No matter what your profession is, you can use LinkedIn to grow a vast network of contacts in a relatively short period of time. For those looking to market their skills, products & services, expand their knowledge, or provide insights to professionals around the world, LinkedIn is the strongest tool available on the internet today. With over 700 million members globally, becoming literate at the uses of LinkedIn is vital in the modern world of business, and you may be surprised at the opportunities that become available to you once you have mastered this tool.
In this blog post, Morgan Philips have provided a comprehensive guide to help maximise your network on LinkedIn.
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How is LinkedIn Used for Networking?
LinkedIn works similarly to how common social media apps work. Once you have created a profile and populated it with the information you wish to share, you will gain access to a wide network of professionals in a number of industries who are also looking to expand their network of contacts.
There are a number of ways to network with professionals around the world by using LinkedIn as a social media platform, and this can range from connecting to people’s profiles, regularly posting quality information on your own profile, or simply interacting with and commenting on posts from those with a high number of contacts. You can use LinkedIn to keep up-to-date with the latest information or changes in a given industry, or provide information for those who may benefit from your expertise.
Below, we have included a list of tips to help you effectively network on LinkedIn.
1. Complete Your Profile
Your first step is to make sure you have a completed profile. LinkedIn prioritises competed profiles over incomplete, so making sure that you have completed the following information is essential to boosting your profile:
- Fill in your headline
- Add a profile picture and background picture
- Add a summary
- Add your current job title
- Add your country
- Add your work experience, including linking to the company profiles of previous employers.
- Fill in the education section
- Add any volunteer work or hobbies
- Include at least 5 relevant skills
You can also follow our guidance on creating your personal brand to maximise your profile’s potential.
2. Create an Eye-Catching Summary
Making yourself stand-out with a well-written summary is the best way to communicate who you are to anyone reading your profile.
This is a brief summary of who you are as a person, and could include your skills, interests, achievements in your given sector, and hopes for the future. Remember, this is a 220 character summary, but it is also one of the first bits of information a user will see on your profile, so figuring out a way of succinctly conveying who you are as a person or professional is the best way to create a summary.
3. Add Your Work Experience
Adding work experience to your profile serves to validate who you are as a professional. It is easy for people to say that they have worked in a specific role, or for a specific company, but adding links to company profiles and explaining your responsibilities/role at these companies will help anyone viewing your profile verify that you are not misrepresenting yourself.
4. Connect with People You Know
You can find connections on LinkedIn using the search tool to find the people you personally know through work. They can be either current or past co-workers, but these are the best connections to begin with as they can help you obtain endorsements through their personal understanding of the type of worker you are. Once you begin this process, you may be surprised to see how quickly your connections fill up.
5. Obtain Endorsements from Past Colleagues or Employers
Obtaining endorsements from contacts you have worked with is another brilliant way to help others understand your verifiable skills. You can reach out to the people you have worked with to ask for an endorsement on LinkedIn, and this will often be provided in exchange for an endorsement of their skills as well.
This is one of the many ways that LinkedIn creates synergy between professionals wishing to network themselves.
6. Connect with People in Your Field
Once you have connected with the people you know, you may wish to start connections with other professionals in your field. You may see suggested connections pop up on the app or website, but you can also use the search tool at the top to search your job role, industry, or professional interests to find relevant people who would be interested in connecting with you.
7. Join LinkedIn Groups
Joining groups is a very quick way of obtaining a large list of contacts in your relevant field. For instance, if you are a paralegal searching for people in the same field, you may want to look for a group such as your law school’s group, or law practitioners in your country.
8. Write Regular Content
One of the best ways to make yourself relevant to LinkedIn users is to create informational and informative content related to your profession. This can be in the form of blog posts, video updates, or simply posting on LinkedIn. If you provide content that is valuable to others, they are more likely to connect with you on LinkedIn.
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What Do You Say When Networking on LinkedIn?
There is no ‘set way’ to talk to people on LinkedIn. Every user is different, and will have a different way of interacting with other people; however, it is always important to be professional, friendly, and have a genuine reason to contact others - particularly if they are a stranger.
As a general rule, you should avoid ‘spamming’ users on LinkedIn. As your network grows, you will most likely notice an increase in unknown users contacting you offering services that are relevant to your profession, and these will often be ‘copy and paste’ greeting messages which do not suggest the user is specifically talking to you. It is important that you learn from this way of contacting people, and try to personalise your messages to the user so they understand you are not spamming them, or broadly targeting people similar to them. Any experienced LinkedIn user will most likely be able to show you hundreds of messages they have been sent that do not directly address them, and these are the types of messages that will get ignored.
Even if you are using LinkedIn to offer your services to new contacts, it is important to treat these contacts with respect, and provide a personalised message to each of them.
How to Get 500 LinkedIn Connections Fast?
Getting 500 connections on LinkedIn is quite easy, provided you have followed the steps above, and you will often see the profiles of popular users stating that they have ‘500+connections’ in their heading section.
It is important to remember that this number is easily achievable, but not always beneficial if you have obtained these users without purpose. You can easily spend an hour or so adding connections to your profile, but if you have not set-up your profile correctly, have misrepresented yourself, have not provided enough information about yourself; or have simply added random people to your network that are not relevant to your needs, then this number is essentially meaningless.
If you want to get the best out of your LinkedIn network, then make sure your connections are genuinely beneficial to you and your professional needs.
What Does 500 LinkedIn Connections Do?
Having 500 or more LinkedIn connections will allow you to unlock a section on your header that states ‘500+connections’. If you are looking to portray yourself as a LinkedIn influencer, then other users may see this as a sign that you are an important player in your network.