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.

[...] The traditional thinking for conferences is “Bring lots of business cards to hand out to everyone you meet.” I bring my business cards to conferences. But I’d rather be in control of who I connect with – collecting cards from the people I most want to stay in touch with. So, do ask each person you meet for his/her card- and then, do connect with them on LinkedIn – either after the conference, or right then and there. Always include a personal message when connecting. [...]
[...] Many people only consider LinkedIn when they are involved in a job search, but the value extends far beyond that. It can be used to find decision makers or network to find a new opportunity. However, like most [...]
[...] Many people only consider LinkedIn when they are involved in a job search, but the value extends far beyond that. It can be used to find decision makers or network to find a new opportunity. However, like most [...]
[...] the rest users, or not? source: prdaily.com . A version of this article was first appeared on the likeable blog and it was written by Brian [...]
[...] Many people only consider LinkedIn when they are involved in a job search, but the value extends far beyond that. It can be used to find decision makers or network to find a new opportunity. However, like most [...]
[...] The traditional thinking for conferences is “Bring lots of business cards to hand out to everyone you meet.” I bring my business cards to conferences. But I’d rather be in control of who I connect with – collecting cards from the people I most want to stay in touch with. So, do ask each person you meet for his/her card- and then, do connect with them on LinkedIn – either after the conference, or right then and there. Always include a personal message when connecting. [...]
shanti May 27, 2013
will do! thanks for advise
[...] Stop Making This Mistake On LinkedIn (and Other Networks). 22 de Abril por Brian Murray (Likeable [...]
Emily Brackett April 25, 2013
I totally agree. However, LinkedIn actually makes it easier than ever to make this mistake. When you are shown a list of possible connections, and you click it just fires off the email. It doesn't prompt you for the "how do you know xx" and the chance to customize the message.
James Grant April 24, 2013
Excellent advice. The person who extends the canned invitation to ME is somebody I see as well...ah...er....rude. What? You want to connect with ME and won't trouble yourself to personalize the invitation? No thanks. Unlike some LinkedIn folks (I have no interest in Twitter whatsoever and not a whole lot in Facebook), I am more than a tad choosey about how I connect with. My rule of thumb is that if I don't know the person well enough to have a private and perhaps "intimate" conversation, we don't connect. Put another way, I am neither a lightning rod or a fishing pole.
Jack Kooyman April 23, 2013
Brian, Thanks so very much for this important and seemingly obvious common sense advice . . . that I have rarely practiced. I don't think I'll ever just use the default request or introduction again because of what you wrote.
Wouter Kleinsman April 23, 2013
Totally agree with this article. Also in The Netherlands, many people are sending the default message. It's a missing opportunity to start the first talk. And also on Twitter, many people who follow me, never interact with me. I always say thanks to the new followers and search for some nice details in their bio to start talking.
Kent April 22, 2013
Too many LinkedIn users just want to increase the numbers of their connections rather than building genuine relationship. :)
Jubert Sagun April 23, 2013
I totally agree with you Kent.. They always thought that having more connection is a good thing.. But, they are not thinking about making a great relationship...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>