Where do you stand on the subject of the number of LinkedIn connections (that is, the number of LinkedIn users you are connected with)? Some people are of the opinion that the more connections they obtain, the merrier for their online professional self. Others, however, think that aiming for an unrealistically high number, such as several thousand connections, will leave them looking unprofessional and/or critically unselective. Regardless, you need to get connections on LinkedIn to be successful on the platform.
In the often unclear rules that still dominate the LinkedIn landscape, it is all about finding balance. You definitely want to aim for the magic title “500+ connections”, but you want to do it in an organic and constructive way that is going to be relevant to your business.
In other words, the key is to build relationships that are going to yield you palpable, real-life benefits, as opposed to chasing big numbers simply for the sake of it.
Here is how you get connections on LinkedIn:
1. Send Out Daily Invites With Personalised Messages
People are becoming more and more leery of connection invites by people they don’t know, especially if they come with the generic LinkedIn introduction message.
If you have filtered out some people on LinkedIn that you don’t know personally, but would like to get in touch with because you admire them as professionals, make sure you send them a message in which you will introduce yourself and tell them why you want to connect with them on LinkedIn.
2. Connect With Everyone You Know In Real Life
Remember when networking was happening offline? Joking aside now, don’t underestimate the power of your wider inner circle in real life. It is going to be really useful if you import all of your phone and email contacts into your LinkedIn account and connect with all your ex schoolmates, colleagues, friends, and even family!
3. Have Something To Offer
By this, we mean make sure your profile is frequently updated, relevant and engaging. It’s quite simple, yet immensely effective: whenever a connection “likes” your status update, all of their connections can see your original post in their feed.
Posting daily updates are a neat way to gain more visibility across the network:
“When you consistently stay in the feeds of your connections, there’s more opportunity for them to comment, like and share your posts. This interaction gets you introduced to their connections and gives you one more way to grow your network. When people are sharing and commenting on your stuff, it’s social proof that you’re an expert in your field.”
4. Post Content To Pulse, LinkedIn’s Publishing Platform
When you get to the Pulse homepage, click on “Publish a post” in the upper right-hand corner and share your pearls of wisdom with the online business world. Why? Because by doing so, you will be able to potentially reach a much greater audience than by just guest blogging on another platform. Another amazing feature is a highly target-oriented structure of the platform.
LinkedIn Pulse sorts articles and ideas by topic and theme. While that might seem like it’s decreasing your readership, it’s also ensuring that the viewers you do get have self-identified themselves as being interested in your topic.
5. Engage With Your Connections’ Updates
This one is almost self-explanatory. By commenting or liking your existing connections’ updates, you will appear on incomparably more news feeds than if you were cosily lurking behind your own dormant, shy profile. So get out there and “mingle” – the next valuable business connection or opportunity may be a couple of keystrokes away!
6. Take Part In Group Discussions
Joining LinkedIn groups without actively participating or losing interest almost immediately after you’ve joined does not leave a particularly good impression. Pitch in with the right questions or answers – it doesn’t matter, as long as you are showing an active and genuine interest. This alone can lead to building a great rapport.
7. “Advertise” Your LinkedIn Profile
This is an old school approach, but it invariably works. We recommend adding the link to your LinkedIn profile on your business cards, social media profiles, and anywhere else visible. Remember, this is where a custom LinkedIn URL comes in handy.
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