9 Tips on How to Grow Your Professional Network on LinkedIn
Updated: Jan 7, 2022
When you are not networking face-to-face or personally, the next best option to create and touch base with your professional network is Linkedin.
You just can't ignore LinkedIn, the largest professional networking platform and the most influential social media network with 756 million users. In fact, it is an excellent option for all you busy professionals to build and manage a professional network anytime and from anywhere from their comfort zone, with just a laptop or mobile phone.
Linkedin has simply modernized the traditional approach of networking. The user can easily apply for jobs and connect with co-workers, like-minded professionals, business associates, and clients. Moreover, one can effortlessly promote their profile, build brand awareness and recruit deserving employees for their firm.
The major reason that makes LinkedIn an awesome platform is that it enables you to make connections with the biggest names in the industry even if you don't know them personally.
Here are a few important tips that can help you develop a successful network on Linkedin.
100% Complete Profile = More Networking
Complete your profile with all important information to give a fairly good idea about you to your profile visitors. All you need to start with is a professionally clicked profile picture, a headline that talks about your work precisely and a well written summary that describes you aptly. This all makes it a good reason for your visitors to connect with you.
Impact with your Experiences
Many people take this section lightly and simply mention their positions and year. There is more potential here. You can make your profile attractive to your prospective employers and networkers by describing your job at length. Include the most important and also, not so important things that you do.
If you carry less than 2 years of job experience, mention all your experiences such as student organizations, volunteer work, unpaid internships, summer jobs etc. You never know, what can attract someone’s eye.
Also read - Stunning Stats About Professional Networking You Must Know
Optimize your LinkedIn Featured Section
The LinkedIn featured section is very specific to LinkedIn. Optimize it to flaunt things that you are proud of. Add samples to help people understand your work and quality. You can also share external media such as links, documents, images etc. Uploading a portfolio makes a great impact on your network and eases the decision-making of your prospective employers.
Customize Your Requests Personally
As you send a friend request for connection, customise it with a friendly note (recommended). If connecting with a past connect, you can also remind him or her how you know each other. You can mention the name of a common contact to add credibility to your request but must take the approval of the third person before you take any name.
For example, if you are sending a request to the CEO of your company, it is rarely possible that he will accept your friend request. If you share with him about your experience working in his company or where you have met him, he may be able to associate with you and, probably, accept the request.
Make good use of your Inbox
Networking doesn't mean, spamming strangers with your messages.
When you connect with a new LinkedIn contact you have never met personally, don't just leave it there. Create an introductory message and introduce yourself properly explaining why you want to connect with him or her in the first place, your call to action.
You can take this forward to start a conversation and engaging with the person's posts etc. Also, utilize the opportunity to say ‘hello’, congratulate, thanks, etc on regular basis. And do all this very genuinely.
Think about it. Out of your 2000 contacts, you will have a better recall of those 20 people who reached out to you and tried to initiate a conversation.
Also Read - Top 5 Ways to Leverage Your Network for Career Growth.
Join the ‘In’ Crowd
LinkedIn groups are the best way to build new connections. The groups contain professionals with the same interest. These are your potential spots to find like-minded people who you and your target audience too.
Eg. If you like reading Harvard Business Review, join the group and start participating in meaningful discussions. Engage with group members and reply to their comments. More easily, you can Initiate with school groups and search for alumni or look for the associations or volunteer organizations where you belong.
Also Read - 4 Habits of Highly Trustworthy Professionals.
Lend a Supportive Hand
The sure shor way to win freinds is lending an unconditional support or help. Think and offer others with supportive hands wherever and whenever possible. How?
Like posts that you admire. Be generous to comment on people’s status update and get a better reach in turn. Connect a friend with someone he/she needs to and forward a job listing to a friend in need. As you give, so shall you get from somewhere somehow.
Keep Updating Your Status
Keep updating your status on a regular basis with valuable content for staying on your networker's radar.
Share your lessons from your work, experience, readings for the greater benefit of your network. Share the update about your recent learnings from a book you just finished reading. Slowly tweak your content according to your target audience.
The key is consistency. Start with one post a week but be consistent. As people will find value, they will be attracted to connect with you more and follow you diligently.
Give it a Human Touch
Don’t leave it there. Take your important relationships forward. Give a human touch by sending snail mail notes, attending live events, and setting up calls on LinkedIn. Face-to-face meetings in person or zoom whenever possible boosts the connection more favorably.
So, get set go. Become active and start spending 30 minutes on LinkedIn regularly to enjoy the magic of professional networking on the world’s best online professional platform.