That’s a question I’ve been asking for a while now. Here are the answers I get from the majority of people:
- I don’t know
- Never thought about that
- Maybe 10 to 15 percent
That tells me most people aren’t being very strategic in adding quality connections to their LinkedIn network. It also tells me they maybe need a little tuneup on how to strategically grow their network from within their LinkedIn Target Audience.
What is Your LinkedIn Target Audience?
Let’s start with this idea. Connections are the gas in your LinkedIn tank, and every time you connect with someone on LinkedIn, it affects the quality of your network—just like the quality of the gas you purchase affects how your car runs. In other words, not all connections are created equal.
Most people add connections haphazardly, but to be highly successful on LinkedIn it’s important to develop a strategy for growing a dynamic network that will help you reach your most ambitious goals.
Everyone’s situation is unique, of course. But here are some tipss that will help you understand what types of people you should connect with to strengthen your network. They will also help you enhance your brand or maybe find your next job.
People Who Can Help You Enhance Your Personal Brand
- People who have had similar career paths to yours
- Leaders in your industry associations
- Individuals who have large networks (LinkedIn or otherwise) concentrated in your region or industry
- Employees of some of the well-respected companies in your region and industry
People Who Can Help Advance Your Career
- People who work in your industry and region
- Employees of companies you are interested in
- Recruiters who specialize in your industry
- Consultants and experts in your industry
- Human resources professionals who work at your target companies
People Who Can Help Your Favorite Nonprofit Thrive
- People who volunteer for or sit on boards of similar nonprofits
- Individuals who work at large corporations, foundations, etc. and tend to support nonprofits like yours
- People who are involved in groups that have large volunteer pools (e.g., religious organizations, schools, clubs, etc.)
- Those who work for media outlets
People Who Can Help Grow Your Business
- Individuals who are the direct decision-makers for the purchase of your products and services
- People indirectly involved in the decision to purchase your products and services (strategic influencers or people from the company who weigh in on the decision)
- High-ranking officers at the companies that purchase your products and services, even if they’re not the direct decision-makers
- Individuals who hang around with the people listed in the first two bullets (probably deliver similar services to the same purchasers)
- People who are recognized industry experts
- Leaders of your industry associations and/or people who manage industry events
- Individuals well networked in your region or industry
- Experts who provide educational content for the industry
Strategically improve the quality of your LinkedIn network by connecting with people in your LinkedIn target audience. After you do, you’ll be better positioned to enhance your brand and find a job.
For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Power Formula.
About the Author: Wayne Breitbarth is the CEO of Power Formula LLC. An experienced businessman, speaker, and author, Wayne shares his passion for social media with 40,000+ business professionals. Through private business consulting and presentations to audiences including Inc. Magazine and the American Marketing Association, Wayne makes LinkedIn simple. Wayne is the author of the best-selling book The Power Formula for LinkedIn Success. Connect with him on Twitter.