A good LinkedIn connection message clearly explains who you are, why you want to connect, and the value you can offer the recipient. Tailor your message to the individual by mentioning common interests, experiences, or connections identified on their profile. Keep the message brief yet thoughtful – around 2-3 sentences is ideal. Highlight potential ways you could collaborate or help each other out. The goal is to give the recipient a reason to accept your request.
Start your LinkedIn connection request message by briefly introducing yourself. Mention your name, company, and position if it’s not obvious from your profile. Explain who you are in a few words to provide context upfront. For example, “Hi John, I’m Sarah, a marketing manager at XYZ Company.” This opening establishes your identity and prompts the recipient to think about whether/how they know you.
Explain Why You Want to Connect
Next, explain why you want to connect with this person specifically. Did you meet at an industry event or used to work at the same company? Are you alumni of the same university? Do you share any other connections or networks? Reference something specific that prompted you to reach out. For instance, “I saw that you also went to University of Michigan and work in marketing. I’d love to connect with fellow Wolverines in the field.” This provides a personalized rationale that shows you have a genuine reason for connecting.
Highlight the Value You Offer
Finally, highlight the value of connecting by suggesting ways you could potentially help each other out. Offer to share industry insights, make useful introductions, or exchange best practices. For example, “I’d be happy to share some digital marketing tactics that have worked well for our consumer products company. I’d also love to learn more about marketing innovations in the financial sector.” This demonstrates you aim to collaborate and establish a mutually beneficial relationship, not just accumulate connections.
Keep It Brief Yet Personalized
Aim to keep your LinkedIn connection message to 2-3 sentences or around 60 words. You want to provide enough context without inundating the recipient. Use their name and details from their profile to craft a personalized message. Generic outreach is easy to ignore. Tailored messages show you made an effort and read their profile.
Proofread Before Sending
Proofread your connection request message before sending to fix any spelling/grammar errors. Put yourself in the recipient’s shoes – would you accept a sloppy note? Perfect the wording to make the right first impression. Ask someone else to review the message if you’re unsure.
Customize for Different Relationships
Adjust your approach slightly depending on whether the recipient is a close colleague, distant acquaintance, or stranger. Keep messages warm yet professional. For close ties, briefly catch up on major life events if you haven’t connected in awhile. For distant ties, refresh their memory on where/when you met or interacted. For strangers, focus on commonalities found through profile-stalking.
Follow Up Politely If Needed
If your initial connection request receives no response after a week or two, consider a brief follow up. Send another similarly customized note checking in and restating your interest in connecting. However, don’t harass the person. If they continue ignoring your outreach, move on.linkedIn connections should happen organically.
Connect First Before Messaging
When reaching out to someone you’re not connected to, always send a connection request before directly messaging them. LinkedIn filters direct messages from strangers to protect privacy. However, once connected, you can message freely. So connect first, then follow up with your intended communication.
Avoid Hard Selling
Resist overt self-promotion or hard selling when connecting on LinkedIn. For instance, avoid messages saying you want to connect solely so you can pitch someone. Come across as interested in mutual benefit, not making a sales call. Soft selling by mentioning your company and offerings in passing is fine, but don’t make it the focal point.
Personalize InMail for Recruiting
If using LinkedIn Recruiter or InMail to reach potential job candidates, take extra care customizing your outreach. Highlight why you think they’re a fit for the role and how their skills could benefit the company. Make your messages more focused on their potential than your company’s needs. Otherwise talented prospects are unlikely to respond to generic recruiting pitches.
Follow Up After Connecting
After connecting with someone on LinkedIn, follow up to start a dialogue. Send them a message saying it was great to connect and you look forward to staying in touch. Share an article or other piece of content relevant to their interests. Ask open-ended questions about their work. Find opportunities to offer value and build rapport once connected.
Add a Personal Touch
Think beyond basic templates when crafting your request message. Little personal touches go a long way in showing you genuinely want to connect with this person, not just grow your network. Reference specifics about their background that resonate with you or ask about shared interests.
Offer to write recommendations for new connections who you know well professionally. Endorsing each other’s skills helps build credibility. Recommendations also nurture reciprocity and goodwill in the relationship. When appropriate, suggest exchanging recommendations soon after connecting.
