One of your most powerful ways to connect with people on LinkedIn could easily be your undoing if you’re not doing this one thing. It’s simple, really. But it’s surprising how many people overlook this (and look dumb in the process).
I’m talking about sending personal messages on LinkedIn. And if you’re not taking the time to actually personalize the messages you send, you’re seriously missing out on a powerful opportunity to stand out from the crowd in your niche. I’ll give you some hints for good ways to personalize your messages, but for now, let’s talk about why this isn’t your best approach for networking.
It Just Looks Bad
In the early days of email auto responders, it was novel to receive an email from a marketer that was personalized with your first name. These days, we’re often quite jaded about that, and there are some professionals who think that asking for a first name on an opt-in form can actually hurt your conversion rates. But in those early days, it was a personal touch that could easily make one marketer stand out from another.
Anyone who has been on LinkedIn for any length of time knows that it’s no big deal to personalize your LinkedIn Messages. So when you don’t, it makes it appear painfully obvious that you don’t actually care about your prospects and customers as individuals. Maybe that’s not true, but appearances are everything.
First Impressions Matter
When you send an Invitation to Connect in LinkedIn, this is your first opportunity to impress. So instead of sending the generic invitation, take a moment to personalize it. It doesn’t really take that much time at all, and the rewards can be significant.
You might take some time to read their profile and see what your mutual professional interests are. In a sense, you’re trying to let your prospective connection know what’s in it for them.
In a way, it’s a little bit like writing copy. You need to make it obvious why they’d want to accept your invitation to connect. You don’t want to be like those spammers sending out mass batches of unpersonalized invitations, so take a second to learn about your common interests and incorporate that knowledge somehow in your invitation.
Message Connections Sparingly and Wisely
Another form of unpersonalized message that makes you look really bad is using mass messages to randomly spam groups of people.
No one likes getting spammed, and it’s no different on LinkedIn than in your regular email inbox. This isn’t the right way to send random people your latest promotional offer (or blog post or whatever they haven’t requested).
If you have a product or service that a small portion of your connections might be interested in, take the time to choose wisely who you’ll send such a message to. Personalize your message and include a thank you (at a minimum use words to convey your gratitude; if possible, include a gift or discount or some other token of your appreciation).
Taking the time to personalize any message you send on LinkedIn can take a bit more time, but the rewards can be significant.
Recap – Best Ways to Use LinkedIn Messages to Stand Out
- Personalize your messages
- Don’t spam people with self promotion
- Make it about the other person and why they want to connect or do business with you
Do you take the time to personalize your LinkedIn messages? Why or why not?
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