Pro-active, ongoing LinkedIn connection request strategy

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Consider setting up an ongoing program of sending connection requests on LinkedIn to build your professional network in your niche.

This is in addition to sending connection requests to all the clients you work with and others whom you interact with.

Steps to do this:

  1. Decide on the profile of the person you’d like to connect with.
  2. Develop a reason for individuals who fit that profile to connect with you. Also note that, counterintuitively, some people may be more willing to connect to provide YOU with help than to RECEIVE your help. So consider asking for help.A few connection request ideas:
    – I’m doing a project on XYZ and would value your insights
    – I’m organizing this virtual event, would you like an invitation?
    – I’m organizing a community for people interested in XYZ
    – Would love to interview you for my blog/podcast/white paper
    – I’m a fellow alum of Famous College. Would be grateful to get your advice on ABC
  3. Pay a freelancer to create a Google sheet for you listing people who fit the target profile.  Sheet should have columns:
    – First name
    – Last name
    – Current job title
    – Current employer
    – LinkedIn URL
    – Location (maybe)
  4. Send your personalized LinkedIn connection requests to those on the sheet. Add columns to track:
    – Date connection request sent
    – Email address of the person (if they connect with you)
    – Status of your follow-up

NOTE: If you get flagged by too many recipients as “I don’t know this person,” then LinkedIn will remove your ability to send connection requests unless you know the recipient’s email address. In general, if you send < 50 connection requests per day and at least 20% of the requests are accepted and only a small number are flagged “I don’t know this person,” you should be OK.
So start small – just 10 per day – and check the response rate.

On the browser version of LinkedIn, you get prompted if you want to add a personalized note – you should always do that.

On the LinkedIn app, perversely, LinkedIn hides the personalized invite three levels down. So following the above program is much easier on the browser.

If you DO want to send a connection request with the app, here is how to personalize it: