It’s no secret that LinkedIn is the social media site of choice for today’s busy professionals. Being connected to the right people in your industry gives you credibility as well as allows you to communicate directly with people that have the ability to help you advance your career.
Growing your network and establishing new connections on LinkedIn has multiple benefits. In addition to establishing your professional reputation, having a large network also helps you to be found by more people using LinkedIn’s search engine and put you closer to the top of search results. This will help you build your network of first-degree connections, which can in turn help you pursue new opportunities now or at a later stage. Establishing these connections now is a great way to lay the groundwork for future projects.
Here are eight ways to cultivate new connections on LinkedIn.
Connect with past coworkers and classmates.
Start with one of the simplest ways to grow your connections: in addition to connecting with coworkers at your current company, reach out to past coworkers from your previous jobs as well as old classmates. After you connect make and effort to send a short message to ask what your former colleague or classmate has been doing since you last saw them and share a few quick details about yourself. Remember, you don’t want to overwhelm your new connection; just reestablish communication in a friendly and polite manner.
Connect with people you meet with.
Yes, everyone knows that you should connect with the people you meet at conferences, trade shows, networking lunches, and other industry events, but are you making connections with your appointments? For example, if you are in software sales and have set up an appointment to meet with a potential buyer, send the buyer an invitation to connect on LinkedIn in advance of your meeting. Even if you don’t make the sale, you have made a connection that could be useful for the future.
Connect with people that follow you on other social networks.
You can make great connections with industry influencers by doing this. If an industry influencer follows you on Twitter or a similar social media site, send an invite to connect on LinkedIn. It’s best to do this as soon as possible after they follow you on the other site – by sending a connection request soon after they follow you, you will still be top of mind for them and they’ll be more likely to accept.
Connect with LinkedIn publishers.
With LinkedIn now allowing its members to publish content, you can send a connection invite to the content creators that you admire within your industry. Include a note about why you enjoy their content in your connection request.
Be an active daily user.
Just like any other social media site, it’s important to be active on LinkedIn. Post a status update each day – and make sure it is relevant and valuable to the people in your industry. You may even want to begin publishing your own content on LinkedIn. As more of your connections interact with your updates and content, your shares will increase and you will be “introduced” to new connections and allow you to grow your personal network. You should also comment on and engage with updates and content posted by your current connections.
Put your LinkedIn profile link in your email signature.
This will make it easy for anyone you communicate with by email to add you as a connection.
Participate in LinkedIn groups.
Join groups relevant to your industry and your interests, and become an active user. By sharing knowledge, insights, and valuable content you’ll develop a strong reputation within the group and will be able to connect with other like-minded individuals.
Personalize your connection invitations.
Don’t just send out the generic “So-and-So would like to connect with you” message. Make an effort to personalize every invitation you send and include a short note on why you’d like to connect with this particular person, such as you admire their work, respect the contributions they make to a group, or enjoyed a presentation they gave recently. Personalizing your message will likely set you apart from 90% of the people contacting them.
When trying to grow your network on LinkedIn it’s important to set weekly goals and come up with a strategy for obtaining them. Try these tips and track your success. You’ll find yourself at 501+ connections in no time!
If you are looking to hire an IT, Accounting, or Finance professional, or work in any of those fields and looking to advance your career, you can contact Equis Staffing via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at (818) 444-0100.