I ended one of my recent posts by asking:
How do you use LinkedIn to find, or connect, with others? Are you using LinkedIn Groups? Q & A? Searching the contacts of connections (when viewable)?
I searched for information I thought would be helpful, but I couldn’t find what I was looking for regarding the best ways make new LinkedIn connections.
There are many wonderful experts who write about LinkedIn. However, I was looking for information to share with you that would create an “aha” moment, where you’d say to yourself “Oh, I can do that” or “Gosh, that makes sense, why didn’t I think of that?”.
Since my web search left me without an answer, I asked for help from my friends who have a lot of experience on this subject. Here are some great suggestions for you on the best ways to make new networking connections on Linkedin. As you’ll see there’s more to making a meaningful connection than just sending a generic request!
Start With the Basics
“My initial response is to start with the basics. Make sure your own profile is complete with information that describes your value to others. Accomplishment-driven statements in your profile, up-to-date information and open the privacy walls enough so people can connect with you. Too many people have incomplete or empty profiles and they want connections but wonder why they aren’t getting any.
Then find ways to help others as you connect. Compliment something someone shares, join groups that are active but also fit your interests and your occupation. Continue to add to your connections on a regular basis but not so much that it is a race to get the most. Having the most doesn’t matter as much as the need for those connections to be genuine and have value.”
LinkedIn Groups and Q & A
Develop “Why and What” Strategy
“My tips for finding and connecting people would be to work out why you want to network with them, and, as a job seeker even – what value can you add to them. That should be part of your connection intro. Find a point of interest so you don’t look like a spammer.
For good people to connect with I would look to see how active they are on LinkedIn. Do they participate in groups? Pick people who are active and seem to be responsive as a starting point. Especially if you are a newbie, that will give you confidence.”
Utilize Advanced Search
“Do an advanced people search on former employers names to find former colleagues, bosses, etc. & do same on names of (happy) former clients. Do same search on former suppliers – anyone outside of a former employer’s org you had good relationship with. “Warm” connections are best!”
Seek Out Associations
“I’d suggest visiting the ASAE (essentially an association for associations) website and navigate to their associations ‘gateway,’ here. Then, do a search for various associations based on keywords in your industry, field, geographic area, etc. Note several key associations, then research them (via their website or other contact information).
Track down a leadership (board and committee member) directory for each — often found in their website’s About Us section. Then cross-reference those names on LinkedIn. Personalize your introduction by indicating you are familiar with/interested in their association affiliation and/or industry affiliation and are hoping to grow and share information and network contacts via LinkedIn.”
For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Career Sherpa!
About the Author: Hannah Morgan is a career sherpa, guiding new job seekers through the treacherous terrain of job search. If you are looking for no-nonsense advice, check out her site Career Sherpa, and follow Hannah on Twitter for the latest job search news and trends!
Image courtesy of Mashable, thank you!