Are Your Linkedin Invites Hurting Your Reputation?

I don’t know about you, but I’ve grown tired of getting default Linkedin invites from complete strangers who didn’t include a personal message. Many of them appear to be direct competitors. Why would I accept their invitation? Do they want to partner on a project? Sub-contract to me? Have direct access to my connection list? I have no idea because they haven’t told me.

Linkedin actually encourages you TWICE to include a personal note. They even give you 300 characters of space to write that note. Not telling the person why you want to connect in the virtual world is like walking up to a stranger at a networking event and saying “Hey, let’s be friends!”

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Linkedin Invite Step 1

When I get a default invite, I’m sure I have the same expression on my face as the guy in this blog post photo. I stare at my computer screen perplexed, wondering why this person has reached out to me.

I love Linkedin. I think it’s a brilliant networking and promotional tool for business owners. But a laziness factor has crept into how people make use of it.

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Linkedin Invite Step 2

In this age of social media outreach, people equate the click of a button with taking hard action on their business. But if we took the time to measure the ROI on these one-click actions, we’d realize how much time we’ve been wasting on things like generic Linkedin invites.

When I get a default invite, unless I know the person already, I ignore it. Even if I know the person, I don’t necessarily accept their invitation. If you can’t take the time to tell me how being connected with you will add value to my business or yours, I won’t accept your invitation.

I know it sounds tough, but for entrepreneurs, time is a precious commodity. And I don’t like having mine wasted.

Below are my top 5 reasons why you should send customized invites on Linkedin:

1.  It forces you to answer WHY

If you can’t tell me WHY you want to connect with me, it means you don’t know, haven’t bothered to figure it out, or don’t want to take the time to tell me.

What’s your value proposition to the person you’re inviting to connect with? Why should I connect with you? Answer this in your invite and you greatly increase your chances of growing your network of VALUABLE connections.

2.  This is for those who send invites to their competition

I don’t mind my competition connecting with me, as long as they tell me why they want to.

Would you call your competition on the phone and start shooting the breeze and suggesting you be business friends without any compelling offer? Probably not. So why would you approach your competition on Linkedin without any explanation?

3.  Generic Invites Come Across as Spammy

In this new age of social media dominance in our lives, lack of trust is a growing issue.  Fake profiles and a rush to sell something online have added to user caution.

While not all of your custom written invites will necessarily be accepted, they’re more likely to get your profile viewed. And the chances of them turning into a meaningful relationship are much higher.

4.  It’s about quality, not quantity

I would rather have 50 quality connections on Linkedin that might actually turn into new business, than 500+ connections that do nothing for my business. You’re better off doing fewer customized invites than a blast of generic ones. You’ll get a better response rate and someone might actually engage with you beyond accepting your invite.

5.  People don’t feel like you’ve wasted their time

It’s nice to be invited to something, isn’t it? The natural reaction to getting a Linkedin invite is to be a little pleased that someone wants to connect with us. But when I open the invite and see it’s just the default invite content, I instantly feel that my time has been wasted. So that’s the last thought I’ll have about the person who sent me the invite before I reject their invite.

Is that the last thought you want people having about you and your business?


 

Doing anything well takes some time. But it’s worth the effort in the end. Don’t fall into the social media trap of counting your progress based on click actions. Treat your invites to connect like you would an interaction at an in-person networking event, and you’ll have better results and more quality connections.

Do you want to know more about how to get better results with Linkedin? Read my blog post on Being Bold with Your Linkedin Professional Headline.



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