If you sent one LinkedIn connection request every minute of every day, every year, it would take you 1,541 years to message all 810 million members.

Since none of us has time for that, we have to fine-tune our methods. 

But LinkedIn is the second most popular social platform for B2B marketers. Every pitching trick under the sun has been used and over-used since the platform opened in 2003. Therefore, who you reach out to, and how, are crucial to successfully promoting yourself or your business on the platform.

And growing networks all start with LinkedIn connection messages.

In person, we only have a tenth of a second to make a good first impression. Online, people won’t give each other much more. After a momentary glance at your connection message, they may make a decision.

Obviously, the basics include proper grammar and formatting. But there is more at work to determine which connections people approve. The following five do’s and don’ts give your message the best chance of success.

1. Do Be Direct

As society bombards us with more and more information, we get less inclined to absorb it. If a LinkedIn message three paragraphs long pops up in someone’s notifications, they may not even take the time to read it.

Just like in person, you don’t have long to grab people’s attention. So be direct and make your words count:

Hi (Prospect’s Name),

I’m expanding my network and would appreciate it if we could connect.

(Your Name)

This is far too simple, but it’s a starting point for our next four steps.

2. Do Share Information

The world’s most complimentary and engaging message may not lead to a connection if you tell the invitee nothing about yourself. After all, why would someone connect if they don’t know anything about you?

Sharing one tidbit of information about yourself helps contextualise your message, and makes you seem like a worthwhile connection. Even just your job title, field, or the city you’re working in helps potential connections paint a picture of you in their mind.

Let’s add this detail to our message template:

Hi (Prospect’s Name),

I’m a digital marketer that works with B2B businesses. I’m expanding my network and would appreciate it if we could connect.

(Your Name)

Our message is getting better, but it needs a couple more details.

3. Don’t Promote Products or Services – Yet

Even a well-constructed connection message can get dismissed if it looks like an advert. In the long run, your focus is lead generation. But right now, it’s networking.

Once a connection and rapport have been established, you can work on turning them into a customer. From just your second message, including a link to your services is more acceptable and expected. But if it’s in your first, your message may be ignored.

4. Don’t Send a Generic Message

If your message can be copied and pasted into every connection request you make, it won’t work. Why?

People can tell.

Much like a cover letter for a job application, people know when a message wasn’t written specifically for them. Inserting their name isn’t enough to personalise it.

Instead, mention something specific about their company, their work history, or why you want to connect with them. See how this adds value to our message:

Hi (Prospect’s Name),

I’m a digital marketer that works with B2B businesses. I see you work at (Their Company). I’m expanding my network and would appreciate it if we could connect.

(Your Name)

Now our message makes sense, but they still don’t know why you chose them.

5. Do Have a Reason to Connect

Common ground makes a connection much more likely to succeed. What is the reason you are connecting with this person? Whatever it is, mention it in your message to give them some context to the invitation.

This doesn’t limit your networking prospects to people you know. Sure, common ground could be your university or company, but it goes much further. Here’s a list of common ground ideas that can help you find potential contacts, and motivate them to connect with you:

  • Did you study the same major?
  • Do you live in the same area?
  • Do you work in the same field?
  • Have you been following their work?
  • Are they connected to one of your existing connections?
  • Did they comment on or like one of your posts?
  • Did they comment on or like a post that you also interacted with?
  • Did they comment on or like a post related to your field?

Even if you can only answer one of these questions ‘yes,’ value can be added to your LinkedIn connection messages. See how this transforms the message we’ve built so far:

Hi (Prospect’s Name),

I’m a digital marketer that works with B2B businesses. I see you work at (Their Company). I saw your comment on (xyz’s) post, it was so insightful. I hadn’t thought of it that way before! 

I’m expanding my network and would appreciate it if we could connect.

(Your Name)

Or another version could look like:

Hi (Prospect’s Name),

I’m a digital marketer that works with B2B businesses. I see you work at (Their Company). I saw on your profile that you’re also a marketer based in London.

I’m expanding my network and would appreciate it if we could connect.

(Your Name)

This message is detailed, personal, yet still direct. Perfect.

But what if you and your prospective connection have no reason to connect? No shared connections, no mutual fields, no previous interaction. How can you still motivate strangers to connect with you?

Show You’re a Real Person

First of all – maintain the four primary principles. Your LinkedIn connection messages should still be direct, informative, not promote services or products right off the bat, and be personal. But there’s something else you can do.

Show them you’re real.

Your profile should be active, maintaining your online presence. This involves engaging with your community through posts, comments, likes, and even publishing brief articles on occasion. 

Now, when prospective connections check out who you are, they can tell you’re not a bot sending out soulless messages. Rather, you’re a valuable, active connection to add to their network.

But more can be done to ensure your first impression isn’t wasted.

Second Impression: The Profile

Often, a LinkedIn user will check out your profile before agreeing to connect, regardless of how flawless your message was. How can you make sure your profile adds to your message, rather than detracts?

LinkedIn Profile Imagery

Start at the top.

What are your images like? A generic photo is fine, perhaps with your brand logo in your banner. But it can be better.

Make your profile interesting. Does your profile picture show a little personality, or is it so bog-standard it could be a stock image? 

Use your banner to promote your brand without shouting about what you do.

For example, try and share an impressive statistic. Maybe the number of happy customers you’ve served to show your credibility, the number of Twitter followers you have to show your influence, or a simple list of 2-3 services you provide for clarity.

Now your profile is working for you. 

LinkedIn Profile Text

Next, the text.

Does your job title command attention? Is your description snappy and impressive, or wordy and boring? 

Scroll down further. What are your featured posts? Are they recent? Are they relevant to your target audience? 

Can you ask a colleague or previous client to write a skills recommendation for that section, to add weight to your profile?

Lastly, it goes without saying that any mistakes in grammar will turn people away. Proofread, proofread, proofread.

The Lead Generation Shortcut

Organic connections are fantastic. But that labour-intensive process can be streamlined. That’s where LinkedIn automation comes in.

Automated LinkedIn services take the manpower out of connecting. That’s where Salesflow comes in. Connection messages, follow-ups, and LinkedIn campaigns can all be handled by our automation system while maintaining a personalised feel.

Before committing, businesses can use our online ROI calculator to gauge how much more they could earn with our tools. And a free demo of our software is available so businesses can test whether it will be a good fit.

How to Write Perfect LinkedIn Connection Messages

Forming the perfect LinkedIn connection messages is possible, but it takes a little effort – effort which eats into your time. 

That’s why automation tools are essential for anyone trying to make a significant amount of B2B connections. 

Over 6,000 agencies, sales teams, and startups have worked with Salesflow to optimize their lead generation strategies. We’ve helped them find over 10 million new connections and opportunities. And the numbers just keep growing.

Your business will flourish if you employ our software. Schedule a call with one of our LinkedIn Automation Experts today.