Sunday, March 08, 2015

7 Reasons We Might Not Accept your Linkedin Request

It’s not me – it’s you!

Do you want to improve your success at building your list of Linkedin contacts?

Perhaps you reached out and asked me (or someone else) to link with you on Linkedin. Why didn’t we accept? At one time I believed that it was wonderful to accept every connection request and reach out to as many people as possible.

Remember how excited we once were to hear “You’ve got mail.”? Most of us don’t feel that way anymore.

I accept that Linkedin is about connecting, networking and selling oneself. I’m comfortable with that. You might be selling yourself to get your next job. You might be selling yourself as a recruitment specialist. Those two roles were the original thrust of Linkedin.

But Linkedin and its use has evolved and you might be selling your professional services or your products.

I believe that Linkedin is a marketplace for people, services and goods. That’s the only reason I participate. Some of you might have a product or service that I’m interested in. More importantly to me, I expect that some of you might be interested in buying my services or referring me to an interested party.

One of the traps of social media is to believe that more means better. More contacts, followers, likes and comments… Justin Bieber isn’t the standard that you should chase.

The reality is that we don’t need more. We need better. The quality of those numbers might be more important than the magnitude.

Here are some of the criteria that might prevent me (or others) from accepting your invitation:

No Photo
If you couldn’t be bothered to add your photo then why should we bother to connect with you? For all we know you might not be human. A photo of your dog or cat does nothing unless you’re a veterinarian. An image of your logo or product is also impersonal. Linkedin is a forum for personal contact.

You Have Less than 200 Contacts
Numbers still count. How will your anemic list of 65 contacts help me? If you have less than 200 contacts then that doesn’t demonstrate influence. It feels like you’re trying to mooch off my list.

Vague or Weak Description
Your portfolio is vague or slim. We read it but can’t figure out what you do or what your expertise is. You spewed a pile of clichés that turned us off. You made claims that are not believable because they reek of absolutes and ridiculous promises.

Standard Connection Message
This by itself isn’t a connection killer. If you simply clicked on the standard Linkedin message “I’d like to add you to my network” I’m ambivalent. You haven’t given me a reason to connect. On the other hand if you wrote a personal message instead of the standard lazy message you are almost guaranteed that I’ll accept your invitation.

Do you want a guarantee that I’ll accept your connection request? Tell me what attracted you to connect. Tell me how you might help me. Tell me why I should connect with you.

Poor Grammar and Word Choice
If after reading your portfolio I see that English isn’t your first language I will forgive simple grammar and syntax errors.  I’m looking at the phrasing of your invitation and your portfolio and what you might offer. Several spelling errors will repel me.

You vs Me
If your portfolio is all about you – that is a turn-off. It’s okay to describe your accomplishments. But be sure to present your accomplishments in terms of how you helped your clients or employers. Is your portfolio a crass plea for a job? Or is it an offer of value? Convincing testimonials from employers, colleagues or clients can boost your credibility.

Your Tagline
This is your opportunity to capture attention because it displays immediately after your name. The most common default is to show the title of your current job. That’s boring but does help to stick a label on you for the recruiters and HR drones if that’s who you want to attract.

The best option is to describe your promise in the tagline. Why should people connect, hire or work with you? Avoid the clichés. That simply shows that you are unimaginative and no different from the mob.

The worst option is to list your status as:  “Currently looking for new opportunity”,
“On Sabbatical” or “Hoping to land my first job”. My reaction is “don’t call me”.

If you want to build a more profitable network on Linkedin make your portfolio attractive to new prospects. Convert if from a “job obituary” to an attractive invitation.

Before you send your “invite to connect” messages read the portfolio of your prospect and write them a personal invite that feels attractive to them.

George Torok
Co-author of the bestselling, Secrets of Power Marketing

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George Torok  

Keynote Marketing Speaker Co-author of Secrets of Power Marketing Get your free copy of "50 Power Marketing Ideas" Power Marketing on FaceBook Marketing Zoo on Twitter Share/Save/Bookmark

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