The Art Of Crafting The Perfect LinkedIn Connect Message
The Art Of Crafting The Perfect LinkedIn Connect Message
Put yourself in this position, you walk into a bar, you sit down, you order a drink and just as you get comfortable you notice a good-looking man or woman down the counter that peaks your interest, business or otherwise. You stand up and walk towards the person. When he or she eventually notices you, you politely hold out your hand and ask, “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.” It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that your chances seem pretty dismal here onwards.
This example can just as well be applied to when you are looking to broaden your network on LinkedIn.
“The people you want to reach the most are the ones who, by default, delete emails” – Seth Godin
The art of perfecting a connect message on LinkedIn follows a pretty straightforward concept. In looking to make a connection with a person (like in the above example) the initial touch point you make with your prospective connection must be presented in a human-like manner rather than relying on the generic automated response – “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.”. The key factor being, that the “Virtual handshake” you make in networking must be approached the same way you would develop connections with a person in an offline platform.
The Importance of the 300
A successful “virtual handshake” is brought out by developing a well constructed Personal Messaging Strategy.
In looking to connect with a person on LinkedIn, there should be a rhyme or reason to do so; it could be shared industry, shared connections, shared group, shared interests or shared location. When developing the perfect connect message it’s important to trot along these shared characteristics, this enables you to identify a common ground to interact in and most importantly, it gives you an understanding of how you can add value to your message, giving these potential contacts a reason to want to accept your invitation to connect.
The problem is you’ve got only 300 characters to make yourself seem valuable. On top of that, in the situation of networking with someone you don’t know at all, this connect message is the only chance you have to convince him or her to accept your invite!
It’s vital that you tailor your 300 characters, utilising gleaned insight in order to add that Midas touch of personalisation that sets you apart to be a valued contact in a sea of lazy and effortless automated messages and bots.
How to develop the perfect LinkedIn personal connect message
1) Using a Professional Photo
Put yourself in the position of getting a notification of a connect request, you check your notifications and you see a profile photo of a person that has clearly been cropped-out group photo or a selfie that you sent with the Snapchat dog filter on. In a professional platform such as LinkedIn, these aren’t going to make the cut. It’s important that you keep your LinkedIn profile non-amateur so that it presents a sound indicator of professionalism enabling you to have a higher probability of being accepted to a connect request and subsequent approaches.
2) Personalised Greeting
Begin your message with a “Dear [name]” or “Hi [name]” making sure you address them personally and that you correctly spell their names.
3) How You Know Them
This reflects on what was mentioned earlier, shared connections.
It’s important to give the user a sense of recognition and commonality that would give you a higher chance of being accepted. Certain indicators such as mentioning that you met at a conference, the fact that you’re a follower on Twitter, operating in the same industry or even basic interconnection such as reminding them that you went to the same university back in the day can be a prompt signal for others to accept your request to connect.
4) Why do you want to connect?
It’s important that you explain why you want to connect with these individuals, this gives them a basis as to the validity of your request to connect (it also shows that you’re not a person looking to increase your number of connections).
5) What You Do
Even if you’ve met the person before, there’s a chance they won’t remember who you are. Therefore mentioning what you do in one or two sentences can jog their memory.
6) Kind Parting Words
It’s always nice to include a few kind parting words about their work and contributions made to their fields, job experience, or company. In the event they eventually do accept your connect request this would strengthen your professional relationship. It may even be just the prompt they need to endorse you or write you a glowing LinkedIn recommendation.
7) Sign Off
Don’t forget to write a warm sign-off! It’s a small detail that can make your connect message feel much more welcoming and personal. In a future blog post, we will address the sign off’s that statistically delivery the best returns for LinkedIn & Email messages.
The 5 P’s of Successfully writing a Perfect LinkedIn connect message
By following this format and the 5 P’s concepts, you will ensure that you develop a personal message that would give you the highest probability of a successful connect acceptance.
Personal message templates to follow when dealing with different types of people
Write the message in a way that we notice the contributions they’ve made to the business.
Although I’ve never gotten the chance to work with you directly, I’ve heard great reviews about your sales techniques and strong ability to work with tough clients. Hopefully looking forward to seeing you in action! Til then, I’ll catch you in the break room.
