LinkedIn is probably the most effective way to find a job and to manage your career. Part of effective use of LinkedIn is managing your connections.
Alas too many people do this ineffectively.
Too many send out the generic request
I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.
And this shows little thought, and can be seen as rude as most of the time you’ve never met the person, I feel strongly you should start by explaining why you want to be connected. That’s why I always personalise my request. Most of the time I respond to these generic emails with a request for more information such as
Thanks for asking to connect. I’m always interested in what’s prompted someone to get in touch, so let me know how things are with you and if I can be of any help.
For me it’s important to have a connection with people, I don’t just collect names, and when I get the generic message I’m never sure if I was just scooped up by mistake.
So let me know more about you and I’d then be happy to accept your request.
You may be interested in my eBook – ‘How To Use LinkedIn To Get A New Job’, now in its 25th edition with free updates. It is equally valuable for people who want to manage their career and you can read more here – https://www.amazingpeople.co.uk/linkedin/
And I’m always surprised that less than 10% reply. So I don’t connect with them and wonder why they got in touch.
I want to have a proper connection with people and in December decided to get in touch with ALL my LinkedIn connections. You can’t send an email to everyone you know, thank goodness, imagine the spam, so I downloaded all my contacts into an Excel spreadsheet and spent the best part of 2 days sending out the message in small groups of 10, being really careful to make sure that no one could see anyone else’s address.
I’m so glad I did this. Over the next few weeks I got replies from 71 out of 910 connections (7.6%) and some were long and personal. Highlights included
- What a lovely email Denise and a master class in how to communicate with charm on LinkedIn.
- Love seeing someone practice what they preach …
- Thanks for your message. What a pleasant surprise! We are all so focused on our work that we often don’t lift our heads above the water to actually communicate with people around us even those on the net.
- Many thanks for your email – I really enjoyed reading it and a nice thought to get in touch in a more personal way!
- Thank you for such a heart-warming and open message. It definitely stood out in my inbox and I really appreciate you taking the time to write this.
- Thanks for your message that’s a great way of connecting with others. It sounds like you have had a really good 2013 and have some great plans for 2014 too.
- I thought your message was a great idea and I may well send out something similar in the near future to my connections!
- Thanks for this, Denise. Really nice to get a message like this for a change.
A couple of things strike me – how few people do this. I chatted with a friend in the new year and he said that he sends a message to all his contacts twice a year. I must have got has last one and thought it was personal to me – which is how I hope my readers felt.
If you don’t already do so why not take a more personal approach to your connections. You don’t have to spend hours, just download your connections and go through and contact perhaps 10 or 20 people a week. And if you do it … come back to the blog and let me know how you got on.
Kind regards, Denise x