Congratulations, you did it! You are now a part of the 460 million users that are currently utilizing LinkedIn. You have an All-Star profile, your “Articles and Activity” stay continuously updated and now you’re ready to start growing your Network.
LinkedIn allows you to simply press the “Connect” button with the option of adding a personalized message to make the connection. LinkedIn even provides you with an example, “We know each other from…” to get you started. While using this example helps, I do not recommend it as it is extremely impersonal and shows that you have done little to no research on this potential connection.
That being said, it is always best to send a personalized invitation when inviting others to connect on LinkedIn. LinkedIn states that sending personalized invitations will increase your chances of someone connecting with you by as much as 50%.
Sounds easy enough, right? When it comes to personalized messages there are unwritten rules that need to be followed. There are reasons why your request to connect is declined or you simply never get a response from your message. When composing your next personalized message, take these five examples into consideration as these are the types of messages that drive people away.
1) Don’t assume everyone is looking to buy
This is one of my biggest pet peeves when it comes to messages in my personal LinkedIn inbox. Nothing screams “I don’t know anything about you” more than a cold, uninformed message offering me opportunities on how they can save me more money, give me more leads and offer me an “amazing” new product just to name a few. A few examples of these messages are:
There is absolutely nothing personal about these messages and I instantly associate them with spam. Boom, deleted. Your 10 seconds to impress me failed and I now associate all of your future messages with spam.
2) Do you even know what I do?
When sending a personalized message on LinkedIn, one would think this is a “no brainer.” However, I have personally received messages with job opportunities or sales pitches that display that the sender had never even looked at my LinkedIn Profile and has no idea what I actually do. The message starts off as a simple introduction which makes you believe this not a mass copy, and then it hits – they never even took the time to see if their opportunity applies to you.
For example, when I received the message below I was working for a Tech company that provided businesses with a CRM, marketing automation, website tracking in real time, social media management and more all in one platform. All of this information was stated in my LinkedIn Profile Summary and Experience. The sender noticed I was in Marketing and automatically assumed I was looking for a tool to help me prospect leads. If he had gone a step further and read my profile, he would have seen that the company I was working for is a direct competitor. I was using the tools my company was selling as my marketing stack. It would be like saying Salesforce isn’t using their own platform to market to potential customers – duh.
3) You’re being “extra”
Millennials Urban Dictionary states that being “Extra” is “doing the absolute damn most for no reason.” Remember you’re introducing yourself, not sending them every piece of sales information you have at the first introduction. There is a proven principal that works, “KISS” (Keep It Simple Stupid.) Don’t go overboard, nothing screams “I’m only in this for me” than a first message filled with paragraphs about yourself or products. There is an appropriate time and a place to share your information and this isn’t it.
4) Cookie-Cutter isn’t the answer
According to Social Media Today, the average person should spend 1-5 hours a week working their business on Social Media. An hour a day doesn’t seem very demanding but if your schedule is anything like mine, an extra hour can be crucial in finishing work tasks. With so many potential connections on LinkedIn and so little time, it’s easy to fall into sending a blast “cookie-cutter” connection message to everyone. Seems to save time and you can get through more leads, right? Wrong.
To me nothing is more generic than receiving an email as follows:
Thanks for connecting with me on LinkedIn.
Have a great day!
While receiving a thank you is nice, there is no value-added information and it’s considered an empty message. The response you’re more than likely to get back is “You’re Welcome” and there is where the conversation dies. According to D. Bruce Johnston in his e-Book “9 Things To Do In 9 Minutes On LinkedIn” you should be sending “personalized” invitations to 3-5 people per day. You should never send an empty message and any time you communicate with someone you should always provide value-added content. He asks “Would you rather have a 1,000 LinkedIn connections that provide zero referrals or 200 that provide 5 referrals a year each?”
5) Their, There and They’re
Let’s be honest I am no grammar queen. In fact, if I never had to write another article for the public to read and judge I would be 100% ok with that. But, that’s never going to happen. Have you ever read a LinkedIn post or LinkedIn message and saw the wrong use of “no” or “know”? Or someone using “accept” when “except” is needed? I have and I just cringe.
Bad grammar and/or misspelling can be a killer when it comes to LinkedIn messaging. For a platform that is built for professionals, it certainly makes you look unprofessional and shows that you did not take the time to go back through your work. Can I trust you with my investments? Probably not – next.
So how do we correct ourselves?
It is said that you only have seven seconds to make a first impression and It takes less than two-tenths of a second for an online connection to form their own opinion. If you were meeting in person how would you present yourself? What would you say?
“I see that we’re both connected through our local Animal Rescue, were you at their event last weekend?”
“I see we have four connections in common and I think it would be great for us to connect!”
You notice a connection has shared the same article as you or “liked” some of the same content.
“I noticed you’ve shared a few posts on how two dogs are better than one and I couldn’t agree more! I’d love to connect and stay up to date on your content!”
“Great article on Millennials, I too don’t understand their mindset. I thought you’d like this article on understanding the Millennial generation.”
Even with these tips, the most important one of all is to be yourself. Treat each LinkedIn connection as personal as an in-person meeting and remember, it’s just Social Media.
P.S. As a thank you for your time we’re pleased to provide you a copy of our eBook: 9 To-Do’s in 9 Minutes on LinkedIn – A Daily LinkedIn Routine for Financial Advisors.
Hi this is Jordan from Two Dogs Social! If you’d like professional help with your LinkedIn Profile, send me an email. I’d be happy to provide feedback on your existing LinkedIn Profile along with a firm price quote to strategize and write a new one. Plus, as a reader of this blog I’m happy to offer you a 20% discount. Just mention our Two Dogs Social blog in your email.