Change the default LinkedIn message when you send someone a connection notice. Make it personal.
LinkedIn has its own personality that many people interpret to mean that you should have a professional relationship to the people you connect to on LinkedIn. Personally, I’m happy to connect if you’re a real person.
But, if I don’t know who you are, or recognize your name, I’m going to decline the invitation.
I highly recommend, even if you know the person well, change that intro message. Make the person feel like you want to connect with them.
And, if it’s someone you don’t know, introduce yourself. Have manners.
I’m happy to connect with strangers, but not if I have no idea who they are and they can’t take their time to make a proper introduction.