There is nothing more important than clear and concise communication in business. Whether it’s a text, email, or phone call, the idea is to get your point across in an effective manner. Many business professionals treat cold emailing, and LinkedIn messaging as a repetitive, mundane task with no flavor yet expect to achieve positive results.
They fail, of course, because they use boring, automated messages that feel cold and robotic. Your future clients expect more than that (as they should), which is why it is necessary to personalize your messages to reflect your business in the best way possible.
Create An Outline
The very first thing you want is to gather your thoughts and analyze your approach. Yes, even for a cold message. Understand the format and your style of process. What do you want to highlight in your messages? Are you following the LinkedIn character count? What would you say if your connection is accepted? Keep these questions in mind when organizing your thoughts for an outline.
LinkedIn Format and Style to Follow
Before I send any message, I ask myself a simple question – How would I react if I received this message? Would I laugh, or would I ignore it? Would I have the patience to read these many paragraphs, or would I simply hit the delete button?
Now I’m quite an impatient person, so I like (and appreciate) short and precise messages, but simple jokes do no harm. Everyone is busy, and a laugh is often welcomed.
When cold messaging on LinkedIn, be natural – but do not feel entitled to other people’s time. Everyone is busy, so get to the point within the first three sentences.
When you send your first connecting message on LinkedIn, you must keep in mind the character count, which is 300. You can explain why you wish to connect, what you want to offer, or how you know them. Note how all these points are semi-personal and give you a chance to sound more approachable rather than an automated message. This is an easy A amongst potential connections and can get you a quicker response.
An example of a connecting message on LinkedIn is as follows –
I attended your Habitat For Humanity seminar last night. I admire your role in the campaign and would love to learn more about you.
Would you like to connect?
It’s simple, short, and to the point. You complimented the person, let them know how you know them, and explained the reason for the message – all in 174 characters!
Do not be a robot!
People don’t want to receive messages that are impersonal and SHOW that they are automated messages that have probably been sent to another fifty people. One of the most common and cringe-worthy errors people complain about is this –
The lack of effort shows, and it is the easiest way to be ignored. This is most common when you send out bulk messages and slip in a message or two like this in haste. Who would wish to respond to a person that can’t be bothered to learn and add their name in the message anyway?
Become Your Client
Research plays a significant role in cold messaging. Do you understand what they need? Are your services or connections going to benefit them? Would they appreciate a quirky approach or a serious one?
Before you send out a message (especially if you are connecting for business purposes), understand the mission and goals of your clients. Do not let your message get ignored because you want to sell potatoes to people who desire tomatoes.
Things to Avoid
Like everything else, there are some sacred rules of LinkedIn that a person shouldn’t break.
Rule #1 – No Lengthy Message
No one, I repeat, NO ONE wants to read long messages, especially from a stranger. Your first aim must be to grab their attention (could be done using a ridiculous subject line, a meme, or just a quirky opening) and immediately get to the point. If you are sending paragraphs – 8/10 times, you WILL be ignored.
Rule #2 – No Robots
You are a human, and the person you are messaging is also a human. Connect with them naturally, and sound alive! As cliche as it sounds, be yourself! Let your messages be a glimpse of your personality. This will not only get you a quicker response but also establish a connection with the REAL you.
If you insist on sending automated messages, at least consider adding an emoji and replace <name> with the actual person. Believe me; a little effort will go a long way here.
Also, keep in mind that if people wish, they can have you banned if you send too many messages to strangers. They can report you, and LinkedIn will freeze your account.
Rule #3 – Not Having a Follow Up Response Ready
This may sound like we are getting ahead of ourselves, but trust me, a connection message after accepting your request should be sent out within 24 hours of connecting. Follow-up messages tend to be longer and more descriptive, and this is your opportunity to display your credibility and strengths. This way, you’ll be fresh in their memory, and you’re likely to get a conversation flowing. Also, quick responses are attractive, and people appreciate it when you don’t waste their time.
Rule#4 – Do Not Sound Salesy
I can’t emphasize this enough. DO NOT TALK TO PEOPLE TO SELL YOUR PRODUCT. Or at least, don’t sound like that’s the primary purpose of your connection (even though it could be). People are more than just potential customers. Compliment them, comment on their posts, and consider their career progression. Use whatever tool available to create a MEMORABLE impression, not just an indifferent connection.
Tips To Better Writing
Business doesn’t have to all be about stiff formality. I’ve briefly mentioned this earlier but adding humor to your writing makes you seem approachable. A simple joke can create an instant connection, and who wouldn’t like to do business with people they feel connected to?
Keep it short
If this point hasn’t been drilled into you yet, this is a final reminder – KEEP. IT. SHORT. LinkedIn is, first and foremost, a professional platform. Dancing around the bush will not win you any points. Keep your message short, powerful, and to the point. This will portray your professionalism and respect for other people’s time.
Call to Action
This is a must in your follow-up message (after you have connected with a person). If you want them to view your website, YouTube channel, or if you want to book a call with them – give them your information. Share a Calendly link or your URL. Redirect them to your domain that will reflect you (or your business) more accurately. This can also show your credibility and organization skills.
LinkedIn is a professional playground. Cold messaging is a strategy that, when done right, can win you valuable connections. The trick is to send out messages that are clear, concise, and cannot be ignored.