Let’s be honest: unless you’re Beyoncé or Taylor Swift, you need to network.
In fact, it should be top of your to-do list. How else are you going to find prospective clients, grow in your industry or learn new things?
There are 1 billion users on LinkedIn across more than 200 territories and countries. Think about all the endless networking opportunities that gives you and what it can do for you:
- Connect with prospects
- Connect with current clients
- Connect with thought leaders
- Help you achieve professional goals
- Inspire you both professionally and personally.
The majority of us panic when it comes to networking, so let’s have a look at some common mistakes, and how you can avoid them.
1. You don’t know what you want
Have you thought about why you’re really getting in touch with this person? What is it you want from them?
People are usually willing to reply, but only if they know what you want. Before you dive into sending them a connection request, create a spreadsheet or, using the notes app on your phone, write down their name, and why you’re connecting with them.
This way, you have a solid idea of why you want to connect with them and how you can collaborate, which makes it more likely they’ll reply positively.
2. Nobody likes somebody who’s all me, me, me
Everyone hates those LinkedIn connections that just say “it’d be great to connect”.
“Would it, really? I don’t know if it would”.
In fact, you’re probably going to get ghosted if you send a message like that.
Explain what’s in it for them. Even if they can help you, making it a two-way relationship which benefits both of you, is a more productive approach.
3. Your messages are weak
I know that sounds harsh but, if you’re not getting much response from other LinkedIn users, you’re probably sending a very generic message.
If you’ve got a basic LinkedIn account, you can send 10 connection requests that include a note, so make them count.
With LinkedIn Premium, you can send a personalised note with every connection request up to the 150-ish weekly limit. Ask the person how they are, explain who you are and outline why you’d like to connect. Here, I’ll share an example for free:
Hope you’re well. I’m a Social Media Manager working at The Yardstick Agency and I’m looking to build my professional network in the financial services industry. I came across your profile and I think I could learn a lot of from you. It would be great to connect.
I could have given you at least three or four more common mistakes, but don’t want to overwhelm you!
Need a hand?
Still nervous about networking and engaging with prospects or clients on LinkedIn? Contact our social media team, we’re happy to help!
You can get in touch with a member of our team by emailing email@example.com or calling 0115 8965 300.
PS. If you want to practise networking with a familiar face, connect with me on LinkedIn!