Five hundred-plus LinkedIn connections can seem like a lofty goal. You have a business to run, and probably don’t have much time to use the platform. However, carving out the time to grow your LinkedIn network positions you as an authority in a certain field and gives you the opportunity to connect with new clients. So how can you get to this number? Here are some ideas.
Network every day
If you’re struggling to grow your LinkedIn network, you may not be spending enough time on the platform. So dedicate 15–30 minutes a day to network on LinkedIn, and make it a goal to reach 500+ connections.
Join and participate in groups
Utilizing LinkedIn groups presents an opportunity to meet other professionals, and learn and share valuable advice. The point is not to just join a group, but actively participate in it. This requires a degree of focus and smart selection.
How many groups should you join? Shoot for around 10. This ensures that you have time to participate in each group and connect with its members. As for the groups you join, you’ll obviously want to join those in your industry, but you should also diversify. Choose five within your industry and five that relate to your other interests. Some suggestions to consider are university alumni groups, causes/charities you care about, and groups that relate to a new skill you’re hoping to learn. Ensure that all the groups you join are active. Avoid groups that only post once a week.
Spend some time every day contributing in at least five of your 10 groups. Ask questions, provide advice, or share valuable articles or original content you’ve created. Once you’ve developed a rapport with group members, you’ll have an easy, non-awkward way to connect with them.
Personalize your “Connect” request
If a LinkedIn user doesn’t know you, they might not connect with you if you send a generic connection request. You know the one: “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.”
Many people will simply ignore requests like this. Include a quick note that either refreshes that person’s memory of you, mentions a common interest or connection you might share, or simply introduces yourself and your reason for connecting. The more personal your note, the better.
Use keywords in your profile
Just like Google, Bing, and other search engines, keywords help you get discovered on LinkedIn. Plant these keywords in your professional headline, profile summary, and skill endorsement section.
How do you know what keywords to use? Think about what you want yourself or your business to be endorsed for. What skills do you have to offer your clients? For instance, if your business specializes in web solutions, some ideal keywords would include “SEO” or “web content”.
As for your skills, don’t choose narrow keywords. For example, if your business is in the financial services and tax preparation industry, don’t use the names of niche tax solutions you specialize in such as “estate taxes” or “small business taxes” as your endorsed skills. Instead, choose more general phrases like “tax preparation”. By doing this, your connections will be more likely to endorse you.
By following these tips and spending significant time on LinkedIn, you’re sure to grow your social network. The more connections you make, the less work you’ll have to do to as more people take notice and send you connection requests instead. This will provide more business opportunities and chances for you to meet new clients. If you’d like more ideas on how to improve your social media efforts, feel free to email or give us a call.