This LinkedIn Mistake Is Hurting Your Network

Imagine you are at a party with many people around you.  Some you know, many you do not, but would like to get introductions.

You overhear a man whom you have never met talking about an interesting topic. You decide you want to get to know this stranger, even though he has not noticed you yet. You simply turn to the man, smile and say, “We should be friends.”

What do you think this man’s reaction will be to such a bold request from someone he doesn’t know anything about?

How would you react if a stranger unexpectedly invited you to form a relationship before that person introduced him or herself?

It’s sounds strange to do this in a face-to-face situation. Yet, that exactly what you are doing when you send a generic invitation to connect with someone on LinkedIn.

Sending an invitation to someone you don’t know without introducing yourself is the same as asking stranger at a party to be your new BFF.

On LinkedIn, you are approaching a person you do not know, and that person doesn’t know you. You are asking to start a relationship without introducing yourself, or saying why the person might want to get to know you.

Odds are, people are ignoring your generic invitations. Or if they do agree to connect on LinkedIn, you are not a priority to them, and they probably will not share information with you.

New Approach
Your days of sending generic LinkedIn invitations are over. From now on you will spend less than two minutes to customize each invitations you send. Here’s how:

When you click “Connect” on someone’s profile, this invitation form pops up:

The message in the “personal note” section is not personal at all. Either delete or add to this message before you send it.

Personalize the message so that the person knows why you want to connect with them. Keep the message sort – one or two sentences are good.

 Examples of some things you might write:

  • Riley Finn introduced us at the alumni mixer last month.
  • We don’t know each other, however, your profile shows that you and I have similar backgrounds in child development.
  • We are both members of the Browncoats group on LinkedIn and a shared interest in international trading.
  • I saw you speak (or read your article/book) about the financial recovery and hope to discuss the topic with you further.

When you let a new contact know how you know them, why you want to connect with them, or how they might benefit from connecting with you, you are much more likely to gain a productive contact on LinkedIn.

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