Stop Making This Mistake On LinkedIn (and Other Networks)

By Brian Murray

I’ve said many times that my favorite social network is Twitter. Last year I wrote an article about one mistake on Twitter that was causing people to miss out on reaching their audience. With the past year’s changes on LinkedIn, I think the network is quickly catching Twitter, especially for the professional. And–just as with Twitter–there is one mistake on LinkedIn that I see over and over and that has caused me quite a bit of frustration and confusion.

Stop Doing the Minimum and Start Sticking Out

As the person who is on the front lines with applicants at Likeable, I get quite a few LinkedIn Connection requests. I’ve made the decision to accept 99% percent of those requests because I never know where the next great candidate is going to come from. However, the majority of people that are sending me requests are missing out on an opportunity to engage with me from the start. I get far too many of these: “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.” The default connection request.

Why The Minimum Will Never Work

Many people who read this are not looking for a job here (though if you are, apply here), but the LinkedIn Connection is a great place to tell people who you are or what you are hoping to accomplish. Far too many will do the minimum and expect the maximum. But let’s face it: nobody wants to work with, engage with, or pay people who are doing the minimum. Today, in order to be successful and get what you are looking for, you must differentiate yourself. Personalizing a message and taking an extra step will help get you there.

Where Else Does This Apply?

EVERYWHERE. Your first engagement with someone–whether it be on Twitter, email, or LinkedIn–should be personalized, be forward, and provide a value proposition. Don’t just ask for something without context!

For Your Consideration:

Which person appears to be a better connection?

Brian,
I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.
John Doe

OR

Brian,
I saw the position of Community Manager listed on your website. I think that my prior experience working with a few brands as a Social Media Associate has put me in a position to be successful with Likeable. I’d love to discuss my experience and how I might be able to help take Likeable to the next level.
John Doe
P.S. I saw you are a New York Red Bulls fan! Hope they win on Saturday! #RBNY

 

I’ll take the second person every time.

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