Thursday, August 7, 2014

Get Connected, Not Rejected, With Your LinkedIn Invitations

No one likes rejection.
So why do so many LinkedIn users actually invite rejection instead of connection, by using one or other of LinkedIn’s pre-set, canned, boilerplate invitations, such as “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn?”

Anyone who is new to LinkedIn could be excused for thinking it is acceptable to use those pre-set formulas. But once we’ve been using the network for a while and receive one of those invitations, we are likely to assume that the sender is doing an impersonal, batch invitation to everyone on a mailing list.

Which means we are more likely to ignore or decline the invitation than to accept it.

Think about the LinkedIn invitations you’ve received lately. What proportion were genuinely personal? Did the boilerplate ones excite you? Or did most or all of those just leave you mystified and disinclined to know more?

The way I see it, it’s as if we were saying “Yes, I’m sending this invitation, but I couldn’t be bothered taking a few minutes to write something personal, so you are just getting the bog standard, boilerplate version. Take it or leave it.”

So for the want of a bit of care to craft something personal, the sender has in effect invited rejection not connection.

The Challenge of Making it Personal

All the experts will tell you to personalize your invitation.

But what does that mean? What’s the right way to invite? What do you say? Especially for someone who is not already a close friend or colleague?

And if you want to build a suitably large network, i.e. large enough to have serious reach, aren’t you going to run out of ideas for being personal?

The fact is, not everyone feels confident of consistently writing attractive, genuinely personal invitations off the top of their head. And if you are sending out a lot of invitations the challenge becomes that much greater.

The good news is that if you can find a way to make it personal and not have that be so difficult that you won’t do it, you will immediately stand out from all the people (and they are many) using the boring old boilerplate.

That can only enhance your prospects of being connected, not rejected.

But let’s face it, not everyone feels creative when they sit down to send invitations.
So if we could have a system of inviting, a system that could be actually used, happily, by any LinkedIn user, no matter how creative or uncreative they feel, we would need something that was simple, easy to remember, and wouldn’t need special skill or training to use.

The system would also need to be flexible, so as to accommodate the different levels of association (or lack of it) we have had with each person we are inviting.

I looked everywhere for such a system, on the web, on LinkedIn expert groups, in multiple blog posts, in books on LinkedIn and found a mountain of advice on being personal in our invitations.
But I did not find anything simple or particularly easy to remember.

Which is why I created my simple, three option formula for LinkedIn invitations.

My Simple, Fun Formula for Invitations - See the Formula, examples, and the complete SocialMediaToday article

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