A brief guide on how to make connections on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is a popular social networking platform geared toward fostering and managing professional connections. A LinkedIn profile gives you access to millions of highly successful professionals and experts. You get the chance to interact with industry leaders, top talents, and premier companies worldwide, which would not be otherwise possible outside the online realm.

The sole driving force behind LinkedIn is to foster professional relationships in the form of connections. But it does not work like other social networking sites where the sheer number of connections decide whether you are successful.

 You will need real quality connections to be able to level up as an influencer in LinkedIn. And LinkedIn is not just about connecting with your professional acquaintances and friends; it is also about connecting with prospective clients.

LinkedIn presents exceptional opportunities to maximize business prospects if only you learned to take advantage of the platform by creating an engaging profile. The right connections can lead to a better career and make a big difference in your business opportunities.

So, if you ever thought creating a profile is all you need to do to get noticed on LinkedIn, you couldn’t be so far from reality. Like every professional network, LinkedIn too requires effort. And your efforts should be directed and focused on getting you the results you need. Start taking it seriously and here is how to make connections on LinkedIn.

Understand Connections

How To Make Connections On LinkedIn

Everyone you have connected with your LinkedIn profile is your connections. You can also create a LinkedIn profile on behalf of a person or an organization with details about their professional career, personal information and contact details. A

You can classify your connections into varying degrees based on the nature of the connection

1st Degree

These connections represent people you are directly connected to, such as your friends and colleagues connected via a direct invite. You could have accepted their invite, or they accepted your invite. First-degree connections can view your primary email address and view all your other connections if you have chosen to make them visible.

2nd Degree

These are connections that are directly connected to your direct connections. This is similar to the friends of friend’s concept. You can interact with these people over the LinkedIn InMail connection with an introductory message or send them a connect invite to become direct connections

3rd Degree

These are connections who are connected to your 2nd-degree connections. Based on their privacy settings, you will be able to send invites to them. In most cases, if you can view their first and last names, you will be able to send them an invite. If not, you cannot send the Connect request, but you can contact them via an InMail message.

Now that you understand the difference between the varying levels of connection, you have to phrase your InMail messages and connect requests accordingly. The tone and language you use in your messages will have to suit the level of connection you feel with the person. When you find someone you want to connect with, Click Connect. Then personalize your request by sending a message with the following components

  • A salutation
  • Remind the receiver on how you know them
  • Make reference to some personal or professional detail about them and that you would appreciate their connection.
  • And then send the invite.

To increase the success of getting connected, try to get introductions from your first-degree connections. Build a good rapport, explain why you need an introduction, and be polite with your request. 

Do try to research a little before reaching out to people so you can find some common ground to engage with them. Compliment them on their achievements, comment on their profile, and posts.

Besides connections on LinkedIn, you can also get followers or follow other profiles. Followers are people who follow your profile to see what you post and view your homepage without being connected to you. You may unfollow someone and still be connected to them or follow someone without being connected to them. You can follow members by clicking on the Follow button on top of their profile.

Build A Good Profile

Make your profile feel complete with all necessary information that helps your connections and followers understand your professional capacities. A profile with very little information will come off as unreliable and difficult to get connections.

Be Thoughtful On Whom You Are Connecting With

Start building your network with preference to people you know and trust. This can include people who work outside your current field of work as well. When your network consists of reliable connections, it will prove to be more useful and show yourself as a real and dependable connection.

You can use your connections to help your professional life via recommendations, introduction, or career advice. Focus on people who align with your professional interest and from common communities such as your school, company, and so on. One easy way to get started is to import your existing email contacts with your LinkedIn network and connect with those profiles. LinkedIn allows you to import contacts from Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook, and other email platforms.

Once you have a solid, reliable set of connections, you can start building your network via the second-degree connections who are your connections’ connections. You can even ask your connections to introduce you to newer connections and use them as a professional reference.

