Cold messaging someone on LinkedIn can be an effective way to make a connection, but it needs to be done carefully. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to craft an effective cold LinkedIn message.
Do Your Research
Before reaching out cold, learn about the person and what they do. Look at their LinkedIn profile and any other available information online. Understand their role, interests, company, projects, skills, and background. This will allow you to personalize your message and show you did your homework.
Find a Common Ground
Look for any shared connections, groups, colleges, experiences, interests, or affiliations you may have. Mention this common ground in your message to establish rapport. “I see we’re both members of the Digital Marketing Association” or “We both went to the University of Michigan” can be great conversation starters.
Craft a Personalized Message
A cold LinkedIn message needs to be personalized and thoughtfully written. Do not copy and paste generic templates. Address the person by name. State who you are, what you do, and why you’d like to connect. Explain how you could potentially help them or have a mutually beneficial discussion. Share why you respect their work or are interested in connecting.
Make a Specific Ask
Don’t let the conversation fizzle out. Make a specific ask to continue the dialogue such as requesting a phone call, asking for advice, or seeking an introduction. For example, “Would you have 20 minutes for a phone call to discuss your work on digital transformation?” Give them a clear next step.
Keep it Brief
Long messages can be off-putting. Get to the point concisely and keep your message under 300 words. Introduce yourself, personalize it, make your ask, and explain what’s in it for them. Longer messages tend to get ignored.
Focus on Helping, Not Selling
Avoid coming across as salesy. Focus your message on how you can help them and add value. Whether it’s sharing an interesting article, providing advice, or making an introduction, lead with generosity, not what you want from them.
Follow Up Politely
Not everyone will respond right away. If they haven’t replied after a week, follow up. Say something like “Hi John, I wanted to circle back on my earlier message in case it got lost in the shuffle. I’m really interested in speaking with you about…” Reach out once more, but avoid pestering them.
Personalize Connection Requests
Simply sending empty connection requests is unlikely to get accepted. Take the time to add a customized note when requesting to connect, referring back to your common ground or interests. This gives context behind your request.
Focus on Quality, Not Quantity
Spamming your message to hundreds of people will be obvious and ineffective. Carefully select a handful of relevant prospects tailored to your goals. It’s better to have fewer higher quality conversations than bombard people en masse.
Look for ways to provide value, insight or assistance to the person you’re contacting. Offer to share an interesting report, article or piece of advice. Present an opportunity for mutual benefit. Demonstrate that you’re interested in helping them in some way.
Grammatical errors or typos will undermine your message. Review and proofread your note multiple times before sending. Ask someone else to check it over as well. Little mistakes can leave a bad impression.
Use LinkedIn Features
Make use of LinkedIn features to enhance your message. Sales Navigator allows you to identify key prospects with advanced filtering and insights. InMail provides a way to message members you’re not connected to. Video introductions let you personalize outreach.
Be Genuine and Authentic
Be real, passionate, and thoughtful in your communications. Fake or templated language is easy to spot. Show genuine interest in the person, their work, and the conversation. Sincerity goes a long way in forging new connections.
Avoid Hard Selling
Aggressive sales pitches through unsolicited messages usually backfire. Keep the focus on starting a mutually beneficial dialogue, not just promoting your company or asking for something without context. Be helpful first, salesperson second.
Follow Up After Connecting
Don’t stop networking after you connect. Nurture the relationship by engaging with their content, celebrating milestones, and eventually arranging time to talk. Set calendar reminders to sustain momentum after connecting.
Following these best practices can help you craft an effective cold outreach message on LinkedIn. Do your research, personalize your approach, add value, and focus on starting a productive dialogue. With finesse and care, cold messaging can lead to fruitful professional relationships.