Hello you! I think you will agree with me that it is difficult to know for sure which LinkedIn connection request to accept especially if it is from someone that you never met.
The problem is many businesses and entrepreneurs struggle with using the LinkedIn platform. In fact, it is difficult to see real business value from what can be considered cold networking. It took me years of usage and training together with a number of wins to really master using the platform.
Once I started seeing the results both for myself and others and fully staying engaged daily on the platform everything fell into place in a matter of months.
Last year LinkedIn introduced what is known as native video that changed everything and levelled the playing field for any individual interested in building their brand.
The impact of taking advantage of new connections has not only introduced me to high-value connections but made generating leads a piece of cake.
In this post, I am going to teach you what you need to do before accepting a LinkedIn connection request. How you know which ones to ‘reject’ and how you to can start connecting with others.
Accepted a LinkedIn Connection Request?
Have you ever accepted a LinkedIn connection request? Are you stuck wondering which ones to accept and which ones to reject?
I receive at least one LinkedIn connection request every day. Some of them I accept straight away while others are left pending for me to do more research into who they are and what they do.
At the time of writing this post, I have over 200+ pending requests waiting to be accepted. It is not because I feel that I am better than anybody else but because I need to do my due diligence.
At this point, I want to back up a bit because this may be way over someone’s head who never heard of LinkedIn before seeing this post.
What Is LinkedIn?
LinkedIn is a business networking social media platform that has been around for over 10 years. It can be considered as the number one place where business decision makers hang out.
What is the big deal? Well, let’s take some time to look at the facts so that you understand the importance of this network.
The most important statistic is how many people are using LinkedIn broken down by country. The reason why this is important is that if your ideal client is using this platform you need to know your addressable market.
So, in 2016 there were 128 million people in the US who set up their profile on LinkedIn. However, in Russia, there were only 5 million people.
5 million people is still a lot of people and it is not a figure to take for granted. If you are selling a product or services and you decide that you want to sell it in Australia then it is quite possible to use LinkedIn for marketing.
Back in 2016, there were 7 million decision makers in Australia set up on LinkedIn. These are not just 13-year-olds looking to play Candy Crush but decision makers.
Who Sent You LinkedIn Connection Request?
The focus of this post is around accepting LinkedIn connection requests. 5-7 years ago it was expected that you should only accept a LinkedIn connection request from people you know.
Of course, the concern in the camp is know how? For how long? Know personally or a passerby? Let’s spend some time looking at how people find you.
Have you ever tried typing your first and last name into Google? What are the items in the top 5 results? For sure without even thinking twice the first 5 always include your LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter profile if you have them.
What does that say to you? If you are building your personal brand then you need to ensure that these profiles have the right messaging and content to generate leads for you.
Why else would they be there? Put those profiles to work for you and start making some passive income. Lol!
When you go to a networking event you give out your business cards freely so that people can contact you for work so if you can connect with them offline why not online?
Did you know that there are over 2 million groups on LinkedIn? I’ll let that sink in for a second. Some groups have over 1.8 million members.
Some groups are more active than others but the point is that these groups have a specific focus. They range from Social Media Marketing to Women In Photography to Cloud Computing and anything you can imagine is there on LinkedIn.
The whole point of LinkedIn is to grow your business network and people find you in groups and from there they can send you a LinkedIn connection request.
If you spend time engaging on other people’s content as well as sharing your own content then you will notice that people will pop over and view your profile.
I love leaving weird and wonderful comments, life is too short to say things like, “nice post”, “thanks for sharing”, “well said”.
Give me a break! Every action you take in this life leaves an impact on another human being so what are you waiting for? Take the leap and make a comment that reflects who you are deep down.
It is time to stop being sheep following each other. If we are indeed all unique then make comments that reflect your uniqueness.
Who’s Your Ideal Client?
If your ideal client is someone residing in an English speaking country and the owner of a jewellery shop who lives in a certain city or town then you will welcome connection request from these people.
However, if you receive a LinkedIn connection request from someone in a non-English speaking country, who is a customer success agent and somehow does not fit your client profile you would need to do your homework before accepting.
In fact, you know what you should not need to wait for a LinkedIn connection request but you can start looking for your ideal client on LinkedIn and send well crafted, meaningful requests that get accepted every time.
LinkedIn Connection Request Message
Whenever you receive a connection request the first thing you need to analyse is the actual LinkedIn message. Is the message generic or did the person spend time writing a unique message?
One way to spot a genuine connection request where the person spent some time looking into your profile and background is the uniqueness of their message.
The vast majority of messages I receive are generic. Of course, there are always exceptions to that rule with one of them being a past or present work colleague, friend or family member.
If I am sending a connection request to one of my work colleagues I don’t spend time telling them why they should connect with me because they already know me.
If you want to connect with someone who does not know you especially anyone who is your ideal client then spend some time crafting a unique message.
Why You, Why You Now®
Many years ago I did a Sales Prospecting Training that looked at the whole reason for reaching out to a prospective lead where you give them a reason to reason.
It was all about “Why You, Why You Now®” in other words why I am reaching out to you and why specifically now is a good time.
As this is a post and not an entire lead prospecting training I will give you a summary of what is involved. Firstly, you would need to do some research on the company at large.
One great way to do this is to look at any public-facing content that is letting you know about their plans for the next 3-5 years.
You can also look at their results over the last 4 quarters to see if there is something in the results that they wish to improve.
Maybe they are looking to expand into new regions, improve their forecasting, increase sales, increase their profit margins, get into digital marketing, etc.
Why You, Why You Now® Messaging
After you find their pains, aspirations and challenges you then craft a message to the person closest to the pain outlining what they said are their future plans.
You also include something that the two of you share an interest in or have that is similar. An example of this can be that you are both interested in golf, have kids or enjoy Rugby.
Here is an example of the message;
Hi [First Name],
I noticed that you have a keen interest in tomato gardening and this is something that I have been testing out for the last two years. Maybe you can give me some pointers.
In your company’s last annual report your CEO, [First + Last Name] outlined plans for growth in revenue with the hope of opening an office in Singapore.
My department specialises in helping companies set up offices in South East Asia and I am keen to see if this is something we can assist with as we have over 10 experience in this area.
If you are not the correct contact spearheading this project would you be able to direct me to the right person please?
It is really all about making the person feel that they are not being sold to but that you are the best person for the job.
What To Do Next?
After accepting a connection request the one thing you should never do is try and sell to that person. Instead, you should give them value like a freebie.
If they are your ideal client engage with their content and support their efforts. You may also want to follow them on Twitter as well as comment on their blog.
The key is to become their number one fan so that they may notice you with a view that one day they may become your customer.
Another possibility is that the two of you can develop a joint venture relationship in the long run.
So, only accept the LinkedIn connection request that adds value to you and your business. Especially the one that brings you a step closer to your goals.
Looking back at what we covered in this post it looks like we covered two topics in one. You actually got two for the price of one.
Here what was discussed:
1. What is LinkedIn
2. Who sent you a connection request
3. LinkedIn groups
4. LinkedIn engagement
5. Who’s your ideal client
6. LinkedIn message
8. Why You, Why You Now® example
9. What to do next
I hope you found this information valuable and insightful. What has been your experience with LinkedIn connection requests?
Stay tuned for the free webinar coming soon. I will cover some traffic attraction hacks across LinkedIn as well as Pinterest, Twitter, SEO and Facebook so get ready to join.
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Alvern is an avid blogger for 10 years and the host of the Success Unscrambled podcast.
Read Alvern’s inspiring story from her eye-opening experience 3 years ago to becoming a Blogger and Podcaster with a dream to reduce illiteracy among women.