Yesterday I got a request for a connection from someone I didn’t know so after I accepted (and I usually check to make sure they’re legit), I sent a personal message to her asking what led her to reach out and what projects she was currently working on.
"Your background as a copywriter and designer led me to want to connect with you. I do not have any specific needs right now but I was hoping to connect with copywriters/graphic designers in case we move to make changes on our site.”
So this exchange proves the point you were making about LI being a good place for prospecting and the value in responding back to these requests for connections. Now I’m kind of kicking myself for not doing this always when I’ve received these requests from strangers. You never know unless you ask!