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More than one in four adults in the U.S. regularly use LinkedIn, and each day millions of messages are sent between users. From these conversations, everything from business collaborations to tech demos are planned. So much is possible on the platform, it’s merely a matter of who you know and what you have to say.
Growing a solid base of connections on LinkedIn is a valuable tool in itself, but once you possess them, further action is required to truly reap the rewards of the platform. You need to reach out effectively, and there’s more to it than just a standard social media greeting.
Early stumbles in LinkedIn messaging can lead to a lukewarm response or none at all. It’s worth taking the time to fine-tune your copywriting style so you can make an impression that not only lasts but leads to meaningful action with your connections.
1. Establish your hook early
Whether it’s a sales pitch or simple outreach, any message should contain something of a hook to garner attention. Doing so right out of the gate is a must. If you fail to gain and hold a contact’s attention early, whatever you plan to follow up with is irrelevant.
Like the trailer to a must-see movie, you need to foster some curiosity in your audience. Open-ended questions that speak to a specific need, or an insightful comment on a recent trend or statistic work just as well.
These are proven methods in establishing a hook, pick one and play with the form until you feel like it’s ready for action. Once you have a few hook strategies in mind, then you can safely move forward and substantiate the conversation.
2. Introduce yourself (and provide real value)
Once you have someone’s attention on LinkedIn, it’s time to maximize the potential of the moment. Briefly introduce yourself and share any relevant credentials that will support your capabilities as a professional. Inquire about their background and goals, and then it’s safe to move into the pitch section of the conversation.
Be sure to highlight how both sides benefit from this, and take care to not come across as too needy or pushy. Treat the exchange of messages as a conversation about an opportunity, not just the pushing of a product or service.
It’s a business platform first and foremost so people are open to these kinds of conversations, but you can stand out from the pack just by being realistic about your aims.
3. Adapt to your intended audience
Templates are a wonderful tool to cut down on time spent, but they can come across as spammy if they are relied on too heavily without any personalization. By adding some customized elements to your messaging, it displays you took some time to craft it for your audience.
Take the time to review the connection’s profile and see if you have an overlap in interests or background. These are opportunities to customize your copywriting message towards your audience, which will raise their overall chances of success. A comment or two that references this works wonders to give dimension to messages, and shakes off the spammy tone we all want to avoid.
4. Use urgency to your advantage
While you don’t want to come across as pushy, setting some parameters of time limits or urgency works wonders in terms of converting meaningful actions from messages. Only 22% of LinkedIn users check the platform daily, so when you have their attention, you need to make the most of it.
Fear of missing out is a powerful motivator in people, especially business-minded individuals who are always trying to stay one step ahead of competitors.
If you can prove that you provide solutions to their common problems, then all the right pieces are there for a mutually good fit. However, a sense of urgency can motivate action like nothing else as it forces a decision. This is good for both sides to decide if they want to proceed or pass on a project rather than waffle back and forth.
5. Cut the fluff
LinkedIn is by definition social media, but users typically aren’t on there to idly read irrelevant messages or purely for entertainment purposes. Dropping a lengthy message right after a connection is made might overwhelm the recipient. Responding to each section demands time and attention, and if they don’t know you well yet, this could be seen as a risky investment.
Make your messages short and impactful to start. If things go well, you can then escalate into longer and more detailed messages, but it’s important to understand pacing in terms of message copywriting.
Even when you are past the introductory phase, try to limit your language to the essential. Throw out all the weak modifiers like “very” or “really.” If an item needs a description, then you can add something with more nuance and meaning.
Mastering your message writing skills won’t happen overnight but through steady practice and application over time. Once you have a strong grip on it though, it’s a skill that will bring value to yourself and your career like nothing else.