Many of us think that LinkedIn is just a resume site, but this professional networking site has a treasure trove of information about your connections and is a great way to start or deepen your professional relationships.

Social Media has the word “social” built right into the name, and we often seem to forget that we are connecting with humans, but using technology to facilitate these conversations.

Reaching out to new people and making connections can be overwhelming and intimidating but there are a few ways you can turn a cold call or reaching out, into a warm introduction.

Here are some top conversation starters to help start or deepen your relationships.

Conversation starter #1: Be sure to always send a personalized connection request to remind the person how you met, or why you want to connect with them. They will be much more likely to accept your request and even engage in two-way dialogue.

Conversation starter #2: If you accept a connection request from someone you don’t know, you may wish to start the conversation this way: “Thanks for reaching out to connect here on LinkedIn. I’d love to know more about your business and how I can help with your career. Can you send me a quick overview about what you do, and the target audience you work with?”

Conversation starter #3: If you’re already connected to someone on LinkedIn but want to deepen your relationship with them, comment on their latest status update or share their recent post.

Conversation starter #4: Look at your prospective connection or current connection’s profile. Do you have someone or something in common you can talk about? For example: “Hi Alex. I noticed on your profile that you went to school at the University of Ottawa, I also went to Ottawa U. Small world!”

I challenge you to reach out and connect with about two of your connections per week, whether that’s a new introduction or deepening an existing connection. It’s a great way to keep networking from the comfort of your own desk!

PUNCH up your LinkedIn presence in 2017 with a professional presence that knocks your client’s socks off. Email me at for a customized quote on turnkey profile optimization, which includes a complete profile makeover designed to fascinate your target audience and drive more business your way.

Leslie Hughes is a LinkedIn Optimization Specialist, Professor of Social Media, Corporate Trainer, Principal of PUNCH!media and author of the book “CREATE. CONNECT. CONVERT.”

Leslie was called a “Social Media Guru” by CBC Radio and was featured on CTV’s “The Social” discussing how to manage your digital identity. Leslie has been working in digital marketing since 1997 and founded PUNCH!media in 2009.

PUNCH!media clients include Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, Investment Planning Counsel, and RBC.

Whether it’s through LinkedIn training or profile optimization, PUNCH!media’s goal is to empower executives with a powerful online presence so they can brand their business properly and convert higher-paying clients.

Get your free LinkedIn Time Management tip sheet at