As so much in social media is trial and error, I was happy to receive some advice from a Career Enlightenment subscriber, Hugh Knight.
We’ve all experienced the frustration of sending out a LinkedIn connection invitation and getting ignored. Even though I consider this bad LinkedIn etiquette, people are busy or uninitiated. Hugh has found a great process for getting around this problem.
Step 1: Search for Related People
No, I don’t mean relatives. I mean people related to your field of interest. Use LinkedIn’s people search with targeted Keywords. In Hugh’s example, he searched for people with the word “Sharepoint” in their profile.
Step 2: Be Totally Transparent
Too many people simply send off a LinkedIn invitation without personalizing it. I know some folks who categorically refuse to accept un-customized invitations.
When you send your invitation, LinkedIn asks you how you know this person. Pick “friend”, even if you don’t know them.
Hugh highly recommends a 100% transparency policy when reaching out. These new connections have very little knowledge of you accept for what you have in your note. So use the following phrase to make it clear why you want to connect.
I am new to the area and am wanting to build my network.
Step 3: Begin On Common Ground
If you notice anything in common with this person, be sure to mention it right away.
If you have a mutual connection, say “We have a mutual friend in (someone’s name).”
If you have a school in common, or anything else, mention it.
Bonus Tip: Leverage Your New Connection
When they accept your invite and it shows in your email. Follow up with this easy text:
Thank you so much for accepting my LinkedIn Profile invite. . . .. I would be interested in obtaining any suggestions or contacts that you think would be in line with my background and work experience.
Notice these 2 things with this note:
A. Beginning and ending thank you . ..
B. Asking for suggestions or contacts
Try this approach the next time you invite someone to your LinkedIn network, and tell me how it works for you!