Messaging someone on LinkedIn after connecting can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. With the right approach, you can start a meaningful conversation that leads to developing a valuable connection. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
The key is to have a purpose for reaching out. Make sure your message has substance and shows you put thought into starting the dialogue. For example, comment on something in their profile like common interests or experiences. Ask for advice based on their background. Share an article or opportunity you think could benefit them. The goal is to make it clear you’re not just saying hi for no reason.
Personalize the message and make it specific to the person. Generic outreach rarely gets responses. Mention why you connected in the first place or what caught your attention on their profile. Bring up shared connections if you have any to establish common ground. Referencing previous conversations or meetings you’ve had makes it more of a natural continuation.
Keep the tone warm and friendly but professional. Overly formal or overly casual messages can be off-putting. stick to a polite but conversational style. Briefly reintroduce yourself if needed and use their name to make it more personal. Express interest in learning more about them and their experiences.
Ask open-ended questions that encourage a reply and further dialogue. Questions that require only a yes/no response often stop communication. Ask about their background, interests, career path, or industry perspectives. Make it clear you’re interested in their thoughts and welcome a discussion.
Follow up if you don’t hear back after a few days. Sometimes messages get buried or overlooked. A friendly nudge saying you’re still interested in connecting shows persistence. But don’t overdo it if they never respond. Take the hint and move on.
Avoid hard sells or obvious pitches. Unless you have an established relationship, messaging just to pitch your product or services comes across as opportunistic. Focus on building rapport first. Soft pitches along the lines of “this made me think of you…” may get better responses after you have an ongoing dialogue.
Keep it short but not too short. A few paragraphs is enough to introduce yourself, make a connection, and ask a question to spark further conversation. Giant blocks of texts are daunting. But a two-sentence message may not provide enough context. Find the right balance.
Proofread before sending. Typos or other errors make a bad first impression and show a lack of effort. Make sure you have the right name and contact info. Read the message aloud to catch potential issues. Edit and revise as needed before clicking send.
Follow up if you still don’t get a response after a few weeks. If your initial message was thoughtful and personalized, a follow up is justified. Note it’s been a while and you’re still interested in connecting. If they engage, great. If not, it may be time to move on.
Don’t take non-responses personally. Many factors can determine if someone replies. Your message may have gotten lost in their inbox. They may be too busy to connect right now. As long as your outreach was polite and professional, a lack of response likely isn’t about you.
Use LinkedIn tools to increase response rates. Features like InMail and being a Premium subscriber boost message visibility in the platform algorithms. This gives you a better chance of getting a reply from someone you aren’t already connected to.
Look for reasons to follow up periodically. Share relevant articles or information with connections even without an immediate ask to stay top of mind. Comment on their updates and posts to show you’re paying attention. Periodic check-ins nurture relationships.
Connect in person when possible. If they are local or you run into them at events, make an effort to continue the relationship offline. Meeting face-to-face makes you more than just an online connection.
Be patient and persistent. Building strong relationships doesn’t happen instantly. With the right mix of personalization, persistence, and patience, even unresponsive prospects can turn into valuable connections that pay dividends for years to come.
The key is playing the long game. LinkedIn messaging is about starting meaningful conversations that develop into something substantial over time through continuous nurturing. With the right strategy, you can turn cold outreach into warm opportunities for engagement.
Why Message Someone After Connecting on LinkedIn?
Here are some of the main reasons to message new LinkedIn connections:
– Personalize the relationship and put a face to the name. A message makes you more than just a name in their network.
– Start a dialogue and get to know each other better. Messaging creates opportunities for substantive conversations.
– Discuss possible ways to help each other out. Explore if you share common interests or complementary skills.
– Share an article or other piece of content you think they would find interesting or useful based on their background and interests.
– Follow up on meeting them at an event, conference, etc. Continue the conversation you started in person.
– Introduce yourself if a shared connection suggested connecting but you don’t know each other.
– Ask for informational interviews, career advice, industry insights based on their experience.
– Get referrals or introductions to other contacts who may be helpful connections.
– Collaborate on projects, business deals, or other opportunities.
– Catch up after not interacting via LinkedIn for a while to re-engage.
