Connection Requests: Stop spamming your brand!

As LinkedIn drives membership activity with ‘suggested connections’ and one button clicks, we need to take control of our personal brand.

That means thinking about who we connect with and more importantly – how we go about connecting.

Transactional marketers and spammers are having a field day with LinkedIn’s connection requests and unsolicited selling. Don’t become one of them.

Any of you who have read my blogs or attended my seminars will know that I’m an advocate for the smart use of LinkedIn for personal brand, opportunity development and connecting with those you do know and those you don’t know yet. Opportunities often come from those people we don’t know yet – but who may know of us.

Connecting is easy. Doing it properly takes time – but is hugely rewarding.

So smart connecting is vital if you want to ramp up your career, job search, and protect and develop a strong personal brand.

If you send out spam-like non customised requests you run the risk of cannibalising all of the above.

If I was to use the below connection request I’d be demonstrating the lack of importance I place in the connection and above all – I’m lazy!

I don’t want to do either.

I’d also be wasting an opportunity to promote my brand.

If you send one of these to me – I might connect – or I might not.

If you’re lucky, I’ll send a LinkedIn message back to you asking why you want to connect – of course taking the time to reinforce my own brand.

Customise your request.

Research the recipient, view their profile, create a two way opportunity. Demonstrate a reason for the connection.

  • Invitations with email address: 2000 characters
  • Invitations without email address: 300 characters

At the very least please stop sending out the standard “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.”

Example:

Hi Bilal

I came across your profile in my search for subject matter experts in the area of sustainability. I’m extremely interested in this area myself, and would appreciate the opportunity to connect with you and from time to time share ideas and opportunities.

Kind regards
Craig

 

Housekeeping:

Don’t waste the connection…

Say thanks!

Send a message thanking the person for their agreement to connect. This is an opportunity to reach out if you need to.

Managing your connections

Once you’ve connected, don’t let your connections fall into a dark hole. They’re a valuable asset. You may wish to use a similar approach to the one sales professionals use. LinkedIn has a basic CRM function.

You can Tag (categorise) your connections by assigning a tag to the connection in your connections list.

A = those I have worked directly with

B = those I know well

C = those I want to get to know

Or you can be more descriptive. I use descriptive text for my tags because I may want to search my connections later on.

You can use many different tags and apply more than one to each person for future reference.

Clearly you’ll adjust the tags as the nature of your relationship or their role changes.

Click here to learn more from LinkedIn about their tag function

In any event – please treat Connection Requests with the respect your brand deserves.

And then don’t forget about them. Keep in touch!

For more on this subject you may wish to refer to these articles:

Would You Connect With a Bag of Stones

Don’t Waste Connections

Follow Craig McAlpine:

Craig is a career coach who specialises in getting job seekers ready to go to market for a new opportunity. He provides coaching services to up-skill job seekers in Personal Branding, LinkedIn, CV’s, Job Interviews, Value Proposition and Communications.

Craig coaches clients around the world.

Website: www.mycareerbrand.net

Facebook: www.facebook.com/MyCareerBrand.net

Blog: http://mycareerbrand.net/blog.html

Twitter: @MyCareerBrand #MyCareerBrand

Connect with Craig on LinkedIn:

 

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Contact: www.MyCareerBrand.net Phone: +64 21 666 807, +64 9 5222802 e-mail: info@mycareerbrand.net Craig McAlpine's Linked In profile: http://goo.gl/OxFOKZ MISSION Working with Job Search Candidates to build their go-to-market strategy, develop powerful marketing collateral such as their CV, LinkedIn profile and social media presence, and ultimately to secure a new role that is not only rewarding but also assists them on their career journey. EXPERTISE Career Coaching - LinkedIn Training - LinkedIn Optimisation - Personal Branding - Job Hunt: Go to Market Strategy and Collateral - CV design and preparation - Interview skills INDUSTRY EXPERIENCE - Professional Services - Information Technology - Banking and Finance - Recruitment

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Posted in LinkedIn, Personal Brand

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