We've all received them…and probably sent them before we knew better. 🙂 Those dreaded mechanical, boring, default LinkedIn connection requests. I took the screenshot below of part of my LinkedIn connection request page a while ago with the intentions of writing this post. I've blocked pics, companies and names to protect those who I choose to assume don't know any better. I chose this part of the page to do a screenshot because there are a couple of great examples of what not to do as well as one what to do here. You can see that out of the 7 people that want to connect, 5 either do not have the time, the energy or the creativity to make the request interesting or informative. They have settled to not stand out or make their request call out for my attention. Two of them haven't even bothered to upload a picture of themselves!
The person who sent the second request in the image above appears to have read something or learned somewhere that it is a great idea to change the default message to something a little more personal. What struck me about it though is that I have no idea who this person is, I don't recognize the pic or company. I wonder why I am a person he or she trusts. Had he/she added a little more info, I would have found it to be a little more sincere.
The person who sent the 4th request in the image above hit the nail on the head! Not only is it a personalized message (they even used my name! *gasp*), he or she tells me how we are connected and why they want to connect. He/she goes on to invite me to connect both on and offline. Bingo! I am interested in learning more about this person who has taken a few extra minutes to research and introduce themselves. Be that Guy or Gal!!
Bonus Tip: When I do accept the bland, un-personalized messages, I used to send a message thanking them for reaching out & asking what prompted them to connect. I would also invite them to connect via phone or email to see how we could support one another. Sadly, less than 1% responded. I stopped doing this because it honestly felt like a waste of my time. The tip here is to go back and check your messages and follow up with people who are open & willing to truly network.
© Teresa Cleveland, The Entrepreneur’s Toolbox