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Nobody wants to feel like a spammer.

Everyone’s been on the receiving end of ‘pitch slapping’ (whereby you accept a LinkedIn connection, only to receive a full-on sales pitch immediately.)

But alas, LinkedIn outreach is a key tool in the arsenal of B2B professional service-providers looking to grow their business.

So how do you do LinkedIn outreach in a way that you can feel proud of?

Here are our seven top tips:

1 – Choose Prospects Wisely

It’s easier than ever to find B2B contact data. Beyond LinkedIn’s search itself (and ‘Sales Navigator’ for even more options), you can use a database like to access 1,000,000’s of records.

The first step to good outreach, though, is to be selective in who you’re targeting. Narrow down by job title, company size, industry, location, etc – soon you’ll have a tight list to work from.

Then you can get connecting. About 100-250 / month is the limit on LinkedIn, though it varies by account.

2 – Edit Messages To Their Core

Technology (including AI) has made it easier than ever to message people. But these tools – and many online guides – frequently offer outdated messaging templates that are so ubiquitous that they’re now totally ineffective.

Cut out everything unnecessary and focus on your core offer (read on for more on this.)

3 – Build Up Slowly

A great first outreach message to new connections is along the lines of this:

“Hi [Name] – Thanks for connecting. Look forward to seeing your updates and learning more about [Business]. Best, [Name], [Website URL]

We’re not selling. We’re not even asking for a response. We’re just saying a professional hello (with a website offered in case they’re interested.) Remember that simply by accepting your connection request, the prospect has likely already seen your headline ‘pitch’, reducing the need to explain further.

4 – Interact First

If you’re lucky enough to find that your prospect posts regularly on LinkedIn – noting that the overwhelming majority don’t – this is your chance to establish rapport.

Don’t just ‘like’ their posts; comment and add value.

“Great point, and also [expand on point]”

“Absolutely agree, [summarised understanding reflected back]”

“This reminds me of [book or other resource]”

It’s all laying the groundwork for future conversations.

5 – Share Regularly

Since most LinkedIn users never post, you’ll need to make the first move. By posting content regularly, you’ll appear in the feeds of your new connections.

“How To” tips / Thought Leadership / Response to Industry News / Personal Updates / etc…

Again, you’re warming things up to make it easier for conversations further down the line.

6 – Offer ‘Transitional’ CTAs

Even following the above approach, you’ll still struggle if you land a full sales pitch in their inbox.

So what do you do instead?

Transitional CTAs (call-to-actions) offer a chance to elicit some form of interaction without needing to close a sale, or even get a meeting. It could be some form of content, free offer or invitation.

This is where good marketing really comes into its own, because often you need to have produced something of value to offer.

Here are a few examples:

“Hi [Name] – Wondered if you’d like an invite to our free community for [target profile]? Members get regular updates, free resources, online events, networking opportunities and more. Would be great to have you on board!”

“Hi [Name] – We recently published a guide for [target profile] in [target industry]. It’s all about [topics], so might be of interest for you?”

“Hi [Name] – Two of our clients have started using us for [small service]. If you’re interested, we could offer the same to you for a few months free. Would you like more details?”

Get a bite on your transitional CTA and you’re on your way to the next stage of the deal funnel.

7 – Stay Organised

It’s easy enough to do all this for a handful of contacts, but when you look to scale – and particularly with high-value prospects – it’s important to stay organised.

A tool like Attio CRM (free plan available) can help keep track of your LinkedIn activities and ensure that prospects don’t slip through the cracks. You could use any tool you’re familiar with, but Attio’s definitely worth a look.

Final Thoughts

This is by no means an exhaustive guide to LinkedIn outreach, but hopefully it’s given you a few pointers on how to run outreach you can be proud of (that also wins you business!)

Want help with LinkedIn outreach?

Want some help? Need to get the message right, or perhaps you need to create a compelling reason for prospects to engage with you as a ‘transitional CTA’? Sideways Marketing can help. Drop Will a message at