Tips To Build Connections On LinkedIn

  • Use LinkedIn Groups to connect with people from your industry. You can get to know the most active members by joining a group and connecting with people who share similar professional interests.
  • Try to find the target audience using their job titles through the LinkedIn Advanced Search.
  • Use the Share Profile feature to share your profile with your first-degree connections to get further recommendations.
  • Try to connect with second-degree connections if your connections have set their connection settings visible to you.
  • Include your LinkedIn profile in your blogs and other social network sites to promote your public profile. You can also make use of LinkedIn public badges to boost your profile.
  • LinkedIn shows a list of profiles under People You May Know. Try to sift through these profiles to find people you can connect with.
  • You can also use the Who Viewed Your Profile feature to get to know people who might be interested in connecting with you. These lists usually consist of people who visited your profile in the last 90 days.
  • Establish your own rules for accepting invitations from LinkedIn.
  • Identify clusters of profiles from your network and build the groups as required for your purpose. Groups can include people from your current city, people from your current company, people from your school, people from your affinity communities like NGOs, women entrepreneurs, local organizations, influencers within your industry, and so on. You can use LinkedIn tags to segment your connections and manage them.

Foster Quality Connections

You need over 500 connections on LinkedIn to be marked as an influencer. But Connections in LinkedIn do not necessarily equate to followers in other social networking sites. You need to focus on quality over quantity when you build your network. So if you don’t personally know a person but are interested in connecting with them, you can first follow them before connecting. Following allows you to see their posts.

Similar way, accept any connection request after deliberation. You are not obligated to accept all requests you get. You can Accept, ignore, and reply. If you need more information, reply with your query. If you don’t want to connect with a request you received, you can choose to ignore it. Ignoring a request does not notify the person.

Work On Your Network

Just connecting to people does little to help your goals. You will have to start nurturing your network. The best way to do so would be to offer some value to your connections via content or professional engagement. Be available and provide consistent engagement.

Here are some tips:

  • Maintain regular conversations with colleagues and mentors.
  • Make yourself open to giving or receiving suggestions via the career advice feature
  • Participate in conversations happening across comment threads on your feed
  • Post original content, be it a text blog, videos, or articles, and initiate engagement in the comment section.
  • Reach out for in-person conversations. Schedule meetings to catch up with your connections.

Alternatively, you can also follow up with people who you have met through physical professional spaces like conventions, conferences and charity events, and so on. Catch up with your acquaintances and business relations through LinkedIn with a personalized message regarding your past interaction. 

Trim Down Contacts When It Is Time

As you switch jobs and shift careers, some connections are not adding any more value to your network. Or maybe you accepted too many connections without careful deliberation and now have too many connections that you don’t even remember about. Do review your contacts periodically and cut down ties that you no longer interact with or not professionally relevant anymore.

Visit your connections page and click on the More icon and click Remove connection to remove a connection. Choose to remove the connection from the Remove Connection pop-up window.

Once you build a large enough network, say above 500 to 800 connections, make sure to slow down and evaluate your network and consider connecting only with quality connections.

Be Engaging

The content you post can create engaging conversations and lead to further connection opportunities. You will have to demonstrate your expertise and skills through your content and interactions on LinkedIn. Here are some tips to help you create content that works.

Create long-form posts when you want to narrate inspiring stories. Many viral LinkedIn posts have uplifting messages and career advice delivered in the form of long-form texts. Begin with a catchy headline that does not go over 2 or 3 lines. Make them inspiring and seem vulnerable.  You can talk about your experience, any mistake you made, and the lessons you learned along the way.

Extra Tips

  • It is okay to republish past work on LinkedIn, and it is indeed a good strategy as it saves you time and helps you look back on your successful content. Make sure to give credit where it is due and include links to references and original content.
  • If you do not have the time to write long-form posts, you can always reshare trending posts along with your take on the post with a short commentary.
  • Make sure your headlines include some social proofing. Publicize your achievements on your headlines.
  • One way to get popular LinkedIn influencers to interact with you would be to tag them in your content and invite them for a conversation. But do so only after you have established a good relationship with them. Spamming influencers can work against your goals. Try to add value by first commenting on their posts and connecting with them through messages before you tag them on your posts.
  • Take a few moments of each day to go through your LinkedIn feed. Like, comment and respond to the messages and the requests you receive.
  • Post images as a way to increase engagement. Visual content is shown to have increased views by 11 times, so try to include relevant images with your links and posts.
  • Try to make use of the LinkedIn Native video feature. This feature is relatively new, and there will be less competition and better chances for you to achieve an adequate level of impression.
  • Include keywords and optimize your LinkedIn content for SEO just as you would for website content. Make sure to include common variations of your job title in your profile to attract better positions on search results.

Wrap Up

So, this is how to make connections on LinkedIn. We hope this article would have helped you in boosting your profile on the platform. What are your views on this? Let us know in the comments below.

Featured image: Pexels

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