I’ve argued it might be better to first add value to your connections way before you make any demand on their time or other resources, so that you don’t come across as being selfish or an ‘exploiter’.

As a Golden Rule: 🌷

CONTRIBUTE FIRST BEFORE EVER ASKING FOR ANOTHER’S CONTRIBUTIONS.

I used to trample on this obvious ‘rule’ and in 9 out of 10 the people never got back to me. I learned it the hard way and stopped it, you should too. However, immediately I changed this bad approach and started doing what I’m suggesting below, people helped willingly.

Today, I show 11 ways you can add value to your connections that would make them more willing to reciprocate after all the saying is, “one good turn deserves another.” The world is a “give and take” one.

These are the unwritten rules!

  1. Show Appreciation as a Colleague
  2. Complement Their Work
  3. Congratulate Their Career Progress
  4. Ask them for Their Opinion
  5. Ask them for Their Advice
  6. Make a Recommendation
  7. Make an Introduction
  8. Offer to do Something You’re Good in Free
  9. Offer freebies
  10. Suggest speaking to them either face-to-face or live calls
  11. Forward interesting articles or posts

Let’s look at each briefly. Meanwhile, you can amend the examples I give below to suit your personality, peculiar situation or style:

1.     Show Appreciation as a Colleague

After you’ve asked people to connect with you, then message back to appreciate their connection. People appreciate this. Example, say:

Hi (Professional Name), Thank you for connecting with me. I appreciate this sincerely. I’ll like to keep in touch in the coming days if that’s fine with you.

Best wishes & take care

(Your Name)

2.   Complement Their Work

If your connection has published in her area of interest, you can praise her for the efforts, or any similar strides. Example:

Hi (Professional Name), I hope you are doing well. On your profile, I saw that you’ve been writing on the subject of (state it!) and thought I should commend you for such scholarship and erudition. I would think achieving such a feat must have taken a lot of hard work and discipline! I aspire to be like you someday. Well done and keep up the good work!

Thank you sincerely,

(Your Name)

3.     Congratulate Their Career Progress

 Example:

Hi (Professional Name), I hope you are doing well. I saw on your profile your recent (promotion/ other achievements) and thought I should congratulate you. I would think achieving such a feat must have taken a lot of hard work! I wish you enjoyable and fruitful years ahead.

Thank you sincerely,

(Your Name).

You can also congratulate them on their new job, even if it has been up to 12 months ago.

4.     Ask them for Their Opinion

We all love to give our opinions on different issues, so ask your connections for their thoughts on issues of interest.

 Example:

Hi (Professional Name), I read your paper on (topic) and was really impressed with your take on (topic). Your thoughts on (specific topic) intrigued me, particularly since I’m looking to enter this field myself. I would appreciate your take on things. Are you available to chat briefly by phone sometime this week? Let me know what day and time works for you, and I will be available.

Thank you sincerely,

(Your Name)

5.   Ask them for Their Advice

 People love to advise others especially if they feel people take them as being knowledgeable in the topicExample of such request for advice can read as:

Hi (Network Contact), (Mutual friend name) suggested I get in touch with you regarding your role in (industry). I’m about to graduate and have been interviewing for positions but would really appreciate some advice from someone who understands how the process works. Would you be interested in getting some coffee later this week and discussing your views on (industry)? If that would be acceptable for you, please let me know when you are available, and I can meet you near your office.

Thank you kindly,

(Your name)

6.     Make a Recommendation

 You can write a LinkedIn recommendation for your connection. Example:

Dr Nicholas Lee was my research colleague at the University of Bristol, UK. He was an excellent researcher whose prior experience as a senior lecturer in his home university in Malaysia shone on his research. He also had previous research and publication experience with over ten peer-reviewed journal articles published before his PhD study. He is an experienced researcher with a great promise. He loves data and analytics. Dr Lee worked with the highest level of enthusiasm and was an addict to timelines! He managed his project to the best satisfaction of his supervisory team which resulted in an excellent viva as evident in his external examiners’ high praise for his work. I would strongly recommend him for research and analytics positions, which he is so passionate about.

7.     Make an Introduction

Offer to introduce your new connection to another person who can enrich your connection’s relationship too. Example:

Hi (Name), Based on reading of your profile, I have a business friend in London I MUST personally introduce you to. His name is Jeffery Billy, and the two of you have much in common in your business mission. If you are alright with me making the introduction, let me know. I’ll gladly do so.

Sincerely yours

(Your name)

8.   Offer to do Something You’re Good in Free

A man like John Nemo even offered to redo someone’s LinkedIn profile, which is John Nemo’s expertise. John reported that rewriting this celebrity’s LinkedIn profile created un-quantifiable benefits and further connections for him!

If you’re a graphics designer, a tech geek, or other skills, then, offer to help to fix a problem that your connection may have.

9.   Offer freebies

For example, I send “Symbols” (see below) to my connections where they can use to add colour and beauty to their profile headline, summary/page, posts, or articles written.

10. Suggest speaking to them either face-to-face or live calls

On any chosen media such as WhatsApp, Skype, Zoom, Google Hangouts, etc. (this request should be later in the relationship). Regardless of whether you have connected with someone online or in person, the relationship needs to be nurtured if it is going to be long-lasting and meaningful. Finding ways you can help people is a fantastic way to start! Show yourself to be a genuine asset and that person will want to maintain you as a contact too!

The goal of connecting with people on LinkedIn should be to build rapport and relationship to the level of having to meet face-to-face and taking the initial remote connection to a physical network if this is feasible in terms of geographical location.

11. Forward interesting articles, posts or other titles

To know what kind of articles or posts to forward to your connections, see what is indicated as their interest as seen on their “Your Articles and Activity” section (which shows what they’ve read) and “Interest” (indicated at the tail-end of their LinkedIn profile). Example, say:

Hi (Name), When I read your profile, I found that you follow Richard Branson as I do. Have you seen his 2018 book on “XXXXX”? It’s an excellent piece and has sold 2 million copies within the last four months. If you have not already done so, I recommend reading this book.

Sincerely yours (Your name)

Conclusion

You must not wait until you have done every one of these ‘connection tips’ before you ask for help, however, understanding how far the rapport with your new connection has gone can help you to know when to move things further.

HAPPY CONNECTIONS!