How to write the perfect LinkedIn Connection Request

Building a LinkedIn network brings massive advantages and benefits. It can open up doors, create opportunities and help you to get plenty of business for your brand.

Starting from scratch can be daunting but you should think of the saying, ‘mighty oaks from little acorns grow.’ Nothing happens instantly though. You don’t become an overnight sensation on LinkedIn, you need to gradually build your network.

This means that you need to master how to write a killer LinkedIn connection request.

The basics: connecting with who you know

It doesn’t take much to begin to grow your LinkedIn network. The obvious place to begin is to add your contacts from your address book. You then seek out other people you know, and as you connect with more people the more pending invitations you will receive.

LinkedIn works in much the same way as other social platforms. On Twitter, one of the quickest ways to grow your following is to follow more people. On Facebook, the more people you become friends with, the more friend requests or suggestions you will get.

You need to make a conscious decision about what you want LinkedIn to be for you. You can go the whole hog and go down the LION (LinkedIn Open Networker) route and actively seek as many connections as possible.

On the other hand, you might make the decision that there’s no professional value in connecting with the lad that you haven’t seen for 10 years (since Year 11 when he was in your French class) who now works 200 miles away from you, in a completely different sector from yours.

Connecting with the people you want to know

No matter what ‘connection strategy’ you take, there will come a point when you want to start connecting with people you don’t know, but who you want to know.

This is when you need to create the perfect connection request. Some social media watchwords spring to mind: relevant, authentic and genuine. You should always try and be these things in any activity you engage in on social media.

As LinkedIn is a professional network, it goes without saying that you need to be professional at all times. The level of formality you use really is a matter of personal choice – whatever you are comfortable with or your normal style will be fine.

Above all, you need to make it pertinent, polite and personalised.

Personalisation is the key

The sworn enemy of LinkedIn (and inboxes worldwide) is spam. LinkedIn hates anything that looks remotely spammy. Anything that looks generic, impersonal, cold and mechanical can set off a person’s ‘spam detectors.’

Adding a personal touch to a connection request is easy. Just address the individual you are messaging by name. Either introduce yourself or briefly explain how you know the person, and then explain why you’d like to connect. Finally, make sure you sign off warmly.

You don’t need an English Language degree to write personalised connection requests. It should only take you a matter of minutes. You just need to show that you have given it some thought and let your approachability and personality shine through.

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