Are You Making the #1 Mistake When Sending Out LinkedIn Invitations?

Imagine how you would react if you attended a networking event and saw someone in the group going from person to person saying something like this…

Here’s my card. May I have yours? (Cards exchanged) Walks off!

Here’s my card. May I have yours? (Cards exchanged) Walks off!

Here’s my card. May I have yours? (Cards exchanged) Walks off!

How would you feel by the time that person approached you? You would probably not even want to waste your time with them.

This is unfortunate to witness in person. When someone does that, they are not networking, they are ANNOYING! There is absolutely zero relationship being built with anyone. They think they are collecting leads, but when (actually IF) they follow up, the people they reach out to are still nothing more than cold calls and their conversion results will be no better.

Now, if you are shaking your head right now and saying, “I would not want to do business with that person,” then you have the same response as most people. Additionally, you probably also feel that is something you would never do… at least in person.

But what about online, on social media platforms like Linkedin? Do you take the time to introduce yourself by personalizing your invitations to connect on Linkedin?

The Social Media revolution is still in its infancy. In the past ten years, it has dramatically revolutionized how we connect with others, but it is still evolving at a rapid pace. LinkedIn has created a social media platform for business that allows us to connect with people around the world in a way that we could only dream of doing just a short decade ago. Today, someone who knows how to unleash the true power of this platform can compete with companies that have multi-million dollar marketing budgets.

How can you leverage Linkedin to reach the same people that Fortune 500 companies spend multi-million dollar marketing budgets on?

It’s time to reach out, connect with, and get personal with people on Linkedin!

A strong feature on LinkedIn is its ability to pull from your personal email account, as well as your 2nd and 3rd degree connections to suggest possible people you may know, so that you can send them an invitation to connect. This is a great way to build your reputation and grow your direct connections on LinkedIn. This feature can be found by clicking on the “My Network” icon located in your top navigation bar.

It is standard practice to connect with people you have met and have had some level of professional relationship already established. This benefits you in many ways, including the chance to offer them a written recommendation they could post to their profile, and hopefully they would do the same for you.

It is also becoming more acceptable to reach out to people on LinkedIn you have not met yet in person. However, there DOES need to be a strong association you can present to them in your personalized invitation to avoid being labeled as a spammer when you reach out to them. Here are some examples of ways you can establish a professional relationship with someone – virtually:

  • You may find an expert on a topic in your same industry who created a post (or who commented on a post) about a similar issue you are facing or have experienced. You may want to reach out to them and ask them for a quote to include in an article you are doing, or offer to share perspectives.
  • Many people from the same alma mater, church, association, or network marketing group will connect with each other to share insights, help build each other’s profiles, and support each other’s businesses.
  • There are many “Groups” on LinkedIn (from human resource professionals, sales consultants, financial advisers, writers, and speakers, to media buyers, cinematographers, actors, and so much more!) that act like a forum where you can participate in like-minded conversations about whatever the group discusses.

As you become actively engaged with people in the group, it makes sense to send them an invitation to connect directly. To find groups, check out the screenshots for instructions. Use keywords (like speakers, writers, business coaches, etc.) in the search feature in the navigation bar, hit the search icon, and then select groups.

Regardless of how well you know (or don’t know) someone, always personalize your invitation when you reach out to connect with someone on LinkedIn.

When you go to the ”My Network” tab in your top navigation bar, you will have a section titled “People you may know,” and there will be a big blue “Connect” button there – HOWEVER, DO NOT CLICK THAT CONNECT BUTTON, as that will automatically send the generic LinkedIn message to connect. Sending out that generic message without any kind of personalization is the #1 MISTAKE PEOPLE MAKE when sending out an invitation to connect! 

Instead, here are instructions and screenshots to show you how you can be sure you are given the option to send a personal message each and every time:

➔1. Identify the person you want to reach out to, and from your home page, type their name in the search bar, and click the “search” icon.

➔2. Click to open that person’s profile, and click the Connect button.

➔3. When the next window pops up, select the “Add a note” option.

➔4. Type out your personal message and click then “Send Invitation” button.

Remember that LinkedIn will limit your account if you send out too many “unconnected” invitations, so make sure you are strategic about who you reach out to.

To get more high-performing tips and strategies like this to help you Soar 2 Success with LinkedIn, click here to see more Linked in articles.

Also, don’t forget to get your Soar 2 Success On LinkedIn Tip Book today (see more information about that below)!

As Featured in:

Soar 2 Success on LinkedIn: 50 High Performing Tips to ENHANCE Your LinkedIn Profile” [Amazon Link]

Coauthored by Elizabeth McCormick and Chris Rollins

Click here to view the Soar 2 Success book description page.


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