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How to Reach Out to Someone on Linkedin (Best Networking Tips)

Back in 2012, my idea of networking to build my prospecting list involved going out on the major business district’s streets and knocking on office doors. I can tell you…it was fun times indeed.

Fortunately, today, we no longer need to walk up and down the streets hoping to find people to talk to. Social media makes it simple to connect with people who share our interests and form relationships.

Linkedin is one of the more popular networking sites nowadays. Linkedin has more than 530 million members in over 200 countries and regions. The platform is used by recruiters, salespeople, business owners, job seekers, and just about anyone looking to make a connection.

With the assistance of social media platforms like Linkedin and even Twitter,, we can now connect with just about anyone we want, for whatever purpose we desire.

You see, learning how to reach out to someone on Linkedin and knowing what to say can provide many benefits as long as you have the confidence to put yourself out there. These benefits include:

  • Chances to gain knowledge from someone with greater experience than you
  • More career options.
  • Access to leaders in pretty much any field
  • Sales and marketing opportunities

What previously relied on real-life interactions such as going to events or conferences, LinkedIn provides a way for you to connect with anyone from the comfort of your own home. This is even more true since the pandemic – Zoom meetings and Google hangouts are the norm, not the exception. So, whilst everyone is working from home (including you), you could be researching Linkedin about a job you dream about, making a connection request with a thought leader you’d love to learn from or even building out lists of your dream clients.

The issue is that while Linkedin has potential for early-career professionals as well, very few are effectively utilising it, particularly regarding outreach. I’ll explain how to utilise Linkedin more effectively in this post, but let’s start by talking about mistakes to avoid.

Common Pitfalls to Avoid when Reaching Out to Someone on Linkedin

Regarding Linkedin outreach, don’t expect the platform to be more forgiving than other outreach methods. You will still send many messages and still get radio silence from many people you reach out to. But in saying that, there are certain techniques you can employ – whether that is for a job search or cold messaging with a product pitch – that will increase your chances of a response. If absolutely no one is getting back to you, let’s look at some common mistakes you should endeavour to avoid.

You’re not certain about your message or what you want.

Always have a clear and succinct message ready before contacting someone on Linkedin. If you are all over the place, the person you are trying to reach out to will find it challenging to comprehend what you want from them. Are you looking for a professional relationship with the contact? Is the connection request regarding a product you are selling? Or, are you simply trying to find out more information about a potential role or the company for your job search?

You ask for what you want without providing anything in return.

A one-way street is a fast way to get told “no.” How can you expect someone to want to help you when you have nothing to offer in return? It’s essential to remember that relationships are a two-way street. How can you provide value to the other person? You may need to think creatively on this, but if you can benefit the other person, your response rate will increase dramatically,

Your messaging is poor.

Your message is the first impression you make on someone. If it’s unprofessional or sloppy, it reflects poorly on you and makes it more difficult to gain a response.

The following advice can help you create a persuasive message:

  • Use proper grammar and spelling
  • Be clear and concise
  • Keep it professional
  • Personalise the message when possible

You’re not using InMail.

InMail is a LinkedIn feature that allows you to send messages to people outside of your network. It’s a great tool to use when reaching out to someone on LinkedIn, particularly if you don’t have a mutual connection.

InMail messages appear in the recipient’s inbox just like any other message, making it more likely that they will see and respond to your message.

To send an InMail, you must have a LinkedIn Premium account.

You’re not following up.

Not following up after reaching out to someone on LinkedIn is one of the most frequent mistakes people do. If you don’t get a response to your first message, it’s important to follow up. This shows that you are interested in connecting and that you value their time.

When following up, be sure to:

  • Keep your message short and sweet
  • Mention that you recently sent a message
  • Ask if there is a better time or method to reach them

With these tips in mind, let’s move on and look at how to write an effective message when reaching out to someone on LinkedIn.

How to Write an Effective Message when Reaching Out to Someone on LinkedIn

When writing a message to someone on LinkedIn, it’s important to remember the tips discussed above. In addition, there are certain elements you should include in your message to make it more effective.

