Have you ever received an invitation to connect with someone new in LinkedIn that you’ve never met before? I sure have…. Lots, in fact. And with a huge percentage of these invitations I’ve noticed a disconnect happening that immediately makes me hesitate to accept that invitation – the lack of a personal message.
LinkedIn provides a sterile template message that you can use when inviting someone to connect with you. That’s all well and good – but when you are asking someone to CONNECT with you – to be a part of your network, to share information, referrals, connections and with the intention of building a relationship that will benefit you both – I strongly feel that they are deserving of at least a few lines and a more personal message.
I received 5 invitations to connect on LinkedIn today – all of them from people I have never met. One of them contained a personal message – explaining that she had heard me recently on a radio program, the mutual interests she felt we shared and expressed gratitude for making the connection. I immediate accepted and replied with my own message right back. Boom, Pow, a great start to a relationship. We created a positive connection from the start.
The other invitations were from also from people I’ve never met. The message was the generic LinkedIn message, nothing else. They are still sitting in my mailbox, unanswered, waiting for a time when I can do some research to find out if we have mutual friends, topics of interest, etc. Which could take quite a while…
Reaching out to new connections in LinkedIn (and this applies to Facebook as well) whom you have never met in person before is OK, as far as etiquette goes. I’ve done it often myself. There are many reasons why you may want to reach out: mutual friends, shared interests, just read their book, wish to meet and collaborate, etc. Just remember, when you invite someone you haven’t met in person yet, take the simple step to write a few sentences explaining why you are reaching out to them. You’ll be surprised at how many more acceptances you’ll receive – and the positive, beneficial connections you’ll be creating.
Are you guilty of letting your LinkedIn account languish? In my latest Video Tips series, I share a quick and powerful way to add to your LinkedIn account that is a win-win for exposure, connections and good karma all around. Enjoy!
At a recent workshop I was inspired to speak about the importance of keeping the “social” in social media. Well, after the amazing response (I love how you all GET me!) and great feedback of ideas, one inspiration turned into another and I’m proud to now offer you my new special guide: “50 Ways to Put the Social Back in Social Media.” Here’s a big secret tip into the super value of this guide – it’s also jam packed full of ideas for content for what to write when you’re blanking out.
If you are new to my newsletter, you can sign up on my home page, and you’ll receive the download immediately. If you are already a subscriber to my newsletter, just shoot me an email and I’ll be happy to send you your own copy right away. (BTW, the photo is a sneak peek at one of my favorite tips from the free guide.)
Positivity is one of the most important values of my life. Two years ago my business mentor and I mapped out my personal values and made a chart to see how they affected my life and my business. While I always knew I was an optimistic person, it was eye-opening to see that Positivity topped the list. Once I really paid attention, though, it all made sense. The times that I’ve come from a mindset of positivity – whether in my social media, writing for magazines, blogging, ezines or speeches – my business and I literally shined. When I got ‘stuck’ or things just went wrong, that was when I let negativity in the door.
Studies have shown that positive people are more organized, healthier, productive, efficient and make a better first impression. They create a snowball effect of attracting more positive people to them and therefore enjoy more authentic friendships and relationships in business and life.
We can all benefit from the power of positivity. The next time you post to Facebook, e-mail a LinkedIn connection, write a blog post or call someone you met at a networking group, take 30 seconds to clear your mind and connect with your positivity. When you write, speak or act from a positive place, your audience will perceive you in a more attractive, positive light and want to hear more of what you are saying. A win-win situation all around.
One of the biggest challenges you may face as a business owner or entrepreneur – and yet the most rewarding – is building trust between you and your target audience. Trust is a powerful tool. It is a great honor for your clients and readers to bestow upon you as well. Like Spidey says “with great power comes great responsibility.”
It is very important to be aware of how you present yourself through your online presence (websites, social media, ezines, etc.) in order to earn and maintain that trust. Here are some ideas to keep in mind that will help you build and keep the trust with your audience:
1. Testimonials: Share the praise you receive from clients and colleagues directly with your readers by including testimonials, complete with names, photos and contact info when appropriate, anywhere you have a presence online.
2. Accreditations: Be sure to mention any honors, awards, accreditations, etc that you hold on your “About” page, in your bios and as they occur.
3. Photos: Using real photos of yourself will resonate much more authentically than pictures of cute kittens. Beyond your headshots, share photos of you at speaking events, attending networking groups and in action doing what you do best.
4. Consistency / Dependability: If you say you are going to publish a weekly ezine, then publish weekly. If you say that you will have a networking meeting on a specific date, then show up, no matter how many people rsvp. Consistency equals reliability equals dependability equals trust!
5. Personable: Let you true personality show through in your writing. Robotic and sterile writing will get you yawns. Don’t be afraid to let you personality show through, inject personal thoughts and share insights of the real you. Just be sure to give it the “mother test.” You know, the one where you picture what you are going to say in bright lights on a billboard where your mother will read it. Will she freak out? Then you should probably think again. Will she laugh and think “Oh, that’s so Dawn?” Then go for it!
6. Available: If you give out your e-mail, phone, Skype or other contact info, then answer inquiries in a timely manner.
7. Honesty: ‘nuff said.
8. High quality content and design: If you are going to have a blog, website, ezine, etc, invest in the time to build it right or hire someone else to do it for you. Sloppy design, grammar and spelling issues, confusing links… these are all yucky and will not build trust.
9. Follow through: Be true to promises or commitments you make online. Follow through and write about the result of your actions to your audience. See #4.
10. Be gracious and sincere and grateful: Believe me, your audience will feel this and they will appreciate it.