Increasing Your Response Rate on LinkedIn; five things to do before you hit the Connect button.

In today’s world where your network can determine your net worth, it is no longer news that LinkedIn is the best platform for networking, getting hired and cultivating rewarding business relationships.

Many people, students and young professionals alike, complain that LinkedIn is overrated simply because they feel once they sign up, jobs and great connections will be served to them on a silver platter. Others feel it is not worth the stress simply because some industry experts hardly accept connection requests and even when they do, they hardly respond to messages.

All these notwithstanding, the truth is that most times, we are the architects of these occurrences. In the following paragraphs, we will be looking at five things you should have done or you should be doing to increase your networking response rate on LinkedIn.

1.      Polish Your LinkedIn Profile

This issue cannot be overemphasised. Remember, first impressions matter and your profile is the first thing about you that gets the attention of your prospective connection. Polish your LinkedIn profile before hitting the connect button. Once this is done, you will be able to present yourself in the best possible and credible way, and this helps to increase your networking response rate.  An article has been written by Yimika Adesola,  on tips to build a killer LinkedIn profile for Nigerian professionals you can check it out here.

2.      Use Your Alumni Network

We understand how difficult it can be to look for and connect with the right people after your profile is polished. This is where the alumni network comes in. You should try to connect with the alumni of your university or even better,  find out how many of them work in the organisations, practice areas, divisions or cities that you may be interested in working. It is expedient to avail yourself of the opportunities that exist in connecting with your university alumni.

Most people are unaware that LinkedIn has provided a feature for this great connection and reunion You can find it here.  Upon clicking this link, you will be directed to your university alumni page which LinkedIn has structured to enable you to view the alumni of any given year.  The page  provides details such as; “Where they live”, “Where they work.” “What they do”, “What they are skilled at” and “How you are connected.”

Using this feature, you can also filter based on location to view whether you have any alumni living or working in your city.

Connecting with alumni from your university can make the process easier as it could give you an icebreaker to adopt when reaching out.

3.      Be Strategic

Do not just connect with any name that pops on your feed. It is not about volume; it is about quality. In terms of connecting with industry experts, be on the lookout for mutual connections you share with them and where necessary, ask for an introduction from your 1st-degree connections.

4.      Personally Invite

After building your profile and determining those you would like to connect with, the next thing is to personally invite them. Don’t get lazy and just spam random people with impersonal invites to connect. The key to success on LinkedIn is personalized 1-on-1 conversations and networking.  The first step to take on this is to use the “Personally invite” button.  Instead of hitting the “Connect” button straightaway click on “More” then on “Personally invite” and craft a thoughtful and personalized message politely asking them to accept the connection request. Do not send generic messages.  Remember, the intention is to build relationships, and not to amass connections.

5.      Add Value 

Lastly, you can appreciate them for connecting. Always remember to add value first before you ask for value!  You can add value by reading and commenting on their works, congratulating their career progress, asking them for their expert opinions on topical issues, making a recommendation and giving endorsements, offer offering your help and assistance to do something you are good at for free, forwarding interesting articles or posts pertaining to their fields and ultimately finding  out what they need help with.

WISHING YOU GREAT CONNECTIONS AHEAD!

Evaristus Okechukwu is a Content Curator at Legally Engaged and a 2019 Scholar of the Nigeria Higher Education Foundation (NHEF) founded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. He is currently a 400L Law student of the University of Ibadan and has represented his university in a number of national competitions. He is passionate about research, writing and public speaking.

legallyengagedIncreasing Your Response Rate on LinkedIn; five things to do before you hit the Connect button.

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