Getting established on LinkedIn can seem daunting, but it really doesn’t have to be. Coming straight from the horse’s mouth, LinkedIn states you should begin with people you know well. You want to start with a trustworthy base and build out from there because this can affect your online reputation. As an incentive, if you reach 500 connections, your profile will rank higher in LinkedIn’s search results which basically expands your network of people and opportunities.
Here are five simple ways to get more connections on LinkedIn:
Spend 10 minutes a week
This isn’t a one-and-done type of platform. You need to nurture it, just like any relationship. You are, after all, building a network of professional connections (relationships) which are meant to last a while. If you’re not there a little every day (or at least the prime times) and commenting, interacting, discussing you’ll fall victim to “out of sight, out of mind.”
Pimp-out your profile
As with nearly anything with profiles, the more complete it is the better results you’ll get. On LinkedIn, you’re trying to connect with people of like-mind or corresponding interests. If you go to someone’s profile and it’s virtually empty, that’s often a red flag for someone who is either shady or not super serious about presenting a professional image.
And, speaking of an image, having a profile picture is vital to putting your best foot forward on a forum of business professionals. If you want to learn what makes the perfect profile photo, I’ve got you covered.
While building out your profile, being smart about what you write in your description and optimize it by using keywords that directly relate to who you are and about your business. Figure out what skills you have to offer your connections and make sure they aren’t too niche or narrow. Being specific greatly helps Google, Bing, and LinkedIn. Add those keywords to your headline, summary, and even the skill endorsements section.
Respond to five posts from others
Now, I don’t mean being the braggadocio know-it-all that everyone mutes on their feed… but that does mean having a voice in whatever is in your wheelhouse of experience. Share your opinion openly and build your posts, publish articles, and join in discussions surrounding those key topics. Basically, provide value for others.
Connect to five more people
Don’t simply sit back and expect the right people to find you. You can search on “people you may know” and see who else knows people in your core group. If you don’t know them personally, check out their profile and see what things you have in common or notice whether they have a skillset you admire.
Your goal is to build rapport and make genuine connections. Rather than simply hitting “Connect”… write a message to go with it. Tell them something that stuck out to you from their profile and compliment them or ask a question.
If you’re a bit shy about approaching strangers, you can always ask a friend (a connection you already have) to make an introduction to other people in their list.
Peruse the groups and join one
Finding and using a LinkedIn group not only widens the net to find more people with similar interests, businesses, and all the rest but allows you to learn and share with others. This is a prime way to gain some footing in your area of expertise. Choose groups wisely. Only join if you have the time to truly engage. Some recommend that you choose five groups within your industry and five more that relate to other interests to give yourself opportunities to learn from others; but ultimately, choose groups to which you know you have the time to engage.