Within a matter of moments, LinkedIn can transform into an extremely valuable resource to have at your disposal. How so? Well, it provides you with an opportunity to reach out and connect with pretty much anyone in a professional capacity or industry that you happen to be interested in.
While this is great, simply adding as many people on LinkedIn as possible won’t do you much good. How can you maximise the benefit of being able to connect with virtually anyone? How do you get people’s attention so that they’ll respond to your outreaching efforts? That’s what this article is all about!
Ways to Reach out to Someone on LinkedIn
1) Commenting on their posts – Provide meaningful insights or fresh perspectives; they’ll appreciate this because your engagement will influence whether the LinkedIn algorithm will boost their posts.
2) Messaging – Send them a private message and let them know how to help them with something.
3) Share their content – How do you think they’ll feel if you share one of their articles with your network (and as a result, it gets seen by more people)? They’ll be curious and check your LinkedIn profile. Perhaps, they might even extend a connection invite before you do!
How to Reach Out to Someone on LinkedIn: The Basic Skills
While there’s no one right way to reach out to someone on LinkedIn, here are some best practices that you can follow when sending them private messages:
Be Brief but Clear
When reaching out to someone, you have to be clear in what you’re asking them. How else will the person know how to respond or know what your intentions are? If it’s unclear, the person will likely look for clues that aren’t there and thus get confused or suspicious.
To avoid this from happening, keep things brief and to the point. In other words, make it clear from the get-go what you can do for them.
Personalisation is important as it shows the person you’ve taken the time to read their profile. Subsequently, it will give them a sense that you are invested in learning about their skills, brand or business.
What you should do is mention something along these lines:
“Hi (Name)! I hope that you’re doing well. I recently got a chance to see your presentation on (Topic) and found it extremely informative, especially when it comes to X, Y, Z. I was wondering if we could connect in order for me to learn more about how someone like you has been so successful with your approach?”
Or, if you’re reaching out to raise brand awareness:
“Hi (Name)! As a frequent reader of your blog, I’ve always been impressed by your insight on (Topic). Saw that you were looking for SEO experts to help with some projects. I’d love to be considered for your list. I’ve been an SEO specialist for over 10 years and am confident that I can get your pages to rank Top 10 on the SERPs. Looking forward to hearing from you!”
As you can see, being personal and concise is a great way to make your intentions clear so that the person knows how best to respond or follow up.
Just like email outreaching, it’s important to remember that you’re still making progress even if the initial message isn’t acknowledged.
If you don’t follow up, that means that your approach falls flat, and it will be a lot harder to re-engage the person in the future. As such, make sure you always follow up with everyone.
Whether they accept or decline your previous offer doesn’t matter; what matters is that you’ve shown enough interest and effort to make it clear that you’re interested in adding value (which is the whole point of your approach, right?).
So, what’s the best practice for follow-ups?
Well, let’s first look at the things you shouldn’t do:
1) Bring up their lack of response
This is never a good idea because it comes off as being rude and aggressive. Whether they were disinterested or too busy to respond, you should never put that responsibility on them. How you frame your message can make or break how they’ll respond to you, so be mindful of how you approach things.
In short, don’t bombard them with a series of messages saying “Hi” and “Did you see my last message?”. If they’re interested and just busy, they’ll respond when they have time or when you’ve followed up with them.
On the other hand, if they’re disinterested in your first offer, try crafting a different offer that may be more likely to entice them instead.
2) Following up too soon
Give it a week or two before following up with the person. If you contact them again too soon, you’ll come off as being pushy. For this reason, be patient and understand that timing is everything when it comes to your approach.
3) Providing zero context
It’s always good to remind them why you had reached out to them in the first place. Summarise your initial offer, why you thought it would be of interest to them and what value they’d derive from it. How you phrase the follow-up will make everything a lot clearer for them so that there’s no misunderstanding or misinterpretation.
Now let’s look at the things you should do:
1) Send another customised message after 5-7 days of your first one
2) Include your original offer and why you reached out to them
3) Have follow-up offers that possess additional value over what you’ve offered before.
4) Follow-up 2-3 times at most
Be Flexible and Understanding
It’s easy to blame someone else for not responding to your message or offer. However, how you handle these situations will make all the difference between making progress with someone or leaving a bad impression on them.
As such, even if someone doesn’t respond after three follow-ups, don’t take it personally. Don’t blame them or belittle their work ethic. How you handle this situation will determine how they view your brand and whether they’ll engage with you later on down the track.
The most important thing is that you’re always flexible and understanding in your follow-ups. How you express yourself will determine how they’ll respond to you, so be mindful of how you approach things.
If you have a mutual connection with the person you’re reaching out to, it’s always good to include them in your message. How you position this person will make a huge difference in how others perceive you and whether they’ll want to work with you or not.
Here’s an example of what this might look like:
How are things? I recently talked to Steve from XYZ Company, and he mentioned that you’re looking for someone to handle your social media. I can send you my last three month’s reports for XYZ if you’re interested. Let me know when would be a good time to have a short 15-minute chat this week.
Talk to you soon, Mike
This message is personalised in that you bring up what they need – in this case, social media management. Mentioning the work you’ve done for a mutual connection gives your offer more credibility. Lastly, the timeframe at the end of the message creates a sense of urgency so that they’re more likely to respond to you.
I hope this article clears up all your questions on how to reach out to people on LinkedIn! Remember that it’s always better to be personal in your approach, provide value and follow up with an offer that’d be of interest to them. How you handle each situation will determine whether or not they’ll engage with you again.
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