If you’ve recently met someone at a networking event and want to connect with them on LinkedIn, the best way is to send them a personalized message right after connecting. A quick message helps break the ice and keeps the conversation going after your initial meeting. Here are some tips for messaging new connections on LinkedIn:
Connect with them first
Before messaging someone, send them a connection request on LinkedIn. Include a quick note referencing where you met and any conversations you had. For example: “It was great meeting you at [event name] and chatting about [topic]. I’d love to connect on here.” This gives context on how you know each other and makes accepting your request more likely.
Send a message within a few days
Don’t wait too long after connecting to reach out. Ideally, send a message within a day or two while your conversation is still fresh. The more time that passes, the harder it will be to restart the dialogue. Strike while your encounter is still top of mind.
Personalize the message
Avoid generic messages like “Let’s connect soon!” Personalize your note by referring to your conversation. For example: “I enjoyed our chat about [topic] at [event]. I’m excited to learn more about your experience with [relevant topic].” This shows you were listening and makes the message more engaging.
Think about how you can offer something useful like advice, resources, or introductions to contacts. For example: “I remember you’re looking for a new role in [industry]. A friend of mine works at [relevant company] and could be a great connection. Let me know if you’d like an introduction.” This builds goodwill and ongoing rapport.
Suggest meeting up
If there was strong chemistry, suggest following up in-person over coffee or lunch. For example: “Really enjoyed our conversation at [event]. Would you be interested in grabbing coffee sometime next week to continue the dialogue?” Meeting up is a great way to strengthen a new professional relationship.
Ask a specific question
Give them a reason to write back by asking a thought-provoking yet answerable question. Stay away from yes/no questions. For example: “I’d love to learn more about your approach to [relevant topic]. Are there any strategies that have worked particularly well in your experience?” This gets the dialogue flowing.
Keep it short
Get straight to the point in 2-3 sentences. You don’t need a paragraph. Save deeper conversations for when you meet up in-person or hop on a call. A short, casual note is perfect for an initial LinkedIn outreach.
Mind your manners
Open with a warm greeting like “Hi [Name]” and close with a “Best, [Your Name]”. Be polite and respectful in your tone. Avoid overly casual language like shorthand, slang or emojis which may come off unprofessional.
Follow up if they don’t respond
If you don’t hear back within a week, follow up. Send a note checking in and reiterate your interest in connecting. If they continue not to respond, move on and refocus your efforts elsewhere. Not everyone will reciprocate interest.
Connect through common ground
Look for shared experiences, associations or interests that can create an instant bond. Maybe you went to the same school, know the same people or work in allied industries. Lead with these similarities to establish common ground.
Compliment their work
If you’re impressed by their background or achievements, say so. A sincere compliment can make someone more receptive to conversing. Just keep it professional rather than personal to avoid misunderstandings.
Reference shared contacts
Namedrop any mutual connections to ignite engagement. Saying something like, “Bob Smith suggested I reach out” leverages your existing network to pique their interest in talking.
Align on next steps
Close your message by outlining what you’d like to happen next, whether it’s setting up a coffee chat, scheduling a call, or introducing them to someone. Giving clear next steps makes it easy for them to continue the conversation.
Express your gratitude for their time and attention. Everyone likes to feel appreciated. A simple “Thanks for connecting!” can go a long way in making a strong first impression.
Avoid hard selling
This first interaction is about building a relationship, not pitching services or asking for favors. Keep the focus on getting to know each other better through genuine interest and engagement.
Watch your tone
Be friendly but professional. Don’t come across as too casual, flirtatious or overly familiar. Maintain appropriate boundaries for someone you just met. Let a connection develop slowly over multiple interactions.
Connect in person first
Meeting someone face-to-face makes a bigger impression than an online message. Introduce yourself at an event, then follow up after on LinkedIn. In-person chemistry gives your outreach more context.
Do your homework
Briefly review their profile before reaching out so you can reference details that catch your eye. This shows you took the time to get to know them and their background.
Follow up after meeting
If you meet someone at a conference or gathering, shoot them a LinkedIn message right after while it’s fresh. Quickly adding them allows you to keep the conversation going beyond the event.
Request an introduction
If you don’t know the person well, ask for a warm introduction through a mutual connection. This gives your outreach credibility right from the start.
Share an article
If you stumble upon an interesting article or post related to their work, pass it along to spark a discussion. Useful content is always appreciated.
Leave the ball in their court
After your initial outreach, let them take the next step if interested rather than repeatedly following up. Move on if you don’t hear back after a few tries.
Messaging new connections is an art. With the right balance of personalization, genuine interest and value offering, you can start meaningful professional relationships on LinkedIn. Be patient, pay attention and focus on quality over quantity when expanding your network.