by Nathanial Bibby
With access to over 500 million members on the world’s largest professional network, LinkedIn enables a unique opportunity to build your brand, generate leads and position yourself as an industry authority.
To help our readers avoid these common mistakes, LinkedIn expert Nathanial Bibby shares with us the 5 most common mistakes people make when sending messages to prospects on LinkedIn.
1. Standard Connection Request
In order to get the fullest experience from LinkedIn, it’s important to have a strong network. The main way to grow your network is by sending out invitations to connect to people you know and trust. Personal invitations will always have a higher acceptance rate.
Coming up with a personalized invitation shows you value the other person and makes it more likely for the other person to accept your invitation. Stand-out from the crowd with this simple yet effective connection strategy.
Your conversion rate will be better if you take the time to go on their profile and customise the message so it is personalised.
Which would you rather get from a co-worker:
“I’d like to connect with you on LinkedIn”
“Hi Eric! Congrats on your recent promotion. Catch up soon.”
Here is another example you may want to consider:
We have not been formally introduced but I know of you through mutual groups and connections. I admire the work you are doing and would like to extend an invitation to you.
2. Asking somebody you don't know to give you a recommendation
This does not need any explanation but yet I seem to see loads of these recommendation requests.
Have some pride in your brand and ask for genuine recommendations. Being inauthentic is a big no-no for short and long term success in social media marketing and business in general these days. Recommendations are testimonials that appear on your LinkedIn profile, showing your reader you are trusted and admired within your network. Unfortunately, in order to get recommendations on your profile, you must rely on other people to write them!
Recommendations allow other LinkedIn users to provide testimonials about your value and abilities. Perhaps you are being considered for a new job?
If you are promoting your business, products or services, having recommendations from your current clients touting your strengths will impress your reader.
3. Slang & Abbreviations eg. WTF, LOL, etc.
With professional acquaintances, internet slang and SMS language should not make an appearance in your messages. Unless you are texting a friend or your family etc, these use of slang and abbreviations are highly discouraged.
Be professional, considerate and introduce yourself like you would if you were at a networking function.
I read something somewhere that has stood by me for many years, and that was that you can only tell a prospect 2 things;
1. What they already know
2. What they already know they want to know
To assume that an individual has a need for what you do can be a big mistake. Until they realise that or you uncover the need for them - no pitching! This is a great way to get blocked and/or reported as spam. It will definitely turn most people off.
5. The Sales Email
The old sales email that starts with something like "do you feel frustrated with your current web provider?".... etc, etc.
Then go on to mention anything and everything about what they do and show no interest in the person receiving the message. These remind me of the old email marketing promotional emails, they assume interest and show little interest in person receiving the email.
Use LinkedIn to cultivate connections, build your network and create offline discussions. It shouldn't take more than 1-2 messages before you're on the phone or in a face-to-face meeting in B2B. Remember that your message is designed to create curiosity and to intrigue your prospect. It should entice them enough to make the click to check out your LinkedIn profile.
If your profile is not optimised, looks like a CV, incomplete, or doesn't stand-out of then crowd then the likelihood of receiving a response will be low. Your LinkedIn profile should establish credibility and showcase the potential value you can provide. Very important. Clear, concise messages are the best kind – especially for busy prospects.
Try to say what you’re looking to achieve in one to two sentences, if possible, and make sure what you’re asking for is in proportion with your relationship. Make it clear what you’re asking for and be gracious - always say thank you!
In summary, to get the best results, provide value and build some credibility and trust first, then ask to take the relationship offline before making your pitch.
Finally, make the message about the person you're sending it to, not you. Show interest in what they do and that you wanted to chat to learn more about there business or role so you can see if there is a way you can add value.
About the Author:
Nathanial Bibby is the Managing Director of Bibby Consulting Group who have assisted over 4,000 companies with their lead generation strategies. He is a regular speaker at industry related events and corporate conferences, becoming Australia and South East Asia's leading authority on digital strategy, social media and using LinkedIn for business. If you're interested in how Bibby Consulting Group can assist you with your digital strategy, please visit: www.bibbyconsultinggroup.com.au ,
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Dr Greg Chapman is the Director of Empower Business Solutions and is Australia's Leading Advisor on Emerging Businesses and provides Coaching and Consulting advice to Australian Small Business Owners in Marketing & Business Strategies Planning & Systems. He is also the author of The Five Pillars of Guaranteed Business Success and Price: How You Can Charge More Without Losing Sales.
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