A few days ago, I got a LinkedIn message from a friend whom I studied abroad with during grad school. She read one of my recent blog posts, How to Discover What You Are Meant to Do, and said it really resonated with her. That was the biggest compliment! I was thrilled to hear from her and have a chance to talk! She asked if we could chat, and I was excited to talk to an old friend.
We talked on the phone about life changes since our study abroad trip, her struggles with changing careers, and she mentioned that she has had some trouble getting responses from potential LinkedIn connections. After she described her approach, I felt inspired to write this post. I’ve spoken to several people who struggle with the same thing – and I’ve been there, too. The one common thread is….
What went wrong?
If you have ever sent a LinkedIn invitation or InMail with no response, it’s possible the message could have used a little tweaking. People get busy and can’t always respond – it happens! This post refers to those messages which are not responded to for other reasons.
You’ve made it this far (yay!), so grab a frothy cappuccino and let’s get down to three ways you can get more LinkedIn connections – and maybe even land your dream job!
It’s not about you.
Holy bejesus, please do not talk about yourself straight out of the gate. It sounds like a sales pitch and even worse, it can make you seem arrogant and uninterested in the person with whom you are attempting to connect. No one likes a sales pitch as an introduction.
Here are a couple of examples, the first message is about you, the second about the person receiving the message:
“Hi (insert name here),
I’m an aspiring marketing manager and would love to connect with you! I’ve worked in marketing for 5 years and really feel I could be an asset to your company.
I hope we can connect soon!”
“Hi (insert name here),
Your profile is awesome! I’m an aspiring marketing manager and your current position is exactly what I want to do. I especially loved the collaboration project you did with your sales division. Brilliant.
Would you like to meet for coffee sometime soon? I’d love to hear more about you and how you landed your amazing role.
Thanks so much for your time!”
Which message would you respond to?
Make the message real and engaging. Which leads to my next LinkedIn networking hack….
Mention a few awesome things they have accomplished.
Doesn’t it feel good when someone acknowledges and compliments your achievements? The person you are inviting to connect will notice if you take the time to read their accomplishments and identify things you have in common. If you don’t have common ground, don’t be shy about saying your dream job matches what they currently do (if that’s the case).
Don’t be creepy.
This one should go without saying, but unfortunately I’ve gotten some creepy, stalker-ish LinkedIn messages, and know people who have experienced similar follies. Super creepy. It’s a professional platform and for real, no one likes a creep. That includes trolling posts and sending someone an obviously canned message with information about your company or product. Be genuine, just like you would be with a good friend.
Bonus Awesome Hack
Invite him or her to have coffee. The worst they can say is no. If they say yes, you have a perfect opportunity to make a lasting connection.
What are some helpful strategies you’ve used to expand your LinkedIn network? Please share in the comments below!