Looking to find a new job? new clients? or do you want to expand your network? LinkedIn will be a perfect solution for you. In this article, I’m going to show you how to effectively use LinkedIn and make connections.
It’s one of the most used networking platforms for professionals and job seekers. Even so, making the right connections on LinkedIn is not easy.
You need to have a clear strategy on how to use the platform to build your profile, as well as build and maintain an effective LinkedIn network.
To be able to make the right connections on LinkedIn (or on any networking platform) you need to know exactly who you’re serving, who you want to speak with, and what you have to offer.
Thus, the first thing you need to do is to expand your professional network on LinkedIn and make sure all these new contacts are relevant to your business goals and build a strong network with the right people, grow it and get the desirable results that support your professional success.
So, How to choose the right connections on Linkedln?
Before you reach out directly to HR personnel or managers on Linkedln, Here are some of the things you could do first on the platform to start building your connection:
- Create a Compelling Personal Profile
Your profile is your personal brand. Thus, you need to “sell” and present yourself neatly in your profile, because it will serve as your portfolio and online curriculum vitae that could easily be accessed by employers when they search for talented individuals to fill in a certain position in their company.
Make your profile as interesting as possible, highlight your achievements and provide clear information about the track records of your career, education, and other relevant activities in a good and natural way, as well as emphasizing your most valuable skills.
Always update them with new information regarding your work, such as your new certified course, license, training, volunteering activities, a new position, and so on.
- Start Looking for the Right Connections
At first, you could start by connecting with people that you know personally, such as your colleagues and friends, your classmates and lecturers from university, your former clients, former colleagues, and others you’ve been working together with such as on projects and so on.
You may lose contact with some of them for quite a while now, but it’s always good to reconnect since maintaining relationships is a critical way of networking.
Send greetings and polite short messages to them while inviting them to your contact. Remind them who you are and how you two knew each other in the past. Chances are they’ll be happy to reconnect with you.
Use the “People You May Know” feature on the “My Network” tab on LinkedIn to find and connect with people who went to the same school as you and worked in the same companies and industries before.
Then you could start reaching out to people who work in similar roles or industries to you or are based in the same city, or anyone that you think is relevant for your professional goals.
Use the search box to find them. Send an invitation to connect and initiate discussion if you want or feel the need to connect with them more.
As a start, you could ask about their work or their current projects, or anything that you think will be a good way to show your interest in your new connections.
Normally, they will be more than happy to have fruitful discussions with other professionals in their industry, as it’s also a chance for them to make connections and network.
It’s a good way for both parties to know whether or not the other party is a good fit to connect and to know what kind of collaborations can be made in the future between them.
3. Join a Group
Expand your network not only by contacting them directly one by one, but also by joining groups that are relevant to you, your career, the industry you’re working in right now, and the ones relevant to your interests and any future endeavor.
Joining a discussion in a group is another way to cultivate meaningful connections on LinkedIn. When you join a group and actively participate in discussions with the other members who share the same interest and passion, and work in the same profession or industry as you, it will increase your chance of finding relations and making connections with the right kind of people.
Find LinkedIn groups that are perfect for you. Other than the ones sharing the same interest with you, you need to find the ones which are active and have lively discussions, with a significant amount of members.
Avoid those who share hoaxes. After you find the groups and join them, be active by liking and commenting on other members’ posts, and share informative and useful posts in the groups.
Make sure whatever you post is relevant to the topics and the purpose of the groups. It will build trust and establish you as an expert on certain topics/fields.
Who knows, perhaps new opportunities coming from other members of the groups start knocking on your door. Keep your language formal, or if you are using informal language, keep it nice and polite.
4. Maintain Your Relationship with Group Members
Chances are, there will be some members in the group that you interacted with more than the others, either because you share the same specific interest, know each other personally from past working experience, or other reasons.
Maintain your relationships with them. Send them personal messages once in a while, ask for an update on their work, the projects they are working on, ask about their opinion about a certain topic, and so on.
It shows them that you care, and serve as a reminder for them that they have someone who is always open for discussion and perhaps even someone that they could work together with in the future, to collaborate on projects, to invite to join, or even speak in their seminars, et cetera.
