A few weeks back, I was sitting with a client who was ready to reach out via LinkedIn to an individual that he’d recently met, but wasn’t sure what to say when reaching out. I quickly brainstormed with him an appropriate message and voila, within seconds his request to Connect was sent. After sending the connection request, he looked at me and said, “Why did I make that task so hard? I should have remembered to KISS – Keep it Simple Stupid!” I immediately assured him that he was not stupid, but that he was on to something.
I had heard of this acronym before, but had never thought to apply it to LinkedIn. Let me preface this by saying, I would never call anyone stupid, so I’d like to take this known acronym and change it slightly to: KISS – Keep it Short + Simple… when working inside of LinkedIn.
In my conversations with professionals regarding using LinkedIn, many people tell me that they can see how LinkedIn is beneficial, but do not have the time to devote to it, don’t know where to start, don’t know what to say or don’t know how to produce results, etc. All of these objections can potentially be easy to overcome if you begin by following these three tips, while keeping the principle of KISS in mind.
#1 – Get moving on LinkedIn
Start by dedicating 10 minutes a day to working in LinkedIn. You can literally set a calendar reminder for yourself everyday for Linkedin, set a timer and a daily goal. Mondays can be dedicated to seeing what’s new on your timeline. Tuesdays can be for prospecting. Wednesdays can be for reconnecting with people in your network. And so on.
#2 – Keep it natural
When you initially Connect on LinkedIn, don’t bombard your potential new Connections with a long-winded message regarding the various reasons you should be Connected; and don’t send the default LinkedIn message either. Instead, keep your request to Connect brief, but personal. Most times, a simple one or two sentence message is all that’s needed to spark someone’s memory on who you are and why you should Connect.
Also, be conversational in your messaging with your Connections. LinkedIn is your personal professional networking tool. You’re allowed to let your personality shine through to an extent. Now, I’m not suggesting that you completely let professionalism fly out the window entirely, but you don’t have to sound like a scripted robot either.
#3 – Write for mobile
When sending a message or when sharing an update, remember that people are increasingly logging into LinkedIn via mobile. Break up large paragraphs into smaller chunks. Ask yourself, “Would I read this if I was viewing from my phone?”
For the next three weeks I challenge you to follow these three quick tips and to keep KISS (Keep it Short + Simple) top of mind.