Making the right impression when you want to build rapport with someone is vital, not least in business. Ever heard the saying: ‘you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression’?
Yet on the social media channel that means business LinkedIn the majority of introductions are abrupt and use the standard ‘I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn’. This undermines a potential relationship from the outset. Unless you care more about numbers than relationships you should be connecting with people you know, or want to know – and why not say how and why?
It is often claimed a whopping 93% of communication is non-verbal and while frankly that is questionable, there is no doubt in the real world we make decisions based on much more than mere words. Yet when it comes to connecting with people online, all you have is the written word so you need to make it count. That bland invite suggests indifference and will not distinguish you from the flow of such invitations members of LinkedIn receive.
When you bump into someone you know it is rare to limit your greeting to some bland statement, yet so many do it on LinkedIn! So make it personal and never use the standard ‘I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn’.
To be fair, LinkedIn has much to answer for in this regard. Currently unless you are sending an invitation to someone from their profile page. Doing it from any search results, from a smartphone or tablet app or from any sidebar offering will trigger the invite saying the dreaded ‘I’d like to add you to my professional network on Linkedin’.
So however you find someone you plan to invite, always go to their full profile page, ideally on a desktop or laptop computer, and click ‘Connect’ and then always identify how you know them and add some personal words that illustrate why you want to connect.
For instance if you are inviting me to connect tell me if we have met me through my work here at Kelso PR, BNI, other networking, have you seen me speak about social media? Or maybe you’ve read one of my books? Maybe Google found me here at Kelso Consulting because you want to Pimp your LinkedIn Profile?
When you personalise your invitation you will nearly always prompt engagement and when you reply to that, guess what, that’s a conversation! That will bode well whatever the nature of the relationship.
This blog has been written to help our readers understand how to get more LinkedIn and if you’ve sent me a standard invite then you’ve probably had a link to this article sent in reply to explain best practice.
LinkedIn deserve some more criticism on this. When you invite someone to connect they stress you should only connect with people you know but still offer this bland text as the default. It would be easy to make that box blank and it could only be sent once text had been entered.
Still not convinced? Pause and think about how you feel when you get that bland invite? Do you really want to make people feel like that? Discover more on how to Pimp your LinkedIn Profile here.