LinkedIn is arguably the top platform for professional networking online. This digital space allows industry-wide networking, connection, and relationship building.
From the construction industry to the beauty industry, there is space for all different types of corporations to thrive. With these diverse industries in mind, you might be wondering how to network on LinkedIn and what the most effective ways to grow your network and build new contacts are.
Just like any other social space, LinkedIn has some unspoken etiquette protocols for best practices. In this blog, we will outline some of the do’s and don’ts within this platform to give you the best footing into the world of LinkedIn.
Table of Contents
How To Network On LinkedIn: Do…
Take the time to optimise your LinkedIn profile
Sounds simple, right? But making sure that your profile achieves its full potential is absolutely essential to validate your brand and ensure professionalism. Make sure your bio is fully complete with keywords relevant to your industry, with accurate information and a visually appealing profile image and header.
Your profile is also an opportunity to showcase all of your skills, experience, and accomplishments in a concise and impactful manner. When considering how to network on LinkedIn, profile optimisation is essential to ensure you’re putting your best foot forward.
Engage in additional features of the platform, such as LinkedIn groups
Join relevant industry groups and actively participate in discussions. These spaces are an opportunity for you to share your expertise and knowledge of your industry. This is also a space that boasts the opportunity to connect with potential collaborators and also gives you the chance to expand your LinkedIn network.
Generate relevant, useful content that your audience wants to engage with
Share valuable insights, industry news, and thought-provoking articles that resonate with your target audience. Engage with your audience by responding to comments and participating in discussions.
Offer industry value, advice and support
When understanding how to network on LinkedIn, it’s important to remember that this is a space that offers the chance for you to become a resource for your connections.
Taking the opportunity to share relevant content, offer advice, and provide support when needed. Build a reputation as a helpful and knowledgeable professional.
Take time to personalise your connection requests
Try to avoid sending generic connection requests, as this can seem disingenuous. Making the time to personalise your messages shows your new connections that you value them.
Utilising the opportunity to explain why you want to connect with them and what shared interests you have. This builds rapport and establishes a connection.
Respond promptly to messages and comments
Show your connections that you value their time by responding promptly to messages, comments, and InMails where possible. This active engagement has the potential to foster meaningful relationships.
How To Network On LinkedIn: Don’t…
Send random messages to people you don’t know, including overdoing the connection requests!
We have all received an excessive amount of unsolicited messages online. Take a moment to consider how that feels… Annoying right?
I understand that when considering how to network on LinkedIn, it can be tempting to jump straight in at the deep end and begin building as many connections as quickly as possible.
Do not reach out to people without a legitimate reason or shared connection. If you do, you run the risk of appearing pushy or just attempting to drive your sales.
It’s important to consider how social networking platforms are indeed social spaces and should be conducted as you would in person. Therefore, avoid bombarding your connections with irrelevant content or sales pitches; this potentially damages your credibility and can appear somewhat desperate.
Instead, really invest time to engage with the accounts that you see genuine potential working with. It will be more beneficial in the long term, and people are more likely to accept your request when you’ve invested time engaging with their content and building rapport.
Focus your input on providing value and creating meaningful connections. No one reacts well to extensive or repetitive messages in their inbox.
Rely upon or overuse in platform automation tools
While LinkedIn might offer some useful tools, don’t rely solely on automation. Automated messages can put off potential connections as they can appear like spam to users.
Where you can, try to personalise your interactions and build authentic connections. This makes for stronger, healthier, genuine connections.
Avoid the temptation to engage in inappropriate or controversial discussions
As LinkedIn is a professional platform, it’s really important to maintain a respectful tone, especially on business pages. While it’s always important to stand up for your ethics, beliefs, and morals, consider which platforms it is appropriate to do so on. Finding the balance on this issue is key to maintaining your professional reputation.
Bonus Tip: Take the opportunity to leverage some of LinkedIn’s additional features
Take advantage of LinkedIn’s advanced features, such as groups, newsletters and webinars. These features offer the potential for you to expand your reach. Perhaps from this reach, you can then engage with new potential clients or employers.
Educational content such as webinars and newsletters place you as an industry expert and are extremely valuable for building credibility.
How to network on LinkedIn: Key Take Aways
It is undoubtable that LinkedIn is a powerful tool for career development and professional networking. If you invest time into the platform and follow these basic do’s and don’ts, you have the opportunity to really maximise your page’s potential and reap the professional benefits of an established presence within the LinkedIn landscape.
Remember, taking the time to nurture genuine relationships takes effort. So, if you really want to invest in your LinkedIn networking, you need to carve out the space in your digital strategy to do so.