With over 690+ million users across more than 200 countries and territories worldwide, it is no surprise that LinkedIn is the largest professional global network. Its unique tools and features create a unique virtual environment to connect with like-minded professionals within your own industry. And today, we will see the top LinkedIn networking tips so you can fully explore its potential.
You see, I’ve spoken to a lot of people who say that they don’t see the value in having a LinkedIn account. Many of them have had it for a while, but just don’t know how to start taking advantage of it. So, if you relate to those people, this article is definitely for you!
And you know, these people are 100% right. LinkedIn won’t do anything for you just because it exists and you have an account in it. It is an extremely powerful tool, but you still need to put in the work to give you the results you want.
In fact, networking in general, whether on LinkedIn or not, requires work. It is even in the word itself: Net-work-ing…got it? It is about establishing and maintaining long-term relationships with like-minded professionals.
But you know what? Enough with the fluff! For those of you who don’t know where to start from, here are my top LinkedIn networking tips:
1. Optimize your LinkedIn Profile
First on our list of LinkedIn networking tips is to optimize your LinkedIn profile.
Before you actually start adding new connections, you need to make sure that your profile is up to date. When you connect with people, they will often visit your profile before they decide to accept your invitation. In fact, your LinkedIn profile is practically your online CV.
And people will evaluate you on it before they make their decision. For this reason, you have to create a strong LinkedIn profile to convince people that you will bring value as their connection.
A strong and convincing LinkedIn profile:
- Has a nice and clear photo of you – nobody will add you if you don’t have a photo. Or if you are using a random icon or a shutterstock image.
- Has all the key information completed – a profile summary, a compelling headline, and your last job positions are an absolute must.
- Includes details descriptions of your job positions – describe your job positions, what you did, and what were your accomplishments.
- Has a powerful header – profile banners are optional, but highly recommended to spread brand awareness for your personal brand.
Of course, these are just some of the most essential points when it comes to a strong profile. However, I am not going to enter into too much detail here. I already did that in my article How to Create a LinkedIn Profile: 7 Essential Steps. So, definitely check it out!
LinkedIn Networking Tips #1: Your network building starts with your own profile
And now, on to the next on our list of LinkedIn networking tips:
2. Add the right connections
Now that you have your LinkedIn profile on point, you should start adding the right connections. One important thing that you definitely need to know is that LinkedIn is extremely careful about spam. So, if you begin adding connections randomly, or too many at once, it will probably block you for a while.
What do I mean by “the right connections”? Some examples include:
- Professionals that you already know from before;
- People that you have already worked with;
- People with whom you share common connections;
- Professionals within your industry;
- Or with a job function similar to yours.
Once you’ve established your reputation and created a personal brand on LinkedIn, you will be able to expand your network even further. Or go out of your industry and/or job function. However, if you are just starting, these types of connections will be your safest bet.
Why? Because they are more likely to accept your LinkedIn invitation. If you start sending out many invitations to random members, many of them who don’t know you will decline it. Or even worse, report you as spam. And LinkedIn takes notes on this!
LinkedIn Networking Tips #2: Establish a win-win network
So basically, if many people decline your invitations, LinkedIn will think that you are spamming. And will block you temporarily again.
3. Send a personalized introduction
Next on our list of LinkedIn networking tips is to give a personalized touch to your communication.
Now that you have your first “batch” of connections, it is time to start interacting with them. After all, your work doesn’t end with just adding them, and them accepting your invitation. n fact, your interaction should start right before, and immediately after you connect:
If you are the one sending the invite, always send a personalized note introducing yourself. Tell the person why you want to connect with them, and why you think you could be valuable for one another. If you already know them from before, remind them how you met.
Sometimes, especially if you haven’t worked together for a long time, they will not remember you. Or at least not recognize you from a first glance. Giving them the reminder will increase your chances of getting accepted.
LinkedIn Networking Tips #3: Start your first interaction the right way
One of my biggest LinkedIn networking tips for this first interaction is to avoid copy/pasted texts. And generally, you don’t have to be too formal either. Being a bit more casual, just like in the example above, makes it feel more personal and authentic.
But definitely take your time to send personalized notes instead of adding people like crazy.
Once they’ve accepted your invitation, send them another message. This time, thanking the fact that they have added you to their network. A simple “Hi XXX, thanks for adding me to your connections! Looking forward to speaking with you.” should be enough.
4. Engage with your network regularly
Next on our list of LinkedIn networking tips is to keep your interaction active after you’ve connected. Just saying hi and thanking them for adding you to their network is not enough to build a long-term relationship.
LinkedIn Networking Tips #4: Interact with people’s posts
Take your time to consume the content that they’re sharing, and leave a relevant comment with your opinion. It doesn’t have to be a large paragraph or an essay. Just something that shows that you have read the content or watched the video that they posted.
I really liked the comment that this LinkedIn member left in our example above. Nothing too detailed, but still obvious that he didn’t write something random. And the author of the post responded. Obviously, I have censored the names of the people for privacy reasons. 🙂
You don’t have to leave comments on everything. This can be time-consuming, and not all content is worth commenting on. However, there are other ways that you can interact with members:
- By liking their post;
- Or even better, reacting to it;
- Sharing the post to your own feed;
- Or tagging someone.
The last one is technically still a comment. However, it’s awesome because you can tag someone who might be interested in a particular content. This way, you actually do two different interactions simultaneously.
One with the person you are tagging, and one with the author of the post. To tag people in the Comments section, just type @ and starting writing their name.
5. Slip into people’s inbox occasionally
LinkedIn Networking Tips #5: Communicate with your connections directly
Once you’ve started interacting with your connections, you will eventually get to know them better. You will notice that they are particularly interested in a topic, like to go to certain events, follow specific news, etc.
