As many of you know, I am a huge fan of LinkedIn as a resource for networking and recruiting. Since I started blogging as “The Jobs Guy“, I receive on average 5-10 requests a week to join the networks of people I don’t know. When those requests come in, I reach back out to them to let them know that I’d like to have a conversation with them so we can discuss how we can best network with one and other.
Last week I was assigned to a search that I have never worked on and is in an area of technology that I have very little credibility in. So, how can I get the best of the best in this skill set to respond to me even though 99% of them are out of town and have never heard of me. Certainly not with the following invitation.
Last week I received 6 requests from people I did not know, all 6 invitations read:
I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.
“Insert Sender’s Name Here”
For example, one of these invitations came from the owner of a small mortgage company 10 states away. When I receive an invitation of any kind, I ask myself the question, “Would the recipient want to connect to me if I sent them this introduction”? Let’s take a closer look.
1) With this generic introduction, it’s just that, GENERIC !!! What sets you aside from any of the other 70,000,000 people on LinkedIn.
2) Have you given me a reason to believe we can be mutually beneficial to one and other?
3) On that note, does the sender’s motivation appear to be strictly self serving?
My success with LinkedIn is due in large part to my ability to network my way to the right people thru my groups and connections. It is also because I feel that the more transparent you are, the more people will want to work with you.
Think about how the following message would have been received had you been the recipient. Would you feel more compelled to respond and network with me based on this message versus the generic.
Hoping to network with you and be a resource to you in the future
Good Morning XXXX,
My name is Steve Feinberg from XXXXXXX in Minneapolis. We are a certified EPIC partner and tier one vendor to many of the EPIC clients based in the US.
The reason for my e-mail is to connect and be a resource to you in the future . I know that you are currently on assignment, but I would like to discuss what will be important to you when you begin to look for your next position. At that time, I hope you will consider working with me.
I realize that you must get bombarded with e-mails and calls whether you are available or not. This is why I hope to hear from you when it is convenient to introduce myself.
I see you are connected to XXXX XXXX and he happens to be a former colleague of mine. Please feel free to contact him for a reference.
In advance, I look forward to hearing from you and the opportunity to network with you in the future.
So the next time you send an invitation to someone you would like to connect to on LinkedIn, make it personal. You’ll have a better chance of connecting and growing your network with people who have a mutual interest in you and your business.