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Why the standard LinkedIn invitation isn’t your friend

Campbell Such | Aug. 23, 2016
With LinkedIn, the critical distinction is to aim for a network of high quality connections

• How they know you?

• Why they want to connect?

Make the invitation easy for the other person to accept – and for you to create. Give them some details and some context. Where did you meet, what did you discuss. Make it brief and it will take you less than three minutes.

Here’s a framework to use.

It’s an easy change to the standard wording on the invitation – you just have to personalise it.

Hi <insert first name here>

It was great to meet you at the <insert name of event here>.

I really enjoyed our discussion on <insert a subject you discussed here – ideally something the other person had a strong interest in>.

It would be great to connect.

Just make sure you make this change to the standard invitation every time you send a request to connect.

Is there a time I shouldn’t change it?

The only reason that you might not do it is if you’re not concerned about making the connection in the first place. And if that’s the case you might want to ask yourself, “why bother?” Why would you even try to connect to someone if you’re not serious about connecting with them?

Make sure your LinkedIn invitations are the difference that grabs people’s attention

What if someone doesn’t respond at all?

• Sometimes people don’t check LinkedIn very often. I’ve had months go by and then unexpectedly get a notification someone has accepted.

• Sometimes they don’t see the value in connecting with you at that time.

• Sometimes they have missed your invite all together.

Counter-intuitively, the best way to build a fantastic network is to take a long-term view. Like the best malt whiskeys, a valuable network of contacts takes time to develop and mature. So give it time. If they haven’t responded in, say, a month, then send them another invitation – maybe they didn’t see your first one. If that doesn’t work then put them on your long-term list and grab the next time you see them to have another chat with them…

Ahhh, I almost forgot…Something you should never do!

Forget to thank them for the connection.

Always, always, always send a “Thanks for the connection – looking forward to keeping in touch.”

It’s the start of the connection. Recognise it. Then get on with building it over time.

Here’s what we’ve covered:

· The standard LinkedIn invitation is like background noise – easy to disregard.

· Instead use a personalised invitation, which will take less than three minutes and make your invitations hard to ignore.


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