Ten Strategies for Expanding Your LinkedIn Network


Professionals of all stripes go to LinkedIn, the most popular business networking platform today, hoping to expand their professional networks and secure new opportunities. With an estimated 200 million users, Linkedin has joined the ranks of Facebook and Twitter as one of the world’s most popular social networking sites.

Even though it seems like everyone and their dog has a LinkedIn profile now, mastering the platform to its full potential can be a daunting challenge. Most company leaders use LinkedIn solely to increase their network, mistakenly believing that more connections mean more business.

Unfortunately, this is not the case for most people, and once LinkedIn users don’t see the outcomes they were hoping for, their enthusiasm might quickly dwindle. Countless profiles exist worldwide with little to no activity because their owners have given up and decided that LinkedIn isn’t for them (at least not in attracting new clients).

However, I can tell you from personal experience that LinkedIn is a highly potent promotional tool that, if used correctly, can be a fantastic source of free marketing for your business.

Don’t expect instant gratification; success requires hard work and persistence. Having a firm grasp of how LinkedIn operates might open doors to a previously untapped demographic for your business.

In light of this, here are ten pointers to keep in mind if you want to increase interest in your business on LinkedIn:

Verify your profile is filled out: You should start by ensuring your LinkedIn profile is complete. Leaving sections of your LinkedIn profile blank is the professional equivalent of leaving areas of a job application blank. To be taken seriously, your LinkedIn page should serve as an online resume, highlighting your most impressive qualifications and experiences. Before customers take the time to learn more about your business, they need to believe that you are a reliable source of information on the service or product you are offering.

Add Media to Your Profile: As LinkedIn develops, it has become increasingly simple to include media such as photos, links, and videos. Visitors will quickly become bored reading through endless material, so any additions you can make to liven things up will be appreciated. Include photos of your company, a portfolio of your work, or anything else you’d like potential clients to see prominently. An image is worth a thousand words when marketing on LinkedIn or anywhere else.

Instead of just listing your company’s information in your profile, strive to include a call to action that directs visitors to take the next step. You can offer free consultations over the phone or have them check out your social media profiles. People who might have looked at your profile but not responded out of any real feeling of urgency might do so after seeing a compelling call to action. Avoid high-pressure sales tactics, but express your point enough that they want to click on your site.

One of the worst mistakes that LinkedIn users make is failing to update their status regularly, which quickly leads to forgetting about the user. The key to building brand recognition is maintaining contact with your audience after initial introductions. Please share anything you think would be helpful to others in your field, whether it’s a video, article, resource, or tip. People who see you as a reliable resource for your area are more inclined to contact you.

Focus on Your Attempts at Networking Many users still try adding new connections randomly, which is against LinkedIn’s regulations. Think rationally about the types of people who would value your service if you’re going to put in the effort to build connections with strangers. You should also network with people who provide complementary services or work in a related field to your own so that you can invite them. Building your numbers by attracting people who have little interest in you or your product won’t do anything to spread the word about it. Don’t forget to focus on making local connections if your company is focused on serving a neighborhood.

There are innumerable groups on LinkedIn for just about any topic you can think of, so find a few that interest you and dive in. You won’t get much attention in group chats or on your status updates if you don’t participate consistently. Remember that joining a group is to expand your professional and personal network by talking to interesting people and making new friends. When marketing your business, it makes sense to focus your efforts on specific niches, and groups are a terrific method to do just that.

Optimize Your Profile For Search Results Even today, many individuals are unaware that LinkedIn has a similar search function to Google’s. LinkedIn searches can be conducted by name, industry, or company name. Make sure your profile is littered with terms people would use to find people in your field. Well-optimized profiles will rank higher in results for more common LinkedIn queries, resulting in more relevant visitors to your profile.

Establish a LinkedIn Company Page and Publicize It: LinkedIn has finally joined the ranks of Facebook and Google+ by launching a business page. Building an active company page takes time, so if you don’t already have one, get on it immediately. Send a personal message to your existing LinkedIn connections asking them to follow your business page (and be sure to follow them back). Your profile may not provide as many opportunities to showcase your firm as your business page will. Remember your profile when creating your business page; the two should complement one another.

Meet and greet the new friends you’ve made: Whether they admit it or not, many people will add a new connection or accept a connection invitation with little to no prior communication. Not everyone you add as a connection on LinkedIn will become a close friend, but it’s important to show at least a few of them some love. Sending a simple message of “Nice to meet you” and “Thanks for adding me” can go a long way toward establishing rapport with new people. You immediately set yourself apart when you treat someone like a natural person rather than a random link.

The adage “image is everything” or “perception is reality” has been uttered ad nauseam. Therefore it’s time you get a professional photo taken of yourself. A striking profile image will make you seem important and more like a big-time participant in LinkedIn circles everywhere, whether or not that’s the case. Professional photographs make a tremendous difference for a website, a magazine article, or a direct mail ad. One of the first things people will notice about you is your profile image, so make sure it’s good. Make sure you seem part of someone people want to conduct business with by not using personal images on your LinkedIn page.

Once you’ve mastered the basics and achieved the desired results, you may progress to LinkedIn’s more complex marketing strategies. Remember that developing an effective LinkedIn strategy is a talent that takes time and effort to master. Consistency and hard work will pay off in the end.

Jeff Moyer, a Canadian expert in website creation and online advertising, owns Calgary Web Design Network. After working as a web designer in Calgary for over a decade, Jeff expanded his skillset to include blogging, search engine optimization, graphic design, journalism, and more. Customers and clients from everywhere in North America can do business with him.

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