The answer to that question will be the difference between wasting your time and energy on the business networking site or making the most of your presence there.
Finding out what will make that difference is a crucial piece of knowledge.
The good news is that we’re about to share it in this 60-second read.
If you send the automatically generated LinkedIn request and make no effort to change it you won’t generate any meaningful relationships.
By not changing the text to a more personal greeting you are showing zero respect to the other person.
You’re saying: ‘I can’t be bothered to speak to you at a personal level. You’re just like the other 100 people I’ve just sent these requests to.’
It’s like walking into a club and shouting: ‘Does anyone here want to grab a cocktail with me? I don’t care who it is as long as one of you says yes.’
Do you just shout about yourself all the time or do you take an interest in what other people are saying?
If it’s one-way traffic with you broadcasting all the time you won’t get any response.
So take a few moments to look at what other people are saying, and post succinct replies that will leave the reader thinking you are a key contributor to their feed.
If someone asks a question and you have some expertise to share then take a moment to point people in the right direction.
That’s not to say you should spend half an hour answering in great detail, but provide a one-sentence suggestion as to how they might focus their thoughts, or share a link to a resource that you know will help them.
How many times have you taken the trouble to reply to someone and then been left wondering if they’ve even read your reply, let alone appreciated your effort?
So if you post something and someone joins the conversation, at least acknowledge their comment and – if appropriate – develop the conversation.
How did your best relationships in life develop? Your deepest friendships and most meaningful partnerships didn’t happen overnight. You worked at them.
So recognise that for LinkedIn to work for you, and for genuine business contacts to grow and bear fruit, you’ll need to invest time and effort.
This is crucial. When you receive a connection request look at the profile of the person making contact. If their posts are merely about them or their own business and they show no sign of being helpful or interacting with other people, spike them.
Harsh, but it’s the only way to free your LinkedIn feed of meaningless clutter.
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