- Don’t use the default connection statement, “I’d like to add you to my professional network.” or my personal favorite, “Since you are a person I trust, I wanted to invite you to join my network on LinkedIn.” You don’t know me well enough to trust me. Personalizing your statement to connect is vital to building a relationship. Tell me why you want to connect and/or how we know each other.
- Don’t ask me to send out a message from you to my network. Especially, if I don’t know you or you connected with me a day ago. It’s NOT happening! I would never send a mass email (at least not for any reason I can think of) to my connections from me, let alone from you. I love to be complimented like everyone else, but flattery doesn’t work in this regard.
- Don’t try to sell me! Or ask me to visit your website or like your Facebook or Twitter pages! It screams buy my stuff and no one likes to be sold to. Offer your help or support. Be sincere when trying to help someone, say what you mean and do what you say. Don’t make false promises, it may hurt your online reputation.
- Don’t send out a mass email, it rarely works! “It says, I don’t have the time to connect with you personally, so I will just see if some of you bite!” Maybe if LinkedIn decides to have a BCC option in the future, it might feasible but no rumors about that coming anytime soon. In the meantime, use Constant Contact, Mail Chimp, Etc. to email your contactsJ
- Don’t steal someone else’s thunder. I just saw this a few days ago for the first time and couldn’t believe my eyes. You know the headline in the new contact app that shows you when someone has a new job or birthday or moved. Well, this gentleman had a new job and some congrats posted and one of the posts was actually a sales pitch from someone saying, “Congrats and BTW stop by my business XYZ for 10% off”! I wanted to respond, “Hello, this is not about you!!”
1. Don’t send a message without a personalized greeting! It can hurt you more than you know. Take the time to view someone’s profile to learn more about them. Sometimes I have noticed that LinkedIn prevents you from sending a personalized greeting; maybe when inviting some people in a group. If the default greeting is sent, you can always follow it up with a simple statement about why you want to connect with them.
LinkedIn now gives you the ability to see what you have in common with that person. On the right side panel about half way down, when you hover over the circles- you see what you have in common. It could be skills and expertise, it could be groups, and it could be your education or the connections you share. This gives you a great starting point for the conversation.
Lastly, LinkedIn has now put more emphasis on your relationships. Keywords are still important but relationships are starting to mean more in terms of targeted searches. Therefore, strategically connect with folks, it’s no longer just a numbers game.
2. Don’t use capital letters in your messages! It comes across to the other person that you are yelling. Yes, there is no way to bold phrases or use italics but there are other ways to explain yourself with words. Online communication can be difficult but unfortunately, I doubt that it will change in the near future. I am sure I have been guilty of this myself in the past. However, you can try to put yourself in the other person’s shoes. At times, I may add a comment saying, “I hope I was not too blunt or too honest?”
3. Last but not least, tell don’t sell! No one likes to be sold to! At least once or twice a day, I have someone who either writes “Buy My Stuff” (indirectly of course) in their invitation or directly after connecting with me they send me a message about their business or their paid event.
Building relationships first is paramount to your success! It’s a proven fact, people do business with people they know, like and trust. Remember, it’s not about you; it’s about them. Helping others with no agenda, will develop those lasting relationships. Which in turn, become referrals sources and they may even recommend you!
Happy and Success Always~Sherry