One of the common traits that successful entrepreneurs connected with global brands or professionals have is the ability to effectively brand themselves when reaching out to new people. Networking is sharing your achievements and interests to individuals who have the same goals. This in return will help you measure or broaden your career options while developing and maintaining new connections.
To be successful when networking to new people, always remember to have an online strategy. My tried and tested request formula, which I will be sharing, will help you better connect with new prospects to potentially further your business.
Let’s start with step 1. We all know that to have a positive relationship with anyone, establishing mutual trust is a must. It is also important to give people we’ve just met a warm and welcoming vibe for them to be able open up more and in return, trust us more.
In every conversation, one must need to set the proper tone to convey the right message. This rule also applies to messages being sent on social media platforms. Make sure that your message is detailed, professional and concise to let the recipient know that you mean business.
Remember that saying “It only takes seconds to make a first impression”? Think about how you want to be approached and keep that in mind when sending messages.
Below are a few suggestions to help you start a new conversation. Personalize it for a creative touch or to suit the message recipient. Keep in mind the reason why you’re sending the person a message and start from there.
1- Send Personal Messages the Right Way
After sorting your potential leads, send them concise and personalized messages. One of the best ways to break the ice when meeting someone new is to connect with them on as many personal levels as possible. Check which Groups (on LinkedIn) or Hives (on beBee) are they part of. Knowing the kinds of posts they share are also good conversations starters. Start with a personal message like the one below:
Good day, James.
I noticed that we are both members of the Entrepreneurs Hive on BeBee. I also saw that you just started a new business venture. Hope everything is going smoothly so far?
I’m very impressed with the way you brand yourself and how you’re implementing your marketing strategy. I believe that there are many ways for us to help each other and find common business grounds. Are you available to chat? I’m looking forward to speaking to you soon.
A personalized message message like this will surely give you a better chance at future opportunities.
2- Someone You Casually Know in Your Inner Circle
Since you already casually know the person, starting a friendly tone would be easier. Make sure to mention your common friend to get the conversation started.
It’s great that Gilbert introduced us to one another. I’m interested to know more about the project you’re handling. Are you available to meet for coffee soon?
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3- Someone You Just Met at a Networking Mixer
I usually try to add people immediately on LinkedIn or BeBee after meeting them first in a networking event. But if you’re too shy to do so, you can send this brief message and remind them how and where you have gotten acquainted.
Inviting them out for coffee would also be a great idea where you can discuss more details about each other’s job, new contacts or inform each other about the latest market trends, online business ideas or the best brands in your field of business. The possibilities are virtually unlimited!
Meeting you last month at the local business mixer in San Francisco was one of the highlights of that night for me. The way you discuss the work you do for various companies was so motivating. I surely would love to stay updated on your career. I hope we could meet again in the near future.
4- To Someone You Admire Professionally
This is one of the times that sending messages can be quite tricky. If you are sending a message to a public figure or well-known leader, start by introducing yourself and indicate the reason for your connection request. By doing this, you can let them know that you are not adding them for the sake of just doing so. To keep things professionals, you can comment on their latest work or achievement.
Further explain the reason for reaching out
If you have suggestions that can potentially help or support their project, you can share with them these ideas and explain how they can benefit from it. Do not at anytime or during the conversation ask for a job. Doing this, will immediately eliminate your chances of growing a relationship with them.
Dear Dr. Philippe Herman,
I’m an entrepreneur and co-founder of Ghyratu Company. For the last year, I’ve been following your work for Eventual, and it really inspired me. I particularly loved your campaign in The New York times—It was effective and it left a significant impact on many entrepreneurs I know in the field. If you ever have 30 minutes or so, I’d love to hear more about your success story and what skills you believe are most relevant to your Research department.
Thank you so much,
Dear Mr. Smith
I am one of those employees who attended the engineering conference in Florida last June. The speech you gave about “Work Life Balance” inspired me to be more effective in my role as VP for Corporate Communications in your company. I’m sending a connection request here in LinkedIn to be always updated on your latest projects and business endeavors. I hope to be able meet you personally next time.
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5- Connecting with Someone from the Same Business Group (LinkedIn Group or BeBee Hive)
Usually, people who are at the same groups or hives share the same interest. You will have big chance to be accepted on their social network.
You can start a message like this:
I saw the posts you’ve shared on Facebook and I was fascinated with your unique insights regarding various topics. A lot of your ideas have made an impact on me. It seems that we have the same mindset about these topics and I would love to learn more about your work and if in the future we can collaborate on a potential project.
6- Getting in Touch with a Recruiter the Right Way
Imagine receiving 100 job requests per day from LinkedIn or social networking apps. Will you be interested to connect with people who only want a job from you?
In general, individuals can contact recruiters 2-3 months before starting to search for a new job. Share with them an article that might peak their interest. Building a good relationship and getting to know them better before actually asking about hiring in their department will be a good start and would give you higher chances of getting hired.
Here is a good example of a brief message to a recruiter:
Dear Samantha Kennedy,
I found your profile on Women Council Group. I recently read an article about women in business challenges and I thought to share the link with you, so you can have an idea about this topic as well. I’d also be happy to connect you with other professionals in my field.
Looking forward to hearing from you soon,
7- Reaching out to Work with Someone in Your Field
Are you looking for someone qualified that works in the same field you are in?
When reaching out to these kinds of contacts, the key is to make sure that they know what kind of relationship you’re seeking. Most of the time, people accept such offers and contact requests.
Here’s a fitting example:
I am a business owner and I can’t help but be impressed with the work you’ve done for Zuellig. The way you made an unknown brand name into a globally recognized company is nothing short but amazing. I would like to know more about your career goals and accomplishments. I hope you will consider connecting and potentially starting a project with me.
I look forward to the possibility of working with you,
8- Connecting with Business Owners or Professionals Who Liked Your Post on LinkedIn or BeBee
This is the most ideal way to start knowing new people for potential business opportunities.
A message like this would sure grab that person’s attention:
I’m a fellow member of Sales Managers Group. I saw and appreciated your interactions on my post about How to Generate Leads. I hope we can connect and possibly speak about this topic further.
9- If You’re Unsure How to Connect with a Potential Customer Because You’re Shy
Here’s one of the ways to start a conversation with a potential customer:
As I was doing research on LinkedIn, your profile came up as the number 1 search result. The career you’ve had for the last decade is something to be envied. I would love to know about your thoughts about modern brand designs and personal branding techniques. I hope we can schedule something soon.
The key to writing an eye-catching online invitation is to use the note to answer any questions that the recipient might have.
Lastly, always make sure to admire their work in the first sentence and be polite and professional.
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