Be sure to:

  • Introduce yourself
  • Mention mutual connections (if you have any)
  • Explain how you can help the other person
  • Ask questions

The elements mentioned are self-explanatory, so let’s consider some more specific examples for crafting the perfect Linkedin message when reaching out to people.

If you want guidance on a new profession or career route.

Reaching out to people on Linkedin can be an excellent way for job seekers to learn more about and get guidance on a certain career goal.

Think about it.

For every career goal you could possibly imagine, there is someone with a Linkedin profile that shares the exact route you need to take to get there.

Think about the kind of advice you want and then research who might be the best person on Linkedin to make a connection request with that could assist with your job search.

Ensure that when you are reaching out, you are being as direct and specific as humanly possible regarding what you want to ask the contact. Clarity is essential when you are doing cold outreach.

When you want to get in touch with someone for career advice, do your best to avoid saying all too often overused terms such as “Can I pick your brain?” You don’t want to appear as someone who needs advice but isn’t sure what kind of advice you specifically need from the contact.That will just cause frustration.

Instead, get straight to the point and let the person know what it is you need help with.

For example, say something like:

“I recently saw that you made a career switch from being an accountant to becoming a data analyst. I am interested in making a similar switch and was wondering if you would be open to chatting for 20-30 minutes so that I can learn more about your experience?”

If you want your connection, request to critique your CV or cover letter.

Thousands of people on Linkedin know exactly what a good and bad CV looks like. Myself included.

If you want to get your CV or cover letter critiqued, reach out to people on LinkedIn and tell them that you would appreciate their feedback.

When you reach out, make sure to:

  • Thank the person in advance for their time
  • Let them know that you would appreciate their feedback
  • Keep your message short and sweet

For example, say something like:

“Hi (name),

I recently came across your profile and saw that you have a lot of experience working in HR. I am currently in the process of applying for jobs and was wondering if you would be open to critiquing my CV. I would really appreciate your feedback.

Thank you in advance for your time,

(Your name)”

If you want to collaborate on a project.

There are all sorts of projects that people want to collaborate on, from business ventures to blog posts. And it’s another reason why it’s useful to learn how to reach out to someone on Linkedin.

Reaching out to someone on LinkedIn to collaborate on a project is a great way to get your foot in the door with someone you want to work with.

Before you reach out, though, it’s important that you have a clear idea of what it is you want to collaborate on. Once you have that figured out, reach out to your potential collaborator and let them know what you have in mind.

Be sure to keep your message concise. No one wants to read a long message about a project they may or may not be interested in.

For example, say something like:

“Hi (name),

I recently came across your profile and saw that you are an expert in (subject). I am working on a project involving (project idea) I think you would be perfect for.

If you’re interested, I would love to chat with you about the project. Thank you for your time.”

If you want to know more about the hiring process at a company you really want to work for.

Messages like ‘I am just writing to see if you have any positions available at [company]’ aren’t going to be very useful when it comes to making a good first impression on your job search,

Instead, it is much more beneficial to be more direct when cold messaging and asking about the specific role you are interested in, and whether the person you’re reaching out to would be willing to introduce you to the recruiter or hiring manager.

For example, say something like:

“I recently saw your profile and that you work for ABC Company. I am interested in applying for the XYZ role at ABC Company and was wondering if you would be able to introduce me to the recruiter or hiring manager. I would really appreciate it if you can help me out.

Thank you for your time.”

If you want to be introduced to someone.

When you’re trying to reach out to someone new on LinkedIn, one of the best ways to do it is through a mutual contact you already have a connection with.

All you have to do is ask your mutual contact to introduce you to the person you want to connect with. It’s a simple request, but it’s one that can go a long way in helping you expand your network.

When you reach out to your mutual contact, be sure to:

  • Explain why you want to be introduced to the person you’re asking about
  • Thank the person in advance for their help

For example, say something like:

“Hi (name),

I saw that you’re connected to XYZ on LinkedIn. I am looking to expand my network in the XYZ industry and was wondering if you would be able to introduce me.

If you’re unable to do so, I understand. Thank you for your time.”


That’s it! Now you know how to reach out to someone on LinkedIn for many different scenarios. Just remember to be clear, concise, and specific in your requests. And always be grateful for the time someone takes to respond to you. Good luck!

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