How to write an invite to convince someone to join your network is a common topic. Ideally you have a reference you can mention in your invite sent via Messaging. If not, you send a cold invite. An introduction by other means, such as email, is the proper way but slower.
You’ve heard or read of ways to send invites, but what do you expect from someone extending an invite. Is it “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”? It doesn’t always work that way.
It usually goes this way for me–My Network shows five invites ready to be accepted. I click on the icon and four of them leave a default message which takes no effort to write and, in my mind, is lazy. I hit Ignore. However, one of the invites comes with a personalized message that melts my heart.
I watched your webinar hosted by Jobscan.co and found your views on how to attract recruiters to your profile very compelling. I don’t know how you speak on camera. I’d be scared out of my wits. In any case, I’d like to be a part of your network. I know you would prefer people to just follow you, but I’d like to communicate directly with you, as I can’t afford any of the premium memberships. I’d understand if you don’t want to. I hope you’re safe and getting through this pandemic.
Here’s the thing: my preference is to be followed because I want to do the inviting to build a like-minded network. I want my network to be more focused with an audience who in interested in the information I have to share.
I conducted a poll on this matter at hand: when you will accept an invite from another LinkedIn member. I got some great comments, but the results were not what I thought I would see from the 1,059 people who voted. Following are the choices from which they could choose with the percentage of votes.
Must communicate via phone first: 3%
To me, this seems a bit far fetched, but I have seen people claim this is the only way they will join someone’s network. Further, there has to be some back and forth between the recipient and the person extending the invitation. In a perfect world, there would be correspondence between every LinkedIn member in one’s network.
But this is not a perfect world. I think LinkedIn envisioned this type of relationship building. After all, relationships are what creates job opportunities. You know, you’re looking for a job, you connect with someone, there are a number of touches (7 as some say), and they introduce you to a decision maker in your ideal company. Bazinga.
Must read my profile: 17%
If someone wants to connect with you, wouldn’t you first expect them to read your profile? I would. The example I give above is not great, but it was enough for me to accept Shannon’s invite. Did she read my profile? I’m not sure. I imagine she opened my full profile because she says, “I know you’d prefer people to just follow you, but I….”
I think Kevin Turner has the best solution: “For me Bob McIntosh, CPRW, none of the above is my deciding factor, they must [Follow] First, engage, and then to invite me they need my eMail address (openly hidden) in my profile ; ] Keep Rocking LinkedIn“!
If someone writes in their invite that they’ve read your profile and see synergy or, at least, admire it; they have read your profile and have a better sense of who you are. This is important when making a connection with someone.
Sure, they can read your Headline in their stream or Notifications, but this isn’t the same as reading your profile from top to bottom, or at least from top to Education. (I’d be really impress if someone read what’s in my Accomplishments section.)
A personal invite is a must: 45%
This option won out. It doesn’t mean the person extending the invitation read your profile; although, it’s possible. How long does it take to write a personal invite? Not long. If I really want to invite someone to my network, I’ll take the time to personalize the invite.
There are a number of ways someone can personalize their invite to you.
I always say flattery is one way to do it, which was part of Shannon’s invite to me. The other part of it was telling me how she knew me. The person stating the many things you and they have in common means they read your profile. As I mentioned above, if a common connection suggests the two of you connect, this is a very good thing.
The important thing is that you feel it comes from the heart; it isn’t a template invite that the person sends to everyone.
Adrienne Tom gives a solid yay to this option: “I’ve gotten pretty stringent about accepting connection requests. Without a personalized note that clarifies reason/fit there is a high chance the request gets ignored.”
When I asked her if she feared losing potential clients, her response was: “Perhaps. My email and website are easy to locate on my profile and I feel that savvy clients that are truly interested in working together can find ways to reach out / learn more.”
This is the option I chose when I voted in the poll. At the very least, someone should take the time to make some kind of connection with me.
Note: you don’t have to accept everyone’s invite. Just do the person extending the invite the favor of clicking Ignore so their invite isn’t sitting in their queue. There have been plenty of times when I’ve said to myself that this connection doesn’t make sense.
The default message is enough: 35%
I get this. Especially if you’re an entrepreneur and want to troll for the bass that will land you a $3,000 payday. It makes sense to consider the possibilities, but there should be some due diligence on your part. For example, some of the people who voted said they would at least read the profile of the person extending the invitation.
Erin Kennedy says: “Since only about 5% of the invites that I get are personalized, I then have to take the time to go through the profile and see if I want to connect with them.”
That seems like a lot of effort on one’s part. I admit if I see in their Headline that we’re in the same occupation and industry, I’ll accept their invite. However, I won’t take the time to write a thank-you note.
Laura Smith-Proulx says she’ll accept all invites “I’m always open to connecting, no matter what’s in the invitation. IMO, we are now seeing the same problem created by the dreaded resume objective (where everyone wrote the same thing because they didn’t know what else to do). Job seekers do need to muster their creativity when connecting with employers, but I forgive anyone who is tapped out of “invitation innovation” by the time they approach me. I do appreciate when my Profile is at least skimmed before receiving a sales pitch entirely unrelated to my work, of course.”
As they say, the numbers don’t lie. At the conclusion of the poll I was surprised with the number of people who voted for accepting a default message. I repeat, it seems lazy. However, I like what Laura says about people being tapped out of “invitation innovation.” It’s been said before that sometimes we need to cut people some slack. There might be something to this.
Austin Balcak has a different approach which we might want to follow: “I may be in a bit of a different situation Bob, but my rules of accepting a connection are that the person has one of three things:
- Has sent a personal note with a valid reason to connect
- We have 50+ mutual connections
- We’ve met in real life
This is a tough act to follow, but Austin might have something here.