How To Get Twice As Many People To Accept Your Linkedin Invitations

We tune into WIIFM - What's In It For Me?

Do you also get tons of linkedin invitations from people you don’t know, which say:

John Doe has indicated that he is a friend:
I’d like to add you to my professional network.
– John Doe

And of course John Doe is not a friend. In fact you’ve never heard of him.

Some people see purely as “business”. They want to increase their network no matter what. They care about quantity above all else. That’s perfectly OK if it fits their business model.

And some people care more about quality. That doesn’t mean that the people in a quality network are better. No. The quality is in how well the members of this network know each other and can contribute to each other’s success – whether that is bringing in new clients, finding a job, or getting A’s to your Q’s.

The more people KNOW, LIKE and TRUST you, the more they will readily support you so that you and your business can benefit.

With a large online platform like linkedin it’s easy to dismiss the TRUST part and of course it is harder to gain trust from each individual the larger the network grows, because you simply do not have the time to interact with each person consistently.

But you can easily do something about the KNOW and LIKE part – especially when you send your initial invitation.

60% of people will NOT accept your invite unless you give them a reason

That’s the outcome of my (totally none-representative) survey on facebook.

You probably have a good reason for the invite, otherwise – why would you invite them to connect in the first place? So why not tell them?

Why not up your chances by 60% right from the start?

People are not interested in the WHAT (the fact that you want to connect) – they are interested in the WHY and the WHO. Tell people why you want to connect! Tell them who you are! I know you have limited space, but it doesn’t take a lot of characters to give someone a reason or even a compliment!

Here are some invitations I gladly accepted:

Dear Anja,
followed your activities at the Customer Experience Management group with interest – valuable inputs.
Therefore, I would like to invite you….


Hi Anja,
I am fellow member of Women Unlimited Group. I would be delighted to add you to my network.

Business is personal

Make it easy for people to WANT to connect with you.

Even if you think „Linkedin is business. It’s not personal.“ Guess what – business IS personal, especially for small businesses, who work 1:1 with their clients. Coaches, consultants, healers, advisors and service providers of any kind: we are our own product! When people buy our services, they buy an experience with us – the human being that is “us”! When people connect with us online or offline, they connect with the person that is “us”. Business is personal. In fact people take things way more personally than ever before.

Everyone is listening to only one channel: WIIFM

In this super-connected world we live in, there’s an overload of information, offers and choices for us out there. The only way we can make decisions is to tune into WIIFM – What’s In It For Me?

This is not meant to sound selfish. “What’s in it for me” could be that I get to be of service to someone. But when it comes to making quick decisions like hitting that Accept button on linkedin, many of us ask ourselves, “Why should I?”

If we consider this fact in our interactions with people – whether they are potential clients, business partners, employees or network contacts – why not hand them the „WIIFM“ on a silver plate?

When it comes to linkedin invites, consider these options to increase your “conversion”:

  • Let people know how you heard about them (i.e. „read your blog post/heard your speech on…; saw you’ve also worked for…“)
  • Compliment them (i.e. „loved your comment on group x“; „Bob recommended you as the expert on…“; „Your book [x] changed my life!“)

Give people a reason or a compliment. Let them know why you want to connect. Show them that you are a real person who has a genuine interest in connecting with them.

Behind every email address is a human being.

When we remember that – especially when it comes to building our network – we can create connections twice as fast and make our relationships twice as strong! It’s a simple way of “woo-ing” (WOO = Winning Others Over).

Try this with the next invites you send out! Add an extra sentence into your standard invites and a friendly “Have a nice day!” at the end and see the results immediately!

Rewrite your career

different career approach

14 Kommentare, sei der nächste!

  1. Anja, I love this post and I think this discussion is really important. I get TONS of invites on Linkedin and I actually feel a little put out when people I don’t know can’t even be bothered to change the “I’d like to add you to my personal network” text. Really?? Who are you and why should I care? Why add you when you don’t make an ounce of effort to intro yourself – to tell me WIIFM – beyond pushing a button? I don’t mean to sound angry, because I’m not…but come on people. Business IS personal. No doubt. Show me what you’ve got. Great post!!

