Congratulations, you have started properly requesting LinkedIn connections. Targeted contacts are accepting your connection request. A major step in your outreach strategy is working. YAY! So, what is the next step? Hmm. If you have ever asked yourself this question, you are not alone. Here are a few quick ideas on how to initiate more than a simple connection with a professional on LinkedIn followed by an important list of things to avoid.
How to communicate after the connection is accepted:
1. Say Hello. Imagine that. Just simply send a quick message saying hello with thank you for the connection.
2. If you mentioned in your request to connect your interest in the person’s background and profession, you should send a message asking for a followup phone call.
3. Join and contribute to one of this person’s professional groups that you have in common. Group members on LinkedIn continually share articles and ideas with one another. This is a great way for you to establish yourself as a professional and thought leader.
4. If you have experienced or witnessed this person’s professional skills mentioned on LinkedIn, use this opportunity to take advantage of the new “endorse” feature.
A few things you should avoid:
1. Do NOT ask for a job or immediately ask for more contacts. That is a fast way to get yourself unconnected to this contact.
2. Do NOT forget to reach out to the contact after the connection. When someone accepts your connection, your name is fresh in their brain. Don’t wait too long before connecting.
3. Do not write a recommendation or endorse this person if you do not know this person. Build a professional relationship first. If you start endorsing or recommendation people you do not know, your professionalism will be compromised and you won’t be taken seriously.
LinkedIn is what I refer to as my Online Rolodex. It’s a perfect way to research and initially connect with new professionals. Building a relationship with those professionals takes more time. Stay mindful of this step.
Connect first and then engage!