June 20, 2013
Lately, I have been getting messages on LinkedIn to join someone’s network that only uses the generic LinkedIn invitation to connect. To me it’s like getting a letter without acknowledging the recipient in the salutation. It makes me feel like the invitation is sent to me only to increase someone’s network. Maybe I’m wrong thinking that, but that’s how I feel.
Additionally, I have noticed that many people are getting the same bland invitation and are complaining about it. It seems like social media has been become so commonplace that the common courtesies are ignored. For whatever reason, the practice of using the nonspecific invitation is becoming the norm. When the sender puts little effort into the invitation, chances are they will put the same effort in the relationship.
What the sender doesn’t realize is that if they send this invitation, the chances of being accepted is lower than if they personalized the message. It’s counterproductive to building their network. The receiver has three choices: accept, ignore, or send it to spam. When they get three requests sent to spam, their LinkedIn privileges will probably be revoked.
Personalize the invitation to increase your acceptance rate and increase your network. With only 200 characters for a LinkedIn invitation, there isn’t much room to go into much detail. Begin by addressing the recipient by name, then two or three sentences indicating how you know the person, why you want to connect, or a personal message. End with a complimentary close and your name. Creating a unique message tailored to the receiver shows more professionalism and interest in them.
Hello Stan, It was wonderful to meet you at the national meeting. I would like to continue our association and share our contacts in order to expand our networks. Thank you, Bea
Dear Rose, Your colleague, Jan told me that you are an alumnae of the University of Name. I graduated from there in 1994. Please feel free to contact me if there is anything I can do for you. Thank you, Sophia
A simple, sincere message using a name will be more successful than, “I’d like to add you to my professional network.” Building your network is building relationships. Building your network by starting off on the right foot by making your invitation friendly.