Recently, I’ve had a couple of readers and friends reach out with one question that they are desperate to get off their chest: What should I say to spark a conversation? And I find that the easiest way to write out a message and the best way to get a response from someone is to keep it simple. Starting off a first message to someone should be similar to how you’d start off a “hello” to someone in person.

Do: Mention something that sparked your attention from their profile. Use that as your way to make them feel special and connected to your first message. You’ll have a much better response rate if you make them feel special over making them feel weirded out.

Don’t: Write them something generic, or use the wrong person’s name, or try to make your message seem too way out of the box. A first message is just a preview of the conversation to come.

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