In 2023, having a digital presence has never been more important. With over 930 million users across 200 countries, LinkedIn provides one of the best ways to network with colleagues, potential hires, potential employers, prospects, and even mentors. We put together the best strategies to leverage the LinkedIn platform and grow your professional network connections for that next career or business opportunity.
Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile
To start, you need to ensure your profile page is up to date, professional, and inviting. This will be your first impression when you are attempting to network with potential business connections so make sure:
- Your profile picture is professional. Avoid family, graduation, and poorly lit pictures. Ideally use a professional headshot but if that is not possible, have a friend take a picture of you, or find a picture you are alone and crop out the surroundings to focus on you.
- Your heading should be clear and concise. Include a summary of your main skills, industry experience, career goals, and maybe a fun fact or hobby. Keep it to a paragraph (or two short paragraphs), something that can be easily skimmed by new connections.
- Your work experience is up to date. Whether you are looking for a job or connecting with a prospect, if the information on LinkedIn is different from what you are sharing on a resume or in a pitch, that is a HUGE red flag. Fill out your most recent roles (that are relevant) and a few bullet points regarding your main responsibilities.
- There are no misspellings. Details are important and making sure you do not have typos is as crucial on your LinkedIn page as it is with your resume. Have someone read through your profile to double check for errors or use Grammarly to catch any mistakes.
- Your settings on a public profile. If you’re trying to grow your network, it will be a bit more difficult if no one can find you!
Engage with Content
If you simply send someone a connection request and never interact with them again, there really is not much value to that connection. It is very important to engage with others’ content. Don’t simply hit the “like” button and move on but give thoughtful comments on posts and share content when it is interesting and relevant.
Build up Your LinkedIn Network Connections
Send out connection requests to friends, family, and colleagues. Increasing your 1st degree connections will help you to find more potential connections to leverage. It is important to add a personalized note to your LinkedIn connection requests. This is especially true when reaching out to someone you do not know personally. Include similar interests or connections to establish some common ground. Also, include why you want to connect with them which helps to establish trust.
To personalize a message, when you hit the connect button on a profile, there will be another button that says “Add a Note” and here you can personalize your message.
Leverage LinkedIn Groups
LinkedIn Groups are often an underutilized way to connect with individuals that share your interests, skills, or experiences. There are groups in everything ranging from industries, software tools, locations, alumni, etc.
Once you are in a group, become an active participant in group discussions. Comment on posts or prompt relevant discussion topics. Proactively engaging in these groups will allow you to build connection with like-minded individuals in your niche.
Post Content Often
Showcase your expertise and engage with your connections by posting content regularly. Additionally, when a connection likes, comments, or shares your LinkedIn posts, their connections may potentially see your original post.
The more you post, the more opportunities you have to be seen on someone’s homepage. Don’t worry about being annoying, because of the LinkedIn algorithm, not every connection will see every post.
However, remember to stick to primarily professional content. Facebook and Instagram are for posting pictures of your family or pets, keep LinkedIn professional.
Publish Articles to Show Expertise
Writing blog posts and sharing them to your LinkedIn connections is a great way to demonstrate your expertise in a field and increase engagement. You can do this through using LinkedIn’s Native publisher to share long form content.
A great benefit to using their publisher is that your network will be notified when it is published! The more you can establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry, the better your success will be on the platform.
As simple way to continue to build your network is to add your LinkedIn profile URL to your resume and your email signature. You can even connect it to your other social media platforms or add it to a business card. The more places you can share the URL, the more opportunities you have to grow your existing network.
LinkedIn can be a powerful tool to make new connections for new opportunities, potential jobs, or business leads. We hope you are successful in your networking goals. If you are looking for a job or looking for talent, contact us to see how we can partner.
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