Try this formula to make more connections on LinkedIn

1st Quarter Refresh

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Networking is everything. Whether you have a job, are looking for one, or are content where you’re at, nothing beats having that A+ network at your fingertips.

Remember that saying, “If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re probably in the wrong room.”? That goes for your professional network as well. I think that’s why people are so picky when accepting connection requests on LinkedIn.

If you send a connection request to someone, you should state what you both have in common, what value you can add, and why you’re a good person to be in their network. As we become more connected online, the strength of our social networks is determined by who’s in them.

I started following David Perell on Twitter. He has some interesting ideas about networking. He had the idea of writing an in-depth article about a professional you admire. Perell suggested researching them, looking at their work history, and publish the piece as a way of showing that he was interested in their field of work while learning more in the process.

Today’s assignment: Write to someone you admire professionally.

In theory it’s simple, but I know the actual reaching out to someone can be intimidating. Today, pick one person you admire professionally (maybe someone you follow online but haven’t personally reached out to) and introduce yourself.

Sometimes the person you write too will respond, sometimes they won’t. A few people I’ve written personal messages too on LinkedIn accepted by request but didn’t write back. That’s OK. The door is open. That’s what we’re looking for.

Here’s the general outline in reaching out to your professional:

  1. Specify what about them/their career you find interesting.
  2. Tell them how your work/passion project ties in.
  3. Ask to connect.
  4. Bonus points if you ask for a 15-minute phone call to get to know more about them.

Here’s a real world message I sent on LinkedIn. Mira accepted my connection request and we ended up having a conversation online. Pretty cool.

Hi Mira, I would love to connect! I love your tag line, “coaching stressed & overwhelmed women business owners…” Totally relatable. 🙂

Be yourself (while still being professional), stick to the formula, and send the request. If you feel overwhelmed, remember the worst that can happen is that the person doesn’t respond. If they don’t ever respond, are they really someone who will add value to your network anyways?

P.S. You can always send a practice message to me.

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