Hello, my name is Alec Sharratt. I’m a digital marketing executive here at Koozai, and today I’m going to be talking about how to grow your LinkedIn network. I’m assuming, if you’re watching this, you’ve already got a LinkedIn profile. You may have a few connections. You may have loads of connections. Either way, you want to expand that.
Now, there are a few basic techniques I think we should cover first. So, make sure that your profile is 100 percent complete. There are a few hoops that you have to jump through in order to do that, such as getting recommendations. I think you have to get three recommendations, in fact. This isn’t too hard to do, but it’s well worth doing, and I think it shows that you’ve got a complete profile. You’re more likely to appear in the search results within LinkedIn. When someone looks at the profile, if they can see your job history and your education, your interests, your qualifications, it adds a bit more depth to your profile.
This is really useful if you’re adding someone on LinkedIn that doesn’t necessarily know you or has a tenuous connection to you. Having as much detail in there as possible may help to prompt them to remember who you are or make them realise that you have a shared interest and add you for that reason. So this is really, really pivotal, I think, to get everything set up correctly in the first place.
Moving on, LinkedIn does have some really great functionality when it comes to importing contacts. So if you’ve got a Webmail or Gmail account, Outlook, anything like that, you can import those contacts directly into LinkedIn. If they’ve already got profiles, then it will send requests to connect to them for you automatically, and if they don’t, then you can invite them to join LinkedIn. Again, this is a really, really great way and a really easy way, certainly in the initial stages of having your account, to grow your network quite significantly.
Now, it might seem obvious, but go back and think of everyone that you used to work with, all the people you do work with, and add all of those people on LinkedIn. You can even go as far back as training courses that you’ve been on, or schools and colleges, universities. Really sort of try to add everyone that you do actually know. This will be the foundation for your connections on LinkedIn. And the more that you grow your connections, the more people you’re connected to through multiple levels. So it will expand the amount of people you can add later on.
Another way to increase your network is to use what are called LinkedIn open networkers. These are people quite often referred to as LIONS. So “LinkedIn Open Networkers”. These are literally people who are willing to accept connections from other people on LinkedIn. So, one of the problems that you can face if you are just adding anyone that seems like they might be of interest to you, is that you can get hit with a spam warning and LinkedIn can threaten to close your account, and will close your account if you continue to solicit requests with people you don’t know. They can also block this by forcing you to enter the email address of the person. You really don’t want to get into this situation, and LinkedIn open networkers are a great way to avoid that. These are people that are going to accept your request. You can search for them specifically by typing in LIONS into the search field.
The reverse of this would be to add yourself as a LION, LinkedIn open networker. Just add this to your profile. When people see it, they’ll know that you’ll add them back. They won’t feel that there’s any risk of being accused of spamming by adding you. That’s a great way to grow your network.
Other ways that are a bit more organic and I think a bit more in keeping with the meaning and purpose of LinkedIn is to join groups. Not just LION groups, but groups of people with shared interests. So if it’s SEO or PPC that you’re into, there’s hundreds and hundreds of groups on there that you can join. And try to interact with those groups, as well. Post questions, if you have them. Answer questions or post responses. Join in, in conversations and really try and engage with people. This is a very natural way to grow your network and will serve you well, and also help to build a reputation for yourself within that industry. People will naturally add you if you start engaging. But equally you can engage them as well and say, “Would you connect to me?” And you’re much more likely to get a response if you share an interest, you’re in the same group, and you’ve spoken, as well.
Other obvious ways to add people are, if you go to conferences or social networking events or anything like that, when you meet people and you get their business card, add them on LinkedIn. If they’re not on LinkedIn, send them an invite to join.
So, just to recap, make sure that your profile is complete with all the information that you can possibly put in it. Add all of your current and previous work colleagues, school mates, university friends. Join groups, add LIONS, and enjoy yourself.
My name is Alec Sharratt, and if you would like to know more about LinkedIn and how to grow your network on it or anything else to do with search engine marketing, visit our blog at Koozai.com/blog. Follow us on Twitter or Facebook. Thank you. Goodbye.