How to successfully network on LinkedIn

I’m a consultant trying to pivot to the client side.  A distant acquaintance from my alma mater is in the industry I want to break into and I really want to pick her brain on the best way to approach this transition.  She’s on LinkedIn, but I have no idea if she’ll remember me (she’s older) or how to approach her without looking like a total self-serving douche.

You’re not a self-serving douche.  You’re a talented and ambitious networker.  This situation is what LinkedIn was built for.  Assuming she’s not a premium member, you can simple DM her with pretty much the same info you sent us: 

“Hi_____, I don’t know if you remember me from ____(insert some innocuous shared detail here to authenticate the connection).  I’ve admired your impressive career from afar, and am considering pivoting from my consulting gig into your space.  Your insights would be incredibly valuable to me as I figure out how to navigate this transition.  I’m sure your schedule is hectic, so I will be prepared and brief.  Is there any way I could get 10 minutes on the phone with you sometime in the next two weeks?”  

Who’s gonna say no to that? Good luck,

Bossy Skirt