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Making the most out of LinkedIn

Posted by
27 Apr 2015
LinkedIn is an excellent tool for keeping in touch with useful contacts you make throughout your career and even for making new connections who may be able to assist you along the way. So with this in mind, it is extremely beneficial for you give off a good impression when using the network.

However time after time, people, including myself, find ways to cut corners when we are busy when sending invitations to connect with people.  If you are a user of LinkedIn, you will know that there is a generic message to be sent alongside your invitation if you wish to do so. However, think about it this way, would you approach someone at a networking event without as much as properly introducing yourself?

This is why it is crucial when trying to establish and build your network that you put the time in to customise your invitation messages.

Here are some of my top tips for customising your LinkedIn messages.

1.    Make sure that your profile picture is high quality and professional.

People are lying if they say that first impressions do not count. If you are connecting with a client who you are attempting to connect with, and s/he sees a picture of you having a selfie with a sheep (which I have seen) then they aren't going to want to do business with you. Instead, choose a professional headshot with a plain background to ensure you are the focal point of the image.

2.    Address the individual by their first name.

I feel that this adds a personal touch, and makes the individual feel that they are not just another connection that you have made that day.

3.    Introduce yourself or explain how you know them

If you have met before, chances are that they will remember who you are without prompting, but just in case, it is always a good idea to remind the individual where you met. Alternatively, you may be sending the invitation because you read their work or would like to do business with them and in this case tell them just that. Be sure to introduce who you are and explain what you do.

4.    Explain why you would like to connect with them. 

When I first started in recruitment, I had never used LinkedIn before, and I was just sending a generic email asking them to join my network. I was finding that out of every ten connections I tried to add, only several were accepting my invitation. I asked my colleague what they did differently, and he simply said that people are more likely to accept a connection invitation if you have a proper reason for reaching out and is not just looking to expand your network by any means.After hearing this I changed my LinkedIn invitation and started to explain why I wanted to join my contacts' network which improved my hit rate significantly. 

5.    End on a positive note. 

Finishing your message with a warm sign-off will make you appear approachable and users are much more likely to accept an invitation with a welcoming tone.

If you would like any more advice and tips on LinkedIn, please feel free to get in touch 01332 542580. Our marketing team have also created a great user guide which we are more than happy to send over.
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