If you’re on LinkedIn, chances are you have received this very generic message when being prompted to add connections: “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.” Not only is this message boring and impersonal, it also doesn’t explain how you know the individual or why they want to add you to their network.
Are you guilty of generically mass-adding others to expand your network? Here are a few ways to help make your message land with those you wish to connect with:
- Connect with those you know IRL (in real life), such as current and past coworkers, employers, classmates, professors, individuals you’ve done business with, etc. Easy enough, right? It is, but take an extra few seconds to write a brief note to the individual you are wishing to connect with. Why? People may not remember every single person they have come in contact with, so a simple message reminder is a nice gesture that will likely increase the odds of them connecting and communicating with you.
- Connect with others you’d like to get to know, such as prospective employers, people with mutual acquaintances, people you’d like to do business with, influencers in your industry, etc. Be careful in connecting with complete strangers. If numerous people mark your request as spam, you can run the risk of having your account suspended; this is why it is also important to include a message containing information as to why you wish to connect with people.
So, what should your message include, you ask?
- Keep it short. One or two lines of text will suffice. No one wants to be bombarded with a request that contains your company’s pitch deck. The initial message is meant for simply connecting with the individual. You can always send a private message via InMail with more details after your connection has been made.
- Be polite and professional. This is not the time for slang, text lingo, or emojis. Keep it professional by using proper spelling, grammar, and punctuation, and sign off by thanking your potential connection and using both your first and last name.
- Compliments go a long way. Of course, be professional. Congratulate the individual for recently winning an award, receiving a promotion, transferring to a new job, etcetera.
- Personalize your message. Be sure to include the individual’s name in the message. There’s nothing worse than being on the receiving end of a message that you can tell was copied and pasted to 30 other people.
- Encourage others to connect with you. Add a LinkedIn banner or button to your email signature, website, blog, etcetera. You can also ask current and potential customers to add you to their network by sending them a casual and personal email.
It may seem like more work to craft a message for everyone you add to your network, but think of it as creating a first impression for yourself and building a relationship that can be beneficial in the future.
Good luck growing your network!