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We’ve all sent and received requests to connect on LinkedIn.

When accepting requests on LinkedIn, I try to make sure that I have some personal relation with the individual. I feel that this is important because whomever I agree to connect with will have access to people I already know and others may ask me about them and vice versa.

Recently, I started an experiment to see if by customizing my connect request message, could I begin to establish a more personal relationship with those that I was connecting.

Being in the web development and graphic design business, we have done business with a lot of different types of businesses in all types of industries. So when I get a friend request, I will take a few minutes and first check out who the person is and after establishing our connection, I will take a moment and see what type of business they are in.

Most of the time, we have done some type of work in their industry. So then I have a draft message that I keep on file that I use as my email. I go in and do a little customizing and voila, in a matter of a few minutes I have created a custom tailored message that introduces me, my company as well as asks for information about the business of the individual.

Not all of you will have this exact scenario to follow but you can model yours very similarly. For example, if you are in a pipe fabricating business, you will be connecting with others in the pipe fabrication field. Why not share some of your personal experiences as they relate to that person’s company?

Having done this now for several weeks, I have noticed a 65% – 70% response rate. And each time, the responder has expressed acknowledgement of the custom message and the interest I showed in wanting to learn more about them.

One of the most important things to know about social media is that it is SOCIAL. And LinkedIn is no different. So give it a try. Let me know how it works for you. And feel free to share any of your success stories with LinkedIn.

My Draft  Text:I am thankful for your interest in connecting on LinkedIn. I am Managing Partner at DezinsInteractive Web Development and Graphic Design agency in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. My team and I work with businesses of all sizes and offer custom solutions in respect to company branding, identity, websites, email marketing, social media, custom programming and mobile app development. We offer a partnership to our customers so that our knowledge and expertise become an ongoing resource to them and their companies.I notice that you are in the ????? business. Recently we completed a full website redesign for a company in a similar industry. Their website is www.address.com.Many business owners and executives have an idea of what all needs to be done when it comes to branding and digital marketing. The challenge that is most often faced is taking the first step. The who, what, when and where of it all. And the result often times is that money is wasted, the wrong decisions are made and countless hours seem to be thrown out the window. And this directly affects the bottom line.

There really is nothing I enjoy doing more than to talk to business owners and executives to see if the services we offer may be a match for their challenges. If you or someone you know fit the above description, don’t hesitate to let me know.

And of course, I am definitely interested in learning more about you and your company.

Some information that would be great to know is: What type of business are you in? Why do you do the work you do? What drives you? In the realm of digital media, are there things that your company is doing well? How did you come across my profile? What made you want to connect?

I look forward to future connection and success.