A few years ago, I received the best invitation to connect on LinkedIn that I have ever received, before or since.
It was so good, in fact, that I kept it, generalized it down and have used it during speaking engagements and presentations as an example of how to invite someone to connect.
Now, in the case of a mass upload of contacts when you’re just getting started, or certain contacts with whom you’re connected a dozen different ways, sometimes the standard, “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn” is perfectly OK. But often, it’s not.
If you are connecting to someone new to your network:
- Provide context; remind them how you know one another, who your mutual connections are and where you met.
- Tell them why you’re interested in connecting.
- Let them know what it is you offer, or how your network might be valuable to them.
- If the connection has a new position or has a business recently featured in the news, make reference to that.
- Familiarize yourself with the contact by looking for updates, common contacts, a blog, a Google profile, on Twitter or other content that will give you some context for the person you’re reaching out to; it may be helpful to know what’s happening with them on the day you conduct your outreach.
Here’s the “sample” invitation to connect that I’ve referred to so often. Take a look, then build your own.
As you may know, I resigned my position as [TITLE & COMPANY]. It was a rich experience and I value the privilege of access to a very high level of thought leadership during my years there.
Recently, I have begun to work with the [COMPANY] to [DETAILS OF JOB AND INDUSTRY] Using “best practice” as a baseline, we are [INFORMATION ABOUT THE COMPANY’S GOALS AND PURSUITS].
As I value our relationship and appreciate the depth of experience you bring to your profession, please join my network so we can stay in touch on this and more.
Isn’t that just lovely?
I often refer to this message when I want to set just the right tone when reaching out to a new connection. Feel free to adapt for your own needs, and of course, feel free to connect with me, as well.