LinkedIn is one of the most powerful professional networking platforms in the world and it is important that you are able to make it work for your benefit. Growing your LinkedIn network to 500+ people could increase your chances of finding your dream job, networking with several professionals around the globe or developing your business.
A 2014 survey conducted by the Power Formula showed that the 25.2 % of LinkedIn users have between 500-999 first level connections. If you manage to do that, you will unlock the 500+ feature and increase your profile strength to “All-Star”.
Here are 5 tips that can help you grow your LinkedIn network:
#1 Network every day
Make a habit of spending at least half an hour a day to network with other professionals on LinkedIn. It may be useful if you connect with professionals that are outside your field of interest as well.
Start by searching for people you know well, e.g. your friends. These people are the ones who know you the most and can recommend you to others who are on LinkedIn. Then, invite your past and present co-workers and your classmates from present or past schools. It doesn’t matter if you don’t interact with them often, you can use LinkedIn Contacts to check network updates and stay in touch.
#2 Join LinkedIn groups and participate
Perhaps the most useful feature on LinkedIn in regards to developing your knowledge in your field is joining relevant groups. LinkedIn groups can give you the opportunity to speak to other professionals directly, to get and exchange information through group conversations. Join at least 10 groups including alumni, professional associations, businesses you may be interested in and groups that allow you to learn from others.
Don’t just join LinkedIn groups, but participate wherever you can:
- Read articles that interest you, get involved, learn and help other members.
- Leave your comments for other users to read and share your opinion.
- Publish an article that is interesting and possibly useful to you and your professional network.
#3 Tailor your LinkedIn Requests
You wouldn’t like to receive a typical LinkedIn request from someone you don’t know saying “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn”, would you? Since you want to sound professional, it is best that you tailor your LinkedIn request before sending it to the person you would like to connect with. Perhaps you could introduce yourself and explain the reason you are contacting them. If you are connecting people who are in your LinkedIn groups, make sure you mention that you both belong in the same group.
#4 Check the number of your networker’s connections
Since you are interested in increasing the number of your networkers, you might want to check how many people are in the other person’s LinkedIn network before adding him to yours. This will help you increase your chances of connecting with more people, e.g. adding a networker with 600 people in his network will increase your chances of growing your network further rather than adding someone with 100 people in their network.
#5 Network for mutual benefit
A golden rule that applies to any situation is “to give is to receive”. What you should always have in mind is that by helping your connections you are also helping yourself. Perhaps you could ask yourself “What have I done to help my LinkedIn network today?” and “How could this help me?” An excellent way of helping your connections increase their profile strength is through the skills endorsements. It is possible that when you give skills endorsements to your connections, they will also return the favour. You can learn more about how endorsements work here.
Follow these tips and get to enjoy all the benefits of having a 500+ LinkedIn network. The more LinkedIn groups you are a member of and the more connections you have will have a positive impact on your job search.
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