Share Your Expertise
Figure out knowledge and insights you can share with new connections to add value. For example, if you connect with a fellow marketing professional, offer to advise them on social media branding based on your experience. Find opportunities to provide useful mentoring or advice.
Explore Shared Interests
Bond with new connections over common personal interests and experiences beyond just professional backgrounds. Maybe you both studied abroad in the same country. Or share a passion for volunteering or gaming. Discovering unexpected shared interests helps strengthen new relationships.
Be Authentic and Sincere
Adopt a warm, sincere tone in your connection messages, not overly formal language. Sounding authentic and enthusiastic about connecting goes further than stilted, generic wording. Let a bit of your personality come through while retaining professionalism.
Craft Well-Written Messages
Put care into writing grammatically correct messages with proper punctuation and capitalization. Rambling run-on sentences full of typos will get deleted. Organize your thoughts using coherent wording that conveys your intent clearly and respectfully.
Follow Accepted Etiquette Norms
Follow standard LinkedIn etiquette rules when reaching out to connect, such as not oversharing or using overly casual language. Observe site norms rather than overly salesy or unprofessional behavior which can backfire.
Focus on Giving, Not Getting
Show how the recipient will gain value from connecting with you rather than vice versa. For example, mention how you can offer advice to help their career. People prioritize connections that enrich their network and provide opportunities.
Connect Infrequently But Thoughtfully
Avoid bombarding people with connection requests or randomly collecting contacts. Be selective and intentional in who you reach out to. Thoughtful notes to a few meaningful new contacts are better than spamming everyone.
Reference Any Prior Interaction
Jog the recipient’s memory (if needed) by mentioning where you met them before or any previous conversation or interaction you had. This shared context makes your outreach more familiar and natural.
Convey Your Value Proposition
Explain what makes you uniquely worth connecting with. For example, highlight a rare skillset, impressive career background, industry thought leadership, or other distinguishing assets. Demonstrate what you bring to the table.
Show You Did Your Homework
Using details from the recipient’s profile and background in your message shows you took time to personalize it. This makes you seem sincere rather than someone blasting generic invites.
Suggest Meeting Up In-Person
If appropriate based on your existing connection, suggest following up over coffee or drinks to get to know each other better. Moving the relationship off LinkedIn helps strengthen bonds.
Share Mutual Connections
Mention any mutual connections to emphasize commonalities. Identify who you both know to illustrate overlapping professional networks.
Explain Your Intentions Clearly
State the purpose of your outreach directly upfront rather than beating around the bush. Ambiguity can create confusion and hurt response rates. Be clear about your intent.
Keep Tone Friendly Yet Professional
Adopt a warm, informal tone but avoid being too casual unless contacting a close connection. Remain professional with most outreach while showing friendliness.
Consider Less Expected Angles
Rather than just stating you want to connect because of a shared employer or university, get creative. Find unexpected commonalities more likely to intrigue recipients.
Spark Their Curiosity
Pique the reader’s curiosity by mentioning something fascinating you could discuss or share if they accept your request. Dangle intriguing potential conversations as bait.
Show You Bring New Perspectives
Explain how your distinct background and worldview compared to the recipient’s offers value. Varied perspectives commonly produce fresh insights when shared.
Compliment Their Work
Flattering but sincere praise for something the recipient created or shared recently engenders goodwill. Just ensure compliments come across as genuine, not sycophantic.
Suggest Brainstorming Ideas
Propose scheduling a brainstorming session to generate ideas and innovations together. Floating thought-provoking scenarios creates opportunities.
Read Between Profile Lines
Look for hints about the recipient’s personality, values, goals, and interests within their profile details. Use these as inspiration for personalized messaging that resonates.
Highlight Aligned Values
Note any values, causes, or beliefs you share such as commitment to sustainability or workplace diversity. Shared principles facilitate deeper bonding.
Define Your Relationship
Clarify your existing connection such as same university or employer if any. Vague familiarity without context can create uncertainty.
Make It Beneficial for Both Parties
Emphasize two-way benefit in your outreach. Show how you both stand to gain value from the relationship rather than just you or them.
In summary, an effective LinkedIn connection message introduces who you are, explains why you want to connect with this particular individual, highlights the value you can offer them, and is customized based on details from their profile and relationship context. Keep it brief yet thoughtful while adopting a warm tone. With a great first note, you can start creating meaningful connections on LinkedIn that enrich your network.