Now 225 million members strong with 2 new members signing up every second, Linkedin has become far more than just a place to look for your next career. Linkedin helps you to build your network and socialize on a professional level. Since people usually like to do business with people they know and trust, there is no doubt that Linkedin is a powerful tool for growing your business. But to maximize what Linkedin can do for you, you need to build a quality network of connections.
Want to Grow your Linkedin Network? Here are 5 Tips:
1. Join relevant groups – Joining Linkedin groups and actively participating in group discussions is a great way to meet new people in your industry or geographical area. People can use a common group as a reason for connecting, so even if you do not personally know the contact, having similar interests can be a good reason to connect.
Take Action: Join one new group now. Look for something geographically close or specific to your industry.
2. Always look for more people you may know – Look for contacts you may share with others and people you may have worked or studied with in the past. Even if you previously imported your contacts from your email program, do it again. Chances are you have made new contacts since then, or people who were not previously on Linkedin may have recently joined.
Take Action: Look thru the “People you May Know” or import your email contacts and add a few connections.
3. Give the New “Linkedin Contacts” a try – Linkedin Contacts will help you to organize your Linkedin connections with your contacts in other locations (i.e. gmail, outlook, yahoo, iPhone contacts) almost like a social CRM. You can do more with your entire network of contacts such as see most recent conversations, wish people a Happy Birthday, quickly invite people to Linkedin, and more.
Take Action: Download the new Linkedin Contacts here http://contacts.linkedin.com/ and see if it helps you grow and manage your professional contacts and relationships.
4. Write a personal note with ALL connection requests – When you request to connect with someone, writing a personal note will help them to remember you or give them a reason to connect with you. In many cases, it will simply make you stand out from other generic connection requests that they receive, and increase your chances of getting the invitation accepted.
Take Action: Vow to never send a generic connection request again! Make it personal.
5. Be engaging and active on Linkedin – Update your status, comment or like on other’s statuses, share interesting articles, and add new connections constantly. Remember, you can also type a name, company or @ to mention someone in a status update. If you are trying to grow your business or connections in a certain area, focus your status updates around that topic or business area. Make a point to be active on Linkedin, and your network will get a natural turbo-boost!
Take Action: Post a status update, comment, or like someone else’s update each time you log in to Linkedin.
Your Linkedin network is an invaluable tool that will be useful as you change jobs, build your business, grow your sales, advocate for a cause, and enhance your social capital. Set a goal for building and nurturing your Linkedin network now, so that it will be there when you need it in the future.
How has Linkedin helped you professionally? What other tips do you have for growing and nurturing your network?