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Are You LinkedIn With the Correct Message?
By: Aprel Phelps Downey
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Making connections is the lifeblood of the business world. You are only as good as the next connection you make. One of the social media powerhouses puts the network connection power in the palm of your hand when utilized correctly. LinkedIn opens a window of opportunity to connect with nearly every person with an online presence. Scoring that coveted LinkedIn connection with that one person who can take your business to the next level requires the mindset you bring to an executive board meeting. You must think outside the box and break out of the default LinkedIn message template.
Start by standing out in the crowd with an eye-catching title. Make your title pop. Avoid the generic and vague "new connection wanted" approach. Give the reader a reason to open your message with a title that captures the heart of your interest in establishing a connection. Are you expanding on a business idea discussed at last night’s networking event? Find a way to work that information into a catchy message title that will make someone think twice before clicking "delete."
First impressions are everything in the business world, and your LinkedIn connection approach is no exception. You need to start the message off by taking a few minutes to introduce yourself, how you may know your connection already, and what exactly it is that you do. You cannot rely on LinkedIn to make that introduction for you. Your potential connection may be pressed for time upon opening your message and not click over to take a look at your profile page. Therefore the absence of that personal introduction leaves your message feeling cold and impersonal. Your potential connection has no reason to take action on your request and quickly sends your message to the trash. Keep the connection chance alive with a brief yet effective introduction.
Time is a valuable commodity in the business world. Therefore, you want to get straight to the point of your message once the introduction is out of the way. It could be that you are interested in having that person write a guest post for your next newsletter. You may want to conduct an interview or seek advice regarding an upcoming business expansion. You may wish to invite that person to an upcoming networking social event. Whatever the reason behind your connection message, be as direct as possible in a timely, professional fashion.
Begin bringing your message to a close by restating your initial request and extending a courteous "thank you for your time" as a show of gratitude for staying with your message until the end. Polish up your message making sure everything is short, sweet and to the point. End with a call to action of how you will follow up your request. You are now looking at an effective LinkedIn message that is sure to capture some of that networking power to your advantage!  

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About the Author
Aprel Phelps Downey is a writing/marketing professional who holds more than seven years marketing experience, including all aspects of promotional and informational campaigns and website development.  To learn more about Aprel please visit her website at www.aprelphelpsdowney.com or follow her on twitter: @aphelpsdowney.
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