Last Updated on: May 20, 2023
I get direct messages from strangers daily on LinkedIn. I don’t use it much, but when I log in, I scan through those messages out of habit.
It is always the same. Convoluted requests for a “Quick Call”, creative copypasta outreach scripts, things with 👋lots of emojis👋, sales pitches for some product or service, and a few obvious scams.
What is the one thing all these messages have in common? They are entirely about the sender and what they can get from me.
It’s rare that any of these messages are worth my time to reply to, and most of the time I ignore them.
Harsh? Maybe. But every conversation is a time and energy cost.
Now, we all want to improve our business and make connections, and there is nothing wrong with that. But we should focus on quality, not quantity.
The Solution to LinkedIn Hell
The world doesn’t need more conversations – it needs better ones. Here are my personal strategies for making connections and opening cold conversations on any platform:
- Focus on the best connections and find the best way to connect with that person individually. Think quality and not quantity.
- If you can, find a mutual acquaintance who can introduce you. This is the best way by far.
- Learn about the person and their business before starting a conversation.
- NEVER ask for selfish commitments in the first conversation. “When can you jump on a quick 10-minute call this week?” is a huge red flag.
- Be clear about who you are and what you want. e.g. if you are a hiring agency pretending to be an individual to open conversations, you will eventually get found out and ignored for life.
- It’s ok that you want something from me, and you will get points for honesty. Remember that business is about mutually beneficial relationships; show what we both might get from starting a conversation.
- I shouldn’t need to say this, but… never copy and paste the same message to multiple people. We can smell it.
- It’s ok to follow up but don’t be too clever. If you are following a quirky/funny script, then you will come across as desperate.
- If you get ignored, don’t push too hard or hold a grudge. We are all busy, and there might be an opportunity in the future to connect.
Above all, remember that each message you send is going to a real person. They are not another number that boosts your reply rates or conversions, and if you think of them like that, they will know.
Show some respect to the people you are contacting, and you will see your results increase naturally.