5. Follow Relevant Pages
LinkedIn also allows companies to make an account, where they can drive brand awareness and quality engagement with professional audiences by creating a LinkedIn Company Page.
You can follow companies on their LinkedIn Company page and get the latest information and updates about the company, such as the launching of a new product, their sales and marketing events, networking events, new job openings, et cetera, as well as joining them in conversations and group discussion with key personnel of the companies.
Follow the companies in your industries, in other industries relevant to your work, and the ones that you are interested in applying to in the near future or in collaboration with sometimes in the future.
Therefore, you could get the latest information about them, and be able to reach out to the right people within the companies.
6. Optimize your Timeline
Your timeline is presenting information posted and shared by the people in your network, from the companies whose pages you follow, and members who joined the same group with you. In other words, the LinkedIn users that are connected to you.
To optimize your timeline, don’t just scroll aimlessly. Try to actively like, comment, and share informative posts posted by your connections.
Like and share posts relevant to your work and industries. Share informative content. Always make sure to double-check first whether the information you are going to share is valid and not a hoax before you reshare them in your timeline.
When you comment on other people’s posts, always watch your language. Be nice, polite, and respectful to others.
Arguing good-naturedly when you have a disagreement or different opinion with others, Give constructive criticism, and don’t just critique other people’s opinions, thoughts, and works without giving your honest but polite opinion, additional information, and any other input regarding the topics.
When someone in your connections gets promoted, gets themselves a new job, or moves to another position, LinkedIn will give you notifications.
You will have options to congratulate them. Use this opportunity to send a sincere and positive message to them, wishing them the best of luck in their new endeavor.
Don’t just use the template provided by LinkedIn. Set aside some minutes to compose a personal message, even though it’s only a short one.
This sweet gesture will be appreciated and remembered. Perhaps later, when they need someone to work on something or to fill in a particular position, they will remember you (as one of the people who took the time to congratulate them when they got the job) and make an offer for you.
Once in a while, you will also need to share your content. Sharing useful and informative content relevant to your industry will build your profile and establish some credibility for you, in front of your connection.
It will also give a positive effect on the LinkedIn algorithm. The more active you are perceived in the platform, the bigger the chance for your content to appear in other professionals’ timelines, and reach broader people.
So, being active in the platform is a must, if you want to build your profile, create a strong network, connect with more relevant professionals, and establish credibility, which hopefully, in the end, open doors to plenty of new opportunities for you.
Over To You
LinkedIn has been proven as an effective social media platform for professionals to build networks and connections, sharing informative news and updates as well as events, from professionals across industries.
Apart from allowing professionals to create a personal profile to showcase their expertise and abilities, Linkedln also provides a feature where companies could create their own page, where they can share the latest news, information, events, and other updates regarding their activities.
Basically, Linkedln provides a platform for professionals like you to present yourself, your skills, and your knowledge, as well as provide opportunities to connect with companies.
Thus, you need to use the social media platform effectively to make connections with the right people, by creating a compelling personal profile and carefully looking for the right connections.
You could then join a group with members who share the same interest and passion as you, who discuss topics that are relevant for you and for your career in your industry, as well as your possible future career.
Most importantly, maintain your relationships with your connections, including the ones within the same groups. Send them personal messages once in a while just to say hello and give updates about each other’s life.
Follow relevant pages from the companies that interest you to keep you well informed about their latest news and projects. Reach out to them when you need to.
You could also reach out to one of their HR personnel if they posted job openings that interest you, and if you need more information if there are some requirements that are still unclear to you, or even if you just want to try to connect with them and would like to invite them into your connection, make them part of your network.
Lastly, optimize your timeline by being consistently active on the platform. Dedicate a specific time each day on the platform to check on your timeline and liking, comment, and share other people’s content as well as yours.
Congratulate people on their new endeavor. Be sincere, and let them know that you are truly happy with their achievements. Build trust and credibility from your connections. Chances are, you’ll get more and more people asking to connect with you.
The more connection you have, the bigger your audience will be and the more chance of having job offers or offer to collaborate coming your way.
So, what are your favorite ways to use LinkedIn? if you have something to add, let me know in the comment section.
Check the related posts down below to get more info on how to maximize LinkedIn to boost your career. Next, polish your LinkedIn profile and start networking!!
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