How to Get Someone to Accept Your LinkedIn Invitation
Once the domain of corporate types, LinkedIn is a must-have social network for everyone today no matter what career you have. The social network has done an incredible job curating interesting career-related content from top influencers, listing job opportunities, and giving people a path to connect with others on a professional level. (See also: Simple Networking Tricks)
When you want to connect with someone on LinkedIn, it's important to remember a few key points so that the other person accepts your invitation to connect without hesitation, even if they don't know you well.
1. Make It Personal
There's a person behind that LinkedIn profile so make the message you put in the invitation personal. LinkedIn pre-fills every invitation with a generic message such as "Hi. I'd like to connect with you on LinkedIn." While there's nothing wrong with that message, it could give the person the impression that you didn't care enough to personalize the note. That may lead them to ignore the invitation. Add a short simple message to the invitation that makes it clear why you want to connect. (See also: 15 Bad Networking Habits)
2. Give Them Context
Do you have a connection in common? Did you meet at an event? Do you have a common interest, employer, or experience? In your invitation, provide some type of professional context that helps the person understand who you are.
3. Express Interest in Their Work
Everyone likes to talk about what they do. Let the people you invite to join your network know that you care about their work. A tasteful, authentic compliment about their recent work can go a long way toward opening up the lines of communication. For example, I am a great admirer of one of the top writers for the Associated Press. I reached out to him to tell him how much I liked a recent piece he wrote, and we've had a series of friendly LinkedIn conversations ever since we connected. (See also: How to Give Better Compliments)
4. Offer to Help Them
Everyone has something to offer. Do you see a way that you could be helpful to this contact you want to make? Offer up your support for something that matters to him or her. Because I'm a writer with a number of outlets, I often offer to write about someone whom I admire. It's amazing what that kind of offer can do to open doors.
5. Keep Your Profile Current
This may sound like a no-brainer, but you'd be surprised how many times I get invitations from people who haven't filled in one bit of their own profiles. Take the time to use the platform to explain who you are, your experience, and your interests. When someone gets an invitation from you, they will likely visit your profile before deciding to accept or ignore your invitation. Think of your profile as a first professional impression you are giving someone. Sometimes, a first impression is the only chance you get on LinkedIn, so make sure you put your best foot forward. (See also: Get Your LinkedIn Profile Noticed)
Remember that in addition to connecting to a person, you also become a secondary connection to everyone in his or her network. Circles intersect and overlap in fantastic ways, and those circles can open doors that you may not even know exist. As with all other social networks, the more heart, effort, and energy you put into it, the more you'll receive in return. If you'd like to connect with me, look me up at Christa Avampato. Happy connecting!
Have you scored a particularly valuable connection on LinkedIn? How'd you do it?