Be honest. Do you follow up on every LinkedIn connection request you get? No, probably not. I’ll bet you click “accept” and that’s as far as you go.
When someone requests to connect with you and you simply click “accept” and make no effort to carry on the conversation, you’re both simply saying hello to each other and it stops dead there. The only thing you gain by doing this is a string of connections that don’t have any real value. You become a connection collector.
So how can you use social etiquette to really make your LinkedIn connections valuable and stand out from the crowd at the same time?
Follow the 4 steps below and watch your reputation grow.
View LinkedIn as your own boardroom of connections versus your coffee shop connections on Twitter or Facebook. They tend to be managers, directors, business owners, CEOs and the like.
#1: Send Personalized Connection Requests
When you first send a possible contact an invitation, do it from his or her own profile page by clicking the Add to Your Network link.
We’ll use Paul as an example. By adding Paul this way, rather than simply going to the Add Connections tab, you can send a personalized message such as “Thanks for the coffee yesterday! It was great to catch up.”
This gives you the opportunity to remind Paul where you know him from. This is particularly useful if you’re getting back in touch after a long period of time, say from an old job or your school days.
If you simply send a connection request from the Add Connections box, there’s no facility to personalize your message.
This might be a quick and easy way to add a handful of new connections, but spend the time and do it right by adding your personal touch to each one by following the steps above.
#2: Reply When Accepting a Connection Request
All too often, I receive the standard email from LinkedIn that says a connection request has been accepted, but I rarely then get a short message from the new connection saying “Hi.”
So what should happen? Well, the same thing that happens in real life!