How To Personalise Your LinkedIn Invitations To Connect
by Jo Shaer, on February 19, 2017
The new version of LinkedIn for 2017 has brought a whole raft of changes to the way that we use the platform to connect. The most notable of these is that it is possible to personalise your connection requests - even if the prospect is a complete stranger to you.
Whereas previously, if you tried to use the Connect button on a person's profile, you would be asked:
- Have you done business with them?
- Are you a past or current colleague?
- Are you a friend?
- There was also an Other box where you could enter the email address that the prospect had used to sign up to LInkedIn.
How to Personalise Your LinkedIn Invitations
In 2017, you can just click Connect and then Add A Note to personalise. Simples!
And it's really important that you do add that customisation. It helps a stranger to understand the benefits of connecting with you.
Many LinkedIn trainers give clues as to the way you should formulate these customisations with links to ebooks or places to book a call. However, you need to remember that these types of cold outreach could well be hitting people who are still at the pre-awareness stage of their Buyer's Journey. Why would they want to have further information when they don’t even acknowledge that they have a problem?
A better strategy might be to highlight the issue you think they may have or ask a question that allows them to realise they might have a problem. But don’t be too intense - you’re trying to get them to connect with you not run for the hills.
To save time and increase efficiency in this task if you are doing it for a lot of people, create some templates that can be used for buyers who have the same problems.
Something like this might be helpful to you.
Hi [Buyer Name]
Sentence 1: Why is your buyer receiving your connection request? This could be a referral, trigger event, something or someone that you have in common - if a third party who is a 1st level connection to both of you will allow their name to be used, that can make a real difference.
Sentence 2: How can you help the prospect? This is good time to share a piece of valuable information or, better still, recount a success story you’ve had with a similar business or industry.
Sentence 3: End your note with a direct question or action. Do not be vague. Make it very easy for your buyer to respond to your request. If you want the prospect to download your ebook, give a clear link where they can do this. If you want the prospect to schedule a call, ask them for a specific window of time on a specific date or better still link to one of the new online appointment apps that handles all this for you. If you want to be referred to someone else in the Company, be specific about the job role or responsibility of that person.
Of course, sometimes it can be as simple as reminding them what you have in common and not going into a song and dance! If they believe that you're going to be bombarding them with messages or calls and emails about something they have no interest in, why would they accept your invitation?
Having said all that, one of the joys of doing inbound marketing is that it populates your website with the answers that your target prospects are actually looking for. If you let Google play matchmaker when someone searches for a solution to their problem, then you could find that your prospects are sending you personalised connection requests on LinkedIn begging for YOUR help.
Now wouldn't that be easier than prospecting!?