LinkedIn Connect Requests: Why Should You Personalise?
You’re at a breakfast event. You’re sitting at your table, and there’s just one person yet to arrive.
You and your tablemates are having a delightful conversation. You’re getting to know a little about each other, and you’re yet to talk much about business. Because you all know there’s time for that later. Right now is the time for pleasantries.
All that congeniality is shattered in an instant when your final tablemate arrives. Let’s call him Greg.
Greg arrives at the table, whips out his business cards and promptly flings one at each person at the table. There’s no ‘Hi, I’m Greg. Nice to meet everyone’. There’s no smile. No politeness. No manners.
Do you even look at his business card? Or do you just dump it in your bag, never to be looked at again? And more importantly, would you ever do business with him?
Now let’s imagine the digital equivalent of this situation, shall we?
THE LINKEDIN CONNECT REQUEST (AND WHY YOU SHOULD PERSONALISE)
As you saw in the above scenario, no personalisation or indication of actual INTEREST in the person (or their business) rings hollow. You’ll either be remembered for all the wrong reasons – or not at all.
In the case of LinkedIn, it’s fair to say you probably won’t be remembered at all. You’ll simply be ignored. Firing off non-personalised connect requests on LinkedIn is the digital equivalent of the prolific-business-card-flinging douchebag (Aka Greg. Don’t be Greg.)
Not to mention, non-personalised connection requests are a major bugbear for most LinkedIn users.
I almost always ignore requests from strangers who haven’t included a personalised message (I don’t know many people who do accept such requests). Why should I connect with them? Simply seeing their name, headline (which is usually only their job title and therefore more often than not means nothing to me), and where they work just doesn’t cut it for me.
WHERE SHOULD YOU SEND CONNECTION REQUESTS FROM?
But wait. Not so fast. Maybe it’s not entirely the fault of those users. Maybe LinkedIn should take some of the blame, too.
LinkedIn offers you many ways to send a connect request. From your smartphone app. Your desktop browser. From a listing of “people you may know”. And from a listing of people with a name you’ve searched.
Most of these ways to connect fire off the default connection message.
LinkedIn is doing you a disservice here. But how can you get around it?
Easy. Send your request from the person’s profile page – from a desktop browser. This is a guaranteed way to have the option to customise your message. (Warning: Doesn’t work in the person’s profile page on the web app – I tested it last week)
WHAT SHOULD YOUR LINKEDIN CONNECT REQUEST SAY?
If you do know the person, remind them how. Anything to show you are genuine and you remember something interesting or relevant about them.
And if you don’t know the person? Include a reason why you’d like to connect (but don’t make it all about you – give them a reason why connecting with you will benefit them).
Are you in similar industries? What do you admire about them? Did a mutual acquaintance recommend them?
You could start your message with “You don’t know me” or “We’ve never met” – acknowledge the obvious immediately and you’ll likely have their attention.
MAKING LINKEDIN A NICER PLACE…
Remember, if we all follow a few simple, courteous standards, then LinkedIn will be a much better place for us all to hang out.
Personalising connection requests is just one simple yet courteous way to get more out of LinkedIn.
By only sending the default message, you’re doing yourself a disservice. I’d say you’re creating a bad name for yourself, but on LinkedIn, you’re probably not even doing that – you’re just being ignored.