You can’t grow a business to be successful without connections…
Did you know that one of the best ways to do that in 2021 is by connecting on LinkedIn with people that will help grow your business?
LinkedIn is a professional networking site that is estimated to have 645 million self-reported members; making it one of the most popular networks worldwide!
That’s right… millions of people on LinkedIn who are looking to connect with others for business opportunities, or to make friends with you.
Are you reaching out to people on LinkedIn, expanding your network every day and leveraging its (free) features to grow your business?
It only takes fifteen minutes each day to stay connected with your contacts via LinkedIn. If you’re not using these tips, you are missing out on the benefits of this powerful tool.
Here’s your free guide to becoming a LinkedIn ninja. Take these and apply them and massively expand your network with new possibilities.
What is the Point of Spending Time Building Your Network on LinkedIn?
There are 3 key reasons you’re going to seriously benefit from expanding your LinkedIn network.
– You will help to grow your warm referral network by being intentional to establish online relationships with family and friends and keep top of mind with them.
– You will get access to your competitor’s network, this will help you to get to know your target market better.
– You will open up opportunities for you to turn your dream clients into customers with your marketing material.
Make Sure Your LinkedIn Profile is Optimised Before Connecting on LinkedIn
Before sending any connection requests make sure that you’ve spent some time optimising your LinkedIn profile page to welcome visitors.
“What does it mean to optimise my profile page?” you might be wondering…
This means updating your headline and summary to display information that shows you as an expert and authority in your niche. Include keywords that you would like to come up in the search for. A clean high-res profile picture of yourself is essential, with a plain cover photo correctly sized to display nicely.
TOP TIP: If you are unsure about how to optimise your page correctly, just look at someone you consider as an authority and model their page. (This won’t be time wasted as it can be the difference between someone accepting your LinkedIn connection request or not!)
What Do I Say When Making a LinkedIn Connection Request?
Ideally, before you send your first connection request and begin expanding your network you want to imagine what your perfect network would consist of.
Think of all the people, companies and profiles that would really be beneficial for you to connect with.
Once you’ve gone through this process, build a persona and write some messaging templates in a Google doc or other note taking software.
Remember… your first connection request message should be short, friendly, polite and helpful. It should evoke interest and engagement if you want your prospect to accept.
What’s a GOOD LinkedIn Message to Send With Connection Requests That Will Get Me Accepted?
When crafting your messaging to go with your LinkedIn connection request, you need to bear in mind a few things…
Each connection request is a chance to make an impression and demonstrate your value proposition. Make it personal, not scripted or generic! Don’t send out connection requests like confetti, it will make you look spammy and people won’t connect with you (we all hate spam!).
Be genuinely empathetic and friendly in your approach with a personal touch and you can’t go wrong!
Here’s an example of a template that has bought a 76% acceptance rate:
“Heyo [first name],
[personalised loom video or GIF]
I would love to connect, I really appreciate the values you hold at [company] it seems as though it will beneficial getting to know each other and find ways to support or refer each other!”
Do I NEED to Send a Message With My Connection Request?
When meeting with someone at a party, would you just walk up to them and say “hi” without a greeting? The same applies to meeting on LinkedIn. Every LinkedIn connection request should come with a short introduction.
On the other hand, sending generic requests and quick thoughtless messages to random people for no other reason than to just build your numbers is a big NO…
You’re going to come across as impersonal (and the people you will attract with this approach will be equally impersonal!).
Remember, networking on LinkedIn is a two-way street. You have to put some thought in when you send invitations to people to be a part of your network.
Sending a nice personal message before you click that connect button is going to pay off dividends.
What is the Best Way to Connect on LinkedIn?
The best way to connecting with people on LinkedIn is to utilise the Sales Navigator tool, groups, and become known in ‘online hangouts’.
Sales Navigator is a powerful tool that you can use to find out about people, what they do and which groups they belong to. It’s a little bit like having your own personal assistant outsourcing for you!
How do I Find New Opportunities for People to Connect With?
Some top tips for if you want to connect with people who are going to help you grow your sales:
– Connect with influencers in your industry. This is a great way to get exposure for yourself and it’s also going to make you look like the real deal.
– Connect with your customers. This will also be a great way to build relationships and stay front of mind in their minds when they need support or referrals.
– Connect with your competitors. Also, a great idea if you’re looking to build rapport and perhaps even have them become referrals for you.
– Connect with other experts in your industry. A great way to build support for yourself and get exposure. You can also get some great ideas from sending connection requests to people who are not direct competitors.
– Connect with suppliers. Also, a good idea, especially if you work in b2b or professional services.
– Connect with fellow bloggers, vloggers and other writers. A great way to build support networks and really expand your reach as an authority in your industry.
– Connect with members of your local community. This is also a great idea because it will help you to get more exposure to the places that you live and work.
– Connect with people that have shared interests. Build rapport quickly and easily by uniting with people that you share interests in things like sports, hobbies or industry-related groups.
– Connect with a mutual connection (someone who is already related to someone in your existing network).
– Connect with anyone you have at one time or another worked for, worked in the same company as studied with or gone to school with.
– Connect with people you would like as your customers or future clients. This way, when they search for a service that you provide, your name will come up.
