A strategy I’ve successfully used to build my LinkedIn network is basically similar to a real life engagement.
Like a real-life networking event, you might have something in common at the start – a location, an industry, an age range, cultural affiliations, etc.
Just adding random connections on LinkedIn isn’t a strategy for growth. It’s a waste of time. You must have some common bond with the other person and you must eloquently describe what it is and why it’s important. I research all the people that follow me on my social networks and subscribers to my email list. I see if there is something in common with them or they have a business that could utilize my consulting services.
Since you are reaching out to people that already have some familiarity with you and your services, making the connection is easier. It’s not a certainty, however. Maybe 30% of the people you reach out to using this method will connect.
Most people that visit your blog or website or landing page won’t click your LinkedIn social icon and connect. But they might follow you on Twitter or Facebook or YouTube. Don’t let these people drop off… you want to connect with them where it matters most to your wallet — LinkedIn.
Having a popular blog that you update regularly is key… you want more chances to reach people. The more people visit your site the more qualified users you can reach out to on social media.
I don’t believe in true copy/paste templates. But something more or less that covers some areas.
LinkedIn Networking Connection Template
Hi [contact name]. I noticed you follow me on [social service / email newsletter] and thought I’d connect. It seems we have a lot in common. I’m in [shared or nearby city – if applicable]. I’m also a member / connected to [group, association, activity, etc.]. I’d love to read your thoughts on [anything you think the contact specializes in that you are also interested in] on LinkedIn. Regards, [my name]
What’s interesting here is that you are quickly establishing tribal relationships and giving the connection a little bit of an ego boost because you are letting them know that they have something of value to give to the world – their perspective on LinkedIn.
As an office worker for many years, I can tell you a lot of people don’t really care for our opinions. We show up to work and are a cog in a wheel. One supervisor once told me when I offered project direction, “this isn’t a democracy.” People want to be heard. Let them speak and let them know you are their audience. Be genuine about your interest in them. Your reputation is paramount.
Learn more techniques on LinkedIn networking in my podcast episode: Easy LinkedIn Network Expansion.