My Connecting on LinkedIn is Like What?
Have you considered that when you are connecting on LinkedIn you should follow the same rules that you used when you asked for a date?
I have been married for over thirty years. My memories of dating are pretty vague but I do remember those awkward feelings when asking for a date. I remember that I did not want to be rejected, ignored or dumped.
When you are connecting on LinkedIn, consider the following:
- How do you know this person? Did you meet at a conference or meeting? Maybe you read an article on their website or did you comment on their blog? Is it a personal or a virtual relationship?
- Why do you want to create a connection on LinkedIn with this person? Do you want to network with this person? Do they work at a company that you are targeting? Can they introduce you to decision makers? Can they help you get your next job? Do you think they are doing interesting work and would like to connect personally?
- Is there anything you can do for them? People rarely do this but if there is something reciprocal in nature to the connection – mention it.
Why are you asking for the date … eerr … the connection on LinkedIn?
How do you know the connection and why do you want to connect?
LinkedIn used to make you check a box on how you knew the connection. Too many people figured out how to get around that requirement by lying.
However, it is still important to think about how you found this person and what you expect from the relationship.
Writing the Connection Request
When you press the connect button on a LinkedIn profile (and that is the ONLY place from which you should initiate a connection request,) you will now get a popup like the following:
You should always select “add a note.”
I will write a connection request like the following:
It was great meeting you at XYZ conference. (Notice I specify where we met.) I looked at your profile and see that we have a lot in common. I look forward to meeting you again and corresponding about EFG (whatever we talked about at the conference.) I would enjoy continuing the conversation. (Give Mary a reason to stay engaged.)
Please accept this invitation to connect.
This invitation quickly tells Mary:
- Where we met
- What we have in common
- Gives her a reason to stay connected
- I am a real person and not just sending out SPAM
If I found Mary by reading one of her articles I will tell her.
How is this Like Dating?
This is using the same tactics that men have used for years. If you want to meet a girl, you hang around those groups, classes, clubs … where the girls you want to meet congregate.
I am dropping all of the little hints that I like you and would like to get to know you. I want to go out on a date …eerr … I want to network with you.
Sometimes you receive LinkedIn connections like the following:
I look at this kind of invitation as a blind date. Do I turn down the overture?
I take a quick look at the profile and if the profile looks real, i.e. the profile has a picture, there is some employment history, and it has more than a few connections, then I accept the connection.
I immediately go to the profile and send a LinkedIn message.
Just accepted your invitation to connect. How did you find me?
Just because the person may be shy I do not want turn down the opportunity for a date. When I graduated from high school, I was 6’4″ tall, weighed about 140 lbs. and had a big head of red hair. I was also pretty shy around girls.
I was no chick magnet. Therefore, I understand when people send connection requests with no notes.
However, I want you to send a note to explain why you want to connect in every connection request.
Be authentic, personable and most importantly tell me how we know each other!
If you want a date …errr … a connection on LinkedIn, then you should behave just like you are asking for a date!
Give it a try and let me know how it works!