With technology at our fingertips, LinkedIn is a great resource to expand your network and your horizon.
It is not uncommon to receive requests on LinkedIn to connect with new people as an avenue for networking.
Reasons people would want to connect can vary but a few include:
Expanding their professional network
Looking for jobs
Learning about a new field/industry/company
Learning appropriate ways to leverage LinkedIn will help you make new connections!
Finding The Connection
Find the right person to connect with by:
Searching organizations you are interested in and find the right person in the right role.
Using LinkedIn's suggested connections feature.
Before reaching out, ask yourself:
"What am I looking for?" or "What do I want to learn?"
"What type of person/role/organization will help me learn this?"
"Does this person's role and organization fit my goal?"
Using this framework to make sure you pick the right people to reach out to ensures:
You make a good first impression
You know what you want to achieve.
This step can be intimidating, but don't forget: you have nothing to lose. To keep it simple, try using the framework below for your initial message.
Hello [insert name],
Introduce yourself and your background.
Write a line about what you want to learnfrom them or what you would like to connect about.
Explain what you would like to do (i.e.connect over coffee, phone chat etc)
End with pleasantries. (Most people chose to do this at the beginning, but in fact it takes away from capturing the person's attention. Examples could be: "Have a great day", "I look forward to hearing from you", "Hoping we can connect soon!")
Real Life Example
See the example below:
I hope you're doing well. I would love to connect with you to discuss more about your experience and journey as a lawyer. If you're available, I would love to meet up for a coffee sometime.
I look forward to hearing from you!
What do you think Tanya could have done differently?
LinkedIn is a great tool for many reasons, but its also not the only way to connect with people. You can use the same framework taught in this Byte through conventional email as well. Just find the relevant person and send them an email with the same thought process.
Don't hesitate - start connecting!
Pick one person you're interested in connecting with, and reach out today.