Here’s a question I get all the time: Sarah, how can I invite someone I don’t know on LinkedIn? Without sounding too bland or random. How can I ensure that I’ll get a positive response to my request?
Here are a few tips that you should follow.
Do Your Homework
Nothing turns people off more than receiving a general message that says nothing about yourself or why they should connect with you. People with a large network especially receive tons of default requests every day. If you want to stand out, make a good impression, and turn this connection into something valuable, then do your homework and tailor your message accordingly.
Review their profile and activity on LinkedIn and other social media channels. Read a few articles, interviews or blog posts to understand their work better and get insights about their line of work. Write a personalized message that lets them know how much you’ve enjoyed reading one of their pieces and what’s your opinion on the topic. Or ask them a thoughtful question that will pique their interest and convince them to add you to their network.
Find Common Ground
People are more likely to respond to your request if you have a common interest. But, try to go beyond the obvious. The fact that you are from the same city or have studied at the same university may not be reason enough for them to accept your invitation to connect. Instead, try to find a common business ground. For example, maybe you’ve seen the person talking at an event, or you read their blog religiously, or maybe both of you have a passion for artisanal jewelry. Use this information as an icebreaker to let them know why they should consider connecting with you on LinkedIn.
Focus on Building a Long-Term Relationship
Your strategy was effective, and you are now part of that person’s network. Congratulations! Now, it’s time to start building a meaningful relationship that could benefit both of you in the long run.
Remember that building a relationship, whether online or in real life, takes time and effort. You probably wouldn’t go to a stranger at a party, introduce yourself and then begin pitching your business idea or asking them to invest in your services. That would be rude and inappropriate. The same stands true for LinkedIn.
Connect with that person by commenting on their posts, asking thoughtful questions, offering to help them or providing a unique insight into a problem that interests both of you.
Reaching out to a complete stranger and asking them to connect with you on LinkedIn may feel a bit awkward. But, with the right strategy in place, you can ensure that you’ll get a positive response and turn this new connection into an opportunity to grow your network and, why not, your business.