LinkedIn has redefined the meaning of professional networking several times, which makes Linkedin etiquette crucial for any qualified professional these days. Our answer to the question posed in the title of this article is yes.
Yes, you should connect with strangers on Linkedin.
Why should you connect with strangers?
LinkedIn is built for networking and it’s built to help you connect with other people in your industry – both people you know and those you don’t know. Likewise, it’s about connecting with people who you aspire to be like, potential employers, recruiters and etc. As a precaution, do not randomly add people that would not have any professional value for you.
Personalizing your Invitation to Connect
If you are going to add someone you’ve never met on LinkedIn, it’s important to personalize the invitation you are sending to them. The automatic messages that LinkedIn offers provides the recipient no context and are only suited for connection requests to people you’ve met and are acquainted with. Keep it short because your connections are busy and don’t have time to read bulky and long messages.
Making Meaningful Connections
Once your connection has accepted your request, now what? Following up is the key to successful LinkedIn Marketing. Send a direct message to thank them for the connection and offer them a chance to talk directly or over the phone. Remember not to make it all about you – tell them that you admire their work and you’d like to hear more about their experience – this way they are more likely to reply and engage in a conversation.
Here is an example of a direct message you can send to a new connection. You can refer to the example below when customizing your own direct message.
I noticed we are both connected to ____ – how do you know ____? I first met ____ at a corporate event, and she actually photographed our Christmas party. Small world!
I am contacting you because I saw an open position at your company. I think it could be a great fit for me. I’m located in Toronto now and I manage social media marketinfor a digital marketing company here.
Would you mind if I called you sometime this week to hear about your experience at ____. I would be great hear about your perspective on the company and the marketing department?
I appreciate your time, thanks for connecting.
We hope this tip is useful as you build a supportive LinkedIn network that believes in your work, Developing a meaningful professional network is essential to your career growth and success.
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