Navigation: Are You Making These LinkedIn Mistakes?, Sending the Default Connection Request, Making Excuses like “I Saw You Viewed My Profile”, Requesting Recommendations from People You Don’t Know, Beginning Conversations with a Sales Pitch, Requesting Too Much From New Connections, Asking People to Follow You on Social Media, Writing Overtly Personal Messages, Common LinkedIn Mistakes Hurt Your Chances of Success
With so many LinkedIn users looking to expand their network, you need to be able to stand out. This means you only have one shot at making a good first impression. You wouldn’t be able to achieve this with the default connection request that LinkedIn provides.
Sending the default connection request gives the impression that you are lazy or disinterested. The recipient might think you are not committed to building a professional relationship. Many people won’t accept such a request.
When it comes to LinkedIn, you need to personalize every single connection request that you send, especially if you want the highest rate of acceptance of your invites. Before sending the connection request, do some research on the person you want to connect to, and then personalize the message accordingly.
Personalizing invites is not optional if you want to connect with new people or generate leads using LinkedIn. A personalized LinkedIn connection request gives your potential connection a good reason to accept the request instead of ignoring it. If someone clicks Ignore, they will also have the option to choose “I don’t know this person” which is essentially the same as being marked as Spam.
If a LinkedIn account receives an excessive number of “I don’t know this person” responses, their account could end up being restricted. A restricted account is required to have the email address of every person they want to connect with. It immediately limits your ability to connect with prospects and expand your network.
Sending personalized connection requests also gives LinkedIn users a significant advantage because the vast majority of people are still sending out the generic default messages. For those who want to stand out and not get marked as spam, this is clearly the way to go.
It is a good idea to regularly check the Who’s Viewed Your Profile page on LinkedIn. What’s not such a good idea is saying “I saw you viewed my profile” as an excuse for contacting new connections. The reason for this is because there are many different reasons people may view your profile. It does not necessarily mean they are interested in communicating or making a connection.
For all you know, they may have landed on your profile accidentally. Rather than addressing why they viewed your profile, focus on telling them why you would like to connect with them. This is straightforward, direct, and more likely to get a response. This is the opportunity to send them a personalized connection request.
Do not ask for a LinkedIn recommendation from people on LinkedIn that you don’t know personally. In fact, if you don’t know the person, do not ask them for anything at all. Some people ask for recommendations or skill endorsements from complete strangers—but this actually hurts their credibility in front of the person they are asking.
Even if they do write a recommendation, it will not have the same impact as one created by a real acquaintance or someone who knows your work well. Recommendations are important because they provide social proof. It proves that you are an expert in your chosen field. The more recommendations you have, the better. But you want to acquire these from people who are familiar with your work.
Quality recommendations are essential. Ask for at least five recommendations from credible people who can genuinely vouch for you and your work. Remember to send personalized requests for these as well. This is the key to successfully getting a recommendation.
Another tip is to strike when the iron is hot. For example, if someone sends a form of testimonial or praise through a private message or email, thank the sender and then ask if they would be okay with writing that in a LinkedIn recommendation. Tell them that you have been working on your LinkedIn profile and the next step is to gather some recommendations. Most of the time, they would be happy to help, especially if they were genuinely pleased by your product or service.
Sometimes people just don’t know what to write, so you may include a few bullet points in your request that you want them to write for you in the recommendation. Helping them with the task can increase the likelihood that they will take the time to write you a recommendation. For example, you may ask them to address specific aspects of your product, or their experience working with you.
Sending a sales pitch for your product or service right off the bat is a great way to get ignored, blocked, or reported as spam. It will turn off most people and ruin your chances of making a great connection. Sending a sales pitch right off the bat kills the conversation before it can even begin. The relationship dies before it even begins.
There’s a reason people don’t respond to these types of messages well. It’s because you haven’t given them the opportunity to get to know you and your brand yet. To them, the message feels like spam. It is unwanted and intrusive—no matter how awesome the product is. So instead of convincing them to do business with you, this type of message effectively repels potential customers. Sending a sales pitch message is the epitome of lazy sales and marketing. Laziness is never good for business.
Relationships on LinkedIn should be treated like relationships in person. Everyone should follow LinkedIn etiquette and treat online interactions like face to face interactions. You wouldn’t shake someone’s hand at a networking event and then immediately book a meeting with them.
Establishing rapport on LinkedIn is just as important as making connections in real life. People are expected to be professional. After connecting with someone, you want to get to know them. This will help you familiarize yourself with their needs and goals. This lets you find a way to provide them with value and establish your authority on your topic.
Only when you’ve done that should you ask for their time in the form of a call, video chat, or in-person meeting. Chances are, your connections are busy—so they would not agree to talk unless you have already built some rapport.
Time is valuable—not only for you but for everyone else. This is why you need to prove to people that speaking with you benefits them.
Writing Overtly Personal Messages
This is a mistake some people still make on LinkedIn. It is important to keep in mind that LinkedIn is not a dating site. It is known as the professional social networking platform. This means there is no place for overtly personal messages like “how about a glass of wine?” or “are you single?”
These messages are likely to turn off your prospects. A surprising number of people still receive these types of messages. LinkedIn is not Tinder, and should not be treated like it. LinkedIn is a business platform. Always keep it professional.