I think we all agree: Since LinkedIn is a business-focused social networking site, the object is to build a network of people who might do business. Refer business. Be in a position to raise my visibility by sharing my posts. Here’s how I’ve gone about it.
Statistics, Because You Want Numbers
I’ve been on LinkedIn for several years. Early on, I figured getting that “500+ connections” designation puts you into the “take this guy seriously” category. It took me forever to inch past the 500-connection threshold. As of Monday, June 29, I have 2,118 first-level connections.
Between Thursday, June 4, and Friday, June 26, I added 100 new connections. Here are some statistics:
- Accepted my invitation to connect: 79 people
- Invited me to connect with them: 21 people
It’s obvious you control the invitations you send out. What about those 21 people who send me an invitation?
- Member of same LinkedIn group: 8 people
- No group overlap: 13 people
If you belong to active groups with lots of conversations, I’ve discovered when you message back and forth, those folks sometimes send an invitation to connect.
I’m pretty open-minded, but I don’t connect with everyone who sends an invitation. I’m highly suspicious of folks like Ukrainian bankers and Serbians in the import/export business, especially if it looks like their profile was created a few days ago and there’s almost no background information available.
How I Extend Invitations
My business involves training. I’m looking for people at specific firms in certain roles. However, the strategy is easily transferable to financial advisors, insurance agents and others looking for prospects.
Step 1: I do a LinkedIn scan. The words I include are the firm and job title. I also specify second-level connections.
Step 2: I prepare template text for the invitation. Here’s an example:
You are a branch manager at (firm). I’m a former (my old firm) financial advisor with a business providing training in HNW client acquisition. I also write articles on the topic and find LinkedIn is an efficient way to share them. We know (number) of the same people. Let’s connect via LinkedIn.
Step 3: I customize each message by adding their first name, the name of their firm and the number of shared connections. I try to focus on people where I have at least 10 shared connections.