[With Tips on Networking and Personalizing Invites]
3 people are hired through LinkedIn every minute, and it has become the to-go platform for recruiters, job seekers and professionals to connect. Perhaps you might be wondering, “yes that’s great, I’m on LinkedIn already, but how do I fully make use of LinkedIn and build the right connections?”
Who can I connect with? When is it appropriate to reach out to someone directly?
In this blog, we will dive into all these details and questions you might have and walk you through some best practices for networking on LinkedIn, including good examples of connection invites and how to personalize them for effective use.
If you’d prefer to listen or watch me go through the examples, feel free to watch the video and pause as needed ⬇️ :
How To Grow Your Network on LinkedIn
- WHO can you connect with on LinkedIn
- WHY you should connect with people on LinkedIn
- HOW to connect and craft personalized Invites
- Good examples of personalized invites (and further resources)
Who Can You Connect with On LinkedIn
First of all, who can you connect with on LinkedIn? Other than the people in your personal circle, I have a few suggestions for you to help you branch out, looking at various possible networks you might already have but are not aware of!
1. Start with people you know
Be it from school alumni, family, friends, colleagues, volunteering, and even neighbours, housemates, connect with those who are already in your personal network and any communities you are part of. It should be quite easy to search for people you know nowadays, especially if you already know their full name and who they are personally. Linkedin also gives you a head start by suggesting people you have in your email contacts (using the email address you signed up to the platform).
2. Connect with People You Already Follow or Know (From Other Social Media Platforms)
I’m sure many of us regularly follow content and engage with people across various platforms like Instagram, Youtube, Twitter etc. This is another way to engage with your audience if you already have a following, or to further build those connections you formed in other platforms. It could be someone you know in a Facebook group, or a Twitter follower. Simply send them a note on LinkedIn to let them know which group or channel you are coming from, and take it from there!
3. Influential People in Your Area of Interest
It could be connecting with companies you want to work for, and looking at people who are in positions that you are interested in pursuing. Connect and learn from people who work in these roles that you’d like to learn more about, and keep them on your radar and feed.
4. Networks Within Your Professional Groups
This would be any professional groups you are a member of, could be a LinkedIn, or professional Facebook group. Don’t forget any other associations you might be a part of outside the online space and seek to connect with them on LinkedIn.
5. Relevant People from Conferences, Events, Webinars You Attended
I’m sure many of us have attended numerous virtual webinars, courses, workshops in the past year, and it is most likely that the attendees are interested in the same field or topic as you are if you are both coming from the same event. Even better, that gives you a ready conversation starter, and you can then follow up with a connection request. It is quite common that people would leave their LinkedIn profile URLs at the end of webinars and workshops in the chat box. Just lookout for that, if not, you can also take the initiative to leave your profile URLs at those events.
6. Connect with Recruiters
Recruiters are usually active and open to connections on LinkedIn. Find recruiters who work at agencies, and even better aim for recruiters working in companies you would like to work for. Start by engaging with their content and also don’t be shy to start asking questions, introduce yourself and perhaps even ask for an informational interview if the conversations develop.
7. People You May Know
Don’t forget about connection suggestions from LinkedIn. Head over to the ‘My Network’ tab at the top, and you’ll see that LinkedIn comes up with a list of suggested connections of people that you may already know, and connect with anyone on this list as well.
8. People From Other People’s Content
As you start posting and engaging with other pieces of content, you will start to see views, reactions and engagement build up. The comments section and the conversations that happen under these content will introduce you to potential people to connect. Since you are both following and engaging with the same piece of content, it shows that you may both share similar views and interests. And sometimes it may be disagreeing on certain issues, but it shows the shared interests in these topics for discussion and connections to follow.
Why You Should Connect with People on LinkedIn
These conversations create a snowball effect, especially If you have connected with all the above-mentioned groups of people. By building a substantial number of connections in that way, and continuing to create and engage with content, your network will only continue to expand as it plays in favour of the social media algorithms, with consistent content engagement and a growing number of connections.
