When someone invites you to join his LinkedIn network, don't make the same lazy mistake most people make: They click "Accept" and then forget about it! Big mistake, but really easy to fix.
How to Get More Out of a LinkedIn Acceptance
Here's how to turn your LinkedIn acceptance into an active contact.
1. Click Accept in the email invitation to you (if you know and trust the person).
2. Check out the person's profile to see how he presents himself. You're bound to learn something new and get a sense of his personality.
3. Write notes about your new contact. On his profile, notice the "Notes" box in the lower left column. In this box, write notes about how you know this person, what key contacts you and he share, ideas for how you might work with him, and any other points that strike you as relevant. This note section is private — you are the only one who can read it — so feel free to write whatever you want.
4. Send a follow-up email. Your email should be short and to the point. You might include an idea for a next step such as sharing thoughts on a common topic, asking if you may quote him in your next blog post, or asking him to join a LinkedIn group you belong to.
Template for Accepting LinkedIn Invitations
Here's a template to help you remember what to say in your follow-up email. It's just a guideline, not a strict boilerplate.
Your follow-up email can be short — one paragraph may be plenty, however, it's okay to have more than one paragraph. If one of your paragraphs is longer than five lines, break it into two paragraphs so your email doesn't have big blocks of text. This will make it look quick and easy to read.
Follow-Up Email Samples
Here are some follow-up email samples that follow the template guideline above. Maybe they'll give you some ideas for your emails.
Follow-Up Email Example: Getting to Know You... Better
Thank you for sending me a LinkedIn invitation. After reading your blog posts all these years, I feel I already know you. I look forward to sharing an occasional comment or message on a topic we're both concerned about: job search in this recession.
Follow-Up Email Example: The Double Connection
I see that you just started following me on Twitter; I immediately became one of your followers. Between our new LinkedIn and Twitter connections, we're going to learn more about our shared advocacy for resume training for the underemployed. I look forward to that.
Follow-Up Email Example: Can I Help You You?
Thanks for sending the LI invitation. Hopefully this will give us an easy way to stay up to date on each other's activities. If I can lend a hand with your job search webinars, please let me know.
Follow-Up Email Example: Join Me!
I appreciate your inviting me to join your LinkedIn network. I have accepted. Please let me know if you'd like to participate in my job search group. Your voice on resume writing will be welcomed.
See you in the LI jobs groups!
Writing a follow-up email isn't as quick as clicking a button, but it's well worth the extra time and could pay off in big networking rewards.