What if somebody you don’t know throws a business card at you and says “Do you want to network with me?” and then walks off again? Would you go after them? Would you pick up their business card? Probably not. So let’s not do the LinkedIn equivalent by using that generic template: “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn”. I know I’m guilty of not personalising all my invitations and that is because it is so much quicker to just click on what is already there. This is probably fine if you know well the person you’re targeting. However, personalising the email invitation will have better results if you don’t know them well or if you don’t them at all. People will feel that you are really trying to connect with them and not bulk –inviting everyone.
So how do you tailor a LinkedIn invitation?
The “techy” bit
You can tailor your invitation from your desktop or the LinkedIn mobile app.
Tailoring invitations to connect from the desktop:
1. Move your cursor over the Down arrow in the top section of someone’s profile.
2. Select Personalize invitation from the dropdown menu.
If the above option doesn’t exist, you can tailor your message by clicking Connect in the top section of their profile.
1. A prompt will appear that contains a text box to personalize your invitation message.
2. Please note this prompt will only appear if you don’t have Personalize invitation in the dropdown menu.
For details on how to tailor invitations on iPhone iOS6 and above or on Android please check the following link:
LinkedIn informs that:
– Invitations sent from the People You May Know feature in the mobile app can’t be personalized.
– The ability to personalize invitations is currently not supported on iPad.
– You may need to upgrade your LinkedIn app to the latest iOS and Android versions to be able to use the mobile app feature.
The social bit
What words to use will depend on who is the person you’re trying to connect with and what you want to achieve.
1. Find some common ground. You might have met them at a conference, they might be an alumnus of the same university, you might be members of the same LinkedIn group, you might have connections in common etc. Whatever you have in common should be used as an opening line.
2. Tell them why you wish to connect. Mention a blog post or comment they made on a group discussion that you found interesting or compliment them on an achievement you might know about.
To sum up, be on LinkedIn the courteous and well-mannered person you are offline – personalise your invitation emails.