Grow your Network, Utilize LinkedIn
In 2020, LinkedIn gained over 467 million users globally. With the pandemic, the shutdowns, event cancellations, remote working and almost non-existent in-person networking, this did not come as a surprise. LinkedIn gave businesses, brands, and organizations to a way to continue networking from a safe distance.
As the world’s largest online professional network, utilizing LinkedIn to grow your network puts you in front of your target audience, helping you connect and strengthen professional relationships. For job seekers, it helps search for the right job. For employers, it allows them to vet candidates and hire the best person for the job. For brands, businesses, and organizations, it allows for partnerships, collaborations, and opportunities to grow.
According to Hootsuite Digital Trends Report 2022, brands have seen a 33% increase in purchase intent, 77% of content marketers say LinkedIn produces the best organic results, and companies that post weekly on LinkedIn see a 2x higher engagement rate.
However, unlike other social platforms, utilizing LinkedIn is not about adding random friends and individuals to your network. Growing your LinkedIn network requires strategy and calculated decisions. Just like networking in person, you must put your best foot forward. What image are you projecting with your LinkedIn profile? What message are you sending about your brand, business, or organization?
When growing your network through LinkedIn, consider utilizing the following strategies:
- Keep your profile current. Update. Update. Update. Your profile is your online persona. If you are growing your network, you need to make sure that everything on your profile is current. From your title to your recommendations from colleagues. Keeping your profile current generates more suggested connections relevant to your information and profile
- Personalize your connection requests. Sure, pressing connect button and sending the generic message is quick and easy. But going the extra mile will get you noticed, creating recommendations from people you send connections to. If you’re connecting with someone you met at an event, make sure to reintroduce yourself in your personalized connection request. Invest your five to ten minutes of your time to create that personalized message and watch your network growth.
- Review invitations. Though it goes against growing your network, take the time to review invitations sent your way. Is the invitation relevant ton your network growth? Will it contribute to you and your brand? Is it just someone looking to connect with you because of your contacts? Before saying yes to an invitation to connect, check and make sure if you know this person or if he or she revolves around the same circles you do.
- Use LinkedIn Groups. LinkedIn Groups provide a dedicated space for professionals with similar interests and in the same industry to interact with one another: share insights, experiences, and build connections. Using Groups gives you the opportunity to build your personal brand AND professional community on LinkedIn. When utilizing Groups, make sure you are an active community member. Share your insights, listen, engage, and keep it professional. Let your interactions speak for itself. Avoid blatant self-promotion.
- Follow Up in Person. There is still no substitute for face-to-face interactions. If you find that a member of your LinkedIn network is at the same event as you are, say hello and have that one-on-one conversation. Growing your network with a follow-up in-person meeting is a valuable way to grow your online community and connections as well. Never underestimate the value of following up your connections in person.
If there is one thing you need to remember when growing your network through LinkedIn, it is this: make sure your profile reflects you, your brand or business, and your core values. This will set you apart and let you grow your network, your way.