With digital networking via LinkedIn at it's PEAK, you need to grab the attention of connections and make yourself known quickly via a LinkedIn Note. If you don't already know ... a LinkedIn Note is (you got it) a note that you send alongside your connection request. It's not obligatory in order to connect, but I would recommend you ALWAYS send one.
Why? Because it's your chance to tell the potential connection why you want to connect, intro yourself and make an impression — instead of just being another connection.
'LinkedIn members are more likely to accept invitations that include a personal note.'
You only have 300 characters, so you gotta make it snappy. Like fishing, you have to get them with your the bait (the Note) in the first instance. You don’t wanna loose ‘em!
TOP TIP: There is no way to see your Note again until they have accepted your connection request. So have them written/stored in your notes for reference. But remember, this should not be a copy-paste-situation you gotta make it personal.
Before you make any connection request, go through their profile with a fine tooth-comb. This will give you intel and info in which you can touch upon in your Note.
TOP TIP: Touching upon an article they have written or shared will win you big points as it shows you have really done your homework. Praise or challenge them!
Once you have scoped out their profile, did you spot any commonalities? If so, bring up those similarities in your Note. Did you study at the same Uni? Have you worked at the same brand? Do you have any mutual connections?
For example: I reached out to a jurno at Refinery29 and had seen she had gone to the main Uni in my hometown. In my Note I said something along the lines of:
'Hey [name]! I can see you went to Falmouth Uni which is my hometown! I bet you miss the beach as much as me! Would love to connect and talk about a potential feature for R29 I think you will be interested in.'
Tell them what is in it for them! Why should they connect? Why do you want to connect? As you can see in the above example, I was looking for a jurno at R29 to write a feature on the current landscape of unpaid internships. So I told her! But I gave just enough info that it would lead her to wanting to know more...
Always be genuine, but touching upon how they can help you or others, is also key. Everybody loves a bit of philanthropy. For example, when looking for a guest for the July Q+A, I mentioned:
'The landscape of finding ops is pretty crazy right now and I feel like it's our duty to help as much as possible. With your experience and background, the advice and insights you could give my community would be invaluable! What do you think?'
Like a dating profile, what can you say that would interest the potential connection and make them want to know more about you? Again, I have done this in the above example. I have given a little bit of info, but not the full picture.
FUN FACT: Apparently research has found that hiring managers tend to hire people who remind them of themselves.
A Call To Action (CTA) is a term given to something that evokes an action or reaction. Adding one to your Note will add a bit of oompf and induces action. Questions work great! For example:
- I would love connect because ...
- Can we talk further?
- Would it be possible to shoot you an email?
- What do you think?
As with EVERY brand communication (including Cover Letter's etc.) you will know I advise to always remember this: reaching out is like meeting someone new. If they talk about themselves straight away, you are bored and disengaged. Don't talk about yourself in the first instance (or at all) and what can you do to stroke their ego a little? For example:
'Hey Kenya! Your career journey is truly inspirational and it's one that I NEED to share with my intern and Grad community. From how to navigate the fashion industry to dealing with what is happening in today's world... Would you be up for doing a Q+A with me?! PLEASE SAY YES 🙏💖'
Everyone will react to different things. So trust the process and test a few different styles of Notes. Try longer, try shorter, try chatty, try to the point. Before you go for your #1 reach out (AKA Vogue) try first with the not-so big brands/connections and see what the traction it.
If you want to know how to jazz up your LinkedIn profile, check out this post here. Also if you would like me to take a look at your LinkedIn Note, please head to the FYI Forum and post your Note for me to review!
If not, just post your question in the FYI Forum and we will answer it within 24 hours. Better yet — you may even get other members responding with their prime knowledge!