LinkedIn is the largest online professional network, connecting people and building businesses every day. When used properly, it is an amazing tool to help you grow and meet others in your industry. However, there is a strategy behind using LinkedIn successfully. You may be clicking the “Connect” button and wondering why some professionals aren’t accepting your friend requests. Remember: LinkedIn isn’t Facebook, and a purposeful connection goes beyond the click of a button. It’s important to make sure the person on the receiving end of your connection understands why you're interested in connecting with them so your request doesn’t get dismissed. Here are three sample messages to reach out to a potential connection on LinkedIn:
1. Ask for Insight
As you’re scrolling, you come across someone who has spent the last three years working on a project similar to one that you’re launching for the first time. A sample connection could go:
Good afternoon Elizabeth,
As I was looking through the Society for Human Resource Management Group, I noticed your profile and research project on talent acquisition in factory workplaces. I am currently working on something very similar and was wondering if you would be interested in connecting so we could talk further and I could gain your insight.
2. Express Admiration
You might want to connect with someone based on their admirable achievements and depth of experience, especially if they’re in your industry. A potential message could be:
Hello Dr. Rogers,
As a current student affairs practitioner, I was significantly impressed when I came across your profile in my newsfeed. Your achievements working with first generation students and ground-breaking development in diversity studies are admirable. I am hoping that we can officially connect on LinkedIn and maybe our paths will cross in the future.
3. Engage Based on Experience
This one is similar to asking for insight, but can differ in that you may want to inquire if this person can serve as a mentor for you or to learn more about an industry/organization. You could message them:
I’ve been following you on LinkedIn and appreciate what you share about recent developments and findings in global health. Your articles bring an additional perspective to my studies in my graduate program. Can we connect?
Always personalize your cold connections and make it clear as to why the connection is mutually beneficial or makes sense. There is a character limit, so try to be short and to the point. Bring attention to the specifics of the person’s profile that drew your interest in the first place. When you take the time to personalize, you come across as intentional and genuine - the opposite of what anyone thinks of when they hear “cold” anything.