For this reason, next on my LinkedIn networking tips list is to continue this interaction in your inbox. Every once in a while, when you see something relevant that might interest them, send them a direct message. It could be as simple as “Hi, I found this article, and I thought you might like it”.
Of course, as we already mentioned, you can tag them directly in a particular post. However, a direct message is more personal, and they will be more inteactive. Just don’t overdo it, otherwise you risk looking spammy or even creepy.
6. Invite connections to relevant events
One of my favourite LinkedIn networking tips is to invite people to the events that you are organizing. You can either get to a more personal level via inbox, or do it with LinkedIn’s invite option. However, you will have to create the LinkedIn event first.
Creating events on LinkedIn is very easy. From your Company Page, scroll down to the Event box on the right side of the screen. Of course, you should be logged as an Admin first to be able to do that.
LinkedIn Networking Tips #6: Invite your connections to events that might be relevant for them
Click on Create Event, and fill in the details required by LinkedIn, including your event link, date and hour of the event, and so on. It is very easy and straightforward.
Once you’ve created your event, LinkedIn will give you the option to invite people to it. Which is an excellent opportunity to interact with your connections. Again, keep in mind that LinkedIn is very careful about spamming.
So, you will not be able to send you event to all connections at once. You will have to select manually, one by one, the connections you want to send the invite to. And honestly, I think it’s much better, and feels more personal to the recipient as well.
7. Invite connections to follow
Another way to interact with your connections, although in a less personal way, is to invite them to follow your Company page. However, I would wait to do it until I have already had several previous interactions with them.
Otherwise, you risk getting ignored by members who don’t know you well enough. And don’t understand why they should follow your business. For this reason, this is probably my least favourite from this LinkedIn networking tips’ list. You have to use it carefully, otherwise it might backfire.
On another hand, it is a great way to increase the number of your Company page followers.
To invite connections to follow, log in as an Admin to your Company Page. From the Admin tools, click on Invite connections:
And then, select the LinkedIn members that you think should receive the invitation.
LinkedIn Networking Tips #7: Invite connections to follow
You can invite up to 100 users per month.
8. Leverage the opportunities of InMail
Premium plans on LinkedIn include InMail credits that you can use to send direct messages to people outside of your network. Depending on the plan that you choose, you can have from 3 monthly InMails to up to 50 for the most expensive plans.
InMail is a great way to reach professionals who are not part of your network. Again, you have to be careful with the use of its tool because sometimes people get too commercial with it. And not many people like to receive messages in which all you want to do is sell them something.
However, you can still use it as a first encounter in case you can’t connect with these members yet.
9. Post engaging content
In one of our previous LinkedIn networking tips, we saw that a part of the interaction with your connections includes responding and reacting to their contents. However, this is only a part of the equation.
LinkedIn Networking Tips #9: Post valuable content that might be relevant for your network
The other one is to post engaging content yourself, such as:
- Sharing articles and insights from your blog or website;
- Sharing relevant content from third-party websites;
- Discovering trends that could be interesting for the community;
- Sharing rich media content, such as infographics and videos;
- Writing native LinkedIn articles directly on the platform;
- Or simply engaging posts with your opinion on a trending topic.
By posting awesome content consistently, you get your face out there, and begin establishing a personal brand on LinkedIn. This will increase your credibility, authority, and trustworthiness. And people will want to connect with you even more.
10. Join LinkedIn groups
LinkedIn Networking Tips #10: Build connections through LinkedIn groups
And the last one on our list of LinkedIn networking tips is to join relevant LinkedIn groups within your industry. Groups are great because they allow you to connect with like-minded professionals.
But also, to be a part of a even more niche-specific community in which you will build long-lasting relationships with valuable interactions. Additionally, your profile will be seen by hundreds of LinkedIn members, and that’s a lot of people that you can network with.
However, just joining the group will not be enough to extract value from it. You will have to participate actively, and engage with the content that people are posting. But also, post relevant content as well.
11. Create LinkedIn Live events
Next on our list of LinkedIn networking tips is to leverage the power of LinkedIn Live events. This new tool that LinkedIn just launched recently allows you to streamline video content directly on the platform’s feed, reaching your connections and Company’s followers.
LinkedIn Networking Tips #11: Create LinkedIn Live events to reach a wider audience
Live events are a great way to continue building your network and most importantly, interact with them in a more direct and engaging way. Since your event will show up directly on the feed, this means that many people may stumble across even if they didn’t previously register for it.
This means that you will not only gain more visibility in front of your existing network, but you will also expand your audience with every live event. Additionally, they will be able to leave you comments in real time, asking questions directly that you can answer in the event itself.
12. Use Analytics to discover the most engaging content
When it comes to some of the most important LinkedIn networking tips, we already discussed that posting engaging content will be one of the key actions that you will need to do in order to gain visibility and establish a valuable network.
However, not all types of content will work equally as well with everyone. Depending on the sector and the type of connections that you have in your network, people may interact more with some types of content and less with others.
To determine what kind of content drives you the most engagement, make sure to carefully analyze the analytics of every post.
However, give your post at least 5-7 days to rotate before you start making any definitive conclusions. This way, you will make sure that you’ve given enough time for your post to reach its peak, and for LinkedIn algorithms to reach the maximum audience possible.
Once you’ve given enough time for your post, go back to it and click on “X views of your post in the feed” to discover more metrics about the people who have interacted with your post, and how many interactions you’ve had.
LinkedIn Networking tips #12: Analyze the performance data of your publications
Analyzing this data will help you determine what content works the best for your network so you can effectively publish more engaging posts on LinkedIn.
And that was all from me for today! Thank you for taking the time to read my article on the best LinkedIn networking tips, and I will see you in the next one! In the meantime, don’t hesitate to leave me any doubts or questions in the comments below.