Stranger Emails

Greetings, Stranger

You’re sitting at a café when a stranger approaches you. This person asks what your name is, and, for some reason, you reply. The stranger nods, “I’ve been looking for you.” What happens next?

I sipped my morning coffee, letting the aroma waft into my nostrils and clicked the next unread email. The traffic had grown since I’d begun actively blogging. The regular postings floated me higher in the search engine hits and resulted in more attention than expected. Daily emails from sites like LinkedIn and Facebook showed the increased interest. Spam filters catch the more blatant broadcasts, but some still come through.

It had started innocently enough. I’d joined a couple social media outlets at first to monitor my kids’ traffic. Protective dad mode led to other clicks and before realizing how far I’d gone, I was blogging. Followers joined and eagerly (I hope) anticipate the next posting like Saturday morning buttermilk waffles and maple syrup.

The latest batch arrived shortly after making the mistake (?) of accepting more invitations.

I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.


Dear Tim,

I have reviewed your LinkedIn profile and would find it an honor to connect with you. I am currently managing several positions in the Metropolitan DC, Virginia, and Maryland area. I’d like to speak with you about your background and experience as it relates to the Technical Writer position in Sterling, VA (see attached). Please note**** we are open to a creative scheduling*****

Can we set up a time to speak directly on Monday ? I will be available that day from 11:00 am until 4:30 pm and the day after from 9 am to 10:30 pm and then from 2 pm to 4 pm. Let me know what works for you and I can reach out to you just let me know what would be the best number to contact you on.

If you or anyone you recommend would have interest reach out to me directly.

I sent it to the trash bin and clicked the next one.


Hi Tim,

I was exploring LinkedIn and noticed you as a fellow member of the xxxxxx group, and that we are both 3rd degree connections, so thought I’d make contact and see if you could spare a moment to help.

I wonder Tim if you could tell me who has responsibility for sales effectiveness management at your 90,000 employee company?

I’m interested in your use of software to support the sales process, and given your role thought you’d be a good person to speak with initially. Or if you think a colleague would be better placed then I’d greatly appreciate an introduction.


A 3rd degree connection wants me to find the needle in a 90,000 employee haystack.

No. *Delete



Thank you for the connection. We have some common interests. I am also in writing and support business. I manage the graphics development and marketing for a firm in Orlando. We are the largest independent, turn-key, firm like this in the U.S. doing work for hire.

I want to invite you to check us out. Our capability and step-build process you will find intriguing. I would love to give you a briefing on our process and facility. You can take a look at some of the place on the new Facebook profile I built as well as our website.

We are right outside the Orlando International Airport. Only 1 stop light away!

Please let me know if you could use any assistance. We are experts in all areas of writing development. I manage a team, and I personally specialize in information graphics and presentations.

Thanks for your time!

Really? Only one stop light away from the airport? That means you’re only 700 miles plus one stop light away from me. I don’t believe I will be stopping by to avail myself of your local services.




I’d be very pleased to have you participate in our survey. If you’re interested, please let me know, and I’ll send you details. Thanks.

I wonder if they would appreciate a heavily sarcastic response to their survey. Probably not.



Dear LinkedIn friend:

I am writing to let you know that I am currently in the market for a full time employment position in your area. I have been actively pursuing opportunities and am eager and ready for new challenges.

I am interested in finding a position in the area of Corporate Communications, Marketing, Business Development, or Contracting where I can use my educational background and my multiple years of experience in those areas. If you or any of your associates or friends are looking for an employee with my skills and interests, please take a look at my profile – you will not be disappointed!

Regardless of whether you are able to help me in my job search, I appreciate your time in considering my request.

I sympathize with this person.

If I were in a position to offer a job to a total stranger, would I? Perhaps not.



I would like to invite you to join my group which supports my new book about my life. The goal of this book is to get it on the NY Times Best Seller List by getting it in as many hands as possible. Thanks for your time and energy. Please invite everyone you know to join and help us.

Wow. Lofty goal. One that I share once I get around to writing my great American novel or eBook (whichever comes first).

This email actually came from a person I met in real life and his story is inspirational. I’ve heard him speak at an event and his message rings true for my family. If you are so inclined, see for yourself.

I have Cystic Fibrosis, but it will never have me

— Andy Lipman is a motivational speaker and a Cystic Fibrosis survivor.

Husband to Andrea. Dad to Avery and Ethan. Enemy to cystic fibrosis.

Twitter #curecf!


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