It might seem easy enough to find prospects on LinkedIn, but it’s much more difficult to gain their attention. Reaching out to people and actually receiving a response can be a real challenge, and it requires a particular set of skills and knowledge.
Here are seven tips that will help you improve your cold outreach messages and step up your LinkedIn networking game.
Do your research
One of the main advantages of using LinkedIn as an outreach channel is that you can find loads of relevant information about users. From work history to educational background, user profiles contain useful details you can use to get to know your prospects and tailor your message to fit their interests and address their specific pain points.
Besides the basic information you can find on every LinkedIn profile, take your time also to find out more information about your prospect’s interests - what are they reading and sharing, which LinkedIn groups they belong to, can you find them on any other social network?
It’s always useful to find something in common between your potential lead and yourself. For example, attending the same university can be a great conversation starter.
Any piece of personal information can help you craft a more relevant and targeted message. Don’t fall into the trap of simply copy-pasting the exact same message to all your contacts. Use the details they’ve shared on their profiles to create highly personalized messages that will generate more responses.
Keep in mind that personalization doesn’t always mean sending messages one by one. Once you’ve done your research, you can group your connections and send targeted messages to each specific group. Just learn how to tag people on LinkedIn and use custom notes to classify your connections based on their interests to make your outreach more efficient.
Find a mutual connection to introduce you
Besides mutual interests, another thing that can help you start a conversation with your prospect is a mutual connection. It’s much easier to start a conversation and actually get a response if you have someone who can vouch for you.
If you have a former coworker or a mutual friend in common, ask them to introduce you to your prospect. They can either start a group conversation or let your prospect know you’ll be reaching out to them.
Another approach you can take is to simply mention your mutual connection in your message. While it might not be as effective as a proper introduction from your mutual contact, it’s still a good conversation starter that could help you get more responses.
Keep your messages short
When it comes to the length of messages, LinkedIn is definitely closer to instant messaging than email. This means that you should stick to sending a few concise sentences instead of writing multiple paragraphs.
Similar to other channels for cold outreach, the length of the message will significantly impact your response rates. The shorter your message, the more likely it is the recipient will actually read it and respond to it.
Keeping your message short but still maintaining warmth and a touch of personalization can be challenging, but it is essential. So keep it short and personalized and try not to overwhelm the recipient with information.
Think beyond LinkedIn
While LinkedIn is without a doubt a great place to find new connections, it’s not always the best platform to get in touch with them.
There are some limitations to messaging connections on LinkedIn. As noted before, LinkedIn messages are meant to be short, similar to instant messaging platforms.
However, sometimes you simply need to share more complex information with your connections that would be more suitable for email. In that case, exporting LinkedIn contacts can be a great option. It can be done in a couple of simple steps, and it allows you to utilize the platform to find the right people and contact them whichever way suits you the most.
Don’t try to sell immediately
Remember that the goal of your first message should be to get a response, not to push your product. Try not to sound too blunt or salesy. Instead of focusing on your product, focus on personalizing your message according to their interests and needs.
Once you start a conversation, you can proceed to build your relationship with your prospect and move them further down the sales funnel, but for starters, don’t focus on selling but on sparking initial interest.
Always end with a question
Make sure to always give your recipients a reason to respond. One of the best ways to keep the conversation active is to include a question.
Try to think of a question that only someone in their position would know the response to. If your recipient feels helpful and special, they’re more likely to respond and share their expertise.
Don’t forget to follow up
No matter how well-crafted your messages are, it often takes multiple tries before you get a response. That’s why it’s essential to always follow up after the initial message.
As you probably aren’t reaching out to only one person on LinkedIn, you need to keep track of your leads and create a follow-up schedule. That way, you can follow up in a timely manner and make sure that no prospect slips through the cracks.