Before we start

First of all, remember to make sure that you have updated and completed all your profiles details and pictures etc, BEFORE you start inviting people to connect. You don’t want them to arrive at your ‘home’ only to find it in disarray.

How to make connections:

  1. On a member’s profile – Click the Connect button on their profile page.
  2. From the search results page – Click Connect to the right of the member’s information.
  3. Connect your contacts to Linkedin – Search your email address book to find contacts or invite them using their email address.

Give Thought to Personalising your Invitation

Ideally, all your LinkedIn invitations should be customised directly for the individual that they are intended for. Making sure that you address your connection request to the person specifically and make sure you spell their name correctly!

It is helpful to remind the person of how you know them (if applicable) and to specify the reason that you’d like to connect. Not only does this make it more likely that the recipient will accept the invitation, but it also gives you the chance for future communication options.

Try to compliment the person for specific strengths and achievements. After all, all the information you could need can be found right there on their profile – so spare an extra few minutes to do your research! You might include compliments you have about their company, their current position or their experience.  Referencing their strengths and experience shows you took the time to look at their profile. But remember: No one likes smarmy remarks… keep it real.

What to Include in your Message

Your invitation should include a little about who you are and what you do. This should tie in with the reasons why you think connecting with the individual would be beneficial. This is especially important if you’re looking to work with them – emphasise how this connection could benefit you both, and share why you’d be a good person to work with.

As mentioned at the beginning of this article, if you want to make the best LinkedIn connections and be invited to connect by the best Linkedin people, make sure that your own profile page is completed and up to date and use high resolution photography to stand out.

Another effective strategy that the best LinkedIn invitations use, is to point out something that you have in common with the person you’re trying to connect with. Look at their profile, you should be able to find at least one interest, professional connection, LinkedIn group or workforce characteristic that you share. By pointing out your common ground, the person may feel more inclined to accept your invitation and the invitation will feel much more personal.

Signing off, fingers crossed!

Finally, conclude your message with a warm sign-off and don’t forget to mention how pleased you would be to connect with them… and click. Fingers crossed (remember that Luck is “When opportunity meets preparation     ”: Seneca) you’ve taken action so now you wait.

Okay, you may be very eager to get to the next step of action once the connection is accepted. Do you want to meet with them for coffee to discuss their work? Schedule a phone call? Have them check out your past work? Ask them a question?…  Whoa!  Not too quickly, and I would never suggest that you make those requests the moment that the person connects… it’s just too pushy.

Leave some time, maybe a few days, before you message your new connection with your request, invitation or other business suggestion. And always mention who you are again and how pleased you were to make the connection. People like conversations, they don’t like being sold to, so keep it light and conversational so as to appeal. Don’t forget to make sure you include some basic contact information, like a phone number or email address as that may be the connection’s preferred means of communication.

And remember, don’t worry if the connection isn’t accepted straight away. You can’t expect to to achieve 100 percent of your connection requests. There are a number of ways that you might keep that person in your sights and eventually make a breakthrough. We’ll discuss some of those strategies next time.

If you keep positive, prepare well and take action, you’ll have success.

Mark Warren
Act Social