Your boss told you that you need to be on LinkedIn. Sure, you messed around with the platform after its release, and you even made a profile. That was about as far as you went with LinkedIn before your career swept you away in a gust of productivity. You didn’t care about connection requests.
However, in today’s world, professionals need to be making use of LinkedIn as a means to broaden their network. Recruitment agencies are a thing of the past, and now every companies HR department relies on your LinkedIn profile as the ideal complement to your CV.
The purpose of the platform is to connect with other professionals in your industry. LinkedIn helps you build your reputation as a credible professional in your niche. However, things changed in the last ten years since you looked at your LinkedIn profile.
In the startup phase of LinkedIn, it was common for people to throw out connection requests left, right, and center. However, now, this practice is like spamming people’s emails, and you’re likely to get admin requests to stop your behavior.
Reaching out to other professionals on LinkedIn is easy, but you have to do it with some finesse.
Connecting with Someone on LinkedIn
When you decide to connect with someone on LinkedIn, you need to realize that it’s a two-way process. You send out your invitation to connect, and the recipient either accepts or ignores your request.
As a start, when you set up your account, the platform prompts you if you want to import your email list. LinkedIn sends out connection requests to your warm contacts, allowing you to set up quickly. It’s vital you do this before attempting to connect with cold prospects.
If you send a cold connection request to some you don’t know; it might look spammy. As a result, there’s less chance of them accepting your invitation to connect.
If the recipient accepts your request, you then have access to view their complete profile. You can also message them directly through the platform, and you can see their network.
Not much changed, right? At first glance, there’s nothing different about the outreach process. However, there are some subtle tactics you can use to improve your acceptance rate.
Using My Network to Connect with Prospects on LinkedIn
Log into your LinkedIn account and click the “My Network” tab. Here you’ll find any incoming connection requests. Below that list, you’ll find other suggestions for contacts based on your associated companies, network, and interests.
When you click on “connect,” the platform automatically generates a default invitation. This strategy isn’t great for cold requests. Instead, click on their profile and then send your invite from there using a personalized note.
Connecting with People on LinkedIn Using the Profile Button
When you’re viewing someone else’s profile, you’ll notice a blue “connect” button at the top of the page, along with their full name and details. Some LinkedIn users make a customized profile that hides the button from view. However, you can access another menu to gain access to the button.
Tips to Improve Your Connection Rate
When you’re using the desktop browser to access the platform, clicking on the “connect” button on a profile gives you the option of writing a personal note with your invitation. However, if you’re using the mobile app, then the platform sends the default LinkedIn invitation.
Should you add a personal note when you connect on LinkedIn? In most cases, it’s not necessary if you’re reaching out to your warm contacts. However, you’ll get a much better response rate from cold contacts with a personalized message.
You only have 300-characters to work with on a personal message. Therefore, you need to be short, friendly, respectful, and to the point. When contacting your cold prospect, they want to know the following information.
- Do they know you?
- How do they know you?
- Why should they get to know you?
- Why do you want to know them?
Write your personalized note around answering these questions. You don’t have to do this directly, as if the person is curious about you, they’ll click on your profile to check you out. However, the personalized note is merely a CTA to get them to click on your profile.
Therefore, your personalized introduction should be short and to the point, with some humor, if applicable.
Tips for Writing Your LinkedIn Connection Request
Personalize your connection request. The last thing you want to do is a rehash of LinkedIn’s default message. As an example, sending something like, “Hi Jane, I thought it would be a good idea if we connect!” isn’t going to be a very compelling invitation to connect.
Take advantage of the 300-characters available and write something unique that catches people’s attention. Try to connect the dots for your prospect. Provide them with insight into what they are thinking about when viewing your request.
An excellent example of a written connection request is the following.
“I see that we’re both connected to Jon Kale. I managed Jon at XYZ Corp…”
“I’m pleased we could meet for a chat at the ABC conference during happy hour last Wednesday…”
“I’m searching for the best digital marketers in Chicago because…”
“I notice that we’re members of the LinkedIn Group called ‘Digital Marketing Chicago…”
“Your comment on Jon’s post regarding integrity and ethics in marketing gave me some thoughts…”
“I moved to Chicago from New York recently, and I’m arranging a meeting for like-minded digital marketers…”
Using the Mobile App to Add a Connection Request
You can make personalized connection requests from your mobile device as well if you know what to do. Tapping the “connect” button on the mobile app sends a connection request without a note. This behavior is different from the desktop version of the platform. So, you’ll need to take it into account if you’re sending requests from your phone on your commute home.
With the mobile app, you need to tap the person’s profile picture, then tap the “more” button, and then tap “personal invite.” From there, the platform pulls you into a window where you can write your personalized note before sending your request.
Wrapping Up – Cancelling LinkedIn Invitations
There are going to be times when you accidentally send a request to the wrong person. Relax, it’s not a train smash. You can withdraw your connection request through the platform, as well.
Retract the request by going to the “My Network” tab found at the top of the navigation bar. Click on “Manage all” in the top-right corner in the “Invitations” tab, and then click “sent.” The platform brings up your sent requests, and you have the option to cancel any of them that aren’t already accepted.