How to grow your LinkedIn network
“My business is in DEEP 5H1T!”
That should have been my first thought when the COVID lockdown was announced.
And I won’t lie, the thought did cross my mind. But it wasn’t my first or second or third thought.
Because even though I couldn’t meet my network physically anymore, I could still show up for them online.
I’d invested a lot of time and energy building an online network on LinkedIn. Despite not ever meeting lots of my connection “in real life” we had made some meaningful connections.
LinkedIn is weird. You can tell a lot about a person by following what they post over time.
I’ve never been one to hold back the personal stuff for Facebook, because I don’t use Facebook. My friends hang out on LinkedIn, so that’s where I post.
If I’m honest, my coaching business didn’t really struggle with the imposed confinement. I set up the business to coach online. My networking group, Networking in… was a different story.
Everything had to go online.
We were the first Networking group that I knew to make the switch. And it wasn’t easy. I went from having sell out sales every fortnight to launching online with 13 people.
We used LinkedIn to talk about the changes and numbers quickly rose.
And three years later, I don’t regret that decision one bit!
LinkedIn saved a lot of businesses during the pandemic, ours included. It kept our name out there and gave us a presence and a new market to speak too, a market without geographical boundaries.
And it made it easier to maintain business relationships in the “Hell” when we couldn’t get together and have a coffee or chat, or hug.
For this, and many other reasons, I’m a firm believer that every business owner needs a strong LinkedIn presence.
2020 was a terrible year for businesses! But imagine how much worse it would be if there was no internet?
Businesses that used LinkedIn successfully during the pandemic ended up succeeding BIG. Probably my favorite example is my power couple friends Harold Floyd and Ami Floyd who embraced the platform and its benefits whole heartedly and have amassed millions of impressions on their posts.
What I’m trying to say, in two words, is this: LinkedIn works!
A study by Hubspot suggested that LinkedIn is 277 Percent More Effective for Lead Generation than Facebook and Twitter.
7 tips to grow your LinkedIn network
1. Build a solid profile
One of the most important steps to growing your LinkedIn network is to have a strong profile.
Choose the right profile picture and add a nice (up to date) background photo.
Make your description more than just a job title. It needs to reflect your personality as well.
Spotlight the services that you offer, and list all of your relevant skills.
Ask your colleagues and clients for recommendations and endorsements. And most importantly, keep your page as active as possible.
2. Use the right keywords to become more searchable and visible
Did you know that you can optimise your LinkedIn profile for SEO By using the right keywords?
If you want to be visible and searchable, you have to make it easy for people to know about you and your business.
Keywords are the secret sauce! They make it easier for prospects to find you.
Check out the top keywords that you are currently found for. Try out different combinations to get it just right.
Remove all the irrelevant words in your job title, about, highlight and experience sections.
3. Share interesting, relevant content
If you want to grow your network, you have to give people a reason to stick around.
What kind of content are you sharing? And is it helpful to the people you want to attract?
Personable content is definitely more relatable, and will ensure you more eyeballs. Share information that is likely to be useful to your potential customers.
Keep up with the trends. What are people talking about? And what are they interested in?
Remember to remain authentic and share what actually matters to you.
Because when you are true to yourself, people can tell. People can relate. And people are likely to buy into your idea.
4. Engage publicly and privately
What makes social media so special is that real time engagement.
It’s the quick exchange of thoughts and information.
You have to be social on social media.
Engage with your audience. Talk to them. Share your views and opinions.
Like, comment, and share the posts that resonate with you. Don’t be afraid to directly message people asking them for advice or sharing your views.
By engaging with people on social media, you not only grow your network but also form meaningful business connections.
5. Personalise your connection requests
Let’s assume you receive a birthday card. It has no note, no address, and no details of where it came from?
Are you likely to hold on to it?
It’s the same with LinkedIn…
How many LinkedIn connection requests do you get on a daily basis, and out of those, how many are you likely to accept?
When you send a request with a personalised note, it becomes much easier to respond. It shows that you’re thoughtful and provides a lasting reminder of why you connected.
Generic invitations feel a lot like spam. Everyone appreciates a little thoughtfulness.
6. Join groups and participate in discussions
LinkedIn groups have been around for the last 19 years!
And they’re very effective.
If you’re looking for a niche, then groups are a very effective way to find specific people.
It also helps you to learn new information about the people who you would like to convert into customers. In short, it’s a great marketing research tool.
These are undoubtedly one of the best places for both B2B and B2C enterprises to expand their LinkedIn networks.
LinkedIn currently allows basic members to join up to 50 groups. It even has a “groups you may like” feature that suggests groups based on your current connections.
Find industry, topic and location specific groups that contain concentrations of people that you would like to network with and join them.
7. Add LinkedIn URLs to emails
One of the easiest ways to grow your LinkedIn network is by adding your profile to your email signature.
It makes your recipients easily view your profile and learn more about you. It makes you more credible.
You will need some sort of LinkedIn icon or image to link. You can create your own image. Or, you can use an image from LinkedIn.
If you’re a small business owner, it goes without saying that you need to grow your LinkedIn network.
Social media networking has proven to be one of the easiest, fastest, most affordable and effective ways of connecting with people.
If there’s anything that the pandemic taught us, it’s that…
The 7 tips to grow your LinkedIn network are:
- Build a solid profile
- Use the right keywords
- Share interesting, relevant content
- Engage privately and publicly
- Personalise your connection requests
- Join groups and participate in discussions
- Add LinkedIn URLs to emails
We’re always up for a chat, so if you have any comments about this blog or want to have a conversation, get in touch. Outside ideas are on a mission to help people and businesses grow.