Tips For Growing Your Connections On LinkedIn
Professionals understand the value of being well-connected on LinkedIn. However, unlike other social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, simply posting isn’t enough.
LinkedIn is a professional networking platform, and thus, the underlying algorithm is very different from others that are mainly rooted in connecting like-minded people. While content does play a role in helping you find and connect with its over 756 million users across 200 countries, you need to be proactive, too.
Having many connections on LinkedIn can be immensely rewarding regardless of whether you sell used cars or are a graphics designer. Therefore, the time and effort you put in is well worth it.
This article discusses a few things you can do to grow your professional network on LinkedIn. It is worth cautioning against spamming and mass-following campaigns, as it may get you banned on the platform.
1) Define Your LinkedIn Strategy
As a professional or a business owner, you should have a clearly defined LinkedIn strategy. Unlike other social media platforms, LinkedIn is targeted at professionals and businesses, making it a powerful marketing and branding tool in your arsenal. However, if you don’t have a cohesive strategy, you risk broadcasting disparate and disjoined messages that will not resonate with your target audience or achieve the desired business goals.
Formulating a LinkedIn strategy might seem intimidating, but it’s pretty simple. Start by clearly identifying your objectives. Think: Do you want to use LinkedIn to develop your brand, generate leads for your business, or find potential job opportunities?
Once you have established the objectives, you can define your target audience. What are their interests? What work do they do? The better you understand your audience, the more targeted and effective your strategy.
Short-term and long-term goals are equally important. In the short term, you should aim to increase the number of followers or improve engagement rates to see immediate results and provide motivation. Your long-term goals, on the other hand, can be developing a reputable personal brand or positioning yourself as a thought leader in your industry, which requires time and consistent effort.
2) Optimise Your LinkedIn Profile
In the world of LinkedIn, your profile is like a business card. It’s what potential employers, clients and partners see when they first encounter you online. Therefore, its completeness and depth reflect your professionalism.
It is, therefore, imperative to optimise your biography and experience sections. Your bio should not merely recite your resume—instead, it should highlight your key achievements, skills and value proposition. Similarly, avoid simply listing your past roles in the experience section. Rather, talk about how you contributed to your previous employers’ success and what unique skills or experiences you gained.
No LinkedIn profile is complete without a professional profile picture. A professional, high-resolution photo leaves a positive impression, contributing to the robust and credible image you want to project. Make sure your photo is up-to-date and appropriately reflects your industry and position.
3) Network with the Right People
Networking is a fundamental part of LinkedIn. It’s not only about who you know but also about who those people know.
Identify your target audience and connect with relevant professionals to gain the most from your networking efforts. This ensures your network is packed with potential partners, clients or employers rather than being a mere collection of random contacts.
Finding and connecting with relevant professionals is – fortunately – easy, thanks to LinkedIn’s search and connect feature. Participating in industry-specific groups or discussions will help you grow your network with relevant connections.
Remember, when it comes to networking, quality always trumps quantity. That’s why having a few hundred well-curated connections will serve you better than thousands of random, unengaged followers.
4) Engage with Your Connections
It’s not enough to have a network of connections on LinkedIn; it is equally important to engage with them. Regular interaction helps you become more visible on their feeds and keeps you at the top of their mind. This could be as simple as liking their posts, sharing relevant content or commenting on their updates.
Starting engaging conversations is a potent way to drive more interaction. You might pose a question, provide valuable insights or share personal experiences. These types of posts invite responses and foster a sense of community.
Consistent interaction ensures you remain an active, visible part of your connections’ LinkedIn experience, boosting your brand recognition and opening new doors for leads and sales.
5) Share Valuable Content Regularly
Sharing valuable, industry-related content reaffirms your position as a knowledgeable professional or a credible business. It positions you as a thought leader and adds value to your connections, making your profile a resource worth visiting.
Creating valuable posts involves understanding your audience, their needs and interests. Combine this understanding with industry trends or timely subjects to create engaging posts. Utilising various content types, such as articles, videos, infographics, or podcasts, can keep your content fresh and appealing.
Regular posting increases your visibility and engagement rates.
6) Utilise LinkedIn Features to Your Advantage
Features such as LinkedIn Groups and LinkedIn Pulse allow you to broaden your reach and establish authority within your professional community.
LinkedIn Groups are a fantastic platform for networking with professionals in your area of interest. These groups offer forums for discussion, sharing ideas and gaining insights from other industry leaders.
LinkedIn Pulse, on the other hand, is a publishing tool that lets you share articles and blog posts with your LinkedIn network. Regular publishing on Pulse can elevate your status as a thought leader in your industry.
Ensure your contacts can endorse your skills, providing social proof of your abilities.
LinkedIn is the place to be if you are seeking employment, are a business owner, or are looking to employ top talent. However, it is essential to approach growing your connections strategically. Identify your goals and then use a strategy that helps you achieve them on the platform.
If there is one platform where professionals and business owners should be active, we’d say it is LinkedIn.