First of all, instead of asking someone to join your network without them knowing anything about you or having had any experience with which to judge you (and, they are judging), send them an InMail. InMail is LinkedIn’s in-network email. It allows you to send messages to people you are not connected with. This will give you more characters to write a more complete introduction.
Grab Their Attention
Subject line matters. Identify the 1-3 main points you want to make and write them in the subject line (limit to about 50 characters). If you’re selling a product/service, I suggest including the name of your company as one of the points in the subject line.
Make It Short and Sweet
People are busy. They have a short attention spans. So, get to the point and make it easy for them to understand what you want and whether or not they’re interested. I like to limit my introductory emails/InMails to 3 paragraphs and under 10 sentences.
- 1st Paragraph – Introduce yourself. Who are you? From what company? (don’t assume people will look at your profile to figure it out)
- 2nd Paragraph – Why are you contacting them? Would you like to discuss a potential partnership? Have a product/service that they might find useful? Interested in their career and would like a 10 min call for advice?
- 3rd Paragraph – End with a “yes”/”no” question (i.e. a call to action).
I love emails where all I have to answer is “yes” or “no”. Unfortunately, I rarely get them, but I do try my best to write them.
If You’re Using a A Basic LinkedIn Account and Don’t Want to Pay for InMail
Then, you have 300 characters (or about 3 sentences) to make your introduction. I suggest following an abbreviated version of the outline above.
- 1st sentence – Introduce yourself
- 2nd sentence – Why are you contacting them?
- 3rd Sentence – Ask to add them to your network on LinkedIn
If they accept, then you can follow up directly with an email or call.
Have you received or made cold calls on LinkedIn? Would love to hear your thoughts.
- 10 reasons why I won’t connect to you on LinkedIn [Mike Morrison] (ecademy.com)
- Facts About LinkedIn That May Surprise You (community.constantcontact.com)
- Using LinkedIn for personal marketing (abhishekkathuria.wordpress.com)