Only those stranded on a desert island during the last 12+ years have yet to hear about Linkedin. Launched in May of 2003, Linkedin is a disruptor of traditional networking. Used by job seekers and entrepreneurs alike, Linkedin is the networking tool of choice for business professionals. And, it’s an extremely effective business development tool…if used appropriately.
“It’s not what you know but whom you know,” is an age-old adage more relevant today than every before. Combined with, “Your actions speak so loud, I can’t hear what you’re saying,” and you have a match ready to ignite your future.
The Connection Conundrum
A request on Linkedin signals that you want to establish a relationship with the other person. You want to connect for whatever purpose you intend. Being you seldom have a second chance to make a first impression, don’t leave your manners at your keyboard. (Click to Tweet)
1. Craft a personal invitation. Who doesn’t love that Linkedin “thinks” for us when fashioning a one-liner to connect? Nonetheless, what does the generic message really communicate to your recipient?
It might convey that you’re too lazy to craft a personalized message, or you’re in too much of a hurry to care. Either message won’t keep doors open for long.
Take the time to read the recipients profile. Craft a personalized message. Let your actions demonstrate your intention to connect.
2. Send a personal thank you note. Once your invitation is accepted, nurture the relationship. Send a personal “thank you for accepting my invitation” note to foster trust.
3. Complete your profile. Upon receiving your invitation, the astute Linkedin user visits your profile to gain an understanding of who you are and what you do.
Make sure you make the best impression with a complete profile, including a professional photo.
4. Enroll in a paid subscription. Linkedin has done an amazing job of allowing us to connect through our regular email. It’s a godsend! Going through the Linkedin system is cumbersome, at best.
When the perceptive Linkedin user discovers they are required to go through the Linkedin system to respond to your request, you risk “brand damage”. Too many clicks to connect say you’re cheap. Invest in a paid subscription.
5. Do the work. When making requests request of other Linkedin users beyond the initial invitation, make sure you do the lion’s share of the work. Whether it is a request for a meeting to sell your wares, professional input on a business idea, or an invitation to join your group, don’t make your connection do your work.
Remember, when you make a request of a Linkedin connection, they are doing you a favor. Return the favor by making it easy for them to follow through on your request. The time a connection spends communicating with you is a gift they are giving to you. Don’t be rude. (Click to Tweet)
I must admit – it’s a bit disconcerting to write “how to” tips for human contact. Yet, it seems as though many feel that the guidelines for human interaction don’t apply to social media. I disagree.
Don’t leave your etiquette at your browser. It’s bound to hurt your ability to make the strides you hoped for on Linkedin. Put “social” back in social media. (Click to Tweet)
What’s your biggest pet peeve when it comes to connecting on Linkedin? (Click to Tweet)