Connections matter, and without enough of them, you don’t. LinkedIn has changed, and so has the way that people interact with it. Before, having a few hundred good connections was incredible, but now, you are not considered a serious player unless you possess that coveted 500+. One question that I have been asked a lot recently is how I managed to grow my own LinkedIn network, from 30 connections to over 900 in just 30 days. It sounds impossible, right? Well, I am here to demonstrate that it is far from impossible, and is in fact, something that anyone can do with a few simple tips that I will outline here today.
From 30 connections to over 900 in just 30 days
- The single most important piece of advice that I can give you is to freshen up and improve your profile. No one will want to connect with you if they see an old, blurry photo of you, and they notice that your account has not been updated in months or years. So start with a decent picture, it does not have to be professional, but it needs to be clear, and have you be the only one in the frame. Next, you need to update your personal and professional experience sections. Even if you think that your job is a simple one, there are aspects of your position that only you know how to do or ways that you make it unique. Highlight these aspects, and you will see a boost in your ability to network.
- My second tip for growing your LinkedIn network is not to be afraid of connecting with people. It may sound like an obvious tip, but not everyone feels comfortable requesting to connect with a VP or CEO as a low-mid level employee, but it can be done. Not only do these high-level individuals have excellent networks, but they can also be a source for a great deal of knowledge and experience that you can tap into, appropriately of course. To do this, it helps to write them a personal note with the connection request, outlining who you are and why you would like to connect with them. Do not be alarmed if not everyone accepts, keep trying and growing and eventually, you will have an excellent network to rely on.
My name is Tyler Smith; I am a Marketing Account Executive with Prepared Marketing. I noticed on your profile that you are an Executive for ‘COMPANY NAME,’ and I thought that it would be valuable to connect with you. I am currently in the process of growing my network, and I have learned how important it is to surround myself with knowledgeable and successful individuals. I have been following your company for a while now, you have been doing some fantastic work recently, and I would like to meet over coffee and talk with you more about yourself and the work that you do.
Thank you for your time,
- My third tip for building your network is finding the right people. You may have a network of several hundred, but at the end of the day, if they are not the kind of people that you want to do business with or work for, then suffice it to say your network is useless. When I am looking through LinkedIn, I look for hard-working, successful people, and companies that I want in my network. As my reputation is important to me, I do not want to connect with any individuals or companies that will tarnish my reputation.
- My next tip is to connect with and leverage individuals that you network and do business with. Some of the people that I have met through work have informal networks of hundreds of people, but when we discuss LinkedIn, they tell me that they have not attempted to solidify that connection through the site. These connections are a fantastic source of recommendations, introductions, and endorsements, you should not let them go to waste. These are social proof to future connections that you are someone they want to know and do business with.
- My final tip, don’t be afraid to ask for someone to introduce you to someone else. One of the incredible things about LinkedIn is that you can see who everyone you know is connected with and if you have any mutual connections. If you find someone that you want to connect with, and you know someone they are connected with, it’s okay to ask for an introduction. I have personally done this in the past, with marvelous results.
While this does not cover everything that LinkedIn has to offer when it comes to expanding your network, these will give you a strong position to start with so that you can also make LinkedIn work for you. Before I learned these lessons the hard way, I had a bare-bones account that no one wanted to connect with, and now, I receive connection requests almost daily from people that a month ago I believed would have never accepted an offer if I sent it myself. If you would like to connect, ask for advice, or even share your own LinkedIn tips, you can find me at Tyler Smith on LinkedIn!