As in every other aspect of life, you’ve only got one shot at making a great first impression. That’s the same when you reach out to potential new LinkedIn connections. You don’t want to mess it up and miss the opportunity to build valuable professional relationships.
LinkedIn Connections versus Relationships
Okay, so this is something I want to get out of my system once and for all😊
But before I start my mini-rant here, I want to establish the difference, as I see it, between having LinkedIn connections and building professional relationships with people you’ve connected with on LinkedIn.
To me, a connection is someone out there in the distance that you wouldn’t necessarily say hello to if you, by chance, should meet them someday in a large crowd. It would be that person you sorta-kinda know who is, but then again, not really, and you wouldn’t know what they do for a living.
To me, having a relationship with someone is a bit tighter, and it would be someone you’d go up and say hello to and start a conversation with if you saw them in a large crowd, just like you would if you met a friend.
So, I believe in building relationships rather than having a bunch of mindless connections.
I know online connections can seem challenging to turn into professional relationships, but why not at least give it a shot now that you’ve got the chance and opportunity to do so?
LinkedIn Equals PROFESSIONAL Networking
– or so it should
Whether you want better career opportunities or leads to help you land more sales and clients. Linkedin is the place for you to be if you’re going to grow your network as a professional and get better opportunities.
Throughout the years, I’ve received a lot of invitations to connect on LinkedIn from people I’ve never met, and one thing that 98% of the requests have in common is that they’ve all got the same impersonal message attached.
I would like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.
If you want to build valuable relationships, is that the way to start things?
Maybe if you didn’t have any other options, but you do.
Don’t Come Across As Unprofessional
With LinkedIn being the most extensive professional online network in the World, I see way too many people on LinkedIn have a very unprofessional way of initiating new LinkedIn connections. I don’t know if it’s just because people are too lazy to spend the one minute it takes to write a personal invitation, or that they just don’t think about it.
In my opinion, it makes someone who doesn’t take the time to write a few sentences come across as less professional and someone who’s just out on a hunt for mindless connections.
When I receive an impersonal invitation to connect with someone I’ve never met, I usually reply to the request before accepting it. Then I ask how the person came across my profile and why they’re interested in connecting.
The response to these two questions gives me a pretty good indication, whether or not it’s someone I want to build a professional relationship with over time.
Do This every time You Invite Someone To Connect
– and get connected nine times out of 10
Whenever you come across an interesting profile on LinkedIn, and you want to connect with the person, then make sure you write a personalized invitation. Let the person know how you came across their profile and why you believe it would be beneficial for the two of you to be connected.
The formula I use whenever I send an invitation to someone I’ve never met, looks like this:
Set a baseline for how you came across the person, that being on LinkedIn, their website, social media, the news.
Then compliment them on what they do and tell them why you think it would be beneficial to connect.
That’s pretty much it, and close to 99% of the invitations I send get accepted.
A Quick Guide
Recently, LinkedIn made an update to make it even easier (to remember) to write personalized messages when connecting.
When you visit a profile and want to connect, then click the three little dots on the profile and choose to connect in the drop-down menu, then this pops up👇🏻
And this is where you want to add a personal note to your invite.
As you can see, you’ve got 300 characters to play with here, so a short and to the point invitation is all it takes to come across as a professional who is willing to invest a minute or two giving thoughts to why connecting could be beneficial.
A quick how-to video where I show you exactly where and how to do it
And by the way, feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn. You can do that right here.
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