How to Grow Your LinkedIn Network
Whether you are a freelancer, employee, or small business, there are many benefits to expanding your LinkedIn network. Networking, finding a new job, or reaching a new customer base are possible with effective usage of LinkedIn. Here are a few simple strategies to expand your network.
Be active and consistent on the site.
Check LinkedIn daily and comment or like posts from your connections. Much like a vegetable garden, nothing grows unless you tend to it.
Look at LinkedIn’s proposed new connections for you.
LinkedIn is always improving and changing its features, but the site’s goal has always been for you to expand your contacts list. On the current home page, it is as simple as clicking on the hyperlinked text, “Grow Your Network.” Clicking this brings up a list of contacts you either share connections with or may know because of similarities in your profiles.
Send customized invitations.
When you find a person that you want to connect with, LinkedIn makes it very easy to send a generic invitation request. However, customizing the invitation by either telling the person how you know her or what your goal is for connecting with her helps it to stand out among the rest. One word of caution, do not use invitations as a way of cold calling on people you would like to meet. Those individuals could report your requests as spam which will impede your ability to legitimately grow your network.
Join relevant LinkedIn groups.
Considering a job or career change or looking for a way to reach new customers? By joining relevant LinkedIn groups, you can get new information or insight on who and how to proceed.
Seek endorsements as appropriate.
Just as the invitation feature can be overused and rendered meaningless if not used in a targeted manner, so can endorsements. It is fantastic if you are able to gain endorsements from coworkers or associates for your marketable skills and experiences. Beware of the trap of gaining endorsements to pad your profile or as a way of emphasizing your less honed skills.
LinkedIn is the technological comparison of the business mixers and business card exchanges of the previous decades. By using it intelligently and carefully, it can grow your contacts list and create new career opportunities.