It is hard to reach out to people you don’t know. On LinkedIn, however, you can certainly cold contact by being your pleasant, charming self. That is, if you are pleasant and charming. Let’s hope.

Keep Up Your Profile
Before making any connections, you should complete your profile. Emphasize your relevance to your chosen industry and, by association, prospective contacts. Treat the rest of your profile like a resume, including as much detail as possible in an easy-to-read, comprehensive format. Most of all, don’t forget to add profile and cover photos.

Contact the Right People
Don’t waste your profile on old high school friends or passing acquaintances. Stick with workers and influencers in your industry. Start with people you already know, then move on to thought leaders you may have met at a business conference or lecture. Second-degree LinkedIn connections are fair game.

Personalize It!
When sending a connection request, take the time to write out a personal invitation. Have you read any of their published works? Do they come recommended by a friend? A thoughtful personalization shows initiative – and has the added bonus of establishing commonality.

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