Today, I felt compelled to write about the appropriate way to network on LinkedIn. Before you send an invitation, make sure to take advantage of the "add a note" feature.
Ever since the latest LinkedIn update, when we attempt to connect with someone, we are given the option to either “Send now” or “Add a note”.
My recommendation is that you ALWAYS add a note on LinkedIn. 100% of the time. No, not when you are trying to network with recruiters, not when you are asking for a favor, ALWAYS!
Reasons to connect on LinkedIn
When you are networking, there are really only two reasons why you would ever add somebody on LinkedIn.
You want something from them
This could be something as simple as asking for an endorsement. Trying to sell something. Asking for a referral. Networking for a job. Help with a project, survey, etc.
You are just adding people for the heck of it
For whatever reason, people just like to connect with others on LinkedIn. Sometimes there is not always a reason to connect. That is what a L.I.O.N. (LinkedIn Open Networker) does. Make it clear in your note which one you are. Do you have a reason for reaching out? Or, are you just doing it for the heck of it.
Why you should add a note
Whatever the reason is, it’s in your best interest to add a note to every invitation you send. The reasons why are fairly simple.
- It is polite and professional.
- It tells the person you are connecting with what you want or why you are connecting.
- “LinkedIn members are more likely to accept invitations that include a personal note.” -LinkedIn
- If you don’t need anything now, you might need something from that person someday. First impressions are everything.
Sample LinkedIn notes
Over the past few weeks, I have received some LinkedIn notes that I thought I would share. Some are absolutely awesome and fill me with joy when I read them, and others are boring.
Feel free to steal some ideas below to help tailor your notes when networking on LinkedIn. It’s important to share how you found the person, what you want (if you want something), and if you really want to get someone’s attention, throw some genuine flattery or politeness their way.
If you don’t want anything but just want to connect, you should still share who you are, how you found them, and why you think it could be useful to connect.
Awesome LinkedIn notes
“Mike; I found your recent article interesting as well as the information shared on your LinkedIn page. I have just begun a search for my next role and am interested in the differences a retained search offers. Please accept my connection request.”
“My name is XXXXX & I hope it's ok I reached out. I read your post about not ignoring recruiters. It was valuable and made me wonder what you do. I checked out Find My Profession. Looks solid. I'm looking for a change and wonder if FMP is hiring new "recruiters" in LA?”
“Hi, Mike! I appreciate your mindset when it comes to placing people in the right setting, so I would love to connect. I may not need your guidance at this time, but I hope to spark the connection now, for when the time comes in the future. Take care and I wish you the best!”
“I saw your posting and your tag line (Definitely not a recruiter) GOT my attention. It would be so refreshing to have representation from someone that understands what I do and my abilities based upon my discipline rather than (Throw at the wall and see what sticks)”
“Hello Mike, your post was very insightful and I love the title of your LinkedIn profile. I may not be a client anytime soon, but who knows in the future. Would love to connect if that works for you. Either way, have a lovely day!”
“Hi Mike, It's very nice meeting you virtually. One of our mutual contacts liked your latest post, I thought the tips were very practical and yet profound. I would love to connect with you and continue to learn more about your role and expertise in the business.”
Boring LinkedIn notes
“I’d love to be able to follow you to shamelessly use you for resources, ideas, and information.”
“Mike, Good afternoon! My name is XXX and I would like to add you to my LinkedIn network.”
“Hi Mike, I saw one of your posts on LinkedIn about customer service.”
“Let's talk, would like to know all about you and what you do.”
“Hi, Mike - While we haven't met, I'd appreciate your LinkedIn connection.”
“Thank you for connecting with me on LinkedIn. I am grateful for the connection.”
First impressions are everything
I am sure you have heard a million times, “First impressions mean everything.” This is exactly the case when you send an initiation to connect on LinkedIn.
You never know when you are going to need to utilize one of your connections on LinkedIn.
Making a great first impression is the first step to building long-lasting, fruitful relationships.