One of the biggest drawbacks to LinkedIn is the connections process and it will get worse before it gets better. Let’s talk about this in the third installment of #31DaysOfLinkedIn.
Making connections on LinkedIn is treated like collecting baseball cards to a lot of folks on the platform: gotta get ‘em all! Other folks are rarely proactive in making connections, rather they wait for folks to come to them (guilty of this myself). While others don’t make any connections at all, choosing to use LinkedIn as a resume dumping ground.
It is up to you to decide what type of LinkedIn user you are going to be. If you are going to choose the first proactive role, then make sure the connections you make are legit and beneficial to both parties.
The right ways to connect on LinkedIn
- Look for people who are in your field of work, in your geographic area, or who you may aspire to be when you grow up.
- Look for people who you have mutual connections with. LinkedIn does a good job of playing the Kevin Bacon game by telling you how many levels you are away from your aspiring connection.
- In the connection request form, DO NOT use the language which is already in the box. They know you want to connect with them, tell them what is in it for them or how you know them so they will be more likely to accept your invitation.
- Do not make your sales pitch in the invitation. We’ve been seeing a run on these (probably from spambots) lately and they are annoying. Stick to the basics of who, what, where, and how you are. Talk about the why in a non–salesy way.
- Don’t go binge connecting with people. Again, you are leaving a digital trail across LinkedIn with your actions (depending on your security settings) and if you connect with dozens of people a day, every day, it makes you look salesy or desperate to prospects.
- Be sure that your profile is filled out in the best and fullest ways possible. They are going to look you up after your request and if you don’t even have a profile pic, you will get a big “talk to the hand” from your prospect.
These are some high-level rules (See also: TRGrules.com) to follow when it comes to making connections on LinkedIn. It boils down to making the connections which will provide value to both parties. Are you ready to do that?
What would you add to these points? Feel free to mention your connection rules in the comments below or by pinging us on social media. Let us know if you have any questions, comments, or struggles with LinkedIn you would like to see addressed in this #31DaysOfLinkedIn effort!