The goal is to build and nurture relationships, not just accumulate connections. Messaging new contacts personalizes the experience and lays the foundation for an ongoing dialogue.
How to Craft LinkedIn Messages That Get Responses
Standing out in someone’s inbox and prompting a response takes strategy. Apply these tips for crafting effective LinkedIn messages:
– Personalize with specifics – Use their name, company, location, interests, etc. Generic messages get ignored.
– Do your research – Review their profile so you can reference details and common ground.
– Know your purpose – Have a clear reason for reaching out to focus the conversation.
– Provide value – Share useful information, resources, or opportunities relevant to them.
– Ask open-ended questions – Give them something to respond to and keep the dialogue going.
– Watch your tone – Sound conversational but professional, not overly salesy or too casual.
– Make it brief – Get to the point efficiently while still being personable.
– Proofread carefully – Typos or errors give the wrong impression.
– Follow up – If no response after a few days, politely check in again.
– Don’t take it personally – Non-responses happen for many reasons.
Paying attention to these areas will help your messages come across as thoughtful and more likely to get a response, not random and easy to ignore.
Following Up Politely on LinkedIn Messages
If your initial outreach goes unanswered, follow up politely with:
– Reference original message – Note date of initial message and recap key points.
– Reiterate interest – Highlight you’re still interested in connecting and why.
– Provided added value – Include a new relevant article, resource, or piece of information.
– Consider other channels – Ask if they prefer contacting via email or phone instead.
– Give them an out – Say you understand if they’re too busy to connect right now.
– Suggest meeting in person – If possible, propose meeting for coffee or at an industry event.
– Know when to move on – Follow up once or twice more, then disengage if no response.
The key is to be persistent but not pesky. Demonstrate continued interest in starting a dialogue but don’t badger them if they clearly aren’t interested. Find the right balance between showing effort and respecting their time.
Maximizing Response Rates on LinkedIn
Beyond crafting targeted messages, optimize your LinkedIn presence and practices to boost response potential:
– Complete your profile – Profiles with photos and detailed info look more professional.
– Connect with shared contacts – Mutual connections increase trust and credibility.
– Include a personalized note when inviting to connect – Blank connection requests often get ignored.
– Follow up on past interactions – Reference previous conversations and meetings you’ve had.
– Use premium features – InMail goes directly to their inbox rather than getting lost among notifications.
– Engage beyond messaging – Comment on their posts, share their content, like their updates.
– Network in person when possible – On and offline contact reinforces the relationship.
Proactively managing your profile and activities on LinkedIn will give your outreach a better chance of resonating.
When Is LinkedIn Messaging Appropriate vs. Inappropriate?
Context matters when reaching out on LinkedIn. Consider whether messaging is appropriate based on:
APPROPRIATE USE CASES
– Following up after meeting someone at an event or conference
– Introducing yourself after connecting via a mutual contact
– Continuing a business conversation started elsewhere
– Discussing an opportunity with a current customer or partner
– Asking someone for industry advice and insights
– Requesting an informational interview
INAPPROPRIATE USE CASES
– Messaging random people you have no connection to
– Aggressive sales pitches without prior relationship
– Vague small talk messages just saying “hello”
– Off-topic messages irrelevant to their interests or expertise
– Anything overly personal or unprofessional
The quality of your relationships determines if messaging is appropriate. Focus on contacts you have established connections with or clear reasons for reaching out to new ones. Don’t randomly message strangers just to grow your network.
Best Practices for LinkedIn Messaging
To maximize the impact of your LinkedIn messages:
– Research profiles before connecting to establish common ground and personalize outreach.
– Craft targeted messages with specific reasons for contacting beyond just saying hello.
– Follow up politely if you don’t receive an initial response.
– Focus on quality conversations, not just quick hits. Invest time in relationship-building.
– Don’t take non-responses personally. Many factors determine response rates.
– Persistently nurture relationships through regular but unobtrusive check-ins and shares.
– Provide value by sharing useful information and opportunities relevant to their interests.
– Migrate conversations to in-person or external channels whenever possible.
– Use premium tools like InMail sparingly for priority outreach when appropriate.
With the right balance of personalization, persistence, and patience, you can develop meaningful LinkedIn relationships that benefit you both far into the future.