More importantly, by growing your audience and content on LinkedIn, it evolves into a page of your personal brand and an evolving portfolio of your work and who you are. This makes it easier for recruiters to be drawn to your profile and to actually have opportunities come to you instead of you constantly reaching out. And it doesn’t only limit to job opportunities, it could be new collaborations formed, it could be speaking engagements, or it could even be a book deal you’ve been dreaming of, who knows! Also, as you connect with different people and the roles you aspire to be, you will gain more learning and inspiration on your feed, and who wouldn’t want that?
How to Connect and Craft Personalized Invites
Well these all sound great, but how do we ensure we expand our network by building the right connections, and not just merely growing a number? It all starts with having proper conversation that leads to meaningful connections. In the following, I will show you exactly HOW to do that.
To start off with, I want to make sure you are aware of how to include a note when sending new connection requests, both on the desktop and mobile app. (It can be especially easy to miss on the mobile app!)
1. Personalizing Invites (On Desktop)
For the desktop version as seen above, you will see the ‘add a note’ button when you click ‘connect’ on their profile. The best practice is to always add a note when you’re connecting with someone whom you don’t know personally. I cannot emphasize this enough as including a personalized note not only allows you to introduce yourself, give context to why you are connecting with the person, it also gives you an opportunity to warm up these new connections and start having conversations.
2. Personalized Invites (On Mobile)
It’s important to take note that it’s slightly different on the mobile version and if you simply click ‘connect’ as seen above, you will miss the opportunity to send a personal note. Instead, you would need to click on ‘more’ on the person’s profile page, and it will lead you to an option to personalize an invite.
3. How to Craft Your Personalized Invite
Now, you may be asking, so what should I include in the personal note?
How do I craft a good message?
Remember that you only have 300 characters in the space to introduce and give context of who you are. You should be as brief as possible and to the point. Leave out anything that is not relevant or necessary.
Ask yourself, what is the purpose of this connection request? Do I have an ask, an offer, or a question for them?
Maybe you saw an opportunity which you really want to volunteer for, or you might have a resource you want to offer. Or maybe you just simply want to engage and connect with them as a content consumer- podcast listener, Youtube subscriber etc. where you want to share how their work inspired you, or ask further questions about a certain episode or section they covered. There could be so many reasons for connecting, bottom line is, make it clear to the person why you are connecting with them!
If you are a student or recent grad who’s wondering if you have anything to offer or be of value, I get it! But never underestimate yourself. There are many opportunities you could tap into by observing the asks and posts on LinkedIn. You can offer your value by being interested in a particular topic, or even having done your own research with insights that someone might be looking for in their next project or further research!
And sometimes, it may not be an explicit opportunity that is posted, but if you can identify the gap you can fill in and what the other person, business owner might need, you can create your own opportunities! A good example would be the video editor I currently work with, Leandro, where he reached out to me with a video editing service he could offer. I was not actively looking to hire a video editor, but he approached me as a subscriber of my channel, and noting the improvements I could make in my videos. See, sometimes we don’t have to wait for opportunities to come!
Good Examples of Personalized Invites (And Further Resources)
Here I’ll include some examples of LinkedIn invites I received personally where you can see how the message gives good context to why they are connecting with me and who they are.
I would also recommend you to check out Madeline Mann’s video where she further breaks down these outreach messages into 5 categories (complement, continuing conversations, relate, mutual connection and true helper) as templates that you can use for your reference. We’ve already covered these categories with what I’ve mentioned on how to connect and personalizing invites, but this video will formulate them and could be a next step resource you may want to look into.
By now you should have a good idea on how to approach new connections and grow your network on Linkedin. You might even have some people that came to your mind as you read this blog. Don’t forget to take action on your takeaways and start outreaching on LinkedIn!
And it’s not enough to just be sending out connection invites. In order to build a meaningful, long-lasting relationship and a network you can reach out to, you need to maintain the conversations warm and engaged over time. I know it may seem like it would require some time to follow up, engage on LinkedIn, but I can say it is well worth the effort and a great channel for you and your business to grow!
After learning all about networking on LinkedIn, don’t forget to apply them and connect with me over there.