1. Customize Your Message
Your note should never be an exact copy of the stock LinkedIn message
“I’d like to add you to my professional network onLinkedIn.”
This is the most common mistake I experience. I get it; people are busy and it’s really easy to send a pre-populated message. Perhaps, if it’s your brother or best friend, it may be understandable. But, the greatness of LinkedIn is not connecting with people you know really well; the power in LinkedIn is connecting with you people you know vaguely and are hoping to establish a rapport.
If you can’t take the time to provide personal input into why you want to connect, is there any real value in our connection? Never make someone feel like a notch in your LinkedIn bed post.
2. Reference Specific, Personal Details
You decide to be very creative and efficient by penning your go-to LinkedIn message which you can repeat infinitely – it’s all good right? Not exactly.
You need to customize the message and tailor it to the specific connection. You want to demonstrate that you are genuinely interested in your new connection and his/her work. Make it a point to research the connection and make a very specific reference to his/her work, company, website and/or social media profile. This simple step will make you stand out leaps and bounds above the pack, for the mere fact that it is that 10% extra effort excluded by most.
3. Compliments Never Hurt
He referenced one of my specific blog posts “How I Use Social Media“, a specific part of the blog post, and asked me to join. He demonstrated a deep interest in me and desire to connect. You can also find Marc on Twitter.
BONUS: Personalizing a LinkedIn Acceptance
After Marc sent me such a great message, did I simply click accept? Of course not! I returned the favor and quickly shot him a return message acknowledging his message.
Whether you get such a great message or not, you always have the option of turning a LinkedIn request into an opportunity to more intimately connect. The other person has already take the initiative and demonstrated interest. Take 2 minutes and tell that person way you also wanted to be connected.
What’s your technique for connecting and accepting LinkedIn requests? Leave your thoughts, comments, and questions below.