Everyone fears talking to people they don’t know. It’s awkward, and feels unnatural at times. When you talk to someone you’ve never met before, it can be intimidating and uncomfortable. It’s even harder when it’s someone you don’t know and you’re asking them for something. Cold messaging on LinkedIn is exactly that: reaching out to a prospective employer or potential client via LinkedIn messaging. This is a form of social selling, which is one of the fastest-growing enterprises right now. Cold messaging is a great way to contact people and get what you need professionally. This can be intimidating, but there are so many great tips on how to get this done in the best way. Just because it can be awkward, doesn’t mean it has to be!
How Cold Messaging on LinkedIn Works
When you cold message someone on LinkedIn, it is for a purpose, so conveying that purpose in the right way is important. Any time you are sending a cold message, you want to start out by deciding what you will ask for. You will need to be concise and clear. Never spend paragraph upon paragraph explaining, because this person may not be interested in your proposal. Think of a simple, easy to understand, and concise opening message. Remember, LinkedIn’s messaging system is a lot like texting, so you don’t want to send something really long. Maybe even break what you want to say into two or three shorter messages. This will keep the messages from seeming like a scam, and make it fit the “texting” style.
What To Say
Whether you are asking this person for a job, advice, or for their business, always start with a greeting. Reach out sincerely, and don’t be gimmicky. Make the person feel like your friend, even though you haven’t met yet.
Then, you will want to find common ground. Why are you messaging this person? Do you have similar interests? Do they work in a career field you want to be in? Are they a good candidate for a client? There are many things you can say that will break the ice and help that person see that you have a good reason to reach out to them.
Next, answer the question of why they should buy what you’re selling. This works even if you want them to hire you. Talk about why they need whatever it is that you have to offer. Make a compelling argument. Be persuasive! This is about building a relationship with this person, and showing them that what you’re offering is worth their time.
Then, close the message simply and use a call to action. A call to action is an invitation to act upon whatever you have said. You can say, “give me a call anytime between 9-5,” or “follow up with me soon and we can grab lunch,” etc. It isn’t hard to think of what you want that person to do as a result of reading your message. Keep that in mind as you write it.
Examples of Cold Messaging on LinkedIn
There are many ways to finish out the message, depending on what you want them to do, and it works well to keep it personal. For an example, a effective yet simple cold message on LinkedIn could go something like this:
“Hello John! My friend Sam Sanchez was just telling me what an incredible boss you are. I was wondering, do you have any jobs available at your company? I’d love to work for you, and I have ten years of experience in the field of graphic design. If you’re hiring, give me a call at 209-435-2032. I am usually available between 9-12 AM and I’d love to hear back from you. Regards, David Archibald”
This example isn’t perfect, but it gets the message across in a friendly and professional way. It also offers contact information beyond LinkedIn and gives them an excellent call to action.
For more useful cold message examples consider seeking inspiration on Google, there are a lot of LinkedIn professionals sharing their messages and other useful tips.
A poor example could go like this:
“Hey there John, my buddy Sam and I go way back, and I saw that he works for you and I want to get in on that! Are you hiring? I love graphic design. Call me ASAP and we can get something set up! I haven’t had a job for 3 months and I want to get paid, yknow? HMU anytime between 9-5 since I’m not busy! Thanks man, I look forward to working for ya. David.”
Remember to be friendly, but not overly casual. There are so many ways to stay professional but still build a relationship and friendship with someone you haven’t met yet. Also, if you are using a friend’s name, make sure that person knows ahead of time. Ask for their permission! This will help you keep the relationships you already have.
If you don’t have a friend that works for your prospective company or knows a lot of people, then use another thing to find common ground. An example of this could be if your product you are selling fits into a certain career path. Message that person and mention that career path and how helpful your product would be to them. You can also read their bio and see if you have things in common. The possibilities are endless!
LinkedIn vs Email
Something people may ask about LinkedIn cold messaging is “why not just use email?” Well, as many of us know, email is becoming obsolete in many ways. Email is beginning to be used by companies just for coupon distribution and advertisements. Although there are good ways to use email for marketing, individual people don’t seem to have as much luck.
This is why LinkedIn is a unique place to reach out to individuals and companies where they will notice you. LinkedIn cold messaging is simple, shorter, and does not need to be extremely structured. An email needs to be more professional, especially when reaching out to a potential employer. And while both may be able to land you a job, LinkedIn has a better reputation for being professional. This professional view will help you as you begin cold messaging on LinkedIn.
Although many companies use most social media sites, LinkedIn has a reputation for being the most professional. Having a LinkedIn profile is a must-have for anyone trying to find a good job.
Many people use LinkedIn for marketing, but it is primarily a networking and hiring site. When potential employers view your profile, you want it to be up-to-date and accurate. Never lie on your profile! Choose a professional photo for your profile picture and cover photo. You need professional photos to shape the right image.
Make sure to list the things you have accomplished and the certifications you have received. List your job history and your level of education. You can use your LinkedIn profile as a resume for other sites as well! Many companies now ask for your LinkedIn profile link as part of the application process. It is important to use your profile for your advantage.
You can also assume that when you cold message someone on LinkedIn, they will immediately click through to your profile after they read your message. You need your profile to reflect what you are trying to portray! If you are cold messaging people about graphic design, have a link to your graphic design portfolio prominently displayed on your profile page. Keep adding things and changing your profile over time so that people will notice it. This is the key to cold messaging on LinkedIn: keep your profile consistent with what you’re saying.
Messaging the Right People
When you are cold messaging others on LinkedIn, you want to reach the people who will give you what you need. Whether you need a job, more clients, or connections, you need to find the right people to help you. When you cold message, check out the profiles of the person you want to contact. Read the whole page. Choose someone to message within a company who seems active on their profile. If you message the CEO of the company, you might not get a response. If you message their hiring manager, you might get a reply. Keep an eye out for those individuals with similar interests as well. For those looking for clients, you can also set up LinkedIn advertising to help you find those right people. There will always be someone you can reach out to!
Using Cold Messaging and Networking
It isn’t always easy, but it is doable. Cold messaging on LinkedIn will help you to find a job, connections, clients and more. If you do it correctly, you will find that your networking will increase and your goals will be met. The importance of networking on LinkedIn is sometimes overlooked, so take advantage of that opportunity and use all that it has to offer. Make the most of your situation and keep trying! If it doesn’t work out the first time, keep messaging until you get some responses. You never know what might happen!