You can have a lot at stake when you’re writing an LinkedIn invitation. You could be trying to connect with your dream employer, network with your ideal clients, or hook up with people to invest in your business idea.
What can you do to boost the chances that they’ll accept your invitation?
If you’ve done any research on LinkedIn, you’ll know that you should personalize your invitations (even though few people actually do so). We’ll come to that in a moment, because it’s an important strategy.
But before you write your invitation, there are a couple of things you should set straight.
What To Do Before You Send a LinkedIn Invitation
You need to get two things straight before you send out any invitation.
First, check that the person you want to connect with actually uses LinkedIn. Just because someone has a LinkedIn account doesn’t mean they actually check it. Look out for the following:
- Do they have a photo? If not, then it’s probably not worth connecting.
- How many connections do they have? Anything under 20, and it’s probably a zombie account.
- Have they completed their LinkedIn profile?
Just because a LinkedIn account seems dead doesn’t mean you should avoid it (your invitation might win them over to using LinkedIn). But it’s a good warning sign that your invitation is unlikely to be accepted.
Second, make sure you’re not putting all your eggs in one basket. Don’t place all your hopes on one person. Instead, cast your net wide, and connect with lots of different people. That way, you’re bound to have some success, and you’ll discover a lot more opportunities.
Have a Reason to Connect
Next step is finding a reason to connect.
This could be that you just met someone at a conference, or have been chatting with them in a LinkedIn group. Both of these are good reasons to send an invitation. Remember to strike while the iron is hot!
Alternatively, you may have to find a reason to connect. The reason should never be about you, and always about the person you’re connecting with.
Good reasons for connecting include:
- You share a connection in common (ask permission from the connection you share before you use this as a reason)
- The person you’re connecting with – or their company – recently featured in the news
Hint: “I’m looking for a job at your company” is never a good reason to connect.
Write Your Invitation
You’ve done all the hard work already. Now it’s time to write your invitation.
The best personalized invitations are really simple and just 2 or 3 sentences long. Here’s a template:
Hi [First Name],
[How they know you, and a reason to connect].
Could we connect on LinkedIn?
In other words, the only part you have to fill out is the second paragraph. Here are some examples of what you could put there:
I really enjoyed meeting you at the workshop yesterday.
Daniel Jones mentioned that you’d be a really good person to get to know.
I appreciated the presentation you gave at the conference last week [Top tip: include your favorite line from the presentation].
I noticed that your company made record profits this year. Congratulations!
I really liked the blog post you wrote about [topic].
The key isn’t to write a lot. It’s to personalize what you do write.
Do you personalize your LinkedIn invitations? If so, how? Let us know in the comments section, below.