The One Thing You Should Never Do with LinkedIn Connection Messages

personal branding Jun 23, 2022
LinkedIn connection messages

Sending a LinkedIn message to a connection should be handled with care and thought. They are a vital piece to building your network and audience, and for a good reason. LinkedIn has seen a 55% increase in conversations between members.

But I bet more often you’ll hear the sounds of (crickets 🦗) then the dinging of your phone of new message notifications.

I’ve been there and get it.

No one has shared with you how to write a proper and engaging LinkedIn message intended to motivate the person to reply and continue the conversation. And that’s the key objective here, how to continue the conversation that will hopefully turn into a high-quality lead or connection.

In this article, I share two best practices for writing LinkedIn messages and one “never practice that again” warning. Plus, I share a fun and easy-to-remember acronym to help you write new and improved messages to people on LinkedIn.

Ready for the first best practice? It actually starts before you hit the message button. 


Do: Check Out the Profile Before Sending a Connection Message

Before you decide to request a connection or write an InMail message, a good rule of thumb is first to check out the person’s profile. Do your diligence by learning more about them and whether they would be a good connection in your network. Take a moment to read their headline, about, and feature section.

Ask yourself these three questions:

  1. Who are they? 
  2. What problem are they trying to solve or passionate about?
  3. How do you help their ideal customers? 

Bonus Question: Do you have a solution to help them achieve results faster and with fewer mistakes?

Even if you already have read and seen their posts pop up on your feed, there are probably new pieces of information about them on their profile page that are worth learning and noting.

(Hint: This is a significant precursor to writing an effective LinkedIn message)

Not sure if your LinkedIn profile is up to par for optimal visibility and reach on the platform? Grab my LinkedIn Profile Checklist to see if your profile is at rockstar status.


Do Not: Send a Sales Message

If your messages start off saying:

“Hey! Check out…”

“Are you looking for…”

“I wanted to ask…”

These are a few examples of how a message begins when someone wants to sell something or ask if you need their services.

People want to do business with people and companies they know, like, and trust.

When the initial LinkedIn message is a sales pitch, you give them no reasons why a person should like you. There are no signs of wanting to learn more about each other or their backgrounds, and definitely not enough time to build trust.

A sales pitch as the first message to a new connection is like shooting your shot and missing it by a mile.

Do not waste your time making a sales pitch on your first or even second message. Instead, use the time to create a personalized note that could lead to a more sustainable and viable connection. 


Do: Send a Customized Connection Message

You now know not to send sales messages on LinkedIn. Let’s re-calibrate with a new approach by crafting a more thoughtful note with the intention to continue the conversation by using the M.O.R.E framework.

M= Memorable

O= Original 

R= Request Action

E= Emotion

Be Memorable

Your LinkedIn messages should be memorable by standing out from all the other standard (and boring) messages people get in their inboxes. Share a light-hearted anecdote as an ice breaker if you have something in common with them, like the same school, hometown, or industry.

Or try sending a voice text, the most memorable way to send a personalized message. It’s an instant ice breaker allowing you to show your personality and make an instant connection.

And hey, if you don’t like the recording of the message, you can delete it and try again before pressing send.

Send an Original Message

Let’s make it a rule that every LinkedIn message you send will be original, with no cut and paste action. The message should be original and unique because you’re going to include something you learned about them after reading their profile or recent post.

Sending an original message will help you stand out, be memorable, and shows them you took a few extra minutes to craft a custom message. 

Request Action by Asking a Question 

One of the biggest missed opportunities with a LinkedIn message is not asking the person a question to continue the conversation. Asking a thoughtful question before ending the note begins nurturing the connection into a professional relationship.

Try asking a question about their most recent post or about a project they worked on (you’ll find these clues on their LinkedIn profile or through their content). Most people enjoy sharing their thoughts, background, or past experiences, so let them share that with you. But you’ll only learn more about them by asking them the question in your message.

Example of questions to ask:

“I’m curious to learn more about how you did “X” - what would the one thing you wish you knew about “X” be before you started.

“I’m so impressed by your involvement with “X” - if someone was going to do the same “X” what advice would you give them?

Strike an Emotion

You not only want that person to remember you, but you also want them to feel good after reading your message. Enough for them to want to write back and share their answer to your question.

A way to make a person’s day is to share what attracted you to their post or profile. People like to learn how they stood out to another person, so share one interesting piece of information you learned about them from their profile or content.

They will feel special and impressed by your effort of giving them some attention. Here are a few examples of what that message would sound like:

When You Want to See What They Know in Relation to Your Topic:

“Thank you for sharing this, [their name]! Have you tried [tactic mentioned in your copies]? It makes a world of difference!”

When You Want to Get Them Super Chatty:

“I appreciate it! I’m excited to see how everyone takes [your educational tip] and creates something of their own. What projects are you working on right now?”

When You Want to See Them Go Deeper into Your Topic:

“I was going to keep it to myself but that would just be wrong! What do you typically do when you’re working on [topic/project that relates to what your content is about]?”

The goal here is to ask open-ended questions that won’t result in single-word replies, giving you a great opportunity to learn more about the commenter and what their unique needs are.


Final Takeaway- LinkedIn Connection Messages

Your first LinkedIn message is your chance to make a good impression, and the goal for the person to reply. However, the focus of the message is more about them, not necessarily about you.

So, the next time you decide to send a message on LinkedIn, think about who you are writing to and not about who is writing to them.

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