How To
Follow Up
With LinkedIn
Connections

LinkedIn has become much like a dating site these days.

On one hand, it’s a highly effective way to meet new people who you might be able to do business with someday.

On the other hand, if you’re not careful, you could alienate your new LinkedIn connection before you have a chance to have a meaningful two-way conversation with them.

As such, it’s become just as much about what TO DO with your new LinkedIn connections as what NOT TO DO with them.

Here are 4 things to stop doing and 4 things to start doing with each of your new LinkedIn connections…

4 Things To Stop Doing On LinkedIn🛑

If you want to actually have a relationship with your new LinkedIn connection, don't do these things.

Don't #1

Don't pitch slap

What is a pitch slap? It's when you connect with someone on LinkedIn under false pretenses and then turn around and try to sell them right away.

It has earned the name "pitch slap" because of how offensive it feels and how much of a turn off it has become for some people.

Here’s what the pitch slap looks like so you know what to avoid…

Hi Martin, I'm trying to expand my network and would love to connect with an innovative leader such as yourself.

Jennifer
Hi Jennifer, thanks for reaching out. Good to connect.

Martin
Hi Martin, it's great to connect with you!

I wanted to reach out to see if you have any ongoing projects happening right now. Our team specializes in streamlining project management workflows for companies of all types and sizes.

We are flexible and willing to work on any type of project management workflow.

If you have any technology projects happening, we also have QA engineers who can help you get the best quality code out there to your customers.

Can you send me your email address so I can send you some more information and a link to schedule a meeting?

Jennifer

That's exactly what a pitch slap looks like. If you're on the receiving end of it, it doesn't feel good at all. And if you're one the who has been pitch slapping your prospects, you've likely already discovered that it doesn't work.

Don't #2

Don't expect to sell without first giving

LinkedIn is a wonderful community filled with information and ideas from all different types of people, across a variety of industries, who are spread out around the globe.

The free exchange of information and insights makes LinkedIn a great place to learn and to also engage with peers and with customers.

Your chances of using LinkedIn as a place where you can directly engage with prospects will go up dramatically if you embrace the spirit of what LinkedIn is and also be a giver.

Don't #3

Don't connect and then go silent

If you're going to get something out of your LinkedIn relationships, don't just connect with someone and never engage. You never know the types of relationships that can be formed, and what you can get out of it, until you make the effort.

Don't #4

Don't be a jerk

This isn't just a LinkedIn lesson, but a life lesson as well. Life is too short and the world is too small to be an *sshole to people.

Even if someone makes a mistake (for example, the dreaded pitch slap), it doesn't mean that you have to be a jerk in return.

LinkedIn really is a small community and things have a way of making their way back to the people who treat others poorly. Don't be that person.

4 Things To Start Doing On LinkedIn👍

Look at your own LinkedIn inbox. I bet it looks like mine. Which looks like hers. Which looks like his. Everyone is doing basically the same thing (which often closely resembles our DON'T list above). So, this is your opportunity to start something different!

Do #1

Do be genuinely interested in your connection and their business

If you want to create a meaningful two-way relationship with your new LinkedIn connection, you have to be genuinely interested in them and their business.

If your intentions are anything but this, you will fail at creating a meaningful and productive relationship.

Here are some signs to indicate you're on the right track...

  • You looked at their LinkedIn profile (before inviting them to connect) and made note of their work history.
  • You've reviewed some of the content they've posted or content they've commented on.
  • You've visited their website and learned what their business does and who they sell to.
  • You send communications that are personalized and relevant to what you've learned.
  • You ask questions and listen closely to the answers.

Doing these things will help demonstrate that you are genuinely interested in your connection and their business.

Do #2

Do introduce yourself

Even if you're a seller, and your job is to sell, you don't have to pitch slap someone once you connect with them.

Try simply introducing yourself to a new LinkedIn connection.

Here's an example of an effective way to introduce yourself and set expectations for how you'll behave...

Wendy, it's a pleasure to get connected with you! 👇

What would you like me to know about you and how you're using LinkedIn, Wendy?

Richard
Ha! This is a great introduction, Richard. I appreciate you sharing this with me.

I'll do my best to follow these same best practices.🔥

Do you have a favorite job interview tip I should check out?

Wendy

Why is this LinkedIn message more effective than most?

The message itself is unique and offers insight into how you'll interact. This is important because people believe that any seller they connect with is going to try to sell them something right away (blame the pitch slappers).

Additionally, the use of the animated slideshow from Popr.ai is also unexpected. It's different and stands out.

And just like that, you've started a conversation!

Do #3

Do offer insights

Let's assume that the connection request you sent to your new LinkedIn connection contained a message that revealed your intentions to try to engage in a conversation about a problem that you believe you can help them solve.

Many sellers may infer from the fact that their connection request got accepted that it's OK to go in guns-a-blazing and try to sell their new LinkedIn connection right away.

This approach is wrong. And it will break trust. Instead, try offering insights related to the problem you referenced in your connection request...

Hi Sam, my company has been seeing some unique and creative ways that restaurant owners having been increasing profitability. I'd love to connect with you and share more!
Alexis
Good to connect.
Likewise, Sam. Thanks for connecting.

Here are some of the unique solutions restaurants have been implementing to increase profits by as much as 76%...

Just let me know if you'd like for me to share some details about these unique approaches.

Alexis
Interesting. I'd like to learn more.

Why is this LinkedIn message sent as a follow-up after connecting effective?

Because it offers insights that stoke curiosity in the recipient. It's all delivered in a very non-salesy way, even though Alexis is clearly making a selling motion here.

Additionally, the insights are packaged together in a personalized, engaging, and unexpected fashion (using an animated slideshow from Popr.ai).

Most people don't receive messages like this. It's a great way to stand out!

Do #4

Do take a lighthearted and/or humorous approach

If there's one thing that's certain about your new LinkedIn connection, it's that they're actually human (sorry AI).

And since you know that your new LinkedIn connection is a human, what better way to engage them than by having a little fun with your follow-up message after you connect with them...

Hi Anderson, figured our new connection calls for some good old fashioned office fun...😁

Cheers!

Lydia
Ha ha. Good to connect, Lydia. I love that show BTW.
Ya, me too. Up for getting introduced to get to know each other a little?
Ya, let's do it.

Seems too simple doesn't it? This approach won't work for everyone, but it's amazing what happens when you break down the stuffy walls of business and just engage someone in a normal, human way.

The personalized meme from Popr.ai is a great way to do that!