If you’re trying to connect to someone over LinkedIn who you have a great relationship with and you talk to every day, sending them a request should be a straightforward thing to do.
If, on the other hand, you’re trying to connect to someone from an old job you left years ago or a new client you aren’t familiar with, reaching out might feel a bit daunting. However, you should embrace this as an opportunity to literally connect with another person.
Below are a few recommendations if you’re having trouble finding the words to reach out to some of your less-familiar professional contacts.
Someone you met recently
If you’ve just gotten a new job or started working with a new client, it’s a great opportunity to add any people you just met to your LinkedIn network. An effective way to do this is to write a request and paying the person a compliment on their work or their reputation.
For instance, you might write:
I’m looking forward to working with you on this account. My experiences with the company have been great so far and I’m sure we’ll be able to put in some great work together.
If you met someone at a social or networking event, it’s a good idea to remind them of who you are and provide a reason for sending them a connection request, such as looking forward to seeing their various achievements or interesting content. You can then follow up with an appropriate compliment.
A former colleague
While you’d like to think everyone you’ve ever worked with remembers you, that’s probably not the case. Simply put, if someone isn’t able to remember you, they’ll likely deny your request.
Therefore, you need to jog the person’s memory when connecting to old colleagues. In the LinkedIn request, mention when, where and how long you worked with someone. Also, mention any big projects you completed together or goals you reached.
If that comes off sounding a little too formal, don’t worry – it’s better to be too formal than too casual.
Someone you want to know
One of the most powerful ways you can use LinkedIn is to connect to influential people you may not know personally. This might be the CEO of a local company you admire or a thought leader in your industry.
These people are also the trickiest to send connection requests. It is crucial you try to establish a real connection with the person, provide a genuine reason for reaching out and avoid making them feel like a potential feather in your networking cap. A great way to make a genuine connection is to pay a compliment to something specific they have done.
For example, you might write:
I’m an account executive with XYZ Communications who has been working with your company for the past few years and I recently stumbled across the great interview you did with the Local Gazette. If I could ever get a moment of your time, I’d love to hear about the key step you made on the way to founding your own company.
Thank you for your time,
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