How to write a Linkedin invitation
The majority of the time that I get invitations from Linkedin, I usually get the generic invitation, “I’d like you to join my network on Linkedin.” No details are provided as to why I might want to connect with this person, or what s/he wants help with, or what s/he thinks I want help with. When I get these generic responses, it indicates to me that the person is lazy, or is too afraid to tell me what s/he wants, or just doesn’t get the social aspects of social media and thinks of the invites as a function of the technology, as opposed to a genuine invite.
Usually when I get these responses, I do accept the invitation, and I follow up afterwords with a personalized message, thanking them for connecting with me and asking them how I can help them. Sometimes I get responses, and most times I don’t. When you decide you want to connect with someone on Linkedin, I offer the following suggestions, when writing your introduction:
- Make the time to write an actual introduction. Don’t be lazy and use the generic invitation. Delete the wording for the generic invitation and then write.
- Tell the person why you wanted to connect with him/her. What is it that prompted you to decide to connect to this person? Was it an article s/he wrote, a service you need, or a service you think s/he needs, or did you meet him/her somewhere? Whatever it was, write that down.
- Tell the person what you want from this connection. Do you want a meeting, or a phone call, or something else? Provide some context to the invitation, and open the door for the invitation to go past just being a virtual introduction.
- Once you’ve actually started a conversation, move it off the social network and into a phone call or one-on-one meeting. You can use email, but email is a lot easier to ignore. While a social network is an easy way to connect and you can have some conversations on there, moving it beyond the social network is helpful for turning the connection into more than just a online meeting.
And if you do get generic invitations, what I wrote above can apply to writing responses to them. I always write a personalized response and while I don’t always get a response back, the responses I do get tend to be more personalized and we learn a bit more about each other.
What do you think? Do you prefer getting personalized invitations, and what would you add to the list above?