When it comes to professional networking online, few websites can compare to LinkedIn. While it’s important to maintain an online presence and have potential clients reach out to you themselves, it’s just as important for you to reach out as well. While you may want to try and recruit or sell a service right away, you play the risk of annoying the person you reach out to. This is why it’s better to ask for lighter calls to action than a pure sales pitch.

An Example of a Bad Message Introduction I’ve Received:

“Hi Justin, I’m ______ from ______. Right now, we are currently offering discounts on our services for professionals just like you to help with led generation efforts. We only have space for 6 more packages to go out, so message me as soon as you can to secure yours. Here is the link to my offering ________. I look forward to working with you as a partner.”

What a Disaster!

After receiving this message, I was personally taken back. Not only did this person offer me MY OWN SERVICEbut they even misspelled lead. Not only that, I never even connected with this person, I simply received this message out of the blue! Clearly there was some bad targeting going on with this automated message and it caused me to experience what many others have, annoyance.

Instead, a better procedure would have been:

  • Reach out by asking to be my connection.
  • Within the connection request, mention something personal so you don’t come off like a generic message bot. (Company name, experience history, accomplishments etc.)
  • Don’t try and hard sell a product or service, instead ask to talk sometime for a better explanation of what you do.
  • Alternatively, you can also ask a question to have your prospect be more likely to respond to you, even if it’s a simple not interested.

An Example of a Good Message Introduction I’ve Received:

“Justin, thank you for making the connection on LinkedIn. We are currently looking for someone to help us out with marketing. We are a small company located in Kansas City that specializes in _____.

We also have several start up companies that are under our brand. Do you do freelance marketing work? Or are you looking for a new position? Thank you so much and it was great to make the connection.”

What a Great Message!

Not only did this person know what services I offered, they got straight to the point relatively quickly without coming off as pushy. They mentioned what they were looking for, where my particular specialty could help, and they asked me a few reasonable questions to get me engaged to respond. Finally, they thanked me for my time and made me feel valued. Messages like this can come off as personal but also professional at the same time.

Want to learn more about online introductions? Check out our post on Three Email Techniques to Increase Open Rates.