1. Find what you have in common.
2. Start a conversation about it.
That’s it. You can think of it exactly like introducing two mutual friends to each other for the first time. You search in your mind for what they might be interested in in each other and then take it from there – asking each other questions to get the conversation going.
If there was a third rule, it would be to relax. Everyone on the website is a bit nervous and excited to make connections. Not everyone who messages you will interest you, and not everyone you message will be a connection. It’s ok. Follow the golden rule and the tips below to ease into the art of leaving first messages and you’re sure to find lots of success.
Be Literate and Personal
People can see straight through a mass message that’s been sent to a number of people. It’s ok to have some standard information that you share, but make sure you’re responding to each person’s individual profile. If there is something about them that interests you, let them know.
It’s also best to avoid sloppy grammar. Proof read your messages to make sure you’ve spelt everything correctly (including their name!) and used the appropriate punctuation. It takes just a second to proof read what you’ve written and can make all the difference when getting a response.
Focus on Common Interests Instead of Looks
You might feel that it would be nice to comment on a person’s profile picture, everyone loves a compliment, right? It’s ok to mention it, but looks shouldn’t be the focus of your message. It gives the impression that this is all you’re interested in. The best first message demonstrates that you’ve read the profile and that you’re interested in knowing more about him or her.
Stand apart from the rest by asking questions about the things you read in their profile.
Start a Conversation
Think of what it’s like when you’re meeting someone for the first time at a social event. “How are you?” might be a natural first line, but it doesn’t really start a conversation. These general questions can be skipped over in your first message in favour of open ended questions. “I’m fine” puts you right back where you started. Instead, start with your common interests, explaining what you like about what they’ve shared. If you’re talking about things that you both like, it will be much easier to move into a natural and meaningful conversation.
If you can’t think of a question or conversation starter, it’s a good indication that you shouldn’t message that person.
Keep it Simple, Keep it Short
One or two questions is all you need. Don’t overwhelm a person by asking about every sentence in their profile. This is an introduction and an offer. If you’re relaxed and open with a simple message, this will come through and feel more appealing than if you force things with too much information.