Networking is a great strategy when it comes to moving your career forward. Normally, you have to wait for the next networking event or look for one online to make new business connections. With the help of LinkedIn, you can network without leaving your bed. You just need to know how to do it right.
Some users think that simply by registering their profile on LinkedIn they’re already doing everything they can to ensure their professional growth. However, you can get much more out of this job board by following simple guidelines to network on LinkedIn more effectively.
Craft a Standout LinkedIn Profile
Just like with networking in person, the first thing you’ve got to think about when networking online is making a great first impression. Before you network on LinkedIn, make sure you do all the important preparations and craft a resume that will make you stand out on the platform.
Here’s a short checklist that you can follow to ensure your LinkedIn profile catches the eye of your potential new connections.
Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile
On your LinkedIn profile, there’s no section less important than others. If you already have a LinkedIn page, go over it, update all your information and resume (if you have it attached), and fill in any empty sections. A LinkedIn profile that doesn’t have any blanks or gaps looks more professional and is easier to read.
However, don’t overload it with extra details or irrelevant information, like skills or old work experiences that don’t hold any value in your present professional life.
Use a Professional Profile Picture
Take a good look at the profile picture you’re using. If it doesn’t radiate confidence and look professional, it’s time to change it for something more suitable for your LinkedIn profile.
The picture is the first thing your connections will see when clicking on your profile, and you only have one chance to impress them. Take the time to choose your most professional headshot that will attract more views and interactions.
Populate Your LinkedIn Profile With Keywords
LinkedIn users often overlook keywords or only use them in the Skills & Endorsements section of their profile. In reality, using the right keywords throughout your profile, starting with your Headline, then About, and Experience sections will help you appear in more searches on LinkedIn and get noticed by other professionals from your industry.
Grow Your LinkedIn Network
The best way to grow your outreach on LinkedIn is through growing the number of your Connections. You can do it passively by engaging with the people that you already have on your connections list, but that’s more suitable for a long-term strategy since it won’t give you any immediate results.
To actively grow your audience on LinkedIn, incorporate the following tactics in your networking.
Connect With the Right People
The easiest way to grow your LinkedIn audience is to send out invitations to connect to other professionals. Before you do that, try and identify the type of LinkedIn user that you want in your network: they need to be someone who can help you achieve your professional goals.
LinkedIn provides you with a number of search filters that you can use to narrow down your search for the right connections. To access them, go to My Network > Connections > Search with filters. When you open the All Filters menu, you can set up your search parameters to search for people from specific Locations, Companies, Industries, Schools and more.
If you have a LinkedIn Premium subscription, you can use additional filters like Years of Experience, or Function.
Always Personalize Your Invitation to Connect
When you connect on LinkedIn with someone you just met in person, you don’t usually worry about whether they know who you are and why you’re sending an invitation to connect. However, if you don’t know each other in person, receiving a blank invitation isn’t the best start to your professional relationship on LinkedIn.
Take advantage of the message that you can attach to your invitation to personalize it and begin a friendly conversation with your new potential connection.
Get New Connections to Endorse You
When growing your network on LinkedIn, take advantage of the endorsements feature in LinkedIn and get your new connections to endorse you for the skills that you both share. You can do it in a subtle way by endorsing them first for something you believe they’re skilled at after exploring their profile.
Engage With Your Audience on LinkedIn
Just like in real life, networking on LinkedIn doesn’t stop when a user accepts your invitation to connect. You need to start interacting with your audience to build professional relationships. There’s more than one way to network with your newly gained (and old) connections on LinkedIn:
- Comment and share other people’s posts and articles.
- Post your own articles on LinkedIn to increase your visibility on the network.
- Congratulate others on promotions and anniversaries when you see them pop up in your feed.
- Always reply to private messages on LinkedIn unless they’re spam. You never know when and where the next job opportunity will come from.
Join LinkedIn Groups
If you don’t think that manually searching for and adding new connections is effective enough, you can try a different strategy to network on LinkedIn by joining groups. You can find groups related to your professional industry by typing your keywords into the Search Bar on LinkedIn. After that, set the filter to Groups and find the ones where users actively post content and exchange knowledge.
Joining groups on LinkedIn can help you quickly get noticed by other professionals in your industry, but in order for that to happen you need to be active as well. Take part in the group’s discussions, ask and answer questions, and share relevant content in the group to share your knowledge and expertise.
Grow Your Professional Global Network With LinkedIn
LinkedIn gives you an opportunity to take your network of contacts from the local level to global by connecting with professionals in your industry from around the world. When that network consists of the people that you have some sort of relationship with, you can be sure that you’ll never have any problems with a job search again.
What tips do you have for other LinkedIn users to improve their networking on the platform? Share your best LinkedIn networking practices with us in the comments section below.