If you want to build strong connections in your LinkedIn network, you will need to start by making strong impressions.
Here is an actual request to connect I recently received via LinkedIn:
Does this look familiar to you? It probably does. That’s because this is the way 99% of people introduce themselves on LinkedIn.
This generic approach is generally acceptable when you are connecting with people you know–friends, family, coworkers, etc.
But when you are trying to expand your network or reaching out to someone you don’t know very well, your introduction better be a little more creative and a lot more personal than that. Use the opportunity to make a good impression.
Your introduction should consist of two or three short sentences about who you are and why you want to connect with the recipient. I always like to begin with “Hi (person’s name)” and end with “Best regards, (your name)”.
Here are some examples of effective ways to introduce yourself on LinkedIn in different situations:
- “It was nice meeting you at the ____ event. I enjoyed talking to you about ____. Let’s be sure to stay in touch.”
- “I am a fellow member of the ____ LinkedIn group and I saw your comment about ____. I’d love to stay in touch so we can talk more about it.”
- “It’s been a long time since we talked, hope you are doing well. How are the kids? I see you are now working at ____ company, how is that going? Let’s be sure to stay in touch.”
- “I was looking at your profile and I see you are a fellow alumni of ____ university. I also noticed we have some similar interests. Maybe we can chat sometime over drinks.”
- “I was looking at your profile and I am very impressed with your accomplishments. Please accept my request to connect, I’d love to talk to you about how you accomplished ____.”
- “I was checking out your blog and I really liked your post about ____. Please accept my request to stay connected.”
You get the idea.
When introducing yourself on LinkedIn to someone you’ve never met, being personal becomes even more important. If you just use the generic “I’d like to add you…” message, that person will have no idea why you are reaching out to them. Usually they will just think you’re creepy. And even if the person accepts your request, you didn’t really make any connection with them.
Your motivation for reaching out to someone should always be very clear. Don’t expect the other person to ask you about yourself.
The bottom line: It never hurts to add a little personalization in today’s world where people too often hide behind their computers.
How do you connect with people on LinkedIn?