2. New Colleague
Say you recently landed a role with a B2B company and you want to connect with your supervisor. You should still compliment her and show you’re familiar with what she does—just be a little more reserved.
I’m so excited to join the product development department. The team’s innovation and commitment to always finding the best testing methodologies is one of the reasons I was so drawn to work here.
Looking forward to contributing.
3. Someone you’ve met at a networking event
A solid default in sending a reason to connect is to simply keep tabs on their career and posts, discuss trading tips, providing each other with new contacts, helping each other with projects, discussing industry news etc.
It was great speaking to you at the NPD Conference last month. The new flavour varieties and categories you are branching out into makes complete sense! I’d definitely like to stay up-to-date on how the launch goes.
4. Someone you want to work with
The key is making it explicitly clear the kind of relationship you’re seeking from the connect message. If they’re not interested, you’ll want to know right away so you can move on to the next potential prospect or partner.
I was really impressed by the social media strategy you put together for Red Bull as a freelancer. I’m also a small business owner, and I’m interested in hiring you for a similar project. If you’re interested, let me know and we can arrange a call to discuss timeline, rates, scope, etc.
Looking forward to possibly working with you,
You may be thinking by now, “How am I going to customise so many different personal messages to each and every person I’m looking to connect with?”.
This thought is compounded by the fact that there is more value than ever in being truly connected with your target audience, the value in having 3000+ 1st connections made up from the exact people you want to be working and the people that make the purchasing decisions for your product or service is unprecedented.
Ultimately there are 3 main options open to you:
- You can put in the time and effort, it may seem monotonous at times but we recommend you target yourself to connect to at least 20 ideal prospects each and every day. You will have to do the research, in order to glean the insight and mutualisms to in turn utilise to power your personalised connection message – but in the long run in doing this over a sustained period – the juice will well and truly be worth the squeeze.
- You could turn to bots and automation software, in recent years there has been an increasing number of options emerging into the market from the likes of Connect Dingo, Meet Leonard and UseOrca to name just a few. The type of automation they offer can be very useful when the volumes involved in your marketplace are substantial, we have tried and tested them ourselves and have partnerships in place with one of the more reliable providers. Ths allows us to utilise the power of automation when the suited occasion calls. Where these automation providers struggle, however, is in allowing for truly personalised individualised connections at ie. The ones that give you an 80% connection ratio opposed to a 5%! They also have limitations when it comes to ensuring entirely accurate targetting as they are constrained by either LinkedIn’s filters or the accuracy of your own data if you hold the LinkedIn URLs of your target prospect universe.
- You can outsource to a trusted 3rd party specialist in B2B outreach. A done-for-you service if you like. This way you can be reassured to know that invites are being sent with the optimal levels of personalisation to secure your dream connections. Whilst you can avoid the arduous endless task of having to craft and send them yourself, instead you can stay focused on high-level priority tasks, Plus a specialist will know when and where and which automation software should be used to supplement the manual activities.
SOME OF OUR OWN PERSONAL TOUCHES, AS TO HOW WE PERSONALISE LINKEDIN CONNECT MESSAGES
In having made tens of thousands of LinkedIn connections, for each of our clients across their prospective target audiences. We are in prime position to witness first hand the gulf in difference a little bit of thought, personalisation and the 5 P’s can go! We cannot emphasise enough how critical it is to go the extra mile! Its the difference between ending up with a few hundred connections or a few thousand. Here are just a few of our own recent examples of connect messages:
Dear Rose – The fact that we already share 33 mutual connections, combined with the fact that like us you were exhibiting at the recent LIWF event tells me our work is going to strongly overlap. I’d be honoured to be in your network and delighted to have you in mine.
ABC = Always Be Connecting
Hi Joe, as a loyal purchaser of your brand, I was particularly pleased, more so impressed when I came across your new loyalty platform. And today when I spotted you in MarketingNews talking about its success, it made me think that it would be good to be connected.
For more detailed insight into how we at E&S utilise LinkedIn beyond just connect messages, to fuel our B2B sales prospecting, do get in touch or check out our related blogs and best practice guides.
Ultimately we hope that you have found these tips to be useful and insightful, the key point to take away for when writing that perfect 300 character LinkedIn connect message is to always, ( and I’ve not stressed this enough in this article) always personalise your messages.