– Connect with your dream clients. This is a great way to get exposure and build rapport that you can convert into job opportunities later on down the track.
– Connect with your competition’s customers and suppliers. This makes sense because you need to know what they’re up to and who knows, maybe someone will like your style better than theirs!
If you follow all of these tips above then networking on LinkedIn will become a really valuable part of your company and marketing strategy!
Oh, and by the way, we’ve found it to be a lot faster using mobile devices to send out LinkedIn connection requests in bulk. You can also be building your LinkedIn network on the fly while out of the office.
How to Build a Valuable Professional Network FAST by Consistent Messaging
Consistency is the key to success.
This is true in all areas of life. If you want to build a strong professional network on LinkedIn, then introducing yourself to people consistently is going to play a big part in your success…
But as with any business relationship…you’ve got to be proactive in following up with your contacts.
It’s not just about sending the connection request, acquiring the connection and then job done.
You’ve got to have some system in place of messaging your new connections, this can be as simple as having a 3-day cadence follow-up sequence with each connected prospect, with a message planned out in Google docs or any other note-taking software.
Once you click connect and connect with someone remember that a LinkedIn connection request could just be your next opportunity. Stay consistent and keep the optimism with every LinkedIn connection and you will have a fantastic network of like-minded people in no time.
Is it OK to Send a Connection Request to Strangers on LinkedIn?
Sending a connection request to someone on LinkedIn is like starting a conversation with someone at a networking event. You know that they are there because they are interested in meeting people and getting to know them better. The same is true for LinkedIn associations, so don’t be shy!
Bear in mind a lot of strangers are used to receiving a spam invitation. The internet is full of spam. As a result, they will most likely immediately suspect a request from a stranger to be wanting something from them.
Break that suspicion and inspire their interest by crafting your message request in a way that opens up the discussion and makes them feel as though you can provide some value to them.
There are 3 types of connections on LinkedIn:
1st Degree – LinkedIn profiles you are already connected with
2nd Degree – LinkedIn profiles connected to your 1st-degree connections (mutual connections).
3rd Degree – LinkedIn profiles connected to your 2nd-degree connections (0 or 1 mutual connections).
A great place to find semi-warm people within your LinkedIn network is by using the ‘Who Viewed my LinkedIn Profile’ feature.
Generic Requests vs Personalised Requests
The number ONE secret to becoming a LinkedIn ninja and maximising your potential is to personalize everything!
Any LinkedIn connection request message and first emails should be personalised to show them that you are different and have researched their company. Sadly this is a technique that not enough people have adopted and realised the benefits of.
Sending a generic message is the fastest way to a LinkedIn connection request rejection, so make sure you take the time to really get in touch with your new contacts.
A lot of lead generation companies are just pumping out generic messages and wondering why they aren’t getting results!
The best lead generation companies will understand the importance of getting the messaging right from the start.
Does Outbound Messaging on LinkedIn Still Work, or is it Dead?
Some people will tell you that LinkedIn is a waste of time and that no one is connecting anymore, everyone sees it as a spammy platform etc. etc. The truth is they probably don’t know what they are doing!
Personally connect with someone new every single day on LinkedIn…
You will quickly see it still works and that it’s a great way to build your business. However, if you want to get solid results then create a daily process for yourself to search out new prospects to get requesting invitations to each day and learn how to write juicy connection request messages.
Unleash the Power: Sending Your Request to Mutual Connections.
When you send a request to a mutual connection, it will show up on their screen that you have mutual friends on your account and this is going to dramatically increase the likelihood that they will accept!
The Networking Event Strategy: A Simple Hack That Brings Great Opportunity
Wanna learn a simple but awesome hack? Attend as many free virtual networking events as you can and make it your prime goal to make yourself known at that event (through Zoom chat or whatever way you can).
Dish out golden tips and advice and then privately search through the list of attendees in the chat starting with the ones who have engaged the most.
Spend the time to write them a personal message, engage in conversation and start a relationship then near the end of the event post a little “bye nice to meet you” note with a link to your LinkedIn profile. It’s amazing what opportunities will arise from this simple hack.
The best thing about this hack? They are adding you!
Take note of the fact that you can also do this at scale… Get a VA or a member of your team to attend the events for you with the camera off!
Is There a LinkedIn Invitation Request Limit?
This is a question we get asked a lot and LinkedIn has actually recently updated their algorithm so that you can send around 20-30 invitation requests a day on a free account (depending on your existing network).
If you have a paid account you can request up to 100-120 connections a day, which is probably worth it if you are able to.
The tip here is to search for people who are likely to accept, get your acceptance rate up and only write personal messages.
To conclude, networking via LinkedIn and using it as a platform to generate leads and grow your business is still very much alive. If you want to maximise your potential then I highly recommend that the above secrets become a part of your daily process.
The Big Takeaway: Personalise EVERYTHING
One BIG takeaway I hope you gain from reading this is…
Don’t be like the 90% of those out there sending spam messages and using LinkedIn in an impersonal way. BE PERSONAL, connect with someone as a human being and you will get a positive response!
Were you making the most of LinkedIn connection requests before you read this article? Comment below!