Messaging someone you admire on LinkedIn can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. With the right strategy, messaging can lead to forming valuable connections and growing your network. Here’s a step-by-step guide to messaging people you admire on LinkedIn in an effective, respectful manner.
Should You Message Someone You Admire?
Messaging people you don’t know on LinkedIn is generally acceptable if done thoughtfully. It’s a networking platform, so making new connections is encouraged. However, take care not to message too frequently or randomly. Focus on those you truly admire and can learn from.
Find Common Ground
Before reaching out, learn about the person and look for common interests and experiences. Mention shared connections, companies, education, causes, or interests in your message to establish rapport. This shows you took the time to understand who they are.
Craft a Personalized Connection Request
Avoid generic outreach like, “Let’s connect!” Take a few minutes to write a customized message explaining why you want to connect with this person specifically. Be clear about your purpose in a respectful, flattering way.
Keep It Short and Direct
Get to the point quickly and keep your message under 200 words. Introduce yourself, explain your shared affiliations and interests, and say specifically why you admire their work. Ask to connect or continue the conversation, but don’t ask for too much too soon.
Consider how connecting could benefit the other person. Offer to share an interesting article, introduce them to someone, or exchange ideas on a topic they care about. Position the potential relationship as worthwhile for both parties.
Follow Up Politely
If they don’t respond within a week or two, follow up once politely. If you still don’t get a response, move on graciously. Avoid pestering busy people who likely get frequent connection requests.
Connect First, Message Later
Another approach is sending a connection request first without a note. Once connected, wait at least 2 weeks before messaging so you don’t appear overly aggressive. This can work for less prominent contacts.
Message, Don’t Endorse Yet
Resist the urge to endorse someone’s skills upon connecting. Endorsements from strangers come across as inauthentic. Wait until you’ve developed a real connection before endorsing.
Focus on Giving, Not Getting
The best mindset is wanting to help others, not just further your own interests. Strive to give value, and connections will naturally develop over time.
Consider Alternate Contact Methods
If someone doesn’t respond to LinkedIn messages, consider politely reaching out once via their published business email or phone number. But avoid contacting personal channels or pestering busy people.
Link to Your Profile in Your Message
Including a link to your LinkedIn profile in your outreach makes it easy for the recipient to learn about you. Just say something like “My LinkedIn profile: [linkedin.com/yourprofile]” after your signature.
Be Patient and Persistent
Not everyone will respond, even to thoughtful outreach. Stay positive, keep networking, and don’t take non-responses personally. Persistence and regularly messaging new people pays off in valuable connections.
Connect with Shared Connections
See who you’re both connected to on LinkedIn. Reach out to those shared connections first to make a warm introduction to the person you want to contact. This gives your request more context and credibility.
Personalize Connection Message Templates
Using pre-written messaging templates from resources online can be fine, but personalize them each time with details specific to the recipient. Generic outreach is obvious and less effective.
Typos or grammatical errors give the impression you didn’t put much thought or effort into your message. Proofread your connection requests before sending so they’re polished and professional.
Follow Up After Connecting
Don’t let new connections go cold. Follow up within a week or two after connecting to start a dialogue. Share an article, introduce them to someone, or ask thoughtful questions to keep the relationship building.
Consider Low Response Rates Normal
Even well-crafted messages may not get responses, especially when contacting influential people. A response rate of 20-30% is common. Don’t get discouraged if most outreach goes unanswered.
Build a Relationship First
Messaging about job leads, business opportunities, or big asks too early can turn people off. Establish a relationship first before requesting anything significant.
Avoid Hard Selling
Subtlety and relationship-building receive better results than aggressive sales pitches. Focus on value-driven engagement rather than immediate commercial asks.
Leverage Advanced LinkedIn Search
Use advanced search filters like location, company, job title, skills, and shared connections to find qualified contacts you want to message. Targeted requests get better response rates.
Situations like job changes, promotions, or awards are good times to message congratulations. Commenting on major news related to the person shows you follow their activity.
Consider Credentials When Messaging
When reaching out to highly qualified experts like physicians, lawyers, or senior executives, ensure your own credentials justify their time in connecting.
Align with Their Interests
Most people like discussing their passions and giving advice in their areas of expertise. Messaging about topics meaningful to them grabs attention.
Personalize Invitation Notes
When inviting someone to connect, write a unique note tailored to them rather than their industry overall. Generic invites lack sincerity.
Show You Bring Value, Too
Demonstrate in your message that you also have valuable knowledge, insights, and experiences to share in the relationship. Show it’s mutually beneficial.
Mention Common Goals
If you share related business, career, or philanthropic goals, point that out in your message. Shared mission builds instant rapport.
Be Clear in Your Ask
After introducing yourself, clearly state your request – whether it’s connecting, chatting, or meeting. Vague messages that ramble without a clear ask may get ignored.
Always say thanks if someone responds, connects, shares an article, or exchanges other value. Gratitude for their time fosters ongoing engagement.
By being thoughtful, personalized, and adding value, you can effectively message almost anyone on LinkedIn in a sincere, non-aggressive way. Just focus on genuine relationship building and you’ll expand your network.