Each time I speak on the subject of LinkedIn, just about everyone in the room raises their hand saying they often receive LinkedIn invitations from people they don’t know or recognize. Baffled as to why they’re receiving this invitation from a stranger, their tendency is to ignore it and move on.
While one reason they react this way is because they don’t know the other person, another reason is that the invitation is totally impersonal. There is no message explaining why that professional decided to reach out to you.
And, in my humble opinion, that is one of the biggest mistakes professionals make when reaching out to connect with others on LinkedIn. . .
LinkedIn is a platform that provides you with the opportunity to build and nurture relationships. Starting off with a generic connection request doesn’t reveal your interest to another and it doesn’t start a conversation.
People ask, “Why would I want to connect with this person if I don’t know him/her?”
While that makes perfect sense, there might actually be a good reason to connect. However, you’ll never know if you simply ignore the invitation.
First, I suggest you visit that person’s profile. What does he/she do? Are they in a related field? Could they be a potential referral or resource? Do you have connections in common that you recognize?
Then, if that person seems interesting, go back to the pending invitation and click on the arrow that you see in the upper right hand corner (see below). From there LinkedIn’s Messenger will open up and you’ll be able to reply without accepting their request.
When you don’t know someone (or don’t know them well), but you’re interested in connecting with him/her on LinkedIn, don’t make the mistake of sending LinkedIn’s generic invitation. Take the extra moment to personalize the invite, explain why you’re reaching out and start a conversation. Maybe you met briefly at an event or have colleagues in common, etc. Whatever you do, engage!
Remember, when you show a genuine interest in others, they’ll find you interesting (Chapter. 4 “Millionaire Marketing on a Shoestring Budget”).
Want to join my LinkedIn network? Visit me at http://linkedin.com/in/debrajason and be sure to personalize your request and let me know that you read this post on Producers eSource. I look forward to connecting with you!
Want to join Debra's LinkedIn network? Visit her at Debra Jason and be sure to personalize your request so she knows that you read her article here on Producers eSource.
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