  2. I have to admit I just sign up for a linked in account this week. It does seem like the etiquette is way different from twitter or FB. I have not even added any contacts. So this is just perfect timing for me! Thanks.

    1. Thank you, Stacey! I actually handle Facebook the same way. If I befriend someone, I take a moment to send a little happy note with it .
      Twitter – that’s a different story, because you know that you make people feel important and happy just by following them :)

  3. I feel completely lost on LinkedIn, so this article was very helpful! I forget sometimes that my personality (which is larger than life in person) doesn’t come through online. This is an excelelent tip.

  4. Thankfully you are full of great LINKED_IN tips because this is a social network I am clueless on. Does it make sense to spread my social media energy to this network as well? Currently I rock it out on FB and a bit of Google + but have not figured out Twitter or Linked-in. What do you suggest?

    1. Sarah, I guess it all depends on where your audience hangs out… If your ideal customer or ideal business partner is on Facebook (and if you can get A’s to your Q’s there) – that’s where you should be connecting. If you think they are on linked in, too, (because let’s face it, who isn’t on Facebook??):) then you should be on linkedin as well.

      Having a profile on linkedin can’t hurt, even if you never use this network. Linked in ranks high in google and if someone googles your name, they might find your linkedin profile faster than your website. My feeling is that linkedin is the network of the corporate world – mainly employees and freelancers network there.
      Me, too, because I freelance sometimes and I coach managers in the corporate world in People- and Customer Service skills. I’m in some Customer Service- and Employee Happiness groups on linkedin, which are great for sharing experiences and creating relationships.
      And I’m on Facebook to connect with my small business- and private clients. And to have fun :) Facebook never feels like business networking. Linkedin does.

      I’m not a big twitter-er either, and I have not even begun to check out google+; I guess I’m trying to get some work done, too, in between all the online socializing :) So keep rocking it out on Facebook, if that’s “YOU” and automate a feed from FB into twitter, so that those fans of yours, who are on twitter, can find you there, too!

      Thanks so much for your comment and question!
      I love your creative website!

  5. Hmm… this is interesting. It makes me think of a Webinar where someone said, “Everyone will accept an invitation on LinkedIn.” She was saying it was a good way to get in touch with VIPs you don’t know. I haven’t done a lot with LinkedIn, but I think the willingness to accept requests depends on the industry you’re in.

    I get tons of requests on Facebook from people I don’t know, and have recently made the decision to only accept requests from close friends & family. I have a variety of reasons for wanting to limit my personal account in this way.

    The biggest one though is that I remember what it was like to have a newsfeed that was literally the friends you hang out with/talk with. Facebook came out when I was in college, and it was originally only for college students. For this reason, it felt like a really safe space to share whatever was going on.

    1. I use my personal profile on Facebook also only for friends and family, Ashley. I don’t want to spam my friends with business stuff that will come up in their feed. If they choose to “LIKE” my business pages, that’s different.

      People on linked in are generally more open to accept invites, however everyone handles it differently. Therefore a nice accompanying note can work wonders for the ones who may be hesitant or try to have a closer knit network – like me :)

  6. Such an important consideration and great suggestion for those of us who aren’t as LinkedIn savvy– it definitely seems to have a variety of uses for a variety of fields, and in some, it *is* kosher just to ask whomever to be your connection.. though I definitely find myself uncomfortable with that. Thanks for shedding some light!

    1. Haha, thanks Christie!!
      I sometimes do go back and ask people to let me know why they chose to connect with me, so I can be of better service to them or their network. Sometimes I get a reply with a really nice surprise, which makes me happily accept. Sometimes I don’t get a reply… :)

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