Graham is a former magazine stylist with a passion for crafts. She writes for various magazines and blogs when she's not playing with glue.
Getting Connections on LinkedIn
According to LinkedIn, people with over 500 contacts show up 75% more often than those who have fewer connections. Simply stated, more contacts generate more leads and more profile exposure.
Whether you are utilizing LinkedIn to promote your business, keep tabs on the competition or find that perfect job, reaching 500+ is worth your time.
Having a complete profile is critical to gaining connections. A profile must have, for example, a profile photo. Unlike Facebook, a LinkedIn profile photo should be a professional headshot, not a cropped picture of you at the beach with your kids. LinkedIn also suggests that you have at least 3 recommendations. It's also recommended that you complete the Skills section of your profile and have those that know you endorse your skills.
To increase my overall web exposure, I decided to set a goal of 500+ contacts and 10 recommendations in approximately 3 weeks. This goal, I knew, was going to take a concerted effort on my behalf. My primary goal for networking with people on LinkedIn was to build relationships and generate business leads. Adding contact names so quickly is somewhat counterintuitive; however, with the efforts that I was applying in order to make my deadline, I was, in fact, able to connect with people in a meaningful way, learning about them, their purpose for using LinkedIn and making further introductions.
Before you set your own LinkedIn goal, I think that it's important to understand WHY you wish to connect with people. When I first created my profile, I had a variety of reasons that I wanted certain connections. I wanted to stay in touch with several of my former colleagues as well as stay alert to the developments in my field. It was important for me to build relationships with people in my community, and I was looking for new employment opportunities. I also have an eCommerce business, and I wanted to connect with people from around the world.
Perhaps your desire to connect with people is to introduce your business. In that case, you may decide to connect with marketing specialists and brand managers. If your business is selling specialty food items, you may also want to connect with freelance writers and cooks who can help you with your new food blog. Whatever your reasons, don't limit yourself. You never know when someone will be able to help you or, better yet, when you will be able to offer help to someone else.
Connect With Former Friends and Classmates
Connecting with former friends and classmates is one of the easier methods to gaining contact momentum. Simply click on the LinkedIn Contacts button. Your educational institutions will appear. Click on a school and begin finding people that you'd like to re-connect with.
By Joining LinkedIn Groups, You Can Meet People With Similar Interests
Groups is one of my favorite tools on LinkedIn. Because I am using LinkedIn for a myriad of reasons, as I've already expressed, I have joined a variety of groups.
By joining a group, you have an opportunity to meet and connect with people that share your interests. For example, I am very interested in learning everything there is to know about social media. I joined the group Social Media Today. As a former chef, I have a desire to write a cookbook one day, therefore, I joined Cookbook Writers.
There are hundreds of groups to join, but you can also create a group. I wanted a forum where local people could exchange their thoughts regarding thyroid cancer, so I created the group New Hampshire Thyroid Cancer Network. LinkedIn allows its members to join 50 groups. I know that may seem like a lot, but I would recommend joining no less than 20 in order for you to reach your initial 500+ goal. You will be able to ask other group members to be a part of your network and you can also withdraw from a group at any time. So there really is no downside to joining.
Simple Steps to Get 500+ Contacts
- Import your email contacts
- Search for former classmates and colleagues
- Ask people to connect with you using your Facebook page, website or blog✓Click on "expand your network" button and add friends, business partners, and open networkers
- Join the LinkedIn Groups that you are interested in and begin posting content
- Update your profile with helpful articles which will be seen on the HOME page
Building your network quickly is work, but once you have reached your goal, maintaining your LinkedIn presence becomes easier and requires less time. Consistency is key, however.
Become an Involved LinkedIn Member
Send Multiple Invitations
In addition to asking people to connect with you, you are creating your personal brand. By participating in discussions and offering insight, people begin to learn more about you and what you can offer. Once you become a familiar voice, people will send invitations to connect with you.
Because I had established an aggressive timeline for my goal, I joined 46 groups. Each day, I would comment on posts and begin several new discussions. I created a few polls to generate a dialogue, and I asked questions so that I could offer my professional expertise on certain subjects. The more my fellow LinkedIn users noticed me and my contributions, the more invitations that I received.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
Do you have additional questions? Please post them here in the comments section. I'm more than happy to help you if I can. I wish you success!
Jejuan Toney on December 04, 2013:
Thank you for the helpful tips. I joined LinkedIn to network with professionals as well as to position myself as a young growing professional.
Yasmin Crawford-Hunt from Shenyang, China on November 24, 2013:
We have been advised to join LinkedIn at university for a future 'self-promotion' module so I'll be joining the site within the month. It's good to see a few tips on how to use it well, so thank you for the hub!
Graham Gifford (author) from New Hamphire on October 12, 2012:
Thank you. I'm glad that it was helpful. I have found LinkedIn to be most helpful the more one is engaged and stays committed to various groups and conversations. Best of luck to you!
Amelia Griggs from U.S. on October 11, 2012:
You offer great tips for networking on LinkedIn, thanks for sharing this information. I am a member of LinkedIn but I will use your tips to network with more members. Good advice. :-)
Graham Gifford (author) from New Hamphire on March 06, 2012:
Hi vapourlock, What is it that you are trying to achieve with your LinkedIn profile? Are you telling me that you are aware of who is viewing your profile and they are not leaving you any comment or contacting you? If that is what you are saying, I understand. I think that many people will view profiles and not take further action. Do not get discouraged, vapourlock! Keep at it. Continue to connect with others and grow your network. As for having other know what you are "up to", that is good. Show people that you are productive, active and pursuing your goals. Eventually, your efforts will show some reward. I wish you success! Best Regards-
vapourlock on February 26, 2012:
The big problem with my linked in activity is that I know that the people in my network know what I am Up to, they read everything I write. Yet, they don't take any action whatsoever. Am I with the wrong bunch of people?