If you are not on LinkedIn, you should be. It is the online place to rub shoulders with over 400 million business-minded people from around the world. LinkedIn users with well-established networks can find jobs, get new clients, find investors or partners and a host of other business activities that used to require an extensive rolodex or some very high level personal introductions.
Building a network that gives you access to even high level players in industries and corporations around the world is not nearly as complicated as you might think. In fact, almost anyone can do it and we can show you how to make your LinkedIn profile the envy of others. Ready? All it takes is time and the willingness to make some new friends.
First, you need a rockin’ profile.
When we say that, it’s not what it sounds like. This is a business platform after all. A professional photo, a halfway decent resume, and taking the time to complete all of your profile is a good start. Here’s LinkedIn’s own checklist on what they consider a complete profile.
- Take the time to fill out each section, even if you only have one item per section. Think about keywords you’d like to get found for, and use them throughout your descriptions.
- List your best accomplishments first, but don’t skimp. The more you list, the better.
- Be sure to add projects and choose as many skills as you honestly feel you can contribute under. Now is not the time to be shy.
Add some good content
This can be fresh content custom made for LinkedIn, or links to your content marketing and social media shares. Just keep it fresh and on topic with interesting headlines. If you use automation, this is a great place to share some content automatically. For more on sharing on LinkedIn, go here.
- Set up to share at least a couple of times a week, so that visitors to your profile see you are active.
- Make your content useful to other business people and entertaining. Just like other social platforms, good content will get shared and commented on.
- Use images whenever possible for even more traction.
Time to get your LION on
If you want to build a sizable LinkedIn network, the best and easiest way to quickly reach that 500+ designation is to become a LinkedIn Open Networker. Understand that LinkedIn highly suggests only connecting with those you know in real life and what we are about to show you, goes against that. Here are some of the top LION profiles to give you some ideas.
- Designate yourself as a LION in your profile description, so that other networkers know they can connect with you.
- Join groups labeled “Open Networkers” and “LION” where others are working to build large networks and are happy to add you to theirs.
- Start by adding anyone you do know from outside Linked In that is already a member and inviting others to join Linked In to get your list started.
Here are some dos and don’ts for open networking
Since LinkedIn is set up to discourage spamming members, you have to be careful of who you ask to invite and how you handle incoming invitations. Five “spam” or “don’t know” responses to connection requests will result in being blocked from new connections for a time. Here’s how you avoid that.
- Connect with others that feature LION in their profile, or are in LION and Open Networker groups.
- Always select either “accept” or “ignore” on all incoming connection requests to prevent reporting fellow LIONs.
- Choosing “don’t know” or “spam” options for incoming connections will result in a spam report being sent to the system. If you’re a LION, don’t do this.
Now the ball is rolling, don’t stop there
There are literally hundreds of LION and Open Networker groups. Join as many as you have room for to start and make connections with anyone you find there. When you’re ready to really turn up the heat, download the list from Top Linked. You can get the list for free and upload it in the mass connection uploader on LinkedIn and start connecting.
- Free profiles are limited on how many connections they can make in a month. You can upgrade to premium for a time, or take advantage of a free premium trial to make even more connections.
- You can have your name added to the Top Linked list for a monthly fee. We suggest just doing this for one month. You’ll see thousands of incoming requests from this one time use.
- Other sites like Invites Welcome have similar services and many users add tens of thousands of connections through these services.
What do I do with all of these connections?
Want the truth? Most LinkedIn connections will never mean much. But, almost every profile is connected with someone of value. Since LinkedIn allows you to ask for introductions from your first level connections, this is one way to make the most of your expanded network.
Treat LinkedIn as your personal rolodex when looking for an expert source, service provider or business connection. Simply enter your search terms and direct message your new business connections in your first level, or buy a premium membership for even more options.