Someone accepted your request to connect on LinkedIn - Wahoo! Now what? Related: 4 Things You Should NEVER Say In Your LinkedIn Invitations Now, you need to start a conversation. Don’t just let that fresh new connection sit dead in the water. Here’s how to start a conversation with a new LinkedIn connection:

Start with the subject line.

Struggling to write your initial message? Here are a few subject ideas to get your started (you would elaborate within your message): For a basic subject line, you could start with something like:
  • Thanks for connecting!
  • It’s great to meet you!
If you enjoyed an article they wrote/shared, you could start with some something like:
  • Loved your article!
  • Thanks for sharing your insight.
If you met your new LinkedIn connection in-person, you could start with something like:
  • Great to meet you at yesterday’s event!
  • Wanted to continue on our conversation from yesterday.

Introduce yourself.

Shoot your new friend a brief message shortly after connecting. You can start by introducing yourself, then elaborate on why you wanted to connect in the first place.

Mention things you have in common.

Feel free to ask them about their goals and interests. What do they want to accomplish? What do they love doing? Highlight commonalities. It will help make a stronger personal connection.

Offer your support.

I can't stress how important it is to offer value to your connections, especially in your first conversation. It shows that you're a valuable contact who's ready and willing to help your connections. Offering your support can be as simple as saying something like, “If there’s anything I can do to offer support or anyone in my network that I can introduce you to, please let me know. Happy to help.” You don't have to go overboard with this in your first message. A brief sentence like the one above is great. Just let them know you're offering.

Don’t ask for any favors just yet.

Do not ask for anything from them unless it benefits them in some way (for example, if you needed a quote from them for an upcoming blog post you’re writing, highlight the fact that you’ll be promoting the HECK out of it and that it will give them some exposure).

What to do when someone connects with YOU...

When someone reaches out to YOU and asks to connect, make sure you message them immediately after accepting their request with a message that says something like, “Thanks for connecting. It’s great to meet you.” That way, if they forget to message you, you’ll be sitting in their Inbox, happy and ready to chat. Photo credit: Shutterstock