08 Feb LinkedIn Breaks the Ice with Conversation Starters
LinkedIn is one of the most effective ways to connect online. Whether you are a job hunter, employer, salesperson or businessperson, you can find people who have your interests and answers to your questions.
But how do you make the connection? What do you say? You’re not alone in your fear when it’s time to ask advice or find out about job openings.
To help break the ice, LinkedIn is now offering conversation starters. These are suggestions for ways to open your message.
Click the Light Bulb
Open the app to write a message to your contact. Click on the light bulb icon that appears within the message area. Voila! A set of suggested opening remarks will appear.
The tips are personalized for each member, based on your profile and history. They aren’t just one-size-fits-all message starters. LinkedIn suggests picking the opener that fits your current contact the best and your normal style. Then rewrite it to match how you speak and write.
3 Types of Starters
There are three types of conversation starters:
Updates on your professional life: You can report your current activities to your correspondent or your impressions of recent news or articles. Did your contact recently get a promotion? Congratulate her! Is it an anniversary, either work or personal? Give them a pat on the back. Everyone likes milestones recognized and celebrated.
Shared background: Doo you see that both of you have a company or school in common? Open with a brief reference to your shared history. Perhaps they are in a hobby group where you have experience. Give them some input about what you’re doing with these skills and interests. It establishes common ground, making it easier to get the conversation going.
Contacts in common: Do they know someone you have met? Mention it in your opening remarks. This will help establish your bonafides and your work and personal history. People like to communicate with people with a shared history and similar roots.
The Benefit of Conversation Starters
The goal for these conversation tips is to make messaging more casual and less pressured. According to Mark Hull, the director of product management at LinkedIn, they noticed that many members had lots of connections, but seldom sent messages.
Though it is simple to message someone that you contact often, it can be intimidating to approach someone you don’t know or someone you’ve lost contact with.
The aim is for members to feel more comfortable approaching new contacts and those you haven’t traded messages with in a long time. A quick note, using one of the tips. takes the pressure off. Members say the tips make it easier to start casual conversations, and to send a quick message more often.