Are You Missing Networking Opportunities on LinkedIn?
How well are you leveraging the power of LinkedIn? Are you just accepting “invitations to connect” or sending out invitations with that impersonal default message? Take a look at this exchange I recently had…see a missed opportunity here? (Click here if you cannot see the image.)
Me? I see a HUGE missed opportunity here…and I’m not picking on Michael, because there are plenty of people that — innocently — just haven’t taken a moment to think about the broader networking opportunities that LinkedIn can create.
Here’s what I see:
- He used the default message to connect. Why? Why not take an extra second and give some context to your invitation? Let the person know why you’re connecting or remind them of how you know each other if it has been awhile since you chatted (in person or online). It takes 2 seconds to personalize the message. I think it’s very worth the time.
- I opened a door of communication. I took the time to look at his work on his web site and was actually very impressed. I responded accordingly, and tried to politely ask and obtain some of the basic information I just described above since his invitation didn’t give me anything to go on. Then I opened the door to have a conversation. So how did he respond?
- He answered my question and closed the open door…which is perfectly fine…that’s his prerogative, of course. But this, to me, is the opposite of what LinkedIn positions you to do from a networking standpoint. Needless to say, I didn’t accept the invitation because he didn’t give me a reason to do so.
How well are you leveraging the professional networking potential of LinkedIn?
Are you moving your online relationships offline? Are you creating or responding to opportunities to have further conversations? Why not? I always tell professionals that there is typically good SEO value to being on LinkedIn because if someone googles your name, your LinkedIn listing is likely to rank highly in the search engine results…in which case you want your LinkedIn profile to be buttoned up. But don’t you want your LinkedIn correspondence to work just as hard for you? Whether sending or receiving invitations, think of them as opportunities to make a good impression, just like you would at a traditional (offline) networking event.
Just something to think about the next time you log in to LinkedIn…
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