedIn especially is a professional social network where it is crucial that the person that you’re connecting with, isn’t left scratching their head and wondering who you are.

But how can you make a good intro when you don’t know someone in person? Well, make your intentions known! If you can’t figure out the mutually beneficial angle yet, then don’t be shy and let the other person know why you find this connection to be of value to yourself. People will accept honest invites with intros.


  • Here are some of my quirky favs, with more than the “join me now” imperative:
    I’m a big user and fan of ***. I’m the one who’s been prototyping an app based on your site and I would love to connect with you on a professional level.
  • I run a small (2 people) startup and I frequently visit the *** forums. I would like to connect with you as I may need references, from time to time, for expert consultants who know this material inside & out.
  • These days I’m knee-deep in *** and the new *** APIs that you just released for beta testing. I would love to connect with you on a professional level as well.


Another challenging aspect of a digital handshake is not being rude. Nudging the person who sent the empty invite to provide more context is often a great way to make a Yes/No decision.

  • Thanks for reaching out! This is a bit embarrassing but can you please help jog my memory and help me remember if we’ve met in person before? Also if we haven’t then please let me know how I can add value to your professional network.

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