By Karen Yankovich
Do you want to expand your LinkedIn network?
Interested in ways to find and attract quality connections?
Growing your LinkedIn network helps establish you as an expert in your field and extends your reach and exposure.
In this article you’ll discover eight ways to develop new LinkedIn connections.
Why a Large Network Matters
The number of connections you have on LinkedIn matters. Remember, the more first-degree connections you have, the more second- and third-degree connections you have, making you literally one connection away from millions of people.
That’s important because LinkedIn is a massive search engine in which you’ll only show up in your first-, second-, and third-degree connections’ searches. In other words, if you’re not connected with individuals at these levels, you won’t come up in their search results. And only those three levels will show up in your searches.
So if you want to be found on LinkedIn, strategically build your number of first-degree connections. This will exponentially increase the likelihood that LinkedIn search algorithms will find you and place you near the top of search results.
In the left column below, you can see how the number of connections grows for each relationship level.
The left column shows how the number of connections grows for each level.
Keep in mind that you only need 501 connections to show the 500+ mark next to your profile and be considered part of the elite expert tier. People who see your profile will know you use LinkedIn to do business, add value and connect.
#3: Personalize Connection Requests
Review LinkedIn’s suggested connections at least a few times a week. Make it a goal to find people in your industry or niche and personally connect with them. Try to connect with two or three people each time.
When you send a connection request, personalize it in some way for that person. How did you meet? How do you know him or her? Why do you want to connect? Here’s an example of a simple but personal connection request you can tweak and reuse.
Personalize your connection requests.
Personalized connection requests increase the chances people will approve your request and give you a better shot at landing a sale.
#4: Add Your LinkedIn URL to Your Email Signature
Your LinkedIn profile works for you in a number of ways: as a resume, a testimonial, social proof, a portfolio of projects and clients and proof of expert value, all in one convenient place. In your email signature, rather than send prospects to your Facebook account (or nowhere at all), send people to your LinkedIn profile.
First, you need to grab your LinkedIn vanity URL, a clickable link that’s easy to recognize and easy to remember. In the Contact Info section of your profile, click the gear icon next to your LinkedIn URL. Then on the next page, look for the Your Public Profile URL section, where you can make changes.
Once you have your vanity URL, add it to your email signature to make it easy for people to connect with you.
Include your LinkedIn URL in your email signature.
And be sure to add the URL to your business card as well.
#7: Leverage Local Networking Groups
If you belong to a local networking group, look through your membership directory and send LinkedIn connection requests to individual members. Even if you don’t remember meeting someone in person, use your shared real-world connection to personalize your connection request and start to get to know that person online.
For example, you could say something like “We’re both members of (local group name), and I would love to connect here, too.” Then head to your next networking meeting newly armed with great networking info.
Search for local group members in LinkedIn groups. You may find them there, too.
See all 8 ways and the complete SocialMediaExaminer article