Regardless which approach you choose to use (and BOTH is a very good option!) there’s one thing you must be sure to do or neither approach is likely to be productive.

The King and I
Yul Brenner, the iconic actor, was renowned for portraying the Kind of Siam in Rogers and Hammerstein’s classic musical, “The King and I”.  One of the songs in that play was, “Getting To Know You”. The lyrics are: “Getting to know you, getting to know all about you . . .”.  It’s a good idea to do this on LinkedIn, too.

It’s Not About You
Social media in general and LinkedIn in particular are not about marketing that interrupts other people.  You want to ‘blend in’ to join in with the LinkedIn member community.

Take the time to really understand who you may want to approach — directly or indirectly.  Study their profile.  View their connections to other people and groups on LinkedIn.  Learn what you both have in common.  Engage with people based on what’s interesting to them. You’ll be far more interesting to them as well.   And do this all before you ever approach anyone on LinkedIn for an overt business purpose.

KEY POINT:
Getting to know LinkedIn members before you approach them is smart!