LinkedIn is great for connecting with people you’ve met, you’d like to meet or that you’d like to be in your network.
But, then what? What comes of that connection? How can you convert it in to business?
There are many ways to do this on LinkedIn, but one of the simple methods is to send them regular messages. If your LinkedIn connections are hearing from you at least once a month, they’re much less likely to forget about you, and are much more likely to do business with you!
You can compose a LinkedIn message by clicking on ‘Inbox’ in the top navigation menu, then clicking ‘compose message’. You can then either type the name directly in the ‘To’ box, or click on the LinkedIn symbol next to the ‘to’ box to open up your connection list.
Each message can be sent to up to 50 people at a time, so this is a great way to keep in contact with your connections.
Make sure you stick to the following guidelines though:
1. Don’t ‘introduce’ your business
This type of message never works, and yet businesses do it all the time! They go along the lines of ‘Hi Sam, Thanks for connecting! I’d just like to introduce my business Widgets Forever Ltd. At Widgets Forever, we have over 25 years experience……If you’d like to buy some widgets, you can call us on…..’
Why doesn’t this work? For a start, the recipient will have very little desire to read the email. It’s boring!! And there’s no ‘what’s in it for me?’ element. This straight away looks like you were only interested in connecting for the sake of selling your stuff! Don’t send this type of message!
2. Offer value
Instead, send messages with value to the reader. You might have a blog post that you think would be of interest to them. Or you might want to share ‘the 5 steps to choosing the right widget’. You can also turn this to your favour by offering 2 of the 5 steps, then linking them through to a download page for the other three. This could require them to give their email address to receive the other steps to their inbox, and you can grow your database at the same time.
3. Let them know your offers
Selling should be kept to an absolute minimum on LinkedIn messages. But, if you have something you know will be of interest to them, and you have a great deadlined offer on it, then let them know. People are much more likely to buy from you when there is an offer, such as an early bird price. Your offer may even be something for free. For example, I just sent a message to my LinkedIn connections about a free webinar I’m running. This has already lead to an extra 28 people registering for the webinar, where I can go in to more detail and include an offer.
4. Keep it light
If you focus too much on a corporate message, your connections are more unlikely to read the message. Instead keep it light and conversational. If you’re sending to many at once, it is not possible to include a personal introduction (e.g. Hi Sam). So, instead use ‘good morning/afternoon’ or a simple ‘hello!’. Explain why you are getting in touch, e.g. ‘I’ve just written a blog on sending LinkedIn messages and I thought it could be of interest to you in keeping in touch with your own connections!’
5. Uncheck the ‘allow recipients to see each others’ names and email addresses’ box
This box sits at the end of your message and be sure to uncheck it if you are sending to many. It does not look professional when the recipient is able to see all other recipients of the message.
6. Send regularly
If you send regular messages of value to your LinkedIn connections, they are much more likely to read the odd sales message you send to them. So, try to send messages to your LinkedIn connections at least once a month (and no more than once every 2 weeks).
7. Focus on specific targets
You can narrow the connections you send to by location and industry. So, make sure you are sending your message to the relevant people. It is rare that all your LinkedIn connections need to receive the message. Keep it focused!
So, your challenge today is to go send a message to relevant LinkedIn connections!!
Have you had success with LinkedIn messages? Do you have any questions about sending LinkedIn messages? Let me know by commenting below!